A Russian cruise missile has struck Okhmatdyt, Ukraine's largest children's hospital, in central Kyiv. The attack caused significant damage, including a collapsed roof that killed two hospital workers and injured 16 people, including seven children. Thousands of children, including those with cancer, undergo treatment at the hospital every year. The strike was one of forty launched against several Ukrainian cities, which resulted in at least 36 deaths and 125 injuries. Moscow, which habitually denies targeting civilian infrastructure, claimed the hospital was hit by a Ukrainian missile. The latest UN figures show over 30,000 civilian casualties since February 2022: see

Emmanuel Macron has urged France's mainstream political forces to form a coalition after the elections resulted in a hung parliament. The New Popular Front, which emerged as the largest bloc with around 190 seats, have demanded that Macron accept their pick for prime minister and allow them to form a government. They insist that respecting the election results is essential for democracy. Any new government - of the left, centre, or a broader coalition - could quickly fall victim to a no-confidence vote from the opposition if it has not secured sufficient support. One commentator has said that it will have to seek to pass laws on a case by case basis, with ad hoc agreements. For more details about how Marine le Pen’s dreams have unravelled - her party unexpectedly came third in the elections - see

Massive floods in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh have killed dozens and affected millions. Heavy rains have caused many major rivers to overflow, leading to large-scale devastation. In Nepal, floods have killed more than forty people and damaged key infrastructure. In Assam, India, 66 people have died, and 2.4 million are affected. Bangladesh has reported eight deaths: the overflowing Brahmaputra has inundated a quarter of the districts in the country. Floods and landslides are not uncommon during South Asia's monsoon season, when it receives up to 90% of its annual rainfall; but experts say the issue has worsened in recent years due to climate change. Large-scale rescue operations are under way, with authorities directing thousands to shelters while sending food and supplies to those who are stranded.

South Sudan's peace talks, which have been hosted by Kenya since May, were nearing completion, but are facing a setback due to opposition demands to revoke a bill permitting detention without warrants. The talks - dubbed Tumaini, Swahili for hope - have resulted in a draft agreement proposing to extend the country's transitional period and postpone the coming election (due on 22 December) to allow finishing up the country's constitution and electoral laws. However, opposition leader Pagan Amum Okiech has refused to sign an agreement unless the proposed National Security Act is repealed. He says, ‘This law violates the fundamental rights and freedoms of South Sudanese citizens; it eliminates civic and political space. There can be no peace or democracy under such a law.’ Human Rights Watch has called on President Kiir to reject the bill, warning it undermines human rights and democratic progress.

When Luca was born in Perth two years ago, his parents were devastated by his diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Australia's strict immigration policies then compounded their distress by denying their permanent residency, deeming Luca a potential financial burden due to his medical condition. Australia, which prides itself as a ‘migration nation’, routinely rejects visas if medical costs exceed A$86,000 (£45,000) over ten years. Despite having lived in Australia for eight years and filling crucial job roles, Luca’s parents face the possibility of deportation – an example of the policy’s harshness. The government has defended the law, but it is surprising that its own immigration act is treated as exempt from its disability discrimination act. The immigration minister has mentioned the possibility of ministerial intervention for affected children, yet the process is often gruelling. Campaigners argue this policy is discriminatory and outdated, and are pushing for reform.

The US government has blocked a British court hearing on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), citing security concerns. The hearing was to address the alleged unlawful detention of migrants on Diego Garcia, a highly secretive UK-US military base. Dozens of migrants had landed on the island in 2021, claiming that they were fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in Canada, but their boat had run into difficulties: they have been detained since then. On 9 July, the day before the hearing was due to start, the USA withdrew consent for lawyers and the BBC to access the island and refused to provide transport and accommodation, claiming that their visit posed ‘risks to the security and effective operation’ of the base. The cancellation is a severe setback for the migrants, who sought to demonstrate their detention conditions.

The Philippines and Japan have agreed a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) to enhance defence cooperation. Aiming for an independent foreign policy, Ferdinand Marcos Jr is aiming to diversify the country’s security partnerships. Both countries have considerable concerns over China’s maritime assertiveness in the area. Once ratified, the pact will pave the way for large-scale joint exercises and defence equipment transfers. Although it is not a defence treaty, it is an effort to further ‘promote security and defence cooperation between the two countries and firmly support peace and stability in the region’. It focuses on enhancing readiness for potential contingencies, particularly around Taiwan. Japan's favourable standing in the Philippines, coupled with its role as a major trade partner and investor, underscores the strategic importance of this pact.

This year, over 200,000 attended the Glastonbury festival, to enjoy performances by major stars like Dua Lipa and Coldplay. Christian music took an unexpected spotlight when singer and teacher James Partridge led the crowd in worship songs remembered from primary school assemblies. Viral videos showed festival-goers enthusiastically singing and waving their arms to classics like ‘He's got the whole world in His hands’, ‘Shine, Jesus, shine’, and ‘This little light of mine’. Travel influencer Tasha Whitley and other festival-goers shared clips of the joyful, unifying experience. Festival attendees took to social media to praise the set, highlighting the nostalgia and joy it brought. Partridge, who teaches at various schools and has sung on recordings with notable artists, said, ‘The most incredible experience ever! Cannot believe I've just performed at Glastonbury. Incredible turnout today, the joy of singing really does unite!’

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