Tag Archives: Beijing

China: Daily Scan, September 27, 2021

Xi calls for openness, cooperation in science & technology: Xinhuanet
September 24, 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on all countries to strengthen openness and cooperation in science and technology. Xi made the remarks while delivering a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum), which is scheduled from Sept. 24 to 28 in Beijing.
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China issues white paper on Xinjiang’s demographic development: Xinhuanet
September 26, 2021

China’s State Council Information Office Sunday issued a white paper detailing the demographic development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The white paper, titled “Xinjiang Population Dynamics and Data,” said over the past 70 years, Xinjiang has seen rapid and steady population growth, improving population quality, higher life expectancy, and faster urbanization and modernization.
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China says no to cartoons with unhealthy content: Xinhuanet
September 25, 2021

China’s broadcasting authorities have voiced absolute rejection of cartoons that contain plots or footage of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography. Service providers of audio-visual web programs are encouraged to create, import and broadcast cartoons that feature positive values and promote virtues of the true, the good and the beautiful, said the National Radio and Television Administration on its website.
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J-16D and WZ-7 to debut at Airshow China 2021: China Military
September 26, 2021

The 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China 2021) will be held in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, as scheduled from September 28 to October 3. An array of main combat equipment including the J-20 stealth fighter, Y-20 heavy transport aircraft, KJ-500 early warning aircraft, H-6K bomber, and HQ-9B air-defense missile system will appear together in the exhibition. China’s J-16D electronic warfare aircraft and WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone are to debut at the upcoming air show. The systematical display of multi-type main combat equipment of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) demonstrates the new achievements of its strategic transformation.
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China to promote vocational training of migrant workers: People’s Daily
September 26, 2021

China will promote vocational training of migrant workers as part of the efforts to consolidate its poverty alleviation outcomes, an official said Saturday.By the end of August, China has 30.85 million migrant workers who had shaken off poverty, Liu Xiaoshan, an official with the National Administration for Rural Vitalization said at a news conference.
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Liaison office of central gov’t says anti-China group in Hong Kong cannot escape justice: China Daily
September 26, 2021

After a notorious anti-China group announced its dissolution on Saturday, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said it is the inevitable fate of anti-China groups in Hong Kong. The HKSAR government has started the procedure of banning the organization according to the law, a spokesperson of the liaison office said.
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Power shortage in NE China’s provinces affects local livelihood: Global Times
September 26, 2021

Three provinces in Northeast China, including Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, reported experiencing electricity shortages in some areas caused by the high price of coal used for power generation. Multiple local residents said this has affected their daily livelihood.A resident of Jilin city, in Jilin Province, told the Global Times on Sunday that the power supply of his house has been intermittent recently, noting that “the unstable power supply started on Saturday but did not receive any notice in advance.”
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Chinese Big Tech vows to support SMEs at premier internet summit: Global Times
September 26, 2021

At the water town of Wuzhen in East China’s Zhejiang Province, a high-level annual internet forum puts China’s best and brightest tech talent on show surrounded by voices of confidence and resilience from tech luminaries from both home and abroad. The country’s platform economy is seen as gaining luster, rather than the other way around as hyped by some Western media, and the new mood has been borne amid a responsible governmental push for greater fairness and effective innovation.
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China tries to rally national pride as it paints MengWanzhou’s release as proof the US targeted an innocent woman for political reasons: South China Morning Post
September 26, 2021

The return of MengWanzhou to China without legal penalty is being used to shore up nationalist sentiment by feeding up the narrative that Huawei and China were innocent victims of the United States. Repeating Beijing’s line on the case, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying on Saturday commented in a statement that this was “an incident of political persecution against a Chinese citizen” and there were “materials that are sufficient to prove MsMeng‘s innocence”.
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The everyday liquid that could fuel China’s race to green car targets: South China Morning Post
September 24, 2021

Scientists in China and Australia have developed a catalyst which uses urea-loaded waste water to efficiently generate clean energy, paving the way for low-cost portable fuel cells that work like batteries. Fuel cells, which have been used to power electric vehicles, are a clean source of electricity. They produce power through an electrochemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, generating heat and water as by-products.
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Two Chinese naval vessels reportedly spotted off Taiwan’s east coast: Focus Taiwan
September 24, 2021

Two military vessels from China were seen off the east of Taiwan, in the Pacific Ocean, over the past two days, a military source said Friday. One of them, a Chinese missile frigate, was spotted 40 nautical miles, or roughly 74 kilometers, off the coast of Hualien County at around 3 a.m. Thursday, presumably heading south into the Bashi Channel, the source said.
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China Evergrande’s electric car unit’s shares tumble 26% after warning: Reuters
September 27, 2021

Shares of China Evergrande’s electric car unit plunged as much as 26% on Monday after it warned it faced an uncertain future unless it got a swift injection of cash and after it said it will not proceed with plans to issue RMB shares.The warning by China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group after the market closed on Friday was the clearest sign yet that the embattled property developer’s liquidity crisis is worsening in other parts of its business.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 29, 2021

Afghanistan
MoJ to Enforce Zahir Shah-Era Constitution: Tolo News

For an interim period, the constitution from the time of the Afghan king will be enforced, except for some articles against Sharia Law and Emirate principles. Click here to read

Afghan Businessmen Face Export Problems in Trade with Pakistan: Tolo News

Officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that once again Afghan exports face problems in crossing points with Pakistan as the neighboring country allows only 20 Afghan trucks a day while hundreds of trucks are stuck near crossing points between the two countries. Click here to read

Former Afghan officials announce government in exile: The Khaama Press

A number of former Afghan officials who have fled the country along with President Ashraf Ghani announced the continuation of the Afghan government in exile. Click here to read

Taliban to implement a constitution from nearly 60 years ago: The Khaama Press

Taliban’s acting minister of Justice Abdul Hakim Sharaee said that they will implement the constitution from the era of Muhammad Zahir Shah which was ratified 57 years ago. Click here to read

Will not engage in Afghanistan until establishment of inclusive government: Erdogan: The Khaama Pres

President of Turkey Recep Tayyib Erdogan has said that they will not engage in Afghanistan until and unless the Taliban forge an all-inclusive government in the country. Click here to read

Bangladesh
Turkey-Bangladesh ties get stronger as misconceptions clarified- Daily Sabah

Relations between Turkey and Bangladesh scaled up after disinformation about Bangladesh spoiling Muslim unity was proven wrong, Bangladeshi officials said. Click here to read

Crystal meth creeps up on city- Daily Star

There is a growing market for highly addictive drug crystal meth in the capital, operated mostly through encrypted messaging apps, officials have found out. Click here to read

Over 66 lakh shots given: Special Covid vaccination drive marks Hasina’s 75th birthday- Daily Star

The country more than doubled its previous record of single-day vaccinations as the government inoculated more than 66 lakh people against Covid-19 yesterday. Click here to read

No more brokers- Daily Star

The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has taken a plan to introduce licenced “agents” to help people get passports and renew them. Click here to read

AL focusing on polls, BNP on election-time government- Dhaka Tribune

The ruling Awami League has already begun preparations for the next general election, to be held at the end of 2023. Click here to read

Covid-19: Bangladesh records 31 more deaths, 1,310 new cases- Dhaka Tribune

As many as 29,186 samples tested in 24 hours, yielding an infection rate of 4.49%.Click here to read

High Court extends Khaleda Zia’s bail by a year in 5 cases- Dhaka Tribune

File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Collected the BNP chief is out of prison since March last year as the govt has suspended her sentence. Click here to read

Windows of democracy and Sheikh Hasina’s birthday – Asian Age

Sheikh Hasina regards the people of Bangladesh as her closest and dearest ones. Click here to read

Bangamata Parishad observes PM’s birthday- Asian Age

Bangamata Parishad observed the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday. The organization also held a discussion program in the capital’s National Museum on the same day. Click here to read

No alternative to Sheikh Hasina to reach desired destination: Hasan- The Observer

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reach the country in its desired destination. Click here to read

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina likely to visit India next year- Times of India

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to visit New Delhi early next year. The dates for the visit expected to be in January or February 2022, will be finalised only after a formal invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi is extended to her. Click here to read

Consultancy contract signed between India & Bangladesh for a new railway line from Bogura to Sirajganj- All India Radio

A new direct rail line from Bogura to Sirajganj in Bangladesh will be developed under a government of India Line of Credit (LoC). Click here to read

Fifty years ago, remote Dimapur airstrip gave wings to fledgling Bangladesh Air Force- Economic time

By November 5, we could proudly say Bangladeshi and Indian Air forces had freed the skies over Bangladesh. The victory over land forces took 11 more days. Click here to read

Bhutan
No local Covid-19 cases for 45 straight days- Kuensel

Bhutan has not reported any positive Covid-19 cases from the community for 45 straight days. The last positive case from the community was reported on August 14: an individual from Gomtu, Samtse. Click here to read

RUB colleges establish happiness and wellbeing centres- Kuensel

Colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) are establishing happiness and wellbeing centres to address mental health problems. Click here to read

Pandemic impacts nettle fabric business- Kuensel

Like many businesses, the pandemic impacted women who make a living weaving fabric from nettle yarn in Trongsa. Click here to read

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world- Daily Bhutan

Email There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this mushroom. Click here to read

PM hosts reception to mark 50th anniversary Bhutan’s membership to the UN- Bhutan Times

A limited edition collectible commemorative stamp developed in partnership with Bhutan Post to mark the 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s membership to the UN was also launched by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and UN Resident Representative Gerald Daly on 21 September. Click here to read

Construction of new bridge along Damchhu-Haa bypass to begin from November- BBS

A new bridge over Wangchhu along the Damchhu-Haa bypass will be constructed from November. The project DANTAK will construct the bridge. The previous bridge which was almost complete collapsed in February this year killing nine Indian workers. Click here to read

Flagship programmes make slow progress amid the pandemic- BBS

With the 12th Five Year Plan already midway, the government was able to utilise only more than Nu 2bn on the flagship programmes so far. A total budget of Nu 10bn was identified for these programmes. Click here to read

How digital cash can lift gross national happiness in Bhutan- Mint

Cash is a relatively new construct in Bhutan. Click here to read

COVID-19 and rabies: Bhutan highlights the importance of cross-border dog vaccination- WHO

Despite the sad loss of its young citizen recently, Bhutan is on the right track to achieve this goal. Click here to read

India inks pact for joint development of small satellite for Bhutan- New Indian Express

India on Friday signed the implementing arrangement on the joint development of a small satellite for Bhutan. Click here to read

Maldives
‘Against Freedom of Expression’: Maldives Journalist Bodies Oppose Provisions in New Bill – The Wire

Journalist organisations and NGOs in Maldives have, in a joint statement issued on Tuesday, September 28, called for the country’s authorities to drop certain provisions from the Evidence Bill which is currently being debated in the country’s parliament. Click here to read

Over 100,000 arrivals recorded for the fourth month this ongoing year! – Raajje

The Ministry of Tourism, through its latest daily statistics revealed that Maldives observed a total of 102,745 arrivals between September 1 – 26. Click here to read

Maldives committed to One-China Policy, bilateral cooperation in int’l arena: FM – ECNS

Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the One-China Policy and willingness to work with China in areas of mutual interest. Click here to read

India’s 228 million social housing project in Maldives and its significance- Inventiva

Maldives’ state-owned Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation signed a loan agreement with India’s state-owned National Buildings Construction Company which is also known as NBCC, along with JMC Projects India Ltd. on Thursday. Click here to read

Myanmar
Afghanistan, Myanmar left in UN meet – Manila Times

The United Nations General Assembly drew to a close on Monday without speeches by Afghanistan or Myanmar after world powers intervened in disputes over who would represent the two countries. Click here to read

Junta mouthpiece criticises NLD-led decision to disband Union Democratic Party last year – Myanmar Now

A military-run newspaper has published an op-ed criticising the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government for overseeing the decision to dissolve the Union Democratic Party (UDP) shortly before last year’s general election. Click here to read

Growing numbers of young people seek to flee Myanmar – BNI Online

Young people disheartened by life in Myanmar following the coup are trying in growing numbers to leave the country and find work to help support their families, RFA reported. Click here to read
Myanmar Junta Troops Ambushed in Shan State – The Irrawaddy

At least 20 Myanmar military soldiers were reportedly killed or wounded on Monday, after Karenni resistance fighters ambushed a convoy of junta reinforcements in Pinlaung, Shan State in southeastern Myanmar. Click here to read

Int’l Rights Experts Urge UN to Declare Myanmar Junta ‘Terrorist’ Organization – The Irrawaddy

An independent group of prominent former UN human rights experts has urged the United Nations Security Council to declare the Myanmar military junta a “terrorist organization” for its atrocities against its own civilians including public torture, executions and taking hostages, including children as young as 2. Click here to read

Nepal
Minister Sharma stresses fully proportional election- Himalaya

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma said the fully proportional electoral system is necessary to eliminate unhealthy competition and malpractices in the election. Click here to read

Government to support tourism sector, says PM Deuba- Himalaya

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the government is committed to support country’s tourism sector which has been hit hard by the COVID -19 pandemic. Click here to read

Poorly handled Covid-19 garbage could give rise to hazardous waste crisis- TKP

Amount of coronavirus-related refuse is increasing. There are protocols to manage such items, but implementation has been weak, leaving public health in peril. Click here to read

Panel on Nepal-China border issues calls for bilateral intervention- TKP

Government committee suggests joint inspection team of experts from both sides to deal with the dispute, if any. Click here to read

MCC ball in Nepal’s court- Nepali Times

‘Take it or leave it’ is the message to Kathmandu after visit by US officials. Click here to read

Maoist leader Barshaman Pun leaves for Thailand for treatment- Republica

CPN (Maoist Center) standing committee member Barshaman Pun left for Thailand today. Click here to read

Writ filed seeking annulment of oath taken by Foreign Minister Khadka- Republica

A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking an order to annul the oath taken by Foreign Minister Dr Narayan Khadka. Click here to read

Diplomats gather in Pokhara to revive Covid-19-hit Nepal tourism- Online Khabar

Just as the clouds were covering the Annapurna range, Park Chong-Suk, South Korean ambassador to Nepal, quickly took a selfie with his wife. This was at Naudanda, a few kilometres away from Pokhara, the tourism capital of Nepal. Click here to read

Border Roads Bring India and Nepal Closer- The Diplomat

The 35-km-long Uttarey-Chiwanbhangjyang road will link western Sikkim in India not just to areas on the Nepali side of the border but to western Nepal. Click here to read

Nepali Youth Protest in Capital Kathmandu Against Chinese Land Encroachment- NDTV

A youth association affiliated with Nepal’s Democratic Socialist Party led by Mahantha Thakur staged a protest against China on Tuesday for allegedly encroaching Nepal’s land. Click here to read

India MEA official reaches Nepal, to hold series of discussions- Wion

India MEA official reaches Nepal, to hold series of discussions Read more At: Click here to read

Pakistan
Qureshi again urges world to engage with ‘new reality’ in Afghanistan: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has once again urged the international community to engage with the “new reality” in Afghanistan and unfreeze the country’s assets so that things do not fall apart. Click here to read

Mazari rebukes US for introducing bill targeting Pakistan for Afghan failure: The Express Tribune

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has warned that Pakistan will be made to “pay heavy price” for being an ally of the United States in its ‘war on terror’Click here to read

Shehbaz can be sent to prison for 25 years over corruption: Fawad: The Express Tribune

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif would be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison “if hearing of his corruption case is conducted on merit” Click here to read

US senators want Pak role probed in Taliban win: The News

A bill was Monday introduced in the US Senate requiring assessments and imposition of sanctions on the Taliban and persons assisting them in Afghanistan. Click here to read

NCOC for vaccination of children aged 12-years, above: The News

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to vaccinate children aged 12 years and above. “In today’s meeting of NCOC, it has been decided to vaccinate all above 12 years and above,” Click here to read

Sri Lanka

932 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

Daily COVID-19 detections remained below 1,000 for the second consecutive day with 932 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Click here to read

Ensure workers’ rights before extending GSP+: EPZ workers write to EU Ambassador – The Morning

The Stand Up Movement Lanka organisation has written to the European Union (EU), requesting that it intervene to ensure that the rights of workers in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are addressed prior to deciding on whether or not to extend the grant of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade concessions to Sri Lanka. Click here to read

Sri Lanka Govt. suspends order placed to procure Oxygen from India – Daily Mirror

The Government has decided to suspend the order placed to purchase 1,080 tonnes of liquid oxygen from India, required for the next three weeks. Click here to read

National Issues Haunt GoSL at UNGA 2021 – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka’s long-standing problem of seeking justice for the Tamils, and Catholics after the Easter Sunday attacks, has reached the United Nations Headquarters. Click here to read

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 28, 2021

Afghanistan
Violations of building rules continue unabated in Kabul- Pajhwok Afghan

Based on current laws, construction of more than three-storey buildings in residential areas is not permissible in Kabul.
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Save the Children to expand activities in Kandahar: Chief- Pajhwok Afghan

The Children organization chief says they will extend their services to areas where they had no access to due the conflict.
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Former president Ghani’s Facebook page hacked- Pajhwok Afghan

Former President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday said his Facebook page has been hacked and disowned recent posts on the page.
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No One from Afghanistan Will Address UNGA: Reuters- Tolo News

No representative from Afghanistan will address the annual high-level U.N. General Assembly in New York after the ambassador for the government ousted by the Taliban – who was due to speak on Monday – withdrew his name.
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Bangladesh
PM Hasina’s 75th birthday today- Asian Age

Today is the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Awami League (AL) and its affiliated and likeminded bodies are celebrating the day through various programs highlighting the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina.
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Shots for Higher Edn Students: Half yet not registered- Daily Star

Although the government said any university or its affiliated colleges could resume in-person classes if all their students completed the Covid-19 vaccine registration by yesterday.
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25 lakh Pfizer vaccines arrive in Dhaka airport- Daily Star

Twenty-five lakh more doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, under the COVAX facility, arrived in Bangladesh early today.
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Child marriage: Many girls long for a return to schools- Dhaka Tribune

Up to 70% of girls in grade 9 and 10 in many schools are yet to return to classes.
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Rt-PCR test to start in full capacity at Dhaka airport from Tuesday- Dhaka Tribune

The Covid-19 rt-PCR laboratory set up for UAE passengers at Dhaka airport is fully prepared.
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Minister Mannan: Corruption is a reality- Dhaka Tribune

Government does not want to curb corruption through hustle, he says.
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Bhutan
The significance of offering seven bowls of water- Bhutan Times

The 7 bowls signify respectively: water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfume, and food.
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12th Five-Year Plan reprioritised to stimulate growth- Kuensel

These are a part of the three major new activities the government had to reprioritise and adopt in the 12th FYP as part of the Covid-19 interventions and Economic Contingency plan.
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Raising healthy and resilient future- Kuensel

There is a need for schools to improve mental resilience programmes.
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Let Climate Change not slide this time- Kuensel

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, requires each State to prepare, outline and communicate its NDCs.
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Bhutan’s journey to become a model eco-tourism destination- BBS

To promote Bhutan as a model eco-tourism destination, the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched the ecotourism project in Trashigang.
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Maldives
Small islands caught between tourism economy, climate change – New Indian Express

Come visit the Maldives, its president entreated the world at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, moments before switching to an impassioned plea for help combating climate change. The adjacent appeals illustrated a central dilemma for many small island developing states: their livelihoods, or their lives?
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India Exim Bank extends Buyer’s Credit facilities under NEIA aggregating $226.95M to Republic of Maldives govt – India infonline

Export-Import Bank of India [India Exim Bank] has extended two Buyer’s Credit [BC] facilities under National Export Insurance Account [NEIA] aggregating USD 226.95 mn to Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation Ltd. (FDCL), Government of Republic of Maldives (GoM) for construction of 4000 Social Housing Units in Hulhumale, Maldives by NBCC (India) Ltd. (NBCC) and JMC Projects (India) Ltd. (JMC).
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Maldives Telecommunications Strategic SWOT Analysis Review and Outlook to 2025-Analysis of Maldives Mobile, Fixed Telephone and Broadband Markets – Today’s Newspaper

This contemporary research presentation and detailed market research synopsis on Maldives Telecommunications market is a real time presentation of all the specific market developments that have a lingering impact on current growth trajectory, besides also harping on vital predications in the realm of future growth scope.
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Next hearing in Yameen’s sentence appeal trial scheduled for October – Raajje

During Monday’s hearing in the money laundering trial, state prosecutors have refuted claims that they had ever decided against halting the cases linked to the suspects of the grand corruption scandal involving Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
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Myanmar
Quad Leaders Call on Myanmar Junta to End Violence – The Irrawaddy

Leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on Friday called for an end to the violence in Myanmar in a joint statement. US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday participated in the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit, hosted by Biden in Washington.
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Rebel Fighters From India Cooperating With Myanmar Military Regime – The Irrawaddy

After the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup, Tamu was one of the first towns to take up arms against the junta, following a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
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‘No Future’ for Myanmar People Unless Spring Revolution Succeeds – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime has been waging war in Chin State in the mountainous far west of the country for months. Intense fighting between the junta and civilian resistance groups has forced thousands of people to flee their homes, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. soldiers also shot down a Christian pastor in the town and mutilated his corpse.
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Myanmar’s NLD Marks 33rd Anniversary Facing Abolition Threat – The Irrawaddy

The National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s most popular political party, turns 33 years old on Monday. But a question mark hangs over its future following the military’s Feb. 1 coup.
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China Aiding Myanmar Armed Groups in Their COVID-19 Fight – The Diplomat

Earlier this week, the news agency AFP carried an interesting report detailing the Chinese government’s support to Myanmar’s ethnic armed organizations and rebel groups.
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Nepal
Khadka rules out amendment to MCC- Himalaya

Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka has said there can be no amendment to the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement that Nepal has signed with the United States of America.
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Buddha Air aircraft safely lands at TIA amid reports of ‘landing gear issue’- Himalaya

A Buddha Air aircraft safely landed in Tribhuvan International Airport after a malfunction was reportedly detected in its landing gear early on Monday.
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Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts are vaccinating everyone above 18 years- TKP

Everyone above 18 can take the AstraZeneca vaccine from immunisation centers of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and those in the municipalities of the district can take the Vero Cell vaccine.
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After Covid-19 pandemic, it’s price rise that is biting Nepalis hard

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People exchanging old banknotes with new ones at NRB- Republica

Banks and financial institutions have started providing new bank notes starting Monday.
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Saptapatal Pokhari: A motivating case for Kathmandu heritage conservation- OnlineKhabar

The pond, which had a lot of religious significance, gradually got lost during the Kathmandu valley’s urbanisation drive.
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Pakistan
Govt, PML-N clash over UK court’s order on Sharifs- The Dawn

A UK court has ordered unfreezing of the bank accounts of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and his son Suleman Shehbaz after the country’s National Crime Agency (NCA) did not find evidence regarding ‘suspicious bank transactions’ against them.
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Pakistan discussing expansion of CPEC to Afghanistan: envoy- The Dawn

Pakistan has discussed the Taliban-led Afghanistan joining the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, the Pakistan’s ambassador to the country said on Monday.
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No problem if country gets rule of law through reconciliation, says Nawaz Sharif- The News

MLN leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that if the country will get rule of law and implementation of the Constitution through reconciliation then there is no need to fight.
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Pakistan supports inclusive govt in Afghanistan: Moeed Yousaf- The News

National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Moeed Yousaf has said Pakistan has always been supportive to the concerns and legitimate demands of the international community regarding an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
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‘Don’t blame Pakistan for the outcome of the war in Afghanistan’- The News

Let me put it plainly. Since 2001, I have repeatedly warned that the Afghan war was unwinnable.
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PML-N will ‘bury’ PTI in 2023 polls: Shehbaz- The Tribune

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said his party, under the leadership of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, would “bury for good” the politics of the ruling PTI in the 2023 general elections.
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Sri Lanka
Why Sri Lanka is losing many European tourists- Island

The tourist season, in Sri Lanka, will comence in November.
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Self-Employed Traders petition SC over govt. favouring liquor dealers- Island

The Supreme Court has decided take up, on 04 Oct. for hearing a petition filed by the Association of Self-Employed Traders against the opening of liquor stores during the current lockdown.
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Australia’s richest woman warns Australia will end up impoverished like Sri Lanka- Island

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman worth $31billion, has warned Australia is on the same track as Sri Lanka and Argentina in falling from prosperity to poverty due to a big-spending, regulation-heavy government.
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CMC members launch Satyagraha- Daily Mirror

Some Members of the Colombo Municipal Council staged a Satyagraha yesterday against the alleged move by the Municipal Treasurer to delay funds to purchase dry rations for the needy people in the city who have been affected by the lockdown.
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Iran, Sri Lanka pledge to boost ties- Daily News

Emphasized on taking new steps in developing economic, trade relations with the South Asian Island nation.
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China: Daily Scan, September 24, 2021

Central bank to promote reform of standing lending facility: Xinhuanet
September 24, 2021

China’s central bank will promote reform of the operation mode of its standing lending facility, as part of efforts to better meet reasonable liquidity needs. The reform, which is referred to as empowering the whole process with electronic technology, will improve efficiency and better stabilize market expectations, said Liu Guoqiang, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, at a national video conference Thursday.
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Former Kweichow Moutai Group chairman given life sentence :Xinhuanet
September 23, 2021

Yuan Renguo, the former chairman of Kweichow Moutai Group that produces the high-end Moutai liquor in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, has been sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes, said a local court. The intermediate people’s court of Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, pronounced the sentence on Thursday. Click here to read

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port signs MOU with China’s bus manufacturer: People’s Daily
September 24, 2021

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota International Port (HIP) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with bus manufacturer Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. in China’s Fujian Province, HIP said in a statement here on Thursday. The MOU was signed at the King Long Motor Group offices in Fujian last week and was attended by representatives from the Hambantota International Ports Group (HIPG) and Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Palitha Kohona. Click here to read

New guideline focuses on pilot FTZs: China Daily
September 23, 2021

The recent guideline on the reform of China’s pilot free-trade zones will effectively facilitate foreign investment in China, particularly in the services sector, and demonstrates China’s resolution for greater opening-up efforts, experts and industrial insiders said. On Sept 3, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, unveiled a guideline with innovative reform measures to facilitate investment in the country’s pilot FTZs. The new measures include unleashing the potential for offshore trade in these zones, fostering innovation in investment trade and increasing the diversity of commodity futures. Click here to read

Hydrogen stations to drive greener Olympics: China Daily
September 24, 2021

To prepare for the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, a newly built hydrogen fueling station in the capital city’s northwestern Yanqing district went into operation last month. The hydrogen fuel produced by the station with a pressure rating of 70 megapascals is low-carbon, renewable and clean, and it can be used as a direct replacement for oil and gas, said Wang Yunlong, head of the station. Click here to read

China to accelerate building of intelligent, unmanned ports in next five years: Global Times
September 24, 2021

China’s Ministry of Transportation issued a plan on Thursday for the construction of new types of basic infrastructure over the next five years, under which accelerating the building of intelligent and unmanned ports was listed as a priority. The plan also comes at a time when China’s intelligent port manufacturing exports are rising rapidly, partly fueled by demand for high-efficiency port solutions and upgrading amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Observers said the new blueprint will further strengthen China’s smart port manufacturing ability and further boost its share of the global market. Click here to read

Affiliate of Chinese ride-hailing company fined $30,000 for leaving out Zangnan, Diaoyu Islands from country map of China: Global Times
September 23, 2021

An affiliate of Caocao Chuxing, a ride-hailing app in China that has gained a lot of popularity after industry giant Didi was embroiled in data breach problems, has been fined 200,000 yuan ($30,971) after it was found to have left out Zangnan (southern Tibet), the Diaoyu Islands and a number of other regions from a country map of China in a magazine commercial. Click here to read

Chinese law enforcers told use AI, big data to improve security in unstable times: South China Morning Post
September 24, 2021

A top Chinese security official has told law enforcement officers to make use of hi-tech tools like big data and artificial intelligence at a time of rising uncertainties at home and abroad.
Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, which oversees law enforcement and security, made the remarks during a tour of southern Guangdong province last week. He visited seven cities – including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanwei – and held seminars with local cadres during the three-day trip, according to a statement from the commission. Click here to read

Pacific trade pact row between Beijing and Taipei a dilemma for members: South China Morning Post
September 24, 2021

A new battleground has opened up between Beijing and Taipei, with an escalating war of words over their separate bids to join a trans-Pacific trade pact. Beijing is calling on the 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to oppose the self-ruled island’s application, a move Taipei has called the act of an arch bully. Click here to read

Quad leaders, meeting in person for first time, are seen to plan several initiatives for confronting China: South China Morning Post
September 24, 2021

The leaders of a new military alliance that the Chinese government has lashed out against in recent months are gathering in Washington and, analysts say, Beijing’s reactions may be undermining its own interests by pushing the Quad into closer military coordination with other US allies. US President Joe Biden is to host the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan – Scott Morrison, Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga – on Friday, after assembling the group via video link just months ago. The leaders of the Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, are likely to announce commitments in several nonmilitary areas, among them bolstering the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines as well as cooperating on supply chain security, 5G telecommunications technology and the infrastructure needed to fight climate change. Click here to read

Beijing’s envoy to US declares China a democracy: Taipei Times
September 24, 2021

A top Chinese diplomat on Wednesday claimed that China is a democracy, saying that its political system exemplifies the ideals of former US president Abraham Lincoln and the ancient Greeks, who invented a representative form of government. Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang cited the right of Chinese people to participate in certain elections and consultations over major policies as evidence of a democratic system not unlike that in the US. Click here to read

U.S. Commerce chief says more action to be taken on Huawei if needed: Reuters
September 24, 2021

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday the Biden administration will take further action against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei if necessary, after some Republican lawmakers have pressed for more steps. Washington says Huawei is a national security threat on a variety of grounds and aggressively lobbied other countries not to use Huawei equipment in next-generation 5G networks. Citing Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government and military, Washington says this makes the company susceptible to “Chinese governmental pressure to participate in espionage.” read moreClick here to read

Global Developments and Analysis: Weekly Monitor, 13 September – 19 September 2021

Economic
U.S.-China tensions knock 96% off of bilateral tech investment

Political tensions have decimated tech-sector investment between the U.S. and China as the world’s two biggest economies attempt to decouple their supply chains, according to a recent report. Between 2016 and 2020, overall direct investment between the two countries fell 75% from $62 billion to $16 billion, with the tech sector alone plunging 96% over the period, according to Bain and Co.’s latest annual technology report released on Sept 20. Investments from China to the U.S. fell much more steeply than those in the opposite direction due to Washington’s crackdown on Chinese companies creating geopolitical uncertainties for businesses, Anne Hoecker, the partner with Bain & Co. who led the research, told Nikkei Asia. “The business environment for Chinese companies in the U.S. was probably a little bit less secure than it was before, and they [China] just turned their focus to investments in Europe and Africa,” said Hoecker, who specializes in technology and semiconductor practices.Chinese overall direct investment to the U.S. dwindled to just $7.2 billion in 2020 from $48.5 billion in 2016. U.S. investment in China dropped 35% to $8.69 billion over the same period.

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Raise debt limit or face crisis, warn US CEOs

Business Roundtable, an association of over 200 chief executive officers (CEOs) of America’s leading companies, on Sept 15 warned US congressional leaders of the prospect of an economic crisis if they fail to swiftly raise the debt limit. “Failure to lift the US federal debt limit to meet US obligations would produce an otherwise avoidable crisis and pose unacceptable risk to the nation’s economic growth, job creation and financial markets,” the letter read. Doug McMillon, chairman of Business Roundtable and president & CEO of Walmart, and Joshua Bolten, president & CEO of Business Roundtable, were among the writers of the letter to congressional leaders. “An extended period of uncertainty around the debt ceiling poses an even higher risk than usual as America continues to confront economic risk from the pandemic,” the executives wrote. Moreover, erosion of the country’s credit position would also result in “permanently higher borrowing costs” for the federal government and American companies, they warned, urging Congress to raise the debt limit “well before the mid-October deadline.”
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Beijing’s bid to join CPTPP may fail yet also succeed, experts say

Beijing’s attempt to join the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) may be a tough sell for members with which it has strained relations, such as Australia, Japan and Canada, but experts said it signalled to the region that China was a willing strategic partner, and to the United States that it would not be pushed around. It had already floated the idea to members after President Xi Jinping said last November his country was seriously interested in joining. A Beijing-based professor, who declined to be named because of the political sensitivity, said it was very unlikely China would agree to CPTPP requirements or that members would trust China to follow those standards if it committed to. “This is very likely to be a diplomatic démarche, rather than pursued out of long-term economic calculation,” they said. “It is just like the rationale for signing the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with the European Union. Perhaps the Chinese government feels that it needs to send this message to the US that China cannot be boycotted.
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Beijing to break up Ant’s Alipay and force creation of separate loans app

Beijing wants to break up Alipay, the 1bn-plus-user superapp owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group and create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans business, in the most visible restructuring yet of the fintech giant.Chinese regulators have already ordered Ant to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei, which is similar to a traditional credit card, and Jiebei, which makes small unsecured loans, from the rest of its financial offerings and bring in outside shareholders. Now officials want the two businesses to be split into an independent app as well. The plan would also require Ant to turn over the user data that underpins its lending decisions to a new credit scoring joint venture which would be partly state-owned, according to two people familiar with the process. “The government believes big tech’s monopoly power comes from their control of data,” said one person close to financial regulators in Beijing. “It wants to end that.” The move may slow down Ant’s lending business, with the enormous growth of Huabei and Jiebei partly powering its planned IPO last year. The CreditTech unit, which includes the two units, overtook Ant’s main payment processing business for the first time in the first half of 2020, to account for 39 per cent of the group’s revenues.
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Climate change to force mass migration

Reduced agricultural production, water scarcity, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change could cause up to 216 million people to leave their homes and migrate within their own countries by 2050, the World Bank has warned. The estimate from the Washington-based development lender released Sept 13 updates a 2018 report with new figures from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and East Asia and the Pacific to provide a more complete overview of the potential toll from rising global temperatures.”Climate change is an increasingly potent driver of migration,” the report said. Shortages of food and water along with rising seas highlight “the urgency for action as livelihoods and human well-being are placed under increasing strain.”Juergen Voegele, the World Bank’s vice president for sustainable development, said the data give a “global estimate” of the scale of potential migration.
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China seeks to lure new international corporate sustainability body to capital

China is trying to persuade a new international agency that will set corporate rules on climate change and environmental reporting to set up its headquarters in Beijing. The effort to bring the International Sustainability Standards Board to the capital is part of China’s efforts to stop its economy becoming decoupled from the rest of the world and play a leading part in international ruling bodies. It follows its application this week to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and discussions with the Group of 20 over global tax rates and e-commerce. The creation of the new body, which is being set up by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, was endorsed by a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Venice in July. In his letter this week to Erkki Liikanen, chairman of IFRS Foundation Trustees and former governor of the Finnish central bank, Finance Minister Liu Kun pledged to “work together” to ensure the body could be set up early. “We warmly invite the trustees to set up the [sustainability board] headquarters in Beijing,” said the document, dated Sept 14 and published online on Sept 17.
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Taiwan investment delegation to visit Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania

A Taiwan investment delegation will visit Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania Oct. 20-30 as part of government efforts to enhance business and trade ties with the EU member states, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sept. 14. Led by National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin, the 65-member group comprising officials and business leaders will work with regional counterparts on building interconnected and resilient supply chains for the democratic world, the MOFA said.Taiwan, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania are like-minded partners sharing the values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, the MOFA said, adding that the country enjoys increasingly frequent exchanges with all three EU member states.The historic visit to Taiwan by the Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil and his delegation Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, 2020, is also a contributing factor, the ministry added.According to the MOFA, the tour is expected to expand the reach of Taiwan firms in key industrial sectors, help fast track supply chain restructuring among global democratic partners and promote peace, stability and prosperity for people.
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Taiwan calls for quick start to trade talks with EU

Taiwan’s government called on the European Union to quickly begin trade talks after the bloc pledged to seek a trade deal with the tech-heavyweight island, something Taipei has long angled for. The EU included Taiwan on its list of trade partners for a potential bilateral investment agreement in 2015, the year before President Tsai Ing-wen first became Taiwan’s president but has not held talks with Taiwan on the issue since then.Responding to the EU’s newly announced strategy to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific, including seeking a trade deal with Taiwan, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said on Sept 17 talks should start soon. The European Parliament has already given its backing to a EU trade deal with Taiwan. “We call on the European Union to initiate the pre-negotiation work of impact assessment, public consultation and scope definition for a Bilateral Investment Agreement with Taiwan as soon as possible in accordance with the resolutions of the European Parliament,” it said.
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Airlines’ Debt Pile Hits $340 Billion as Covid Chokes Travel

Airlines are piling on more debt as surging coronavirus cases force travellers to cancel plans and stay home. The industry’s outstanding debt has jumped 23% since 2020 to $340 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. So far this year, global air carriers have sold $63 billion in bonds and loans. It’s more evidence that the industry faces a bumpy road ahead, with many border restrictions still in place and the highseason of summer vacations in the U.S. and Europe coming to an end. EasyJet Plc and Japan Airlines Co. announced new fundraising plans this month to help them weather the prolonged pandemic. “The spread of the Delta variant may lead to other countries imposing tougher quarantine rules on visitors,” said Susannah Streeter, a senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Many carriers are returning to the bond market after last year’s dash-for-cash when the pandemic first struck. The big sales show that investors are still ready and willing to give ample funding to the industry.
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Suit claims BP trader sacked for raising Nigeria bribe concerns

BP Plc fired an ex-oil trader because he voiced concerns about bribes being paid in Nigeria to secure local contracts, according to a sprawling London employment suit that sheds light on the energy giant’s lucrative trading floor. Jonathan Zarembok, who traded on BP’s West Africa desk, said that the company paid an “abnormally large” fee to a local agent to participate in a state oil tender. He alleged that BP’s traders also sought to make payments in a deal that would have been the largest the desk had ever struck in Nigeria, before the transaction was ended, according to the lawsuit. “We were paying agents in Nigeria huge multiples of what we paid in other regions even though those agents did not perform services of any real value to BP,” Zarembok said in his witness statement. “Our proposed reasons for paying the agent these sums were a sham.”BP argued that the payments were legitimate and were fully scrutinized by its deal governance board that included the trading floor’s most senior executives. Lawyers for the firm said that the bribery allegations were investigated and couldn’t be substantiated. Zarembok didn’t raise specific concerns about corruption at the time, BP said.
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Strategic
Biden denies China’s Xi turned down meeting offer

U.S. President Joe Biden denied on Sept 14 a media report that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, last week turned down an offer from Biden for a face-to-face meeting. The Financial Times cited multiple people briefed on a 90-minute call between the two leaders last week as saying Xi did not take Biden up on the offer and instead insisted that Washington adopt a less strident tone toward Beijing. “It’s not true,” Biden said when asked by reporters if he was disappointed that Xi did not want to meet with him.Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement earlier on Sept 14 that the report was “not an accurate portrayal of the call. Period.” A source who was among those briefed on the call confirmed the report was accurate.The G20 summit in Italy in October has been talked about as a possible venue for a face-to-face meeting, but Xi has not left China since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year.In his statement, Sullivan added: “As we’ve said, the Presidents discussed the importance of being able to have private discussions between the two leaders, and we’re going to respect that.”
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Blinken defends Afghan withdrawal at angry U.S. congressional hearing

Secretary of State Antony Blinken beat back criticism of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Sept 13, at a contentious congressional hearing where at least one Republican called on him to resign.In testy exchanges with lawmakers, Blinken defended President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out and pushed back on accusations that the State Department might have done more to help Americans and at-risk Afghans to be evacuated, blaming the previous administration for lacking a plan. He repeatedly noted that Republican former President Donald Trump had negotiated the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban and said President Joe Biden’s administration did not consider renegotiating because of threats from the group to resume killing Americans.”There’s no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining,” Blinken said.”We inherited a deadline. We did not inherit a plan,” Blinken said, referring to the Trump administration’s agreement to remove all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 1.Members of Congress – Biden’s fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans — have planned hearings since the Taliban seized control of the country last month after a rapid advance.
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Taliban Deny Rift Within Ranks of New Afghan Leadership

Taliban leaders insisted that there is no rift within the Islamist movement over how to rule Afghanistan, with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a deputy prime minister, appearing Sept 16 on state television to squelch rumours of his death or injury. Mr. Baradar, who headed the Taliban’s political office in Doha, Qatar, and signed the February 2020 Doha agreement on the withdrawal of American troops, skipped Sept 05 meeting between the Taliban leadership and the visiting foreign minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. Sheikh Mohammed’s trip was the first and so far only public ministerial-level visit to Kabul since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on Aug. 15 and proclaimed a restoration of their Islamic Emirate, deposing the Afghan republic established following the 2001 U.S. invasion. Mr. Baradar, a relative moderate, was flown back to Afghanistan aboard a Qatari military aircraft last month, and his absence from the meeting with Sheikh Mohammed sparked a swirl of social-media speculation about conflict within the Taliban. Kabul residents relayed rumours about an alleged shootout in the presidential palace between Mr. Baradar and leaders of the Haqqani family, another power center within the Islamist movement. It didn’t help that it had taken days for Mr. Baradar to surface on video since then.
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Regional powers at summit demand U.S. fund Afghan aid

Russia, China, Pakistan and other regional states called on the United States on Sept 17 to engage with the Taliban and fund aid to Afghanistan, though they also urged the former insurgents to yield power to a more inclusive government. Leaders of the SCO group said it was the responsibility of the West in general and the United States in particular to help avert a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, where Western aid propped up the government swept away by the Taliban last month. “The main part of the expenses related to Afghanistan’s post-conflict rebuilding should be borne by the United States and NATO countries who are directly responsible for the grave consequences of their prolonged presence in the country,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said. He called on Washington to unfreeze assets of the Afghan central bank, which have been blocked since the Taliban takeover, saying without access to the funds, Afghanistan’s new rulers would be tempted to turn to the drugs and arms trades. China’s President Xi Jinping, without mentioning the United States by name, said “certain countries” should assume their due responsibilities for Afghanistan’s future development, having been “instigators” of the situation.
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Quad leaders to call for securing chip supply chain

Leaders from the U.S., Japan, India and Australia will agree to work toward creating a safe supply chain for semiconductors when they meet for the Quad summit in Washington next week, a signal that the four-way alliance meant to counter China in the Indo-Pacific is broadening its scope. The four nations are expected to confirm that “resilient, diverse and secure technology supply chains for hardware, software, and services” are vital to their shared national interests, according to the draft of a joint statement obtained by Nikkei. The document sets common principles on technological development, holding that “the way in which technology is designed, developed, governed and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights. “The draft of the joint statement does not specifically mention China, a nod to India’s intention to keep its nonaligned status and avoid moving forward on cooperation with specific countries. Still, in an apparent reference to China’s alleged tech misappropriation, the draft stresses that “illicit transfer or theft of technology is a common challenge that undermines the very foundation of global technological development and should be addressed.”
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Myanmar shadow government sets up office in South Korea

Myanmar’s pro-democracy camp opposing the military regime that took over the country has established a representative office in South Korea. This is the National Unity Government’s first representative office in Asia, having already set up in the U.S., the U.K., France, Czech Republic and Australia. The pro-democracy camp launched its first-ever representative office in the U.S. in February, according to NUG members. This was followed by the opening of the Czech office in May. “The representatives have been officially appointed, and their credentials have been provided to diplomatic officials in those countries,” said an NUG official. The NUG was formed in April by lawmakers of the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and others. Its activities have mostly been carried out online. The NUG has been trying to win recognition from the international community as the legitimate government of Myanmar while the military, which assumed power on Feb. 1, tightens its control of the country. Establishing a representative office alone does not mean that a host nation has officially recognized the NUG, but it could facilitate dialogue.
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Turkey’s push into Africa has China looking over its shoulder

Turkey’s inroads into Africa have seen the country expand the number of embassies in Africa to 43 from just 12 in 2002. During his time in power since 2003 — both as prime minister and president — Erdogan has visited 28 different African countries for a total of 38 times, making him the most frequent-visiting global leader to the continent. Calling Turkey “an Afro-Eurasia state,” Erdogan has used every tool in his kit to engage with African states. In Muslim African countries, Turkey has built mosques. In Northern Africa, Erdogan has used the Ottoman card, talking about the historic ties. In countries unhappy with old colonial powers exploiting oil and minerals, Erdogan uses his favourite move serving as the “voice of the oppressed people.” Turkey’s web of relations is not well understood in the West. Richard Outzen, a geopolitical consultant and former member of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, says that of all the misconceptions in Washington about Turkey, the notion that Ankara is diplomatically isolated is “perhaps the most distorted of all the lenses.”For Turkey, the new target is penetration into sub-Saharan Africa, utilizing the newly established embassies, commercial counsellors and direct flights.
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Hundreds of aid trucks have failed to return from Tigray, UN says

Hundreds of aid trucks have not returned from Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region, and their disappearance is “the primary impediment” to ramping up the humanitarian response, the United Nations has said. The disclosure on Sept 17 from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) comes amid rising fears of starvation deaths in Tigray, where the UN has previously estimated that about 350,000 people faced famine-like conditions. Since July 12, 445 contracted non-WFP trucks have entered Tigray, but only 38 have returned, WFP spokeswoman Gemma Snowdon said in a statement. “At the moment this is the primary impediment to moving humanitarian aid into Tigray. We are unable to assemble convoys of significant size due to lack of trucks,” Snowdon said. “We are continuing to work with transporters and local authorities in Tigray for trucks to be released.” WFP has no information about where the trucks are or what they are being used for, Snowdon said. Northern Ethiopia has been racked by violence since last November when President Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, sent troops into Tigray, saying the move was in response to attacks on army camps by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
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Secret Syria talks speak to a post-US Middle East era

In early September, a delegation of leaders from Lebanon’s Druze community met with Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, a move that surprised many regional observers.This was because the Syrian president’s status – after years of brutal and bloody civil war – has been largely that of international pariah. Yet, as the often-ostracized Al-Assad reportedly remarked to his Lebanese visitors, these days, “Many leaders of Arab and non-Arab states are communicating with us, but asking us to keep this a secret.” Those “secret” contacts have been ratcheting up in recent days against the background of renewed conflict inside Syria.Indeed, with Russian, Iranian and pro-Assad forces finally crushing a new uprising in the southern Syrian city of Dara’a earlier this month, the diplomatic players have been moving around the Middle Eastern checkerboard at an unusual rate. On August 28, leaders and foreign ministers from Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq (plus France) met in Baghdad. Joining them were foreign ministers from Iran and Saudi Arabia – long major regional rivals. Similarly, the UAE and Turkey also met at the summit, despite major disputes over issues ranging from Libya to the Middle Eastern status quo.
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What Iran’s membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation means

Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was approved after almost 15 years by the bloc’s seven permanent members on Sept 17. After the technical and legal process concludes – which could take up to two years – Iran will formally join a group that accounts for about one-third of the world’s land and exports trillions of dollars annually – as it counts China, Russia and India, in addition to several Central Asian states, among its members. Following his return from a summit in Tajikistan’s Dushanbe, President Ebrahim Raisi termed the approval a “diplomatic success” that means linking Iran to the economic infrastructures of Asia and its vast resources.During a speech at the two-day summit, he had denounced “unilateralism” by the United States and called for a concerted effort to fight sanctions. President Raisi held a string of high-level bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO summit. Among other things, they led to the signing of eight agreements with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon. The two set a target of $500m for annual bilateral trade, which is close to 10 times higher than the current levels.Rather than major political or economic gains, Iran’s main takeaway from this success in the short term may be limited to a boost in prestige and diplomacy.
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US Coast Guard spots Chinese warships off Alaska

Four Chinese warships, including one of its most advanced destroyers, were spotted sailing in the waters off Alaska late last month as the Chinese navy steadily expands its range, according to photos posted on a Pentagon information service. The photos taken by the US Coast Guard showed the four Chinese naval vessels shadowed by two US Coast Guard cutters in international waters within the US’ exclusive economic zone in the Aleutian Islands on August 29 and August 30, according to the Defence Visual Information Distribution Service. According to the photo captions, the US and Chinese vessels had “safe and professional” interactions and their verbal communications were in accordance with international standards, including the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a non-legally binding agreement to prevent clashes at sea. The Chinese vessels were a Type 055 destroyer, a Type 052D destroyer, a Type 815 spy ship and a Type 903 replenishment ship. The photos were posted online on Sept 13 and removed hours later. The Chinese defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
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Chinese military steps up night drills and brings in more advanced equipment close to Indian border

The Chinese military’s Western Theatre Command has introduced more night drills for units stationed near the Himalayan border as it seeks to familiarise its troops with new-generation weapons and equipment. Since the start of the autumn, several forces in the Xinjiang military district have been carrying out night battle drills at altitudes of around 5,000 metres (16,400 feet), according to the military newspaper PLA Daily. “We have revised our schedules and demanded soldiers meet higher standards for high-altitude training as we need to deal with a harsher battlefield environment amid increasing challenges in the peripheral areas,” Yang Yang, a company commander, told the newspaper. Yang said his mechanised force had been crossing the snowy highlands without lights and practising night-time live-fire machine gun drills. Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor, said almost all the old generation J-7 fighter jets in the Western Military Command had been replaced by the advanced J-16 multirole strike fighter. “All advanced weapons need to be repeatedly tested through regular drills, and pilots flying at high altitudes need to cooperate with land forces, special combat troops and other units in the modern joint operation concept,” Song said.
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How a submarine deal sparked a major diplomatic crisis

Australia’s decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar order for French submarines in favour of American and British technology has sparked a diplomatic row of unprecedented proportions between long time Western allies. The French foreign ministry recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia citing “duplicity, disdain and lies”. Alongside the economic damage for tens of billions of euros, France said it resents the way Australia and its partners have handled the matter. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said, “There has been contempt so it’s not going well between us, not at all.” President Emmanuel Macron will have a call with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, in the next few days, the French government said on Sept 19.Australia announced on Sept 15 it would ditch a contract worth more than 50 billion euros ($59bn) to acquire 12 French-made diesel-electric submarines. Instead, it will commission at least eight US nuclear-powered submarines in the framework of a new alliance – known by its acronym AUKUS. The partnership, however, cuts France out of the procurement deal it won in 2016 over offers from Germany and Japan. The US and the UK had not taken part in the bidding process.
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‘Not a defence alliance’: Australia looks to assuage Asean’s concerns over Aukus nuclear subs deal

Australia on Sept 20 sought to assuage regional anxieties over its plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through a joint arrangement with Britain and the United States, with Canberra’s envoy to Asean saying the agreement was “not a defence alliance or pact”. In a statement, Will Nankervis said the arrangement would not change “Australia’s commitment to Asean nor our ongoing support for the Asean-led regional infrastructure”. Canberra was committed to continuing to foster a “peaceful, secure region” with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations at its centre, Jakarta-based Nankervis said. His comments follow expressions of concern by Indonesia and Malaysia over the tripartite Aukus group’s announcement last week regarding Australia’s submarine acquisition plans. Though Canberra had made clear it had no intention for the submarines – which are to be operational in the 2040s – to be armed with nuclear weapons, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he was concerned the development might “catalyse a nuclear arms race” in the Indo-Pacific.
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Malaysia PM to sign cooperation pandemic pact

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s coalition and the main opposition bloc is set to sign a cooperation pact on Sept 13 to ensure political stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a move that could also help the premier with any confidence vote. Parliament is scheduled to convene from Sept 13, but no date has been set for the confidence vote. In a joint statement published late on Sept 12, representatives from the government and the Pakatan Harapan opposition bloc – led by Anwar Ibrahim – said they have agreed to focus on “transformation initiatives and reforms.” “All parties have agreed that this MoU is aimed at returning political stability to the country in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy through bi-partisan cooperation,” they said. The pact follows Ismail Sabri’s offer on Sept 10 to introduce political reforms including new laws to prevent defections and limit the term of a prime minister to 10 years, in a bid to win opposition support for his leadership. His offer also includes bipartisan agreement on every bill to be introduced in parliament, input from opposition parties on a national recovery council and immediate lowering of the minimum voting age from 21 to 18.
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TTP’s enmity toward Pakistan creates risk for Chinese projects: analysts

By claiming it has close ties with the Afghan Taliban and no hostility toward China, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is hoping to improve its circumstances following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, analysts said. But they warned that the TTP may continue its attacks in Pakistan and cause damage to China’s projects and personnel in the country. In an exclusive interview with Japanese media outlet Mainichi Shimbun, TTP leader Mufti Wali Noor Mehsud welcomed the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan after 20 years of absence and said that “we are hopeful for a strong relationship between the two of us.” The TTP, established in 2007, is an alliance of militant groups based in northwest Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. Encouraged by the Afghan Taliban’s victory, the TTP wants to realize Pashtuns’ rule in Pakistan. This is an issue of concern for the Pakistan government, Zhang said, noting that the resurgence of extremist groups in the region may affect the regional situation and more problems may emerge after the US withdrawal.
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Afghanistan’s Taliban Prohibit Girls From Attending Secondary School

Teenage Afghan girls weren’t allowed to return to school on Sept 18 as classrooms across the country reopened for the first time since the Taliban took power last month, raising fears that their new fundamentalist government will permanently ban secondary education for girls. The absence of teenage girls in classrooms, while their male peers returned, followed a decree issued by the Taliban on Sept 17 ordering male students and teachers to return to high schools and religious seminaries. The statement from the ministry of education didn’t mention girls, amounting to a de facto ban for now on them going to secondary school. The Taliban have allowed girls up to sixth grade to attend school, but they will be taught in separate classrooms from boys. Some private universities have also been allowed to open classrooms for girls, though most female students appear to be staying home out of fear. Afghanistan’s universities are regulated by a separate ministry from the ministry of education.The news raises fresh fears as to how the Taliban will treat Afghan women.
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Japan PM candidates deny toning down views on hot-button issues to attract votes

Two of the candidates vying to become Japan’s next prime minister denied on Sept 18 they had toned down their positions on nuclear energy and gender issues to attract conservative backing in a tight ruling party leadership election this month. The winner of the Sept. 29 contest to lead the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is almost certain to succeed Yoshihide Suga as the country’s next premier because the party has a majority in the lower house. Suga announced he would step down two weeks ago amid sinking approval ratings, triggering the leadership race between four candidates. They are vaccine minister Taro Kono, 58, former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, 64, Sanae Takaichi, 60, a former internal affairs minister from the party’s most conservative wing, and Seiko Noda, 61, a former minister for gender equality. Surveys of voters show Kono is their top choice, a key factor ahead of a general election due by November. But the social-media savvy, U.S.-educated Kono, who has also served as foreign and defence minister, is widely seen as a maverick – an image that worries many veteran party members.
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Comrades in arms? West is cheering on Russia’s Communists, but heirs of Bolsheviks even more skeptical of US, EU & NATO than Putin

According to the exit polls and those votes counted so far, the Communist Party (KPRF) is set to be the biggest winner from the drop in support for United Russia, the governing faction backed by President Vladimir Putin. The Communists are, however, the main – if not the only – nationwide opposition party that can challenge the direction of Putin and United Russia. As the largest opposition group, the KPRF was always likely to make gains after a turbulent few years of sanctions, rising prices and the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.It’s also worth asking why those in the Western media are so at ease with the prospect of the Communists doing well in Russia, three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Few seem to be asking what it really means. Amid all the furore, it is easy to forget that Putin has historically positioned himself as a political moderate and did his part to prevent the return of the communists and keep the country on a market economy track. In the 1990s, then-President Boris Yeltsin’s entire liberal and pro-Western political platform collapsed when it became evident that Russia would be excluded from the new Europe, while the country faced socio-economic and political implosion.
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Medical
China’s first giant quarantine station to be put into use

China’s first giant international health station providing quarantine and medical services to all inbound travellers is expected to be put into use in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong Province in late September, which could reduce the infection risk during quarantine and replace quarantine hotels, media reports said on Sept 17.Construction of the first phase of the station has been completed and the first batch of 184 medical staff started working in the station on Sept 17. The 250,000-square-meter station with 5,074 rooms is China’s first international health station to replace quarantine hotels, jiemian.com reported on Sept 17. The first batch of medical staff will work with the help of artificial intelligence equipment to reduce unnecessary contact. Smart equipment can help travellers to have a temperature check, epidemiological investigation and check in and out, while a screen in the quarantine room can automatically upload health information and conduct temperature checks, with robots providing food and other daily necessities to travellers. Guangzhou experienced China’s first outbreak with the Delta variant in May.
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India to resume COVID vaccine exports to COVAX, neighbours

The country’s monthly vaccine output has since more than doubled and is set to quadruple to more than 300 million doses next month, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, adding that only excess supplies would be exported. “We will help other countries and also fulfil our responsibility towards COVAX,” he told reporters on Sept 20. Media reports last week said India was considering restarting exports of COVID-19 vaccines soon. It donated or sold 66 million doses to nearly 100 countries before the export halt. The announcement on resumption of exports comes before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States this week where vaccines are likely to be discussed at a summit of the leaders of the Quad countries – the US, India, Japan and Australia. India wants to vaccinate all its 944 million adults by December and has so far given at least one dose to 64 percent of them and two doses to 22 percent. India’s inoculations have jumped since last month, especially as the world’s biggest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, has more than trebled its output of the AstraZeneca shot to 200 million doses a month from April levels. Indian companies have set up the capacity to produce nearly three billion COVID vaccine doses a year.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 22, 2021

Afghanistan
New Cabinet Members Announced, Inauguration Cancelled: Tolo News

Some new members of the caretaker cabinet of the Taliban were announced on Tuesday with an effort to ensure inclusivity by adding “minorities” to the cabinet as Zabihullah Mujahid, the deputy minister for information and culture, said.
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Afghan Media Face Budget Issues, Lack of Access to Information: Tolo News

Afghan media outlets are running out of budget and are faced with lack of information under the Taliban, watchdog organizations said, alarming that it will leave long-term impacts on their activities.
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Only minister of Ashraf Ghani’s cabinet sacked by Taliban: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan sacked the only remaining acting minister of the previous government Waheed Majroh and appointed Qalandar Ebad as acting minister of public health on Tuesday, September 21.
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Pakistan, China, Russia’s envoys meet Taliban premier, Afghan politicians: The Khaama Press

Special representatives of Russia, China, and Pakistan to Afghanistan met with the Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund in the presidential Palace (Arg) on Tuesday, September 21.
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Taliban changes name of university in Kabul: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan officially changed the name of a government university from University of Burhanuddin Rabbani-former Afghan President and founder of Afghanistan’s second-biggest political party- to Kabul Education University.
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Bangladesh
‘Bangladesh to get 89 lakh Covid vaccine doses in last quarter of 2021’- The Daily Star

A total of 89 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be shipped to Bangladesh in the last three months of the year, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said in a Facebook post early on Wednesday.
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Chart roadmap for the ones left behind- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for charting out a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put the world back on the SDGs track.
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Indian officials claim to have seized 3 tonnes of Afghan heroin- The Daily Star

Indian officials said on Tuesday they had seized nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated 200 billion rupees ($2.72 billion) amid the chaos following last month’s takeover of the country by the Taliban.
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Covid test at airport: Six labs expected to test samples- Dhaka Tribune

Hossain/Dhaka Tribune Lack of coordination among government authorities delaying the set-up of rt-PCR labs at Dhaka airport, says expatriate minister.
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Get organized for anti-govt movement- New Age

Stating that farmers are now the most neglected section of people in Bangladesh, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday urged the peasants to get organised for waging a strong anti-government movement.
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Time to introduce online agricultural supply chain- The Observer

It is widely known that, during the initial days of the lockdown in 2020, farmers and wholesalers around the country had to struggle for delivering their products to the markets of large cities.
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PM seeks US investment in ICT, renewable energy, blue economy- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought US investment in country’s different promising sectors such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), renewable energy, agro-processing, blue economy, tourism and hi-tech parks.
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PM for forming Women Leaders’ Network to pursue gender equality- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid special emphasis on forming a Women Leaders’ Network as it can act as a force to ensure gender equality.
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Bangladesh PM gets SDG Progress Award- New Age

The UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network has conferred prime minister Sheikh Hasina with ‘SDG Progress Award’ for Bangladesh’s.
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Bhutan
India Commits Rs.45 Billion For Bhutan’s Development For 12th Five-year Plan- Republic World

Strengthening India’s diplomatic ties with Bhutan, India has announced the allocation of Rs. 45 Billon for Bhutan’s development in its 12th Five-year plan.
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Bhutan celebrates 50 years of UN membership- Kuensel

More than 50 years after His late Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck delivered this landmark address in 1971, after Bhutan’s successful admission to the United Nations Organisation.
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6 ways Bhutan is building better food systems – from farm to table- ReliefWeb

To overcome systemic problems in Bhutan’s food systems — which include every step involved in getting food from farm to table — the World Food Programme (WFP) is investing US$7 million to support the Royal Government of Bhutan in improving climate-resilient agriculture.
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Ericsson to install 5G network in Kingdom of Bhutan- Capacity

Ericsson has won a 5G contract with Bhutan Telecom as the landlocked Eastern Himalayan country prepares to launch 5G services at the end of the year.
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Bhutan’s boulder exports stuck since 1st September Tenzing Lamsang- The Bhutanese

Bhutan’s thriving boulder exports business is stuck since the 1st of September as Bhutanese trucks from Phuentsholing and Samtse are not being allowed to move in West Bengal.
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Once in a Life Time Event: How Bhutan celebrated her admission to the United Nations- Kuensel

Exactly fifty years ago, Bhutan was unanimously elected as the 128th member of the United Nations.
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Illegal structures on State land removed in Tsirang- Kuensel

The Tsirang dzongkhag administration demolished 12 of the 14 houses that were built illegally on State land in Dzomlingthang under Gosarling gewog on September 15.
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RCSC removes about 500 positions in civil service- Kuensel

The 12th Five-Year Plan staffing and organisation structure review resulted in removal of 228 messenger (GSP) positions.
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Bhutan’s pursuit of happiness in the pandemic era- The Asia Pacific Policy Society

After decades of development gains, the impacts of COVID-19 threaten the inclusiveness and sustainability of Bhutan’s future, Dendup Chophel and Phurba write.
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Maldives
Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addresses the UN – UPI

Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. (Pool Photo by John Minchillo/UPI)
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ISRO case: Maldives women urge CBI to place their damages claim before Supreme Court – New Indian Express

Two Maldives nationals, who were also arrested along with scientist Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 ISRO spy case, have moved the CBI requesting it to place before the Supreme Court their claim for damages of Rs 2 crore from each of the 18 officers who are arrayed as accused in the conspiracy case being probed by the agency.
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Myanmar
Myanmar’s extreme Buddhist nationalists – Lowly Institute

In a surprise move, Myanmar’s ruling military junta announced on 6 September the release from prison of Ashin Wirathu, a controversial Buddhist monk whose sermons have been blamed for inciting anti-Muslim violence over the last decade.
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Junta steps up raids and arrests in effort to stamp out Yangon guerrilla attacks – Myanmar Now

Soldiers carried out raids from Monday through Thursday in five townships across Myanmar’s largest city after resistance forces carried out several recent attacks against the junta’s armed forces.
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Rohingya Armed Groups Active Again in Western Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

Long before the junta’s February 1 coup, the Rohingya crisis was making headlines in the international media.
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This video has circulated in reports since 2020 about another conflict in Myanmar – Fact Check

A video of an attack on a military convoy has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts in August 2021 that claim it shows a recent ambush in Myanmar.
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U.S. and China Avert Potential Clash in U.N. Over Myanmar Representation – WSJ

Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations, a holdover from the country’s deposed civilian government, will sit out a series of high-level meetings in New York this week, averting for now a potential clash between the U.S. and China over who should represent the country on the world stage.
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Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (14 – 20 September 2021) – Relief Web

The humanitarian situation in Sagaing Region remains challenging, with armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and local People’s Defence Forces (PDF) reported in several areas, which led to the displacement of some 18,600 people from Kalay, Kani, and Myaung townships between 7 and 10 September.
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Nepal
We have ample evidence that China has encroached upon our land in Humla: Lawmaker Shahi- KhbaraHub

Members of the committee recently formed by the government to study the border dispute in t Shahihe Humla district are currently working on the report.
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1036 new Covid cases recorded Tuesday, active caseload stands at 21,524- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 786,577 on Tuesday with 1,036 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
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Nepal Infrastructure Bank (NIFRA) proposes 8.50 per cent cash dividend- Himalaya

Nepal Infrastructure Bank (NIFRA) has proposed to distribute dividends to the shareholders from the FY 2077/78.
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Appropriation Bill tabled in National Assembly- Himalaya

The Appropriation Bill, 2078 BS was tabled in the National Assembly today.
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SAARC meet on UN assembly sidelines called off over Afghanistan- Kathmandu Post

Officials say there was lack of concurrence from member states on the meeting which Nepal proposed last week and sent out invitations to all except Kabul. https://tkpo.st/3EDy6lQ” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…
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UML’s partisan politics enters upper house, as members demand Speaker’s resignation- Kathmandu Post

Observers say Nepali parties have failed to comprehend the spirit of the National Assembly and made it a platform to squabble over petty interests.
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Deuba recalls 12 envoys appointed by Oli- Kathmandu Post

Twenty-three missions are now set to go headless, and some are in key countries—India, China, US, UK and Qatar.
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Prithvi Highway disrupted after landslide- Republica

Landslide occurred at Ichhakamana in Chitwan has disrupted vehicular movement along the Prithvi Highway.
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Gilles Bourbao is the new French ambassador to Nepal- Online Khabar

France has appointed senior foreign affairs advisor Gilles Bourbao as the new ambassador to Nepal.
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Landslide Buries Three to Dead In Gulmi- Rising Nepal

At least three people died after a landslide buried their house in Gulmi.
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Pakistan
Qureshi says no rush to recognise Taliban govt in Afghanistan: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country
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Pakistan feels ‘used and binned’, says Ramiz after England cancels tour: Dawn

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja said on Tuesday he felt “used and then binned” after England cancelled a white-ball tour for their men’s and women’s teams next month.
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Pakistan calls for unfreezing of Afghan assets ahead of UN talks: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has called on world powers to unblock billions of dollars in Afghan assets frozen after the Taliban takeover but said it did not expect recognition soon of the new government.
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Afghanistan will descend into civil war without inclusive govt: PM: The Express Tribune

If they [Taliban] don’t include all factions, sooner or later they will have again a sort of a civil war,” the premier said in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday.
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NCOC to relax COVID-19 curbs in Punjab, KP districts from September 23: The News

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday decided to ease additional restrictions in districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after September 23.
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Sri Lanka
President Rajapaksa and Kuwait PM hold bilateral talks in NY – Adaderana

A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, has taken plane in Manhattan, New York on Sunday (Sep. 19), on the side lines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
has made a request for more employment opportunities for skilled workers.
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IMF has a role in Sri Lanka after framework decided: Jayasundera – economynext

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will “definitely” have a role to play in Sri Lanka’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery, but that will be after the authorities formulate the policy framework, President’s Secretary P B Jayasundera said.
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1,321 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 507,330 with the detection of 1,321 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday. Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday include 1,321 persons from the New Year cluster.
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Sri Lanka, World Bank sign agreement to strengthen climate resilience – Ceylon Today

The Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank recently signed a US$ 92 million financing agreement for the Climate Resilience Multi-Phased Program Phase I Project.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 20, 2021

Afghanistan
Nangarhar: Taliban Vehicle Targeted by Blast, Child Killed: Tolo News

A child was killed and two people, including a Taliban forces member, were injured in an explosion on Sunday evening in Nangarhar province.
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Guterres Calls for UN Engagement with Taliban: Tolo News

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in an interview with the Associated Press says the international community wants to see an inclusive government in Afghanistan and to achieve that the United Nations must engage with the Taliban.
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Taliban have not met their commitments: former Afghan president: The Khaama Press

The former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in his recent interview said that the Taliban have pledged education of girls, women’s rights, the national flag, and other national values but no implementation of the promises has been seen yet.
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Women protest in Kabul against Taliban’s policies for them: The Khaama Press

A number of women gathered at the gate of the ministry of women affairs-now replaced- and protested against the policies of the Taliban vis-à-vis them asked for the rights of education and work on Sunday, September 19.
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Fuel Prices in Kabul Rise in Past Week: Tolo News

According to residents, gas prices rose by 15 Afs per kilo and oil prices increased 4 Afs per liter during the last week. Currently the price of each kilo of gas is 75 Afs in the Kabul market.
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Bangladesh
Exports to Bhutan go up as trade agreement kicks in- Daily Star

Bangladesh’s exports to Bhutan could rise on the back of the bilateral trade pact signed last year.
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Khaleda’s Jail Term: Suspended for another 6 months- Daily Star

The government has extended for six months the suspension of the jail term of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
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Govt mulls new citizens’ database- Daily Star

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics is going to develop what officials said would be an extensive and comprehensive identity database.
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’Non-Muslims, transgender people their new target’- Daily Star

Militant outfit Ansar al Islam, said to be the Bangladesh chapter of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, is now targeting non-Muslims and transgender people to recruit them into militancy.
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Government mulls vaccinating 20m people a month- The Asian Age

DG of Directorate General of Health Services- DGHS has said, the government is mulling vaccinating 20 million doses of Covid vaccines a month.
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UN ready to provide electoral assistance to BD- The Asian Age

The United Nations is ready to offer assistance to Bangladesh in its next national elections only if the government asks for it.
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Inter-district bus terminals to be moved outside Dhaka- Dhaka Tribune

The government plans to build five new inter-district bus terminals outside Dhaka city, aiming to reduce traffic congestion in the capital.
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PM arrives in New York to attend UNGA- The Observer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in New York on Sunday afternoon to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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Bhutan
Are the wetlands safe? – Kuensel

A few years ago, villagers in Sangtana in Gangtey gewog complained about ABC Lodge discharging grey water directly into the wetland, threatening the black-necked cranes and their habitat.
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More buses with modern amenities in Thimphu Thromde from November– Kuensel

The thromde added 27 new buses to its fleet on August 29.
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The Buxa Durbar– Kuensel

The story of how Bhutan received its subsidy in 1909 from the British.
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Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan- Daily Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.
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Maldives
Ambassador of Nepal to Bangladesh and High Commissioner of Maldives to Bangladesh visit UAP on Invitation from OIA – The Daily Star

On September 14, 2021, two teams from of the Embassy of Nepal and the High Commission of Maldives to Bangladesh visited University of Asia Pacific (UAP) on invitation from the Office of International Affairs (OIA), UAP.
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Maldives removed from UK’s red list – Raajje

After weeks of remaining hopeful of being moved up to the United Kingdom’s Travel Amber List, Maldives has been removed from the country’s Travel Red list.
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Pres Solih departs to New York to attend UNGA – Avas

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Saturday departed to New York City, United States, to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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Myanmar
Burmese Army Attacks a Baptist Church in Chin State – Persecution

Following intense fighting between the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) and the local defense groups in Myanmar’s Christian-majority Chin state, on September 14, the Tatmadaw shelled a Baptist church in Thantlang township.
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Myanmar’s All-Out War in the Making – The Diplomat

After the announcement of the all-out war (dubbed D-Day) by the National Unity Government (NUG) on September 7, some Myanmar people resorted to panic buying.
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Myanmar Is a Failing State—and Could Be a Danger to Its Neighbors – Council on Foreign Relations

When the new coronavirus emerged, Myanmar remained relatively unaffected: Until August 2020, it had recorded only six COVID-19 deaths, and development specialists praised the civilian government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD), for implementing measures to limit the virus’s spread.
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Myanmar Military Launches Artillery Strike Near Kachin Armed Group’s HQ – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military fired artillery on Wednesday night near Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State, for no reason, said KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu.
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Court jails Rakhine anti-war protesters for two and a half years – Myanmar Now

Four student activists who were arrested for staging an anti-war protest last year were each sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Thursday, almost a year after they were first detained.
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Attacks on Myanmar telecom towers show evolving tactics in conflict – Reuters

Around 700,000 people in Myanmar are estimated to have lost internet access after attacks on telecommunication equipment run by Mytel, the partly army-controlled company said amid reports that dozens of its towers were damaged.
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Nepal
SSB arrests two persons including Chinese national from India-Nepal border- ANI

SSB arrests two persons including Chinese national from India-Nepal border.
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1413 recover as 656 new Covid-19 cases surface; 12 deaths reported- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 784,566 on Sunday with 656 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
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Need to realize the aspirations of the people: President Bhandari- Himalaya

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said that it is our eternal duty to realize the people’s aspirations guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal.
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No regard for rule of law as Nepali state runs on ad hocism- Kathmandu Post

Ordinances are allowed by constitution but governments are issuing them as per their wish, not paying attention to their timely approval, leading to legal vacuum.
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Nepal observes Constitution Day- Kathmandu Post

On Sunday, President Bidya Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, ministers and other dignitaries attended a special programme organised at Tundikhel to observe the Constitution Day.
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Foreign firms showed interest to invest in two dozen hotels in first two months of current FY- Republica

Foreign investors are found increasingly attracted to run hotels in Nepal with such companies proposing to invest in around two dozen hotels in the first two months of the current fiscal year.
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Many cooperatives in Nepal into fraud thanks to nominal monitoring- OnlineKhabar

The Cooperative Federation’s Kandel says problems are arising because it has only been a few years since the task of monitoring was handed to the local governments and hence calls for patience.
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Nepali theatre is making a comeback, slowly but steadily- OnlineKhabar

The Nepali theatre sector that was trying to get up after the first wave of Covid-19 was again brought to a standstill in the second wave.
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Teachers Of Private Schools Lose Jobs To COVID-19- Rising Nepal

Teachers of private schools might be the worst affected professionals from COVID-19 in Nepal.
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PM Stresses Constitution’s Full Implementation for Attaining Prosperity- Rising Nepal

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the objective of the government is to ensure the prosperity of the nation through successful implementation of the Constitution.
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Pakistan
‘No other way’: Fawad says 2023 general elections will be based on reforms-Dawn

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that the 2023 general election would be based on and possible only after electoral reforms, adding that “there is no other way [possible] except this.”
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NZ tour abandoned after alert from ‘Five Eyes’ alliance about a ‘serious’ threat: PCB CEO- Dawn

The Black Caps devastated Pakistan’s cricket fraternity on Friday after opting out of their tour of Pakistan minutes before the first ODI was to be played. They had cited a “security threat” as the reason without divulging any further.
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Taxes on imports fuel inflation: The Express Tribune

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data showed that the Rs149 billion revenues during July-August 2021 period were also 132% more than the collection during the same period of the last fiscal year.
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Pakistan begins dispatching humanitarian aid to Afghanistan via Torkham: The Express Tribune

Pakistan on Sunday started dispatching humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through land route and sent 13 truckloads of fresh consignment of humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country through Torkham border crossing.
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Corona kills 71 more: Unvaccinated people in Sindh to be arrested: The News

The Sindh government has decided to arrest unvaccinated people after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued fresh directives for expediting COVID vaccination in the country.
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Sri Lanka
SL receives 20 state-of-the-art Indian train coaches – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka received 20 state-of-the-art custom-made modern train coaches from India as part of the USD 82.6 million contract.
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Govt.’s secret deal with US company affects Lanka’s sovereignty, says FSP – The Island

Sri Lanka was now dependent on the United States to supply LNG to Sri Lankan power stations thanks to an agreement it had entered into with a US-based energy company.
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President arrives in New York to attend 76th UNGA Session – PMDnews

The delegation headed by the President arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on September 18.
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Foreign Minister Peiris Reaffirms Sri Lanka’s Active Commitment to Dialogue And Engagement With The Commonwealth – MFA

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s active commitment to dialogue and engagement with the Commonwealth at a virtual meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland in New York.
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Sri Lanka, Ukraine discuss potential for enhancing tourism and economic ties – Daily FT

State Minister of Regional Co-operation TharakaBalasuriya undertook an official visit to Ukraine from 8-10 September to participate in a Sri Lanka tourism promotion campaign.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 17, 2021

Afghanistan
Ghani’s Fleeing Ruined Last-Minute Deal: Khalilzad: Tolo News

According to Khalilzad, the plan was to keep Kabul out of the Taliban’s hands and negotiate a political transition, but Ghani’s escape created a power vacuum and the Taliban entered the city, the Financial Times reported.
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Afghan Students Anxious as Schools Remain Closed: Tolo News

Although a month has passed since the fall of the previous government, secondary schools (grade 7 and up) remain closed, causing concerns, a number of students told TOLOnews on Thursday.
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Black Market Visa Business Booming in Afghanistan: Tolo News

As most embassies in Kabul closed following the collapse of the former government, and the number of people demanding visas has increased, the black market business for visas is skyrocketing.
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We impose no conditions on Taliban, they declared their objective themselves: Russia: The Khaama Press

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that they are not imposing any conditions on the Taliban and added that they are declaring their objectives themselves which are fighting terrorism and drug trafficking.
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Taliban asks UN’s cooperation in recognition, lifting sanctions: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan asked the UN to help them in recognition of their government, removing names of the Taliban leaders from the black list, and lifting all other sanctions imposed by the international community.
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Bangladesh
Quarterly GDP growth data from next fiscal year- Daily Star

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is going to publish the gross domestic product (GDP) growth data every quarter from the next fiscal year.
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PM at UNGA: Post-pandemic recovery high on agenda- Daily Star

Bangladesh will focus on post-Covid economic recovery, climate change and Rohingya crisis at the UN General Assembly in New York, where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend from September 21
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Social Safety Net: High allocations, but off target- Daily Star

Bangladesh is failing to reap the maximum benefit from its high social safety net allocations.
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Editors’ Council concerned as BFIU seeks bank details of journos- Asian Age

The Editors’ Council has expressed concern as the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has sought bank details of eleven journalist leaders.
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Investigate how many people Zia killed in jail- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged lawmakers to find out how many people were killed in each jail across the country during Ziaur Rahman’s regime.
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ED: A scientifically sound climate strategy for Bangladesh- Dhaka Tribune

COURTESY With the weakening of Bangladesh’s naturally protective mechanisms such as the Sundarbans, the government needs to take adequate steps to reverse the damage.
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BNP policymakers now will sit with grassroots leaders- The Observer

BNP policymakers now will sit with grassroots leaders BNP policymakers are now planning to sit with the grassroots leaders.
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PM flies for Finland Friday morning on her way to UNGA- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for Finland on Friday morning as part of a two-week official visit to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
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Hasina pledges concrete-steel houses for poor- New Age

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that the government was now building houses with concrete and steel for homeless people so that none could damage those easily.
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Bhutan
Parties renewing membership without consent?- Kuensel

Despite being the ruling party, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has become the smallest party in terms of membership.
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Lhuentse-Mongar local bus service resumes- Kuensel

Local bus service from Lhuentse to Mongar resumed on September 14 almost five months after.
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Understanding mental health and well-being: Me For Myself- Kuensel

About 50 Bhutanese youths are engaged in the Me For Myself (M4M) campaign that focuses on mental health and well-being.
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Commercial youth farmers wait for NLCS’s approval- Kuensel

To expand their commercial farming, a youth group in Samarchu, Dagana, proposed to lease 11.40 acres of state land nearby their farm in March this year.
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200-bedded quarantine facility at Dhamdum ready- Samtse- BBS

The 200-bedded Quarantine Facility at Dhamdum in Samtse is now ready. The facility which was inaugurated on Tuesday.
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Maldives
Nepal, Maldives envoys visit UAP – New Age

Two teams from of the embassy of Nepal and the high commission of Maldives to Bangladesh headed by Nepal ambassador Banshidhar Mishra and Maldives high commissioner Shiruzimath Sameer visited University of Asia Pacific.
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UNWTO Plans Restart of Tourism Across Asia and the Pacific – Travel Agent Central

The 33rd joint meeting of the World Tourism Organization’s Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and its Commission for South Asia was held September 14, 2021.
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Ex-pres. issued warning for violating house arrest terms – Raajje

Maldives Correction Service (MCS) has closed the case of incarcerated Former President Abdulla Yameen violating the conditions and terms of his house arrest by taking part in an opposition rally, after issuing a warning.
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Hungary consulate opens in the Maldives – Avas

The Consulate was opened by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Hungarian Ambassador to the Maldives, András László Király and Maldives’ Horonary Consul to Hungary, Mohamed Ali Janah at a special ceremony held Thursday.
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Myanmar
Norway’s Telenor says Myanmar unit sale plan followed junta’s pressure on surveillance tech – Reuters

Norwegian telecom firm Telenor is selling its Myanmar operations to avoid European Union sanctions after “continued pressure” from Myanmar’s military junta to activate intercept surveillance technology, the company’s Asia head told Reuters.
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Cold, frightened and armed: In Myanmar’s jungles, a struggling resistance – Indian Express

The Myanmar soldiers attacked the village of Yay Shin, deep in the furrows of the Himalayan foothills, just after dusk, descending with flamethrowers and heavy weaponry.
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Finding fault lines within the Tatmadaw – Frontier Myanmar

A split in the Tatmadaw has been unlikely since its founding in 1962, but a steady increase in defections and desertions since the coup amid plunging morale has some questioning whether unity can be maintained within the nation’s most powerful institution.
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Myanmar Military Battles Ethnic Armed Group in Kachin State – The Irrawaddy

The ethnic armed group and the Myanmar military have been clashing on the strategic Tanai-Shingbwiyang Road since September 7, after regime soldiers attempted to retake control of Tarong Village, which lies along the road, said KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu.
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Military Junta Attempts To Undermine AA Rule In Rakhine State – BNI Online

The Tatmadaw has called up leaders of Muslim villages in Kyauktaw Township to tell them not to accept the authority of the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) in Rakhine State, whose hold over the area has grown since an informal ceasefire late last year temporarily ending years of conflict.
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Nepal
Oli rules out Nepal’s return to CPN-UML- Himalaya

CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli today said UML’s door was shut for Madhav Kumar Nepal as he had led a campaign to topple his own party’s government and support the leader of opposition to form a new government.
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Arun Valley Hydropower Development Company (AHPC) proposes 10 per cent Bonus shares; When’s the book closure?

Arun Valley Hydropower Development Company Limited (AHPC) has proposed 10 per cent bounus shares and 0.526% cash dividends on Thursday.
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Nepal to wrap up evacuation of its citizens from Afghanistan on September 18- Kathmandu Post

The government is preparing to wrap up the evacuation of its citizens from crisis-ridden Afghanistan on September 18.
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A load of rubbish- Nepali Times

Kathmandu’s garbage problem is not new, it has been five decades in the making.
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TU urges colleges to run physical classes- Republica

The Tribhuvan University (TU) has urged the campuses affiliated to it to run physical classes from Friday.
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NRB injects additional Rs 20 billion in country’s financial market to ease liquidity crunch- Republica

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Thursday injected an additional Rs 20 billion in the domestic financial system in an attempt to ease a growing shortfall of liquidity in the banking system.
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Pakistan
SCO leaders caution against abandoning Afghanistan: Dawn

Several regional leaders participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on Thursday underscored the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan and concurred with Pakistan that the war-ravaged country should not be abandoned after the Taliban takeover.
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US urges Pakistan’s constructive role in resolving Afghan crisis: Dawn

The US State Department has urged Pakistan to play a constructive role in persuading the Taliban to fulfil their commitments.

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Ties with Russia key priority for Pakistan, says foreign minister: The Express Tribune

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe and reiterated commitment to further enhance the bilateral ties.
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Pakistan to recognise Taliban govt ‘independently, not under duress’: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has announced that it will take an independent decision in line with its interests on recognising the Taliban government in a major policy statement rejecting the US demand asking Islamabad not to give legitimacy to Afghanistan’s new rulers unless they meet international demands.
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Slow pace of work on CPEC irks Chinese companies: Dawn

A Senate panel on Thursday expressed concern over the slow pace of development on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and dissatisfaction being expressed by the Chinese companies over the negligible progress over the past three years.
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UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls on COAS: The News

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance were discussed.
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Taliban be given time to run country effectively: Rashid: The News

The world needs to understand the ground realities about Afghanistan, said Rashid. He added that the Taliban must ensure the availability of financial and human resources for governance.
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Sri Lanka
Port City’s International Financial Centre postponed – The Morning

D to the prevailing pandemic situation, commencement of construction has been postponed.
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2,271 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

COVID-19 detections in the country rose to 498,694 with the detection of 2,271 COVID-19 cases yesterday.
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Fresh concerns as manufacturing, services contract in August – Daily FT

The country’s manufacturing and services sector had contracted in August as per the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) compiled by the Central Bank, sparking fresh concerns over the impact of the COVID third-wave-induced lockdowns.
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EU delegation to visit Sri Lanka for talks on GSP+ concessions – Adaderana

A delegation of the European Union is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on September 27, the Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage said.
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United States Delivers $40 Million in Financing to Support Small Businesses and Empower Sri Lankan Women – US Embassy

The United States provided $40 million in financing to SDB Bank in order to bolster Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) sector and assist women entrepreneurs.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 15, 2021

Afghanistan
UN Raises Concerns Over Civilian Casualties In Panjshir: Tolo News

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday at the UN meeting on Afghanistan in Geneva said she is worried about reports over civilian casualties and human rights violations in Panjshir.
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Taliban Welcomes Intl Aid, Pledges to Distribute Transparently: Tolo News

Taliban’s government acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the Taliban wants good bilateral relations with the world’s countries, including the United States.
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Thousands of people protest against Taliban in Kandahar province: The Khaama Press

Thousands of men and women took to the streets of Kandahar city and protested against the Taliban’s decision based on which the families of late Afghan security forces should evacuate their residence.
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Taliban denies human rights’ violation, war crimes in Panjshir province: The Khaama Press

In front of a Taliban flag, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks at at his first news conference, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. For years, Mujahid had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants.
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Virtual protest, Afghan women defy all-black attire: The Khaama Press

A number of Afghan women living abroad have posted their photos wearing traditional Afghan clothes to defy the all-black attire worn by hundreds of women in Kabul and other provinces recently.
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Bangladesh
PM reiterates call to follow health safety guidelines- Daily Star

Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to the countrymen, particularly the lawmakers, to follow the health guidelines properly.
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Farming accounts for 35pc of it- Daily Star

Animal farming accounts for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as plants grown for consumption.
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Universities to reopen after September 27- The Asian Age

The Bangladesh authorities are allowing universities to reopen for in-person classes and exams after Sept 27 following the long coronavirus-induced shutdown.
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HC: Shut down unregistered online news portals- The Asian Age

The High Court on Tuesday directed authorities concerned to shut down all the unregistered online news portals in the country.
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‘BNP’s unabated falsehood reflects its fascist mentality’- The Asian Age

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said BNP’s unabated falsehood is part of their fascist mentality.
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Bangladesh wants peaceful settlement between Guyana and Venezuela- Observer

Bangladesh on Tuesday chaired the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana and reaffirms the proposal of the group for peaceful settlement of the dispute between Guyana and Venezuela through the intervention of the ICJ.
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Bangladesh reports 2,074 fresh cases, 35 deaths from COVID-19- The Independent

Bangladesh on Tuesday reported 2,074 COVID-19 cases while the coronavirus claimed overnight 35 lives.
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Dengue cases on rise as Dhaka city bodies fail to kill Aedes- New Age

The number of dengue cases is on the rise as the city authorities have failed to control the mosquito menace.
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Bhutan
Class VII and VIII students in P/ling return to schools- Kuensel

The schools are operating with strict Covid-19 protocols prepared by the Southern Covid-19 Task Force (SC19TF).
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Creating pathways for sustainable food systems- Kuensel

Various representatives from stakeholders relevant to the agricultural sector yesterday took stock of Bhutan’s future in agriculture.
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Subsidised rural timber allotment begins- Kuensel

According to records, out of 15 applicants, nine applied for renovation and six for new construction.
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Cabinet asks home ministry to submit action plan for combating human trafficking- Bhutan Times

In a stark revelation, Bhutan failed to meet minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking and remains in Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year in 2021 U.S. report.
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Bhutanese Ambassador presents his letter of credence to His Majesty King Philppe, King of the Belgians- Bhutan Times

Bhutan’s accredited Ambassador to Belgium Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor presented his letter of credence to His Majesty Philppe, King of the Belgians at the Royal Palace in Brussels on 8 September 2021.
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Nu 19.47mn worth of vegetables exported to India- Business Bhutan

This is as per the provisional trade statistics for the first quarter of this year.
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Maldives
Covid-19 health, social expenditure reaches MVR 2,106.9 million – Raajje

According to latest statistics publicized by the Ministry of Finance on Monday, between September 2 – 9 expenditures related to health social sectors saw a 0.04 percent increase from the week before.
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Maldives tourist arrivals figure exceeds 800,000 by Monday – Raajje

As the country inches closer to its tourist arrival target of 1.3 million for the year, by September 13 Maldives recorded 809,764 arrivals, of which 53,798 have been welcomed during the ongoing month.
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Myanmar
Myanmar’s Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Attends Court as Health Improves – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attended a hearing at a special court in Naypyitaw’s Zabuthiri Township on Tuesday, as she was feeling better.
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What to make of the US-China deal on Myanmar’s UN seat? – Barbedwires

On 13 September, Foreign Policy, in an exclusive report, revealed that the US and China had brokered a deal between them to defer a decision on who would occupy Myanmar’s seat at the UN – the junta or the National Unity Government (NUG) – to November.
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Int’l Community Can’t Be Relied on for Myanmar Democracy Movement or People’s Safety: NUG – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG) said it could no longer rely on the international community to support the country’s democracy movement or to protect the people of Myanmar from the brutality of the military junta.
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China’s Infrastructure Projects in Myanmar, Nepal and Tibet Threaten to Encircle India – The Irrawaddy

On August 25, when the international media was busy covering the Afghan crisis, China quietly opened a strategic rail link through civil war-hit Myanmar to access the Indian Ocean.
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What Has Happened to Myanmar’s Tatmadaw? – The Irrawaddy

The decision by Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) to declare a “defensive people’s war” against the military junta that usurped power in Naypyitaw on Feb. 1 has not been met with much sympathy from the international community.
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Myanmar’s UN Ambassador to Stay On: UN Sources – The Irrawaddy

The United States and China have brokered an agreement that will effectively block Myanmar’s military rulers from addressing the United Nations’ General Assembly next week.
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Nepal
Let UML’s Pandey, Bhatta join Nepal’s party, EC told- Himalaya

The Supreme Court today issued an interim order to the Election Commission asking it not to bar CPN-UML lawmakers Som Prasad Pandey and Sharada Devi Bhatta from joining the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led CPN (Unified Socialist) party.
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UML lawmakers continue to disrupt House- Himalaya

CPN-UML lawmakers continued to stall the proceedings of both the houses of representatives today accusing Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota of being complicit in the ‘conspiracy’ to split their party. Sapkota postponed the HoR meeting till September 20.
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Child marriage cases up by 31.25pc

The evil of Child marriage is rampant and continues to worsen in the country.
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SAARC meet on UN assembly sidelines uncertain after Afghan regime change-Kathmandu Post

Citing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will not be travelling to New York, one of his aides has said, as the 76th session of the UN General Assembly officially opens.
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Government faces financial deadlock as budget fails to get through Parliament- Kathmandu Post

The obstruction of the House of Representatives by the main opposition CPN-UML on Tuesday has led to a government shutdown situation.
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CPN (Unified Socialist)’s first central committee meeting scheduled for Sept 21- The Republica

The first central committee meeting of the CPN (Unified Socialist) is going to take place on September 21.
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Scores of lawmakers in Nepal lack intelligence and integrity: A review of their statements in House- Online Khabar

CPN-Maoist Centre chief whip Dev Gurung also agrees that his party has not been able to change this and train lawmakers.
https://english.onlinekhabar.com/lawmakers-in-nepal-parliament.html” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

Pakistan
PM Imran annoyed over PTI defeat in Punjab cantt polls: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed annoyance over defeat of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insasf (PTI) in recent cantonment boards elections in four major stations — Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan, sources told Dawn.
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Opposition submits no-confidence motion against Balochistan CM: Dawn

Sixteen opposition members in the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday submitted a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani to the assembly secretary, demanding that a session be called for a debate on the motion within seven days.
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Imran to Putin: Pak-Russia close coordination on Afghanistan crucial: The Express Tribune

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday received a telephone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin wherein both the leaders discussed latest situation in Afghanistan and other matters.
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Blinken says US will assess Pakistan ties over Afghanistan’s future: The Express Tribune

The United States will be looking at its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, to formulate what role Washington would want it to play in the future of Afghanistan.
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Lockdown in 18 districts to be lifted tomorrow: The News

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Tuesday announced to lift lockdown in 18 out of 24 districts with high risk of delta variant of COVID-19 until September 30.
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Sri Lanka
GoSL opposes ‘polarising’ UNHRC initiative – The Morning

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, addressing the 48th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday (14) via online technology, said that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) rejects any external initiatives established by Resolution 46/1, which was adopted at the Council earlier this year, as it will polarise the Sri Lankan society.
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Total COVID-19 detections exceed 490,000 with 2,475 new cases – Daily FT

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections exceeded 490,000 with 2,475 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday.
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SL to establish diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste – Ceylon Today

The Foreign Minister’s proposal to establish formal diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste (East Timor), was approved by the Cabinet.
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UN Core Group ‘deeply concerned’ about human rights developments in Sri Lanka – Adaderana.lk

The United Nations Core Group on Sri Lanka has expressed its deep concerns over the current human rights developments in Sri Lanka and the country’s counter-terrorism legistation.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 14, 2021

UN Meeting Participants Pledge Support to Afghanistan: Tolo News

The United Nations on Monday held a meeting in Geneva under the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to show solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and pledge humanitarian support for Afghanistan
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153 Afghan Media Outlets Cease Operating in Less Than 1 Month: Tolo News

Organizations supporting free media in Afghanistan said on Monday that since the fall of the former government in mid-August, 153 media outlets have stopped activity in 20 provinces.
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Private Sector Warns of Economic Collapse: Tolo News

Afghanistan private sector – Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), Afghanistan Chamber of Mines and Industry (ACMI) – on Monday in a press conference in Kabul warned the country would plunge into an economic crisis unless Afghanistan reserves are released.
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Afghanistan to see expansion of international relations: Taliban: The Khaama Press

Acting minister of foreign affairs of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Amir Khan Motaqi said that Afghanistan will see an expansion of international engagement with the world.
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Women protest in support to Taliban in Nangarhar province: The Khaama Press

Tens of women took to the streets of eastern Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province to support the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and condemn the previous all-women protest in Kabul and other provinces.
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Bangladesh
Man held with Saudi riyal at Dhaka airport- Daily Star

Members of Aviation Security (Avsec) detained a man with a large amount of Saudi riyals at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport yesterday.
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ChirpWire: A virtual safe haven for Bangladeshi extremists- Dhaka Tribune

Bangladeshi radicals now shift to a safer, encrypted social media site developed exclusively to promote extremism.
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Bangladesh, UK issue collective call for ‘ambitious action’ against climate change- Dhaka Tribune

Both UK and Bangladesh reiterate their commitment to the goal of safe, voluntary, dignified, and informed returns of Rohingyas to Myanmar during the dialogue
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‘It is necessary to make education time-befitting’- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday stressed the need for making education programs time-befitting.
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No need for a vaccine third jab booster: study- The Observer

There is no current need for the general population to be given third doses, according to a report in The Lancet published Monday.
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Three studies on Kamalapur multi-modal transport hub as agencies differ- Financial Express

A move is on to undertake three separate studies following the BR’s failure to resolve conflicts in getting the required space for different transport modes at the planned Kamalapur multimodal transport hub.
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No exams up to III, no public exams until SSC under new curriculum- New Age

There will be no public examinations held before the Secondary School Certificate examination under the new National Curriculum Framework, which is scheduled to be implemented in Bangladesh in phases from 2023.
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Bhutan
Health Ministry starts second dose of COVID vaccine for children in Thimphu Thromde- BBS

The Health Ministry rolled out the second dose of COVID vaccine for children aged between 12 and 17 in Thimphu Thromde from Monday. The children are getting the Moderna vaccine.
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Wangdue – Trongsa highway expected to open to traffic by tomorrow afternoon- BBS

It will take until Tuesday afternoon for the roads department to reopen the Wangdue – Trongsa highway.
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Opening doors to employment- BBS

Training could be a gateway to lots of opportunities. And this is exactly what the participants of the recent Capacity Development Training for Youth in Gelegphu consider.
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Drying lakes in Dagana to be revived- BBS

Plans are underway to revive the lakes in Dagana’s three gewogs. People have been concerned with the lakes in their communities drying.
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Discontinuing FYP drafts will be a big blunder: Opposition- Bhutan Times

The Opposition Party has lashed out on the government stating that it must continue with the practice of preparing a draft Five Year Plan (FYP) and discontinuing it will be a big blunder.
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Bhutan calls for technical stewardship and resources- Bhutan Times

At the recently concluded 74th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for South-East Asia, Bhutan called upon the United Nations agencies and the international development partners to provide the much-needed technical stewardship and resources.
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Cabinet asks home ministry to submit action plan for combating human trafficking- Bhutan Times

In a stark revelation, Bhutan failed to meet minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking and remains in Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year in 2021 U.S. report.
Click here to read…

Maldives
President Solih to address UN General Assembly for a second time – Raajje v
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be addressing the United Nations General Assembly, once again. Raajje MV understands that the president will be delivering an address at the 76th session of the UNGA, to take place in New York on 21 September 2021.
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MTCC partners with BML and Mastercard to introduce digital payment systems – Edition

Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) partners with Bank of Maldives (BML) and Mastercard to introduce a digital payment system that will allow customers to use their cash cards while utilizing the public transport system.
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President Solih receives credentials from two new ambassadors, new non-resident high commissioner – Raajje

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been presented with the credentials of new ambassadors and high commissioner of three countries.
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Myanmar
Myanmar’s Shadow Government Prepares Evidence of Junta War Crimes – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s junta has committed massacres and war crimes in Sagaing Region by murdering about 112 people within three months, according to the Human Rights Ministry of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG).
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Rumors of Talks With Myanmar Regime – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has denied rumors that she has held talks with the junta leaders over the past two months.
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Over 80 Myanmar Military-Owned Telecom Towers Destroyed Nationwide – The Irrawaddy

More than 80 telecom towers owned in a joint venture between the Myanmar military and Vietnam’s Defence Ministry have been destroyed by civilian resistance forces across the country.
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Myanmar’s Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Sick; Court Hearings Postponed – The Irrawaddy

Hearings in several of the court trials of Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were postponed on Monday.
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Myanmar Military-Backed USDP Accused of Exploiting Smaller Political Parties – The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is taking advantage of smaller political parties to increase its influence on current affairs in Myanmar, said Daw Nan Shwe Kyar, the co-chairman of the Wun Thar Nu Democratic Party.
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Nepal
Budget plans low-cost meals, monetary aid for the poor, but experts smell electoral motives- Kathmandu Post

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma announced that the government would provide low-cost meals to the urban poor from 10 different places in the Kathmandu Valley in association with social organisations.
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Flood victims staying on encroached forest land for years- Himalaya

The flood victims of 1987 have not yet been given permanent shelters.
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57th Children’s Day to be celebrated- Himalaya

The government is preparing to observe the 57th National Children’s Day on September 14.
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House obstructions, if continue, can lead to financial deadlock- Kathmandu Post

Speaker Agni Sapkota’s attempt to resolve the ongoing House crisis fell flat on Monday after the CPN-UML boycotted an all-party meeting called by him.
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All-Party Meet Kicks Off, CPN-UML Chair Oli Absent- The Rising Nepal
the all-party meeting called by House of Representatives (HoR) speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota has begun in the Lhotse Hall of the Federal Parliament in New Baneshwor.
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Human-animal interface in Nepal wildlife corridor- Nepali Times

The human-tiger contact has become a bigger challenge than poaching. Conservation programs should look into reducing such conflicts.
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Report: Climate change could see 200 million move by 2050- Republica

Climate change could push more than 200 million people to leave their homes in the next three decades.
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Leader Pandey entrusted to form government in Bagmati- Republica

CPN (Unified Socialist) Bagmati Province has decided to hold discussion with other parties of the ruling alliance to form a new government.
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MCC dispute in Nepal: Your FAQs answered- Onlinekhabar

The proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant has been the talk of the town over the past few weeks in Nepal.
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Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum Reopens- The Rising Nepal

The Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum has reopened after four and a half months.
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Pakistan
Taliban’s rights observance linked to economic squeeze end: FM Qureshi: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday observance of human rights by the Taliban in Afghanistan was linked to the loosening of economic squeeze on them.
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10th CPEC JCC session likely to be held next week: Dawn

Addressing his maiden press conference after taking over the charge of the CPEC Authority, Mr Mansoor expressed optimism about the holding the JCC meeting either on Sept 23 or 24.
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President lauds govt’s economic, foreign policies in joint parliament session: The Express Tribune

President Dr Arif Alvi lauded the performance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on various fronts especially economy, social and human development and foreign policy during its three-year tenure to take the country towards a “prosperous and shining future”.
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Taliban close Pak-Afghan border crossing for pedestrians: The Express Tribune

The Taliban on Monday closed the Torkham border gate, the main crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan, for pedestrian movement, a local official said.
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Sindh receives more than 320,000 Pfizer jabs from US: The Express Tribune

The Sindh Government on Monday received 320,580 new Pfizer vaccine doses sent by the United States through the COVAX facility, the US State Department said in a press release.
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COAS visits Karachi Corps, briefed on security situation in Sindh: The News

The COAS emphasised to guard effectively against hybrid threats in view of the latest developments in the region and the need to respond collectively with the whole of nation approach
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Sri Lanka
‘We are having info and evidence repository of 120,000 items’ – The Island

UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet yesterday (13) said that her Office was going ahead with a fresh investigation in respect of Sri Lanka accountability issues.
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2,560 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

COVID-19 detections in Sri Lanka rose to 488,482 with 2,560 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday.
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Korean giants sign MoU for Negombo-Colombo LRT feasibility study, mega mixed development project – Daily FT

KCI Metro Link Korea Company Ltd. and the GBK Consortium Ltd. of the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study in order to construct an LRT line from Negombo to Colombo via Bandaranaike International Airport of Colombo as well as a mixed development project.
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China donates medical equipment on Ranil’s request – The Island

Zhang Yingbao, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo handing over a stock of medical equipment to UNP Chairman former Minister Wajira Abeywardena at the Embassy.
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