Monday 17 June 2024

EL PAÍS News in English

Hezbollah raises the stakes on Israeli border

Dear readers,

Fears of an escalation of the conflict between the fundamentalist militia Hezbollah and Israel have been fueled following the assassination of a top military commander, Taleb Abdala, by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon this week. Hezbollah retaliated with its largest attack on targets inside Israel and warned that if the government of Benjamin Netanyahu “wants an all-out war, we are ready for it,” Hezbollah’s number two, Naim Qassem, said, adding that the militia is “ready for battle.” (...).

‌In Europe, following last weekend’s elections to the Brussels parliament, there is growing concern about a populist surge in the seat of EU politics. Most of all, the questions revolve around the 50-odd new lawmakers classified for now as “Other.” A good number of them will probably end up in the most peripheral parties, especially on the political right. Although the so-called traditional pro-European groups — EPP, the social democrats of S&D and the liberals of Renew — together have enough representation to guarantee a comfortable majority if they manage to reach an agreement, the extremist forces have acquired so much weight that these balances are more precarious than ever. Among the newcomers are figures such as Spain’s Alvise Pérez, a self-styled anti-establishment and anti-corruption crusader who has been convicted of spreading fake news on the internet and who has openly acknowledged that he ran for office in Europe to seek immunity from prosecution, and Cypriot YouTuber Fidias, 24, who readily admits to having no idea about European political issues.

‌In the field of science, a decade-long research project has shed light on the mystery of the child victims of religious sacrificial practices in the Mayan civilization. A team of paleogeneticists and bioarcheologists managed to recover the DNA from 64 sets of human remains discovered at Chichén Itzá in 1967, offering evidence as to who the sacrificed children were and clues as to why they were killed. The most surprising finding was that among the dead, there are two pairs of twin brothers who were probably sacrificed together. Among the rest of the victims there are also close kinship ties; some were siblings, others cousins. (...).‌

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