Six In The Morning Wednesday 21 February 2024


Exclusive: Israeli forces fired on food convoy in Gaza, UN documents and satellite analysis reveals

Israeli forces fired on a United Nations convoy carrying vital food supplies in central Gaza on February 5, before ultimately blocking the trucks from progressing to the northern part of the territory, where Palestinians are on the verge of famine, according to documents shared exclusively by the UN and CNN’s own analysis.

CNN has seen correspondence between the UN and the Israeli military that show the convoy’s route was agreed upon by both parties prior to the strike. According to an internal incident report compiled by UNRWA, the main UN relief agency in Gaza, which was also seen by CNN, the truck was one of 10 in a convoy sitting stationary at an IDF holding point when it was fired upon.

No one in the convoy was hurt, but much of its contents – mainly wheat flour desperately needed to bake bread – were destroyed. Tracing the strike offers a window into the major challenges that humanitarian efforts face in getting aid to Gaza’s more than 2 million people – nearly 85% of whom are internally displaced – amid Israel’s nearly five-month bombardment of the strip.

UN agency pauses Gaza food aid deliveries after looting and gunfire

World Food Programme reports ‘hunger and desperation’ and says Gaza is ‘hanging by a thread’

A UN effort to deliver critical food aid to northern Gaza has been paused because of a breakdown in public order amid acute “hunger and desperation” across the battered territory.

The UN’s World Food Programme was forced to suspend plans to send 10 convoys of food aid into northern Gaza this week after chaotic scenes over the weekend, with crowds looting lorries. A driver was beaten and gunfire was reported.

The agency said in a statement: “A large-scale expansion of the flow of assistance to northern Gaza is urgently needed to avoid disaster … Gaza is hanging by a thread and WFP must be enabled to reverse the path towards famine for thousands of desperately hungry people.”

Bundesliga scraps major investment deal amid fan revolt

A controversial investment deal which would have seen a private equity partner invest up to one billion euros in Germany’s Bundesliga has been scrapped following widespread fan protests.

The German Football League (DFL) has announced that it has abandoned its plans to negotiate a 1 billion euro investment deal with a private equity partner.

The decision came after widespread fan protests against the proposals which had seen matches in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 (Germany’s top two divisions) increasingly disrupted by supporters throwing tennis balls and other objects onto pitches, causing delays of up to 30 minutes.

“Given current developments, a successful continuation of the process no longer appears possible,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, DFL supervisory board chairman and Borussia Dortmund CEO, in a statement following an emergency DFL meeting on Wednesday.

Indian farmers pause protest after govt disperses march, offers new talks

Indian farmers demanding higher prices for their produce paused their protest on Wednesday after the government made a new offer to resume talks, hours after police fired tear gas and used water cannons to scatter thousands staging a march to Delhi.

The farmers, mostly from the northern state of Punjab, have been demanding higher prices backed by law for their crops. They form an influential bloc of voters Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot afford to anger ahead of general elections due by May.

Farmers’ leader Sarwan Singh Pandher told reporters they would pause their protest for two days and deliberate their next course of action until Friday after the government offered anew to resume talks on farmers’ demand for guaranteed crop prices.

“The government is ready to discuss all the issues,” Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda posted on social network X.

Air Force knows what failed on U.S. Osprey in Japan crash, but still doesn’t know why


U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command said Tuesday it knows what failed on its CV-22B Osprey leading to a November crash in Japan that killed eight service members. But it still does not know why the failure happened.

Because of the crash, hundreds of Osprey aircraft across the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy have been grounded since Dec. 6. There are two investigations that are looking into the Japan crash — a safety investigation board, which is a privileged internal review conducted in private to help inform pilots and crews, as well as an accident investigation board, which is the official administrative review. Both are still ongoing.

On Tuesday, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said her understanding is that “the Ospreys are not going back in the air at this time.” She said it will be up to the military services to determine when they will be safe to fly again, and she said she can’t say if that will be while the investigations continue or must wait until they are completed.

Belarusian flautist’s fate unknown as hundreds of activists remain in prison

Death of Russian opposition leader will add to anxiety of Maria Kolesnikova’s family who have not heard from her for a year

Ihas been more than a year since relatives and friends have heard from Maria Kolesnikova. The Belarusian activist is one of 1,416 political prisoners behind bars as part of a crackdown that has maintained pace this year before parliamentary elections this weekend.

“The last letter from [Maria] was received on 14 February 2023,” her sister wrote last week. “Since then, which is exactly a year ago, we have not received any reliable information about her.”

Kolesnikova, a pro-democracy activist and former flautist who was close to the opposition presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka, was arrested in September 2020 after she joined a female triumvirate spearheading the opposition to the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “extremism” and other charges. In February 2022, her lawyers lost contact with her and she ceased writing letters, one of a number of high-profile political activists to vanish in prison in Belarus after the anti-opposition crackdown.