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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Clea Skopeliti

First Thing: Israel launches ‘limited raids’ into Gaza Strip overnight

Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid prepare to enter Gaza at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing.
Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid prepare to enter Gaza at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing. Photograph: Xinhua/Shutterstock

Good morning.

Israel’s military said on Monday that ground forces launched “limited raids” into Gaza overnight to fight Palestinian gunmen amid the intensification of its bombardment of the enclave.

The announcement came after the White House pledged a “continued flow” of aid into Gaza, with a second convoy entering on Sunday. The convoy of 14 trucks reached Gaza through the Rafah crossing, after the UN said the amount of aid entering Gaza was just 4% of the daily average before the conflict.

Israel has continued to target Gaza with airstrikes, with leaders of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Britain calling on Israel to follow international humanitarian law, while emphasizing their support for the state.

  • Israel’s two-week bombardment has killed at least 4,600 people, Gaza’s health authority said, after Hamas’s attacks on 7 October that killed 1,400 people in Israel and seized 212 hostages.

  • Seven hospitals in northern Gaza have been forced to shut down due to damage from strikes, lack of power and supplies, or Israeli evacuation orders, according to the World Health Organization.

Trump is ‘single most dangerous threat’ to the US, warns Republican Liz Cheney

Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney
Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Donald Trump represents “the single most dangerous threat” to the US as he seeks a return to presidential office, according to the moderate Republican Liz Cheney, who was vice-chair of the committee that investigated the deadly Capitol attack.

“He cannot be the next president because if he is, all of the things that he attempted to do but was stopped from doing by responsible people … he will do,” Cheney said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Cheney’s warning comes as the former president faces more than 90 criminal charges, civil lawsuits over his business affairs and a rape allegation.

  • What are Trump’s odds? Despite low popularity with with the general public, he maintains substantial polling leads in the Republican nomination race.

  • The warnings come as Trump called Anthony Pratt, one of Australia’s richest men, a “red-haired weirdo” as he hit back at extraordinary reports about their personal conversations.

Far-right populist Javier Milei fails to win first round of Argentina’s presidential election

Javier Milei
Javier Milei, the Argentine congressman and presidential candidate for La Libertad Avanza Alliance Photograph: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

The far-right populist Javier Milei has come second in the first round of Argentina’s presidential election.

Milei, who has been likened to Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Boris Johnson, conceded the first place to the centrist finance minister Sergio Massa. His policies include abolishing Argentina’s central bank and shunning its biggest trade partners, China and Brazil, and he believes the sale of human organs should be legalized.

It comes amid an economic climate of triple-digit inflation, with 40% of Argentinians in poverty. Bolsonaro’s congressman son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, travelled to Buenos Aires to hail Milei’s “unstoppable movement”, while South American leftists had also made the journey to bolster Massa’s campaign.

  • What share did the two top candidates gain? Massa won 36.6% of votes counted; Milei 30%.

  • What’s next? The pair will compete in a second round on 19 November.

In other news …

  • Manila summoned Beijing’s ambassador on Monday morning after accusing China of “illegal and dangerous” behaviour that resulted in two collisions in the highly disputed South China Sea the previous day. The collisions are the latest in a string of confrontations in the South China Sea between the two countries.

  • Migrant workers in Israel have told the Guardian they cannot return to their home countries after the Hamas attacks due to being trapped by debt they took on to secure their jobs. While at least 50 migrant workers died during the attacks, the workers said high fees they had to pay to recruitment agencies have kept them trapped.

  • Mitch McConnell has strongly backed the White House’s $106bn aid proposal to Israel and Ukraine, saying he and Joe Biden were essentially “in the same place” on the issue. Some Republicans senators have called for aid for the two countries to be separated but McConnell said this would be “a mistake”.

Stat of the day: UK police reports of drug-spiking incidents quintuple – but charging rate falls

Close-up of a man spiking a cocktail in a bar as two women chat in the background
Almost 20,000 reports of spiking have been received in the past five years by 39 police forces, according to Freedom of Information requests. Photograph: Chris Rout/Alamy

In the UK, the number of drug-spiking incidents reported to the police has increased by a factor of five over as many years but the proportion leading to criminal charges has fallen dramatically. Data gathered from 39 police forces under freedom of information laws by the broadcaster Channel 4 found that in 2018, one in 15 reports resulted in a charge. In 2022, it was one in 400.

Don’t miss this: the pastor who smuggles North Koreans to freedom

A still from Beyond Utopia
Beyond Utopia, a documentary about North Korean defectors, by the film-maker Madeleine Gavin. Photograph: Dogwoof

Kim Seongeun, also known as Pastor Kim, believes he may have helped 1,000 people escape North Korea over 20 years, despite great personal cost. Now, the award-winning documentary Beyond Utopia uses footage shot by escapees to explore how some of those people escape, and their reasons for doing so, even as it has become harder to flee the country since the pandemic.

Climate Check: national park bounces back after California’s biggest blaze

Visitors enjoy the view at Bumpass Hell Trail, Lassen Volcanic national park, California.
Visitors enjoy the view at Bumpass Hell Trail, Lassen Volcanic national park, California. Photograph: Andri Tambunan/The Guardian

In August 2021, California’s largest ever single blaze, the Dixie fire, burned almost 70% of Lassen Volcanic national park. But despite the high-intensity fire in about a third of the land – the type that kills most trees and fries the topsoil’s nutrients – “there is evidence of resilience among the devastation”.

Last Thing: Russell Crowe endorses his lifesize chocolate Gladiator statue: ‘I will be available to eat’

A chocolate rendition of Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, from the film Gladiator
A chocolate rendition of Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, from the film Gladiator, which was made for a chocolate festival in Malta. Photograph: Tiziano Cassar/Facebook

Russel Crowe has advised his followers that he “will be available to eat” after a statue was modelled on his Gladiator strongman Maximus, crafted out of chocolate. The sculpture, which is lifesized and weighs about 150kg, appeared on Saturday at Malta’s annual Hamrun chocolate festival.

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