Six In The Morning Saturday 4 November 2023

US says up to 400,000 remain in north Gaza as ground offensive goes on

A future without Hamas for Gaza?

A key element of the press conference was calls from Egypt and Jordan for an immediate ceasefire – but Blinken made it clear the US does not support this demand.

“A ceasefire now would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” he replied to a question on the issue.

“Just a few days ago, a senior Hamas official said it was their intent to do October 7 again, and again and again. No nation, none of us can accept that.”

UN agency: Another sad day as school hit

As we’ve been reporting, the UN refugee agency (Unrwa) has confirmed a school that it runs in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza has been hit.

Juliette Touma, Unrwa’s director of communications, has told the BBC it is “another sad day” for the agency.

The school, which like many other Unrwa facilties is currently functioning as a shelter for people fleeing fighting, has been “severely impacted due to hits it received” early this morning, she said.

Touma said according to initial reports, 20 people, believed to include children, may be among the dead with “dozens and dozens” injured.


Search for survivors in western Nepal after earthquake kills at least 157 people

Rescue workers reach area near epicentre of 5.8-magnitude quake in Karnali province in country’s worst earthquake since 2015

Rescue workers in Nepal began digging through the rubble of collapsed houses with their bare hands on Saturday, searching for survivors after the country’s worst earthquake in eight years killed 157 people and shook buildings as far away as Delhi.
The 5.6-magnitude quake hit the far west of the Himalayan country late on Friday and was measured by the US Geological Survey at just 11 miles (18km) deep.

Local officials said it had not been possible to establish contact in the area near the epicentre in Jajarkot, a hilly district with a population of 190,000 and villages scattered in remote hills.


Iran: Rallies mark 1979 US Embassy seizure, support for Gaza

Demonstrators in Iran also condemned US support for Israel in its war against Hamas militants in Gaza that has left thousands dead.

Thousands of people protested outside the former US Embassy in Tehran, on the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the building, state media reported.

Iranian state news agency IRNA reported demonstrations in more than 1,000 cities nationwide.

Protesters chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while condemning Washington’s support of Israel as it strikes the Gaza Strip.

Israel declared war on Hamas militants who rule the enclave after militants launched a terror attack on Israeli soil on October 7 that killed 1,400 people and took some 240 more hostage.

Striking Bangladesh garment workers clash with police as factories reopen

Striking Bangladesh garment workers clashed with police on Saturday near the capital as factories reopened in defiance of a protest campaign demanding a near-tripling of wages


Bangladesh‘s 3,500 garment factories account for around 85 percent of the South Asian country’s $55 billion annual exports, supplying many of the world’s top names in fashion including Levi’s, Zara and H&M.

But conditions are dire for many of the sector’s four million workers, the vast majority of whom are women whose monthly wages start at 8,300 taka ($75).

Police said some 600 businesses shuttered over the week had reopened in areas worst-hit by the strike, which saw some factories ransacked and set alight.


Japan asserts Fukushima treated water safe in China, S Korea meeting


Japan on Saturday emphasized the safety of the ongoing release into the sea of treated radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, during a meeting of environment ministers involving China and South Korea.

“We have confirmed that there is no impact on people and the environment,” Japanese Environment Minister Shintaro Ito told the meeting in Nagoya, central Japan. China has criticized Japan over the water release and imposed a blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports.

Chinese Ecology and Environment Minister Huang Runqiu referred to “nuclear-contaminated water,” as Beijing often does, and called for “thorough consultations with other stakeholders, especially neighbors” regarding its disposal “in a responsible way.”


This city never slept. But with China tightening its grip, is the party over?


As the scattered patrons hop from one deserted bar to the next, it’s hard to believe the near-empty streets they are zigzagging down were once among the most vibrant in Asia.

It is Thursday evening, a normally busy night, but there are no crowds for them to weave through, no revelers spilling onto the pavements and no need for them to wait to be seated. At some of the stops on this muted bar crawl, they are the only ones in the room.

It wasn’t always this way. It might seem unlikely from this recent snapshot, but Hong Kong was once a leading light in Asia’s nightlife scene, a famously freewheeling neon-lit city that never slept, where East met West and crowds would spill from the bars throughout the night and long into the morning – even on a weekday.