DEATH TOLL FROM PAKISTAN FLOODS REACHES 1,265
With 57 more deaths over the past 24 hours, the death toll from the raging floods in Pakistan has reached 1,265, the country’s national disaster agency said on September 3. Constant rains and raging floods have already destroyed a large chunk of the country’s infrastructure and agricultural lands, including tens of thousands of houses, roads, and bridges, as well as washing away over a million animals, prompting the government to issue an international appeal. Pakistan has already received 12 planes from Türkiye, carrying tents, rations, medicine, kitchen items, baby food, and other relief supplies. Türkiye also delivered two trains full of relief supplies to the flood-ravaged country. The country will send another train from Istanbul in the coming days. The UN and Pakistan’s government have also issued a flash appeal for $160 million to cope with the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and floods in the country.
TÜRKIYE, AZERBAIJAN TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES
The air forces of Azerbaijan and Türkiye will begin to perform a joint military drill on September 5, the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry said. The Turkish Air Force military personnel and aircraft that will participate in the TurAz Qartalı 2022 (TurAz Eagle 202) Joint Flight-Tactical Exercises in Azerbaijan, it said. “Tasks on the planning of joint activities of the Air Forces of the two countries, the study of interaction and combat interoperability, as well as the carrying out search-and-rescue measures will be fulfilled during the exercises,” it added.
GOOGLE MARKETING MANAGER QUITS OVER PROJECT NIMBUS
A Google employee who has been one of the most vocal critics of the company’s billion-dollar contract with the Israeli military said on August 30 that she would resign, saying that the tech giant tried to retaliate against her for her activism. Ariel Koren, a marketing manager for Google’s educational products, published a memo on Medium to colleagues, announcing her plan to quit. “Instead of listening to employees who want Google to live up to its ethical principles, Google is aggressively pursuing military contracts and stripping away the voices of its employees through a pattern of silencing and retaliation towards me and many others,” she said in her letter. Koren spent more than a year organising against Project Nimbus, a $1.2bn agreement for Google and Amazon to supply Israel and its military with cloud and computing services.
GERMANY’S LOGISTICS GIANT SEES TÜRKIYE AS HEART OF SUPPLY CHAINS
Germany’s logistics giant Rhenus, operating in Europe, Asia, and South America, considers Türkiye the heart of various supply chains as the shock of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the importance of the logistical availability of factories. Türkiye offers easy access to 1.3 billion people and a combined market worth $26 trillion in GDP in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Central Asia within a four-hour flight radius. Explaining that Rhenus has been working in the Turkish market for many years through their agencies, Tobias Bartz, Rhenus’ CEO, said the company had maintained investments in Türkiye for three years now. Pointing to Türkiye’s geographical advantage, as well as its highly skilled workforce and strength in product and production, he said Rhenus is “looking at connecting Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia” with that country.
COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS IN M-E TO MEAN FURTHER ‘REPRESSION’
An unprecedented rise in food and energy costs compounded by the climate crisis is resulting in a perfect storm for civil unrest in more than 100 countries, according to newly released analysis. Popular anger at cost-of-living crises has seen the Sri Lankan government toppled, protests in Argentina and rising discontent in Europe. The report, produced by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, warns that political turmoil in the next 12 months is set to increase, with over 80 per cent of countries experiencing inflation above six per cent and the prospect of repressive measures being used to quell dissent likely. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are particularly exposed to these rising threats, with three of the top 10 most at-risk being from the region. Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia were already in the throes of an economic and political crisis before the latest shock, which resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year.
IRAQ PREZ CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS TO END POLITICAL CRISIS
Iraqi President Barham Salih on August 30 encouraged early legislative elections to settle a political crisis that escalated into deadly clashes this week, leaving dozens dead and hundreds more wounded.
Early elections, less than a year after the last polls, have been a key demand of the influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, whose supporters battled state security forces during violence that started on August 29. “Holding new, early elections in accordance with a national consensus represents an exit from the stifling crisis,” Salih said in a speech. Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said he would “vacate his post” if the fraught political situation in the country continues. He suspended cabinet sessions until further notice after protesters broke into the government headquarters.
Image with caption: Shaima Dallali was elected president of UK’s National Union of Students for a two-year term but she victim to Islamophobia
MUSLIM STUDENTS TO DISAFFILIATE FROM NUS OVER ISLAMOPHOBIA
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis), the national body for Muslim students in Britain, has threatened to launch a disaffiliation campaign against the National Union of Students (NUS) after the NUS suspended its president-elect, Shaima Dallali. Earlier this year, Jewish students accused Dallali of antisemitism and homophobia over old tweets she posted. Dallali denied the claims and welcomed the QC-led investigation into her actions. But following a leaked report that the NUS had suspended an elected president for the first time in its one-hundred-year history, Fosis said it would urge its members to launch disaffiliation campaigns across the UK against the national body. In a statement, Fosis said the NUS had a track record of failing to help Muslim students acting in elected positions within the organisation and student unions across the country.
SAUDI ARABIA TO PROBE BRUTAL ASSAULT ON GIRLS’ ORPHANAGE
Saudi authorities on August 31 said that they will open an investigation into an incident at an orphanage hosting girls and women in the south-western Asir Province which has been widely shared on social media prompting outcry. A statement issued by the province’s authorities said a probe will be launched into the matter following an order by the governor of Asir, Prince Turki Bin Talal Al-Saud.
In the footage, which has since gone viral, Saudi security forces, including several wearing civilian uniforms can be seen chasing and attacking women with tasers, belts and sticks, after the girls and women began a hunger strike to protest against the living conditions at the orphanage, located in Khamis Muhait, a report said.