Six In The Morning Thursday 25 January 2024


Gangs, gunmen and cartels running amok. As terror grips the streets of Ecuador, even the armed forces live in fear

Camille Gamarra and Diego Gallardo sat in their living room and watched as armed gunmen stormed a local television news studio, taking anchors and staff hostage during the live broadcast.

People watching it play out were left stunned, and word quickly spread on social media and through WhatsApp messages of simultaneous attacks that were being carried out through Ecuador’s largest and arguably most violent city, Guayaquil.

Suddenly, residents, including Camille and Diego, found themselves seeking a safe place for themselves and their loved ones.

Bangladesh launches investigation into children ‘wrongly’ adopted overseas

Police start to interview witnesses following Guardian reports on adoptions to the Netherlands nearly 50 years ago

Read more: ‘I was told I could visit. Then she went missing’: the Bangladeshi mothers who say their children were adopted without consent

Police in Bangladesh have launched an investigation into historical allegations that children were adopted abroad without their parents’ consent, after a Guardian investigation into adoptions to the Netherlands in the 1970s.

Bangladesh special branch in Dhaka confirmed it had opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the adoption of a number of children between 1976 and 1979.

It is the first time police have investigated allegations that children were lured from mothers using a tactic known as the “boarding school scam”, where vulnerable families were offered temporary shelter for their children only to find they were adopted abroad without their consent.

Russia sentences woman to 27 years for war blogger’s death

Darya Trepova was charged with carrying out a blast that killed a prominent Russian war blogger last year at a cafe in St. Petersburg.

A St. Petersburg court sentenced a Russian national to 27 years in prison for a bomb attack that killed a prominent Russian military blogger and injured a dozen more people at a cafe in April 2023.

The court found Darya Trepova guilty of terrorism and other charges last year. Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky died when a miniature statue handed to him as a gift by Trepova exploded.

Tatarsky was killed while hosting a talk at the cafe in the country’s second-biggest city. He was handed the figurine with the bomb while meeting members of the public, Russian media had reported.

French court scraps large parts of hardline immigration law as unconstitutional

France’s Constitutional Council on Thursday rejected several measures in a divisive new immigration law that critics call inhumane, in a new blow to President Emmanuel Macron and his government.

The council said in a statement that it threw out all or part of 32 of the law’s 86 articles, saying they were contrary to the constitution. Macron and lawmakers had sought the body’s assessment of the law, passed last year after a torturous debate.

Among measures rejected were those making it harder for immigrants to bring their families to France, and limiting their access to social welfare. The bill also strengthens France’s ability to deport foreigners considered undesirable.

Groups who see the law as contrary to French values — and as a gift to the increasingly influential far right — protested ahead of the ruling outside the Constitutional Council across from the Louvre Museum in central Paris. Other protests were also planned, and Paris police deployed special security measures for the day.

Man sentenced to death for Kyoto Animation arson attack

By Hiroshi HIYAMA

The Kyoto District Court on Thursday sentenced to death the perpetrator of a 2019 arson attack on an animation studio that killed 36 people, local media reported.

The blaze that ripped through the studios of Kyoto Animation 4 1/2 years ago was Japan’s deadliest crime in decades, stunning the anime industry and its fans around the world.

Shinji Aoba, now 45, broke into the building, spread gasoline around the ground floor, lit it and shouted “drop dead” on the morning of July 18, 2019, survivors said.

Qatar ‘appalled’ at alleged Netanyahu criticism of mediation in Gaza war

After reports of leaked recording, Qatar says attributed remarks show Israeli PM ‘obstructing mediation efforts’ and ‘prioritising’ his career.

Qatar has rebuked Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he allegedly criticised the Gulf country’s role as a mediator in the Gaza war as “problematic” in a leaked recording.

At a meeting this week with the families of captives being held in Gaza, Netanyahu blamed Qatar for financing Hamas and said he was upset at a decision by the United States to extend the presence of a military base in the Gulf state, according to Israeli news outlet Channel 12.

“These remarks if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising,” Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Majed al-Ansari said in a post on X on Wednesday.