Six In The Morning Saturday 20 July 2019

Iran tanker seizure: UK ‘deeply concerned’

The UK government has said it is “deeply concerned” about Iran’s “unacceptable” seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf.

The Stena Impero’s owners say they have been unable to contact the ship, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway in the region.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned of “serious consequences” if the situation is not resolved quickly.

Iran said the ship was “violating international maritime rules”.

A second British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker, the MV Mesdar, was also boarded by armed guards but was released.

Yang Hengjun: China tells Australia to stop interfering in writer’s detention

Beijing attacks ‘irresponsible remarks’ of Marise Payne and says it is conducting a lawful inquiry into case of Australian academic

China has told Australia to stop interfering in the investigation of Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun and to stop issuing “irresponsible remarks”.

The Australian foreign minister, Marise Payne, said on Friday the federal government was “deeply disappointed” that Yang had been transferred to criminal detention in China, saying he should be released if he was being held “for his political views”. Payne was seeking clarification over the reasons for his detention.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said Beijing was carrying out a lawful investigation.

US: New York man charged with training ‘Islamic State’ members

A 42-year-old former New York resident who was a sniper for the “Islamic State” has been detained without bail. He faces terrorism charges for attempting to recruit and train members for the militant group.

A New York man has been detained without bail and faces terrorism charges after he became a sniper and weapons trainer for the “Islamic State” (IS) group, according to court documents unsealed on Friday.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a 42-year-old naturalized US citizen from Kazakhstan, was detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces and transferred to FBI custody earlier this week, prosecutors said. He was charged with providing material support to IS, including providing training to terrorist soldiers and attempting to recruit members.

Extrajudicial killings by police in Nairobi’s slums drop after activists call for change

In Nairobi, families whose relatives were gunned down by police are demanding that authorities hold perpetrators accountable.

At least 21 men and boys have been killed extrajudicially in slums in eastern Nairobi since last August, according to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, though local groups say the real number is much higher. In many cases, police officers identified their future targets on community Facebook groups, alleging that they were criminals, and later shared grisly photos of the victims after they were killed.

Some police officers allegedly used Facebook aliases, such as Hessy wa Dandora (Hessy from Dandora) to warn their targets that they would be next. On another local page called Nairobi Crime Free, which has since been shut down, some shared side-by-side photos of their victims alive and dead.

Anime studio boss at loss for words as he mourns bright, young staff

By Tim Kelly and Sam Nussey

Many victims of an arson attack on an animation studio in Kyoto were young with bright futures, some joining only in April, the company president said on Saturday, as the death told climbed to 34.

Thursday’s attack on Kyoto Animation, famous in Japan and overseas for its series and movies, was the worst mass killing in two decades in a country with some of the world’s lowest crime rates.

Company president Hideaki Hatta said many of the victims were young women.


AFTER SIGNING ON to and then backtracking from a bill to bar Israel from using U.S. military aid to detain Palestinian children, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., is claiming that she was inadvertently added to the legislation without her approval. But five weeks before DeLauro co-sponsored the bill, a legislative aide to the Connecticut Democrat explicitly told backers of the bill that DeLauro would be a sponsor — something that doesn’t typically happen without the consent of their boss — according to emails seen by The Intercept.

“I was inadvertently added as a cosponsor to this legislation without my approval,” DeLauro said in a statement to The Intercept. “After being made aware of this error, I removed my name as a cosponsor of the legislation.”