Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives for a party meeting at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem on May 20, 2024. Israel on May 20 slammed as a "historical disgrace" an application by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for an arrest warrant for Netanyahu. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes court sought arrest warrants Monday for leaders of Israel and Hamas, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over actions taken during their seven-month war.

While Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, do not face imminent arrest, the announcement by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel’s isolation over the war in Gaza.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) prior to a welcoming ceremony in Buda Castle of Budapest, Hungary on May 9, 2024. The Chinese President pays a three day official visit to Budapest from the evening of May 8, 2024. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

On May 9, 2024, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hungary, marking the final leg of his European tour and emphasising Beijing's strengthening ties with one of its closest allies within the European Union. Amidst ongoing global trade disputes and the divisive situation in Ukraine, Xi's visit to Hungary symbolises a significant effort by China to bolster its relationship with Europe through one of its most cooperative EU member states.

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French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping deliver a joint statement at the Elysee Palace, as part of the Chinese president's two-day state visit in France, in Paris on May 6, 2024. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping, on a state visit to France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, expressed his hope for China and France to illuminate a brighter future together, marking a significant moment in diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

Xi’s agenda for the visit includes discussions on enhancing China-France and China-Europe relations in light of new global circumstances. He plans to engage in talks covering major international and regional issues, aiming to align strategies and further diplomatic and economic cooperation.

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Maker Faire Rome, the celebrated festival of innovation, has officially opened its calls for participants for the 2024 edition, scheduled to take place from October 25th to 27th at the Gazometro Ostiense. Organized by the Rome Chamber of Commerce, this event stands as a dynamic showcase connecting innovators from various sectors such as digital manufacturing, robotics, AI, agritech, and more.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is reportedly on the brink of issuing arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for alleged war crimes committed during conflicts with Palestinian militants. This action by the Hague-based court has sparked fierce reactions, especially from U.S. lawmakers who have supported Israel unconditionally.

The ICC's probe, initiated in 2021, delves into activities dating back to the 2014 Gaza War, examining actions by both Israeli military and Palestinian groups.

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China's President Xi Jinping (R) speaks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 26, 2024. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to France, Serbia and Hungary from May 5 to 10, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Monday. Xi Jinping's upcoming European tour in early May comes after high-level visits by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The visit signals a crucial diplomatic endeavour amid escalating tensions between China and the United States and the European Union.

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Conductor Sakari Oramo & Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra Photo: Minna Hatinen

The Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra has been selected to perform at the prestigious BBC Proms in London, making them the fourth Finnish orchestra to participate in the world's largest classical music festival. This historic performance is scheduled for August 25, 2024, at the Royal Albert Hall.

In a unique collaboration, students from the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki will join forces with their peers from the Royal College of Music, which is recognized as the global leader in music and performing arts education.

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As inflation in the Eurozone decelerates to a more manageable rate of 2.4% in March 2023, the European Central Bank (ECB) considers easing its stringent monetary policies, introduced to combat the peak levels seen at the end of 2022. This shift arrives amidst a declining trend in energy prices and the effective tightening of monetary policy.

Olli Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland, hinted at a potential easing of monetary restrictions by mid-2024, contingent on the continued deceleration of inflation rates.

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A giant poster announcing the upcoming European elections, stucks on the facade of the European Parliament building, in Strasbourg, eastern France. The European Parliament elections are planned to be held from June 6 to 9, 2024. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

A report released by leading economists from France, Germany, and Italy has launched a critical analysis of the European Union's current approach to research and development, suggesting that the EU is significantly trailing in the global innovation race. According to the study, the lack of presence among the world's top tech companies and startups signifies a dire need for a strategic pivot towards more cutting-edge and disruptive innovation projects.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and President of Finland Alexander Stubb (L) signing bilateral documents during their meeting in Kyiv on April 3rd, 2024, amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Photo by HANDOUT / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP / LEHTIKUVA

In a significant move underscoring Finland’s unwavering support for Ukraine amidst ongoing conflict, Finnish President Alexander Stubb embarked on a landmark visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 3, 2024. The visit, marked by key discussions and agreements, symbolizes a deepened commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and stability in the face of Russian aggression.

During this visit, President Stubb, alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, inked a pivotal 10-year agreement aimed at bolstering security cooperation and offering sustained support to Ukraine.

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