Six In The Morning Saturday 26 August 2023

Ukrainian commander hails breakthrough in south

Ukrainian forces pushing forward in Zaporizhzhia after taking Robotyne

A Washington-based think tank has said that Ukrainian forces were pushing forward in Zaporizhzhia after taking the village of Robotyne earlier this week.

The Institute for the Study of War in its latest assessment cited pro-Kremlin military bloggers expressing concern over a lack of reinforcements and troop locations in the area, while the Ukrainian General Staff that same day claimed unspecified successes south and southeast of Robotyne.

Two men accused of lighting wildfires in Greece are arrested

One man confessed to having set four other fires on island of Evia as Greek authorities struggle to contain blazes

Fire department officials in Greece have arrested two men for allegedly starting wildfires on purpose, while hundreds of firefighters battled blazes that have killed at least 21 people in the past week.

One man was arrested on the Greek island of Evia for allegedly setting fire to dried grass in the Karystos area. The fire department said the man confessed to having set four other fires in the area in July and August.

A second man arrested in the Larissa area of central Greece was also accused of intentionally setting fire to dried vegetation.

Kenya minister gives rare apology for hourslong blackout

A widespread blackout across the country left passengers at the main airport in Nairobi stranded in darkness after the backup generator failed to turn on.

Kenya’s transport minister apologized to the country on Friday after passengers at the main airport in Nairobi — one of the most important hubs on the continent — were left without power, amid a widespread electricity blackout.

“I’m really sorry for what has happened at the [Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)] with the blackout,” Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen said on X, in a rare public apology by a government official.

“There is no excuse worth reporting and there is no reason why our airport is in darkness.”

Islamic State group nearly doubled its Mali territory in under a year, UN says

Islamic State extremists have almost doubled the territory they control in Mali in less than a year, and their al-Qaida-linked rivals are capitalizing on the deadlock and perceived weakness of armed groups that signed a 2015 peace agreement, United Nations experts said in a new report.

The stalled implementation of the peace deal and sustained attacks on communities have offered the IS group and al-Qaida affiliates a chance “to re-enact the 2012 scenario,” they said.

That’s when a military coup took place in March and rebels in the north formed an Islamic state two months later. The extremist rebels were forced from power in the north with the help of a French-led military operation, but they moved from the arid north to more populated central Mali in 2015 and remain active.

The panel of experts said in the report that the impasse in implementing the agreement — especially the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants into society — is empowering al-Qaida-linked Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin known as JNIM to vie for leadership in northern Mali.

Fukushima residents react cautiously after start of treated water release


Fish auction prices at a port south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant fell Friday amid uncertainty over how seafood consumers will respond to the release of treated and diluted radioactive wastewater into the ocean.

The plant, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, began sending the treated water into the Pacific on Thursday amid protests at home and in nearby countries that are adding political and diplomatic pressures to the economic worries.

Hideaki Igari, a middleman at the Numanouchi fishing port, said prices of flounder, Fukushima’s signature fish known as Joban-mono, was more than 10% lower at the Friday morning auction, the first since the water release began.

FIFA suspends Spain soccer chief Luis Rubiales amid row over kiss with Women’s World Cup winner

Updated 10:41 AM EDT, Sat August 26, 2023

FIFA has provisionally suspended Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish soccer federation, from “all football-related activities” over his kiss with Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales has been refusing to stand down over the incident, in which he kissed Hermoso on the lips last Sunday after Spain won the tournament for the first time, despite fierce criticism from Hermoso, her teammates and the Spanish government.

Hermoso said the kiss was unwanted and she and the entire World Cup-winning squad have refused to play while Rubiales remains president.

Rubiales said the kiss was consensual and the federation has been sticking by him, threatening legal action against Hermoso and others.