13 KILLED, 251 INJURED BY GAS LEAK IN JORDAN PORT CITY
A chlorine gas leak in Jordan’s southern port city of Aqaba on June 27 killed at least 13 people and injured 251, Faisal al-Shaboul, a government spokesman, was reported as saying. The leak came after a tank filled with 25 tonnes of chlorine gas being exported to Djibouti fell while being transported. The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals and sent specialists in to deal with the leak. Al-Mamlaka TV said 199 were still being treated in hospitals. A video posted on state television’s Twitter page showed a storage tank falling from a winch and slamming into the deck of a ship, followed by yellow-coloured gas rising into the air as people ran away.
FATIMA PAYMAN AUSTRALIA’S FIRST HIJAB-WEARING SENATOR
A refugee from Afghanistan, 27-year-old, Fatima Payman, has become the first hijab-wearing woman to win a Senate seat in Western Australia. Fatima Payman won Western Australia’s sixth and final Senate seat, becoming the first Afghan Australian and the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in parliament. With Fatima winning the last seat, the Labour Party won 26 seats, compared to 32 seats for the Liberal Party, and 12 seats for the Green Party. At 27, she is the third youngest Senator in history. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his party leaders congratulated Payman on her victory. “Congratulations Senator Payman,” the premier tweeted. The Afghan embassy in Australia said that it was pleased to hear the news, particularly on World Refugee Day.
WCC CONDEMNS ISRAEL’S DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PALESTINIANS
The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) issued a statement at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, accusing Israel of “overtly and systematically discriminating Palestinians,” a report said on July 1. Meeting earlier this month, the WCC’s governing body said that recent events, including the forced displacement of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, “have highlighted the mounting obstacles to a just peace in the region”. The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of 352 churches from more than 120 countries representing over 580 million Christians worldwide. It expressed deep concern regarding Israel’s recent disruption of Christian religious observances, following the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision that enabled Israeli settlers to expropriate church properties near the Jaffa Gate, in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
DOZENS DIE AT MOROCCO-SPAIN BORDER, PROBE URGED
African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on June 25 called for an “immediate investigation” after the deaths of dozens of migrants trying to cross from Morocco into the Spanish exclave of Melilla. “I express my deep shock and concern at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants attempting to cross an international border from # Morocco into #Spain, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of at least 23 people and injuries to many more,” Mahamat said on Twitter. “I call for an immediate investigation into the matter and remind all countries of their obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity and to prioritise their safety and human rights, while refraining from the use of excessive force,” he added.
TÜRKIYE SUPPORTS OPENING OF STRATEGIC ZANGEZUR CORRIDOR
Türkiye supports dialogue to thaw relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the immediate opening of the Zangezur corridor. In a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani and Kazakh counterparts, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “We strongly support the Zangezur corridor, which will provide a connection between the western regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan,” an exclave of Azerbaijani territory currently reachable only through Armenia. Earlier on June 27, a trilateral meeting was held between the ministers of foreign affairs and transport in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.
CLUB DE MADRID DENOUNCES TUNISIA’S CREEPING DICTATORSHIP
Club de Madrid, the largest non-profit organisation made of former Presidents and Heads of States, has urged Tunisia’s President Kais Saied to liberate ex-Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and respect the rule of law in the North African country. Jebali was detained on June 23 by security police – for the second time in less than two months – without an immediate official comment and on suspicion of money laundering. “The head of government Hamadi Jebali began a hunger strike, claiming that his arrest was politically motivated and not related to money laundering. This has severely affected his health,” Club de Madrid said in a statement. “Political tensions and human rights concerns have been rising in Tunisia since July 2021, but also the implementation of exceptional measures imposed by President Kais Saied…. This process is considered a creeping dictatorship in Tunisia,” the statement added.
UZBEKISTAN DECLARES EMERGENCY IN KARAKALPAKSTAN REGION
Uzbekistan on July 2 announced a month-long state of emergency in the protest-hit autonomous region of Karakalpakstan. The decree was signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev after demonstrations concerning the government’s proposed constitutional amendments over the region’s autonomous status. According to the official order, the state of emergency will run from July 3 to August 2. The decree limits entry and exit from the province and all public events are prohibited. It also introduces temporary restrictions for the protection of public order such as restricting entry of vehicles and searches on individuals, etc.
PRINCE FAISAL SWORN IN AS DEPUTY KING OF JORDAN
Jordan has today sworn in Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein as deputy to his brother King Abdullah II, in the presence of Cabinet members. Born in 1963, he is the son of King Hussein and Princess Muna, Prince Faisal is the younger brother of King Abdullah II. He has periodically served as regent during his brother’s absences abroad. Born in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Prince Faisal moved to his mother’s native UK to attend a school in England before moving to the US. He holds a private pilot’s licence and received helicopter training while serving in the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF). He has served as the president of the Jordan Olympic Committee since 2003.
TURKISH GYMNAST ADEM ASIL WINS GOLD IN MEDITERRANEAN GAMES
Turkish artistic gymnast Adem Asil on June 28 won gold at the 2022 Mediterranean Games. Asil, 23, had a score of 84,700 points in men’s all-around competition after completing the floor, pommels horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar apparatus. He beat Spanish national Joel Plata who won silver and Italy’s Lorenzo Minh Casali settled for the bronze medal. This Mediterranean Games, which are being held in the Algerian city of Oran, will end July 6.