Hundreds More Palestinians Killed as Israel Pursues Hamas in South Gaza

Smoke rises above Khan Younis following Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 07 December 2023. (EPA)
Smoke rises above Khan Younis following Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 07 December 2023. (EPA)
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Hundreds More Palestinians Killed as Israel Pursues Hamas in South Gaza

Smoke rises above Khan Younis following Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 07 December 2023. (EPA)
Smoke rises above Khan Younis following Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 07 December 2023. (EPA)

Israel battled Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip's biggest cities on Thursday and said it had attacked dozens of targets, leaving 350 Palestinians dead and the rest struggling to survive in rapidly shrinking areas of refuge.

Gazans crammed into Rafah on the southern border with Egypt, heeding Israeli leaflets and messages saying that they would be safe in the city after successive warnings to head south.

But more than 20 people were killed in apartments there late on Wednesday sheltering displaced civilians from the north, said Eyad al-Hobi, a relative of some of those killed.

"All apartments in the building suffered serious damage," he said as people brought out two apparently lifeless children.

Another relative, Bassam al-Hobi, said the building had been hit by three rockets.

"They targeted women and children, as you can see, and the guests who were told the south would be safe," he said, gesturing to bodies wrapped in white cloth, some small, lined up on the ground and surrounded by mourners.

Israel said militants had fired at least one rocket from Rafah and 12 from the desolate area of Al Mawasi on Gaza's southern Mediterranean coast where it has also advised displaced people to gather, leaving the status of the areas unclear.

In southern Gaza's largest city, Khan Younis, Israel said its forces killed a number of gunmen, including two militants who emerged firing from a tunnel. Residents reported several Israeli air strikes and non-stop tank fire in the city's east.

In Washington, a senior State Department official said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israel's strategic affairs minister on Thursday, and told him Israel needs to do more to protect civilians in its offensive in southern Gaza.

New phase

Israeli troops reached the heart of Khan Younis on Wednesday in a new phase of the war, now entering its third month. Health officials said three people were killed there on Thursday.

Ambulances and relatives rushed the wounded into the city's Nasser hospital, but even the floor space inside was full. Two badly wounded children lay on a trolley and a bloodstained young boy lay screaming among the patients on the floor.

"The injuries are very severe," said doctor Mohamed Matar. "The situation is catastrophic in all senses of the word... We can't treat the injured in this state."

Those who escape violence face an increasingly desperate struggle to survive.

Ibrahim Mahram, who fled to Al Mawasi, said five families were sharing a tent in the former Bedouin village, which refugee organizations say lacks shelter, food and other necessities.

"We suffered from the war of cannons and escaped it to arrive at the war of starvation," he told Reuters.

"We divide one tomato between all of us."

The UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) said 1.9 million people - 85 percent of Gaza's population - had been displaced and its shelters were four times over capacity.

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said pressure was growing in the south of the enclave near Egypt.

"People are piling up in the little sliver of land between Khan Younis and the Rafah border," he told Reuters.

Egypt said it would not allow Gazans to be pushed across its border. Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service, added that Egypt believed Israel was also trying to force Palestinians in the West Bank towards Jordan.

The Gaza health ministry said 17,177 Palestinians had been killed and 46,000 wounded since Oct 7, when Israel began bombing Gaza in response to an assault by Hamas militants who control the enclave. In the past 24 hours alone, 350 people had been killed, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said.

Israel says it must wipe out Hamas and is doing everything possible to get civilians out of harm's way.

Bombing and gunbattles

Israel said it had raided a Hamas compound in Jabalia, killing several gunmen and found tunnels, a training area and weapons. Israeli television showed scores of men, stripped to their underwear, sitting on a road. Maariv newspaper said they were Hamas fighters captured in Gaza City.

The armed wing of Hamas said fighters had destroyed or damaged 79 army vehicles in Gaza City in the past three days but did not produce evidence.

The surprise Hamas incursion on Oct 7. killed 1,200 people, with 240 people taken hostage, according to Israel's tally.

The Israeli military says 88 soldiers have been killed in ground incursions into Gaza that began on Oct. 20.

The UN has been unable to distribute aid in any part of Gaza except for the area around Rafah for the past four days, it said in its daily humanitarian report on Thursday.

A senior Hamas official told Reuters mediators were still exploring opportunities for a truce and reiterated its demand that Israel cease its attacks.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Thursday there were promising signs that the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel could soon be opened to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

A guided-missile attack from Lebanon killed a 60-year-old farmer in northern Israel on Thursday, Israel's public broadcaster Kan said, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Beirut would be turned "into Gaza" if Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, started an all-out war.



Saudi General Entertainment Authority Announces Sponsorship of Comedy Factory Initiative

The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
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Saudi General Entertainment Authority Announces Sponsorship of Comedy Factory Initiative

The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Advisor Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al Al-Sheikh announced the authority's sponsorship of the "Comedy Factory" initiative, aimed at discovering and supporting young talents in the fields of comedy and theater.

Through this sponsorship, the Authority aims to create a supportive environment, enabling young Saudis to unleash their creativity and provide unique comedy content that reflects the Saudi identity and humorously addresses community issues.
The initiative serves as a platform for young Saudis to showcase their humorous talents, fostering the development of creative capabilities in this field and offering an opportunity to refine their skills under the guidance of specialists in comedy art.

The Comedy Factory is part of a series of initiatives organized by the General Entertainment Authority as part of its efforts to boost entertainment activity. The initiative encompasses workshops, training courses, and competitive events designed to refine the skills of emerging comedy actors, preparing them for effective participation in the entertainment industry.


Condition of Nigerian Siamese Twins Stable after Surgery in Saudi Arabia

The surgery took place at King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital of King Abdulaziz Medical City of the National Guard. SPA
The surgery took place at King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital of King Abdulaziz Medical City of the National Guard. SPA
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Condition of Nigerian Siamese Twins Stable after Surgery in Saudi Arabia

The surgery took place at King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital of King Abdulaziz Medical City of the National Guard. SPA
The surgery took place at King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital of King Abdulaziz Medical City of the National Guard. SPA

Advisor at the Royal Court, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), and head of the medical and surgical team for separating Siamese twins Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah said the condition of the Nigerian Siamese twins Hasnah and Hussaynah remains stable following their successful separation surgery in Riyadh.

The surgery took place on Thursday at King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital of King Abdulaziz Medical City of the National Guard.

Al Rabeeah noted that the twins are currently in intensive care, under anesthesia, receiving intravenous nutrition, and necessary medications to ensure the stability of their condition.

He said all medical indicators for the twins are reassuring, and the medical team is diligently monitoring their health in the pediatric intensive care unit.

He added that the twins will remain in the intensive care unit for approximately ten days to two weeks before being transferred to the children’s ward after a thorough evaluation of their condition. Al Rabeeah also provided detailed explanations about the twins’ health condition to their parents.


US: Israel Agreed to Framework for Gaza Ceasefire, Hamas Now Must Decide

A damaged building from Gaza is pictured, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as seen from Southern Israel, March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
A damaged building from Gaza is pictured, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as seen from Southern Israel, March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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US: Israel Agreed to Framework for Gaza Ceasefire, Hamas Now Must Decide

A damaged building from Gaza is pictured, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as seen from Southern Israel, March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
A damaged building from Gaza is pictured, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as seen from Southern Israel, March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza ceasefire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior US administration official said Saturday, a day before talks to reach an agreement were to resume in Egypt.
International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins around March 10. A deal would also likely allow aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.
The Israelis “have more or less accepted” the proposal, which includes the six-week ceasefire as well as the release by Hamas of hostages considered vulnerable, which includes the sick, the wounded, the elderly and women, said the official.
“Right now, the ball is in the court of Hamas and we are continuing to push this as hard as we possibly can,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House to brief reporters.

A senior Egyptian official said mediators Egypt and Qatar are expected to receive a response from Hamas during the Cairo talks scheduled to start Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not publicly authorized to discuss the sensitive talks.


Biker Boots and Curtains of Rain at Hermes Runway Show in Paris

Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
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Biker Boots and Curtains of Rain at Hermes Runway Show in Paris

Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

Hermes designer Nadege Vanhee added country and western flair to her fall/winter collection, sending biker boots and studded leather jackets down a catwalk lined with curtains of rain.
Models marched past the falling droplets parading the sleek lineup of leather ensembles that included flat, high-waisted trousers, flared in a boot-cut and worn with sharp-toed ankle boots - cowboy style.
Slit pencil skirts paired with trim bomber jackets looked youthful while cinched trench coats carried a more traditional flavor.
Show notes referred to "braving the elements", and cited resilient leathers, robust twills and supple cashmere.
For her bow, Vanhee lifted her arms and wiggled to the thumping soundtrack - Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" - as audience applauded.
Paris Fashion Week runs through March 5, featuring runway shows from some of the industry's biggest names, including LVMH's Louis Vuitton and Dior, Kering labels Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, and Chanel.


Verstappen Wins Season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crosses the finish line to win the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 2, 2024. (Photo by ALI HAIDER / POOL / AFP)
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crosses the finish line to win the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 2, 2024. (Photo by ALI HAIDER / POOL / AFP)
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Verstappen Wins Season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crosses the finish line to win the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 2, 2024. (Photo by ALI HAIDER / POOL / AFP)
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crosses the finish line to win the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 2, 2024. (Photo by ALI HAIDER / POOL / AFP)

Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen eased to victory in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday.
Verstappen started on pole position and was never seriously challenged on his way to a commanding one-two win for Red Bull ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was third for Ferrari after fighting hard with teammate Charles Leclerc.
At the start of the longest-ever F1 season at 24 races, Verstappen already shows signs of repeating his near-perfect record from 2023, when the Dutch driver won 19 of 22 races on his way to a third straight title.
Saturday was the eighth win in a row for Verstappen going back to September last year. He set an F1 record of 10 consecutive wins last season.


US Military Planes Airdrop About 38,000 Meals Into Gaza

Children look for salvageable items amid the rubble of a Mosque and makeshift shelters that were destroyed in Israeli strikes in Deir El-Balah in central Gaza on March 2, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Children look for salvageable items amid the rubble of a Mosque and makeshift shelters that were destroyed in Israeli strikes in Deir El-Balah in central Gaza on March 2, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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US Military Planes Airdrop About 38,000 Meals Into Gaza

Children look for salvageable items amid the rubble of a Mosque and makeshift shelters that were destroyed in Israeli strikes in Deir El-Balah in central Gaza on March 2, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Children look for salvageable items amid the rubble of a Mosque and makeshift shelters that were destroyed in Israeli strikes in Deir El-Balah in central Gaza on March 2, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

US military C-130 cargo planes on Saturday dropped food in pallets over Gaza, the first American airdrop of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave, three US officials said.
Three planes from Air Forces Central dropped 66 bundles containing about 38,000 meals into Gaza at 8:30 a.m. EST, according to two of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity before a public announcement.
The airdrop is expected to be the first of many announced by President Joe Biden on Friday. The aid will be coordinated with Jordan.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Friday that the airdrops were being planned to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance in a safe way to people on the ground.
The C-130 cargo plane is a widely used military jet to deliver aid to remote places due to its ability to land in austere environments and cargo capacity.
A C-130 can airlift as much as 42,000 pounds of cargo and its crews know how to rig the cargo, which sometimes can include even vehicles, onto massive pallets can be safely dropped out of the back of the aircraft.
Air Force loadmasters secure the bundles onto pallets with netting that is rigged for release in the back of a C-130, and then crews release it with a parachute when the aircraft reaches the intended delivery zone.

Other countries including France, Egypt and Jordan have carried out airdrops of aid into Gaza.

At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip - one quarter of the enclave's population - are one step from famine, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Where Will You be for the April 8 Total Solar Eclipse?

FILE - People gather near Redmond, Ore., to view the sun as it nears a total eclipse by the moon, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - People gather near Redmond, Ore., to view the sun as it nears a total eclipse by the moon, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
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Where Will You be for the April 8 Total Solar Eclipse?

FILE - People gather near Redmond, Ore., to view the sun as it nears a total eclipse by the moon, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - People gather near Redmond, Ore., to view the sun as it nears a total eclipse by the moon, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Where will you be watching the April 8 total solar eclipse? There are just a few weeks left to pick your spot to see the skies darken along a strip of North America, whether by land, sea or air.
For those who live inside the 115-mile-wide (185-kilometer-wide) path of total darkness, it may be a matter of just stepping outside and donning special eclipse glasses to watch the spectacle unfold. For the millions outside the path, or those who just want to improve their chances of clear skies, it could mean hitting the road with a game plan.
The eclipse reaches Mexico’s Pacific coast in the morning, cuts diagonally across the US from Texas to Maine and exits in eastern Canada by late afternoon. Most of the rest of the continent will see a partial eclipse, The Associated Press reported.
WHERE TO WATCH THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE The weather will be key, and spring weather along the path can be dicey. Mexico and Texas offer the best odds of sunny skies, said retired Canadian meteorologist Jay Anderson.
“There’s no guarantee of sunshine anywhere — just better chances,” he said.
Anderson studies satellite data for the previous 20 years to calculate how often a location has cloudy weather on any eclipse day. Besides Mexico and Texas, he said there are other promising spots on the path of totality, particularly along the Great Lakes.
The advice: If you’re flexible, start paying attention to local weather about 10 days out, and make your plans on the three-day forecast. Die-hard eclipse chasers often line up more than one location and make last-minute decisions based on the best forecast, he said.
HOW TO PREPARE LIKE AN ECLIPSE CHASER One veteran eclipse chaser recommends picking a location and make it a vacation so that the eclipse is “the cherry on top” and not the only highlight — just in case things don’t work out.
Tom Schultz will be traveling from his retirement home in Costa Rica to watch the eclipse from his mother-in-law’s house in Rochester, New York, along with other relatives.
“If we get rained out, we’ll get this great family reunion,” said Schultz.
Veteran Anne Marie Adkins could drive across town in San Antonio to see the total eclipse, but opted to join an astronomer-led tour to Mazatlán, Mexico, betting on clear skies there. She’s been thwarted by clouds on other trips. For the 2017 US eclipse, she went to Nebraska and had to scramble that day to find better skies.
“It’s a gamble. You never know what you are going to get,” said Adkins.
Post-eclipse traffic is a particular worry, especially in more rural areas like the Texas Hill Country. Patricia Moore, of the Bandera visitors center, said last year’s “ring of fire” eclipse provided a dress rehearsal for police and other first responders. Tiny Bandera — the “Cowboy Capital of the World” — expects crowds from nearby weekend music festivals.
“After the eclipse will be a challenge,” she said.
WHERE ARE THE ECLIPSE WATCH PARTIES? With the eclipse falling on a Monday, cities and towns along the path have lined up a weekend full of activities and watch parties to attract visitors. There are a multitude of music festivals and gatherings planned at museums, parks, wineries and other businesses hoping to capitalize on the buzz.
Niagara Falls has a slate of events for days and is expecting July Fourth-sized crowds for the eclipse, said Sara Harvey, spokeswoman for Destination Niagara USA.
There are multiple vantage points to watch the show from Niagara Falls State Park, and the famous Maid of the Mist tourist boats may be running, weather permitting, she said. Even if it’s cloudy, visitors will get “a beautiful view of the falls,” Harvey said.
In Waco, Texas, festivities will culminate on eclipse day with science-themed activities outside Baylor’s McClane stadium, along what's called Touchdown Alley.
It may be too late to snag a cabin on a cruise ship positioned off the Mexico coast for the eclipse, but there are other watery options including a ride on the paddle-wheeler Victorian Princess on Lake Erie from Erie, Pennsylvania.
If the sky beckons, Southwest and Delta have identified flights that will fly along or near the eclipse path. A special Delta flight from Austin to Detroit quickly sold out, prompting the airline to add another from Dallas.
Looking for an different kind of place to watch the sun, moon and Earth align? The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host NASA astronauts and other guests. Cedar Point amusement park on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, is opening for the day. And the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas is throwing a tailgate fundraising party and inviting visitors to watch the zoo’s residents react to the midday darkness.
You can also spend the day visiting the planets. In northern Maine, a scale model of the solar system is displayed along nearly 100 miles (160 kilometers) of US Route 1. Retired geology professor Kevin McCartney expects to unveil a new 23- foot-tall (7-meters-tall) roadside sun at the University of Maine at Presque Isle on eclipse day. “You won’t be able to miss it,” he said.
Anderson, the weather expert, said it's well worth the travel to see the “special magical moment” of a total eclipse: “It's the Taylor Swift of natural events.”


Minister: Google's Removal of Apps from Play Store in India 'Cannot Be Permitted'

FILE PHOTO: India's Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the audience during the 'SemiconIndia 2023', India’s annual semiconductor conference, in Gandhinagar, India, July 28, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: India's Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the audience during the 'SemiconIndia 2023', India’s annual semiconductor conference, in Gandhinagar, India, July 28, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
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Minister: Google's Removal of Apps from Play Store in India 'Cannot Be Permitted'

FILE PHOTO: India's Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the audience during the 'SemiconIndia 2023', India’s annual semiconductor conference, in Gandhinagar, India, July 28, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: India's Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the audience during the 'SemiconIndia 2023', India’s annual semiconductor conference, in Gandhinagar, India, July 28, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

Google's decision to remove some apps in India from its app store "cannot be permitted", Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday, amid an ongoing dispute over service fee payments to the US firm.
Google on Friday removed from its Play Store many Indian apps, including Matrimony.com's popular Bharat Matrimony and job search app Naukri, saying the companies were not abiding by its in-app payment guidelines.
Vaishnaw said he has held talks with Google and will meet the startups, which needed protection in India.
"This cannot be permitted. This kind of de-listing cannot be permitted," he said in a statement.
Google declined to comment, according to Reuters.
The removal has sparked criticism from many startups who have for years protested and legally challenged many of the US giant's practices, including its in-app fee. Google says the fees help develop and promote the Android and Play Store ecosystem.
The dispute centers on efforts by some Indian startups to stop Google from imposing a fee of 11%-26% on in-app payments, after the country's antitrust authorities ordered it to not mandatorily enforce an earlier system of charging 15%-30%.
But Google effectively received the go-ahead to charge the fee or remove apps after two court decisions in January and February, one by the Supreme Court.
Google said on Friday that some Indian companies had chosen not to pay for the "immense value they receive on Google Play".
Among the worst hit by the removals is Matrimony.com which has seen more than 150 of its apps dropped from the Play Store.
"All our apps have been removed and we are out of Play Store and (that) means out of business," founder Murugavel Janakiraman told Reuters on Saturday. "If this continuous for a long term then we will have significant drop in revenue."
Info Edge, another affected company, had seen its job search app Naukri and another real estate search app, removed. Many of the company's app had been restored, its founder said on Saturday on X, without elaborating.
Google briefly removed popular Indian payments app Paytm from its Play Store in 2020 citing some policy violations. The move led to the company's founder and the wider startup industry joining together to challenge Google by launching their own app stores and filing legal cases.


Norway's King Gets Pacemaker in Malaysia after Falling Ill During Vacation

FILE PHOTO: Norway's King Harald during a press conference on the royal yacht Norge in Aarhus, Denmark June 16, 2023. Ritzau Scanpix/Bo Amstrup via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: Norway's King Harald during a press conference on the royal yacht Norge in Aarhus, Denmark June 16, 2023. Ritzau Scanpix/Bo Amstrup via REUTERS
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Norway's King Gets Pacemaker in Malaysia after Falling Ill During Vacation

FILE PHOTO: Norway's King Harald during a press conference on the royal yacht Norge in Aarhus, Denmark June 16, 2023. Ritzau Scanpix/Bo Amstrup via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: Norway's King Harald during a press conference on the royal yacht Norge in Aarhus, Denmark June 16, 2023. Ritzau Scanpix/Bo Amstrup via REUTERS

King Harald of Norway was implanted with a temporary pacemaker Saturday at a hospital in Malaysia’s resort island of Langkawi, where Europe’s oldest monarch was being treated for an infection during a vacation this week, the Norwegian royal house said.
“The pacemaker was implanted due to a low heart rate,” the Royal House of Norway said in a brief statement, adding that the procedure was successful.
Following the operation, Harald, 87, would likely be transported back to Norway “within the next couple of days,” The Associated Press quoted the statement as saying.
“His Majesty is doing well under the circumstances but still requires rest. The procedure will make the return back home safer, according to His Majesty The King’s personal physician, Bjørn Bendz,” the palace in Oslo said.
The royal house said on Tuesday that Harald, Europe’s oldest reigning monarch, was hospitalized after he fell ill during a private vacation in Langkawi. Norwegian media outlets said Harald traveled to the Malaysian resort island to celebrate his 87th birthday.


GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
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GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi welcomed the statement issued by the Palestinian factions that met in Moscow.

"The meeting statement outcome is a positive start to beginning unified political action, conform with the aspiration of the Palestinian forces and factions participating in the meeting, to form a government that includes all segments of the Palestinian people ... in light of the critical circumstances," Albudaiwi said.

He stressed that the GCC countries support all results and solutions that serve the Palestinian cause and guarantee the national rights of the Palestinian people.