Six In The Morning Wednesday 14 February 2024


Israeli forces kill Gaza political analyst, frequent Al Jazeeera guest

Israeli forces killed Ayman Rafati, his wife and children after shelling his home north of Gaza City, says Ramy Abdu, head of the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

Abdu has accused Israel of silencing voices from Gaza, while others have called it part of an ongoing scholasticide, a term that has become popular to refer to Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s education system.

The Israeli army has previously killed poets, professors and academics, and approximately 100 journalists.

  • Dozens of trapped people flee Nasser Hospital during deadly sniper attacks after Israeli forces ordered hundreds to evacuate.
  • Israel launches “extensive wave of attacks” on southern Lebanon after “deep” rocket strikes kill one and wound eight others.

Academics in US, UK and Australia collaborated on drone research with Iranian university close to regime

Exclusive: work by researchers from western universities and counterparts at Sharif University considered potentially ‘very dangerous’ by experts

Academics in the UK, Australia and the US collaborated on research related to drone technology with an Iranian university that is under international financial sanctions and known for its close ties to the military, the Guardian can reveal.

The collaborative research was described by one security expert as having direct military applications, while another called it potentially “very dangerous”. Iranian-made drones have been responsible for a number of deadly attacks in the Ukraine and Middle East conflicts, and their development is known to be a top priority for the government in Tehran.

The Guardian has seen no evidence that the research contravenes any sanctions or breaks any laws.

Indonesia elections: Prabowo Subianto claims victory

Independent pollsters show the current defense minister leading in the presidential election, with most of sample votes counted. Official results are not expected for several weeks.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto on Wednesday claimed victory in the presidential election as unofficial tallies indicated that he and his running mate, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, were poised to win in a single round.

“All counts, all pollsters… showed figures that Prabowo-Gibran won in one round. This victory should be a victory for all Indonesians,” he told a crowd at an arena in central Jakarta.

“We believe Indonesian democracy is running well. The people have determined, the people have decided,” he told supporters, while stressing that “we must still wait for KPU’s official result,” referring to the election commission.

Iran-backed hackers interrupt UAE, UK and Canadian programming with fake AI news broadcast

A group of hackers linked to Iran have interrupted BBC and a host of other European TV streaming services in Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Canada, Microsoft stated in a report earlier this month, noting a marked acceleration of Iranian cyber attacks since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel. The programming was interrupted with a fake news report on Gaza featuring graphic images and what appeared to be an AI-generated anchor – the first time Iran has used AI in this way in its influence operations.

According to the American IT giant, the hacker attack took place in early December and underscored “the fast and significant expansion in the scope of Iranian operations since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict”.

The fake news broadcast focused on Israel’s operations in Gaza and was accompanied by a banner that read: “We have no choice but to hack to deliver this message to you.”

The AI news anchor then went on to present graphic – and unverified images – of Palestinians, including women and children, allegedly killed or injured by Israeli forces in Gaza.

EDITORIAL: Transparency a must in search for nuclear waste disposal sites

February 14, 2024 at 14:50 JST

The government must face up to the fact that there is no easy solution to the disposal of nuclear waste that will continue to be generated from nuclear power plants.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) on Feb. 13 released the results of a survey of research data concerning two Hokkaido municipalities–the town of Suttsu and the village of Kamoenai.

Both entities have been earmarked as possible sites where high-level nuclear  waste will be buried underground at a depth greater than 300 meters.

The Amazon has survived changes in the climate for 65 million years. Now it’s heading for collapse, a study says

The Amazon rainforest is on course to reach a crucial tipping point as soon as 2050, with devastating consequences for the region and the world’s ability to tackle climate change, according to a study published Wednesday.

The Amazon has proven resilient to natural changes in the climate for 65 million years, but deforestation and the human-caused climate crisis have brought new levels of stress and could cause a large-scale collapse of the forest system within the next three decades, the study said.

The researchers predict that 10% to 47% of the Amazon will be exposed to stresses that could push the ecosystem to its tipping point, a critical threshold that once crossed will lead to a downward spiral of impacts.