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Berlin evictions on the rise | COP28 | Venezuela's referendum
Our weekly roundup of stories you may have missed.
The number of evictions in Berlin is rising
Forced evictions are on the rise in Berlin according to new government statistics, increasing by 15% from 1,668 in 2021 to 1,931 in 2022, a faster rise than in any other German city. The majority of evictions were related to failure to pay rent – in seven year Berlin rents have increased by 44% while the average wage has gone up only 30%.
After two years of government inaction following the last referendum, DW & Co Enteignen are campaigning for a second referendum that would legally trigger expropriation of Berlin’s most powerful housing companies. Donate now to support the campaign.
Israel using AI to select targets in Palestine
More than 700 Palestinians were killed in Gaza in 24 hours after the expiration of the seven-day ‘humanitarian pause’ on Friday, one of the highest daily death tolls since the beginning of Israel’s ongoing bombardment. The use of AI systems to rapidly generate hundreds of bombing targets has contributed significantly to the deadliness of Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, according to a new report by +972 Magazine and Local Call.
'Loss and Damage' fund launched at COP28
The new ‘Loss and Damage’ fund announced by world leaders at the climate change conference COP28 doesn’t nearly go far enough. Only $420 million has been pledged so far to the fund, which should give financial support to lower-income countries worst affected by climate crisis related disasters, far less than the $100 billion many believe is required, and dwarfed by the $7 trillion given in subsidies every year to the fossil fuel industry. The world’s largest economy, and one of the greatest contributors to climate change, the U.S. has pledged only $17.5 million to the new fund.
Finland closes border to Russia
Finland has closed its entire border with Russia, claiming that Russia is facilitating illegal crossings by asylum-seekers in retaliation for Finland joining NATO. Russia has been accused of launching a ‘hybrid attack’ on the border, after 900 asylum seekers crossed in November.
Dozens of migrants died on the Belarus-Poland border in 2021, amid accusations that Belarus was weaponising migration against the EU. There are concerns that the same could take place along the Russian-Finnish border, where temperatures can drop to as low as -25C.
RSF atrocities in Sudan
A new report by Human Rights Watch shows that Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary commited has killed thousands in a series of mass atrocities against the Massalit community and other minority groups in the city of El Geneina, West Darfur. UN officials warn of a “grimly high” risk of genocide, as brutal Sudan’s civil war, now in its eighth month, shows no sign of slowing.
Myanmar's junta is losing control
Myanmar’s ruling military junta is continuing to lose ground to an ongoing offensive by rebel groups across the country. Myanmar’s military seized control of the country in February 2021 from previous leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In recent months, new alliances of armed organisations have emerged and coordinated attacks nationwide, pushing the junta back on all fronts. Nearly 335,000 civilians have been displaced during the current fighting, bringing the total to more than 2 million displaced nationwide.
Venezuela votes to annex part of Guyana
In a referendum called by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, 95% of voters backed claims of sovereignty over a large portion of neighbouring country Guyana, raising fears of a potential military annexation of the region. The Essequibo region, which makes up two-thirds of Guyana, is rich in minerals and would give Venezuela access to an oil-rich area of the Atlantic. For a century, Venezuelans have argued that the territory was stolen from them when borders were drawn at the end of the colonial period.