Six In The Morning Monday 2 October 2023

Migrants trying to reach the UK cross the Alps on foot

By Mark Lowen
BBC Rome correspondent, Italy-France border

In a corner of the Italian Alps, a queue of Sudanese and Afghans are swapping their sandals for hiking boots and replacing flip-flops with sturdy trainers, preparing, they hope, for their trek to freedom.

They are today’s arrivals – around 150 – at a makeshift camp in the picturesque town of Oulx manned by local volunteers. They give out donated coats to the migrants to help them survive the mountain temperatures on the arduous journey ahead.

For even here, having reached Italy from across Africa and the Middle East, these groups of mostly young men want to go on to France and beyond. More than 130,000 migrants have entered Italy this year – almost double the same period in 2021, following a surge of arrivals by boat to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Scandinavian spy drama: the intelligence chief who came under state surveillance

How Lars Findsen and Claus Hjort Frederiksen came to be facing trial for allegedly disclosing ‘state secrets’ that had been in public domain for years

Lars Findsen was in police custody when he discovered that spies from Denmark’s domestic intelligence agency had tapped his phone and wired his house with bugs.

The spies, he learned, had spent months eavesdropping on his daily life at home, recording hundreds of hours of his conversations in his home, including with his three children.

It was the kind of intrusive surveillance operation normally reserved for a suspected terrorist or enemy foreign agent. Findsen was neither; he was Denmark’s top spy chief.

Bangladesh records 1,000 deaths in record dengue outbreak

The South Asian country, where dengue is endemic, is suffering the worst outbreak of the disease in its history.

Bangladesh is reeling from its worst-ever outbreak of dengue that has claimed more than 1,000 lives since the start of this year.

The death toll due to the endemic disease has seen a staggering rise in 2023 when compared to last year’s 281 deaths.

Data shared by government health officials on Sunday showed that 1,006 people have died since the start of the year, of which 17 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Among the deaths reported, 112 were of children aged 15 and under, including infants, according to the figures provided by the Directorate General of Health Services.

Algeria says Niger coup leaders accept mediation, six-month transition plan

Military leaders in coup-hit Niger have accepted Algerian mediation and “a six-month transition plan”, the foreign ministry in Algiers announced Monday.

The West African nation has been governed for more than two months by a military regime which took power after deposing Niger‘s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.

“The Algerian government has received via the Nigerien ministry of foreign affairs a (statement of) acceptance of Algerian mediation aimed at promoting a political solution to the crisis in Niger,” the ministry said in a statement.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has tasked Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf with “visiting Niamey as soon as possible with the aim of launching discussions… with all stakeholders,” the statement said.

Sweltering Japan suffered hottest September ever recorded


Following record-breaking heat in July and August, Japan also continued to experience its hottest September on record, official data showed.

The average temperature in September was 24.91 degrees, the highest since recordkeeping began in 1898.

This is more than one degree higher than the previous record of 23.76 degrees in 2012, followed by 23.68 in 1999.

The heatwave was caused by “high-pressure systems from the Pacific Ocean, in addition to global warming,” according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

US condemns China’s reported life sentence of acclaimed Uyghur scholar

Published 4:13 AM EDT, Mon October 2, 2023

The United States has condemned China’s reported sentencing of prominent Uyghur academic Rahile Dawut to life in prison, calling for the immediate release of the scholar known for documenting folklore and traditions of the Muslim minority in China’s

 northwestern Xinjiang region.