Six In The Morning Tuesday 14 November 2023

Why this war in Gaza is different to the others


Jeremy Bowen

International Editor

If this Gaza war was like all the others, a ceasefire would probably have been in force by now.

But now the fault lines that divide the Middle East are rumbling. For at least two decades, the most serious rift in the region has been between the friends and allies of Iran, and the friends and allies of the United States.

The core of Iran’s network is made up of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen and assorted Iraqi militias that are armed and trained by Iran. The Iranians have also supported Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Iran is also getting closer to Russia and China. It has become a significant part of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and China buys a great deal of Iranian oil.

The longer the war in Gaza goes on, and as Israel kills more Palestinian civilians and destroys tens of thousands of homes, the greater the risk of conflict involving some members of those two camps.

Read more here.


  1. A mass grave is being dug at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, a witness tells our reporter in Gaza
  2. The witness says he saw 30 bodies buried there – a doctor at the hospital says the total is 200 bodies
  3. Fighting between Israel and Hamas is raging in Gaza City, including at the hospital site
  4. Israel has accused Hamas of running a command centre under Al-Shifa – which the hospital and Hamas deny
  5. The hospital’s lack of fuel means premature babies and dialysis patients can’t get treatment, the UN warned earlier
  6. Meanwhile, Israel confirms the death of 19-year-old Noa Marciano, a soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas last month
  7. Israel began striking Gaza after the Hamas attacks on 7 October, in which 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage
  8. The Hamas-run health ministry says more than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza since – of whom more than 4,500 were children

Top German journalist received €600,000 from Putin ally, leak reveals

Influential author and broadcaster Hubert Seipel received financial support for his work on two books described by many as sympathetic to Russian president

Aleading western journalist who has long been considered one of Germany’s top independent experts on Russia received at least €600,000 (£522,000) in undisclosed offshore payments from companies linked to an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, leaked files have revealed.

Hubert Seipel, an award-winning film-maker and author, was paid money in instalments, which documents suggest was to support his work on two books he wrote that chart Putin’s rise to power and offer portrayals described by many as sympathetic to the Russian president.

The case is one of the first linking an influential western journalist with significant payments in what could be seen by some as attempts by pro-Putin actors to secure positive coverage in the international media.

India: Prize winning author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution

Invited to speak at the Munich Literature Festival, Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy cannot travel to Germany, as she faces charges in India over comments she made in 2010.

Indian author Arundhati Roy was invited to give the opening speech at the Munich Literature Festival, which takes place from November 15 to December 3. However, the renowned novelist cannot travel to Germany, as she faces new charges in her home country related to comments she made 13 years ago.

While she will not be giving the festival’s opening address, she will nevertheless contribute to a panel discussion at the festival on the situation in India, via video link, on November 16.

In 2010, Roy made a speech about Kashmir, and her comments that the disputed region has never been an “integral” part of India have been dredged up once more. She now faces fresh charges for “offences related to provocative speech and the promotion of enmity between different groups.” The prosecution could lead to a prison sentence of up to seven years.

French right ‘toughens up’ new bill aimed at controlling immigration

France’s upper house Senate on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at controlling immigration, toughening the language and measures of the legislation in a manner likely to complicate the government’s search for compromise in the lower house.


Originally proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government with a mix of steps to expel more undocumented people and improve integration, the text – voted through by 210 to 115 – now leans firmly towards enforcement after its passage through the Senate, which is controlled by the right.

“The Senate has restored the bill’s consistency by toughening it up,” said Bruno Retailleau, the head of the right-wing Republicans faction in the upper house.

Most bitterly contested was the government’s plan to offer a general right for undocumented migrants working in sectors with labour shortages to stay legally.


Environmental change threatens what’s left of Japan’s cormorant fishing legacy

By Kim Kyung-Hoon


Cormorants have been a constant presence in Yoichiro Adachi’s life, and when he was young, he cried whenever one of his family’s birds died.

Now 48, Adachi still cares deeply for his birds, drawing them out of their baskets each morning and stroking their long necks to confirm their health and maintain a bond.

“For me, cormorants are my partners,” he said.

Adachi is the 18th generation of his family to be a master cormorant fishermen, and one of about 50 people in Japan carrying on the 1,300-year tradition of using trained birds to dive for fish. It is considered the ideal way to catch the sweet ayu river fish, and his family has a hereditary mandate to supply the delicacy to the Japanese imperial household.


Russia, al-Assad step up Syria bombing amid world focus on Israel-Gaza war

Russian and Syrian regime attacks have killed 66 civilians since the start of October, and displaced 120,000 people.


Syrian government forces and Russia have stepped up the bombardment of northwest Syria, killing dozens of people, including children, and wounding hundreds of others, opposition leaders and emergency volunteers have said, at a time when Israel’s war on Gaza is holding the world’s attention.

Russian and Syrian attacks in October focused on cities and villages in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo. This escalation resulted in the total deaths of 66 civilians, including 23 children and 13 women, and left more than 270 people injured, with 79 children and 47 women among the casualties, according to a Syrian volunteer emergency rescue group.

While the pace of aerial and artillery bombardment in northwest Syria has decreased since the beginning of November, Syrian regime forces have shifted their attention to targeting civilian vehicles using guided missiles.