Six In The Morning Tuesday 30 January 2024

Israeli troops storm Al-Amal Hospital

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  • Israeli troops have stormed Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis and are demanding doctors, displaced Palestinians evacuate, Palestine Red Crescent says.
  • Hamas’s political chief reviews new truce proposal saying “priority is to stop the brutal aggression against Gaza and complete withdrawal of occupation forces”.
  • Israeli commandos disguised as medical staff and civilians gun down three men in Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital in the occupied West Bank, alleging they planned to carry out “terrorist” attacks.
  • A large number of Palestinian civilians have been killed in Israeli attacks on residential homes in the Sabra and Tuffah neighbourhoods of Gaza City, Wafa news agency reports.
  • At least 26,751 people have been killed and 65,636 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks stands at 1,139.

Displaced Palestinians ‘terrified’ as Israeli forces take al-Amal Hospital

Israeli forces have stormed al-Amal Hospital, where thousands of Palestinians are taking refuge.

Israeli forces had destroyed the back wall of the hospital along with setting fire to the majority of makeshift tents that were set in the facility of this medical complex.

The majority of evacuees there are completely terrified as the Israeli forces are recommending them to flee and to get out of the medical complex.

Imran Khan handed 10 years in prison for leaking state secrets

Former Pakistan PM condemned trial as ‘a joke’ amid crackdown on his political party in run-up to election

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for leaking official secrets, amid a crackdown on his political party before the general election due next week.

The sentence is the harshest yet against Khan, who has been held in jail since August after he began to openly criticise the country’s military.

The case relates to a diplomatic cable that allegedly went missing while in his possession. Khan publicly cited the cable as proof that the US had been part of a conspiracy behind his fall from power in 2022 but he denied taking it from the ministry of foreign affairs.

Mandela auction suspended amid row over heritage

Seventy personal items of the former South African president were set to go under the hammer in New York in February.

A controversial auction of 70 personal items belonging to former South African President Nelson Mandela has been suspended.

“This auction has been suspended,” a note on New York-based Guernsey’s auction house stated on Tuesday.

The auction, which was scheduled to take place in February, would have included some personal belongings of the anti-apartheid hero, including his identity document and hearing aids.

‘French agriculture can’t be bartered away’: Farmers unite against EU rules and globalised markets

French farmers have been putting pressure on the government to respond to their demands for better remuneration to fight rising costs and what they say are stifling EU regulations. As tractors blockaded major highways around Paris for a second day on Tuesday, Damien Brunelle, a farmer from the Rural Coordination union, spoke to FRANCE 24 about the continuing protest and the reasons behind it.

Nationwide protests have been roiling Europe’s largest agricultural producer since mid-January, with French farmers angry, in part, over EU regulations and environmental policies they say are rendering them incapable of competing in an increasingly globalised world market.

Farmers have used tractors, trucks and hay bales to block major highways and obstruct traffic across France. They encircled Paris on Monday, with the intention of blocking several key routes into the capital.

Rural Coordination was established in 1992, in part, to oppose the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and international free-trade agreements. More radical than the nation’s main FNSEA union, Rural Coordination has favoured street protests to negotiations over the past 30 years.

Kabukicho touts tied to Chinese Dragon accused of deception

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

January 30, 2024 at 16:45 JST

Tokyo police said they have arrested a gang of touts who pretended to be working for a well-known “izakaya” pub chain to lure customers to unrelated eateries that charged exorbitant prices.

On the streets of the Kabukicho entertainment district in Shinjuku Ward, the suspects claimed to be connected to an affiliate of the Torikizoku chain of “yakitori” izakaya. But they were actually associated with Chinese Dragon, an organized crime group based in the capital, police sources said.

The Metropolitan Police Department on Jan. 29 arrested Kenji Takahashi, 58, a resident of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, on suspicion of obstructing business by deception.

Secret calls and code names: The risky business of sending money to N Korea

By Jungmin Choi

BBC Korean

Every year, hundreds of North Korean defectors, who have since settled in the South, send much-needed money back home. But this is getting riskier as both countries are increasingly cracking down on illegal transfers of money.

“It is like a spy movie and people are putting their lives on the line,” says Hwang Ji-sung, who has been a broker in South Korea for more than a decade.

As a defector himself, he knows how complex and difficult the task is – requiring a covert network of brokers and couriers spread across South Korea, China and North Korea.

Secret calls using smuggled Chinese phones are made at remote locations. Code names are used.

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