Six In The Morning Friday 1 December 2023

Israel tells civilians to leave parts of south Gaza as fighting resumes

Blinken says US still ‘intensely focused’ on hostage release

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Hamas bears responsibility for the truce coming to an end.

“Hamas reneged on commitments it made. Even before the pause came to an end, it committed an atrocious terrorist attack in Jerusalem, killing three people,” Blinken tells reporters as he boards his plane in Dubai.

Hamas claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting at a bus stop in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Blinken adds that Hamas did not uphold commitments it made in terms of releasing certain hostages, and that the US remained “intensely focused” on freeing hostages.

“We’re determined to do everything we can to get everyone reunited with their families, including pursuing the process that had worked for seven days,” Blinken says, adding that work is continuing “almost hour by hour”.

Fears raised after Hong Kong journalist fails to return from China trip

Minnie Chan has reportedly been out of contact since travelling to Xiangshan Forum a month ago

Friends and colleagues of a Hong Kong journalist have raised concerns after she failed to return from a defence and security forum in Beijing a month ago.

Minnie Chan, a reporter for the South China Morning Post, has not been in contact since she went to the Xiangshan Forum, Japan’s Kyodo News reported on Thursday. Chan filed several stories from the forum, the most recent of which was published on 2 November.

Kyodo News reported that her friends, whom it did not name, were concerned she was under investigation. The Guardian understands colleagues at the South China Morning Post have also made inquiries to their editors about her whereabouts.

Philippines opens South China Sea monitoring base

The Philippines has inaugurated a coast guard station on an island occupied by its forces in the disputed South China Sea. Manila says the base is necessary to monitor Chinese vessels after recent “bullying.”

The Philippines opened a coast guard base on the contested island of Thitu on Friday, fully equipped to monitor passing vessels in the South China Sea.

Manila says the base will monitor the behavior of Chinese ships and aircraft in the waterway, accusing Beijing of seeking to bully it over the Spratly archipelago.

Why does the Philippines say it needs a base?

Earlier this year, the Philippine Coast Guard said it had spotted a Chinese navy ship and dozens of militia vessels near the island, which is Manila’s main strategic outpost in the South China Sea.

Staff at the three-story facility will use radar, satellite communication, and cameras to observe the surrounding waters.

Guinea-Bissau army says holding leader of rebel security unit after clashes

Guinea-Bissau’s army said Friday it was in control after a gun battle in the capital between units of the security forces, underscoring the political divisions in the small West African nation with a history of instability.


Gunfire was heard through part of the night and early on Friday in Bissau, in clashes between members of the national guard and special forces guarding the president, an AFP reporter heard.

Calm had returned by mid-morning, with the army announcing the capture or surrender of the commander of the national guard.

Daily life resumed in outlying neighbourhoods of the capital, Bissau, but activity remained subdued in the centre, where military pick-ups patrolled.

Security has been stepped up around official buildings and near the presidency, the military general staff and judicial police.


U.S. continues to fly Osprey aircraft in Japan, despite Tokyo’s request not to

By Mariko Katsumura and John Geddie


Japan is concerned that the U.S. military is continuing to fly its V-22 Osprey aircraft despite its request to ground them until their safety is confirmed after a fatal crash this week, Tokyo’s top government spokesperson said on Friday.

Japan, a key U.S. ally, had sought the suspension of all non-emergency V-22 Osprey flights over its territory after one fell into the sea on Wednesday in western Japan. Japan’s Coast Guard has said one person was found and confirmed dead, and the search for the remaining seven aboard continues.

The Pentagon said on Thursday that it was still flying Ospreys for now, and that it was not aware of any official request for their grounding. The cause of the crash is under investigation.


As climate chaos accelerates, which countries are polluting the most?


Countries have a mammoth task ahead as they gather for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. They are way off track for preventing “climate catastrophe,” and scientists are sounding the alarm that time is running out to slash fossil fuels.

Data from Climate Action Tracker, an independent research group, reveals how much planet-heating pollution is still being spewed out, who are the biggest polluters and how much progress still needs to be made.


At COP28, countries will judge their progress toward the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, with the ambition of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.