- The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has escalated, resulting in one of the deadliest nights in the 11-week battle. Palestinian health officials reported at least 70 people killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting Maghazi, with many victims being women and children. The strikes continued into the next day, causing widespread destruction. The situation prompted Pope Francis to express concern in his Christmas message. The toll on civilians is severe, with displaced residents seeking shelter. Israel is reviewing reports of civilian damage, while Hamas denies operating in densely populated areas. The conflict has resulted in over 20,400 Gazan casualties and intensified diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire.
- Czechs mourned the victims of a mass shooting at a Prague university building where a student gunman killed 14 people. Security was tightened around schools and public buildings across the country. At Charles University headquarters, crowds paid tribute to the victims, and Prime Minister Petr Fiala and U.S. Ambassador Bijan Sabet were present. The university cancelled all lectures and events. The Health Ministry reported 27 people admitted or treated at six Prague hospitals. Police revealed details, stating the suspect likely shot himself after being cornered by police. The Interior Minister urged the media not to give publicity to the gunman. The government declared a national day of mourning on Saturday.
- China’s military activities near Taiwan continue as Taiwan reported Chinese warplanes and warships around the island, including aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait. The incidents come as Taiwan approaches its Jan. 13 presidential and parliamentary elections, with relations with China being a major point of contention. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense detected Chinese J-10, J-11, and J-16 fighters, along with early warning aircraft, in various areas around Taiwan. Ten aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, prompting Taiwan to send its own forces to monitor the situation. China has not commented on its recent military activities near Taiwan, which it had previously described as preventing “collusion” between Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan’s government rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims and emphasises the island’s right to determine its future. The Democratic Progressive Party’s Lai Ching-te, considered a separatist by Beijing, is the front-runner in the presidential race, while the opposition Kuomintang supports closer ties with Beijing.
What to watch out for this week
- Some economic data with a minor impact is scheduled to be released this week, however, investors are mainly focused on enjoying the festive season and having a well-deserved break from the markets. FTMO would like to wish our cherished traders and readers a holiday season filled with joy, laughter, and the warmth of shared moments! May the magic of Christmas and the promise of a new year bring you peace, prosperity, and endless possibilities. Thank you for being part of our journey, and may the festive spirit envelop you and your loved ones in love and happiness.Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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