Six In The Morning Monday 22 July 2019


‘Where were the police?’ Hong Kong outcry after masked thugs launch attack

Police accused of doing nothing to stop suspected triads storming train station and beating people including women and children

Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers in Hong Kong have accused the police of standing by as men dressed in white attacked commuters late on Sunday, leaving 45 hospitalised, including one who is critically injured.

Video footage from Hong Kong media showed dozens of men, most in masks, storming a subway station, chasing passengers and beating them with rods. Among those hurt in the attack, in Yuen Long in Hong Kong’s New territories, were demonstrators returning from a large anti-government rally, as well as a pregnant woman and a woman holding an infant, according to witnesses.

Germany’s India envoy visits ‘Nazi-inspired’ Hindu group

Ambassador Walter J Lindner’s visit to the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has stirred a controversy in India. Experts say the Hindu extremist group glorifies Adolf Hitler and his “cultural nationalism.”

Visit of Headquarters of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in Nagpur and long meeting with its Sarsanghchalak (chief) Dr Mohan Bhagwat. Founded 1925, it is world’s largest voluntary organization – though not un-controversially perceived throughout its history…” Walter J. Lindner, Germany’s ambassador to India, wrote on Twitter last week.
Little did Lindner know that his visit to one of India’s most controversial Hindu extremist groups would trigger a huge backlash on social media, with liberal analysts, journalists and political commentators slamming his RSS outreach.

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem area

Israel began demolishing a number of Palestinian homes it considers illegal south of Jerusalem early Monday, in a move which has drawn international concern.

The Palestinians immediately slammed the demolitions in the Sur Baher area which straddles the West Bank and Jerusalem, but Israeli defended the move as essential to its security.

Before dawn, hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers sealed off at least four buildings in the area close to the Israeli security barrier which cuts off the occupied West Bank, an AFP journalist said.

Reporters were prevented from reaching the buildings while residents and activists were dragged out of the homes.

Iran detains 17 citizens accused of spying for the CIA

Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT) July 22, 2019

Iran has detained 17 Iranian citizens accused of acting as spies for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, according to the country’s Ministry of Intelligence.

An Intelligence Ministry document sent to CNN claims Iran had broken up a CIA spying ring and captured 17 suspects, all of whom confessed to acting as spies for the CIA.
“Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money,” the Intelligence Ministry document said. It added that the spy mission was to collect classified information “from substantial centers as well as intelligence/technical operations.”

The fight for Dragon Island

Rebecca Henschke and Callistasia Wijaya

Komodo dragons, owners of razor-sharp teeth and a venomous bite, are native to only one tiny corner of the globe.

Tourists have flocked to see them, and horror films have been inspired by them. Locals even believe they are physically and spiritually related to them.

But this human-lizard relationship may be about to change.

Authorities in Indonesia want to hand Komodo Island back to the dragons. They want to close it to mass tourism, and expel the inhabitants who have lived alongside the earth’s largest lizards for generations.

Constitution revision goal still far off for Abe

By Noriyuki Suzuki

Extending his track record of election victories for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has secured the political stability he needs to become the longest-serving leader in November. But it came with a bitter taste.

The ruling bloc of the LDP and its partner Komeito, together with like-minded independent lawmakers, lost its two-thirds majority in the upper house in Sunday’s election, likely thwarting his ambitions to revise the pacifist Constitution and go down in history as the first leader to do so.

As he pursues the policies that he hopes will define his administration and his legacy in the years to come, his “Abenomics” program also comes into focus, though its success looks to be increasingly hanging in the balance.