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SBS News in Easy English 18 October 2023

Welcome to SBS News in Easy English. I’m Ciara Hain.
Israel has denied responsibility for an airstrike on a hospital in Gaza City which Hamas health authorities say has killed hundreds of people.
The Gaza health ministry, which is run by Hamas, says at least 500 people have been killed in an attack on a Baptist Monastery on Tuesday evening.
Israel says it is working to confirm the attack, which would be by far the deadliest Israeli defence airstrike in five wars fought since 2008, but has suggested that a “failed rocket launch” by Islamic Jihad militants is the cause.
Palestinian Representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has said he believes Israel is responsible and called for a ceasefire in the conflict.
“Those responsible for this crime should face justice, and should face accountability. We as an Arab group demand immediately a ceasefire, because the continuation of the war, it means the killing of more Palestinians every moment.”
This comes amid retaliation measures from Israeli forces following attacks by Hamas militants which have killed at least 1400 people in Israel, leading to the deaths of at least 3000 people in Gaza.
Advocates have called on the government to stop the prosecutions of two Australian whistleblowers, saying there is nothing to be gained in continuing their cases.
A group of crossbench MPs and advocates have made the appeal from Parliament House, arguing that the cases against David McBride and Richard Boyle should be stopped.
Mr McBride was the source for an ABC story in 2020 alleging some Australian troops had committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
Rawan Arraf from the Australian Centre for International Centre says the pursuit of the whistleblower undermines the pursuit of accountability for those involved in wrongdoing.
“We should be proud of the process that Australia has set up to ensure that there is accountability for the allegations of serious wrongdoing – war crimes – that occurred in Afghanistan in our names. We should be proud of the people who came forward to ensure that that process actually occurred.. And David McBride is the first person that will face trial for the allegations of wrongdoing – of war crimes – in Afghanistan. This is a serious injustice.”
The national intelligence chiefs of Australia and the United States say the Chinese Government is engaged in the largest theft of intellectual property in history.
ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess and FBI director Christopher Wray have met in California for a conference on Chinese hacking, the first -eve r public meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership.
The group says a public meeting, with representatives from England, New Zealand and Canada also in attendance, is necessary because of the level of the threat posed by China’s spying activities.
Mr Burgess says that it is “no surprise” that China is attempting to steal Australian innovation, and that ASIO had detected and disrupted a plot to infiltrate a prestigious Australian institution in the last month.
Australia’s players have emulated their cricket counterparts by defending the Ashes in London, defeating New Zealand two-nil to retain a trophy last contested 69 years ago.
The win ensured Australia keep the century-old Anzac Soccer Ashes trophy, which was recently uncovered in a Queensland garage having been missing since the mid-1950s.
The victory brings an end to four-match losing streak ahead of crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers next month against the Bangladeshi and Palestinian teams.

I’m Ciara Hain. This is SBS News in Easy English.

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