Good morning. We cover the murder of an Al Jazeera journalist, China’s precarious wheat crop and rising religious violence in India.
Journalist killed in West Bank
Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera, was fatally shot in the head while reporting in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and military accountable. The Israeli military said it was not clear who shot her and that it was investigating the possibility that Palestinian gunmen could be blamed.
Another journalist there said there had been no clashes between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli army when the shots were fired at the journalists. She said she believed they were the target.
Details: Abu Akleh was wearing a protective vest that identified her as a member of the news media, video shows. Another Al Jazeera journalist, who was also wearing a protective vest, was shot in the back.
Profile: Abu Akleh, 51, was a household name in the Middle East.
context: In the wake of several attacks by Palestinians that have killed 19 Israelis and foreigners since late March, the Israeli military has raided Jenin. At least three of the suspected perpetrators of the recent attacks were from the area.
Politics: Israel achieved a measure of political stability on Wednesday after Raam, a small Arab party, said it would join the fragile governing coalition.
War disrupts China’s wheat harvest
Ukraine’s wheat exports have been largely halted since Russia’s invasion, while drought has damaged crops in India, East Africa and the US
Now China’s harvest is uncertain. In March, the country’s agriculture minister said the wheat crop would be the worst on record due to heavy rainfall last fall.
Understand the supply chain crisis
The corona measures in the country have interrupted agriculture and slowed down fertilizer imports. High energy prices have reduced global fertilizer production, and many farmers around the world are using less, contributing to smaller harvests.
Background: Wheat prices have risen nearly 80 percent since July. Regions dependent on Russian and Ukrainian crops face particularly high commodity prices, such as Germany, where food costs are driving record inflation.
Bet: China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of wheat, and its jitters about its own supplies could ripple through the global supply chain. A bad harvest could further increase global food prices, fueling hunger and poverty.
State of the war:
When conflicts turned into violence in recent months, the authorities issued swift, unilateral punishments for Muslims. They sent bulldozers into their neighborhoods, demolishing shops and homes, bypassing legal proceedings and skipping full investigations.
“I fear we are at the stage of perpetual violence,” said Asim Ali, a researcher who has studied the rise of Hindu nationalism.
Analysis: national right-wing groups have called for violence against Muslims, encouraged by the silence of the country’s top leaders. They increasingly turn religious occasions into political events and promote a Hindu view of India that relegates minorities to second-class citizens.
History: In the past, while often deadlier, such collisions were usually caused by a local problem and confined to a single area. Now, thanks to social media, the right-wing provocations are inspiring local groups across the country.
Sedition: India’s highest court has banned use of a colonial-era sedition law used to quash dissent. Hundreds of people who were in jail under the law were eligible for bail.
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How the supply chain crisis unfolded
The pandemic caused the problem. The highly complex and interconnected global supply chain is in turmoil. Much of the crisis has been traced to the Covid-19 outbreak, which led to an economic slowdown, mass layoffs and a shutdown of production. This is what happened next:
ART AND IDEAS
Eurovision 2022, according to the numbers
The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event. It’s also almost certainly the kitschiest. This year’s competition takes place this week in Turin, Italy, where nations compete for the (non-monetary) glory of a win, as well as an official winner’s trophy in the form of a 1950s microphone. Here’s what you should know.
66: Years since the competition started in 1956. (It was initially a friendly between public television broadcasters.)
40: Countries participating in this year’s competition. In an unusually political move, organizers have barred Russia from competition “in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine”.
1974: Year in which Abba won the competition, with the song ‘Waterloo’.
183 million: Total viewership of last year’s game.
Three: Maximum length in minutes for each song, according to the competition rules.
33,938: Population of the smallest competing country: San Marino, a landlocked enclave in Italy.