Six In The Morning Thursday 14 March 2024


‘Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah’

We reported earlier that US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Israel must make “significant course corrections” to achieve lasting peace with the Palestinians.

Here’s more on his address to the Senate, where he said Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government “no longer fits the needs of Israel” after October 7.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish politician in the US, said.

He added Netanyahu surrounded himself with far-right ministers and “has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows”.

“Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah,” Schumer said.

Pro-Ukraine exiled Russian fighters launch cross-border raid into southern Russia

Members of the Siberia, Freedom of Russia Legion and RDK battalions work closely with the Ukrainian army

Three pro-Ukrainian battalions made up of recruits from Russia have launched a fresh incursion into southern Russia in a cross-border raid meant to sow chaos before Vladimir Putin’s widely expected re-election this weekend.

The three armed groups of Russian exiled fighters, who operate in close coordination with Ukraine’s military, said they had crossed the border into the southern Kursk and Belgorod regions. In a statement, the Russian National Guard acknowledged the raid, saying that together with the armed forces, they were repelling the Ukrainian-backed armed groups’ attack near the village of Tyotkino in Russia’s western Kursk region.

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act: Why is it controversial?

Opposition parties and rights groups say the new citizenship law discriminates against Muslims and undermines the country’s secular constitution

This week, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the implementation of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), drawing sharp criticism from opposition parties and rights groups.

The CAA was passed by India‘s Parliament in 2019, but was not enforced until now.

What is the law about?

The CAA fast-tracks Indian citizenship applications of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian immigrants who escaped to India from religious persecution in Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Instead of having to spend 11 years in the country to qualify for citizenship through naturalization, they would become eligible after just five years.

The law excludes Muslim immigrants from these countries, marking the first time that India has set religious criteria for citizenship.

How charity ship Open Arms is delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza

The ship Opens Arms left Cyprus for the Gaza coast on October 12 with 200 tonnes of food supplies, the first ship to sail as part of a maritime aid corridor initiated by Cyprus, with the support of the European Union, the UK and the US. Given the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the charities leading the effort felt they couldn’t wait for the US military to complete a pier to deliver aid.

The 200 tonnes of food supplies transported by the Open Arms is already bringing hope to the people of Gaza. Some Gazans even rushed to the beach near Gaza City on Sunday, hoping to see the ship and its desperately needed cargo arrive, AFP reported.

Aid agencies have warned of looming famine in the Palestinian territory of 2.4 million inhabitants.

Israel has imposed a near-total blockade on Gaza since the start of its war with Hamas five months ago.  Given the humanitarian emergency that has resulted, the EU decided to push for a maritime aid route via Cyprus, the EU country closest to Gaza.

High court: Lack of provisions for gay marriage unconstitutional


March 14, 2024 at 18:54 JST

For the first time, a high court has ruled that Japan’s lack of legal provisions for same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The Sapporo High Court on March 14 upheld the landmark ruling of the Sapporo District Court in March 2021, which said the absence of same-sex marriage provisions in the Civil Law and Family Register Law violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

Article 14 states that everyone is equal under the law.

Fear and chaos await Haitian migrants forced back over border

By Will Grant, BBC News, on the Haiti-Dominican Republic border

At the Dajabón border crossing between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, a constant stream of trucks pulls up carrying undocumented Haitian migrants, who are being deported back to their home country.

They are being sent to a nation in the grip of its most acute humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake in 2010, which killed hundreds of thousands.

“I’d been in the Dominican Republic for three years,” yelled construction worker, Michael Petiton, “they came into my house and took me from my home.”

He worked hard, he insisted, doing a job most Dominicans did not want. Now he is back in Haiti with only the clothes on his back and a few tools he managed to salvage in a rucksack.