A study in the Alps has revealed that alpine ecosystems may have trouble retaining vital elements like nitrogen that are necessary for maintaining plant growth and biodiversity due to reduced snow cover and vegetation shifts.ICN

A new study of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the United Kingdom who were diagnosed with mpox (the disease formerly known as monkeypox) found they often encountered difficulties accessing medical testing and treatment.A

Albanians protesting official corruption set fire to the main door of the Tirana city hall, and demanded the resignation of mayor Erion Valiaj, a member of the ruling Socialist Party. Several officials working under him have been detained by special prosecutors in the 5D Construction case.BNE

Russia has targeted Ukrainian gas storage tanks. Ukraine possesses one of Europe’s largest underground gas storage facilities with a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters. This supply is critical for supplying Europe with natural gas and Germany is unpleased with Russia for strikes, as injections into the gas supply was being performed so that Europe would have a stockpile, and now that practice may be unsafe (though why Europe thought stockpiling natural gas in a warzone was a good idea is beyond me).BNE

Armenia has agreed to return several villages to Azerbaijan in an “important milestone” towards a peace deal. Azerbaijan already partly controlled some of the settlements involved, and the settlements are deserted but strategically important due to their proximity to the Armenian main highway north towards Georgia, as well as a pipeline transporting gas from Russia.E

Israel struck an Iraqi military base in Babil Province, killing one Popular Mobilization Forces member and injuring eight others. The PMF is connected with Iran’s military.BNE

The Sahel region in West Africa is becoming a major route for drug trafficking - mainly cocaine and cannabis resin. In 2022, nearly 1500 kilograms of cocaine were seized there, compared to 13 kilograms per year between 2013 and 2020. This drug trafficking provides financial resources to rebel armed groups.AN Mazowe district of Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland Central province is struggling with prolonged severe drought, threatening the country’s maize supply, and impacting business of its grain millers.AN

Nigeria’s oil production target is 1.7 million barrels per day, but is only reaching 1.2 million barrels, due to pipeline vandalism, theft, and maintenance activities.AN

Xi Jinping has announced a major revamp of the military, creating a new Army Information Support Force which will be responsible for dealing with hybrid warfare.RT

Kenya and Ethiopia have joined the China-led International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) initiative, which aims to build a permanent base on the moon by the mid-2030s. This follows more than a dozen agencies and organizations, including the space agencies of Egypt and South Africa.SCMP

Ecuador’s President Noboa Friday issued a decree establishing yet another state of emergency due to a “serious internal commotion and public calamity” due to an energy crisis in addition to drug-trafficking gang crimes. Power cuts last up to about eight hours a day. A drop in water levels at the Mazar reservoir, the second largest in Ecuador, which feed three hydroelectric power plants which provide a third of the national demand, has led to power outages. A drought in Colombia has meant that they cannot get electricity from there, either.MP