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This is the second megathread for discussion regarding the crisis.

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On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Vietnamese Vice Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang signed five "Work Commitment Documents" in Caracas.

"We have signed a strategic alliance for the construction of a new glass industry in Venezuela," the Bolivarian leader said. ⠀

"We also signed a comprehensive work plan for Vietnam to support us in agricultural production... This year, Venezuela will reach 100 percent production of the food consumed at home. This happens for the first time in 100 years," Maduro pointed out.

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cross-posted from: https://lemmygrad.ml/post/4315062

US blocks UN from recognizing Palestine, while Israel attacks Iran

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On Thursday, Argentine Defense Minister Luis Petri said that his country has applied to become a "global partner" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). ⠀

Argentina has been an "extra-NATO ally" since 1998, when then-U.S. President Bill Clinton gave the green light to Argentine President Carlos Menem, but "global partner" status is a "step up."

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cross-posted from: https://lemmygrad.ml/post/4314920

US vetoes Palestine’s request for full UN membership

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Iranian state media confirmed an attack by Israel in the early hours of Friday and said the “sabotage” operation involving drones had failed.

Israel launched a retaliatory strike on Iran following last week’s missile and drone barrage from Tehran, according to two US officials, though media from both countries appeared to downplay the severity of the incident.

An explosion was heard early Friday in Isfahan, Iran’s third-biggest city, Fars news agency reported. Nuclear facilities located there are safe, state television and the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said.

The Israeli government, which rarely comments on specific military actions linked to Iran, hasn’t confirmed the strike.

Flights were suspended in Isfahan and the Iranian cities of Tehran and Shiraz as well as airports across the country’s western borders, but those restrictions were soon eased.

The incident follows days of frantic diplomacy from the US and European nations in which they tried to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to respond too aggressively, if at all, to Saturday night’s Iranian attack. ⠀

Isfahan is home to around 2 million people and several military bases and facilities. It’s believed to have been one of several launch sites for Iran’s attack on Israel on Saturday night.

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The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favour and two abstentions – the UK and Switzerland.

The United States vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council (UNSC) which recommended granting the State of Palestine full membership in the United Nations. ⠀

The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US veto was “blatant aggression … which pushes the region ever further to the edge of the abyss”. ⠀

The Palestinian armed group [Hamas] accused the US of standing “in the face of international will” by exercising its veto power and denying Palestinians full membership in the world body. ⠀

[Egypt's] Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “deep regret” over the inability of the UNSC to pass the resolution and said approving Palestine’s bid to become a full UN member was a vital step and “an inherent right of the Palestinian people”. ⠀

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said that by exercising its veto, the US has demonstrated “what they really think of the Palestinians”.

Washington thinks “they do not deserve to have their own state”, and it only realises “the interest of Israel”, he added. ⠀

Saudi Arabia expressed regret over the failure of the UNSC to adopt the resolution, it said in a statement. ⠀

[Norway's] Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide expressed his country’s “regret” that the UNSC “did not agree on admitting Palestine as a full member of the UN”. ⠀

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz commended the US for vetoing the resolution, which he labelled a “shameful proposal”, in a post on X.

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In the last few years it is likely that PepsiCo has been using in its production palm oil from deforested land claimed by the Shipibo-Konibo people in eastern Peru, a new investigation has found.

Palm oil from Peru enters PepsiCo’s supply chain via a consortium that shares storage facilities with Ocho Sur, the second largest palm oil producer in the country which has been associated with deforestation and violation of Indigenous peoples’ rights. In the last three years, further deforestation occurred within the company’s land, the investigation found.

Some of the forest loss on company-run oil palm plantations occurred on land claimed by the Santa Clara de Uchunya community of Shipibo-Konibo Indigenous people.

PepsiCo manufactures at least 15 products containing Peruvian palm oil that could be linked to deforestation. The company has pledged to make 100% of its palm oil supply deforestation-free by the end of 2022 and for its operation to be net zero by 2040.

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The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favor, the United States opposed and two abstentions, from the United Kingdom and Switzerland. U.S. allies France, Japan and South Korea supported the resolution.

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  • Vast tracts of western Iran airspace are empty after strikes
  • Soaring tensions risk further upending global air traffic ⠀

Iran shut airspace over the west of the country and its capital after Israel launched a missile strike, forcing commercial flights to reroute for the second time in less than a week as regional tensions escalate.

Air traffic between Iran and Iraq has been effectively halted, according to notices posted on a Federal Aviation Administration website, while airspace over Tehran was also closed. A raft of airports have suspended flights, including in Isfahan — where explosions were reported to have been heard Friday — and the city of Shiraz, the Mehr news agency reported. ⠀

FlyDubai said in a statement it had canceled all flights to Iran on Friday and flight FZ1929, which was heading to Tehran, had returned to Dubai due to airspace closures. Emirates did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News.

Soaring tensions in the Middle East risk further upending flights in one of the most highly trafficked regions of the world. Over the weekend, Iran’s direct attack on Israel saw several countries temporarily close their airspace, forcing major carriers including Qantas Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. to draw up alternative plans.

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Israel conducted a strike in Iran early Friday morning local time, a senior U.S. official told Axios.

Israel, which has not confirmed it launched an attack, has vowed to retaliate against Iran for a missile and drone attack on Israel. The U.S. is concerned that continued counterattacks could trigger wider regional escalation.

  • An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.
  • The U.S. official said Israel notified the U.S. in advance. "We were not surprised," the official said.
  • The Biden administration has warned Israel that escalation with Iran wouldn't serve U.S. or Israeli interests and urged Israel to "be careful" with any retaliation, U.S. officials said.

Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported explosions were heard in the city of Isfahan in central Iran near an Iranian air force base.

  • Iranian state TV reported several drones were shot down by air defenses in Isfahan.
  • Iran issued a notification early Friday morning local time closing the air space over western parts of the country.
  • Iranian state news agency IRNA reports Iranian air defense systems were activated tonight in several places in the country.

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