World roundup: December 1 2023
Stories from South Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Russia, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
December 1, 1640: Portuguese nobles declare John (João) IV (d. 1656) their new king. This is significant in that it meant they were declaring an end to the 60 year old Iberian Union, rejecting the rule of Spanish King Philip IV (d. 1665). The 1640-1668 Portuguese Restoration War ensued, which—as any present day map of Europe will confirm—ended with a Portuguese victory and confirmation of the new monarchy.
December 1, 1918: The “South Slavic” (Slovenian and Croatian) parts of Austria-Hungary are united with Serbia and Montenegro as the “Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.” This name was changed in 1929 to the “Kingdom of Yugoslavia” and again after World War II to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This experiment in nation building eventually failed—violently, in case you missed it—in the 1990s.
Obviously Friday’s big story was the expiration of what had been a seven day ceasefire and detainee exchange process. Negotiations on extending the ceasefire for at least one more day broke down, apparently over disagreements regarding which hostages Hamas would have released on Friday. According to Reuters the Israeli government insisted on the release of the remaining women in Gazan custody and Hamas leaders balked at the idea of releasing female active-duty Israeli soldiers. Consequently they failed to produce a new list of hostages to be released by Friday morning and the Israeli military (IDF) resumed its campaign. Israeli reports say Hamas and/or other Gazan militants fired a rocket barrage out of the territory before the IDF started bombing again, but I’m not sure if that’s been confirmed. Rocket fire out of Gaza has resumed, regardless of who shot first.