Six In The Morning Tuesday January 12

Sick must be evacuated from besieged Syrian town of Madaya, says UN

After trucks delivered food to the starving population, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said 400 people in Madaya’s hospital were in ‘grave peril’

The United Nations humanitarian affairs chief has called for about 400 people in the hospital in the besieged Syrian mountain town of Madaya to be evacuated after aid trucks reached civilians cut off for months by fighting.

Stephen O’Brien told reporters after briefing the UN security council that the patients need treatment for medical complications, severe malnourishment and starvation.

This had to be done as soon as possible “or they are in grave peril of losing their lives”, O’Brien said, adding that efforts would be made to get ambulances to Madaya on Tuesday to evacuate the 400, if safe passage could be assured.

Forces loyal to the Syrian regime have enforced a tight siege on Madaya since July, and until now only one aid delivery had been allowed in. That was in October.

Obama ‘will close Guantanamo Bay before he leaves office,’ with or without Congress

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough promised on Sunday that the Obama Administration would close the prison for good

The clock is ticking for President Barack Obama to make good on one of his biggest promises — closing Guantanamo Bay.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough backed the president on Sunday in what would be an enormous moral victory for the Obama Administration.

“He feels an obligation to the next president. He will fix this so that they don’t have to be confronted with the same set of challenges,” Mr McDonough said on Fox News Sunday.

The naval base opened in response to the September 11 attacks and now contains 103 men with 17 prisoners scheduled to be relocated this month. However, when Congress passed their annual spending bill in November, they made sure to restrict President Obama from relocating any Guantanamo detainees to the United States.

‘Like coming back to life’ says child soldier who escaped ISIS

Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT) January 12, 2016

“Nasir” is one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape from the grasp of ISIS, which was training him to be a suicide bomber. He is just 12 years old.

The boy is now reunited with his mother at the Esyan refugee camp in Kurdistan, home to almost 15,000 Yazidis fleeing ISIS. He’s asked CNN not to broadcast his face or voice, or to disclose his real name.

“There were 60 of us,” Nasir says. “The scariest times for us all were when the airstrikes happened. They’d lead all of us underground into the tunnels to hide. They told us the Americans, the unbelievers, were trying to kill us but they, the fighters, they loved us. They would look after us better than our parents.

Why a US jail cell may finally contain Mexico’s ‘El Chapo’

The Mexican government has repeatedly declined to extradite its criminals to the US. But Joaquín Guzmán’s frequent escapes have changed that thinking.

It’s déjà vu all over again for kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, captured by Mexican forces for the third time on Friday and placed in the same high security prison from which he escaped in July.

But there’s a key difference this time around: Mexico has formally initiated the process to extradite Mr. Guzman to the United States, something officials here vehemently opposed upon his 2014 arrest.

There’s still no guarantee Guzman will be sent to the US, where he faces at least seven federal court indictments for murder and drug trafficking. But the government’s change in stance marks a shift in attitudes toward extradition. It also signals a renewed effort by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government to improve relations with the US after struggling through a series of recent low-points, from Guzman’s escape to the high-profile disappearance of 43 teacher’s college students in Guerrero in 2014.

North Korea faked sub-launched missile test footage: analysis


Footage of a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test released by Pyongyang two days after it announced it had conducted the country’s fourth nuclear test last week was faked, according to an analysis by a California-based think tank.

In defiance of a UN ban, the isolated country has said it has ballistic missile technology which would allow it to launch a nuclear warhead from a submarine, although experts and analysis of North Korean state media cast doubt on the claim.

North Korean state television aired footage on Friday of the latest test, said to have taken place in December. Unlike a previous SLBM test in May, it had not been announced at the time.

Dalian Wanda to buy Legendary Entertainment stake for $3.5bn


China’s Dalian Wanda Group will buy a controlling stake in Hollywood film studio Legendary Entertainment in a deal valued at $3.5bn (£2.4bn).

The announcement, made at a press conference by both firms in Beijing, comes after a week of rumours about a possible deal.

Wanda is the world’s biggest movie theatre operator with a majority stake in the US chain AMC.

The rapidly growing group is led by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin.

Mr Wang has been looking to buy a Hollywood studio for several years and was reported to be in talks with DreamWorks Animation last year, but a deal was not announced.

Legendary is the maker of blockbuster hits such as Jurassic World, the Dark Knight Batman trilogy and Godzilla.

Chairman and chief executive Thomas Tull, who also started the company, will remain as the head of the studio.