Six In The Morning Sunday 26 November 2023

Third day of Gaza truce holds, with more Israeli hostages set for release

Uncle of released teenagers: captivity wasn’t a smooth ride

Hugo Bachega

Reporting from Jerusalem

The 13 Israeli hostages released on Saturday included 17-year-old Noam Or and his sister, Alma, who is 13. Their mother was one of the more than a hundred people killed at the Kibbutz Be’eri on 7 October while their 48-year-old father, Dror, remains in captivity.

Noam and Alma’s uncle, Ahal Besorai, told me the siblings did not know their mother had been killed. “They had to be confronted with the fact that their mother was murdered by Hamas terrorists. So this was quite an ordeal. Just coming back from captivity, from being kidnapped, and be confronted with this news.”

Respiratory infection clusters in China not caused by novel virus, says health ministry

Data has been supplied to World Health Organization and China says flu and other known pathogens are culprits

A surge in respiratory illnesses across China that has drawn the attention of the World Health Organization is caused by the flu and other known pathogens and not by a novel virus, the country’s health ministry said on Sunday.

Recent clusters of respiratory infections are caused by an overlap of common viruses such as the influenza virus, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and adenovirus, as well as bacteria such as mycoplasma pneumoniae, which is a common culprit for respiratory tract infections, a National Health Commission spokesperson said.

The ministry called on local authorities to open more fever clinics and promote vaccinations among children and elderly people as China grapples with a wave of respiratory illnesses in its first full winter since the removal of Covid-19 restrictions.

A Tour of Hell

With the Israeli Army in Gaza

The only way for Western journalists to access Gaza currently is through tours led by the Israeli military. Reporters encounter streams of refugees and rubble from the destruction, but to what extent does it really deepen their understanding of the war?

By Jonathan Stock

Gaza, on this particular morning, is still little more than a promise. We won’t just be seeing rubble, the buildings, the tanks as has thus far been the case, says the press spokeswoman. No, today, for the first time, we’ll be seeing people, real refugees, Palestinians. “Exciting,” says the spokeswoman.

Three television teams are waiting in the mud next to her, along with a reporter from the Guardian. They have all put on their protective vests and are holding their helmets. One of the journalists passes around sunblock. It’s hot in Gaza. Good thing it rained, says one of the camera operators, noting that it helps keep dust out of the lenses.

The journalists are waiting on the outskirts of the Be’eri kibbutz, so close to the Gaza Strip that children here used to have nightmares of terrorists attacking them in their bedrooms. Until October 7, when they actually did, slaughtering 108 people in the kibbutz, filming themselves as they did so. They even tortured pets. Be’eri has since become a base for the Israeli army. The fighting is still ongoing in Gaza; no cease-fire has yet been agreed to.

India flies in new kit as race to free 41 trapped workers enters third week

India’s military brought in specialised equipment Sunday as efforts to free 41 trapped workers entered a third week, with digging ongoing in three directions after repeated setbacks to the operation.


The Indian air force said Sunday that they were “responding with alacrity”, as they flew in their third load to a rescue operation since the partial collapse of the under-construction Silkyara road tunnel on November 12 in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

Rescue officials said they called for a superheated plasma cutter to be brought to the remote mountain location, after engineers driving a metal pipe horizontally through 57 metres (187 feet) of rock and concrete ran into metal girders and construction vehicles buried in the earth.

A giant earth-boring machine snapped just nine metres from breaking through.

The plasma cutting will be used to remove the broken giant earth-boring drill and metal blocking the horizontal route, before digging will continue by hand.


Sierra Leone declares curfew, says repelled barracks attack

The West African country declared a “nationwide curfew” with immediate effect. It said “unidentified individuals” tried to infiltrate an armory but they had been “rebuffed.”

Sierra Leone’s government said on Sunday that unidentified gunmen attacked a military barracks and tried to break into an armory at the site in the capital, Freetown.

“In the early hours of Sunday, some unidentified individuals attempted to break into the military armory at the Wilberforce barracks. They have been rebuffed,” Information Minister Chernor Bah said in the statement.

Nationwide curfew in place

The government said security forces were again in control of the situation but it nevertheless said it was issuing stay-at-home orders across the country.

New maps show where snowfall is disappearing

By , CNN


Snowfall is declining globally as temperatures warm because of human-caused climate change, a new analysis and maps from a NOAA climate scientist show.

But less snow falling from the sky isn’t as innocuous as just having to shovel less; it threatens to reinforce warming, and disrupt food and water for billions of people.

Climate scientists say the future of snowfall is pretty clear: A warmer world driven by human pollution means precipitation is more likely to fall as rain than snow, all else being equal.