Six In The Morning Thursday 2 November 2023

Hamas-run health ministry says 9,000 killed in Gaza since 7 October

Israel says not informed of any recall of ambassadors with Bahrain

Raffi Berg

BBC Online Middle East editor

The Israeli foreign ministry says it has not been informed about any decision by Bahrain to withdraw its ambassador from Israel, despite an announcement by Bahrain’s lower house of parliament.

The assembly said Bahrain’s ambassador had been recalled and that Israel’s ambassador had left Bahrain, in the wake of Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Israel’s foreign ministry said it knew nothing about a recall of its ambassador to Bahrain either, adding that relations between the two countries were “stable”.

Bahrain was one of the first of four Arab League countries to sign a normalisation agreement with Israel in 2020, seen as a major breakthrough in de-escalating the decades old Israeli-Arab conflict.


  • Israel has bombarded the area with air strikes since Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, and kidnapped more than 200 others
  • Israel’s military says it’s targeting Hamas infrastructure, including tunnels and rocket launchers, and minimising civilian deaths
  • On the ground, five main battles are taking place between Israel and Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip
  • More civilians have reportedly left Gaza via the Rafah crossing today; the UN says more than 400 people did so yesterday
  • Responding to a heckler during a speech, US President Joe Biden said there should be a “pause” in fighting to facilitate the release of hostages

World ill-prepared to stop climate crisis reversing progress on health, says study

UN meteorological body finds health experts have access to heat warning services in only half of affected countries

The climate crisis threatens to roll back decades of progress towards better health and governments are ill-prepared to stop it, the World Meteorological Organization has said.

Three-quarters of national weather agencies send climate data to their country’s health officials but less than one in four health ministries use the information to protect people from risks such as extreme heat, the report found.

“Climate change is an unprecedented threat to human health,” said Madeleine Thomson, the head of climate impacts and adaptation at the Wellcome, a charity that funds health research, who helped write the report. “Many countries are already having to deal with the dangerous repercussions of record-breaking temperatures. Yet most are ill-prepared.”


How war enters picture books

First Ukraine, now the Middle East — war stirs fear. What do children’s picture books tell us about war?

War is a current topic everywhere — even at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which ended October 23. Various stands presented countless picture books on war, flight and expulsion, many of which were new publications. But even the classics — some of which have long since won prizes — made a name for themselves once again. “Because war is our topic of the hour,” Anne Bender, program manager at the leading Hamburg-based Carlsen publishing house, told DW.

“Why?,” for example, is what Russian illustrator and author Nikolai Popov (1938-2021) called his wonderful picture book, which appeared back in 1995, just a few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. In vivid pictures, it tells of the escalating quarrel between Frog and Mouse over a beautiful flower. All that remains of the flowery meadow — in the wake of many battles and losses — is a smoking battlefield. The destruction is total, pain and suffering boundless. Frog and Mouse sit there, with one word written above them: “Why?”

Boko Haram attack on northeast Nigerian village leaves dozens dead

Extremists in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 37 villagers in two different attacks, residents said Wednesday, highlighting once again how deadly Islamic extremist rebels have remained in their 14-year insurgency in the hard-hit region.


The extremists targeted villagers in Yobe state’s Geidam district on Monday and Tuesday in the first attack in the state in more than a year, shooting dead 17 people at first while using a land mine to kill 20 others who had gone to attend their burial, witnesses said.

The Boko Haram Islamic extremist group launched an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria in 2009 in an effort to establish their radical interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, in the region. At least 35,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced due to the extremist violence concentrated in Borno state, which neighbours Yobe.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, who took office in May, has not succeeded in ending the nation’s security crises both in the northeast and in northwest and central regions where dozens of armed groups have been killing villagers and kidnapping travelers for ransom.


Fukushima nuclear plant starts 3rd release of treated radioactive wastewater into sea



The tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began its third release of treated and diluted radioactive wastewater into the sea Thursday after Japanese officials said the two earlier releases ended smoothly.

The plant operator discharged 7,800 tons of treated water in each of the first two batches and plans to release the same amount in the current batch through Nov. 20.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said its workers activated the first of the two pumps to dilute the treated water with large amounts of seawater, gradually sending the mixture into the Pacific Ocean through an undersea tunnel for an offshore release.


‘Secret room’ decorated by Michelangelo to open to the public in Italy


He’s known for his colossal works, such as the statue of David, the floor-to-ceiling frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, and the dome of St. Peter’s which dominates the Rome skyline.

But it’s Michelangelo Buonarroti’s less bombastic work that’s on display to the public for the first time in the artist’s “secret room” in Florence.

The tiny space sits beneath the Medici Chapels in Florence, where Michelangelo sculpted intricate tombs for members of the Medici family behind the church of San Lorenzo in the Sagrestia Nuova, or New Sacristry.


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