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Ethiopia declares immediate truce, to allow aid into Tigray | Abiy Ahmed News

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Ethiopia said it was declaring ‘an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately’.

Ethiopia has announced an immediate ceasefire to its 16-month-long civil war, paving the way for aid to displaced people across the northern Tigray region.

In a statement on Thursday, the government said it was declaring “an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately”, saying it hoped to help hasten the delivery of emergency aid into the Tigray region, where hundreds of thousands face starvation.

“To optimise the success of the humanitarian truce, the government calls upon the insurgents in Tigray to desist from all acts of further aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighbouring regions,” the statement said.

Since November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed deployed troops to Tigray, thousands of people have died, even as millions remain displaced.

Ethiopian troops and allied soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea have committed a litany of abuses including torture, weaponised rape and targeted killings of Tigrayans, according to human rights groups.

Rebel fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have also been accused of similar abuses.



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‘Must be credible’: Energy giants challenged over climate action | Climate Crisis News

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Countries have less than three years to reduce the rise of planet-heating carbon emissions and less than a decade to cut them almost in half to ensure a ‘liveable future’.

The climate commitments of global energy giants lack credibility as they rely on costly technologies that have yet to be proven at scale, according to a report published by Carbon Tracker.

The non-profit think tank that researches the effect of climate change on financial markets noted on Thursday that despite a spate of new targets set by the top 15 global energy firms, most are still not pledging an absolute cut in emissions.

It found so far that only four of the firms have made pledges that include a reduction in the emissions generated by the use of their products, such as burning gasoline in cars.

And just four have set 2030 reduction targets, which are important in driving quick progress and evaluating developments.

“Setting appropriate targets is just the first step,” said Carbon Tracker in its 2022 report on the energy industry.

“The approach to achieving emissions reductions must be credible to ensure that both stated reductions occur and that shareholders’ exposure to transition risks are not increased,” it added.

Countries at COP26 that pledged to net zero

The think tank developed a set of criteria based on how energy firms intend to achieve reductions with the group finding that winding down existing assets is the best way to reduce the climate impact as well as risks to investors.

The report criticised using asset divestment as a method as the carbon footprint of the selling firm is reduced, but in reality, the pollution is usually just shifted to the new owner who may even operate them in a less responsible manner.

Countries have less than three years to reduce the rise of planet-heating carbon emissions, and less than a decade to cut them almost in half to ensure a “liveable future”, according to a recently published UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Nearly 200 nations agreed to adopt the Glasgow Climate Pact at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Scotland last November. Countries committed to a climate deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions to stop planetary warming from exceeding 1.5C (2.7F).

The agreement received criticism as it failed to set tougher goals to battle the rising temperatures. Increased temperature beyond 1.5C (2.7F) would create climate catastrophes ranging from extreme high sea levels to wildfires that have been on the rise in the past years.

Current emissions set humanity on track to reach some 3.2C (5.8F) increased temperature by the end of the century, scientists say.

Carbon Tracker also noted energy firms reinvest some of the funds from asset sales into new oil and gas production, thus creating more emissions.

The report criticised undue reliance on emissions mitigation technologies (EMTs) to reduce emissions while continuing to invest in new production.

“The level of achievable emissions reductions from such technologies remains uncertain, their deployment should be reserved for the hardest to abate sectors rather than being squandered on ‘creating space’ for oil and gas production that can be readily substituted by renewables,” it said.

All but one of the 15 firms plans to use EMTs.

Meanwhile, third-party offsets do not always result in net reductions as some projects to plant or replant forests might have happened anyway, it added.

Moreover, vast amounts of land would be needed to offset energy emissions, which could displace other land use.

At the top of Carbon Tracker’s ranking is Italian firm Eni, which targets a 35-percent reduction by 2030, taking into account all of its production as well as downstream use of third-party crude.

At the bottom is United States giant ExxonMobil, which has set a 2050 net-zero goal but only for its operations and not the products it sells.



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Some truths about Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder | Freedom of the Press

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Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered.

She was not “killed”. She was murdered.

She was shot in the face. Not in the arm or a leg. In the face. That is not a “kill” shot. That is a murder shot.

Abu Akleh was shot in the face, on purpose, while doing what she has been doing since 1997 for Al Jazeera: telling the truth.

She was murdered for telling, yet again, the truth about how Israel has corralled, bludgeoned, “raided”, evicted, jailed, traumatised, tortured, murdered, and terrorised Palestinian after Palestinian, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade.

Abu Akleh did her job well. She did it with grace, patience and resilience despite the indignities, horrors and dangers. It was her duty, obligation, and responsibility to bear witness.

Every day, Palestinians risk being murdered because they are Palestinian.

It does not matter where they live – in Gaza, Jerusalem or the West Bank – every day, Palestinians risk being murdered because they are Palestinian.

It does not matter what they do for a living – if they can find work at all – every day, Palestinians risk being murdered because they are Palestinian.

It does not matter whether they are young or old, a man or a woman, Muslim or Christian – every day, Palestinians risk being murdered because they are Palestinian.

As it happens, Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian, was in Jenin yesterday morning when she was murdered.

She was there to do her job: reporting on how more Israeli soldiers were “raiding” – a euphemism for terrorising – more Palestinians.

She was wearing a helmet and body armour marked “Press”.

She was standing at a roundabout with other Palestinian journalists when she was shot in the face. An Al Jazeera producer, who survived, was shot in the back.

Abu Akleh’s body lay on the side of a road, next to a wall. Her colleagues screamed for help as they pulled her away from a sniper’s crosshairs. Later, an ambulance arrived. She died in hospital. Alone.

Another day, another murdered Palestinian.

But, unlike so many other murdered Palestinians, including four boys who were dismembered by an Israeli missile while playing football on a beach, Abu Akleh was well-known. She was on TV. She was popular. She was admired and respected because she told the truth about the cruelty Palestinians suffer and endure every day.

So, her murder, unlike the murders of so many other Palestinians made news in Europe and North America.

I doubt her murder would have made much news in Europe and North America save for one inconvenient fact: Abu Akleh was also an American.

I doubt her murderer knew she was an American when they shot her, on purpose, in the face. Now they know. Damn. That meant powerful people and institutions who normally do not give a damn when Palestinians are murdered had to say something since Abu Akleh was an American.

I do not remember the US ambassadors to Israel or the United Nations, the State Department or the White House acknowledging, let alone condemning, any one of the slayings, since 2000, of 46 Palestinian journalists or saying anything about the 144 Palestinian journalists who have, since 2018, been shot with rubber or steel bullets, tear-gassed or had stun grenades fired at them.

Do you?

Of course not. They were not American. That meant they were nobodies. Inconsequential. Forgettable. Worse, they were Palestinians. They were nothing. Probably tools of Hamas. Anyway, like every other Palestinian living, working and going to school every day in imprisoned Palestine, those make-believe Palestinian journalists asked for it and they got it – good.

Nothing to see here. Move on.

This time, some US politicians and diplomats said they were “very sad” that Abu Akleh had been shot in the face. They said that there needed to be a “thorough investigation” into who, precisely, shot Abu Akleh in the face.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

They had to say it. They did not mean it. But they had to say it. Otherwise, it might look like they did not give a damn that a celebrated American journalist had been shot in the face by – several witnesses say – an Israeli sniper.

Come on, you and I know that they do not really give a damn. Abu Akleh may have carried an American passport, but she was not a real American or even a real journalist like the late Daniel Pearl. He worked for the Wall Street Journal. He mattered. The manner of his murder mattered.

Abu Akleh was a Palestinian. She worked for Al Jazeera. You and I know that most American politicians and media agree with Donald Rumsfeld who once said that Al Jazeera’s reporting is “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable”.

The US politicians and diplomats pretending to care about Abu Akleh’s murder could have told America’s dearest friend and client state in the Middle East a long time ago to stop shooting and murdering journalists and blowing up buildings where they work.

They have not and they will not.

Instead, they do what they always do when Israel murders Palestinians – American or not. Nothing.

Israel is obliged to play along to relieve the phantom pressure.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett played his part in the pantomime. On cue, he muddied the bloody waters by trotting out the tired and absurd line that the “most moral army in the world” does not murder Palestinians on purpose.

Abu Akleh’s “unfortunate death,” he suggested on Twitter, was a case of Palestinian on Palestinian violence.

“According to the data, we currently have, there is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, are what led to the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Israel’s foreign ministry tweeted on his behalf.

Most American politicians – Republicans and Democrats – and much of the establishment media will believe Bennett. He is Israel’s prime minister. Israeli prime ministers never lie. They, unlike Hamas, tell the truth. Always. They are America’s pal. Trusted. America never doubts the word of its Israeli pals.

America does not need to see, let alone question, Bennett’s so-called “data”. If the Israeli prime minister says he has it, then, there is a “considerable chance” that is what happened. That is good enough for America and the chattering class.

Doubt sown. Mission accomplished. Quick, back to Ukraine.

Sure, US speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote: “The killing of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is an (sic) horrific tragedy.”

Newsflash, Speaker Pelosi, shooting a Palestinian-American journalist in the face on purpose is not a “tragedy”. It is a crime. We know, we know, Israeli soldiers never commit crimes.

Quick, back to the baby formula shortage.

Oh, wait. Bennett’s once iron-clad “data” has gone poof – if it ever existed. Late Wednesday, an Israeli general said, well, maybe Abu Akleh was not the victim of Palestinian on Palestinian violence. Maybe an armed Israeli soldier, not an “armed” Palestinian – are there any other kind? – shot her in the face. Maybe.

It does not matter. The “narrative”, like cement, has already been cast.

It goes like this: We will never know who shot Abu Akleh in the face. Israel wants an “inquiry” to find out who shot Abu Akleh. It does. Honest. The Palestinians will not cooperate. Fanatics.

Still, if an Israeli sniper shot a journalist in the face, that is the terrible cost of war. That sniper was doing their duty, too, protecting Israel from terrorists. She knew the risks. She got in the way. Tough luck.

The truth is that it will work because it has worked every other time Israel has murdered a Palestinian.

Shireen Abu Akleh knew that, I suspect, better than anyone.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 





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China passenger jet catches fire, dozens ‘lightly injured’ | Aviation News

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Tibet Airlines says all 113 passengers and 9 crew on board the plane that caught fire were safely evacuated.

A Chinese passenger jet has caught fire after veering off the runway in China’s Chongqing, leaving dozens of people with what were said to be minor injuries.

The incident happened on Thursday as the Tibet Airlines plane was preparing to take off at 8:09am local time (00:09 GMT).

The Airbus A319-115 jet, carrying 113 passengers and nine crew, was headed from the southwestern city of Chongqing to Tibet’s Nyingchi.

Everyone on board was safely evacuated, the airline said in a statement.

“In the process of taking off, the flight crew discovered an abnormality with the aircraft and stopped the takeoff, after which the aircraft left the runway,” the statement said.

“The injured passengers were all only lightly injured, and have been sent to hospital for treatment,” it added.

In a separate statement, the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport said about 40 passengers with minor injuries were sent to hospital.

It said Flight TV9833 deviated from the runway during takeoff and that “the left side of the aircraft’s nose caught fire”.

Operations at the airport have since returned to normal and “the cause of the accident is being investigated,” it added.

The incident follows the crash of a Chinese Eastern Boeing 737-800 in southeastern China on March 21, in which all 132 people on board were killed.

That accident, in which the plane went into a sudden nosedive and slammed into the ground in a mountainous area, remains under investigation.

Two flight recorders, or “black boxes”, were recovered from that crash and are being analysed in the United States.



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