Six In The Morning Monday 6 May 2019

Aeroflot plane crash: 41 killed on Russian jet

Forty-one people died after a Russian plane made an emergency landing and burst into flames just after takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

Dramatic video shows passengers using emergency exit slides to escape the burning Aeroflot aircraft.

Survivors suggest the plane was struck by lightning, but Russia’s national carrier said only that it returned to the airport for technical reasons.

Two children are among the dead. The jet had 73 passengers and five crew.

Initial reports suggested the plane had landed on fire, but sources quoted by Russian news agency Interfax said the jet caught fire after a very bumpy landing.

From Spain to Turkey, the rise of the far right is a clash of cultures not civilisations

Vox and other extremists are making huge political gains for the first time in years. Their success risks tearing societies apart

I spent part of my childhood in Ankara and part of it in Madrid. Commuting between Spain and Turkey in the early 1980s was a strange experience. Spain had recently returned to democracy after years of dictatorship, and Turkey had experienced yet another military coup. Both countries were at the fringes of Europe, neither part of the EU. It was said that “Europe finishes at the start of the Pyrenees”, but if the mountain range between France and Spain was regarded as a border, another frontier was the waters of the Bosphorus. It often felt as though I was travelling from one end of Europe to the other.

The Spain that I experienced was vibrant, welcoming and warm-hearted. Despite the occasional pro-Franco mutterings of an older generation, Spainembraced democracy. How I wanted my motherland to follow suit. But one day, on my way to school, I saw something that made me stop in my tracks. All the walls down the street were plastered with posters of dead babies thrown into bins. I froze. The disturbing and distorted images had been distributed by an ultraconservative Catholic group that claimed family values were being attacked, women had gone too far in the name of emancipation. A patriarchal backlash still lurked under the surface. The culture wars were under way.

Brunei suspends death penalty for homosexuality after backlash

The sultan of Brunei said the country won’t enforce new laws that include stoning to death for adultery and gay sex. The announcement comes after a global backlash to the laws, including calls for a boycott

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said a moratorium on the death penalty will be extended to the county’s Islamic penal code.

The small, Muslim majority sultanate on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo drew international condemnation when it rolled out its interpretation of sharia laws on April 3.

The new punishments included the death penalty for gay sex, adultery and rape.

Algeria’s turmoil adds obstacle to saving historic Casbah

By Adam Nossiter

Much of the capital is boiling over with stifled anger at 20 years of police-state repression. But the Casbah, in the heart of Algiers, is strangely quiet, the ancient stone alleys empty in the glare of the sun.

There is no need for demonstrations in the historic district to underscore the dead hand of the state. It is evident all around.

Ruins punctuate the beguiling maze of whitewashed buildings that cascade down the slope to the Mediterranean, where Renoir said he had “discovered whiteness,” and Guy de Maupassant found a “city of snow under dazzling light.”

Trump warns presidency is being stolen amid Mueller angst

Updated 0633 GMT (1433 HKT) May 6, 2019

Donald Trump — warning that his presidency is being stolen — sure seems threatened by Robert Mueller — especially considering his declaration that the special counsel handed him“complete and total exoneration.”

Trump on Sunday called for Mueller to be barred from testifying to Congress — in a hearing that could come as soon as May 15 — as his anxiety exploded in a double barreled tweet that reversed a position expressed only two days earlier.
“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents – all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION – why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify…….,” Trump wrote Sunday.

Future role of Japan’s imperial women in spotlight as family numbers decline

With Wednesday’s ascension of Emperor Naruhito following his father’s abdication, questions are now being asked about the roles women will play in the imperial family amid concerns over future successions and the imperial male bloodline, and how public duties should be shouldered in an ever-shrinking household.

Under the 1947 Imperial House Law, only men descended through the male line can ascend to the throne. Women who marry commoners must leave the imperial family.

Of the current 18 imperial family members including Emperor Emeritus Akihito, 85, and Empress Emerita Michiko, 84, who no longer perform official duties, 13 are women.