Placards and flags at a pro-Palestine demonstration in Berlin. Placard reads: 'No one is free until we are all free'

ICYMI | #136

War in Gaza | Elections in Germany | Kurdish Film Festival

By Staff

Our weekly roundup of stories you may have missed.


Israel has declared the beginning of a new war against Hamas, cutting the supply of food, water and electricity to the Gaza strip. Nearly 200,000 people have been displaced by Israeli airstrikes launched in retaliation to Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Saturday morning, in which at least 600 people were killed.

Often called “the world’s largest open-air prison”, Gaza is home to 2 million Palestinians who have been trapped under blockade since 2007. Donate to MAP to support emergency medical aid on the ground in Gaza, and if you’re in Berlin, join a march organised by Nakba75 this Wednesday from 16:00 at Richardplatz.

Bavaria & Hessen election results – anti AfD march in Munchen

Sunday’s state elections in Bavaria and Hesse saw major gains for the CDU/CSU and the AfD, while all three of the current coalition parties – SPD, Greens and FDP – performed worse than five years ago. 

The far-right AfD is currently polling second nationwide and achieved its best-ever result in a western German state (Hesse). On Wednesday, up to 35,000 people took to the streets of the Bavarian capital Munich to oppose the rise of far-right extremism.

Afghanistan earthquake

More than 2400 people have been killed in a series of earthquakes that struck western Afghanistan on Saturday. A spokesperson for the government has appealed to international organisations for urgent support, including trained search and rescue teams to help locate survivors. Afghanistan is struggling with multiple humanitarian crises, made worse by the widespread withdrawal of foreign foreign since the Taliban’s return to power in 2021.

Biden pledges to build more wall along US/Mexico border

US President Joe Biden has announced plans to build new sections of wall along the US-Mexico border, waiving multiple federal laws and breaking election campaign promises that there would “not be another foot” built under his administration. The US has also announced it will resume deportation flights to crisis-hit Venezuela, the latest in a series of policies that bear worrying resemblance to those of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.

Kurdish Film Festival

The 13th edition of Berlin’s Kurdish Film Festival is taking place now until Thursday at FSK, Moviemento, Babylon and more cinemas across the city. Head to the website to check the full programme of over 50 films, including shorts, features and documentaries, many of which you can also watch online. 

Iranian activist wins Nobel peace prize

Jailed Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a freedom fighter against the oppression of women by Iran’s regime. At 51 years old, Mohammadi is currently serving a 10-year sentence in the infamous Evin prison in Iran, where many political prisoners have reported being subject to horrific conditions and torture. Mohammadi’s family have called the win a "historic and profound moment for Iran's fight for freedom".

Night train routes on the increase in Europe

Night trains have been making an impressive comeback across Europe in the last years, with the rollout of new routes in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and beyond. Now, a new Berlin-Paris night train is scheduled to begin running by the end of 2023. 

According to the Austrian national railway company OBB, a two-hour flight from Paris to Vienna results in 419.6kg of carbon emissions, compared with 41.5kg when traveling on the night train.

Homosexuality legalised in Mauritius

Mauritius has become the latest country to officially decriminalise homosexuality. The country's highest court has ruled that a ban on homosexual sex was ‘unconstitutional and discriminatory’, pointing out that the ban dates back to the British colonial era and does not reflect the country’s present-day values.

Poland elections

Voters in Poland will head to the polls next Sunday. In a bitterly fought campaign, the far-right populist Law and Justice Party, known for cracking down on migration, media freedom and reproductive rights, is looking to win a third consecutive election. Centrist opponent Donald Tusk has positioned himself against corruption and nationalism, amid fears that with another term Law and Justice could complete their rollback of democracy in Poland.

Header image: Protesters at the Internationalist Queer Pride March, Berlin 2023. By Montecruz Photo.