Here’s What Happened Around The World In January 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in January 2024.

Here’s What Happened Around The World In January 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in January 2024.

1. The ICJ ruled Israel’s genocide is plausible

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled Israel must take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.

The ICJ, the world’s top court, held a two-day public hearing over Jan. 11 to 12 on whether Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, after South Africa filed a case on Dec. 29, 2023.

It recalled facts and evidence presented by South Africa, finding that its case that Israel is committing genocide is plausible.

The court issued provisional measures ordering Israel to:

1. Take all measures within its power to prevent genocide of Palestinians.
2. Ensure its military doesn’t commit genocidal acts.
3. Take all measures within its power to prevent and punish public incitement to commit genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
4. Ensure provisions of urgent service and humanitarian aid in Gaza.
5. Ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of genocide.
6. Submit a report to the court in one month showing its compliance with the orders.

2. Israel’s prime minister then called the ICJ ruling “outrageous”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling calling for it to prevent genocide from happening in Gaza “outrageous”.

Speaking after the verdict, Netanyahu called the case a “vile attempt” to deny Israel the right to defend itself and “blatant discrimination against the Jewish state”.

He said that Israel’s commitment to international law was “unwavering”, as was its “sacred commitment” to defend its country and people.

“The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous,” he said, adding that Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas, which he called a “genocidal terror organization.”

He said Israel’s war is against Hamas and not Palestinian civilians.

3. There are now concerns of the war spreading after Israel assassinated a senior Hamas leader

Israel has assassinated a senior Hamas leader in Lebanon, raising concerns that the war in Gaza could escalate to other areas.

57-year-old Saleh al-Arouri was killed on Tuesday Jan. 2 by an Israeli drone strike on a Hamas office in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.

Although Israel did not officially comment on the assassination, both US and Lebanese officials attributed the attack, which killed seven people including other high-ranking Hamas members, to Israel.

4. The US and UK started bombing Yemen after Houthi rebels attacked ships linked to Israel to protest its war in Gaza

The US and UK are bombing Yemen after Houthi rebels attacked ships linked to Israel to protest its war in Gaza.

Houthis have been launching missile and drone attacks on commercial and military ships in the Red Sea after Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7.

The group says it has been primarily targeting ships linked to Israel to support Palestinians in Gaza and to pressure Israel to end the war.

On Jan. 12, the US and UK, with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, began launching airstrikes on nearly 30 locations in Yemen, including Sanaa.

As of Monday Jan. 22, the US had launched eight rounds of airstrikes on Yemen and re-added the Houthis to a list of terrorist groups.

5. Al Jazeera journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh received medical treatment in Qatar

Palestinian journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau chief in Gaza, has safely arrived in Qatar for medical treatment.

The 53-year-old had kept reporting in Gaza even after he was wounded by an Israeli airstrike in December that killed his cameraman, Samer Abudaqa, while they were reporting in southern Gaza.

Al-Dahdouh arrived in Doha on Tuesday, Jan. 16 after being evacuated from Egypt.
The Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate said that Egyptian authorities had helped to facilitate Al-Dahdouh’s entry into Egypt through Rafah, according to Middle East Monitor.

6. Motaz Azaiza, the beloved Palestinian photojournalist in Gaza, evacuated to Qatar

Motaz Azaiza, a beloved 24-year-old Palestinian photojournalist in Gaza, has announced that he is evacuating.

Azaiza, who had previously focused on documenting daily life in Gaza, has emerged as one of the most recognized and iconic journalists in Gaza after Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7.

He risked his life several times to cover Israeli airstrikes, even being shot at by Israeli soldiers.

In a tearful video on his Instagram on Tuesday Jan. 23, Azaiza announced that he had made the heartbreaking decision to evacuate Gaza.

“This is the last time that you will see me in this heavy, stinky vest,” he said, referring to his blue press flak jacket, which he was seen wearing throughout the past 107 days.

“I decided to evacuate today, so I’m sorry,” Azaiza said as he visibly teared up.

7. Elsewhere around the world, Taiwan elected this pro-independence politician as its new president

People in Taiwan have elected a pro-independence politician as its new president.

Current vice president William Lai, who represents the ruling Democratic Progressive Party or DPP, won the election on Saturday Jan. 13 with 40% of the votes.

This makes the DPP, which favors independence, the first party to ever win three terms in a row in Taiwan’s history.

8. The young, progressive Thai opposition leader who was blocked from becoming prime minister was cleared of violating election laws

Pita Limjaroenrat, the young progressive Thai opposition leader who was blocked from being prime minister has been found not guilty of violating election laws.

The 43-year-old and his progressive Move Forward party had won the most votes during the general election in May 2023, when voters rejected the military government, which had ruled since taking power in a coup in 2014.

However, he was suspended from parliament and blocked from seeking the role of prime minister for allegedly violating election laws.

Thailand’s parliament then approved Srettha Thavisin, a real estate developer, as its prime minister, instead.

The constitutional court said it had suspended Pita to rule on whether he had disclosed he owned shares in a media company before running for office, which is mandatory under Thai law.

But Pita said that he had informed authorities that he owned less than 0.1% of shares in iTV, a media company that has not operated since 2007.

On Wednesday Jan. 24, the court found that Pita had not broken the law as iTV was not operating when he submitted his name for election.

9. This Salvadoran woman who was jailed for 30 years for having an abortion was finally freed

A 28-year-old Salvadoran woman who was jailed for 30 years for having an abortion has been freed, making her the last woman to be jailed for an abortion to be freed.

The woman, identified as Lilian, had been sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2015 after she gave birth in a hospital and the baby died 72 hours later due to complications.

The hospital then accused Lilian, who was 20 at the time, of not taking care of the fetus during her pregnancy.

Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in El Salvador, with no exceptions even for rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Lilian, who has a 10-year-old daughter, said she never intended to terminate her pregnancy but was found guilty of aggravated homicide and jailed.

10. Hundreds of people did a fascist salute in Italy, sparking outrage

A far-right rally in Italy’s Rome has sparked massive outrage after hundreds of men were seen doing a fascist salute on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The rally was part of an annual memorial commemoration of the deaths of three young members from the far-right Youth Front, a youth wing created by former fascists, in 1978.

The video, recorded by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, showed hundreds of men repeatedly raising their right arms in a coordinated, straight-armed salute, symbolic of Benito Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship in the early 20th century.

The men can be heard shouting “Present!” three times in unison, responding to someone yelling “For all fallen comrades,” a common rallying cry at neo-fascist events in Italy.

11. The queen of Denmark abdicated after 52 years

In a surprise announcement, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II has said she will abdicate early in 2024, after a reign lasting more than five decades.

The queen dropped the surprise announcement in her traditional New Year’s Eve speech after speaking about the Gaza and Ukraine wars, the climate crisis and artificial intelligence.

“In two weeks’ time I have been Queen of Denmark for 52 years. Such an amount will leave its mark on anybody – also on me! The time takes its toll, and the number of “ailments” increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past,” she said.

She mentioned that she made the decision after a period of reflection following surgery on her back in February 2023.

12. Two Iranian women journalists who were jailed for reporting on the death of Mahsa Amini were temporarily freed

These two Iranian women journalists who were jailed for reporting on Mahsa Amini’s death have been temporarily freed.

31-year-old Niloofar Hamedi and 36-year-old Elaheh Mohammadi were sentenced to 13 and 12 years in prison respectively in October 2022 for “conspiring with foreign intelligence agencies to undermine national security and spreading propaganda”.

They were arrested shortly after 22-year-old Amini died following her arrest by “morality” police for allegedly breaking the country’s mandatory hijab law in 2022.

Hamedi had been the first journalist to report on Amini’s death when she posted a photo of Amini’s parents hugging each other in the hospital after learning that Amini had died.

Mohammadi, meanwhile, was detained after she covered Amini’s funeral in her hometown in Saqqez, where the mass anti-government protests first broke out.

They were temporarily released on bail on Sunday Jan. 14, but have been banned from leaving the country.

The next day, the two were immediately charged for not wearing headscarves when they left prison.

13. However, Iran increased the prison sentence of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammedi and executed a 23-year-old man with a mental illness

Iranian authorities added 15 months to the prison sentence of jailed human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who received the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize, her family said.

Mohammadi has spent the last 30 years pushing for peaceful change in the country, calling to end to the country’s mandatory hijab law, violence against women, and the death penalty.

For her activism, she is currently serving 10 years in prison in Tehran for several charges, including “spreading anti-state propaganda”

Iran also executed a 23-year-old man who had a mental illness for taking part in the Mahsa Amini protests.

Mohammad Ghobadlou was arrested in September 2022 for allegedly running over a police officer with his car during the protests that broke out following the death of Amini.

His mother said that his actions had been affected by his bipolar disorder, not taking his medication and the overall situation in Iran at the time.

Amnesty International said that Iranian authorities had tortured Ghobadlou and not given his bipolar medication to force him to “confess”.

The rights group said that he was also denied access to a lawyer during what it said was an “unfair, sham trial”.

Ghobadlou was found guilty of murder and “corruption on Earth” and executed on Tuesday Jan. 23.

15. Former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern finally got married

Former New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has finally married her partner, Clarke Gayford, after she canceled their wedding in 2022 to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

The couple tied the knot in a private ceremony on Saturday Jan. 13 at a winery venue in Hawke’s Bay on the coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

“13.01.24  Worth the wait,” Ardern wrote on social media, sharing a photo of her embracing her husband and wearing a silk-like halter neck wedding dress by New Zealand fashion designer Juliette Hogan.

The couple began dating in 2014 after Gayford, a TV presenter, reportedly reached out to Jacinda discuss legislation.

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