First police investigation of Supernova festival also found Israeli forces responsible for some deaths.
Hamas fighters who attacked a music festival in Israel on October 7, killing hundreds, likely did not know in advance about the event and decided to target it on the spot, Israeli media has reported citing police and security sources.
According to a copy of the first Israeli police report into the attack, obtained this week by Israel’s Channel 12, Palestinian fighters had originally intended to attack nearby kibbutz Re’im as well as other villages near the Gaza border. They found out about the music festival with drones and from the air as they parachuted into Israel.
Some 4,400 people had reportedly been at the event that Saturday when Hamas broke through Israel’s high-security barrier – which includes radar system and underground sensors – and attacked military posts and villages in southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
This Saturday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the “growing assessment in Israel’s security establishment” based on the police investigation and on interrogations of captured Hamas members, is that the group had not planned to target the event.
While police found maps of the target locations on the bodies of killed Hamas members, none was of the festival location. An additional finding supporting the assessment, according to Haaretz, was that Hamas militants did not approach the festival from the direction of the border but from a nearby highway.
In addition, the event had originally been scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday, with Saturday added to the programme only on Tuesday that week.
The report also found that most of the festival goers had managed to leave the event by the time Hamas showed up and the massacre began.
“The large majority of [people who were at the event] managed to flee following the decision to disperse the event made four minutes after the rocket attack,” according to a senior police source quoted by Haaretz.
The police investigation also found that an Israeli military helicopter opened fire on the assailants but also hit some people attending the festival. No further details were provided, Haaretz reported.
“An investigation into the incident revealed an [Israeli military] combat helicopter that arrived at the scene from the Ramat David base fired at the terrorists and apparently also hit some of the revelers there,” the news report cited an unnamed police official as saying.
The police report also revised the death toll from the attack to 364, including 17 police officers, up from 270. It put the number of kidnapped festival-goers at 40.
In response to the Hamas attacks, Israel launched a ground and air assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 12,000 Palestinians, including 5,000 children, according to Palestinian health authorities. Much of the Gaza Strip lies in ruins and a total blockade that Israel has imposed on the territory has left its residents unable to get enough food, water, fuel and medical supplies, all now at critically low levels.
Twisted Metal Renewed for Season 2 — Watch Peacock’s Announcement Video
Advocates say a Mexican startup is illegally selling a health drink from an endangered fish
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Environmental watchdogs accused a Mexico-based startup Thursday of violating international trade law by selling a health supplement made from endangered totoaba fish to several countries including the U.S. and China.
Advocates told The Associated Press they also have concerns that the company, The Blue Formula, could be selling fish that is illegally caught in the wild.
AS MEXICO MARKS CONSERVATION DAY, ADVOCATES SAY IT TAKES TOO LONG TO LIST VULNERABLE SPECIES
The product, which the company describes as “nature’s best kept secret,” is a small sachet of powder containing collagen taken from the fish that is designed to be mixed into a drink.
Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to which Mexico and the U.S. are both signatories, any export for sale of totoaba fish is illegal, unless bred in captivity with a particular permit. As a listed protected species, commercial import is also illegal under U.S. trade law.
The environmental watchdog group Cetacean Action Treasury first cited the company in November. Then on Thursday, a coalition of environmental charities — The Center for Biological Diversity, National Resources Defense Council and Animal Welfare Institute — filed a written complaint to CITES.
The Blue Formula did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment.
The company claims on its website to operate “100%” sustainably by sourcing fish from Cygnus Ocean, a farm which has a permit to breed totoaba, and using a portion of their profits to release some farmed fish back into the wild.
However, Cygnus Ocean does not have a permit for commercial export of their farmed fish, according to the environmental groups. The farm also did not immediately respond to a request from the AP for comment.
While the ecological impact of breeding totoaba in captivity is much smaller relative to wild fishing, advocates like Alejandro Olivera, the Center for Biological Diversity’s Mexico representative, fear the company and farm could be used as a front.
“There is no good enforcement of the traceability of totoaba in Mexico,” said Olivera, “so it could be easily used to launder wild totoaba.”
Gillnet fishing for wild totoaba is illegal and one of the leading killers of critically endangered vaquita porpoise, of which recent surveys suggest less than a dozen may exist in the wild.
Gillnetting is driven by the exorbitant price for totoaba bladders in China, where they are sold as a delicacy for as much as gold. The Blue Formula’s supplement costs just under $100 for 200 grams.
In October U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized over $1 million worth of totoaba bladders in Arizona, hidden in a shipment of frozen fish. Roughly as much again was seized in Hong Kong the same month, in transit from Mexico to Thailand.
EU warns China it will ‘not tolerate’ unfair competition at summit
European leaders will “not be able to tolerate that our industrial base is undermined by unfair competition,” Ursula von der Leyen warned on Thursday after a highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Competition needs to be fair. We insist on fair competition within the single market, therefore we also insist on fair competition from companies that come to our single market,” the European Commission president told reporters in Beijing.
Her warning came following the first in-person meeting between EU leaders and President Xi in over four years. But despite the high stakes of the summit, happening amidst heightened geopolitical tensions and an increasingly fraught trade relationship, no new commitments emerged from either side.
The EU is concerned that Beijing’s import restrictions and generous subsidies for China-based firms are putting European companies at an unfair disadvantage, inflating the bloc’s massive trade deficit with Beijing.
The Asian giant is the EU’s biggest trading partner, with trade in goods amounting to a staggering €2.3 billion every day.
But EU imports from China now exceed its exports by almost €400 billion. This deficit has grown tenfold in the past 20 years and doubled over the past two years. According to von der Leyen, “such imbalances are just unsustainable.”
“I’m glad that we agreed with President Xi that trade should be balanced between the two of us,” she added.
Discussions on redressing trade imbalances with Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang were in-depth and delved down into the facts and figures, von der Leyen said, although no concrete measures to address the imbalances immediately emerged from the meeting.
“We expect China to take more concrete action to improve market access and the investment environment for foreign companies,” European Council President Charles Michel, also present at the meeting, said.
According to Chinese state television, Premier Li had told both EU leaders that China opposes the “politicisation” of economic and trade ties.
The EU has adopted a ‘de-risking’ approach amid fears that its entrenched reliance on China for critical materials used in cleantech applications could erode its industries and jeopardize its security.
This means using the EU’s trade and domestic defence tools, such as its ongoing anti-subsidy probe into low-cost China-made electric cars that are flooding the EU market.
Von der Leyen insisted de-risking is not “exclusive to China” and highlighted that Beijing’s so-called self-reliance strategy is similar to the EU’s plan. She also emphasised the bloc was not looking to de-couple its economy from China’s as it has done from Russia’s in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine.
For Grzegorz Stec, an analyst from Chinese-sanctioned think-tank MERICS, the summit may not have delivered on much, but it has set the tone for relations going forward.
“There wasn’t really that much that has come out of the summit in terms of concrete deliverables, but in terms of framing the relationship going forward, it was a very meaningful exchange,” Stec said in an interview with Euronews.
“Why I think this exchange was meaningful is that it seemed that the EU has put on the table the fact that it really wants China to engage constructively, and if not, it’s going to take action, which is, let’s say the way that it was framed was assertive, not confrontational, because the European side was also pointing out the constructive aspects of the relationship that are already there.
“But it’s very much a signal that the EU side is expecting action to happen soon. On the Chinese side, if not, then our relationship might get a little bit more complex in terms of European responses.”
He added that this action could mean many things.
“Brussels now has an increasing portfolio of tools that are being put in place under the EU’s economic security agenda and the idea of de-risking.
“So, this is a plethora of tools that are being introduced on the EU level and here we have to take a look beyond issues that are more political, such as, for example, anti-coercion instruments.
“Other issues might include more investigations like the one that we’ve seen towards EVs, towards pet products, and also a number of other issues that are being put on the table on the European side.”
Ukraine, Gaza and Taiwan on the agenda
Both von der Leyen and Michel used their trip to urge Xi to do more to crack down on sanctions circumvention, where Chinese firms are suspected of indirectly feeding the Kremlin’s war campaign in Ukraine.
The bloc suspects that everyday products – including those made in the EU – that include components needed to manufacture drones, missiles and artillery shells are being re-exported to Russia through China.
Member states have been pushing to include sanctions on Chinese companies suspected of facilitating sanctions circumvention in the EU’s 12th package of sanctions, currently under negotiation.
A senior EU official said that while the overall export of high-priority battlefield items from China to Russia has declined, the latest data suggests exports of so-called ‘dual-use goods’ that could be redirected for military purposes are on the rise.
According to Michel, the EU has identified a list of companies “suspected of playing a role in circumventing sanctions.”
Von der Leyen said that China’s position on the war in Ukraine will “also define” EU-China relations. China has taken a neutral stance on the war and proposed a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine in March this year, but has refrained from severing ties with Putin.
“It is possible that we’re going to see some response on the Chinese side in the context of specific cases of specific companies providing specific goods, while China is in the mode of re-engagement with other actors,” MERICS analyst Stec told Euronews.
“But in terms of China changing its overall position in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this I would personally say is highly unlikely given the fact that China frames and sees the Russian invasion of Ukraine through the lens of its own competition with the United States and treated as a part of a wider geopolitical outlook.”
Leaders also broached the thorny issue of the ongoing war in the Middle East and the complex path to lasting peace in the region.
“We agree that getting lifesaving aid to the most vulnerable must be a top priority,” Michel said.
The EU is the biggest donor of aid to the Palestinian territories and has quadrupled its humanitarian aid to €100 million this year in response to the crisis engulfing the Gaza Strip. China’s response fades in comparison, offering $2 million (€1.86 million) in additional humanitarian assistance since the conflict erupted in October.
A senior EU official said that the summit was an opportunity for von der Leyen and Michel to put pressure on China to scale up its humanitarian response.
The two EU leaders, who were accompanied by the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, also expressed their concerns about the tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
The bloc and its Western counterparts oppose any change to the “status quo” in Taiwan, a democratically self-ruled island that China considers a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland.
Increased military activity in the Taiwan Strait and the precedent set by Putin in Ukraine has raised the alarm in Europe over a potential escalation in Taiwan. But the European and Chinese positions remain far apart.
Suspects stole thousands of dollars worth of items from Camarillo shopping mall
Seven crazy statistics from San Jose Sharks’ comeback win in Detroit
Colorado police officer slain in shooting, one suspect killed after attempted traffic stop
San Francisco business owner seriously injured in attack outside shop
Aliquippa dominates Dallas to become school’s 1st undefeated state championship team | Trib HSSN
Colorado Rockies game no. 116 thread: Zac Gallen vs José Ureña
See it: Tesla crashes into Columbus convention center at 70 mph
Fox News Politics: Georgia the whole day through
Death of missing Oregon girl found in stream ruled homicide
At least 2 dead as tornadoes hit Alabama, damage homes across Southeast
Hunter Biden faces new indictment in California
EU warns China it will ‘not tolerate’ unfair competition at summit
Hunter Biden hit with 9 tax-related charges in new indictment
Swing district Democrat complains she won’t run for re-election because race is ‘rigged’ against her
Former UK PM Boris Johnson denies he wanted to let COVID ‘rip’
Science1 week ago
Backlash to affirmative action hits pioneering maternal health program for Black women
Science1 week ago
Suicides in U.S. hit historic high in 2022, driven by increase among older adults
South Dakota7 days ago
Best Internet Providers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Politics1 week ago
Hunter Biden agrees to House Oversight Committee testimony
Science1 week ago
6 Great Space Images in November
News1 week ago
This 3-year cruise around the world is called off, leaving passengers in the lurch
World1 week ago
Fact-check: Have rare anti-Hamas protests really broken out in Gaza?
World1 week ago
Disease could kill more Palestinians in Gaza than bombs, says WHO