Six In The Morning Tuesday 5 September 2023


How US-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles helped Ukraine win the battle for Robotyne

Published 6:11 AM EDT, Tue September 5, 2023

The T0408 was once a country lane that led peacefully southward through the open fields of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, from Orikhiv through Robotyne and on to Tokmak.

Now, the men of Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade have renamed it “the road to hell” and the picture they paint is apocalyptic: the sky “black with drones,” constant artillery and aerial bombardments and the once-fertile fields crammed with Russian mines, trenches and dugouts that make any southward progress virtually impossible.

Cuba uncovers ‘human trafficking ring’ recruiting for Russia’s war in Ukraine

Havana says it is dismantling network seeking to recruit Cubans as mercenaries as Moscow attempts to boost its forces

Cuba has uncovered a human trafficking ring aimed at recruiting Cubans to fight as mercenaries for Russia in its war in Ukraine, its foreign ministry has said, as Moscow seeks to increase the size of its forces in Ukraine.

In a statement, the Cuban foreign ministry said that the authorities were working to “neutralise and dismantle” the network, which it said was operating within the Caribbean island nation and in Russia.

“The ministry of the interior … is working on the neutralisation and dismantling of a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the military forces participating in war operations in Ukraine,” the Cuban ministry statement said.

Turkish, Greek foreign ministers hail ‘new era’ of relations

The two neighbors have long had tense relations and territorial disputes but are looking to mend fences. Their leaders plan to meet more often, barely a year after Turkey’s president implied they’d never speak again.

The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey announced a new era of friendly cooperation after a high-level meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.

The two Mediterranian neighbors have long had tense relations, including over their maritime borders and the status of Cyprus.

But more recently they have sought to mend relations, evidenced by Greece’s humanitarian aid in the wake of the devastating Turkish earthquakes earlier this year and Turkey’s condolences after a fatal train crash in Greece.

France confirms ‘talks’ with Niger junta over future of French troops

The French army is holding talks with Niger’s military over withdrawing “elements” of its presence there following a coup, a defence ministry source said on Tuesday.

There has been speculation that France will be forced into a full military pullout from Niger after the July 26 putsch, which ousted French ally President Mohamed Bazoum.

Some 1,500 troops are deployed in Niger as part of France’s wider fight against jihadists in the Sahel.

The country became a crucial hub for France after coups forced the withdrawal of French troops from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso.

“Discussions on the withdrawal of certain military elements have begun,” the defence ministry source told AFP, asking not to be named. The source did not give details.

Schools in France send dozens of Muslim girls home for wearing abayas

Schoolgirls who refused to change out of the loose-fitting robes have been sent home with a letter to parents on secularism.

French public schools have sent dozens of girls home for refusing to remove their abayas – long, loose-fitting robes worn by some Muslim women and girls – on the first day of the school year, according to Education Minister Gabriel Attal.

Defying a ban on the garment seen as a religious symbol, nearly 300 girls showed up on Monday morning wearing abayas, Attal told the BFM broadcaster on Tuesday.

Most agreed to change out of the robe, but 67 refused and were sent home, he said.

The government announced last month it was banning the abaya in schools, saying it broke the rules on secularism in education that have already seen headscarves forbidden on the grounds they constitute a display of religious affiliation.

Ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio to be sentenced for Capitol riot

By Mike Wendling
BBC News, Washington

The former leader of the far-right Proud Boys group will be sentenced on Tuesday for his role in the US Capitol riot.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 39, was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges.

Tarrio wasn’t present in Washington during the riot on 6 January 2021, having been arrested and ordered to leave the city before the unrest.

Instead he watched from a hotel room in nearby Baltimore.

After the November 2020 US presidential election, Tarrio and other Proud Boys posted a number of threatening messages online, warning of violence and unrest if Donald Trump left office.