Home China Kim Jong Un Consolidates Power In North Korea; Israel Announces Rafah Evacuation

Kim Jong Un Consolidates Power In North Korea; Israel Announces Rafah Evacuation

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Kim Jong Un’s Birthday Loyalty Oaths Solidify North Korean Leader’s Power

After the song that praised Kim Jong Un as ‘friendly father’ and’ great leader’, it seems the North Korean leader has been pushing to consolidate power. North Koreans were asked to take loyalty oaths on Kim Jong Un’s 40th birthday earlier this year, on January 8. It’s the first time since he took power in North Korea in 2011 that these birthday loyalty oaths have surfaced. This signifies a break from tradition where usually such oath ceremonies have been reserved for anniversaries of North Korea’s earlier rulers – Kim’s father Kim Jong Il and grandfather and founder of North Korea – Kim Il Sung. The Seoul-based organisation, the South and North Development Institute that released the photos of these loyalty oaths, says it’s a clear move to show a new era of the North Korean leader’s power.

Israel Military Announces Rafah Evacuation As Gaza Truce Options Appear Slim

Israeli military has asked Palestinians in Rafah to evacuate from the southern part of Gaza. Though the IDF has called it a ‘limited scope operation’, it’s still not clear whether this is in preparation for the ground assault in Rafah that Israel has been talking about for days. Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a Hamas military attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza after this the border crossing was shut. Israel responded with an airstrike on a house in Rafah in which three were killed and many injured. Gaza officials claimed that another Israeli airstrike on Sunday killed nine Palestinians. Meanwhile, truce talks in Cairo have so far not yielded any positive update. Hamas has said Israel must stop the war in order to secure the release of hostages, something Netanyahu has flatly refused to agree to. Both sides continue to blame each other for the impasse.

Mulino Is Panama’s New President, With Support From Convicted Ex-Boss

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Panama has picked Jose Raul Mulino as its new President in a campaign that many might call unusual. The former interior minister’s campaign got a massive push from Panama’s former President Martinelli, who is currently taking asylum in the Nicaragua embassy after he was convicted in a money laundering case and couldn’t run for President himself. The conviction though, hasn’t dampened his popularity. Many saw Mulino as a proxy for Martinelli. The opposition also called him the former President’s puppet. Though Nicargua has granted Martinelli asylum, Panamanian authorities have he cannot leave the country. After the announcement, Mulino said his government would be pro-investment and honour its debts but would not leave the poor behind.

Brazil Floods: Drone Shots Show Parts Of Porto Alegre Under Water

Drone shots of Porto Alegre in Brazil show the extent of the flooding where large areas of the city appear to be partly submerged. All international flights from the Porto Alegre airport have been suspended since Friday. This follows heavy rainfall that battered the southern part of the Brazil where the death toll from the flooding in Rio Grande do Sul has taken at least 78 lives, with more than 115,000 people forced to flee their homes. There are serious concerns that the death toll could rise as more than 100 are believed to still be missing. More than 400,000 people were without power on Sunday evening, while nearly a third of the state’s population was without water, as per local authorities. President Lula da Silva arrived in Rio Grande do Sul with most of his cabinet to discuss relief and rehabilitation measures.

Xi-Macron To Talk Trade, Russia’s Ukraine War During France Visit

It’s his first visit to the region in five years and Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to talk trade and Russia’s war with Ukraine during his two-day trip to France. Macron visited China last year after which Xi Jinping had made his first phone call to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy but there’s been no progress after that. The visit comes in the backdrop of a European Union probe into Chinese EV exports and China’s investigation into brandy imports, mostly French-made. Xi said ties between China and France were “a model for the international community of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries with different social systems”. After Paris, Macron and Xi will travel to the Pyrenees region before the Chinese President leaves for Serbia and Hungary.