Six In The Morning Tuesday 12 March 2024


Qatar says truce deal ‘not near’

  • Israel and Hamas are not close to a deal to halt the fighting in Gaza and free captives, mediator Qatar says, warning that the situation remained ‘very complicated’.
  • At least eleven people were killed when Israeli forces again targeted aid seekers in Gaza.
  • The WHO chief says an aid mission managed to reach al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, bringing food and medical supplies, as the Health Ministry says 2,000 medical workers in the north face famine.
  • Israel imposes restrictions on West Bank worshippers entering Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, as 35,000 gather for prayers on the first day of Ramadan.
  • At least 31,184 Palestinians have been killed and 72,889 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attacks stands at 1,139, and dozens continue to be held captive.

US senators urge Biden to condition weapons sales to Israel

In a letter to the US president, independent Senator Bernie Sanders, and seven Democrats say that by continuing to arm Israel, Biden is violating the Foreign Assistance Act, which bars military support from going to any nation that restricts the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“We urge you to make it clear to the Netanyahu government that failure to immediately and dramatically expand humanitarian access and facilitate safe aid deliveries throughout Gaza will lead to serious consequences, as specified under existing US law,” the senators write.

Haiti PM Ariel Henry resigns after gang insurrection caused days of chaos

Henry urges people to remain calm while his government is replaced by a transitional council

The embattled Haitian prime minister, Ariel Henry, has resigned after a gang insurrection against his government plunged the country into anarchy and prevented his return from a trip to Kenya.

Henry, who is now in Puerto Rico, said he would formally quit after the installation of a transitional council to lead the Caribbean state, which has been submerged in chaos since the assassination of its president Jovenel Moïses in July 2021 by Colombian mercenaries.

Houthi attacks in Red Sea threaten internet infrastructure

The recent attack on the cargo ship Rubymar by the Iran-backed Houthis caused the crew to drop anchor, which damaged undersea internet cables, the US has said. Could the vital infrastructure now become a regular target?

A new threat has emerged from the attacks by Iran-backed Houthis on shipping in the Red Sea that have caused delays to goods arriving in Europe from Asia.

The United States said last week it believed the recent sinking of a Belize-flagged, Lebanese-operated fertilizer ship severed vital undersea cables that provide internet connectivity between the East and West.

The attack on the M/V Rubymar on February 18 “forced the crew to drop anchor and abandon ship,” a US defense official said.

Turkey, Iran and Morocco joust for influence in Africa’s Sahel

Turkey, Iran and Morocco are vying for a greater economic and military role in Africa’s Sahel after former colonial ruler France’s forced withdrawal from the volatile region.

Turkish military equipment and Moroccan and Iranian development and infrastructure projects are tempting for cash-strapped Sahelian military regimes grappling with jihadist violence.

MaliBurkina Faso and Niger have undergone coups since 2020, against a backdrop of a bloody jihadist insurgency.

Their military rulers have since exited a wider Western African bloc and created a joint defence pact to fight the jihadists.

Under-equipped Sahelian armies want “to develop endogenous capabilities to reduce our dependence”, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Karamoko Jean Marie Traore said.

Hiroshima grapples with ‘Oppenheimer’ Oscars success

By Harumi OZAWA

Oppenheimer” had a glittering night at the Oscars but in Hiroshima, devastated by the first nuclear bomb in 1945, the film about the weapon’s creator is harder to stomach.

“Is this really a movie that people in Hiroshima can bear to watch?” said Kyoko Heya, president of the Japanese city’s international film festival, on Monday after the blockbuster won seven Academy Awards including best picture.

Christopher Nolan also picked up best director for the biopic, which was a huge hit worldwide last summer — except in Japan, where it was absent from cinemas.

Mars could be driving ‘giant whirlpools’ in the Earth’s deep oceans, new study finds

Mars may be around 140 million miles away from Earth, but the red planet is influencing our deep oceans by helping drive “giant whirlpools,” according to new research.

Scientists analyzed sediments, drilled from hundreds of deep-sea sites over the past half century, to look back tens of millions of years into Earth’s past, in a quest to better understand the strength of deep ocean currents.

What they found surprised them.

The sediments revealed that deep-sea currents weakened and strengthened over 2.4 million-year climate cycles, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.