Wednesday briefing: France pushes US to back Gaza ceasefire

안녕하세요, Warren Murray here, and thanks as always for lending your attention.

France has increased pressure on the US to publicly call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict after a UN security council meeting ended without a joint statement. Sporadic bombardment of Gaza city has continued overnight, with residents kept awake as Israeli jets flew low overhead in the wake of fresh rocket fire, AFP journalists in the strip said. France is pushing a draft resolution coordinated with Egypt and Jordan intended to focus on basic points such as a cessation of violence and humanitarian relief. The US would have to use its veto power to block the resolution, something the Biden administration will be reluctant to do. Beijing’s ambassador to the UN told reporters his team had heard the French ceasefire proposal and that China was “supportive”.

Tuesday saw fresh unrest with serious clashes in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as Palestinians took part in a day of protests and strikes. A Palestinian man was killed and more than 70 wounded, including 16 by live fire, in clashes with Israeli troops on the outskirts of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Two Israeli soldiers were injured. In Jerusalem, police deployed water cannon in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are facing eviction from homes they have lived in since the 1950s. Israeli airstrikes have killed 217 Palestinians, including 63 어린이, and wounded more than 1,400 people in just over a week, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The death toll on the Israeli side rose to 12 after rockets Hamas fired at the southern Eshkol region killed two Thai nationals working in a factory, 경찰은 말했다.

Covid outs government failings – Coronavirus has exposed decades-long weaknesses in government as well as widespread problems including neglect of social care and underfunding of local government, the National Audit Office (NAO) 말했다. In a report released today it also collates the total government extra spend on Covid-related measures, putting it at an estimated £372bn by the end of this March. Britain is expected to be put on a “white list” by the EU today of countries from where tourists will be accepted. But there remains significant doubt over whether British holidaymakers will be able to avoid quarantine and Covid tests if they take up the opportunity. With the UK government warning against travel to countries on its amber list, which includes every EU destination apart from Portugal, the prospects for anything close to a normal holiday season remain poor. More Covid updates all Wednesday long at our live blog.

Midweek catch-up

> The climate crisis is very likely to put millions of homes at increased risk of subsidence, according to British Geological Survey data, NS hotter and drier summers make the ground shrink and crack.

> The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has called for a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticising China for human rights abuses and saying global leaders would lose their moral authority by attending.

> EU citizens should not be detained or refused entry to the UK for a job interview, the government has confirmed, after a Spanish woman was locked in a holding room at Gatwick for 24 시간.

> Dominic Cummings has said he will release a key document on Covid decision-making in government when he appears in front of MPs next week and also proposed auctioning it as a non-fungible token to raise money for Covid victims’ families.

> The US Congress has passed legislation aimed at curtailing a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

‘Targeting policy’ – A previously confidential Ministry of Defence directive lets British troops working in foreign units engage in countries where the UK is not operational and against targets MPs have not approved. It also acknowledges US troops embedded in a UK unit can operate outside UK rules of engagement. The charity Reprieve has told a freedom of information tribunal: “Embedded pilots could potentially be engaged in strike operations in areas beyond those approved by parliament, and potentially areas such as Pakistan and Yemen where the US drone programme has come under significant criticism for being unlawful.” The FoI case seeks the release of an unredacted version of the UK “targeting policy”. Judgment is being awaited.

Trump Organization probe now criminal matter – The New York state attorney general’s office has told the Trump Organization that its investigation of the company is now a criminal probe, not purely civil. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” said a statement on behalf of the New York state attorney general, Letitia James. Cyrus Vance, Manhattan’s district attorney, has also been investigating the company for “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records. James is leading a separate criminal probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. The Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

As Apple takes on games developer and Fortnite creator Epic, UK technology editor Alex Hern describes a battle of the tech titans that could reshape the app industry.

Fed up living in a world designed by and for men, the 80s design activists Matrix declared war on every urban obstacle in their way. And their impact is still being felt today, writes Oliver Wainwright.

Harry Kane’s desire to finalise a transfer from Tottenham before Euro 2020 begins on 11 June is considered by the club to be impossible as they brace themselves for a protracted battle over his future. Thomas Tuchel warned his side that the job is not finished yet after Chelsea edged closer to qualifying for the Champions League by gaining revenge for their defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup finalㅏ 2-1 win over Brendan Rodgers’s side. Jürgen Klopp believes fate may be on Liverpool’s side in the race for Champions League qualification but has warned his team cannot “celebrate the day before the night” with two games left to decide their season. Sam Simmonds broke the Premiership record for tries in a season as he scored three times in Exeter’s 31-12 victory at London Irish.

An Ashes tour like no other awaits England’s men next winter, with a rejigged order of host venues, a mid-January finish, no warm-up games against local opposition and the possibility that their travelling support may be absent. Tyson Fury’s projected world heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua appears to have been plunged into doubt by a US legal ruling, with Fury conceding that he might now have to fight Deontay Wilder first. The young Belgian Remco Evenepoel has barely put a foot wrong in the first 10 days to sit second overall in the Giro d’Italia.

The worldwide shortage of computer chips that began early in the pandemic is reaching crisis proportions, throwing a spotlight on how much we rely on one country, Taiwan, to keep our increasingly computerised world – and global economy – booted up and running. TSMC, also known as Taiwan Semiconductor, dominates production of the world’s most sophisticated chips, with companies like Apple among its biggest customers.

Car manufacturing has been badly hit by the chip shortage because when carmakers shuttered factories in the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, manufacturers such as TSMC and Samsung shifted production to chips for consumer electronics, where demand continued to build as people spent more time in lockdown. The carmakers made it worse by failing to place enough future orders, banking on a long-lasting economic slump. 지금, as economies roar back more quickly, the result has been this critical shortage of vital components, as Martin Farrer and Helen Davidson explain.

Elsewhere in business, bitcoin dropped 12% to below $40,000 after China banned banks from offering services related to cryptocurrency assets. The FTSE100 looks likely to follow Asian and US markets down this morning, while the pound is hovering at $1.419 and €1.160.

Virus exposed government weakness, finds watchdog” – the lead story in the 보호자 print edition, while our front-page picture story is “I quit: blast at PM from nurse who helped save his life”. 제니 맥기, who looked after Boris Johnson in intensive care, 말했다: “We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it,” referring to the government’s proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff. It is not known how the lead intensive care nurse feels about being reduced to “Boris nurse” and “Boris’ Covid nurse” on the fronts of the MetroMirror respectively.

그만큼 Daily Mail has “Wish you were clear, ministers” amid confusing statements over whether you can or should go to amber-list countries, or indeed countries of any list-colour. 그만큼 Telegraph says “Public told to abandon summer trips abroad” after Lord Bethell, a junior health minister, threw his bit on the pile of conflicting advice. 그만큼 i has “PM faces backlash over local lockdowns” with Tory MPs warning of a revolt if places like Bolton are hit again.

그만큼 Express leads with “Shocking proof why we need to see a GP face to face”, saying a woman’s cancer was left undiagnosed in telephone calls to the doctor. 그만큼 Times’ top story is “PM backs tariff-free trade with Australia” – a prospect that has British farmers fearing for their livelihood. And the Financial Times reports: “Investors back Shell on going green as IEA issues warning” – which could be regarded as slightly glossing over the fact that a shareholder revolt means more ambitious, binding targets for emissions cuts will have to be canvassed with investors.

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