Six In The Morning Thursday 14 September 2023

‘An unimaginable scene’: Survivors describe Libya floods

By Joel Gunter
BBC News

The first sign that something was wrong was the sound of the dogs barking.

It was 2.30am and dark outside. When Husam Abdelgawi, a 31-year-old accountant in the Libyan city of Derna, got up and went sleepily downstairs to check on them, he felt water under his feet.

Husam opened the front door of the house he shared with his younger brother, Ibrahim. More water flooded in, pulling the door off of its hinges.

The brothers ran to the back door, where they were met by a “ghastly, unimaginable scene, worse than death itself to witness”, Husam said, in a phone interview from the city of Al-Qubbah.

Quarter of schools closed in Burkina Faso as fighting escalates after coup

Nearly 1 million children denied education, along with many more across eight countries in central and west Africa, new report warns

A quarter of schools are now closed in Burkina Faso after a sharp rise in fighting between militants and the government, according to a new report that warns of a looming education crisis in the region.

The number of schools closed in the country rose by almost a third over the past year to 6,149, affecting close to 1 million students.

Burkina Faso, described as experiencing the “world’s most neglected crisis”, has suffered years of violence, which has increased since a coup last year. The new military government launched an offensive against militant groups that has seen allegations of human rights abuses on all sides.

China denounces Europe investigation of EVs

Beijing has called a European Commission probe into Chinese electric vehicle subsidies, a “naked protectionist act.”

China on Thursday warned that looking into Chinese state subsidies for electric vehicles would have a “negative impact” on economic and trade ties between the bloc and Beijing.

The Chinese commerce ministry deemed the decision to launch the probe to have been motivated by a desire to protect European markets from competition.

What Beijing has said

“China believes the investigative measures proposed by the European Union are in reality to protect its own industry in the name of ‘fair competition’,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

“It is a naked protectionist act that will seriously disrupt and distort the global automotive industry and supply chain, including the EU, and will have a negative impact on China-EU economic and trade relations,” it added.

Yemen’s Huthi rebels to visit Saudi Arabia, raising hopes of breakthrough in conflict

Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels are to fly to Riyadh for the first publicly announced visit since a Saudi-led military coalition opened hostilities in 2015, government and diplomatic sources said on Thursday.

The Huthis‘ visit, expected in the coming days, will raise hopes of a breakthrough in the quagmire conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead through direct and indirect causes such as famine.

It comes five months after Saudi officials held talks in Sanaa, and as a UN-brokered ceasefire continues to largely hold despite officially lapsing in October.

“There are preparations for a Huthi delegation to visit Riyadh within the next 72 hours,” a Yemeni government official familiar with the situation told AFP.

A Western diplomat in Yemen confirmed the visit, saying it may take place within the next two days. Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ex-SDF sexual assault victim, lawmaker on Time’s emerging leaders list

Time magazine said Wednesday it has selected from Japan Rina Gonoi, a former Ground Self-Defense Force member who exposed the culture of sexual abuse within the service, and lawmaker Arfiya Eri, a former U.N. official of Uyghur descent, among this year’s 100 emerging world leaders.

“In Japanese society, speaking up about sexual violence has long been a taboo, but Rina’s courage has kicked the door open for all survivors,” the U.S. magazine said, referring to the 23-year-old who waived her right to anonymity and launched a public campaign last year to raise awareness about harassment she endured while in the GSDF.

The allegations led the Defense Ministry to dismiss a number of servicemen over the sexual assault and increase its efforts to address harassment.

Taiwan hits back at Elon Musk’s claim that it is ‘part of China’

Published 4:01 AM EDT, Thu September 14, 2023

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hit back after Elon Musk called the self-ruled island an “integral part of China.”

Speaking remotely at the All-in Summit, which took place in Los Angeles this week, Musk compared Taiwan’s relationship with China to that of Hawaii’s with the United States.

“[Beijing’s] policy has been to sort of reunite Taiwan with China,” said the Tesla (TSLA) CEO, who claimed he understands China “well.”