Six In The Morning Monday 4 September 2023


Burning Man: Revellers begin to leave as boggy conditions improve

By David Willis & Kathryn Armstrong
BBC News, Burning Man in Nevada & London

Weather conditions at the Burning Man festival in the US have eased enough to allow revellers to start leaving.

Heavy rain had turned the event, held in a desert in Nevada, into a mud bath.

The ground is now dry enough for vehicles to drive on it without getting stuck, and pictures show campervans driving out of the event.

Some 72,000 people had been stranded at the festival, but organisers say they are ready for a mass exodus from Monday morning, local time.

They have also confirmed that a man’s death at the event on Friday was unrelated to the bad weather.

They said that emergency services were called to help the man, said to be about 40 years old, but he could not be resuscitated. The local sheriff’s office earlier said it was investigating.

EU to rethink conservation status of wolves after numbers surge

Ursula Von der Leyen calls for action as attacks on livestock prompt rise in complaints from farmers

The EU is to review the conservation status of wolves on the continent after a remarkable comeback of the carnivore species raised protests from farmers whose livestock have become prey.

“The concentration of wolf packs in some European regions has become a real danger for livestock and potentially also for humans,” the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said. “I urge local and national authorities to take action where necessary. Indeed, current EU legislation already enables them to do so.”

It is a subject close to Von der Leyen’s heart after her pony, Dolly, was killed last September by a wolf that broke into a well-guarded compound in north-west Germany.

Gabon coup leader sworn in as interim leader

The general who led Gabon’s coup has been sworn in as interim president and vowed to restore civilian rule through “free, transparent and credible elections” after a transitional period

General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema on Monday has been sworn in as the interim head of state of Gabon, less than a week after President Ali Bongo Ondimba was ousted.

Nguema took the oath of office in the presidential palace in the capital city Libreville before a room crammed with government officials and military leaders.

Interim leader promises elections after transition

Nguema vowed to hold “free, transparent and credible elections” following a transitional period, the length of which he did not stipulate.

In a televised address, Nguema proposed reforms that would include the adoption of a new constitution along with new electoral and penal codes.

IAEA regrets ‘no progress’ as Iran falls short of nuclear commitments

The UN nuclear watchdog said Monday it regretted that “no progress” had been made by Iran on outstanding issues, including installing more cameras to monitor Tehran’s nuclear programme.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Rafael Grossi “requests Iran to work with the agency in earnest and in a sustained way towards the fulfilment of the commitments,” the agency said in a confidential report seen by AFP.

Tehran in March vowed to reactivate surveillance devices which were disconnected in June 2022 amid deteriorating relations with the West.

In a separate report, also seen by AFP, the IAEA said Iran’s total stockpile of enriched uranium was lower than in May but still more than 18 times the limit set in a 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers.

Top court ruling obligates Tamaki to OK changes to U.S. base work

By TAKASHI ENDO/ Staff Writer

September 4, 2023 at 18:59 JST

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki has come under pressure to reverse his rejection of the central government’s proposed changes to land reclamation work for the relocation of a U.S. military base within his prefecture under a Supreme Court ruling on Sept. 4.

The top court upheld a high court ruling, which obligates Tamaki to approve the solidifying work of the soft seabed off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, where a replacement facility for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, also in the prefecture, is planned.

If Tamaki, who won two gubernatorial elections on a promise to block the base relocation, again refuses to approve the design changes, the central government could take a series of steps to do so by proxy, including another lawsuit.

Ukraine needs to “soften its approach” to revive Black Sea grain deal with Russia, Turkish president says

Ukraine needs to “soften its approach” to revive the Black Sea grain deal, from which Russia withdrew in July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

“In order to be able to take common steps with Russia, Ukraine needs to soften its approach. Especially now, grain which will be sent to the least developed poverty-stricken African countries is important,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Sochi.

“Putin rightfully does not approve if 44% of the grain goes to European countries,” the Turkish leader added.