Six In The Morning Wednesday 17 January 2024

US designates Yemen’s Houthis ‘terrorist group’

  • US designates Yemen’s Houthis as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” after the group’s attack on shipping in the Red Sea in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
  • The Jordanian army says its military field hospital in Khan Younis was badly damaged as a result of Israeli shelling in the vicinity.

Houthis say attacks on ships will continue after US ‘terrorist’ designation

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam says that the group will not stop its attacks on ships heading to Israel from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

In comments Abdulsalam made to Al Jazeera, he said that the Houthis would “not back down in its position in support of the Palestinian people”.

AfD plans to turn Germany into authoritarian state, vice-chancellor warns

Robert Habeck tacitly backs calls to ban far-right party after it participated in meeting to discuss mass deportations

The far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party is planning to transform Germany into an authoritarian state similar to Russia, the country’s vice-chancellor and economics minister, has warned, tacitly backing calls to ban the party.

Speaking a week after it emerged that party members had participated in a meeting to discuss mass deportations, allegedly including German citizens, Robert Habeck said the danger the party posed to democracy had been gravely underestimated.

As a fifth night of anti-AfD protests saw tens of thousands of people take to the streets of German cities, with more expected later on Wednesday, Habeck appeared to support calls to outlaw the party, while stressing the risks of such a move “dangerously backfiring” were it to fail.

China: Population drops for 2nd straight year

Plunging birth rates and COVID-related deaths have led to a population decline of over 2 million. However, Beijing says it has hit economic growth targets.

Official data released on Wednesday showed that China’s population was on the decline for a second consecutive year.

China’s economy rose slightly in the fourth quarter of 2023, allowing the government to hit its growth target after it missed the mark last year. However, China’s growth was one of its slowest in over 30 years.

China’s population figures

Falling birth rates and a wave of deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic has quickened a downtourn in population that is projected to have long-term effects on the economy’s growth potential.

“By the end of 2023, the national population was 1,409.67 million… a decrease of 2.08 million over that at the end of 2022,” Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

U.S. military joins relief efforts for Noto quake victims


January 17, 2024 at 16:53 JST

U.S. military forces stationed in Japan started transporting relief supplies to areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Using the Komatsu Air Base of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force in the prefecture, the U.S. military brought emergency supplies to Noto Airport via helicopter on Jan. 17.

“We’ve made the request for U.S. cooperation to avoid any interruption in supply transportation that has been carried out by the SDF,” Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said on Jan. 16.

Russian riot police clash with protesters after activist sentenced

Riot police fired tear gas, flash grenades and used batons to disperse demonstrators in Russia’s Bashkortostan region after a local activist was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in prison.

Videos showed supporters of Fail Alsynov clashing with police near the court where he had been convicted of inciting ethnic hatred, according to Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.

Bashkortostan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs called the demonstrations an “unauthorized rally” and said police have begun investigating “mass unrest,” in a post on Telegram.