Your Thursday briefing: a reporter killed in the West Bank

Good morning. We are talking about the killing of an Al Jazeera reporter, the uncertain grain harvest in China and the growing religious violence in India.

Shireen Abu Akleh, Al Jazeera’s Palestinian American journalist, was shot to death in the head as he reported in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and the military accountable. The Israeli military said it was unclear who shot her and that it was investigating whether Palestinian gunmen could be blamed.

Another reporter said there had been no confrontation between the Palestinian fighters and the Israeli army when the shots were fired at reporters. He said he believed they were being targeted.

Details: Abu Akleh wore a protective vest that identified her as a member of the media, as the video shows. Another Al Jazeera reporter, also wearing a protective vest, was shot. in the back.

Profiles: Abu Akleh, 51, who a familiar names throughout the Middle East.

Context: In the wake of numerous attacks by Palestinians that have killed 19 Israelis and foreigners since the end of March, the Israeli army has led forays into Jenin. At least three of the suspected perpetrators of the recent attacks were from the area.

Policy: Israel gained some political stability on Wednesday after Raam, a small Arab party, said it would rejoin the fragile ruling coalition.

Ukraine’s grain exports were mostly blocked by the Russian invasion, while drought damaged crops in India, East Africa and the United States

Now China’s harvest is uncertain. In March, the country’s agriculture minister said the wheat harvest would be the worst ever recorded due torrential rain last fall.

The coronavirus blockade in the country has disrupted agriculture and delayed imports of fertilizers. High energy prices have reduced global fertilizer production and many farmers around the world are using less, contributing to lower yields.

Background: Wheat prices have risen nearly 80% since July. Regions that depend on Russian and Ukrainian crops are especially facing high commodity priceslike Germany, where the cost of food is on the rise record inflation.

Bets: China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of wheat, and its nervousness about its own stocks could ripple along the global supply chain. A poor harvest could further increase global food prices, aggravating hunger and poverty.

State of war:


As conflicts have turned to violence in recent months, authorities have issued swift and one-sided punishments against Muslims. They sent bulldozers to their neighborhoods, demolishing shops and homes, bypassing legal procedures and skipping full investigations.

“I fear we are in a phase of perpetual violence,” said Asim Ali, a researcher who has studied the rise of Hindu nationalism.

Analyses: National right-wing groups have called for violence against Muslims, encouraged by the silence of the leaders of the country. They are turning more and more religious occasions into political events, promoting a first-Hindu vision of India that relegates minorities to second-class citizens.

History: In the past, such clashes, although often more deadly, were usually triggered by a local issue and were contained in a single area. Now, thanks to social media, right-wing provocations inspire local groups across the country.

Edition: The Indian Supreme Court has suspended the use of a colonial-era sedition law which was used to suppress dissent. Hundreds of people incarcerated under the law have become eligible for bail.

Israeli soldiers had long denied killing prisoners after capturing an Arab seaside town in 1948, days after the creation of Israel. A the new documentary provides new evidencereopening a debate on the fundamental history of the country.

The Eurovision Song Contest is the largest live music event in the world. It is also almost certainly kitsch. This year’s competition takes place this week in Turin, Italy, where nations compete for (non-monetary) glory of a victory, plus an official 1950s microphone-shaped winner’s trophy. Here’s what you need to know.

66: Years since the contest began in 1956. (Initially it was a friendly competition between public service broadcasters.)

40: Countries participating in this year’s competition. In an unusually political move, the organizers prevented Russia from competing “in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine”.

1974: Year Abba won the contest, with the song “Waterloo”.

183 million: Total viewers of last year’s contest.

Three: Maximum duration in minutes for each piece, according to the competition rules.

33,938: Population of the smallest competing country: San Marino, a landlocked enclave in Italy.