Six In The Morning Monday 25 September 2023


Nagorno-Karabakh: thousands escape to Armenia after Azerbaijani offensive

Armenian prime minister says ethnic Armenians in disputed enclave face ‘danger of ethnic cleansing’

More than 6,000 ethnic Armenians have crossed into Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh after last week’s Azerbaijani military offensive in the disputed region, which left hundreds of people dead, wounded or missing.

The Armenian government said on Monday afternoon at least 6,650 people from Nagorno-Karabakh had crossed into Armenia, up from about 4,850 people five hours earlier. Video showed a heavily congested road to Armenia from the enclave.

Refugees began crossing over from Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, becoming the first civilians to reach Armenia in nearly a year and reuniting families after a 10-month blockade by Azerbaijan that has led to desperate shortages of food, fuel and water in the local capital, Stepanakert, and surrounding areas.

Mali junta delays elections again, with no date in sight

Mali’s military leadership has said presidential elections could not be held on schedule due to “technical” reasons. Since taking power in 2020, the junta has promised to hold elections, but has repeatedly issued delays.

Mali’s military junta  on Monday said it would postpone presidential elections planned for February 2024, citing “technical reasons.”

The elections were meant to be held on February 4, 2024, with a second round two weeks later. No new date was provided.

Cited reasons for the delay included new rules from the constitution that was approved at a referendum in June and a review of the electoral roll.

Mali is also locked in a dispute with French company Idemia that operates the country’s census database.

“The new dates for the presidential election will be communicated later,” said government spokesperson Abdoulaye Maiga.

Threat-hit Iranian TV channel resumes London broadcasts

 Private network Iran International TV said Monday that it was broadcasting again from London having shut down its studios earlier this year due to threats it blamed on Tehran.

The station had been giving extensive coverage to anti-government demonstrations that erupted in Iran last year, and said two of its senior journalists received death threats in response to their reporting.

Acting upon police advice, it closed its base in the UK capital in February, but said in a statement on Monday that “Iran International TV has begun broadcasting from its new London studios”.

“This resumption marks a return to London for Iran’s most-watched news channel after broadcasting was temporarily moved to the United States earlier this year because of the credible, state-sponsored threats against its staff,” it added.

Petition filed against felling thousands of trees in historic Tokyo park area


Campaigners filed a fresh petition with almost 225,000 signatures on Monday against plans to fell potentially thousands of trees and tear down a historic baseball stadium in a rare green area of central Tokyo.

Lush with trees donated to honor Emperor Meiji a century ago, Meiji Jingu Gaien offers respite and shade — Japan saw its hottest recorded summer this year — in one of the world’s biggest urban areas.

The park area is also home to Jingu Stadium where U.S. baseball star Babe Ruth wowed spectators in 1934 and where celebrated Japanese author Haruki Murakami says he was inspired to become a writer.

Also on the site is a stadium dubbed the spiritual home of Japanese rugby.

Russian media rhetoric could be ‘incitement to genocide in Ukraine’: UN

Some rhetoric disseminated by Russian media could amount to incitement to genocide, the Human Rights Council probe says.

UN investigators probing violations in Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion have warned that some rhetoric transmitted by Russian media could amount to incitement to genocide.

Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the head of the investigation team, Erik Mose, voiced concern “about allegations of genocide in Ukraine”.

“For instance, some of the rhetoric transmitted in Russian state and other media may constitute incitement to genocide,” he said, adding that the team was “continuing its investigations on such issues”.

Gymnastics Ireland issues unreserved apology to black girl not given medal at event ceremony

Gymnastics Ireland has issued an unreserved apology to the family of a black girl who was not given a medal at an events ceremony in Ireland.

The incident occurred at a Gymstart event in Dublin in March 2022, when a line of children were awarded medals but a young black girl did not get one.

A video of the incident emerged in recent days and has been watched millions of times on social media.

Gymnastics Ireland apologised “for the upset that has been caused”.

In the statement issued on Monday, the governing body said it was “deeply sorry”, that it knew it needed to do more to ensure “nothing like this will happen again” and it condemned “any form of racism”.

That followed criticism from many people on social media, including US gymnastics legend Simone Biles, who posted that the video “broke her heart”, saying “there is no room for racism in any sport”.