Six In The Morning Monday 11 March 2024

US defence contractor paid commissions to Saudi firm later alleged to be conduit for bribes

Harris had longstanding relationship with ABTSS, later alleged by British prosecutors to have handled or received illegal payments

One of the largest military contractors in the US paid commissions to a Saudi company later alleged to have been a conduit for bribes for the kingdom’s royal family.

A document disclosed in a UK criminal trial revealed that Harris Corporation, now L3Harris, paid commissions to the Saudi company for over two decades for services in the kingdom.

The Saudi company that received the payments was run by the Fustoks, a Lebanese family that has had a close relationship with one branch of the Saudi royal clan for decades, according to court documents.

Israeli human rights groups accuse country of failing to abide by ICJ’s Gaza aid ruling

Exclusive: 12 prominent organisations sign open letter criticising lack of humanitarian access

Twelve of Israel’s most prominent human rights organisations have signed an open letter accusing the country of failing to comply with the international court of justice’s (ICJ) provisional ruling that it should facilitate access of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The court in The Hague made a number of legal requirements of Israel when it issued a provisional ruling in late January in response to South Africa’s complaint accusing the state of committing genocide in its military campaign in Gaza.

EU states agree to regulate Deliveroo, Uber workers’ rights

EU ministers have agreed that the bloc should regulate the circumstances under which “gig economy” workers would be granted employee rights. The rules would apply to platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber.

European Union member states’ labor and social ministers on Monday agreed on regulations that determine when workers on platforms like Uber and Deliveroo should be classified as employees.

The Platform Work Directive would categorize workers on “gig-economy” apps as employees in certain cases. This would apply where the platform supervises workers’ performances electronically and controls factors like how much they are paid and their working hours.

“Better working conditions for those delivering your meal at home!” the rotating Belgian EU presidency tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter. Belgian officials mediated talks to pass the legislation in Brussels on Monday.

Emergency summit in Jamaica to address spiraling instability in Haiti

US, Canadian, French and Caribbean envoys were meeting Monday in Jamaica to address the spiraling instability in Haiti, where gang violence has crippled the capital and forced foreign diplomats to evacuate over the weekend.

Armed groups, which already control much of Port-au-Prince as well as roads leading to the rest of the country, have unleashed havoc in recent days as they try to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

In power since the 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moise, Henry had been visiting Kenya, in search of support for a UN-backed security support mission, when the latest burst of violence broke out.

Unable to return to Haiti last week, he instead landed in the US territory of Puerto Rico, where he remained on Monday, according to a US official.

The CARICOM group of Caribbean nations has summoned its leaders as well as envoys from the United States, France, Canada and the United Nations to a meeting in Kingston, Jamaica to discuss the crisis.

Japan marks 13 years since quake-tsunami triggered nuclear disaster

Japan on Monday marked 13 years since a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated its northeastern region and triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, with the government vowing to keep the memory of it alive to better respond to current and future disasters.

While recovery has progressed in areas hit by the magnitude-9.0 quake and ensuing tsunami, which claimed the lives of 15,900 people, around 29,000 people are still displaced with cleanup efforts at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant expected to span decades.

In a memorial ceremony held in Fukushima, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he will not let the lessons of the March 11 disaster “fade away” in the quake-prone nation, which most recently saw a powerful temblor shake Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan on New Year’s Day.

(Editors note: I was living just north of Tokyo when the earthquake and tsunami occurred.)

India implements ‘anti-Muslim’ 2019 citizenship law weeks before election

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announces rules to implement the controversial law, weeks before he seeks a rare third term in vote due by May.

The Indian government has announced rules to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a rare third term for his Hindu nationalist government.

The controversial law passed in 2019 by Modi’s government allowed Indian citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from India’s neighbouring countries.

It declared that Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who fled to Hindu-majority India from mainly Muslim Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before December 31, 2014, were eligible for citizenship.