According to The New York Times, the Israeli military has discovered a sophisticated tunnel system running from Gaza into southern Israel. While Hamas, the militant Palestinian faction that currently controls the Gaza Strip, has downplayed the significance of the discovery, the Israelis have deemed it a “substantial” find. Several kidnappings and attacks in the past decade were made possible by several different tunnels through which militants would cross over into Israel. The find comes at a time when tensions are rapidly increasing between the Israelis and Palestinians, with the Palestinians sending rockets into Israel, prompting airstrikes in return.
According to Reuters, the Turkish government has banned the use of Twitter after the social media platform was supposedly used to reveal corruption in Prime Minister Erdogan’s administration. The Turkish leader vowed to rid the country of Twitter, no matter the thoughts of the international community. The top global Twitter trend following the ban was #TwitterisblockedinTurkey, and protesters took to the streets, calling the Prime Minister “Twitler,” among other things. Shortly following the ban, Twitter sent out a tweet to its Turkish users, instructing them on how to tweet using SMS text messaging. There is uncertainty as to whether or not the site will be available once again to the Turkish people any time soon.
According to The Washington Post, U.S. Immigration authorities discovered a “stash house” in the Houston area where more than a hundred foreign nationals were being held. A total of 115 people, adults and children, were found living in squalor conditions with one bathroom, no hot water and no shoes, taken by smugglers to prevent their escape. Windows were boarded and doors were locked from the outside. Countries of origin included Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They were allegedly being held in the U.S. illegally until a family member would pay their ransom.
According to the BBC, Pope Francis denounced the mafia at a vigil, saying, “Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can’t bring it with you to your next life. Repent.” The vigil, held annually, is for the family members of victims of the mafia. The pope, who wrote a book on the subject when he was an archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2005, expressed his desire that the church do more to confront mobsters. He especially wants to sever church ties with mafia dons who claim to be god-fearing Catholics.