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Israeli police arrest 5 for allegedly spitting on Christians

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The police have arrested five individuals in response to a video that circulated on social media depicting ultra-Orthodox Jews spitting on Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The video, which emerged on Tuesday, captured the moment when ultra-Orthodox Jews, including children, encountered Christian pilgrims who were carrying a large wooden cross in an Old City alleyway. Several of the Jewish individuals spat in the direction of the pilgrims as a sign of disdain.

The video prompted strong criticism from both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s chief rabbis. Prime Minister Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s commitment to protecting the sacred right of worship and pilgrimage to the holy sites of all faiths.

Jerusalem Police Chief Doron Turgeman condemned the act as “ugly” and declared a zero-tolerance policy for hostility directed at Christians, Muslims, or Jews. He also announced the establishment of a special task force to take more substantial actions against such incidents.

Recent times have witnessed an increase in hostility towards Christians, particularly in Jerusalem. At the start of the year, a Protestant cemetery was vandalized by two Jewish teenagers.

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Christians constitute a minority in Israel, accounting for less than two percent of the country’s population of 10 million citizens.

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World Leaders React To Biden’s Withdraw From Presidential Race

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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has paid tribute to President Joe Biden on Sunday, saying he had made “democracy stronger” following the United States leader’s decision to drop out from the White House race.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the President Biden announced his withdrawal from the 2024 race for another tenure as president on Sunday amid concerns over his age and health conditions.

Tusk, who served as the European Council’s president from 2014 to 2019, said in March that it was important to “nurture transatlantic relations, regardless of who the US president is”.

“You’ve taken many difficult decisions, thanks to which Poland, America, and the world are safer, and democracy stronger,” Tusk wrote on X.

“I know you were driven by the same motivations when announcing your final decision. Probably the most difficult one in your life,” he added.

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog also thanked Biden for his decades of supporting “the Israeli people” after the US leader’s move.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to @POTUS Joe Biden for his friendship and steadfast support for the Israeli people over his decades-long career,” Herzog, whose role is largely ceremonial, wrote on social media.

Germany’s Scholz added that Biden’s decision deserves ‘respect’

Meanwhile, German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz praised Biden after he announced his decision to drop out of the 2024 US presidential election.

“My friend @POTUS Joe Biden has achieved a lot: for his country, for Europe, for the world,” Scholz wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “His decision not to run again deserves respect.”

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Similarly, newly elected UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer said he respected the US President’s decision to withdraw from the race for the White House, paying tribute to a “remarkable career”.

“I respect President Biden’s decision and I look forward to us working together during the remainder of his presidency,” Starmer wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“I know that, as he has done throughout his remarkable career, he will have made his decision based on what he believes is best for the American people,” he added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also thanked Biden for his years of service.

“I’ve known President Biden for years,” he wrote on X.

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“He’s a great man, and everything he does is guided by his love for his country. As President, he is a partner to Canadians — and a true friend. To President Biden and the First Lady: thank you.”

CREDIT: L

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Putin: This is not free, fair election – British official criticises Russia poll

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British Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, has denounced the election in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin solidified his control over power by stifling any genuine opposition.

Preliminary results released on Sunday indicated that Putin secured nearly 88% of the vote in the election.

If confirmed, this outcome from Russia’s Central Election Commission would mark a record victory for Putin, prolonging his rule for another six-year term.

Only three candidates ran against the president in the election.

According to reports, these candidates refrained from criticizing Putin’s leadership or his intervention in Ukraine.

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It is alleged that any serious contenders were removed before the voting began.

prominent critic Alexei Navalny died in an Arctic prison last month, while other opponents of the president’s regime are either imprisoned or in exile.

Meanwhile, the election underwent minimal independent monitoring, as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was not invited to observe the three-day voting process.

Responding to the election’s conduct, Cameron took to his official Twitter account to express his dismay, stating, “this is not what free and fair elections look like.”

He added, “The polls in Russia have closed amid illegal elections held on Ukrainian territory, limited voter choice, and the absence of independent OSCE monitoring. This does not resemble free and fair elections.”

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In 25 Minutes, 13 Earthquakes Hit California

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Overnight, California experienced a sequence of 13 earthquakes within just 25 minutes, as confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS).

According to US authorities, the initial earthquake occurred shortly after midnight on Monday, striking northwest of El Centro, a city situated in the southern border region. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake as registering a magnitude of 4.8 and causing significant shaking across San Diego County.

A 4.5 magnitude aftershock followed merely six minutes later, originating west of the Salton Sea, as stated by the USGS. This was succeeded by a series of smaller aftershocks.

Meteorologists attribute these seismic events to the San Jacinto fault system, recognized as one of the most active faults in southern California.

The initial quake struck at 12:36 am on Monday, with its epicenter located 11.7 miles deep, as revealed by the USGS. The occurrence of this quake, along with twelve subsequent ones, triggered a shake alert issued by the USGS.

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