18 Nov 2018

Hamas: IDF commandos killed in Gaza raid sent to plant listening devices
The IDF’s apparently attempted to plant listening devices during the botched IDF raid in Khan Yunis last week, a senior Hamas official said Saturday. “The enemy was carrying various devices that they wanted to plant to be a burden on our people,” senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said in an interview with Al-Aqsa TV, adding that the commandos had been “trying to record a security achievement in a clear violation of the 2014 ceasefire agreement.”

Analysis: The U.S. is juggling too many agendas in eastern Syria
Recent comments by American officials involved in planning Syrian policy reveal a picture in which the US is trying to please too many actors involved in eastern Syria and attempting to do too many things at once. What began as a war against ISIS has now matured into an attempt to leverage the US presence in eastern Syria to force Iran to leave the country.

Apec summit ends without statement over US-China division
An Asian economic summit has ended without a formal leaders’ statement for the first time because of US-China divisions over trade. Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said “the two big giants in the room” had been unable to agree. He said a chairman’s statement for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit would be released later.

Netanyahu warns of danger of early Israel election
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that early elections will be a disaster for Israel. Mr Netanyahu made the remark at a cabinet meeting, as key coalition allies threaten to pull their support. He is set to meet his finance minister later on Sunday, in a last-ditch attempt to avert early elections. The political crisis began after Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman quit in opposition to a ceasefire with Gaza militants after three days of fighting.

Search on for 1,276 now missing after California’s deadliest wildfire
The number of people missing after California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire jumped on Saturday to 1,276, despite authorities locating hundreds of people who scattered when the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise. Forensic recovery teams sifting through the charred wreckage recovered the remains of five more victims, bringing the death toll to at least 76, authorities said.

Operation ‘No Deal’ — army plans for troops on street
A team of army planners has started drawing up emergency measures for deploying troops to respond to any chaos caused by the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. About 20 officers who normally oversee Operation Temperer, the plan to provide soldiers to help police following acts of terrorism, were ordered last week to step up no-deal Brexit planning, according to a well-placed army source.

China ‘has taken the gloves off’ in its thefts of U.S. technology secrets
It was the great microchip heist — a stunning Chinese-backed effort that pilfered as much as $8.75 billion in patented American technology. U.S. officials say the theft took a year to pull off and involved commercial spies, a Chinese-backed company, a Taiwanese chipmaker and employees affiliated with Micron Technology, a U.S.-based microchip behemoth.

NASA and defence giant Lockheed Martin building plane that could see the return of supersonic passenger travel
NASA is joining forces with US defence giant Lockheed Martin to build a state-of-the-art test plane that could pave the way for the return of supersonic passenger travel. It’s hoped the X-59 will be capable of reaching incredible speeds without creating the deafening sonic boom that always comes with breaking the sound barrier.

Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million
A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians. “[T]he practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,'”…

Ebola response suffers another setback, as WHO evacuates some staff after attack
The World Health Organization has evacuated 16 people working to contain the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following a rebel attack near the area where they were staying, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Saturday. The decision marks another violence-related setback for the response to the outbreak, but Tedros said in an interview with STAT that he hoped containment operations could resume as normal soon.

In Jordan’s ancient Petra, sirens warn of flash floods
In ancient times, Arab tribesmen dug diversion tunnels to protect their low-lying trading post of Petra against desert flash floods. More than two millennia later, an alarm system warns visitors if flood water rushes toward what has become Jordan’s main tourist attraction. Earlier this month, the alarms were activated for the first time, said Hussein al-Hasanat of the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority.

Modern Love. Cohabitation on Rise in U.S.: Demographic Trends
Living together is become more popular than marriage for young American couples, according to Census Bureau data. Fifteen percent of people in the 25-to-34 age group shared quarters with an unmarried partner this year, up from 12 percent in 2008. Among those between 18 to 24, cohabitation is more prevalent today than marriage with 9 percent living with an unmarried partner versus 7 percent living with a spouse.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad keep threatening Israel: ‘Rockets will reach Tel Aviv next’
Hamas and Islamic Jihad continued to threaten Israel over the weekend despite the latest ceasefire agreement, as a delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials left the Gaza Strip after holding talks about a broader arrangement between the warring sides. During a memorial service for Hamas fighters…Hamas leader…Yahya Sinwar pulled out a gun…and declared: “Next time, the barrage of rockets will reach Tel Aviv and its surrounding area.”

Pope says world mustn’t turn a blind eye to migrants, the poor
Pope Francis criticized rising wealth inequality and the treatment of migrants on Sunday, saying the world should not ignore those “tossed by the waves of life”. “Injustice is the perverse root of poverty,” Francis said at a Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church’s annual World Day of the Poor. “The cry of the poor daily becomes stronger but heard less, drowned out by the din of the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich.”

North Korea’s new ‘tactical’ weapon test highlights military modernization
North Korea’s claim last week that it had tested an unidentified “ultramodern tactical weapon” highlighted its desire to upgrade its conventional arms and reassure its military even as talks are under way to end its nuclear program, analysts said. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un witnessed the test of a newly developed tactical weapon that could serve as a “steel wall”, state media reported on Friday, without giving details of the weapon.