The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.
Israel has fired artillery and mounted more airstrikes against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip amid constant rocket fire deep into Israel’s commercial centre.
As hostilities entered their fifth day, with no sign of slowing down, the Israeli military said in a statement shortly after midnight that air and ground forces were attacking the Hamas-run enclave. Rocket barrages from Gaza swiftly followed.
Although the statement gave no further details, Israeli military affairs correspondents who are briefed regularly by the armed forces said it was not a ground invasion, and that troops were firing artillery from Israel’s side of the border.
Residents within the north of Gaza said they had seen no sign of Israeli ground forces inside the enclave but reported heavy artillery fire and dozens of air strikes.
Here’s what you need to know:
Militants in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel, with airlines either suspending or diverting flights over fears of planes being shot down.
103 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed as a result of the violence, as Israel moves troops towards the Gaza border in preparation for quote “all eventualities and an escalation”.
It comes as Israel’s Defense Minister says the country has “many, many more targets” and no time limit when it comes to military operations.
The violence in Gaza erupted on Monday after Israeli air strikes killed several senior Hamas commanders and destroyed three multi-story buildings…
As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.
Israel’s Defense Minister said “I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence.”
This comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.
Wall street soars, investors countdown key Fed meeting.
Investors appear to be buying what the Federal Reserve is selling at the minute, that is they’re shrugging off those pesky inflation concerns.
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit fresh record-highs ahead of the Fed meeting this week.
VFS Group’s James Whelan says there’s one key question in all of this.
“Will the Fed care about the market reaction? That’s the playbook for the next six months. Inflation, Fed response, market response to the Fed, and then will the market actually care? We’ve had four years of the Fed caring about everything the market did.”JAMES WHELAN, VFS GROUP
The four years Whelan’s referring to are the Donald Trump years, where the former President often boasted of how strongly Wall Street performed.
But not everyone trusts the central bank right now, billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is cynical.
“He (Tudor) called the stock market crash in ’87. History is on his side for calling big things. He’s saying if he doesn’t see any sort of commentary from the Fed this week, he’s going all-in on every inflationary hedge there is”DANIEL WEINER, MARKET STRATEGIST
Expectations remain that the central bank will hold tight, and keep pace with their bond purchases.
James King of AFEX says the amount of stimulus that’s entered the market over the last 18 months is extraordinary.
“The last 18 months or so there’s been a meteoric rise in the Fed’s balance sheet. From four trillion dollars to almost eight trillion dollars in an 18 month period”
The next update is due Wednesday US time, and all investors will be watching.
The nation part of the first trade deal since Brexit
The broad terms of a trade deal between the UK and Australia have been agreed on.
The Australian Prime Minister had a working dinner with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street last night, with a formal announcement expected on Tuesday.
According to the BBC, the meal served up to the pair on Monday evening included Welsh lamb and Scottish smoked salmon, and was washed down with Australian wine.
It is the first trade deal to be negotiated from scratch since the UK left the EU.
The new deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.
However, the leaders were initially stuck on several issues, including a plan by the British to add tariffs to Australian farming imports for the next ten years.
Behind the scenes, bureaucrats have been working frantically to reach a deal, and now both leaders are believed to have made concessions.
The new trade deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.
According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production, and could undercut farmers in the UK.
Australia’s top 10 export markets
Australia’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were iron, coal, petroleum gases, gold and aluminium. In aggregate, those major exports account for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Australia.
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Australian global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Australia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$91.3 billion (35.9% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $65.4 billion (25.7%)
- Gems, precious metals: $19.6 billion (7.7%)
- Meat: $10.4 billion (4.1%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $5.2 billion (2%)
- Machinery including computers: $4.4 billion (1.7%)
- Cereals: $3.8 billion (1.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $3.4 billion (1.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
- Aluminum: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
Australian future unclear for detained family of asylum seekers
A family of Tamil asylum seekers detained on Christmas Island since 2019 will be reunited in Australia.
The Murugappan family have been separated as youngest daughter Tharnicaa undergoes treatment in a Perth hospital, but their long-term future in Australia remains unclear.
“Today’s decision releases the family from held detention and facilitates ongoing treatment, while they pursue ongoing litigation before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court.”Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.
“Importantly, today’s decision does not create a pathway to a visa.”
WA Health had requested they be reunited while she receives treatment.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the move but it remains unknown if they will be granted new visas.
The family were removed from their home in Biloela in 2018 when their visas expired.
The family has been separated for more than a week after Tharnicaa and her mother were flown from Christmas Island to Perth.
Three-year-old Tharnicaa is believed to have developed a blood infection while in detention on Christmas Island.
“This is not ok, it needs to end”
Last week Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told Ticker News “This is just not ok and it needs to end”
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