Six In The Morning 5 November 2023

BBC sees damage from blast at Gaza refugee camp as Blinken visits West Bank

Palestinian Authority says half of homes in Gaza destroyed

The health ministry of the Palestinian Authority, which is based in the West Bank, has put out new figures on the impact of the the war in Gaza. It says:

  • More than 50% of Gaza’s housing units have been destroyed
  • Nearly 70% of its population are displaced
  • 16 out of 35 hospitals that can take in-patients have stopped functioning
  • 42 UNRWA buildings have been damaged
  • At least seven churches and 55 mosques are damaged

As we reported earlier, Israel accuses Hamas of locating infrastructure in tunnels underneath civilian areas.

Israel says it has struck more than 11,000 “targets belonging to terrorist organisations” in Gaza and dropped more than 10,000 munitions on Gaza City alone since 7 October, when it began its campaign in retaliation for Hamas’s deadly attacks.

In Khan Younis, people queue for five hours for bread

Adnan al-Bursh

BBC Arabic, reporting from Khan Younis

It’s hard to explain just how angry and frustrated people are as they wait in line for hours outside one of the bakeries here in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip.

People tell us they have been waiting for four or five hours, hoping to get some bread for their families. But getting it after this long wait is not even guaranteed.

As we are filming, one man interrupts us, visibly shaken.

“Over the past 25 days, I have only received one pack of bread,” he says.

“I have a whole family of at least 20 people to provide for. We have been displaced from Jabalia in the north and we’re here now in Khan Younis. How long are we going to keep living with this injustice?”

What happens to Gaza the day after the war ends?

Diplomatic editor

A reformed Palestinian Authority or a multinational force have been mooted as solutions for security in the territory, but both proposals have met resistance

When Antony Blinken arrived in the Middle East on his most recent visit, one of the US secretary of state’s aims was to lift some of the fog over what happens to Gaza in the war’s aftermath, but he is meeting resistance both from Israel and Arab states.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, said on Saturday at a press conference alongside Blinken: “What happens next? How can we even entertain what will happen in Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left after this war is done? Are we going to be talking about a wasteland? Are we going to be talking about a whole population reduced to refugees? Simply, we do not know – we do not have all the variables to even start thinking about that.”

The tentative US proposal is for a reformed Palestinian Authority, dominated by the secularist Fatah, which administers the West Bank, to come back to Gaza. But this is rejected by Israel’s right.

“Absolutely Appalling”A New Wave of Anti-Semitism Sweeps Across Germany

Hamas’ terror and Israel’s counterattacks have unleashed levels of anti-Semitism not seen in years in Germany. Jews are living in fear and now wonder if they should leave the country. The political response so far appears to be doing little to change the situation.


Ivar Buterfas-Frankenthal, a 90-year-old with a wild mane and alert eyes, is one of the last living Holocaust survivors. He is sitting in his living room in Bendestorf, a community in the state of Lower Saxony, and talking about the anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred in Germany recent days. “We Jews are once again easy targets for all the idiots walking our streets,” he says.

The house where he lives with his wife Dagmar is nothing short of a fortress. The window panes are made of bulletproof glass, and more than 20 surveillance cameras have been installed on the property, with their images appearing on a monitor placed next to the fireplace. After the sun goes down, spotlights illuminate the property. Buterfas-Frankenthal says he has received two dozen death threats over the years. One caller smeared him as a “Jewish swine” and told him he had built a box for him, even testing it out by gassing a pig that weighed 85 kilograms.


Thousands sleep rough in Nepal after deadly quake destroys homes

Thousands of villagers in the mountains of northwestern Nepal slept outdoors Saturday night in the bitter cold after an earthquake killed at least 157 people and damaged or destroyed most homes.


Most of the houses in villages in Jajarkot district either collapsed or were severely damaged by the sudden earthquake Friday night, while the few concrete houses in towns were also damaged.

“We are waiting to cremate the bodies of our villagers and have been trying to take care of the people who were injured in the earthquake,” said Lal Bahadur Bika, a resident of Chiuri village, pointing to 13 bodies wrapped in white cloth awaiting cremation on Sunday morning.

Most houses in Chiuri village collapsed.

People used whatever they could find to set up shelter for the night, using plastic sheets and old clothes to keep them warm. Most people have been unable to retrieve their belongings from under the rubble.


Afghanistan: Opium supply drops 95% after Taliban drug ban

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers pledged to wipe out the country’s drug industry, banning poppy cultivation in April 2022. Afghanistan was the world’s biggest opium producer and a major source for heroin in Europe and Asia.

Opium production in Afghanistan has plummeted since the Taliban banned cultivation of the poppy plant, according to a UN report published on Sunday.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers pledged to wipe out the country’s drug industry, banning poppy cultivation in April 2022.

Poppy plants are the source of opium and heroin. Afghanistan was the world’s biggest opium producer and a major source for heroin in Europe and Asia before the Taliban takeover.

What did the report on Afghan opium production say?

The report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that poppy cultivation had dropped by an estimated 95% over the past year, from 233,000 hectares (575,755 acres) at the end of 2022 to 10,800 hectares in 2023.

Opium production also dropped from 6,200 tons to 333 tons in 2023.

The Taiwanese American cousins going head-to-head in the global AI race

By  and , CNN

Jensen Huang and Lisa Su have a lot in common.

The chief executives of Nvidia (NVDA) and AMD (AMD) aren’t just two of the most powerful people in the global AI chip industry, they’re also family.

The connection was first acknowledged by Su in 2020, and more recently, has been fleshed out in detail by Jean Wu, a Taiwanese genealogist.

The two didn’t grow up together, which may make it easier considering they now compete against each other atop one of the world’s most closely-watched sectors.