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Despite prospects of a potential ceasefire, Israeli airstrikes continued to ravage Gaza, killing at least one person and wounding several others, with Hamas firing back more rockets toward Israel. Officials close to the negotiations say a truce could be announced in the next 24 hours. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resisted calls from the US to draw down the offensive in the meantime. Opposition Israeli officials have pointed to a shift in sentiment in favor of the prime minister since the fighting began. “If we had a government, security considerations would not be mixed with political considerations,” opposition leader Yair Lapid wrote on Facebook.
South Korea summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will host his first meeting with President Joe Biden this week. He’s hoping to revive stalled talks with North Korea, while pushing to dismantle its nuclear capabilities. Moon’s four-day visit to Washington will include talks with the president and meetings with Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as congressional leaders. The last round of failed talks between leader Kim Jong-un and former President Donald Trump were held in 2019.
Russia assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council on Thursday during meetings of the intergovernmental body of eight Arctic States — Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The Biden administration is leading a campaign to oppose Moscow’s plans to set maritime rules in the Northern Sea Route — a path that runs from Norway to Alaska. Russia is also hoping to resume high-level military talks within the eight-nation bloc, which were suspended in 2014 over Russia's actions in Ukraine. Both Russia and NATO have been eyeing each other with suspicion as drilling opportunities open up in the region.
Manuel Rueda/The World
The unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, which inspired Charles Darwin to come up with the theory of evolution, draws thousands of visitors to the archipelago each year. But tourism on the islands collapsed when the pandemic broke out.
To restart the islands’ economies, the local government is speeding up vaccination and marketing the islands as a “biosecure” destination.
China has released the first photographs taken from its Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars. The Zhurong rover is equipped with several instruments to study the Red Planet, including gaining an understanding of the distribution of ice. 🎧 China is only the third nation to touch down safely on the planet.
Chinese Mars rover returns first pictures https://t.co/6phuPui2ow— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 19, 2021
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