Six In The Morning Friday 7 June 2019


He was arrested at 13. Now Saudi Arabia wants to execute him

By Muhammad Darwish, Tamara Qiblawi and Ghazi Balkiz, CNN

A group of boys on bicycles gather on a dusty side-street in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Foot on pedal, 10-year-old Murtaja Qureiris is about to lead the group of around 30 children. In video footage obtained by CNN, he is wearing rolled up denim jeans and black flip-flops on his feet, and grinning at the camera recording the event. It may look like a regular bike ride, but the group is staging a protest.

Moments after they set off, Qureiris gets lost in the sea of boys, struggling to keep up as he lifts a megaphone and presses it against his lips. “The people demand human rights!” he shouts.

‘The last fight for Hong Kong’: activists gear up over extradition law

Fears controversial bill, which has its second reading next week, will allow China to target political enemies with impunity

It has been called “the nail in Hong Kong’s coffin”, a bill that activists say will “legitimise Chinese abduction” from the city. But the city’s legislators are pushing ahead with the controversial extradition law that will give mainland China the right to request the transfer of alleged criminals.

Opponents have geared up for a fight, with a rally on Sunday expected to draw up to half a million people onto the city’s streets. The demonstration is supported by human rights and legal groups and the leaders of Hong Kong’s movement to preserve its tenuous grip on democracy.

They fear the law, which will have its second reading before the legislature next week, will be used by Beijing to target its political enemies. It has prompted despair from many, who worry it heralds the effective end of the city’s independence from China.

While the world watches Donald Trump, it’s missing what’s really going on with US foreign policy

The human stories at the bottom of America’s military and arms supply chains are being told only to those who know where to look

Our leaders know how to bang the war drums and, by and large, we go along with them. The US threatens Iran with war – so will Iran close the Strait of Hormuz and attack American warships in the Gulf? Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after rockets fall on Golan – so does an Arab-Israeli conflict loom closer than at any time since the 1973 conflict? Jared Kushner plans to reveal Trump’s “deal of the century” for peace in the Middle East – but is it dead in the water?

Meanwhile the real stories get pushed down the page – or “to the back of the book”, as we journalists used to say.

Mexico sends 6,000 National Guardsmen to control migrants at Guatemalan border

As Mexico negotiates a tariff deal with its northern neighbor, the National Guard has been sent to stem the flow of migrants coming from Central America. The US is pressing for changes in asylum law.

Mexico is sending 6,000 members of the National Guard to reinforce its long and tangled border with southern neighbor Guatemala.

“We have explained that there are 6,000 men and that they will be deployed there,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said after leaving trade talks in Washington on Thursday. He said talks would continue Friday.

Nigeria shuts down private TV, radio stations tied to opposition

Opposition party member and business tycoon Raymond Dokpesi accuses presidency of intimidation, crackdown on his media.

Nigeria‘s broadcasting authority shut down private radio and television stations owned by a key opposition figure who hours earlier said his media operations were being targeted in a crackdown.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said on Thursday it suspended the license of Daar Communications Plc, owner of the African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM for breach of broadcast codes.

NBC said in a statement it summoned the management of the stations to address alleged bias in their broadcasts and for failing to meet financial obligations to the regulatory authority.

UAE tanker attacks blamed on ‘state actor’

The United Arab Emirates has told the UN Security Council a “state actor” was most likely behind attacks on four tankers off its coast.

The 12 May attacks bore the hallmarks of a “sophisticated and co-ordinated operation”, according to its report.

The UAE did not say who it thought was behind the attacks, which also targeted vessels from Saudi Arabia and Norway.

The US has accused Iran of being behind the attacks but Tehran denies this and has called for an investigation.

The attacks took place within UAE territorial waters east of the emirate of Fujairah, just outside the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz, in what the UAE called a “sabotage attack”.