Six In The Morning Sunday 10 September 2023


Morocco earthquake live: Rural communities most hard hit by temblor

Red Cross federation releases $1m from disaster fund for Morocco

The International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released over $1m from its emergency disaster fund to support the Moroccan Red Crescent’s work on the ground.

“The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical in terms of saving lives,” the global humanitarian network had warned on Saturday, adding that help could be needed for months or even years.

Rishi Sunak challenges premier Li after ‘spying for China’ arrests

PM expresses concerns over Chinese interference in UK parliament after two men arrested under Official Secrets Act

Rishi Sunak has challenged the Chinese premier, Li Qiang, over Chinese interference in the UK parliament, after two men were arrested amid allegations that a parliamentary researcher had spied for Beijing.

The prime minister met Li on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi in an unplanned meeting hours after the Sunday Times revealed the researcher, who is understood to have had links to senior Conservative MPs, had been arrested along with another man.

After the meeting, Sunak said: “I obviously can’t comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation but with regard to my meeting with Premier Li what I said very specifically is that I raised a range of different concerns that we have in areas of disagreement, and in particular, my very strong concerns about any interference in our parliamentary democracy, which is obviously unacceptable.

Assad’s Criminal ConglomerateSyrian Economy Continues to Spiral Toward Collapse

The Arab League had hoped that welcoming Syria back into its ranks might slow down the flow of drugs coming out the country. But as the case of business executive Mahmoud Aldij shows, Assad’s mafia-like structures remain deeply entrenched.
By Christoph Reuter und Karam Shaar together with the Syria Sanction Policy Program

It was almost as though nothing at all had happened. In May 2023, Arabic leaders welcomed long-ostracized Syrian dictator Bashar Assad back into the fold at the Arab League summit – complete with brotherly kisses, warm embraces and the proverbial red carpet, which skewed violet in this particular case. Syria had been blacklisted in 2011 when the regime in Damascus began shooting at demonstrators, who were still largely peaceful at the time. In the years that followed, Assad’s troops – with the enthusiastic support of first the Hezbollah and then the Iranians and Russians – transformed the rebellious parts of the country into smoking heaps of rubble, killing hundreds of thousands of Syrians and forcing millions more to flee.

Vatican beatifies Polish family that sheltered Jews

For the first time, the Vatican has given an entire family one of Catholicism’s highest honors. Jozef Ulma, his wife Wiktoria and their seven children were killed by Nazis in 1944 along with eight Jews they were hiding.

The Vatican on Sunday beatified an entire family for the first time to honor it for giving shelter to Jews during World War II while Poland was under German occupation.

Jozef Ulma, 44, his pregnant wife Wiktoria, 31, and their children, all under 8 years of age, were killed by German police on March 24, 1944, after being betrayed to Nazi authorities for sheltering eight Jewish people in their attic. The eight Jews were also killed.

After the massacre at the Ulmas’ farmhouse, 24 Jews in the family’s hometown of Markowa in southeast Poland were murdered by their Polish neighbors.

Niger military accuses France of deploying forces with view to ‘intervention’

Niger’s coup leaders have accused France of gathering forces, war materials and equipment in several neighbouring West African countries with a view to “military intervention”.

Relations with France, Niger’s former colonial power, degraded after Paris stood by ousted president Mohamed Bazoum following the July coup.

“France continues to deploy its forces in several ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries as part of preparations for an aggression against Niger, which it is planning in collaboration with this community organisation,” Niger’s regime spokesman Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane said on Saturday.

The Sahel state is also embroiled in a standoff with the West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened to intervene militarily if diplomatic pressure to return Bazoum to office fails.

Russia hails unexpected G20 ‘milestone’ as Ukraine fumes

By Zoya Mateen in Delhi and Simon Fraser in London
BBC News

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has praised a joint declaration by G20 leaders in Delhi that avoids condemning Moscow for its war against Ukraine.

Russia had not expected consensus and agreement on the wording was “a step in the right direction”, said Mr Lavrov.

The two-day summit also inducted a new permanent member, the African Union.

The 55-member bloc joins at the invitation of hosts India, one of whose key objectives while president has been to make the G20 more inclusive with greater participation of so-called Global South countries.