Six In The Morning Friday 14 June 2019


Gulf of Oman tanker attacks: US says video shows Iran removing mine

The US military has released a video which it says shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of an oil tanker damaged in an attack in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

US officials also shared a photo of the Japanese tanker, apparently showing the unexploded mine before it was removed.

A Norwegian tanker was also damaged.

The US accused Iran of being behind the mine attacks. Iran said it “categorically rejects” the allegation.

The blasts came a month after four oil tankers were damaged in an attack off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The US blamed Iran for that attack, but did not produce evidence. Iran also denied those accusations.

Hong Kong’s digital battle: tech that helped protesters now used against them

Wary of being tracked and targeted like activists inside China, protesters are keeping a low profile online

Iearly June, Ivan Ip, 22, joined a public chat group on Telegram called “Parade 69”, named for a mass demonstration planned in central Hong Kong to protest a bill allowing for the transfer of suspects from the city to China. According to Ip, an administrator of the group of more than 30,000 people, they discussed things like bringing sunscreen, water, and umbrellas to block the sun or rain.

Two days after the protest, which saw as many as one million Hong Kong residents march against the proposed extradition law, authorities arrived at Ip’s apartment in the evening. Banging on the door, they yelled: “Police! Open up the door!”

Syrian refugees in Lebanon tear down walls to keep their homes

Syrian refugees are facing a wave of hostility in Lebanon, writes Richard Hall

The sound of a hammer striking concrete echoes around the sprawling refugee camp. Outside almost every tent, piles of broken breeze blocks show the hard work of the past few days. An exhausted Salah Mustafa, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee who fled to Lebanon five years ago, is one of the last to finish tearing down the walls of his home.

“I built these walls to keep my mother warm,” he says, during a break. “She has trouble with her kidneys so she feels the cold more than anyone else. But even with the walls, the winter is unbearable.”

The next winter is likely to be much worse for Mustafa’s family, and for the thousands of other Syrian refugees here in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, who have spent days dismantling the concrete shells of their shelters in order to save them from being demolished entirely.

Apocalypse NowA Moroccan Oasis Struggles with Climate Change

Droughts, sandstorms and flash flooding: In the southern Moroccan oasis M’Hamid El Ghizlane, the effects global warming is likely to have on the Mediterranean region can already be observed today.


A sandstorm moves over the oasis town of M’Hamid El Ghizlane, coating buildings and streets with a fine yellowish coating that makes breathing more difficult and burns the eyes. Halim Sbai, 48, looks out at the remnants of the clay walls of his birth home on the edge of the oasis. “Whenever I’m here, the old and the new image of this place are superimposed on each other,” he says. “It’s then that I see the differences.”

Before the rain stopped falling and the sandstorms grew stronger, palm trees used to grow in this oasis in southern Morocco. Date palms reached to the sky while pomegranate trees, wheat and watermelons grew in their shade — so dense that Sbai had to fight his way through jungle-like vegetation when he wanted to swim in the Draa River near his home after it rained.

My video’s funnier than yours: Pakistan, India trade parodies before Cup clash

Islamabad (AFP)

A video parodying an Indian air force pilot who was briefly captured by arch-rival Pakistan earlier this year has gone viral ahead of a highly-anticipated World Cup clash between the two cricket-mad nations.

The 33-second video shows an actor posing as handlebar-moustached Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir earlier this year and held briefly by Pakistan.

He was released in a “peace gesture” aimed at defusing tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours, who have been fierce rivals since independence from Britain in 1947.

Why Nintendo, Google and others may want to move some manufacturing out of China

Updated 0537 GMT (1337 HKT) June 14, 2019

China has long been the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. It has the suppliers, the assembly lines, the workers, the expertise. Companies, particularly technology giants like Google, depend on China to assemble their products.

Now, a year into a trade war provoked by a tough new stance by the United States, including costly tariffs, some companies are starting to look elsewhere.
Nintendo (NTDOF) and Google (GOOGL) are reportedly seeking alternative locations to make some of their products.