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In today's Morning Brief, an Israeli attack that killed a team of mostly international aid workers this week in Gaza has ignited global outrage. But their deaths follow months of attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of others doing similar work in the war-torn territory.

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This week's airstrike against a food convoy adds to Gaza's already high death toll for aid workers

An Israeli attack that killed a team of mostly international aid workers this week in Gaza has ignited global outrage. But their deaths follow months of attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of others doing similar work in the war-torn territory. 

Israel has said the strike against the World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy was an accident — a claim supported by the U.S. but refuted by others including WCK founder José Andrés, who alleges the vehicles were "systematically" targeted.

Andrés said the seven deaths add to an already staggering number of Palestinian humanitarian workers killed since Israel declared war against Hamas, in retaliation for the Oct. 7 attacks.

WATCH | Aid groups in Gaza fear for safety: 

More aid groups halt work in Gaza after foreign workers killed

2 months ago
Duration 2:32

One of the slain WCK workers was a Palestinian. Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, who was from Rafah in southern Gaza, had only been working as a driver and translator for the group for a few months, according to his family. 

According to the United Nations, he was one of the some 200 humanitarian aid workers killed in Gaza since the war began. 

Most of them, 173, worked for the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the principal aid agency in Gaza. UNRWA had approximately 13,000 staffers in Gaza before the outset of the war, providing humanitarian assistance, health care, education, social services and emergency relief. 

Israel has accused UNRWA staff of being involved in the Oct. 7 attacks, which led to several nations, including Canada, to temporarily suspend their funding to the agency. Israel has also prevented UNRWA from distributing food and humanitarian aid in the besieged northern part of the territory.

Other groups that have suffered losses include the Palestine Red Crescent Society which, in a recent online post, said 26 of its people have died in the conflict, 15 of which it alleged, without providing more detail, were "targeted" by Israel. 

Doctors Without Borders says five of its Palestinian staff and volunteers have been killed so far — including two who died in an attack on the Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza.

"Nowhere in Gaza is safe. Israeli forces have repeatedly attacked health workers and medical facilities, making it nearly impossible for us to continue to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance," Doctors Without Borders said on its website last month. Read the full story here.

Not too early to be thinking about Christmas

Female dancers in tights warm up for an audition.

(Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Dancers warm up during auditions on Wednesday at New York's Radio City Music Hall for the 2024 production of the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes.

In brief

Architect Renée Daoust and her team say they're considering a lawsuit to get what they argue is rightfully theirs: the $3.5-million contract to design and build a monument in Ottawa to commemorate Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Last June, the Daoust team found out they'd won a jury competition in 2021 that was supposed to choose the design team for the monument. But on the morning of June 19, 2023, the federal government informed the Daoust team that it would not be getting the contract. A few hours later, at a news conference, the government announced that another team, led by western Indigenous artist Adrian Stimson, had offered the winning design. Ottawa explained its decision by citing an online survey, conducted in 2021, that found that Stimson's design was the favourite among members of the armed forces, military veterans and their families. Read the full story here.

WATCH | Afghanistan memorial has been mired in controversy:  

Quebec architects threaten to sue over Afghanistan war monument

2 months ago
Duration 1:59

Progress made protecting the world's forests was thwarted by last year's historic wildfire season in Canada, according to a new report. In an annual survey published Thursday, the World Resources Institute, a research group, found that global tree cover loss outside of the tropics increased 24 per cent in 2023. The change is attributed to the enormous loss of tree cover last year in Canada. Canada's wildfire season was the worst on record, with five times more tree cover lost due to fire in 2023 than the year before. According to the tree cover report, Canada accounted for more than half of the world's forest loss due to fire last year, and 92 per cent of the forest lost in the country was due to fire. Read the full story here.

Inarguably bigger and more seasoned than it was when it was born from the ashes of the Second World War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — the West's great military alliance — celebrated a milestone Thursday: three-quarters of a century of keeping the peace in Europe. Canada was one of the founding members of NATO and pushed at the time to make it a political and economic forum as well as a military alliance. But while Canada still contributes to and plays important roles within NATO, Ottawa has appeared increasingly off-side with its NATO allies on the political and policy issues of defence spending and preparation. That has led some allies and critics to wonder whether Canada's influence inside NATO is on the wane. Read the full analysis from CBC's Murray Brewster here.

WATCH: How Canada lost its NATO edge: 

How Canada lost its NATO edge

2 months ago
Duration 7:58

Since Pornhub was founded by Montreal university students in 2007, it has completely transformed how people make and access porn online. In an era of free everything online, Pornhub flourished by allowing anyone with an internet connection to upload pornographic videos to the site, regardless of whether they owned or appeared in them. But Pornhub, which bills itself as the world's leading free porn site, is now attempting to adapt to the times itself. It's facing a changing landscape of how people make and consume adult content, a reputation marred by accusations of child sexual abuse and pressure to abide by potentially invasive age verification laws. Read the full story here.

On March 25, American officials published an urgent announcement: dairy cows in Texas, Kansas and New Mexico were falling sick. Tests on a cow throat swab and raw milk samples all confirmed an unusual finding: for the first time, cattle were catching a dangerous form of bird flu. Within days, highly pathogenic avian flu — a type of influenza A known as H5N1 — was identified in at least a dozen herds across six states, from Texas in the south, up to Michigan and Idaho on the Canadian border. Louise Moncla, an avian influenza researcher and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was stunned. "The overwhelming feeling that all of us have is that this is mostly just incredibly strange," she said. "To our knowledge, I've never seen a cow be infected with any influenza A viruses." But the curveball wasn't entirely unexpected. And it may be a harbinger of more species-jumps to come, including the rising possibility of H5N1 appearing in pigs — which could offer it a new route to better adapt to infect humans, inching the world closer to a bird flu pandemic. Read the full story here.

WATCH | Human bird flu case linked to U.S. dairy cattle outbreaks:

Human bird flu case linked to U.S. dairy cattle outbreaks

2 months ago
Duration 2:32

Now here's some good news to start your Thursday: Born in New Brunswick without a left hand and forearm, Marissa Gorjizadeh, 26, is now a certified fitness trainer and bodybuilder in Halifax. She's preparing for her fifth bodybuilding competition. Watch her story here.

Front Burner: Is Canadian aluminum being green-washed?

Global aluminum producer Rio Tinto says it's a green mining giant, but a new Radio-Canada investigation calls that into question

Today in history: April 4

1893: The first session in Queen's Park — Ontario's legislative building — opens.

1967: Roland Michener, a diplomat and former House of Commons Speaker, is named Canada's 20th governor general.

1983: The space shuttle Challenger roars into orbit on its maiden voyage.

1993: Alfred Butts dies at age 93. While an unemployed architect in Rhinebeck, N.Y., in 1931, he invented the board game Scrabble.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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