Jul 03 2019

Six In The Morning Wednesday 3 July 2019



By killing whales, is Japan trying to revive a dying industry?

Updated 0753 GMT (1553 HKT) July 3, 2019

For the whale hunters, the inaugural expedition was a big success.

Hours after heading out to sea, their ships returned with the carcasses of two freshly harpooned minke whales, their huge, gaping maws draped off the sterns of the vessels.

“The catch was much bigger than expected,” said Yoshifumi Kai, chairman of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association. “I’m very happy.”

At a ceremony before the fleet went out on July 1, Kai had given an emotional speech to an assembly of whalers, law-makers and the mayor of the northern Japanese port city of Kushiro.

Chinese border guards put secret surveillance app on tourists’ phones

Software extracts emails, texts and contacts and could be used to track movements

Chinese border police are secretly installing surveillance apps on the phones of visitors and downloading personal information as part of the government’s intensive scrutiny of the remote Xinjiang region, the Guardian can reveal.

The Chinese government has curbed freedoms in the province for the local Muslim population, installing facial recognition cameras on streets and in mosques and reportedly forcing residents to download software that searches their phones.

An investigation by the Guardian and international partners has found that travellers are being targeted when they attempt to enter the region from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.

Black MEP ‘asked to leave’ European Parliament building

‘I know I’m visibly different. I don’t have the privilege to hide my identity’

A newly-elected black MEP has said he was asked to leave the European Parliament on the first day of its new five-year session.

Magid Magid, the MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber, said a passer-by stopped him on his first day in the role and asked if he was lost.

The stranger then told him to leave the building.

“I know I’m visibly different,” he said on Twitter.

“I don’t have the privilege to hide my identity. I’m BLACK & my name is Magid. I don’t intend to try fit in. Get used to it!”

Pictures, cartoons, memes – and now a movie: the afterlife of Alan Kurdi

It’s been nearly four years since harrowing images of a drowned toddler washed up on a Turkish beach became a global symbol of the plight of Syrian refugees. Now Alan Kurdi’s tragic fate has inspired a film – one that has left his family distraught.

The two-year-old child and his family were attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece on September 2, 2015, when their overcrowded rubber boat capsized off the Turkish coast, killing Alan (his name initially misreported as Aylan), his 4-year-old brother Ghalib and their mother Rehanna.

By then, thousands of children had already perished along the same perilous route to Europe, killed by Syria’s gruesome civil war or drowned at sea. Thousands more would continue to die in the years that followed. But it was a picture of Kurdi in sneakers, blue shorts and a red T-shirt, lying face down in the sand, that captured the public’s attention and drew a deep emotional reaction around the world. The image was heartbreaking but not gruesome, the child’s face invisible and his pose suggesting sleep, rather than death.

‘Good Samaritans should not be prosecuted for helping people’

Amnesty International’s latest report from the US-Mexico border focuses on activists looking to assist would-be migrants. Its author Brian Griffey says some of the state’s steps amount to “contempt for the rule of law.”

Brian Griffey: What we have found is that the central human rights violation from American authorities has been the targeting for unlawful restrictions of people defending migrants’ rights, based on their political opinions. This includes warrantless surveillance and seizures of information and electronic devices.

It’s highly concerning to see that these individuals, who put themselves between the abuse of government officials and the people who are having their rights violated, become themselves the new primary target for human rights violations. We’ve seen it in war zones all over the world, we’ve seen it in authoritarian states and now we’re seeing it on the US-Mexican border.

Libya migrants: Attack kills dozens at detention centre

An attack has killed up to 40 migrants at a detention centre on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, government officials say.

Some 80 people were injured at the centre, which the UN-backed government says was hit by an air strike.

Anti-government forces led by warlord Gen Khalifa Haftar have accused government forces of bombarding it.

Most of the dead are believed to be Africans, attempting to reach Europe on clandestine sea crossings from Libya.