Reconstruction of thousands of homes and businesses destroyed in last summer’s Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has barely begun and living conditions in the territory have only worsened six months after donor countries pledged $3.5 billion, a coalition of international aid groups said Monday.
The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) urged the international community to adopt a new approach to Gaza, including by pressuring Israel to lift its border blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory. The blockade, which is also enforced by Egypt, has been in place since the Islamist militant group seized Gaza in 2007.
The European Union has restored sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 shipping companies on Wednesday, days after an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program was reached, according to the EU’s Official Journal.
The move comes despite Europe’s second-highest court order to end the asset freeze on Iranian institutions in January when it found fault with the legal grounds given by the EU. However, the EU relisted Iran’s Bank Tejarat and 32 Iranian shipping firms using new legal grounds, a statement said Wednesday.
Supporters of the inhabitants of a British overseas territory deported from their homeland are furious that the government has reneged on a promise that it would decide before the election on whether they could return.
Shortly before parliament disbanded, the government said it would delay confirming whether the Chagossian people could go back to the Chagos Islands, a series of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The main island, Diego Garcia, has been leased to the US military since 1966. That agreement expires next year. Novelist Philippa Gregory, secretary of the UK Chagos Support Association, branded the delay “another serious betrayal of the Chagossian community”. She added: “Chagossians have suffered in exile for years, and it is disgraceful the government has failed to deliver a small measure of justice by supporting return.” Television presenter and author Ben Fogle will hand a petition to Downing Street after the election urging the next government to let the Chagossians go back.
Members of the Rockefeller family tried to get ExxonMobil to acknowledge the dangers of climate change a decade ago – but failed in their efforts to reform the oil giant.
In letters, lunch meetings, and shareholder resolutions, the descendants of John D Rockefeller, founder of the oil empire that eventually became Exxon, sought repeatedly to persuade the company to abandon climate denial and begin shifting their business towards clean energy.
Angela has been living in the remote town of Ganyiel, in South Sudan’s Unity state, for 18 months. Trying to feed her five children has been hard.
Angela is angry with the country’s warring parties. “I pray for peace,” she says. “But if they won’t stop the conflict, I’m telling [president] Salva Kiir and [rebel leader] Riek Machar to fight each other with their own hands and stop killing our kids.”
Many internally displaced people in the area share Angela’s frustration. Their views were heard by Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and the deputy special representative of the UN secretary general in the UN mission in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, when they toured Ganyiel last weekend.