Six In The Morning Friday 15 March 2024


‘Massacre’: Israel forces attack crowds waiting for aid in Gaza, killing 2

Palestinian officials call latest assault ‘premeditated’ as people seeking humanitarian supplies increasingly targeted.

At least 21 Palestinians have been killed after Israeli forces opened fire on thousands of people waiting for aid in Gaza City in the same area that was targeted hours earlier, government officials said.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza described the late Thursday attack as a “new, premeditated massacre” and said more than 150 people were wounded.

It was the latest in a string of assaults on people desperately in need of food and other essential supplies as Israel continues to obstruct and severely control the entry of aid into the enclave.

A forever war, more repression, Putin for life? Russia’s bleak post-election outlook

The president will use his inevitable win in the polls as a mandate for continuing the assault on Ukraine and going after domestic ‘elites’

For a few weeks in 2022, Vladimir Putin’s world was unravelling fast. Russian troops had failed to take Kyiv and the west was coalescing around Volodymyr Zelenskiy, freezing Russian assets abroad and imposing unprecedented sanctions. Putin himself appeared unhinged, railing against Lenin or appealing to Ukrainians to overthrow their “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”.

As Russians go to the polls on Friday in an election with only one possible result, the Kremlin will claim a mandate for that war, enshrining Putin’s bloodiest gamble as the country’s finest moment. The Russian leader has often succeeded by presenting his opponents with only bad and worse options; these elections are no different. Now convinced that he can outlast the west, Putin is seeking to wed Russia’s future, including an elite and a society that appear resigned to his lifelong rule, to the fate of his long war in Ukraine.

Red Sea attacks cause global trade to splutter

Container ships have been forced to make long detours for months due to the Houthi attacks on the Suez Canal route and low waters in the Panama Canal. As freight prices rocket, when will consumers feel the pinch?

On the morning of February 21, a cargo ship rammed a bridge in Guangzhou, China — one of the world’s busiest seaports — causing the structure to partially collapse. This type of accident, where a significant portion of East-West trade passes, can have costly consequences for maritime trade. Fortunately, on this occasion, the incident didn’t cause any delays for shipping.

It’s just as well though, as international maritime routes are already facing plenty of obstacles. Shipping, which transports more than 80% of global goods, is dealing with piracy in Asian and African waters, but also from the effects of armed conflict and low water levels.

Iran’s new generation: Meet the young women fighting for freedom

In Iran, the death of 22-year-old student Mahsa Amini triggered an unprecedented uprising that is still having repercussions. Arrested on September 13, 2022 by Iran’s morality police for wearing an “ill-fitting” headscarf that did not fully cover her hair, Amini died three days later in hospital, provoking a wave of anger and protests across the country. A new generation of women is now daring to defy the mandatory Islamic veil law imposed by the mullahs. Who are these young women ready to break the law, and how do they differ from their elders? Our reporters Catalina Gomez Angel and Pouya Parsa Magham went to meet the Iranian women determined to fight for their freedom despite threats and intimidation.

Tokyo’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine picks ex-admiral as chief priest

By Yukiko Toyoda

Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine has picked a former military commander as its chief priest in a move that could stir controversy over a site that other Asian nations see as a symbol of Japan’s wartime aggression.

Umio Otsuka, 63, a former Maritime Self Defense Force (SDF) commander and a one-time ambassador to Djibouti, confirmed his appointment, which marks the first time since 1978 for an ex-military official to assume the post.

The last retired military officer appointed as chief priest, Nagayoshi Matsudaira, enshrined 14 prominent convicted war criminals alongside the 2.5 million war dead honored at the shrine, including World War II-era Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

First aid ship reaches Gaza amid new efforts to step up relief to besieged enclave

The first aid ship carrying much-needed food has reached the shoreline of central Gaza as part of new efforts to ease a humanitarian crisis in the besieged enclave.

Workers have been unpacking the 200 tons of food aid on smaller boats off the shore of the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheikh Ajleen, according to a journalist on the scene who works for CNN.

The initiative is led by the non-profit World Central Kitchen (WCK) and the ship is run the Spanish charity Open Arms.