It was a 'holy trifecta' over the weekend, with Ramadan, Easter and Passover all coinciding.
During this time, violent protests were sparked by the burning of the Quran in Sweden, and at least 152 Palestinians were "wounded by Israeli police" inside the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.
Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.
DID YOU KNOW?
Over the weekend, it was a special time for all three of the Abrahamic religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
What do you mean? Well, for Christians there was Easter, Jews had Passover, and Muslims are in the middle of the holy month Ramadan.
LET'S CATCH UP
- Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina announced the loss of their son. Georgina was pregnant with twins, and in an Instagram statement the couple said "only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness".
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met the Queen at Windsor Castle last Thursday, on their way to the Invictus Games. Prince Harry was reported to last be in the UK in July, whereas Meghan is not known to have been there since 2020. No photos of the surprise reunion have been released.
UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
- Russia has launched its offensive in eastern Ukraine. As CNN noted, the "battle for Donbas" has begun. Remember: Parts of the Donbas region had been under the control of Russian-backed separatists before the war began in February. Days before the invasion, President Putin officially recognised Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic as independent of Ukraine.
- At least seven were killed by Russian missile strikes in Lviv, a city in the west of the country. Until now, the city - just 65km from the country's border with Poland - had not suffered any civilian casualties.
"A mother who fled fighting in Ukraine's east, only for her son to be wounded by bombs in the west." - Channel 4 News report
- Over the weekend, a Russian warship damaged by an explosion sunk. The 510-crew ship - called Moskva and described as ‘the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet” - was leading Russia’s naval assault on Ukraine. It is the largest Russian ship to be sunk in action since World War 2. According to Russia, a fire caused an explosion - and while the ship was being towed to port, stormy seas caused it to sink. However, Ukraine claims it hit the ship with missiles - a claim backed up by the US.
- The UN is now reporting nearly five million people - 4.9 million at the moment - have fled Ukraine since the war began on February 24.
- Keeping an eye: over the weekend, Ukraine's military ignored a deadline to surrender in the city of Mariupol. If the city were to fall, it "would be Moscow’s biggest victory since it invaded Ukraine".
- Over the weekend, the footage below of an attempt to stop a Ukrainian flag showing on the front of Russia's embassy building went viral.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
- Prime Minister Johnson will outline his "version of events" on partygate today, as he faces MPs for the first time since the Easter break.
- Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, will address a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine in New York today. This follows Coveney's visit to Kyiv last week.
PIN DROP - WHAT'S GOING ON IN SWEDEN?
There was unrest over the weekend after a right-wing group burned the Quran, leading to at least 40 being injured.
What happened? The leader of a Danish far-right political party called Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Quran - the religious book of Islam - during a campaign visit to Sweden, and suggested he would do so again.
In what is understood - but not confirmed - to have been a response to this, violent protests broke out. However, many media outlets have cited police saying some people "with links to criminal gangs" took advantage of the situation.
"Paludan – who intends to stand in the September poll but does not yet have the necessary signatures to secure his candidacy – has gone on a declared “tour” of Sweden, visiting cities and towns with large Muslim populations with the intent of burning copies of the Qur’an during the holy month of Ramadan." - Context from The Guardian
According to CNN, at least 26 police officers are amongst those who have been injured.
KEEPING AN EYE...
According to Al Jazeera, at least 152 Palestinians were "wounded by Israeli police" inside the compound of the Al Aqsa mosque - the third holiest site in Islam. The site is also sacred in Judaism, and known to Jews as Temple Mount.
Friday is an important day of prayer for Muslims, who are in the middle of their holy month of Ramadan. The Jewish holiday of Passover began on Friday.
Political fallout: The only Arab party in Israel's fragile coalition government said it was "suspending its involvement until further notice".
Worth noting: The move currently has no impact, as parliament is on recess until May 8, but it remains to be seen whether or not the party will have decided to rejoin at that point. If they do not rejoin the coalition, it would trigger Israel's fifth election in three years.
What's the latest? Overnight, Israel launched a strike on what they said was a Hamas "weapons manufacturing site" in Gaza. No casualties have been reported thus far. Some reporting suggests this strike was in response to a missile launched from Gaza into Israel on Monday, which Israel intercepted.
"The developments compounded the tensions in Jerusalem, which have risen sharply in recent weeks after an unusually deadly wave of Arab attacks in Israel killed 14 people, and after an ensuing Israeli crackdown in the occupied West Bank killed at least 15." - wider context by The New York Times
- BBC News: Newspaper headlines: Foreign spies 'hack No 10' and Ronaldo's grief
- The Guardian: Jacob Rees-Mogg says civil servants must return to the office
- The Financial Times: Donald Trump and the Republicans' midterm dilemma
- Al Jazeera: Battle for the Donbas has begun: Zelensky
- The Irish Times: Sinn Féin had a great Covid. But a bad Ukraine.
WATCHING OUT FOR...
Netflix has released a trailer for ‘Our Father’. It tells the story of a well-known fertility doctor who was secretly using his own sperm. Decades later, his “children” grouped together to pursue justice. It releases May 11 - and we will certainly be watching out for this one!
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Don't mess with the hangry ones.