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Azerbaijan’s defense ministry has initiated “anti-terrorist” operations in regions of Nagorno-Karabakh controlled by Armenia. Tensions have remained elevated for several months concerning the disputed ethnic-Armenian enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In Karabakh’s main city, air raid sirens and mortar fire were heard. Tragically, eleven Azerbaijani police and civilians lost their lives in a mine explosion and another incident.

Officials from the breakaway region of Karabakh stated that the Azerbaijani military breached the ceasefire by launching missile and artillery attacks along the entire line of contact. Representatives from Karabakh described it as a “large-scale military offensive.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia, neighboring nations, have previously engaged in two conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh: first in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and again in 2020. Three years ago, Azerbaijan successfully regained territories surrounding Karabakh, which had been held by Armenia since 1994.

Since December, Azerbaijan has imposed an effective blockade on the only route into the enclave from Armenia, known as the Lachin Corridor.

On Tuesday, Baku’s defense ministry accused Armenian forces of “systematically shelling” its military positions and claimed to have responded by launching “local, anti-terrorist activities” aimed at disarming and securing the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories. They emphasized that their targets were strictly military and not civilians or civilian infrastructure.

Armenia’s defense ministry denied claims of Armenian military fire, stating that they did not correspond to reality.

The sounds of artillery and gunfire were reported from Khankendi, the regional capital of Karabakh, known as Stepanakert to Armenians. An estimated 120,000 ethnic Armenians reside in this mountainous enclave.

Journalist Siranush Sargsyan reported that residential areas of the city had been struck, including a neighboring building.

Armenian officials noted that, as of 14:00 (10:00 GMT), the situation along Armenia’s own borders was “relatively stable.”

Russia’s foreign ministry disclosed that it had been informed of the Azerbaijani offensive only moments before it occurred, urging both nations to respect the ceasefire that was signed after the 2020 war. The EU’s regional special representative, Toivo Klaar, emphasized the “urgent need for an immediate ceasefire.”

The fragile truce that ended the six-week war in 2020 had been under increasing strain in recent months. Approximately 3,000 Russian peacekeepers were deployed to monitor the ceasefire, but Russia’s attention has been redirected to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan recently stated that Russia was “spontaneously leaving the region.”

Azerbaijan had denied increasing troop numbers in the region. On Monday, it permitted aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter Karabakh via two routes, one through the Lachin Corridor from Armenia and the other on Azerbaijan’s Aghdam road.

Hopes for tensions to ease were dashed when Azerbaijani officials reported six casualties, including four police officers, in an incident where their vehicle hit a landmine in the Khojavand area, which had been retaken during the 2020 war. Meanwhile, ethnic Armenian officials in Karabakh asserted that it was Azerbaijan’s military that had violated the ceasefire.

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The European Union’s highest court has rejected a case against the European border agency Frontex, which was brought by a Syrian refugee family forcibly sent from Greece to Turkey in 2016. The family’s lawyers argued that Frontex should be held responsible for the deportation of refugees without the opportunity to apply for asylum, which is considered illegal under international law.

However, the European Court of Justice dismissed their challenge, stating that Frontex lacks the authority to assess the merits of return decisions or asylum applications, and therefore cannot be held liable for any harm caused.

The Syrian family, consisting of a husband, wife, and four young children, arrived in Greece in 2016 as part of the European migrant crisis. They registered their intention to seek international protection on the Greek island of Leros but were subsequently transported to the island of Kos. After just eleven days in Greece, the family alleges that they were flown to Turkey by Frontex and Greek authorities without being given the opportunity to apply for asylum or receiving an expulsion decision. The family claimed that they were misled into believing they were being taken to Athens when they boarded the plane. During the flight, the parents were reportedly separated from their children, who were between one and six years old at the time, and they were not allowed to communicate with anyone during the journey.

The family was released in Turkey but lacked access to housing, water, or sanitation. They later fled to northern Iraq. In 2021, they brought their case to the European Court of Justice, supported by human rights lawyers and the Dutch Council for Refugees.

Following the court’s ruling, the family expressed their disappointment, emphasizing that Frontex should be held accountable for their unjust treatment. Their lawyers indicated that they intended to appeal the decision.

Legal experts argued that individuals should not be deported to another country without a proper assessment of their need for asylum, which they claim did not occur in this case.

The Dutch Council for Refugees and the law firm representing the family stated that the ruling raised questions about how Frontex should ensure respect for fundamental rights in its activities, as mandated by its role.

Frontex responded by requiring EU member states to confirm that individuals were given the opportunity to seek international protection and that their applications were processed in accordance with EU laws.

The European Parliament had previously noted that human rights organizations, media, and civil society groups regularly reported cases of pushbacks or collective expulsions at the EU’s borders, often involving excessive force by EU member state authorities. Frontex had faced accusations of failing to protect individuals in these situations.

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Italy’s Defense Minister, Guido Crosetto, criticized the country’s decision to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), calling it “improvised and atrocious.” Crosetto claimed that the initiative had not effectively boosted Italy’s exports, making China the primary beneficiary.

In 2019, Italy became the first developed economy to join the BRI, a move that was met with criticism from its Western allies. The BRI aims to connect China with Europe and other regions through infrastructure projects, but critics view it as a means for China to expand its influence.

Crosetto expressed the need to find a way to withdraw from the BRI without damaging relations with Beijing. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had previously mentioned the possibility of talks with China about potential withdrawal. The deal is set to be automatically renewed in March 2024 unless Italy formally requests to withdraw by December of this year.

China has been actively campaigning to persuade Italy to renew the agreement, emphasizing the mutually beneficial cooperation and fruitful results achieved through the BRI.

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A deadly wave of Mediterranean wildfires has resulted in over 40 deaths and forced thousands to evacuate in Algeria, Italy, and Greece.

The situation remains dire as high temperatures and dry conditions persist, making firefighting efforts challenging. The island of Rhodes has declared a state of emergency, and other regions, including Corfu, Evia, Sicily, and Puglia, have also been severely affected.

Climate scientists warn that human-induced climate change played a significant role in the intensity of this month’s heatwave across Southern Europe, North America, and China. Italy faced contrasting extreme weather events, with deadly storms in the north and wildfires in the south.

Portugal, Croatia, and France also witnessed wildfires and took measures to combat them. The widespread impact of these fires has caused immense human and economic losses across the region.

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The Asian superpower of China has strongly denounced the European Union resolution against the crackdown launched against Hong Kong democratic activists by the Communist Country.

The Communist China has termed the resolution as an interference.

The resolution has been passed by the European Union Parliament. It has demanded sanctions against certain Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Hong Kong was under the control of the UK. The region, which is situated close to China, was recently handed over to China.

Since the transfer of the territory, China has been slowly injecting its political thought into the region, which inherited a liberal political thought process from its former master.

It is not clear at this moment whether the issue will affect the relation between China and the European Union.

It is less likely China take up a tough retaliatory action against the European Union.

The EU and China maintain a deep economic tie. In that sense, both depend on each other.    

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Leaders of the European Union have appealed for the acceleration of the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine.

They have requested for a pro rate population distribution. They have also appealed for an equal distribution of the vaccine among the countries in the union.

They have also advised vaccine companies to respect the commitments they have made in connection with the distribution.

The EU is a very powerful economic union. The ongoing vaccination program is the latest test the union faces.

The virus outbreak has inflicted a serious injury on the continent of Europe. It has directly or indirectly affected lakhs and lakhs of people across the continent.

Italy is one of the worst affected countries in the continent.

There were allegations that in the initial stage of the outbreak the union failed to respond in a timely manner.

The confusion generated in the initial stage even threatened the stability of the union, which helped the western world to sail safely through the turbulent waves of the post-War period.

The issue was even raised in the European Parliament.

The vigil the union shows at this juncture is in a sense an effort to avoid the repetition of the initial faults.

It seems that this time the world leaders are extremely vigilant.

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The custodial death of a young man in Brussels has triggered a serious protest across the country, leaving several police officers and protesters injured.

The convey of a member of the Belgium royal family has also been attacked during the protest.

Several people have been booked in connection with the protest.

The protesters have partially destroyed a police station situated in the capital city of Belgium.

The identity of the person who has died in the police custody has not yet been revealed by the European media.

As per an explanatory statement released by the police, the victim has been arrested during a routine check for restriction violators. The statement, released by the police, says the person has fallen unconscious and later died shortly after he was arrested.

The incident has triggered a serious global attention. A serious investigation has been demanded on the incident.

The development has inflicted a serious injury over the image of the European country, which houses the main buildings of the European Union, which is the most powerful economic union established in the continent of Europe and in the world.

Neither the European Union not those countries which lead the union has responded to the development yet.

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Certain recent developments indicate that the EU, which is a powerful economic union, is losing its strength.

The EU is currently dominated by Germany and France, which were once angry rivals.

The Brexit is the major threat the EU faces at this juncture. Few years ago, the people of the UK overwhelmingly voted to walk out of the EU.

The EU has not yet recovered from the damage caused by the decision.

The second biggest problem the union faces at this juncture is the rise of far rightist elements in Italy, France and certain Eastern European countries.

The US was a friend of the EU. Unlike his predecessors, the US led by Donald Trump has led the country away from the union.

The change in the political structure of the US is likely to influence the future of the union.

The continent of Europe has benefited greatly from the union. It is pertinent that a serious effort is put to prevent the fall of the union.

It is high time to make a formula to overcome the present crisis the EU faces at this juncture.

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The European Union has demanded the immediate release of citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who was jailed by China as his report regarding the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan irritated the Chinese government.

Apart from the journalist, the world’s most powerful economic union has sought the release of several reporters, lawyers and human right activists.

Ms. Zhang is the first journalist who has reported about the outbreak in Wuhan. She is a very fearless journalist.

A top EU official has revealed that the union has received a credible report to assume that the journalist has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment during the Chinese official custody.

The EU has recently reached a trade agreement with China. China considers the EU as an option to overcome the damage made by the US’ trade war. Considering the said realities, the EU’s suggestion is likely to be taken seriously by the Chinese government.

At this moment, it is not easy for China to damage its relation with the EU, which is set to become one of the main trading partners of the communist country.

It is expected that the western world will increase its pressure over China to make the country more democratic in nature.

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At the time the world is facing a serious threat due to a highly contagious variant of Covid-19, the European Union has rolled out a mass vaccination program.

The program has been projected by the union as a symbol of the unity among the member countries of the union.  

While speaking to media personals, a top official of the union has said that the union had delivered vaccine to all member countries.

The European Union is a very powerful economic union. It consists of at least twenty seven countries.

Certain countries began the program last day itself, through the official commencement has happened together.

Europe is one of the most affected region due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU alone has witnessed as many as 3,35,000 Covid-related deaths, which is in fact a huge number compared to China.  

The disease has left around 14 million people infected in the EU. Certain EU countries have already imposed certain strict lockdown measures to prevent the resurgence of the virus.

What is depressing is that a contagious variant of Covid-19 is rapidly spreading in Europe, Canada and Japan.

It is high time to find a long-lasting solution to the virus issue. The world needs to develop a powerful program to overcome from the crisis.

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