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Tensions escalate as Israel intensifies operations in Gaza



Israel has expanded its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, with increased air and ground assaults, the Israeli military confirmed.

This escalation occurs amidst a chorus of international appeals for a humanitarian truce, as the conflict’s impact on civilians intensifies.

Hamas, the ruling entity in Gaza, reported direct confrontations with Israeli forces, highlighting the volatile situation on the ground. These reports surfaced alongside a significant U.N. resolution urging an immediate ceasefire, allowing for crucial humanitarian access and civilian protection within the embattled region.

The resolution, commanding overwhelming support with 120 affirmatives, underscored the growing global urgency for conflict de-escalation, despite opposition from Israel and the United States among others.

No communications

Communications within Gaza have experienced severe disruptions, raising concerns about civilian welfare and operational challenges for aid organizations. With the blackout in telecommunications, critical entities such as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and international aid agencies are flying blind, unable to assess or respond to the burgeoning humanitarian crisis.

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced the intensified operations, emphasizing significant air force engagements and hinting at a potential broader ground invasion. These developments follow a period of relentless aerial bombardment in response to Hamas’s aggressive actions earlier this month, which left a devastating trail of casualties and captives.

U.S. response

The White House reiterated its stance, emphasizing Israel’s right to self-defense. Officials, however, have not commented directly on the ground operations expansion but acknowledged the absence of imposed operational restrictions on the Israeli side.

Mark Regev, advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister, asserted a harsh reprisal against Hamas, indicating a fundamental shift in Gaza’s political and military landscape post-conflict. This hardline stance comes despite international pleas for restraint, considering the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, exacerbated by continuous military actions.

The territory, under Hamas control since 2007, faces unprecedented humanitarian despair. Infrastructure crumbles under relentless bombardment, leaving thousands dead and survivors grappling with the loss of essential services, including water and electricity. Amidst this chaos, Israel’s military maneuvers signal a potential ground invasion, raising the specter of increased civilian casualties and regional instability.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally



Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely



Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model



With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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