Six In The Morning Thursday 7 December 2023

Russia luring migrants from Finnish border for war in Ukraine

By Oleg BoldyrevBBC Russian

Russia is trying to recruit foreign migrants, detained in a recent sweep at its border with Finland, for its war in Ukraine.

The BBC has seen evidence of several cases in which foreigners were rushed into a military camp on the border with Ukraine, days after they were picked up for breaching immigration laws.
The practice of coercing people in pre-deportation detention centres to sign contracts for army service in Ukraine is not new, but the numbers swelled as foreign migrants arrived at Russia’s 1,340-km (833-mile) border with Finland.


Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah ‘killed by Israeli tank shell’

Human rights groups call for war crimes investigation after Israeli tank fired at journalists in Lebanon

Israeli tank shells fired in quick succession killed a Reuters journalist and injured six others as they filmed in Lebanon on 13 October, investigations by their employers have found.

Human rights groups called for a war crimes investigation into the attacks, after conducting their own independent investigations and reaching the same conclusion.

Issam Abdallah, a 37-year-old video journalist, was killed instantly by a first shell, the reports published on Thursday found. It also seriously injured the AFP photographer Christina Assi, 28, who had a leg amputated and is still in hospital.

Denmark parliament adopts bill prohibiting Quran burnings

The burning of the Islamic holy book in Denmark has stirred outrage in Muslim-majority nations. Critics of the Quran burning law say it would undermine liberal freedoms in the Scandinavian country.

The Danish parliament on Thursday approved legislation that would effectively prohibit Quran burnings in the northern European country.

Lawbreakers could face up to two years in jail

The law criminalizes the “inappropriate treatment of writings with significant importance for a recognized religious community.”

The bill was passed with 94 votes in favor by the 179-member Danish parliament, also known as the Folketing. Seventy-seven votes were cast against the legislation.

Burning, tearing, or defiling religious texts in public could land people with a fine or up to two years behind bars. Destroying a holy text on video and disseminating the footage online could also put offenders in jail.

Situation in Gaza is ‘apocalyptic’, UN human rights chief tells FRANCE 24


In an interview with FRANCE 24, the UN high commissioner for human rights expressed deep concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, describing the situation as “apocalyptic”. Volker Türk denounced “grave breaches of international humanitarian law” in Gaza, citing the Israeli blockade of the territory and the use of explosives in densely populated areas. Asked if Israel was deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza, Türk said “the facts speak for themselves”.

Up to 600 N Korean defectors deported by China have vanished, says rights group

By Hyonhee Shin

Up to 600 North Koreans have “vanished” after being forcibly deported by China in October, a Seoul-based human rights group said on Thursday, warning they may face imprisonment, torture, sexual violence and execution in the isolated state.

The report by the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) came about two months after South Korea lodged a protest with China over the suspected repatriation of a large of number of North Koreans who were trying to flee to South Korea.

The TJWG said hundreds of defectors were transported in guarded buses and vans from Chinese detention centres across the border into the North on Oct. 9, calling the incident the largest such mass repatriation in years.

As Western unity on Ukraine falters, Putin eyes a slow-burn win

This is the moment Russian President Vladimir Putin has been waiting for: when he doesn’t really need to do much, and can call it a win.
The static frontlines in Ukraine are slowly hardening as the snow deepens. In Kyiv, there is a palpable sense of once-insurmountable morale ebbing slightly. There is open talk of disagreement between the commander-in-chief and the chief of staff – Volodymyr Zelensky and Valery Zaluzhny.
Russia is no longer losing the war, or the terrain it seized, and so Ukraine is definitely not winning it. Across European capitals, elections loom and even the farmers of stalwart ally Poland are picking quarrels with their Ukrainian neighbours.