Six In The Morning Saturday 9 December 2023

 Civilians make up 61% of Gaza deaths from airstrikes, Israeli study finds

Civilian proportion of deaths is higher than that in all world conflicts in 20th century, Haaretz newspaper says

The aerial bombing campaign by Israel in Gaza is the most indiscriminate in terms of civilian casualties in recent years, a study published by an Israeli newspaper has found.

The analysis by Haaretz came as Israeli forces fought to consolidate their control of northern Gaza on Saturday, bombing the Shejaiya district of Gaza City, while also conducting airstrikes on Rafah, a town on the southern border with Egypt where the Israeli army has told people in Gaza to take shelter.

The full death toll from the past 24 hours was unclear but the main hospital in central Gaza, at Deir al-Balah, reported it received 71 bodies, and 62 bodies were taken to Nasser hospital in the main southern city of Khan Younis, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Guatemala: Arevalo calls bid to annul victory ‘perverse’

President-elect Bernardo Arevalo says a move by prosecutors to invalidate his election victory is an “attempted coup.” He has faced a slew of legal challenges since qualifying for an August runoff that he won.

Guatemala’s President-elect Bernardo Arevalo on Friday slammed a bid by the prosecutor’s office to invalidate his win in an August runoff election, calling allegations of irregularities “absurd, ridiculous and perverse.”

The Central American country’s electoral court also called the results “unchangeable.”

The investigations brought against Arevalo by the attorney general’s office are widely seen in Guatemala as an alarmed reaction by the country’s political establishment elite to his pledges to combat corruption in the country.

Iran bans Mahsa Amini’s family from travelling to accept EU’s Sakharov human rights prize

The family of Mahsa Amini, the Iranian Kurdish woman who died in custody, have been banned from travelling to France to collect a top rights prize awarded posthumously, their lawyer said Saturday.


Amini died aged 22 on September 16, 2022, while being held by Iran‘s religious police for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Her family and supporters say she was killed. Iranian authorities claim she died in custody from a previously undisclosed medical condition.

In October, the European Union awarded its top rights honour, the Sakharov Prize, to her and the global movement her death triggered.

On Saturday her family’s lawyer in France, Chirinne Ardakani, told AFP that Amini’s parents and brother had been “prohibited from boarding the flight that was to take them to France for the presentation of the Sakharov Prize”.


Top members of LDP’s largest faction caught up in funds scandal


December 9, 2023 at 14:30 JST


The fund-raising scandal that has engulfed the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party led to speculation Hirokazu Matsuno will have to resign as chief Cabinet secretary.

Fresh revelations suggested the scandal could have major ramifications for unpopular Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as he tries to contain the crisis.

The faction once headed by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stands accused of financial mismanagement through annual fund-raising parties it held for which faction members were allocated quotas of tickets to sell.


Laura Kuenssberg: Ukraine in ‘mortal danger’ without aid, Olena Zelenska warns

By Laura KuenssbergBBC News in Kyiv

Olena Zelenska has warned that Ukrainians are in “mortal danger” of being left to die if Western countries don’t continue their financial support.

Ukraine’s first lady spoke to Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg a day after Republican senators in the US blocked a key aid bill.

It would have provided more than $60bn (£47.8bn) worth of support to Ukraine.
Speaking hours after a Russian missile attack, she said: “If the world gets tired, they will simply let us die.”

Once, This Was Iraqi Farmland. Now It’s Controlled by an Iran-Linked Militia.

Iran-backed forces are assembling drones and retrofitting rockets in the territory of an American ally. They are used in attacks on U.S. outposts in Iraq and Syria.


Just south of Baghdad, the urban sprawl gives way to glimpses of green, with lush date palm groves bordering the Euphrates River. But few risk spending much time there. Not even the Iraqi military or government officials venture without permission.

A farmer, Ali Hussein, who once lived on that land, said, “We do not dare to even ask if we can go there.”

That’s because this stretch of Iraq — more than twice the size of San Francisco — is controlled by an Iraqi militia linked to Iran and designated a terrorist group by the United States. Militia members man checkpoints around the borders. And though sovereign Iraqi territory, the area, known as Jurf al-Nasr, functions as a “forward operating base for Iran,” according to one of the dozens of Western and Iraqi intelligence and military officers, diplomats and others interviewed for this article.