UK announces $175 million humanitarian aid boost for Yemen

UK foreign secretary David Cameron announced the funding boost to Yemen in a meeting with and Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak in London. (AP)
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Updated 15 May 2024
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UK announces $175 million humanitarian aid boost for Yemen

  • Nearly 200 aid groups called for more humanitarian aid this month to bridge a $2.3-billion shortfall in funds for Yemen

LONDON: The UK will significantly increase aid funding to Yemen aiming to feed more than 850,000 people in the war-torn country, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Wednesday.
New aid worth £139 million (around $175 million) to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen was announced in a meeting between Cameron and Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak in London.
The aid will be delivered through partners such as the World Food Programme and Unicef, a statement read, and hopes to treat 700,000 severely malnourished children.
The move comes a week after the EU announced $125 million for NGOs and UN agencies working in Yemen, where more than half the 34 million population needs aid after nine years of war.
Nearly 200 aid groups called for more humanitarian aid this month to bridge a $2.3-billion shortfall in funds for Yemen.
Houthi rebel attacks on international shipping are also on the agenda in Cameron’s meeting with Bin Mubarak, who is Yemen’s former ambassador to the United States.
Cameron blamed the attacks on Red Sea shipping for aggravating the humanitarian crisis “through blocking aid from reaching those who need it in northern Yemen.”
British and US forces have been carrying out joint strikes since January aimed at curbing the raids.
The attacks, which began in November, were found to affect more than half of British exporters in a British Chambers of Commerce report from February.
Yemen has been gripped by conflict following a 2014 coup by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which triggered a Saudi-led military intervention in support of the government the following year.
Hundreds of thousands have died from fighting and other indirect causes such as the lack of food, according to the UN.
While hostilities have remained at a low level since a six-month UN-brokered ceasefire came into force in 2022, threats including food insecurity and cholera remain rampant.


Philippines president says new China coast guard rules ‘worrisome’

Updated 5 sec ago
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Philippines president says new China coast guard rules ‘worrisome’

  • China has maritime sovereignty disputes with the Philippines and other claimant countries in the South China Sea
MANILA: Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Wednesday new rules outlined by China’s coast guard that could result in the detention of foreigners in the South China Sea were an “escalation” and “worrisome.”
China, which has maritime sovereignty disputes with the Philippines and other claimant countries in the South China Sea, has issued new rules that would enforce a 2021 law explicitly allowing its Coast Guard to fire upon foreign vessels.

Clashes erupt at Israeli embassy protest in Mexico

Updated 8 min 25 sec ago
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Clashes erupt at Israeli embassy protest in Mexico

  • Around 200 people joined the “Urgent action for Rafah” demonstration

MEXICO CITY: Clashes broke out Tuesday between police and protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Mexico, rallying against the country’s military offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, AFP journalists said.
Some protesters covered their faces and threw stones at riot police who blocked their path to the diplomatic complex in the city’s Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood.
Around 200 people joined the “Urgent action for Rafah” demonstration, about 30 of whom started to break down barriers preventing them from reaching the Israeli mission.
Police officers deployed tear gas and threw back the stones hurled at them by protesters.
The demonstration was called in response to an Israeli strike which ignited an inferno in a displacement camp outside Rafah, killing 45 people according to Palestinian officials.


Indian capital records highest-ever temperature at 49.9°Celsius: weather bureau

Updated 27 min 17 sec ago
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Indian capital records highest-ever temperature at 49.9°Celsius: weather bureau

  • New Delhi authorities have also warned of the risk of water shortages as the capital swelters in an intense heatwave
  • Warnings on heat’s impact on health, especially for infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases

NEW DELHI: Temperatures in India’s capital soared to a record-high 49.9° Celsius on Tuesday, the government’s weather bureau said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which reported “severe heat-wave conditions,” recorded the temperatures at two Delhi suburbs stations at Narela and Mungeshpur.
Forecasters predict similar temperatures on Wednesday.
In May 2022, parts of Delhi hit 49.2° Celsius, Indian media reported at the time.
India is no stranger to searing summer temperatures.
But years of scientific research have found climate change is causing heatwaves to become longer, more frequent and more intense.
New Delhi authorities have also warned of the risk of water shortages as the capital swelters in an intense heatwave — cutting supplies to some areas.
Water Minister Atishi Marlena has called for “collective responsibility” to stop wasteful water use, the Times of India newspaper reported Wednesday.
“To address the problem of water scarcity, we have taken a slew of measures such as reducing water supply from twice a day to once a day in many areas,” Atishi said, the Indian Express reported.
“The water thus saved will be rationed and supplied to the water-deficient areas where supply lasts only 15 to 20 minutes a day,” she added.
The IMD warned of the heat’s impact on health, especially for infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
At the same time, West Bengal state and the northeastern state of Mizoram have been hit by gales and lashing rains from Cyclone Remal, which hit India and Bangladesh on Sunday, killing more than 38 people.
Bangladesh’s Meteorological Department said the cyclone was “one of longest in the country’s history,” blaming climate change for the shift.


Nikki Haley writes ‘finish them’ on Israeli shell: lawmaker

Updated 29 May 2024
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Nikki Haley writes ‘finish them’ on Israeli shell: lawmaker

WASHINGTON: Former US presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has been photographed writing “Finish Them” on an Israeli shell as she toured sites near the northern border with Lebanon.
The photograph was posted on X on Tuesday by Danny Danon, a member of the Israeli parliament and former ambassador to the United Nations, who was accompanying Haley on her visit.
“’Finish Them’. This is what my friend the former ambassador Nikki Haley wrote,” Danon said in his post that showed a kneeling Haley writing on a shell with a purple marker pen.
Haley was a hawkish UN envoy under Donald Trump, and her term overlapped with Danon.
The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on the latest Israeli official figures.
Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,096 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.
Haley, 52, abandoned her White House bid in March after heavy defeats in Republican primary contests to Trump, and last week said that she would vote for him in the election.
Trump has ruled her out of contention to be his vice president, but she is a potential presidential runner in 2028.
The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden has no plans to change his Israel policy following a deadly weekend strike on Rafah but that he is not turning a “blind eye” to the plight of Palestinian civilians.


White House says still opposes Ukraine using US arms against Russia

Updated 29 May 2024
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White House says still opposes Ukraine using US arms against Russia

WASHINGTON: The White House on Tuesday rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s pleas for an end to restrictions on Kyiv using US-supplied arms to strike Russian territory.

“There’s no change to our policy at this point. We don’t encourage or enable the use of US-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a briefing.