World Roundup: Disturbance in Middle East, Trump?s space force gets approval and NASA?s new mission

by Prachi Mahima

In the last week, renewed blows between Israel and Hamas posed a dilemma as to whether this latest feud precedes a cease-fire or is an alarm for a larger scale war. While the middle-east remained chaotic, a drone attack on the Venezuelan president was pulled off last week too, allegedly an assassination attempt. This week President Trump made the news in two contexts: his space force finally got approval by Pentagon while Kim Jong-Un blamed officials in Trump’s administration but not him. Here’s what went down in the world last week:

Israel-Hamas trade blows raising questions of impending war

The continuing mutual attacks between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza, particularly in the month of July which was supposed to stop with a cease-fire did not cease after all. The Egypt-brokered cease fire which was agreed to on July 14th proved ineffective and the fights have rather escalated since. Last Thursday, militants in Gaza fired rockets and mortar shells towards Beersheba, a southern Israeli city. The attack met with a response from Israel which targeted a five-story building in western Gaza claiming it to be centre of Hamas’ militant activities which was countered by Palestinians, the New York times reported. This flare-up in violence is the third one in the last month and some experts are anticipating the two sides are on a brink of a full-grown war, fourth one in this decade to be exact.

The latest flare-up began with a misunderstanding on Tuesday when Hamas fired shots as part of a military exercise which was soon countered by Israeli militants who misunderstood the situation. Egypt and the United Nations tried to broker a cease-fire but to no avail. What comes next is doubtful but a large-scale Israel-Hamas war may be looming, according to experts.

Alleged assassination attempt on Nicolas Maduro

The Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro survived a drone attack on Saturday, 5th August, while he was delivering a speech in Caracas on the occasion of the 81st anniversary of National Guard. Maduro is an unpopular leader in Latin America who has been presiding over one of the worst economic collapses in the world. According to Maduro, it was an assassination attempt on him which he fortunately survived and followed it with blames on the right-wing along with opponents in Bogota and Miami, and also Santos, the outgoing Colombian president.

According to reports, seven members of the National Guard were injured but the president escaped narrowly. National security adviser of United States John Bolton also refuted saying there was no US involvement in the event.

Trump’s Space Force approved by Pentagon

President Donald Trump’s much awaited wish for a new US military branch namely the Space Force eventually gained the approval of the Pentagon. This Space Force, Trump says, will be dedicated to safeguard the American satellites and more importantly establish US dominance in space for good. The legislative proposal for the same was voted down in November, 2017 by the Congress which still stands between the idea and proper manifestation of the space force in US military.

Vice president Mike Pence delivered a speech on Thursday revealing the Defence Department’s official plan for creating the Space force. The lawmakers have not supported the Space Force plan of Trump till now, but the president is now hopeful for a congressional approval of the new branch in the fiscal defence budget of 2020.

NASA set to launch a spaceship at our nearest Star

The Sun’s atmosphere, popularly known as Corona is much hotter than its surface. Why it is this way is the question which has baffled the solar physicists for decades. The Corona sends out huge explosions of particles and plasma creating ‘Space weather’ which affects communication on Earth as well and so the NASA scientists have designed a spaceship to gain further information on the sun. The subject of the spaceship’s probe will be the corona itself.

The spacecraft which has been called the Parker Solar Probe will move within 4 million miles of the Sun, closer than any spacecraft ever has and is set to be launched by NASA early on Saturday morning. The launch window is set for 11th August but may get delayed as late as 23rd August if complications arise. Scientists say that it will take 7 years for the solar probe to reach its destination and it is creatively designed to bear the immense heat from the sun and avoid melting or complete damage. The new spacecraft particularly aims to solve the mysteries of coronal heating, solar winds and coronal mass ejections.

North Korea unhappy with Trump’s administration but not him

North Korean foreign ministry commented on President Trump’s administration and its members on Thursday claiming they are trying to sabotage Trump’s intention to settle peaceful relations between US and North Korea. The two quite certain subjects of the allegation are US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and National security adviser John Bolton. The statement goes as- “Some high-level officials within the U.S. administration are making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the international sanctions and pressure”. The curious thing about the whole incident is that president Trump himself was left out of the North Korean allegations.

The anger on part of North Korea was induced when on Wednesday, Mike Pompeo repeatedly asked North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons within six to eight months. The situation is problematic because the Korean administration claims it has not received anything in return from the US for its diligent efforts in maintaining peaceful relations between the two countries.

Prachi Mahima is a writing analyst at Qrius 

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