Six In The Morning Sunday 18 February 2024


 Eight die at Nasser Hospital as oxygen runs out

  • Nasser Hospital has been put “completely out of service”, according to a spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry. The WHO chief said that some 200 patients were inside Gaza’s second-largest medical facility, which has been under an Israeli siege for nearly a month.
  • Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani says that progress towards a ceasefire in Gaza is slowing down. “The pattern in the last few days is not really very promising,” he said on Saturday.
  • The United States is pledging to veto a new UN Security Council resolution put forth by Algeria that demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls Hamas’s demands for a ceasefire and prisoner release “delusional” after the group blamed Israel for a lack of progress in achieving a ceasefire deal.

Israeli police seal off Palestinian home in East Jerusalem ahead of demolition

Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem have sealed off the home of a Palestinian man who allegedly carried out a shooting attack in southern Israel on Friday afternoon killing two Israelis.

The move comes ahead of plans to demolish the home of Fadi Jamjoum, in the Shu’fat refugee camp, a measure Israeli and Palestinian rights groups call an act of collective punishment.

Jamjoum was shot dead at ar-Ram juncture in occupied East Jerusalem.

In a statement on their Telegram channel, police also said they confiscated the house’s contents and furniture.

Italian town in turmoil after far-right mayor bans Muslim prayers

Bangladeshi residents and others in Monfalcone say decisions to prohibit worship at cultural centres and banning burkinis at the beach is part of anti-Islam agenda

The envelope containing two partially burned pages of the Qur’an came as a shock. Until then, Muslim residents in the Adriatic port town of Monfalcone had lived relatively peacefully for more than 20 years.

Addressed to the Darus Salaam Muslim cultural association on Via Duca d’Aosta, the envelope was received soon after Monfalcone’s far-right mayor, Anna Maria Cisint, banned prayers on the premises.

“It was hurtful, a serious insult we never expected,” said Bou Konate, the association’s president. “But it was not a coincidence. The letter was a threat, generated by a campaign of hate that has stoked toxicity.”

Good Morning Europe!Trump’s NATO Comments Trigger Defense Debate in Europe

With his recent comments on NATO, Donald Trump shocked the Western world. Is the U.S. preparing to abandon its allies? Europe finally seems to be considering a future in which the American nuclear umbrella no longer exists.

You certainly can’t accuse Donald Trump of keeping his antipathy for NATO a secret. Even before he was sworn in as president of the United States in January 2017, he called the trans-Atlantic alliance “obsolete.” When then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited him in Washington for the first time that March, Trump reportedly opened their meeting by saying: “Angela, you owe me $1 trillion.”

The sum was the product of a calculation made by Trump’s chief strategist at the time, Steve Bannon, and was rooted in Germany’s failure over the years to invest 2 percent of its economic output in its military, as NATO member states agreed to do in 2014.

US condemns Rwandan support for M23 rebels in DR Congo

The US expressed concern about the escalating violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where M23 rebels launched an offensive near Goma.

The United States condemned the worsening violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and called on M23 rebels to cease hostilities immediately.

In a statement released on Saturday, the US State Department also condemned Rwanda for supporting the rebels.

“The United States strongly condemns the worsening violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) caused by the actions of the Rwanda-backed, US- and UN-sanctioned M23 armed group, including its recent incursions into the town of Sake,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin released on parole after serving 6 months in a hospital


Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was released on parole early Sunday from a Bangkok hospital where he spent six months serving time for corruption-related offenses.

Thaksin was seen wearing a neck support, a sling on his right arm and a surgical mask inside one of the cars in a convoy leaving the Police General Hospital just before sunrise. He was accompanied by his two daughters and they arrived at his residence in western Bangkok less than an hour later.

A homemade banner with the words “Welcome home” and “We’ve been waiting for this day for so so long” was seen hanging at the front gate of his house. Thaksin and his daughters rode straight into the compound and did not give any reaction to a throng of reporters gathered on the street.

Ridge Alkonis: The sailor who stoked Japanese resentment against the US

By Nicholas Yong & Ian Tang BBC News

When the story of Ridge Alkonis first broke on 29 May 2021, it did not initially attract much attention in Japan.

The US Navy officer had killed two Japanese citizens in a car accident during a trip to Mount Fuji – the victims were an 85-year-old woman and her son-in-law, aged 54.

After pleading guilty to negligent driving, Alkonis was sentenced to three years jail in October 2021. In his defence, US Navy doctors said he had been suffering from acute mountain sickness at the time of the accident. He was transferred to US custody last December.

Alkonis, stationed at the Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo, was just the latest American serviceman to run into legal troubles. Since the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was inked in 1960 – enabling the deployment of US military forces in the country – there have been hundreds of criminal cases involving US military personnel.