Six In The Morning Wednesday 22 November 2023

 Hamas says pause in Gaza fighting to begin at 10am on Thursday

What we know about the hostages in Gaza

By Emma Pengelly and Jamie Ryan, BBC Verify

Neither Israel nor Hamas has provided an official list of those hostages being held in Gaza.

The Israeli authorities have notified some of the relatives of those being held, while others who believe friends or family members are among the hostages have not been officially informed.

BBC Verify has been able to identify more than 200 of those taken on 7 October by analysing Hamas-affiliated channels, social media posts from family members of those taken, reports in international media and by speaking to relatives directly.

Myanmar fighting at its worst since 2021 coup, says UN

Widespread escalation in violence across number of states poses greatest challenge yet to military rule


Myanmar is gripped by the worst escalation in violence since the military seized power in a coup almost three years ago, the UN has said, with intense clashes taking place across a number of states and regions.

The UN said an escalation in the fighting that began late in October was “the largest in scale and most extensive geographically” since the military coup, and has affected swathes of the country.

The military, which seized power in February 2021, has struggled to control widespread opposition to its rule, including an armed resistance formed of pro-democracy activists. However, an operation launched recently in northern Shan state by an alliance of powerful ethnic armed groups, in coordination with newer anti-junta groups, has posed the greatest military challenge yet to its rule – and has galvanised opponents elsewhere.


South African lawmakers vote to shut Israel’s embassy

South Africa’s parliament has voted to close the Israeli embassy in Pretoria amid criticism by President Cyril Ramaphosa of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza.

Parliamentarians in South Africa voted in favor of a motion to close down Israel’s embassy on Tuesday and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel until a ceasefire is agreed in its war with the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Tuesday’s motion is largely symbolic as it is up to President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s government whether to implement the resolution or not.

It passed with 248 votes in favor and 91 votes against.

The motion was introduced by the left-wing opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“In the name of our own constitutional values we must end these relations until human rights of Palestinians are respected, promoted and protected,” EFF party leader, Julius Malema, said last week when he proposed the vote.

From drought to deluge: Kenyan villagers reel from floods

 Days after floodwaters swallowed her home in eastern Kenya, Fatuma Hassan Gumo waded through thigh-deep murky water to collect her only remaining possessions — floating utensils.


Flash floods from the Tana river in Garissa, a county on the border with Somalia, forced the 42-year-old fruit vendor to flee at night from her submerged home built from mud and corrugated metal sheets to the nearest dry land with her family of 12, including seven children.

They are among thousands of people left homeless and destitute by torrential rains that have lashed much of Kenya, killing more than 70 people.

The Horn of Africa — only slowly emerging from a devastating drought that left millions hungry — is experiencing heavy rainfall and floods linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon. The latest disaster has claimed dozens of lives and caused large-scale displacement in Kenya as well as Somalia and Ethiopia.


North Korea says it put military spy satellite into orbit on third try



North Korea said it placed a spy satellite into orbit with its third launch attempt this year, demonstrating the nation’s determination to build a space-based surveillance system during protracted tensions with the United States.

The North’s claim Wednesday could not immediately independently be confirmed. Observers doubt whether the satellite is advanced enough to perform military reconnaissance. But the launch still invited strong condemnation from the United States and its partners because the U.N. bans North Korea from conducting satellite launches, calling them covers for tests of missile technology.

The North’s space agency said that its new “Chollima-1” carrier rocket accurately placed the Malligyong-1 satellite into orbit on Tuesday night, about 12 minutes after liftoff from the country’s main launch center.


Baseball great Ichiro Suzuki throws shutout against a high school girls’ team in Japan


He may have retired from professional baseball four years ago, but Ichiro Suzuki certainly hasn’t lost his appetite for the game.

Likely a future Hall of Famer for his stellar Major League Baseball (MLB) career as an outfielder, Ichiro, 50, not only still likes to play, but he’s doing it as a pitcher.

A Japanese high school girls’ team found out just how well he can throw during Ichiro’s annual All-Star game on Tuesday.