"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” -- President Harry S. Truman

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The human mind compartmentalises, according to psychologists, to avoid distress from having to address morally or cognitively conflicting experiences together.

That seems to be a prerequisite for holding high office in Washington. It was on full display by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week as he testified before both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In the House committee, he said the United States was ready to punish more local police and judicial officers for “undermining Hong Kong’s basic autonomy”.

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) provides a detailed analysis of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 and the Israeli assault on Gaza. The report finds both sides committed war crimes but concludes there is no evidence to support the claim that Hamas engaged in mass rape during its rampage in southern Israel.

Hamas accepts a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate over the details, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters today, adding that it was up to Washington to ensure that Israel abides by it.

Hamas accepts the UN Security Council resolution in regard to the ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops and swap of prisoners of war for detainees held by Israel, he said.

People’s Liberation Army fighter jets escorted a Dutch helicopter that violated Chinese airspace under the auspice of a UN mission. Beijing warned the Netherlands to avoid such incidents in the future.

The Dutch military has created a dangerous situation in the East China Sea after using a UN mission as a cover-up, Chinese Ministry of Defense representative Zhang Xiaogang has said.

He added that Beijing urges the Netherlands to limit any activities of their armed forces in the region and vowed decisive counter-measures in response to provocations near China’s territory.

  

Israel has vowed to persist with its military operation in Gaza, saying it won’t engage in “meaningless” negotiations with Hamas, shortly after the United Nations Security Council overwhelmingly approved a US-backed ceasefire plan intended to bring an end to the eight-month war.

Israel’s representative to the UN, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, emphasized at a UNSC meeting Monday that her country wants to “ensure that Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future.”