Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita breaks down the top stories around the world.
AKIKO FUJITA: In our worldview today, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is continuing his visit to the Middle East, meeting with top officials in Egypt. Blinken met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his foreign minister, highlighting Washington's close partnership with Cairo in halting recent fighting between Israel and Hamas. The secretary is now headed to Jordan for his final stop on a trip aimed at shoring support for a ceasefire that ended 11 days of violence. On Tuesday, Blinken pledged $5 and 1/2 million in disaster relief to rebuild the Gaza Strip and nearly $33 million for the UN Palestinian Aid Agency.
Belarus's dictator is accusing Western countries of waging a, quote, "hybrid war" in his first public comment since intercepting a Ryanair flight to arrest an opposition journalist. Speaking to parliament, President Alexander Lukashenko accused Roman Prostasevich of, quote, "plotting a rebellion against the government," without giving details. He also added that all ill wishers have crossed many red lines. Lukashenko's comments come days after he deployed a fighter jet to ground a Ryanair flight headed from Greece to Lithuania. The EU has since called for all airlines to avoid airspace over Belarus while its state carrier has canceled flights to Paris and London. It's been subject to EU and US sanctions since Lukashenko crackdown on pro-democracy protests following a disputed election last year.
And over in the UK, some explosive allegations from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former chief advisor about the leader's handling of COVID-19. Testifying before parliament, Dominic Cummings said Johnson was slow to impose a lockdown because he thought COVID-19 was a scare story. Cummings told lawmakers that Johnson even considered getting injected with the virus on live TV to show it was benign. The UK leader, of course, was later hospitalized with the virus and ended up in intensive care. Cummings also said UK HealthCare minister Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying in government meetings on multiple occasions.