Six In The Morning Saturday 2 December 2023

 Residents of south Gaza city say Israeli strikes heaviest since start of war

Israel’s strategy ‘best described as clearly designated un-safe areas’

Paul Adams

Diplomatic correspondent, reporting from Jerusalem

Two days into the resumption of military operations in Gaza, it’s becoming clearer how Israel says it intends to avoid civilian casualties – which are once again rising rapidly.

Israel is no longer calling on Palestinians to move to al-Mawasi, a thin strip of territory along the Mediterranean coast which officials for weeks described as the only “safe zone.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve not seen huge amounts of people going there,” Major Peter Lerner told me this afternoon, “so we are adjusting our operational assessment of the situation on the ground.”

Tsunami warning after Philippines hit by 7.5 magnitude earthquake

Seismologists say tsunamis expected to hit Philippines and Japan in early hours of Sunday morning

An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 has struck Mindanao in the Philippines, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, at a depth of 63 km (39 miles), and tsunamis were expected to hit the Philippines and Japan shortly.

The Philippine Seismology Agency (Phivolcs) said tsunami waves could hit the Philippines by midnight local time (1600 GMT) and could continue for hours.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK said tsunami waves of up to a metre (3 feet) high were expected to reach Japan’s western coast a little later, by 1.30am on Sunday (16.30 GMT on Saturday).

The US Geographic Survey estimated the earthquake at magnitude 7.6 and a depth of 32 km (20 miles), and said it had struck at 10.37pm (14.37 GMT).

More details soon …

As economy tanks, Turkish companies eye Egypt

Rampant inflation and economic uncertainty have pushed many Turkish companies to relocate to Egypt, which offers far lower labor costs, a simplified visa regime and better access to international markets.

Relations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, have been icy for years.

When democratically elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office by then General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in 2013, Erdogan immediately sided with the jailed Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated leader, calling el-Sissi a putschist, murderer and tyrant.

Erdogan adopted the Muslim Brotherhood’s signature hand gesture and often dismissively referred to Turkish opposition politicians as el-Sissis in an expression of loathing for the new Egyptian president.

Burkina, Niger to quit G5 anti-jihadist force

The military leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger said Saturday they would quit the G5 anti-jihadist force in Africa’s Sahel region, the latest blow to the fight against insurgents in one of the world’s most troubled zones.


The G5, created in 2014, has secured only meagre results, with Mali also quitting the original five-nation force last year in the wake of a military coup.

Leaders of the five countries agreed to deploy a joint anti-terror task force backed by France in 2017, but the military rulers of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali have all accused Paris of having an outsize role after years of French deployments on their territories.

Burkina and Niger “have decided in full sovereignty to quit all instances of the G5 Sahel, including the joint force” as of November 29, the two countries said in a statement.


Over 20 nations, including Japan, call for tripling of nuclear energy


More than 20 countries, including Japan, called for the tripling of world nuclear energy capacity at U.N. climate talks on Saturday as part of efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

A declaration endorsed by nations ranging from South Korea to the United States to Ghana and several European countries said nuclear energy plays a “key role” in reaching the goal of carbon neutrality.


The use of nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels is controversial — particularly in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011 — as environmental groups are concerned about safety and the disposal of nuclear waste.


Russia boosts size of armed forces by 170,000 troops

President Putin’s decree takes number of Russian service personnel to 1.32 million amid continuing Ukraine war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country’s military to increase the maximum number of troops by nearly 170,000 people, as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continues into its 22nd month.

Putin’s decree was released by the Kremlin on Friday and took force immediately. It brings the strength of the armed forces to 1.32 million service personnel and increases the overall number of Russian military personnel to about 2.2 million.

“The increase in the full-time strength of the armed forces is due to the growing threats to our country associated with the special military operation and the ongoing expansion of NATO,” the Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement.