Six In The Morning Sunday 19 November 2023

Inside West Bank district under harsh Israeli lockdown since Hamas attack

By Joel Gunter
Reporting from Hebron

Fawaz Qafisha cracked his front door open a few inches, stuck his head through the gap and squinted against the sun. The street outside was almost completely dead, save for an Israeli soldier who was sitting on a garden chair placed opposite Qafisha’s house, facing the front door.

Before Qafisha had even adjusted his eyes to the light and spotted us coming down the road towards him, the Israeli soldier had sprung to his feet, raised his rifle halfway and ordered Qafisha back inside.

The falafel cook, aged 52, gestured for us to hurry.

“This is how it is any time we try to open the door now,” he said, as we entered.

“We are not even allowed to stand at our windows.”


Argentina holds breath as far-right Milei seizes narrow runoff advantage

Populist provocateur appears slight favorite over Peronist Sergio Massa as 35m Argentinians vote to choose new president

Argentina is teetering on the brink of an unpredictable new political era this weekend with an erratic far-right populist known as “El Loco” (the Madman) the slight favourite to become president of South America’s second-largest economy in Sunday’s election.

As polls opened on Sunday morning against a backdrop of soaring inflation and widespread poverty, analysts believed Javier Milei, a TV celebrity turned congressman, held a slender advantage over his rival, the finance minister, Sergio Massa, but said the result was too close to call.


An Idol Loses Her WayHas Greta Thunberg Betrayed the Climate Movement?


It was last Sunday in Amsterdam that the world’s view of Greta Thunberg suddenly shifted. She was bundled up against the November chill, wearing a gray, quilted jacket as she stood on a stage in front of a vast crowd. Her hair fell loosely over her shoulders.

Event organizers estimate that 85,000 people turned out, making it perhaps the largest climate demonstration in the history of the Netherlands. But Thunberg, as shown by the black-and-white Palestinian kaffiyeh wrapped around her neck, had something else on her mind. As a climate justice movement, “we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and justice.” The reference was to the Palestinians.


Ukraine: Russia intensifying aerial drone campaign

Russian drones attacked Ukrainian infrastructure targets for the second night in a row as the Kremlin steps up aerial assaults ahead of winter. Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy says air defenses are being boosted.

Waves of Russian drones attacked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on Sunday morning as attacks on infrastructure and energy targets continued into a second night.

The head of Kyiv’s military administration, General Serhiy Popko, wrote on Telegram on Sunday that the city had been attacked “in waves from different directions.”

The Ukrainian air force reported that 15 out of 20 Iranian-produced Shahed “kamikaze” drones had been shot down over the Kyiv region, as well as near the cities of Poltava and Cherkasy to the south-east of the capital.

“No casualties or critical destruction were recorded,” according to Popko.

‘A real blow for the junta’: Myanmar’s ethnic groups launch unprecedented armed resistance

Fighting in Myanmar between the military junta and an alliance of ethnic armed groups has intensified since late October after an unprecedented offensive in the country’s north exposed the junta’s struggles on the ground. The UN called for all sides to respect international law in a statement on Friday, saying that more than 70 civilians had already been killed and some 200,000 displaced by the upsurge in violence.


Myanmar’s army, known as the Tatmadaw, has been fighting against simultaneous offensives launched by ethnic armed groups in several regions across the country since late October.

“It’s the biggest challenge that the military junta has had to face since the coup d’état of February 1, 2021,” said Thomas Kean, a specialist on Myanmar at the International Crisis Group, an NGO that monitors global conflicts.

Fighting erupted over the weekend in Shan, Kachin and Chin states in the country’s north as well as in Rakhine State in the west, where an informal ceasefire had been in place for almost a year until early last week. Armed groups have taken the fight to the Tatmadaw in Kayah State in the country’s east, according to Kean. At least 70 civilians, including children, have been killed since the fighting erupted in earnest on October 27, and more than 90 wounded and more than 200,000 displaced, according to a UN statement released Friday.


Gripped by drought, this island is running out of drinking water


When Racha Mousdikoudine opens her kitchen faucet, she never knows what will happen.

“Maybe I won’t get any water at all,” she told CNN. “Maybe I’ll get 30 minutes of water. Maybe the water will only come after hours of waiting.”

For the last four months, Mousdikoudine and her two children have had little or no running water in their home on the French territory of Mayotte, and island of around 310,000 people in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa, between Mozambique and the island of Madagascar.