Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.
A day after the Biden administration issued its strongest condemnation yet of Israeli settlement construction, an Israeli committee approved 2,800 new settlement homes in the West Bank. More than half of the housing units got final approval by the Defense Ministry’s higher planning council before building starts. The US State Department on Tuesday said that it was “deeply concerned” about Israel's plans to advance the new settlement homes, including many deep inside the West Bank. Protests erupted in May when the Israeli government tried to evict families from the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli settlements are prohibited under the fourth Geneva Conventions and remain an obstacle to a two-state solution to the conflict.
India’s Supreme Court has ordered an independent probe into spying claims revealed in the Pegasus Papers in July. The country’s top court appointed an independent committee to look into the allegations that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the Israeli military-grade spyware Pegasus to snoop on sitting members of Parliament, judges, journalists and activists. The move came in response to multiple petitions filed by those who were targeted. The ruling says that the state does not get a free pass every time national security is raised.
A commission in Brazil has voted in favor of recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro. The group was investigating the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of senators voted in support of a 1,288-page report looking into the crisis. The senate panel backed the call for charges against Bolsonaro that include crimes against humanity, after the deaths of 600,000 from coronavirus, the second-highest number of deaths after the United States. The findings will be sent to the chief prosecutor, who is a Bolsonaro appointee. The president maintains that he is not guilty of the accusations. And there is still no guarantee that the vote will lead to actual criminal charges.
Next month, UN agencies in Afghanistan will restart a nationwide vaccination drive that’s been on hold for more than three years, due to conflict and security threats.
UNICEF and the World Health Organization recently reached an agreement with the Taliban, allowing the vaccinations to resume and permitting Afghan women vaccine workers to take part in the drives, as well.
On Tuesday in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, calls for civil disobedience came blaring from a loudspeaker attached to a mosque. One voice urged citizens not to go to work to punish the military for betraying the revolution.
Dalia Abdel-Moneim, a Khartoum resident, joined The World's host Carol Hills to discuss the situation in the nation's capital as people took to the streets after the military seized power. She said the city is tense after all businesses and shops closed.
"It's literally a major strike," Abdel-Moneim said. "Anyone who's out on the street is either going to try and get supplies or just trying to get to family or something. But the city is pretty much dead, and that's, I think, the case throughout the whole country."
In a rare ruling, a Spanish judge has granted joint custody of a dog. Panda will now alternate between both parties of a separated couple for a month at a time. The lawyer who brought the case to court called this a “pioneer ruling,” since her client was recognized by the court as “co-carer” of Panda instead of a “co-owner.” The judge said the evidence, which included the dog’s adoption contract, veterinary bills and photographs, revealed an affective relationship worthy of legal guardianship.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, in an attempt to bring down the top military generals who seized power Monday. And, we hear from Dean Issacharoff, who could hardly wait to join the Israeli army at age 18. The beatings of Palestinians made him question his allegiances, but when he spoke out against the attacks, the military turned against him. Also, later this month, the United States will challenge a UK judge's ruling on Julian Assange's extradition to the US. The judge originally rejected the extradition over concern for Assange's mental health.