Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered “massive strikes” on the Gaza Strip after a two-day escalation that killed 24 Palestinians and four Israelis. Israeli warplanes and gunboats continued to target the Gaza Strip on Sunday as fighters in the besieged enclave fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. Armed factions in Gaza, otherwise known as the Joint Operations Room, which include the military wing of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, vowed on Saturday to “extend its response” if the Israeli army continued to target the strip.
A Russian airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Sunday evening, and at least 40 people died, officials said. The Sukhoi SSJ100 operated by national airline Aeroflot had 73 passengers and five crew members on board when it touched down and sped down a runway spewing huge flames and black smoke. The airport said in a statement that the plane, which had taken off from Sheremetyevo Airport for the northern city of Murmansk, turned back for unspecified technical reasons and made a hard landing that started the fire.
Brunei’s Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has extended a moratorium on the death penalty to incoming legislation on punishments for gay sex, after a global backlash led by celebrities such as George Clooney and Elton John. The country provoked an outcry when it rolled out its interpretation of Islamic laws, or sharia, on 3 April, punishing sodomy, adultery and rape with death, including by stoning. Brunei has consistently defended its right to implement the laws, elements of which were first adopted in 2014 and which have been rolled out in phases since then.
President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China on Sunday to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon. Stock markets sank and oil prices tumbled as negotiations were thrown into doubt. The president also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 percent tariffs “shortly,” essentially covering all products imported to the United States from China.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has launched the second day of coronation activities with a ceremony to grant new titles to members of the royal family. Vajiralongkorn on Saturday took part in an elaborate set of rituals, a mix of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmanic traditions, which established his status as a full-fledged monarch with complete regal powers. He had already been serving as king since the October 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The US has deployed an aircraft carrier to the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran. John Bolton, US national security advisor, said they were acting “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings”. eThe deployment of the warship was based on claims of a possible attack on US forces, Reuters news agency reports, quoting an unnamed US official. Mr Bolton added that they would counter any attack with “unrelenting force”.