UNSC meeting on Ukraine
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the West has now become part of the war in Ukraine by supplying military aid and information to Kiev. Lavrov said Russia will never allow Ukraine to be used by the West as a platform to threaten its security. He was addressing a UN Security Council meeting held to discuss the war. Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian minister slammed the West for its silence on crimes committed by Ukrainian forces during the conflict. He said Kiev owes its impunity to Western states, specifically the US. Speaking at the same session, Ukraine’s foreign minister accused Russia of threatening international stability and security by weaponizing food and using energy blackmail. Dmytro Kuleba also called for the formation of a special judicial committee to prosecute Russian crimes.
UK in recession
Britons have been feeling the squeeze of the cost-of-living crisis. Now, the Bank of England has confirmed the country is in recession as it raises key interest rates. The BOE raised the rates to 2.2%, which is a 14-year high. It also projects the country’s economy will shrink by 0.1% in the third quarter. The bank says the contraction is due to the public holiday for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, combined with a low second quarter output. It says these factors meet the definition of a recession. It is the bank’s seventh consecutive rate hike as it tries to tame soaring prices. The BOE predicts that inflation will peak at under 11 percent in October. Britain’s inflation stands at 9.9%, remaining the highest in nearly four decades.
Hamas warns over al-Aqsa visits
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has warned against any intrusion by Israeli settlers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the Jewish New Year holidays. The Hamas official warned that Tel Aviv would be held fully responsible for the repercussions of any desecration of the mosque. He reiterated Hamas’s commitment to protecting the rights of the Palestinian people by "all possible means". Under a 1967 agreement between Israel and Jordan, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited. But Palestinians say the convention is flouted by Israeli settlers, who regularly storm the holy site under the protection of the regime’s forces. Such provocations usually spark tensions in the occupied territories. A Zionist group has already announced its plan to drastically increase the number of settlers who will visit the compound during the holidays this year.