Six In The Morning

On Sunday

 France’s military operation in Mali in ‘final phase’

BBC 24 February 2013 Last updated at 00:02 GMT

French President Francois Hollande has said his country’s forces are engaged in the “final phase” of the fight against militants in northern Mali.

He said there had been heavy fighting in the Ifoghas mountains, where members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were thought to be hiding.

Mr Hollande also praised Chadian troops for their efforts in the same area.

Thirteen Chadian soldiers and some 65 militants were killed in clashes on Friday, according to the Chadian army.

Chad’s government has promised to deploy 2,000 troops as part of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (Afisma).

US drones

Speaking in Paris on Saturday, President Hollande said “heavy fighting” was taking place in the far north of Mali, near the Algerian border

Sunday’s Headlines:

Rescuers fear India will drop new law banning child labour

War on terror is the West’s new religion

ElBaradei calls for Egypt vote boycott, poll date moved

‘Second Generation Red’ fall in behind Xi Jinping

Israeli Oscar contenders force citizens to confront uncomfortable questions


Rescuers fear India will drop new law banning child labour

New law could be watered down despite series of raids to rescue trafficked children from garment workshops

Gethin Chamberlain in Delhi

The Observer, Saturday 23 February 2013 22.58 GMT

A radical new law to ban child trafficking in India may be dropped by the country’s parliament.

The Observer has learned that attempts have been made to water down the proposed move despite evidence showing the trafficking of hundreds of thousands of children in the country.

Activists say the children are used to manufacture goods which end up on western high streets and have urged consumers to demand changes in the law. Last week police in Delhi carried out raids to rescue 21 trafficked children from garment workshops in the Gonda Chowk colony.

War on terror is the West’s new religion

But all the crusading and invading simply plays into al-Qa’ida’s hands – just ask the French


Mohamed al-Zawahiri, younger brother of Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman, made a particularly intriguing statement in Cairo last month. Talking to that wonderful French institution Le Journal du Dimanche about Mali, he asked the paper to warn France “and to call on reasonable French people and wise men not to fall into the same trap as the Americans. France is held responsible for having occupied a Muslim country. She has declared war on Islam.” No clearer warning could France have received. And sure enough, one day later, suicide bombers attacked occupied Gao, while, exactly 10 days later, France lost its second soldier in Mali, shot dead by rebels in a battle in the Ifoghas mountain range. That’s where, according to the tired old rhetoric of President Hollande, there had been a battle with “terrorists” who were “holed up” in the area during an operation which was “in its last phase”. The phraseology is as wearying – you could listen to the same old wording in almost every US pronouncement during the Iraqi war – as is the West’s incomprehension of the new al-Qa’ida.

ElBaradei calls for Egypt vote boycott, poll date moved



Egypt’s liberal opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei has called for a boycott of elections called by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The timing of the elections has been changed after complaints from Christians.

Former UN nuclear watchdog chief ElBaradei on Saturday rejected Morsi’s call for elections, writing on his Twitter account that “boycotting this election is the fastest way to expose fake democracy and confirm our credibility.”

“(I) called for (a) parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose the sham of democracy,” the liberal opposition figure wrote. “Today, I repeat my call, (I) will not be part of an act of deception.”

‘Second Generation Red’ fall in behind Xi Jinping

John Garnaut February 24, 2013 – 3:54PM

Nostalgic and disillusioned sections of the Communist Party’s “red aristocracy” have rallied strongly behind the new leader, Xi Jinping, in gatherings over the Spring Festival break.

At the largest reunion, held on Saturday at the People’s Liberation Army’s August 1 film studio in West Beijing, children of revolutionary leaders lauded the Xi administration for “correcting” the Party’s course at its “critical moment of life and death”, when it was in danger of abandoning socialism altogether.

“There is hope in the snake year now the Party leadership has shown us the content and direction of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” Hu Muying, the daughter of former Politburo member Hu Qiaomu, told the gathering of about a thousand descendants of revolutionary veterans.

Israeli Oscar contenders force citizens to confront uncomfortable questions

 Two Israeli documentary films nominated for Oscars, ‘The Gatekeepers’ and ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ raise difficult questions about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

By Chelsea Sheasley, Correspondent / February 23, 2013

A former spy chief is making gripping statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but at Jerusalem’s chic Cinamatheque, two university students can’t keep their eyes on the screen. One sends text messages and checks Facebook; the other shifts uneasily

“I felt uncomfortable in my chair,” says one of them, Shay Amiran, a former combat soldier, after the screening of Oscar-nominated “The Gatekeepers.” He especially bristled at a comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany during World War II.

“The Gatekeepers,” which interviews six former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency, along with “5 Broken Cameras,” which captures a Palestinian family’s life amid protests against construction of Israel’s separation wall, are the first Israeli-funded films to receive Academy Award nominations for best documentary since 1975.