Six In The Morning Sunday January 10

‘El Chapo’: Sean Penn interviewed Guzman before recapture

The interview, conducted in October in the Mexican jungle, is published in Saturday’s edition of Rolling Stone.

Guzman escaped from the maximum security Altiplano jail in July and was recaptured on Friday.

Unnamed Mexican officials say Penn’s secret meeting helped lead them to the fugitive who is back in Altiplano.

Their comments chime with public pronouncements by Attorney General Arely Gomez, who said on Friday that an important aspect of his recapture “was discovering Guzman’s intention to have a biographic film made”.

“He contacted actresses and producers, which was part of one line of investigation.”

In the Rolling Stone article, Penn and Guzman discuss various topics, including drug trafficking.

Thousands of Hong Kong protesters gather to demand release of booksellers

Five Hong Kong booksellers have vanished since October and many suspect they were abducted by Chinese security forces because of books critical of China

Five Hong Kong booksellers – Gui Minhai, Lee Bo, Lui Bo, Cheung Ji-ping and Lam Wing-kei – who specialised in books criticising China’s Communist party elite have vanished since October.

Beijing has repeatedly refused to comment directly on the case but there is widespread suspicion that the men’s apparent detentions – in Thailand, southern China and Hong Kong – are designed to halt the publication of salacious tomes about the private lives of top party figures.

Chaos and Violence: How New Year’s Eve in Cologne Has Changed Germany

New Year’s Eve in Cologne rapidly descended into a chaotic free-for-all involving sexual assault and theft, most of it apparently committed by foreigners. It has launched a bitter debate over immigration and refugees in Germany — one that could change the country. By SPIEGEL Staff

A lot happened on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, much of it contradictory, much of it real, much of it imagined. Some was happenstance, some was exaggerated and much of it was horrifying. In its entirety, the events of Cologne on New Year’s Eve and in the days that followed adhered to a script that many had feared would come true even before it actually did. The fears of both immigration supporters and virulent xenophobes came true. The fears of Pegida people and refugee helpers; the fears of unknown women and of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Even Donald Trump, the brash Republican presidential candidate in the US, felt it necessary to comment. Germany, he trumpeted, “is going through massive attacks to its people by the migrants allowed to enter the country.”

For some, the events finally bring to light what they have always been saying: that too many foreigners in the country bring too many problems along with them.

Chinese official is fired after overseeing demolition of hospital with people still inside


Local officials in a central Chinese province violated rules in forcibly demolishing part of a hospital, sending medical staff fleeing and burying under rubble six bodies being processed at a morgue, the state broadcaster CCTV said Sunday.

Xiong Zhiliang, a district official overseeing demolition work in the city of Zhengzhou, was fired, while local police were further investigating the incident that took place on Thursday, CCTV said Forced demolitions are common in Chinese cities, where local authorities turn to real estate development to fuel economic growth. Clashes over land are frequent, and some turn deadly.

Deal struck for aid to reach besieged Syrian towns

Aid agencies say food and medicine set to reach Madaya and two other Idlib villages, where thousands are starving.

| War & Conflict, Middle East, Syrian crisis, Russia, Syria

Aid agencies say a deal has been reached to send food and medicine into beseiged towns in Syria, where tens of thousands of people are in danger of starving to death.

The aid deal agreed on Saturday will result in humanitarian supplies being sent to the opposition-held town of Madaya at the Lebanese border, and to two villages in the northwestern province of Idlib that are blockaded by rebels.

Aid agencies have warned of widespread starvation in Madaya, where some 40,000 people are at risk.

The UN said on Thursday that Damascus had agreed to allow access to all three areas, but did not say when the delivery would take place.

U.S. Flies B-52 Bomber Over South Korea in ‘Demonstration’ After North’s H-Bomb Claim


by and

Just days after North Korea claimed to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a show of force by flying a U.S. B-52 bomber over Osan, South Korea.

The bomber was joined by South Korean F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft during the “low-level flight,”

“This was a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland,” said Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement.

“North Korea’s nuclear test is a blatant violation of its international obligations. U.S. joint military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific will continue to work with all of our regional allies and partners to maintain stability and security,” Harris said.