– Here are the main topics Anadolu's English Desk plans to cover on Thursday, June 27, 2024

ISTANBUL (AA) – Here are the main topics Anadolu's English Desk plans to cover on Thursday, June 27, 2024 (coverage may change depending on developing/ breaking stories):


Israel-Hezbollah escalation

Military clashes between Israel and Hezbollah on the border occur almost daily, with warnings that they could escalate into a full-fledged war between them.

Israel said Wednesday that four anti-tank missiles were launched from Lebanon towards the town of Metula near the Lebanese border. However, a military statement said fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military structure, observation post, and infrastructure in the towns of Kfarchouba, Ayta ash Shab, and Khiyam in southern Lebanon.

Israeli onslaught on Gaza

Humanitarian and military developments in the Gaza Strip amid deadlocked efforts to reach a cease-fire deal to end Israel's relentless attacks on the Palestinian enclave. Since last Oct. 7, Israel has killed over 37,700 Palestinians and injured about 86,400 more.

Military situation in Gaza enclave

Ongoing Israeli military actions in Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip and other areas across the enclave. Israeli artillery shelling targeted several areas in Rafah in southern Gaza, killing at least 10 people. Moreover, several houses were blown up in the Saudi neighborhood in western Rafah.

In the enclave’s middle area, Israeli forces also shelled several targets east of the Bureij refugee camp and Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, according to witnesses. While in Gaza’s Khan Younis, Israeli forces carried out a limited incursion east of Khuza’a town in the southern Gaza Strip.

Warnings of famine looming over Gaza

Palestinian Red Crescent Society Wednesday warned that thousands of people in the Gaza Strip are facing the risk of famine amid ongoing Israeli devastating onslaught, stressing that aid airdropping operations didn't meet the required needs in decreasing the percentage of hunger.

On Tuesday, a report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) revealed that 96% of people in Gaza face “extreme levels of hunger,” while nearly half a million people are in catastrophic conditions.

West Bank raids

Israeli military raids on Palestinian cities and towns in the occupied West Bank have killed at least 553 people and injured 5,200 others, with 9,400 taken into Israeli custody since Oct. 7, 2023.

Protests against Israeli government led by Premier Netanyahu

Mounting protests in Israel to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to either negotiate a hostage-prisoner swap deal with the Palestinians or resign.

Red Sea tension

Houthi attacks on commercial ships suspected of having links with Israel in the Red Sea, as well as US-led coalition airstrikes on the group's positions in Yemen.


EU leaders’ summit

Leaders of EU member states to gather in Brussels for a two-day summit to discuss Ukraine, the Middle East, security and defence issues. A formal decision is expected on who will get the EU’s top jobs for the next five years. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is likely to keep her job, while Portugal’s Antonio Costa looks likely to replace Charles Michel as European Council President, and Estonia’s Kaja Kallas is expected to be chosen to replace Spain’s Josep Borrell as EU’s foreign policy chief.

NATO secretary-general to meet Estonia's prime minister

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to meet Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to discuss international security issues, NATO’s upcoming summit in Washington, D.C.

Labour Party leader Starmer TV interview

Labour leader Keir Starmer is interviewed by Paul Brand as part of ITV's series in the run up to the UK general election.

UK junior doctors to stage strike action, rally over pay

Junior doctors, members of British Medical Association (BMA), to hold national rally in London for pay restoration. Junior doctors in England will also begin five-day strike in an ongoing dispute over pay. The strike comes as part of a long-running dispute between the BMA and the government, with recent pay talks failing to result in what the BMA deems a 'credible offer' from the government.


Presidential debate

Debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump ahead of November election.

Blinken's meeting with UN official

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag at State Department.

UN Security Council

UN Security Council to hold vote on resolution renewing sanctions regime in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bolivia coup attempt

Developments following a failed coup attempt against Bolivian President Luis Arce. Bolivian authorities arrested Juan Jose Zuniga, the former general who staged the coup attempt.


Putin to hold talks with Republic of the Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso

Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet in Moscow with President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso, who is currently in Russia on an official visit.

The discussion will focus on prospects for the development of Russian-Congolese relations in various areas, as well as regional and international matters.

OSCE's Ian Borg to visit Kyrgyzstan

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office Ian Borg to visit Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

He plans to meet with several Kyrgyz officials and discuss issues of cooperation with the leadership of the republic.

Forum of Amber Industry

Participants of the forum will discuss issues of changing methods and using modern technologies in mining of a rare mineral.


Estonian president to visit Türkiye

Welcoming ceremony for Estonian President Alar Karis at Presidential Complex. The visiting president will hold official meetings and address a joint press conference.


Verdict in marriage case to decide fate of Pakistan’s ex-Premier Khan

A court in Pakistan is scheduled to give its verdict in illegal Islamic marriage case of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. The duo has sought acquittal from the case for violating Islamic law at the time of their marriage and are serving a 7-year jail term. If the case is vacated, Khan and Bibi would be free from prison, if not arrested in any other case.

Korean Peninsula remains busy with rival military activities

The two Koreas are engaged in rival military activities with Seoul resuming large-scale live-drills near maritime border with Pyongyang. North Korea claimed it successfully tested a missile to secure multiple warhead capability while South is readying for inaugural trilateral military drills with the US and Japan.

Medical situation worsens in South Korea

Medical professors in South Korea have begun indefinite walkout in three major hospitals in capital Seoul, worsening already dire health situation in the country due to strike by junior doctors over increase in annual medical seats.

Teachers’ protests continue in Sri Lanka

Thousands of teachers in Sri Lanka are protesting to seek increase in their salaries.

Peru president continues visit to China

Peruvian President Dina Ercilia Boluarte Zegarra continues her state visit to China where she is scheduled to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping and others. Her visit concludes on Saturday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry's briefing on policy matters

Foreign Ministry will brief media on policy matters which include relations with the US, EU as well as selection of new European officials. Ministry is also expected to respond to questions regarding maritime claims, Korean Peninsula as well as Taiwan with which Beijing has seen tensions increase since William Lai Ching-te was sworn-in last month.

Julian Assange enjoys freedom after 14 years of jail saga

WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange joined his family in Australia after 14 years. He secured a plea deal with the US for his expose of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. His family has sought privacy for Assange for now. Government, civil society as well as media are expected to discuss Assange's post-jail life.

Pressure builds on Japanese Prime Minister Kishida

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over political funds scandal. Several senior ruling Liberal Democratic Party politicians, including former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, have called on Kishida to step down. The LDP will elect its new leader at a party Congress in September.​​​​​​​

US, Japan, S. Korea launch 1st trilateral military drill

The US, Japan and South Korea kick off their first trilateral military exercise Thursday. It comes amid increasing tensions on Korean Peninsual where divided Koreas have increased rival military activities.


Kenyans feel vindicated as President Ruto overturns finance bill

Kenyans are feeling vindicated after President William Ruto rejected Finance Bill 2024 which hiked taxes. At least 23 people lost lives in violent protests that stormed parliament. Government has blamed national intelligence service for failing to grasp public mood and has called on top spy to step down.

Cabinet of national unity gov't expected to be announced by S. African president

African National Congress has wrapped up talks on power-sharing with other nine parties in the Government of National Unity and is now waiting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce his new Cabinet. Lengthy negotiations and bargaining for Cabinet positions delayed the announcement of Ramaphosa's team.

Proteas debut into T20 cricket finals​​​​​​​

South Africa has made it first time to T20 World Cup, winning over surprising Afghan blue shirt talent. Proteas will go head-to-head in finals with either India or England who play in Guyana for semi-finals clash.

Armed clashes continue in eastern DR Congo

Armed clashes between Congolese government forces (FARDC) and militia groups continue to escalate near Sake town and Goma a day after two South African peacekeepers were killed and 20 others injured.

Spread of mpox in eastern DR Congo

Health officials have warned of deadly spread of a new strain of mpox virus along the eastern border of DR Congo. World Health Organization has reported 9,291 clinically compatible cases and 419 deaths this year alone.

Rwanda election campaign continues

Campaigning for the presidency in Rwanda continues in which incumbent President Paul Kagame is in the race with two other candidates, including Frank Habineza of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate.

The presidential and parliamentary polls will be conducted on July 15, with about 9.5 million Rwandans eligible to vote.


TurkStat to release economic confidence in Turkish economy for June

In May, economic morale in Türkiye weakened compared to the previous month, as the index dropped 0.8% month-on-month to 98.2.

Turkish Central Bank to announce its interest rate decision

In May, the bank left the benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 50% for the second consecutive meeting. Market expects no change in policy rate.


Israel’s ‘genocidal policies’ have to change for peace: Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Interview with Mairead Maguire, a Northern Irish activist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize, about Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.

Maguire vehemently condemns Israel’s devastating offensive, saying its “racist apartheid government” has been pursuing “genocidal politics,” and calls for accountability of Israeli officials “for breaking the laws of humanity.”

She also criticizes the US and other Western nations for providing cover and support to Israel’s genocide, and urges other countries to come together to demand justice for the Palestinian people.

Iran presidential election: How the next leader could reshape policies

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

Tehran, Iran – Analysis on the potential outcomes of Iran’s presidential election and their implications on the country’s domestic and foreign policies.

The report outlines the possible outlook of Iranian policies under the next president, specifically focusing on current frontrunners Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Masoud Pezeshkian and Saeed Jalili.

It also details the key issues that could influence voter behavior in the June 28 election, with comments from Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, an ex-lawmaker and former head of Iran’s nuclear agency, and former minister Abbas Akhoundi.

Why has Mexico’s judicial reform plan sparked controversy?

By Jorge Antonio Rocha

Mexico City – Report about the political unrest in Mexico over planned constitutional and judicial reforms being pursued by outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The story gives details of the proposed measures, which include a plan for justices and judges to be elected through popular vote, and the criticism they have been attracting from opposition forces.

It includes comments from Javier Martin Reyes, a legal researcher at the Autonomous University of Mexico, and Jose Antonio Rivera Santibanez, a former justice of Mexico’s Constitutional Court.


VIDEO – Interview with Northern Irish activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire about Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, where she strongly condemns the Israeli government and its Western supporters, including the US, and calls for a united front to demand justice for Palestinians.

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