ICYMI | #147

Last University in Gaza destroyed | Anti-AfD protests in Germany | Annie Nightingale

By Staff

Our weekly roundup of stories you may have missed.

Gaza death toll over 25,000

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to press ahead with the military assault on Gaza until there is a “decisive victory of Hamas”, and reiterated the desire for Israeli control over “all territory west of the Jordan River.”

Last week Israel’s relentless assault targeted hospitals, ambulances and schools in Khan Younis city, south Gaza. IDF forces also destroyed Al Israa, Gaza’s only remaining University, in what appears to be a controlled demolition. While we await the decision of the ICJ in South Africa's genocide case against Israel, which should arrive on Friday, the death toll from Israel’s military assault has reached the grim milestone of 25,000 people. 

Protests across Germany against the far-right

This weekend saw mass protests across Germany against the rise of the far right, including a gathering of 100,000 people outside the Bundestag in Berlin. The protests were sparked by reports that came out two weeks ago showing that politicians the AfD, the party currently polling second in Germany, met with neo-Nazis and extremists in November to discuss mass deportations of asylum seekers and German citizens with a history of migration.

Disturbingly, despite the Berlin march being in opposition to fascism and the deportation of migrants, there are reports that activists wearing keffiyeh and holding Palestinian flags were attacked and spat on by fellow protesters. Olaf Scholz was among the attendees at the march in Potsdam this weekend, attracting further criticism of his own plans to speed up the deportation process.

There are calls to ban the AfD from German parliament for violating the German constitution – find out more and sign the petition here.

Annie Nightingale RIP

British DJ and radio host Annie Nightingale has sadly passed away aged 83. Lobbying to overturn a ban on female presenters, Nightingale became the first woman to host a show on BBC Radio 1 in 1970 and is now the station’s longest-serving DJ. From the 1980s, Nightingale’s relentless passion for new music made her an influential figure in the UK’s dance music culture, and an early champion of countless emerging scenes from acid house to breaks, grime and dubstep.

State cracks down on journalists in Kyrgyzstan

11 journalists from 4 news outlets have been detained in Kyrgyzstan in what Reports Without Borders says amounts to a “purge of local investigative journalism”. The country’s interior ministry has accused the journalists, who were investigating corruption among the country’s elites, of “war propaganda” and “calls to mass disorder”. Rights groups in the country have warned of increased pressure and censorship of media outlets. Last year ranked Kyrgyzstan 122 out of 180 countries for press freedom, marking a drop of 50 spots from 2022.

Taiwan's Presidential election

On Saturday, Taiwanese ruling party candidate Lai Ching-te won Taiwan’s presidential election with 40% of the vote. The result could have major consequences for Taiwanese relations with the government of neighbouring China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and has reportedly referred to the election as a choice “between peace and war”. The result marks the first time since Taiwan’s first open election in 1996 that a single party has led the country for 3 consecutive terms. 

New anti-terror law comes into effect in the Philippines

On 15 January a new anti-terror law came into effect in the Philippines, which will give law enforcers the ability to subject suspected terrorists to arrest, detention, surveillance and freeze orders without warrants. The debate around the highly controversial bill dates back to 2020, when it was first signed into law by then-president Rodrigo Duterte. Amnesty has warned that the law will pose “a threat to human rights defenders, activists as well as members of marginalised groups.”

Header image licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED.