Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Bells have tolled in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the world's first atomic bomb. But memorial events were scaled back this year because of the pandemic.
On 6 August 1945, a US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city, killing around 140,000 people. Three days later a second nuclear weapon was dropped on Nagasaki.
Two weeks later Japan surrendered, ending World War Two.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Any innocent victim of the war, be they of Croat, Serb or any other ethnicity, deserves respect, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm in Knin today. In his address, he recalled a message of reconciliation addressed by the late President Franjo Tudjman in Vukovar in June 1997 to Croatian returnees and the local Serb population: "A victor who cannot forgive sows the seeds of future rifts and evils, and the Croatian people do not want that." Plenkovic said that this message should be borne in mind in building an inclusive, tolerant, and forward-looking Croatia. "As a country that won a war that was imposed on it, with numerous innocent civilian victims, we regret all the casualties, especially civilians, and not just Croats, but Serbs and members of all other ethnic communities as well." Plenkovic expressed regret for war crimes committed by Croats, saying that "a legitimate right to defence is not and cannot be an excuse for wrongdoing." "Any such act is painful for the families of the victims and an ugly scar on the righteous face and defensive nature of the Homeland War," he added. "We are aware that our victory in Operation Storm was traumatic for many Croatian Serbs who primarily associate it with the departure of a portion of the Serb population from their homes in what were previously occupied areas. While for the majority of Croats this was a forced exodus organised and ordered by leaders of the Serb rebellion in Knin, many Serbs still see it as an exodus before Croatian forces," the prime minister said.
Plenkovic said that 25 years on it was time to look at the complexity of what had happened then with equanimity. After Operation Storm, the Croatian state has made great efforts to ensure that Serb refugees who so wish a return to their homeland and much has been done in that regard, There are still difficulties that need to be removed so that they can feel equal and live in dignity, he added.
Croatia is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Victory & Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Day of Croatian Defenders today.
Celebrations on Wednesday are being held to commemorate the military victory on 5 August 1995, known as Operation Storm, when the Croatian army took over a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia.
Operation Storm was a combined military and police operation that ended a Serb armed insurgency and restored Croatian sovereignty over occupied central and southern parts of the country, paving the way for the peaceful reintegration of eastern Croatia in January 1998.
The offensive was launched at 5 a.m. on August 4 along the line running from Bosansko Grahovo to the south to Jasenovac to the east, the front line being more than 630 kilometres long. Within the next 84 hours slightly less than 10,500 square kilometres of territory, almost a fifth of the country, was liberated. The operation culminated on August 5, when the Croatian Army’s 4th and 7th Guard Brigades liberated Knin, the heart of the Serb rebellion, displaying a 20-metre-long Croatian flag on the town’s fortress at noon. About 200,000 Croatian soldiers and police took part in the biggest operation of the Homeland War. According to the Homeland War Memorial and Documentation Centre, 196 Croatian personnel were killed, at least 1,100 were wounded and 15 missing.
Operation Storm marked the end of the war in Croatia, created conditions for the peaceful reintegration of the eastern Danube River region, helped break the siege of the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, and enabled the return of refugees and displaced persons.
“Today, 25 years on, we are here. We are looking back, but most of all we are looking forward, aware of all the challenges, traps and unknowns. What I can say with a deep conviction is that the wars are over and that Croatia won them. Long live Croatia!” the President Milanovic said.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday sent a letter of condolence to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab and the Lebanese people following the tragic loss of a large number of lives and material damage caused by a strong explosion in Beirut.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
A large blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 50 people and injured more than 2,700 others, the health minister says. It is not yet clear what caused the explosion. Videos show smoke billowing from a fire before the blast, which is followed by a mushroom cloud. Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed and many buildings have been destroyed. Lebanon's internal security chief said the blast happened in an area housing highly explosive materials. A BBC journalist at the scene reported dead bodies and severe damage, enough to put the port of Beirut out of action. The explosion comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon, with an economic crisis reigniting old divisions. Tensions are also high ahead of Friday's verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
A restaurant in Texas has made itself a household name by putting up hilarious signs again and again, day after day, year after year. The Austin-based establishment named El Arroyo has had its sign board since its opening in 1975, and 45 years later, it’s still out there cracking everyone up.
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they’d set off. Rescuers said they were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their seven-metre skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course.
With fewer than a hundred days until the election, Donald J. Trump is trailing Joe Biden badly among voters who describe themselves as in favor of being alive.
The poll, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota, shows Biden beating Trump by a whopping thirty-one per cent among voters who call continuing to exist the issue that is most important to them. In several swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Biden has wiped out Trump’s lead by racking up huge margins among the rather-not-die-right-now demographic.
“Trump needs to do something dramatic to show voters that he, too, is in favor of them staying alive,” Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll, said. “I’m not sure that shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at them sends that message.” Trump’s new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, accused the media of focussing too much attention on the opinions of voters who wish to continue to breathe because of the press’s own “anti-dying bias.” “This campaign is working overtime to identify voters who are not in favor of being alive and make sure they know that President Trump is on their side,” he said.