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Israeli airstrikes target Gaza amid ongoing protests, no casualties reported

Israeli airstrikes hit several targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the country’s military said, after Palestinian protesters flocked for the 12th straight day to the enclave’s frontier with Israel — demonstrations that have devolved into violent clashes with Israeli security forces.

There were no reports of casualties in Gaza from the Israeli airstrikes.

The Israeli army said that it used a drone, helicopter and tank to strike multiple posts in northern and southern Gaza belonging to the strip’s militant Hamas rulers in response to what it described as “violent riots” at the separation fence between Gaza and Israel. The protests involve Palestinians throwing stones and explosive devices, burning tires and, according to the Israeli military, shooting at Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian health officials reported that Israeli forces shot and wounded 11 protesters during Tuesday’s rally.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized control of Gaza in 2007, has said that young Palestinians have organized the protests in response to surging violence in the West Bank and alleged provocations in Jerusalem. In recent days Palestinians have also floated incendiary kites and balloons across the border into southern Israel, setting fire to farmland and unnerving Israeli civilian communities close to Gaza.

The unrest first erupted earlier this month, shortly after Hamas’ Finance Ministry announced it was slashing the salaries of civil servants by more than half, deepening a financial crisis in the enclave that has staggered under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade for the past 16 years.

Under arrangements stemming from past cease-fire understandings with Israel, the gas-rich emirate of Qatar pays the salaries of civil servants in the Gaza Strip, provides direct cash transfers to poor families and offers other kinds of humanitarian aid. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it had begun the distribution of $100 cash transfers to some 100,000 needy families in the impoverished territory.

The sudden violence at the separation fence has stoked fears of a wider escalation between Israel and Hamas, which have fought four wars and engaged in numerous smaller battles since Hamas took over the territory.

But experts said that the violent protests — which have persisted with Hamas’ tacit consent for nearly two weeks now — have more to do with Hamas’ efforts to manage the territory and halt its spiraling economic crisis than draw Israel into a new round of conflict.

“It’s a tactical way of generating attention about their distress,” Ibrahim Dalalsha, director of the Horizon Center, a Palestinian research group based in the West Bank, said of Hamas. “It’s not an escalation but ‘warming up’ to put pressure on relevant parties that can come up with money to give to the Hamas government.”

Israel, he added, also seeks to contain the exchanges with its precise strikes on apparently abandoned militant outposts — so far avoiding a mishap that could spiral into a conflict that neither side wants.

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US imposes sanctions on 9 Sinaloa Cartel affiliates and Clan Del Golfo leader in drug trafficking crackdown

The U.S. Treasury has announced sanctions against nine affiliates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel, as well as the current leader of Colombia’s powerful Clan del Golfo criminal enterprise.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control designated all 10 for their roles in drug trafficking, meaning any of their assets in the United States will be blocked and U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from dealing with any of their assets.

The nine affiliates of the Sinaloa cartel follow a U.S. indictment unsealed in April that targeted a branch of the Sinaloa cartel run by the sons of former leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Mexico extradited one of those sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, earlier this month to the United States. The sons were identified as leading producers and traffickers of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.

“Today’s actions reinforce the United States’ whole of government approach to saving lives by disrupting illicit drug supply chains,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.


Monday’s sanctions include several other people named in that indictment including people who assisted with security, the actual movement of fentanyl to the U.S. and the laundering of drug profits back to the cartel in Mexico.

The sanctions against Colombian Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego coincide with the meeting of the United States-Colombia Counternarcotics Working Group in Bogota. Avila, better known as “Chiquito Malo,” took over the Clan del Golfo in 2022 after it was announced the group’s previous leader would be extradited to the U.S. Avila launched an offensive targeting Colombian security forces in retaliation.

Avila is under indictment in the Southern District of Florida for cocaine trafficking and in the Eastern District of New York for being engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise.

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Serbia’s president calls for NATO troops to take over security in Kosovo amid rising tensions

Serbia’s president demanded on Tuesday that NATO-led troops stationed in Kosovo take over the security from police in the north of the country, days after violent clashes between armed Serbs and Kosovo police left one officer and three gunmen dead.

A daylong shootout in northern Kosovo on Sunday further raised tensions in the Balkan region at a time when European Union and U.S. mediators have been pushing for a deal that would normalize ties between the wartime foes.

The violence over the weekend was one of the worst confrontations in Kosovo since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused Serbia of logistically supporting “the terrorist, criminal, professional unit” that clashed with the police. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić denied those claims, saying the gunmen were local Kosovo Serbs “who no longer want to withstand Kurti’s terror.”

On Tuesday in Belgrade, Vučić met with ambassadors from five Western countries and the EU demanding that NATO-led troops stationed in Kosovo, known as KFOR, take over “all the security matters in the north of Kosovo instead of Kurti’s police.”


There are around 4,500 KFOR peacekeeping troops stationed in Kosovo. There was no immediate reaction from NATO to Vučić’s request, but it is highly unlikely that it would be accepted because the primary task of the troops is peacekeeping and not policing.

Vučić also said in an Instagram post that these are “one of the hardest moments for Serbia.” Earlier, the government proclaimed a day of mourning on Wednesday because of “the tragic events,” referring to the shootout.

A Kosovo Serb party allied with Vučić proclaimed three days of mourning starting Tuesday in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo for the three killed Serb assailants.

On Tuesday in Pristina, a Kosovar court decided to keep three of the six arrested gunman for a month in pretrial detention. They are accused of violating the country’s constitution and of terror acts.

On Sunday, about 30 men in in combat uniforms opened fire on a police patrol near the village of Banjska in the early hours of the morning, killing one officer and wounding another. They then fled to a nearby Serbian Orthodox monastery, breaking down the gates with an armored personnel carrier before barricading themselves in with priests and visiting pilgrims.

The standoff ended when most of the assailants escaped on foot under cover of darkness on Sunday evening. Three of the gunmen were shot and killed by police.

Serbia and Kosovo, its former province, have been at odds for decades. Their 1998-99 war left more than 10,000 people dead, mostly Kosovo Albanians. Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008, but Belgrade has refused to recognize the move.

The EU, with the backing of the U.S., has been brokering negotiations between the two sides. In February, Kurti and Vučić gave their approval to a 10-point EU plan, but have since distanced themselves from the agreement.

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Young woman is talked out of suicide by a passerby, an off-duty paramedic: ‘Are you OK?’

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A young woman was talked off the ledge of a bridge as she was considering taking her own life. 

Lauren Elizabeth, a 23-year-old mother of two from Canterbury, England, told SWNS she was struggling with her mental health leading up to the event.


After finishing a cigarette, Elizabeth stood on the top of an overpass in the town that she and her two kids live in — and was ready to jump when an off-duty paramedic spotted her.

“She pulled up, and I was crying,” she said to SWNS about the woman who pulled up her car to the side.

“She said, ‘Are you OK?’ and I said, ‘I’m fine, leave me alone.’”

Elizabeth went on to explain that the off-duty paramedic said she was going to “pull around the corner” — and the rest was a blur to her.


Elizabeth said the police showed up and brought her to the back of an officer’s car.

“I broke down and told them everything,” she said. 

The mom of two was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, England, before being transferred to a signposting unit where she was further assessed, according to SWNS.


Elizabeth, who lives in Ashford, England, with her two children — ages 6 and 4 — said she owes the paramedic “everything.”

“If it wasn’t for the paramedic who stopped that night, I wouldn’t have got the help I needed or been able to see my children grow up,” she told SWNS.

Elizabeth was able to speak with the paramedic to express her appreciation — saying that if the woman hadn’t shown up and taken the time to speak with her, she wouldn’t be here today. 


“There was very little that would have changed my mind — it was more that somebody was there,” she said. 

Elizabeth said she is in a much better place now.

She hopes that others will stop and think next time they see something similar. 

“It can really help to know that people care,” she said. 

She also said, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

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