Iran has once again rejected the US and UK allegations that the Islamic Republic was behind a recent attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker off Oman. Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Zahra Ershadi, dismissed the accusations as politically-motivated and unsubstantiated. She was responding to anti-Iran statements by the US and the UK in a Security Council meeting on Monday. Ershadi said there is no verifiable and conclusive evidence to substantiate the accusations and called them the repetition of fabrications by the Israeli regime. She noted that the regime that has carried out attacks on over 10 commercial vessels in regional waters in the last two years cannot whitewash its terrorist acts with such accusations. Ershadi urged the Council to avoid being trapped by the fabrications of the Israeli regime, which as usual are blindly supported by certain Western countries.
UN Ethiopia concern
The United Nations has warned about emergency levels of hunger in conflict-ridden northern Ethiopia, saying hundreds of thousands face an acute shortage of food in the region. The World Food Program said some 300,000 civilians in the regions of Amhara and Afar are falling deeper into hunger as a result of the conflict. The UN had previously said about 400,000 people face famine-like conditions in Tigray itself. The warning comes as the war continues to expand and officials report fresh civilian casualties in the north. Northern Ethiopia has been wracked by fighting since November, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to topple the Tigray People's Liberation Front. The federal government had accused the forces loyal to then-ruling party of the Tigray region of attacking army camps.
US Covid cases
The rapidly spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 across the United States has pushed the country’s cases and hospitalizations to a six-month high. Infections in the US have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row. The number shows a 35-percent increase over the past week. Based on the population, the states of Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas reported the most new cases in the past week. The United States remain the world’s hardest hit country by the pandemic with nearly 36 million cases and over 617,000 deaths. Meanwhile Brazil, reported more than 12,000 new infections and over 400 deaths on Monday, bringing its overall cases to more than 20 million and the death toll to over 563,000.