Tag Archives: Covid-19

China: Daily Scan, September 30, 2021

Xi stresses improving biosecurity risk control, management system: Xinhuanet
September 29, 2021

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed efforts to improve the country’s risk control and management system on biosecurity, and to enhance its governance capacity in this regard. Xi made the remarks on Wednesday when addressing a study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Click here to read

China donates emergency supplies to Afghanistan: Xinhuanet
September 30, 2021

A batch of emergency supplies donated by China arrived at Afghanistan’s Kabul International Airport on Wednesday night and was handed over to the Afghan side. Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu and acting minister of refugee affairs of the Afghan caretaker government Khalil-ur-Rehman Haqqani attended the handover ceremony at the airportClick here to read

China to tighten regulation of algorithms related to internet information services: Xinhuanet
September 29, 2021

Chinese regulators will strengthen the management of algorithms related to internet information services to foster “healthy” and “orderly” development of the industry.
A three-year campaign will seek to put in place a sound management mechanism and supervision system, and a standardized algorithm ecosystem, according to new guidelines issued by nine ministries or departments including the Cyberspace Administration of China. Click here to read

Hong Kong legislature passes amendments to national flag, national emblem bill: Xinhuanet
September 29, 2021

Hong Kong’s legislature passed amendments to the national flag and national emblem bill on Wednesday. The National Flag and National Emblem (Amendment) Bill 2021 was approved in its third reading by the Legislative Council (LegCo) of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It was introduced to the LegCo on Aug. 18 for first and second readings. Click here to read

China, Bangladesh discuss economic, trade cooperation in post-pandemic era: People’s Daily
September 30, 2021

China and Bangladesh have discussed on how to promote the healthy development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era. The two sides had the discussions at the China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum 2021 and the inauguration of the Seventh Council of Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB) which were held virtually on Tuesday. Click here to read

Hong Kong’s finance chief presents petition to wind up Jimmy Lai’s Next Digital Ltd: People’s Daily
September 30, 2021

Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, has presented a petition to the Court of First Instance to wind up Next Digital Limited, a company controlled by Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, an instigator of Hong Kong riots. The financial secretary is empowered to do so for the public interest, according to Hong Kong’s Companies Ordinance. Click here to read

New Party chiefs of Anhui, Shandong appointed: China Daily
September 30, 2021

Zheng Shanjie has been appointed secretary of the Anhui Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), replacing Li Jinbin, according to a decision from the CPC Central Committee published Thursday. Li Ganjie has been appointed secretary of the CPC Shandong Provincial Committee, replacing Liu Jiayi, according to the decision. Click here to read

Central bank, banking regulator urge financial institutions to ensure stable housing market: Global Times
September 30, 2021

China’s central bank and the banking regulator have emphasized the importance of a prudent real estate finance management system to achieve the goal of stabilizing home prices amid a debt crisis that overshadows one of the country’s largest property developers. At a meeting held on Wednesday with executives from 24 major banks across the country, regulators said that the prudent real estate financing management system has played an active role in serving the real economy, boosting economic transformation and the stable and sound development of the real estate industry on the principle that “houses are for living in, not for speculation.” Click here to read

US, Chinese militaries hold 2 days of talks, stress the need for more: South China Morning Post
September 30, 2021

The US and Chinese militaries have concluded two days of high-level talks that stressed the need to maintain communication, after resuming defence dialogue in August for the first time since Joe Biden entered the White House. Speaking in the defence policy coordination discussions, held by video conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, were Michael Chase, the US’ deputy assistant secretary of defence for China, and Huang Xueping, deputy director for the Chinese military’s Office for International Military Cooperation. Click here to read

China defends role in Covid-19 origins hunt as pressure mounts for more research: South China Morning Post
September 29, 2021

China has sought to defend its cooperation with the World Health Organization in the search for the origins of Covid-19, releasing a summary of its actions so far. The report, published by state news agency Xinhua, comes as the WHO and world leaders press China to help with further research in the origins hunt and a deadline looms for appointments to a group to drive that work. On Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus repeated his call for a second phase of research – with China’s cooperation – to start “as soon as possible”. Click here to read

China hidden local government debt rises to over half of GDP at US$8.2 trillion, Goldman Sachs report says: South China Morning Post
September 29, 2021

China’s hidden local government debt has swollen to more than half the size of the economy, according to economists at Goldman Sachs, who said the government will need to be flexible in dealing with this as revenue is already under pressure due to a slowdown in land sales. The total debt of local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) rose to around 53 trillion yuan (US$8.2 trillion) at the end of last year from 16 trillion yuan in 2013, the economists wrote in a report. That is equal to around 52 per cent of gross domestic product and is larger than amount of official outstanding government debt. Click here to read

China power crisis hammers SMEs as firms upend production, workers ‘dozing off’: South China Morning Post
September 29, 2021

China’s army of small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs) have been hit hard by the nationwide power crisis, with outputs slashed and sweltering working conditions taking their toll, while panic buying of raw materials and goods is becoming commonplace over fears prices are set to soar. Some producers are stockpiling inventory or buying equipment that uses less power, with Chinese media reporting on Tuesday that at least 20 out of 31 provincial jurisdictions have rolled out electricity-rationing measures in recent weeks, crippling businesses and households. Click here to read

Access to website dedicated to Tiananmen victims appears restricted in Hong Kong: Reuters
September 30, 2021

Access to an online museum dedicated to the victims of China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square appeared to be restricted in Hong Kong, with the website accusing authorities of censorship.The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the organisers of annual June 4 vigils in the global financial hub, announced the opening of https://8964museum.com/ last month. The website operated independently from the Alliance, it said.Click here to read

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 30, 2021

Afghanistan
Efforts to Continue Former Govt Are Useless: Samangani: Tolo News

The Ministry of the Information and Culture on Wednesday reacted to a statement by a number of officials of the former government–who claim to be continuing the work of the former government–saying their efforts are meaningless.Click here to read…

ICC Prosecutor Will Not Focus on US Forces in New Probe: Tolo News

The International Criminal Court prosecutor on Monday said he is seeking approval to resume a war crimes investigation of Afghanistan, focusing on the actions of the Taliban and Daesh militia. Click here to read…

China’s humanitarian aid arrives in Kabul: The Khaama Press

The first consignment of humanitarian aids arrived from China to Kabul on Wednesday, September 29, and was submitted to the acting minister of the refugees and repatriates Khalil-ur Rahaman Haqqani. Click here to read…

India, Turkey, Uzbekistan to resume flights to Kabul: The Khaama Press

International Radar has reported one flight from New Delhi, Istanbul, and Tashkent each to land in Kabul International Airport on Thursday, September 30. Click here to read…

20-war in Afghanistan was a strategic failure, 2,500 troops should have been kept: Milley: The Khaama Press

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US General Mark Milley said that their 20-year presence was their strategic failure and his personal opinion was to have 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Rohingya leader Mohibullah shot dead- Daily Star

Unidentified criminals shot Rohingya rights activist and leader Mohibullah dead at his office in Kutupalong camp under Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhia upazila last night. Click here to read…

Mohibullah’s death undermines Rohingyas’ chances of safe return to Myanmar: HRW- Daily Star

Following the shooting to death of Rohingya rights activist and leader Mohibullah last night, Human Rights Watch issued a statement lamenting the loss of a defender of a people. Click here to read…

China lets US siblings return home- Daily Star

An American brother and sister barred from exiting China since 2018 in an apparent bid to pressure their father to return and face criminal allegations have finally left the country, Beijing and Washington confirmed yesterday. Click here to read…

Will Kallyanpur Pond solve Dhaka’s waterlogging problem?- Dhaka Tribune

The project is expected to be sustainable both financially and in terms of maintenanceClick here to read…

Govt mulling mechanization to boost jute production- Dhaka Tribune

The prospect of mechanization is giving new hope to the country’s jute industry, experts have said. Click here to read…

‘GDP growth rate will be restored by end of FY22’- Dhaka Tribune

State Minister Dr Shamsul Alam said that the ‘GDP growth rate will be restored by end of FY22’. Click here to read…

Finance Minister for merging BASIC & Padma Bank- Asian Age

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has opined that BASIC Bank and Padma Bank should be merged with each other. Click here to read…

Take lessons from PM’s honesty, ideology- Asian Age

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has urges all to take lessons from the honesty and ideology of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, worthy daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Click here to read…

17 new deaths 1,178 cases- Asian Age

Bangladesh reported 17 new fatalities and 1,178 cases in 24 hours till 8am on Wednesday. Click here to read…

PM Hasina opens “Bangladesh House” in USA’s Maryland- The Observer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in Washington DC, inaugurated the newly constructed “Bangladesh House” at Maryland in the USA. Click here to read…

People won’t respond to BNP’s call of movement, says Quader- The Observer

Sheikh Russel Jatiya Shishu-Kishore Parishad arranged the discussion and educational equipment distribution ceremony, marking the 75th birthday of AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Click here to read…

Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition begins at BSA- The Observer

The Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition was opened for public viewing at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Saturday. Click here to read…

Biman’s Medina, Kuwait, Kathmandu flights resume in October- Independent

Biman Bangladesh Airlines will resume its direct flights from Dhaka to three popular destinations from October. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Police investigating sexual harassment case at the Royal Tutorial Project- Kuensel

Sources said the police investigation has involved message retrieval from phones. “The case might be forwarded to court soon,” a source said. Click here to read…

PM underscores the importance of investing in health- Kuensel

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly virtually from Thimphu on September 25, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said the pandemic underlined the importance of investing in public health. Click here to read…

Bhutan begins efforts to become a model ecotourism destination- Kuensel

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into the Tourism Sector in Bhutan”, a new project with the beginning of a three-day inception workshop in Trashigang on September 27. Click here to read…

Streamlining donation drives and crowdfunding- DLO-BBS

To ensure that donation drives and crowdfunding are genuine, the department of law and order has now put in place certain requirements. Click here to read…

Bhutan receives three fire-fighting and two utility vehicles from Japan-
To ensure that donation drives and crowdfunding are genuine, the department of law and order has now put in place certain requirements. Click here to read…

Maldives
Italy gives green light to travel to the Maldives – Avas

Italy has removed the Maldives from its list of countries to which travel is restricted. Italians will now be allowed to travel to the Maldives without the need for quarantine either on arrival or return. In addition to Maldives, Italians can travel to Seychelles, Mauritius, Egypt, Dominican Republic and Aruba from outside EU. Click here to read…

Bilehfahi Harbour project progressing well: MTCC – Avas

Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has said the construction of Sh. Bilehfahi Harbour is ongoing at a fast pace. Click here to read…

President arrives in the Maldives after concluding visit to New York – Avas

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih arrived in the Maldives Tuesday morning after concluding the trip to New York City, United States, to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Click here to read…

The climate change dilemma facing Maldives, Mauritius and other tourism-dependent small island nations: their livelihoods or their lives? – South China Monitoring post

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. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar Junta Accused of Targeting Civilians with Landmines – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s junta is laying landmines in residential areas while it conducts raids on civilian resistance forces in Kayah State. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Crony Plays Key Role in Arms Purchases From Ukraine – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s crony league welcomed new members when current coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing succeeded former dictator Senior General Than Shwe as the military chief in 2011, with relatives and business associates of newly promoted generals joining the elite. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s Currency Hits Record Low as Coup Wreaks Havoc on Economy – The Irrawaddy

Almost eight months after the military coup, Myanmar’s currency depreciated to a record low this week, prompting fears of worsening social and economic instability in the country, which has been devastated by the takeover. Click here to read…

Myanmar on a military-made road to disaster – Asia Times

What began as carnival-like protests against Myanmar’s military takeover on February 1 has since morphed into a vicious nationwide insurgency that has hit areas of the nation that had seen no armed confrontations between rebels and state forces for decades. Click here to read…

Nepal
How Madhesh-based parties are using constitution amendment as a political weapon- Nepal Live Today

Six years after the promulgation, Madhesh-based political parties have continued to oppose the constitution while joining the governments whenever they like. Click here to read…

PM Calls All-Party Meet Today for Smooth House Proceedings- The Rising Nepal

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has called an all-party meeting on Thursday to remove obstructions in the parliamentary session. Click here to read…

Speaker Sapkota likely to read out letter of repeal of the ‘party-split’ ordinance in today’s House session- Republica

Speaker Agni Sapkota is likely to read out a letter of repeal of the ordinance related to the political party. Click here to read…

Beginning of the end of the Gorkha Empire (Part I)- Nepali Times

The Gorkha Empire was on a warpath, and the British East India Company saw it as a threat to its own expansionist ambitions. Click here to read…

No law on oath raises questions over rulers’ adherence to rule of law- TKP

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is working to give full shape to his Cabinet within a few days after a major obstruction to his bid to expand the Council of Ministers ended with the repealment of the ordinance on political parties on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Active caseload drops to 18193 as death toll shifts to 11123- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 794,163 on Wednesday with 892 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours. Click here to read…

First casualty of the season on Manaslu as Canadian climber dies above 7,000m- Himalaya

Mt Manaslu recorded the season’s first casualty as a Canadian climber died while ascending the mountain, sources said. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Most loans under CPEC at commercial rates: report: Dawn

Shedding light on Beijing’s global development programme, the report said Chinese loans under CPEC constitute 95.2 per cent and 73pc of total commitments in energy and transport sectors, respectively. Click here to read…

Alarm over anti-Pakistan bill moved in US Senate: Dawn

The bill moved in the US Senate seeking to assess Pakistan’s alleged role in Afghanistan before and after the fall of Kabul to Afghan Taliban set alarm bells ringing in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Pakistan denies providing military support to Taliban: The Express Tribune

Reacting to a bill seeking imposition of sanctions on the Afghan Taliban that could also potentially extend to Pakistan in US Senate, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday said that the country did not provide any military support to the Taliban. Click here to read…

A dollar is now fetching Rs172: The News

The rupee hit an all-time low against the dollar on Wednesday as investors evaluated political and economic risk from upcoming IMF reviews on the bailout package. Click here to read…

FIA to probe road projects of PMLN era: PM Imran Khan: The News

Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been given the responsibility to investigate the money spent on roads construction during the PMLN era. Click here to read…

Pakistan, Russia to strengthen military ties: Dawn

The agreement was reached during the third round of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) meetings held here. Click here to read…

Keywords
Afghanistan, Afghan Government in Exile, International Criminal Court, China Aid, Kallyanpul Pond, Bhutan, Bhutan Jute Production, Bangladesh, Bangladesh GDP, COVID-19, Sheikh Hasina, BNP, Royal Tutorial Project, Ecotourism, Fire-Fighting Vehicles, Japan-Bangladesh, Maldives, Maldives in UN, Climate Change, Myanmar, Military Junta, Nepal, Nepal Constitution, Constitution Amendment, Gorkha Empire, CPEC, BRI, Pakistan, Pakistan-Russia

China: Daily Scan, September 29, 2021

Xi calls for accelerating building of world center for talent, innovation: Xinhuanet
September 28, 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed efforts to implement the strategy on developing a quality workforce in the new era and to accelerate the work to build China into a major world center of professional talent and innovation. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when speaking at a central conference on talent-related work, which was held on Monday and Tuesday. Click here to read

China’s newly launched experimental satellite experiences abnormalities: Xinhuanet
September 28, 2021

A Chinese experimental satellite sent into space on Monday has experienced abnormalities, and space engineers are investigating the cause.The satellite was launched at 4:20 p.m. (Beijing Time) on a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.The satellite entered the planned orbit but showed abnormalities during flightClick here to read

China takes multiple measures to cope with power shortages: Xinhuanet
September 28, 2021

China has taken a slew of measures to cope with the emergency of tightened power supply to meet people’s power needs and ensure economic growth and social stability. Work teams have been dispatched to Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, eastern Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Hunan, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said. Click here to read

PLAAF cultivates pilots for intelligentized air battle: China Military
September 28, 2021

The International Military Flight Training Conference 2021 hosted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) was held in Zhuhai on September 27. Representatives from 49 countries attended the conference by either coming to the conference site or via video link. Twelve Chinese and foreign guests from military and civilian circles made speeches around the theme of “Talent, Innovation, Collaboration, Development”. Click here to read

China’s 2021 anti-piracy operation helps clean up cyberspace: People’s Daily
September 28, 2021

A national anti-piracy operation targeting copyright infringement on the internet has helped clean up cyberspace, an official statement said Tuesday.Copyright law enforcement departments at various levels have investigated 445 cases involving online copyright infringement, shutting down 245 illegal websites and mobile applications transmitting pirated content, and removing 618,300 web links with such content since the operation was launched in June, said the statement. Click here to read

Supersonic cruise missile ready for export: China Daily
September 29, 2021

China is ready to export one of its mightiest weapons a submarine-launched supersonic cruise missile system that has been deployed by the People’s Liberation Army Navy. The YJ-18E, an export version of the YJ-18, is on display at the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, the largest arms show in the nation, which means its maker China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp has obtained government approval to sell the cutting-edge missile overseas. Click here to read

China’s most advanced stealth drones make air show debut: Global Times
September 28, 2021

Airshow China 2021’s opening ceremony on Tuesday attracted attention worldwide, with several of the most advanced China-made drones making their debuts, including the GJ-11 prototype, WZ-7 and WZ-8, which first appeared at the military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2019, and experts said this shows China’s full confidence in its world-class unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. Click here to read

Chinese EV battery maker CATL expands overseas investment: Global Times
September 29, 2021

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) has made investments in a pair of major overseas projects, including an acquisition of a Canadian lithium company and investment in a joint lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). CATL has agreed to purchase Canada’s Millennial Lithium Corp for C$376.8 million ($297.3 million), Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the Canadian mining company. Click here to read

Huawei to recruit more ‘high-nose’ staff who master ‘foreign arms’ says CEO Ren Zhengfei: Global Times
September 29, 2021

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said in a company internal email sent on August 12 that Huawei will hire more foreign experts who possess advance skills and can join the development of the company and the country, which was made public on Tuesday. Ren joked using the friendly Chinese slang “high-nose” and mastering “foreign arms” to describe the foreign experts that Huawei is planning to recruit. Click here to read

China’s development finance double US’ but issues threaten belt and road, says report: South China Morning Post
September 29, 2021

China’s development financing has more than doubled that of the United States or any other major power, but if it wants to remain competitive its belt and road projects must address key concerns relating to debt and implementation, a new report said. The extensive analysis published by AidData, a research lab at William & Mary college, on Wednesday showed that China spent an average US$85.4 billion a year in the five years after the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched in 2013, far outpacing the US at US$37 billion a year. Click here to read

China faces backlash on move to reduce abortions as Beijing tries to boost birth rate to counter ageing population: South China Morning Post
September 28, 2021

The Chinese government’s move to discourage abortions for “non-medical” purposes has been met by a public backlash, with many seeing this as an intrusive measure meant to raise the country’s birthrate. The State Council said on Monday it will: “reduce the rate of abortions needed for non-medical reasons”, as part of its efforts to improve women’s health, according to a series of new guidelines addressing issues related to women and children in the country. The policy did not elaborate on how this would be achieved. Click here to read

China calls a WTO solar ruling favoring the US ‘dangerous’: Taipei Times
September 29, 2021

China on Monday lambasted a WTO ruling in a row with the US over Washington’s measures to limit the import of solar panel cells, calling it “erroneous and dangerous.” A WTO panel handed a victory to the US earlier this month, rejecting all four of China’s claims and saying that the US measures did not breach global trade rules. China last week said that it would appeal the decision. Click here to read

China asking state-backed firms to pick up Evergrande assets: Reuters
September 29, 2021

Beijing is prodding government-owned firms and state-backed property developers such as China Vanke Co Ltd to purchase some of embattled China Evergrande Group’s assets, people with knowledge of the matter said. Evergrande, saddled with $305 billion in liabilities, is teetering on the brink of collapse. But the central government is unlikely to intervene directly to resolve Evergrande’s crisis in the form of a bailout, according to six people, including four in government and regulatory bodies. Click here to read

China: Daily Scan, September 28, 2021

China’s State Council appoints, removes officials: Xinhuanet
September 27, 2021

The State Council, China’s cabinet, announced the appointment and removal of officials Monday. Shao Xinyu was appointed vice minister of science and technology. Xu Nanping was removed from the post of vice minister of science and technology, and Liu Liehong no longer holds the position of vice minister of industry and information technology. Li Bo no longer serves as deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China. Click here to read

China issues white paper on moderate prosperity: Xinhuanet
September 28, 2021

China’s State Council Information Office Tuesday issued a white paper to document the country’s journey to moderate prosperity in all respects, or Xiaokang. The white paper, titled “China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity,” said the realization of moderate prosperity in all respects, as declared in July, marks a critical step towards national rejuvenation for the country. Click here to read

China’s State Grid vows power supply to ensure people’s basic needs: Xinhuanet
September 27, 2021

The State Grid Corporation of China on Monday said that it would take comprehensive measures to ensure power supply for people’s basic needs and try its best to avoid power cuts. The company will go all out to fight the battle of guaranteeing power supply and firmly safeguard the bottom line of power supply to meet people’s basic needs, and ensure social development and security, said the company. Click here to read

China punishes over 12,000 for frugality violations in August: Xinhuanet
September 28, 2021

China punished 12,387 people in August for violating the country’s eight-point code on improving Party and government conduct, the top anti-graft body announced on its website on Monday. The punished were involved in 8,569 cases, according to the monthly statement by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission. Click here to read

China to establish coordination mechanism for integrating core socialist values into laws, regulations: People’s Daily
September 28, 2021

A guideline released by Chinese authorities called for the establishment of a coordination mechanism to integrate core socialist values into the development of the rule of law. The guideline was jointly released by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Ministry of Justice. Click here to read

Leading internet hi-tech achievements unveiled in China: China Daily
September 27, 2021

A total of 14 world-leading internet scientific and technological achievements were unveiled Sunday in East China’s Zhejiang province. The building and applications of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and the HarmonyOS, the operating system for the smartphones of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, were among the released items recommended by a panel composed of nearly 40 internet experts from home and abroad. Click here to read

China to speed up research into new strategic weapons for air force says J-20 chief designer: Global Times
September 27, 2021

Yang Wei, chief designer of China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet, said that during the country’s 14th Five-year Plan (2021-25), Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will develop the capability of H-6 series bombers and will speed up research into new strategic weapons and equipment, to further strengthen long-range strategic strike capability for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force. Click here to read

Chinese chip firms temporarily halt production due to nationwide power curbs: Global Times
September 28, 2021

A number of chip enterprises in China have halted production temporarily, including suppliers of semiconductors for foreign companies, amid a severe nationwide power shortage due to soaring coal prices and policies to reduce energy consumption. CWTC, a semiconductor packaging material supplier for NXP and Infineon Technologies, released a notice on Sunday saying that its factory in Suzhou, Jiangsu had suspended semiconductor production from September 26 to 30, in accordance with the local policy on power reduction. Click here to read

China’s industrial profit growth slows due to high commodity prices, coronavirus, component shortages: South China Morning Post
September 28, 2021

Profits at China’s industrial firms grew at a weaker pace in August from a year earlier, slowing for a sixth consecutive month, as manufacturers struggled with high commodity prices, the coronavirus and shortages in some key components. Profits rose 10.1 per cent year on year to 680.3 billion yuan (US$105 billion) last month compared with a 16.4 per cent gain in July, data from China’s statistics bureau showed on Tuesday. Click here to read

China steps up anti-corruption drive as Evergrande crisis puts spotlight on financial risk: South China Morning Post
September 27, 2021

China’s top anti-corruption official will launch a nationwide audit of major financial firms and regulators to eliminate risk in the sector, following debt crises at state-owned financial conglomerate Huarong and private property developer China Evergrande. Zhao Leji, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, announced at a conference on Sunday “full-scale disciplinary inspections” to safeguard the healthy development of China’s financial sector. Click here to read

Energy rules hit iPhone makers: Taipei Times
September 28, 2021

iPhone assembly operations in China are beginning to reduce their energy consumption because of a sudden power crunch in the country, which has triggered government-imposed curbs on a range of businesses. Pegatron Corp, a key partner for Apple Inc and one of the assemblers of its iPhone, said yesterday that it’s taking energy-saving measures to comply with local government policies. Click here to read

PBOC promises to protect consumers as China Evergrande teeters: Reuters
September 28, 2021

China’s central bank vowed to protect consumers exposed to the housing market on Monday and injected more cash into the banking system as the Shenzhen government began investigating the wealth management unit of ailing developer Evergrande, the clearest sign yet the authorities could move to contain contagion risks. Once the epitome of an era of helter-skelter borrowing and building in China, Evergrande has now become the poster child of a crackdown on developers’ debts that has left investors large and small sweating their exposure. Click here to read

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.
Click here to read

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.
Click here to read

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.
Click here to read

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.
Click here to read

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 27, 2021

Afghanistan
Female Leaders at UNGA Call for Afghan Women’s Rights: Tolo News

A number of women leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York are vocally advocating for Afghan women and girls, saying their rights should not be taken away and the Taliban should refrain from violence.
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Imran Khan Seeks World’s Support to Taliban: Tolo News

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York urged the international community to engage with and support the Taliban instead of isolating them.
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Impossible for us to recognize Taliban: Italian FM: The Khaama Press

The foreign minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio strongly reacted to the Taliban’s caretaker cabinet and said that it is impossible for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to be recognized by them.
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Strengthening banking system, economic growth is of utmost importance: Taliban: The Khaama Press

Taliban say that the strengthening of the banking system, growth of commerce, and economy of Afghanistan is vital and will do their best in this regard.
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Bangladesh
80 lakh Covid shots in a single day!- Daily Star

The premises of a vaccination centre in Khulna Sadar Hospital is crammed with people waiting for their Covid shot. Volunteers at the centre said it is almost impossible to maintain social distancing when the crowd is so large.
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2 arrested for torturing teenager- Daily Star

Police have arrested two persons for brutally torturing a teenage boy for ransom in Natore on Saturday night.
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2002 attack on Hasina’s motorcade in Satkhira: Fugitive convict arrested in Dhaka- Daily Star

Detectives have arrested a convict in a case filed over the attack on the motorcade of the then opposition leader and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Satkhira 19 years ago.
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Experts wary of importing LNG- Dhaka Tribune

Three cargoes of LNG are being procured from the spot market to increase the country’s gas supply.
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World Sindhi Congress held protest in Geneva against human rights violations in Pak’s Sindh- Asian Age

The World Sindhi Congress (WSC on Thursday held a protest here against human rights violations in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
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BNP sees no success in PM’s US visit- Asian Age

Stating that the Prime Minister’s visit to the USA has ‘no success’, BNP on Sunday alleged that the government wants to take international advantage by keeping the Rohingya problem alive.
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Sedition case: Three Rajshahi BNP leaders granted bail- Daily Observer

The three leaders are BNP Chairperson’s adviser and former Rajshahi City mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu, Rajshahi City BNP president Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and general secretary Shafiqul HuqueMilon.
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UNGA ends without speeches by Afghan, Myanmar delegates- New Age

The United Nations General Assembly in New York ends Monday but without speeches by those in power in Afghanistan and Myanmar.
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‘Bangabandhu’s historic UNGA speech in Bangla was greatest day of Bangabandhu’s life’- The Independent

Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Bangalee who made history by delivering the first Bangla speech, for the first time in its history, at the 29th the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25, 1974.
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LPG pricing by BPC faces opposition from energy regulator, rights groups- Financial Express

A government move allowing BPC monopoly on pricing its liquefied petroleum gas, bypassing scrutiny, came under a broadside from both the country’s energy regulator and rights group.
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Bhutan
Are we normalising sexual harassment?- Kuensel

Playful age-old culture, many say, is being used to normalise sexual harassment today. The work place has changed from fields to offices and many now question if Bhutanese society is normalising sexual harassment in the name of culture.
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Let Climate Change not slide this time- Kuensel

The National Determined Contributions (NDC) synthesis report, published last week, reports on NDCs from all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement.
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LG members to resign in the last week of October- Kuensel

The second local governments (LGs) will complete their terms in the last week of October.
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LDCs call for more climate finance- Kuensel

UN Climate Change published a report last week. Following the report, the Least Development Countries (LDC) called for deep emission cuts and scaled-up climate finance.
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Trucks ferrying boulders from Gelephu barred from plying via Meghalaya, India- Kuensel

Thirty-three trucks carrying boulders from Gelephu were stranded at the Assam-Meghalaya border in India for three weeks after being barred from entering Meghalaya on August 26.
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Dairy farmers start first yoghurt production firm in Dagana- Kuensel

Dagana’s deputy chief livestock officer, Pema Wangchuk, said that the 19-member dairy group was formed in 2014 to meet market demand for local milk, butter, and cheese.
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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.
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Bhutan takes dog population management to another level- BBS

Today there are more than 72,000 dogs in the country and the number is only increasing. With it, there is an increase in dog bite cases and rabies outbreaks every year. To address this issue, the Livestock Department has come up with a strategy to achieve a hundred per cent sterilization of stray dogs.
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Implementing transformative pedagogy in schools effectively- Monggar- BBS

Transformative pedagogy is a teaching method that focuses more on engaging students in the learning process rather than a teacher giving lectures.
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Maldives
789 Covid-19 vaccination doses administered on Saturday – Raajje

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Saturday’s vaccinations included 156 first doses administered to 104 atoll residents and 52 residents of the Greater Malé Region, as well as 633 second doses.
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India remains top source market for Maldives tourism as total arrivals top 843,552 – Raajje

With 191,824 visitors by the end of the third month of the ongoing year, neighboring India remains the top source market for Maldives tourism.
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Myanmar
Forever ‘engaging’ the Tatmadaw? – The Star

THE suffering of millions of our neighbors in Myanmar is fading from our radar, as the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan has raised fears of homegrown terrorists and lone wolves.
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Military assigns civilians administrative duties without its direct involvement: SAC chairman – Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar’s Tatmadaw (military) has assigned respective civilian administrative bodies without direct involvement with State administration as ruling over the public through armed bullying and fear is unacceptable, said Chairman of the State Administration Council and Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
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Military cuts off internet connection in 11 more townships in northwestern Myanmar -Myanmar Now

The junta cut off mobile internet access and most Wi-Fi services to 11 townships in war-torn areas of Chin State and Magway Region at 6pm on Thursday evening, according to locals and members of the local resistance forces in the area.
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It’s virtually certain no one will speak for Myanmar at U.N. – The Hindu

The dispute between Myanmar’s military rulers and the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi that they ousted about who should represent the country at the United Nations hasn’t been resolved.
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Risks of India getting sucked into Rakhine conflict – North East Now

A new book – “Irrawaddy Imperatives” by a serving Indian army brigadier Jaideep Chanda has pointed to the risks involved in Delhi getting militarily ‘sucked’ into the Rakhine conflict in Myanmar.
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Nepal
730 new Covid-19 cases surface on Sunday, active caseload drops to 19142- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 791,392 on Sunday with 730 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
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‘CPN-UML will be defeated in polls’- Himalaya

Nepal Communist Party-Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the CPN-UML would face defeat in the upcoming general elections.
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Schools to run classes in-person- Himalaya

A large number of urban migrants’ kids are back in their villages and are virtually attending classes in their schools based in Kathmandu valley.
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PM directs NA to identify security challenges- Himalaya

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed commitment not to let the Nepali Army suffer on account of inadequacy of resources.
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Deuba is struggling. But what is Maoist Centre up to?- Kathmandu Post

It has intrigued many as to why Dahal, the leader of the key coalition partner, is not providing a list of ministers to the prime minister to help him expand the Cabinet.
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No need to disclose investment source raises money laundering risk- Kathmandu Post

A new provision in the Financial Act for this fiscal year that it would not seek source of income from investors if they are investing in infrastructure projects and businesses has raised a question of policy reversal.
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Indra Jatra observed amid fanfare- Kathmandu Post

The eight-day festival, celebrated mainly in the three districts of Kathmandu Valley, Dhulikhel and Dolakha, formally began with the installation of lingo (a sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square on Saturday morning.
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(Opinion) Helping Nepal’s Covid orphans- Nepali Times

Nearly 11,000 Nepalis have lost their lives to Covid-19 since the outbreak began in January 2020, most of them in the age group 20-50, but there are also children under 18. Hundreds of children have become orphans in the wake of the pandemic.
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Red tax: Everything you should know about Nepal protest over sanitary pad price- OnlineKahabar

The budget subsequently increased the price of sanitary pads in the market, creating a hullaballoo on social media and the country.
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NC 14th general convention: Myagdi and Mustang District Committees get new leadership- Republica

New leadership has been elected in all local levels of Myagdi and Mustang districts under the 14th General Convention of the Nepali Congress (NC).
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Make arrangements for students who returned from China due to COVID-19 to go back: Parliamentary committee- Republica

A parliamentary committee has directed the government to immediately make arrangements for students who returned from China due to COVID-19 to back and continue their studies.
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Border Study Committee Submits Report to Home Minister- Rising Nepal

The Committee formed to study the border issue between Nepal and China submitted its report to the government on Sunday.
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PM welcomes inclusion of Karachi coastal uplift plan in CPEC: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday lauded the inclusion of Karachi’s coastal development plan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said the move would bring the city on a par with developed port cities of the world.
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FM Qureshi arrives in London on three-day official visit: The Express Tribune

Upon arrival at the Heathrow Airport, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Moazzam Ahmad Khan and Deputy High Commissioner Dr Faisal Aziz and other senior officials of the High Commission welcomed the foreign minister.
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Pakistan allows Afghan airline to operate Islamabad-Kabul flights: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has allowed an Afghan airline to operate its flights from Islamabad to Kabul, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official said on Sunday.
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‘Pakistan seeks trade deals with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman’: The News

Pakistan will pursue individual trade deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said on Sunday, as talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council remain stalled, foreign media reported.
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Myanmar Round Up: August 2021

It has been six months since the declaration of the military coup, protests and demonstrations have continued. During the month, week, anti-coup demonstrations were reported in Kachin and Shan states, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, and Yangon regions. The protests on 08 August referred to the “8-8-88” democracy uprising on 08 August1988, which the then-military regime crushed.

On 01 August, Senior Army General Min Aung Hlaing announced himself as the Prime Minister and pledged to hold elections by 2023. However, Ms Schraner Burgener stated that Myanmar’s Permanent Representative in New York, Kyaw Moe Tun, remains its legitimate UN Ambassador, while Ms Suu Kyi and President Myint are its leaders. Recently, international media reported a plot was uncovered to kill Ambassador Tun, who denounced the coup in the General Assembly Hall in New York.1 Ms Burgener also said the situation in Myanmar “is still very worrisome”. The third wave of COVID-19 infections has also hit the country.

Political Situation

Senior General Min Hlaing announced the formation of a caretaker government and took on the role of Prime Minister. He also announced that the elections would be held by 2023. 2 The “Provisional Government” replaces the State Administration Council (SAC) chaired by Min Hlaing that has run Myanmar since the coup. The National League for Democracy (NLD) members shadow government, National Unity Government (NUG) condemned the military ruler’s decision to take on the role of the Prime Minister in a caretaker government and said the move was designed to win legitimacy.3 Later on 03 August, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismissed the military’s elections plan.4

Military authorities forced one of the lawyers representing Aung San Suu Kyi to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This was done to stop statements of Suu Kyi from reaching the public. Suu Kyi has a five-member defence team, out of which one was forced to sign the agreement promising not to talk to local or international media. The court hearings were postponed at the start of July as the third wave of COVID-19 infections hit the country.5 Further, columnist Sithu Aung Myint and BBC Burmese presenter Htet Htet Khine were tracked down and arrested on 15 August. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned these latest arbitrary arrests, and called for their immediate release.6

During the month, the military faced protests, strikes and a resurgence of armed conflicts. The military authorities have branded their opponents as terrorists. In the Karen state, fighting between the military and the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU), known as the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), occurred on a near-daily basis in Hpa-pun Township. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said the military was responsible for all the shootings between 03 to 08 August. The KIA opposed the regime and attacked junta troops and police stations in Kachin and northern Shan states since 11 March.7

On the other hand, at least 1,130 Myanmar soldiers were killed and 443 wounded in more than 700 clashes between junta forces and local militias across the country from June 1 to July 31, Myanmar’s shadow NUG said in a report. Moreover, more than 350 civilians were killed and nearly 140 wounded during the same period.8 In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Myanmar’s UN envoy Kyaw Moe Tun — described the incidents as “clearly amounting to crimes against humanity,” calling on the UN Security Council and the international community to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar’s military.9

During the month, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing signed an amendment to the Counterterrorism Law, introducing harsher penalties for supporting anti-regime activities. Under the amendment, the jail term is increased from three to seven years for “acts of exhortation, persuasion, propaganda and recruitment of any person to participate in any terrorist group or activities of terrorism”.10

The United League of Arakan (ULA) is advancing steadily towards its objective of assuming administrative control in Rakhine State, and has seen a high level of compliance from the state’s residents with the stay-at-home order it issued on 20 July in response to the third wave of COVID-19. The ULA has also announced that it will set up a judiciary in Rakhine State. Since the coup the ULA and its armed wing, the Arakan Army, have accelerated their effort to expand their ability to govern the state and be seen as its legitimate governing body. Further, on 05 August, it announced plans to implement household registrations throughout the state and introduction of day and night patrols as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and its state’s security. The ULA has also been punishing people for flouting the stay-at-home order.11

The latest wave of COVID-19 has made the country vulnerable to a health crisis. Myanmar’s army has carried out at least 252 attacks and threats against health workers since the coup. More than 190 health workers have been arrested and 86 raids on hospitals carried out since the coup, said the report by Insecurity Insight, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), and Johns Hopkins University Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR). In addition, they identified 15 incidents in which the response to the COVID-19 outbreak had been obstructed – including confiscation of personal protection equipment and oxygen supplies for the exclusive use of the army. 12

International Scenario

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appointed Brunei’s Erywan Yusof, as a special envoy. The appointment of a special envoy is part of a five-point consensus between ASEAN and Myanmar military leader Min Aung Hlaing in April. However, the decision has invited criticism. Aaron Connelly, an analyst with International Institute for Strategic Studies, stated that Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore had “pushed for tougher language”, though it was vetoed by the military representative Wunna Maung Lwin.13 ASEAN also failed to recognise NUG formed CPRH. As a result, the body was excluded from the ASEAN 42nd assembly Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) held in Brunei. The NUG members condemned ASEAN for excluding it and inviting a military representative as an observer. In April, the NUG’s representative was not invited to ASEAN’s special summit on Myanmar. Instead, the military leader attended the meeting.14 ASEAN has to date, not recognised the NUG government and representatives.

Another international investor retreated from Myanmar and sold all its businesses to a local partner finding it challenging to operate under military rule. Australian mining company Myanmar Metals Limited (MYL) has divested its entire stake in a mining project in Myanmar’s northeast. The company stated that the political situation in Myanmar had undermined the confidence of markets. MYL disposed of its 51-percent stake in the Bawdwin project to its local partner Win Myint Mo Industries Co Ltd for a total of USD 30 million.15 However, Indian Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) have claimed that the company believes that its investment in a port in Myanmar is not in violation of any sanction guidelines issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury and therefore, continued its investments.16

Nevertheless, few countries continued to provide emergency aid. The US announced USD 50 million to support relief groups dealing with the fallout from a surge in Covid-19 cases. The US funding will aid “those forced to flee violence and persecution” as well as help groups provide healthcare services in addition to essentials such as food, shelter and water, the State Department said.17

China has continued to provide its support by entering into agreements and helping the country via vaccines. China will transfer around USD 6 million to Myanmar’s government to fund 21 development projects. A Myanmar Foreign Ministry statement said the funds would be transferred from China for projects within the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation framework. It said those included animal vaccines, culture, agriculture, science, tourism, and disaster prevention.18 Since the military coup, the mining of rare-earth metals has increased in the Kachin state. Multiple sources told Frontier and Danwatch, a Danish investigative outlet that collaborated on this investigation, that the rare earth mining in Kachin is extracted illegally by Chinese or Chinese-backed companies in areas of Chipwi Township under the de facto control of an armed group and militia led by Kachin warlord Zahkung Ting Ying.19

The two countries, China and Myanmar also faced issues due to increased incidents in the bordering area with China. The Chinese authorities have sent a complaint letter to the Myanmar military demanding an investigation. In the letter, Chinese authorities said they were highly concerned about the recent incidents, describing them as breaches of the China-Myanmar border agreement. China also warned the incident repeats, it would “make the necessary response”. Moreover, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned Myanmar Ambassador U Myo Thant Pe on 05 August and urged the regime to stop immediately fighting in border areas. In response, the regime claimed the artillery shell and bullets were fired by the MNDAA. The military rather stated that the military would attack armed groups that threatened the lives of people and the stability of the border areas. It urged China to collaborate with the Myanmar military to fight against armed groups and prevent them from occupying bases in border areas.20

India Myanmar Engagements

On 10 August, few members of the Manipur extremist group, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), were killed in a factional fight in Myanmar. The incident occurred near the Nanyang Wakathan camp of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang-Yung Aung) in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. According to intelligence officials, tensions rose because the Myanmar military was forced to either pay for lying low in the country or join the soldiers in fighting the pro-democracy forces. Moreover, the PLA cadre, short of money was also being pressured to fight the People’s Defence Force, the armed wing of Myanmar’s NUG in exile.21

On the other hand, Myanmar has conveyed its apprehension over the deployment of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) for the completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport (KMTT) project, the Union government informed the parliamentary committee on home affairs.22

In a successful operation, Assam Rifles recovered a huge cache of arms, ammunition and other war-like stores in Mizoram’s southernmost Lawngtlai district near the Indo-Myanmar border. The operation was carried out jointly by Assam Rifles troopers posted at Zorinpui, the southern tip of Mizoram on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) road and state police from Bungtlang. However, no person was arrested in connection with the recoveries. In another major achievement, Assam Rifles and Customs department also seized 502 cases of smuggled foreign cigarettes on Ruantlang and Kelkang- Khaungleng road in Champhai district near the Myanmar border during a joint operation.23

The issue of Rohingya was again raised in Lok Sabha. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, informed that Rohingya Muslim migrants indulge in illegal activities for which the respective governments have been asked to take action. Rai also said that instructions had been issued to capture their biographic and biometric particulars and cancel fake Indian documents. Furthermore, steps have been taken to initiate deportation proceedings under provisions of law.24

Rohingya Crises

As the Rohingya crisis enters its fifth year, it is essential to reflect on the dismal situation of the refugees living and their continued repression. For the first time in five years, Rohingya refugees expelled from Myanmar testified in court on 17 August. According to activist group Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, five survivors of sexual violence testified to the Federal Criminal Appeal Court in Buenos Aires remotely from refugee camps in Bangladesh, according. However, the details of it were not shared.25

Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya since military crackdowns in 2017. Recently, World Bank initiated talks with Bangladesh to integrate Rohingya into the Bangladesh community. However, Bangladesh was against any long-term programme by the World Bank (WB) to integrate Rohingya into Bangladesh. Bangladesh has raised concerns as it faces problems of drug dealing, illegal human trafficking, prostitution, expansion of illegal markets. Also, serious damage to resources, lands, deforestation is now common in Chittagong. Bangladesh also claimed that such proposals hamper the initiatives taken by Bangladesh for Rohingya repatriation.26

Despite the NUG unveiling plans to amend the country’s constitution, and give citizenship to the Rohingya, the authorities in Myanmar currently have no plan to include minority Rohingya Muslims living in camps as they begin vaccinating priority groups against COVID-19 in western Rakhine State. Local administrator Kyaw Lwin told Reuters from Sittwe township that the rollout had begun with 10,000 vaccinations for priority groups such as the elderly, healthcare workers, government staff and Buddhist monks. However, he said there were no current plans for vaccinating any Muslims living in camps in Sittwe. Following an outcry from the human rights group, the Myanmar military backtracked on its plans to withhold Covid-19 vaccinations from the Rohingya minority in Rakhine. Instead, the military’s spokesman said in a news conference on 27 August that vaccinations will be offered to Rohingya in Rakhine.

The Way Forward

The fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic armed groups increased in August and is expected to intensify in the coming days as the military has sent reinforcements to rebel-held territories. The military has asked its unit commanders and other senior officers to be combat ready in a recent order. On the other hand, around 1500 soldiers have defected from Myanmar’s military since the coup and have joined the troops created by the political opposition to fight the military. The number of vulnerable refugees has increased. It is time to bring all stakeholders to the table and resolve the current crisis. Furthermore, it is important to cease all attacks from the side of the military and gain the trust of the citizens.

Endnotes
  1. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/08/1097452
  2. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/fears-of-another-long-dictatorship-as-myanmar-coup-maker-appoints-himself-pm.html
  3. https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/03/us-myanmar-politics
  4. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/us-dismisses-myanmar-juntas-election-plan.html
  5. https://www.myanmar-now.org/en/news/suu-kyis-lawyer-forced-to-sign-pledge-not-to-speak-to-the-media
  6. https://rsf.org/en/news/two-more-journalists-arrested-myanmars-military-junta-0
  7. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-military-shells-kachin-civilians.html
  8. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/killed-08132021181109.html
  9. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/06/asia/myanmar-bodies-found-army-crackdown-intl-hnk/index.html
  10. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-coup-chief-amends-counterterrorism-law.html
  11. https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/arakan-army-extends-administrative-grip-on-rakhine-state/
  12. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/myanmar-army-attacks-medics-hampering-covid-response-rights-groups-say-2021-08-10/
  13. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3143809/asean-appoints-brunei-diplomat-erywan-yusof-envoy-myanmar
  14. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmars-ousted-mps-condemn-asean-for-inviting-junta-to-parliamentary-summit.html
  15. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/australian-mining-company-sells-stake-in-myanmar-project.html
  16. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/australian-mining-company-sells-stake-in-myanmar-project.html
  17. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/beijing-to-transfer-82m-to-myanmar-junta-to-fund-development-projects
  18. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/beijing-to-transfer-82m-to-myanmar-junta-to-fund-development-projects
  19. https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/weapons-power-and-money-how-rare-earth-mining-in-kachin-enriches-a-tatmadaw-ally/
  20. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/china-complains-after-shell-gunfire-from-myanmar-hit-border-town.html
  21. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/six-of-manipur-extremist-group-killed-in-myanmar-say-officials/article35872422.ece
  22. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/infrastructure/myanmar-objects-to-bro-presence-in-trilateral-road-project/articleshow/85282213.cms
  23. https://nenow.in/north-east-news/mizoram/mizoram-security-forces-recover-arms-and-ammunition-from-lawngtlai-near-india-myanmar-border.html
  24. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-says-rohingyas-indulging-in-illegal-activities-101628601441879.html
  25. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/rohingya-to-give-first-testimony-in-push-for-myanmar-army-probe
  26. WB has undertaken a long-term program for 16 countries hosting refugees and they will provide money from a Tk2,000 ( Bangladesh Taka) crore fund. https://www.eurasiareview.com/04082021-world-banks-proposal-local-integration-of-rohingyas-in-bangladesh-possible-oped/
  27. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/myanmar-covid-vaccination-rollout-leaves-rohingya-waiting-2021-08-11/
  28. https://www.ucanews.com/news/rohingya-receive-covid-jabs-as-myanmar-junta-extends-rollout/93922#
  29. https://www.laprensalatina.com/some-1500-soldiers-have-deserted-myanmar-army-since-coup-media/

VIF News Digest: International Developments (US, Europe and Russia), 01-15 June 2021

I. UNITED STATES

Politics and Society
U.S. Formally Ends Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Policy, 1 June 2021

The United States has formally ended the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy, which forced tens of thousands of Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court cases, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo sent to agency leaders. The administration of President Joe Biden paused the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), shortly after he took office on Jan. 20. Since then, more than 11,000 migrants enrolled in it have been allowed to enter the United States to pursue asylum claims.
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Ransomware Disrupts Meat Plants in Latest Attack on Critical U.S. Business, 1 June 2021

A cyber attack on the world’s largest meat processor has forced the shutdown of nine beef plants in the United States, according to union officials, and disrupted production at poultry and pork plants. The attack could upset the nation’s meat markets and raises new questions about the vulnerability of critical American businesses. The company, JBS, said the majority of its plants would reopen on in a day. But even one day’s disruption at JBS could “significantly impact” wholesale beef prices, according to analysts at Daily Livestock Report. The cyberattack is attributed to Russian hackers.
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Biden pushes for US voting rights law as restrictions mount, 2 June 2021

President Joe Biden used the 100th anniversary of Tulsa’s race massacre to make a plea for sweeping legislation in Congress to protect the right to vote as Republican-led governments in Texas and other states pass new restrictions making it tougher to cast ballots.
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Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge, 2 June 2021

The Biden administration has suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a drilling program approved by the Trump administration and reviving a political fight over a remote region that is home to polar bears and other wildlife — and a rich reserve of oil.

The order by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. Biden’s Jan. 20 executive order suggested a new environmental review was needed to address possible legal flaws in a drilling program approved by the Trump administration under a 2017 law enacted by Congress.
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US to Swiftly Boost Global Vaccine Sharing, Biden Announces, 3 June 2021

President Joe Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will swiftly donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others at a time of glaring shortages abroad and more than ample supplies at home. Of the first 19 million donated through COVAX, approximately 6 million doses will go to South and Central America, 7 million to Asia and 5 million to Africa. Click here to read…

US pullout from Afghanistan half done, but questions remain, 8 June 2021

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is more than half done, and U.S. officials say that while it could be completed by July 4, the final exit of equipment and troops more likely will be later in the summer.
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Senate approves sprawling $250 billion bill to curtail China’s economic and military ambitions, 9 June 2021

The Senate voted has voted to adopt an approximately $250 billion bill to counter China’s growing economic and military prowess. The proposal commits billions of dollars in federal funds across a wide array of research areas. It pours more than $50 billion in immediate funding into U.S. businesses that manufacture the sort of ultrasmall, in-demand computer chips that power consumer and military devices, which many companies source from China. And it paves the way for the next generation of space exploration at a time when Washington and Beijing are increasingly setting their eyes on the stars. lawmakers also approved a host of proposals that seek to limit China’s economic aspirations and curb its political influence. The bill opens the door for new sanctions targeting Beijing over its human rights practices, commissions a new study about the origin of the coronavirus and calls for a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. It even authorizes $300 million specifically to counter the political influence of the Chinese Communist Party.
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Biden opens overseas trip declaring ‘United States is back’, 10 June 2021

President Joe Biden opened the first overseas trip of his term Wednesday with a declaration that “the United States is back” as he seeks to reassert the nation on the world stage and steady European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor. Biden has set the stakes for his eight-day trip in sweeping terms, believing the West must publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
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US closes Trump-era office for victims of immigrant crime, 12 June 2021

The Biden administration has dismantled a Trump-era government office to help victims of crimes committed by immigrants. This symbolises an effort to not link the immigrants with crime. President Trump had created the Victim of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, known by its acronym VOICE, by executive order during his first week in office in January 2017. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it was replacing VOICE with a “more comprehensive and inclusive victim support system” – the Victims Engagement and Services Line.
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Biden, working with U.S. allies, pledges to confront China and Russia, 13 June 2021

President Joe Biden vowed that the U.S. would once again work alongside its democratic allies to fight autocratic governments, singling out both Russia and China for aggressive behaviour at a news conference following the G-7 meeting of world leaders. He spoke about his commitment to reengage America on the world stage after four years of Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.
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Some US allies near Russia are wary of Biden-Putin summit, 14 June 2021

Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the coming summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin.Some in the countries that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War worry that Washington could scale down support for its allies in the region in a bid to secure a more stable and predictable relationship with Russia.
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Health and Technology
President Biden Announces Historic Vaccine Donation: Half a Billion Pfizer Vaccines to the World’s Lowest-Income Nations, 10 June 2021

The U.S. has committed to donating 500 million life-saving vaccines by June next year, including 200 million to be delivered by the end of 2021. Donation will serve as the foundation for a coordinated effort by the world’s democracies to vaccinate people around the world.
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Biden drops Trump attempt to ban TikTok, WeChat; orders new review, 10 June 2021

President Joe Biden on Wednesday withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of WeChat and TikTok, and ordered a Commerce Department review of security concerns posed by those apps and others.
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US lawmakers introduce bills targeting Big Tech, 12 June 2021

US lawmakers have introduced five bills aimed at limiting the power held by Big Tech companies. The bills were drafted after a 16-month investigation into the powers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. They address topics including data, mergers, and the competitive behaviour of these companies – which could ultimately lead to them being forced to sell some assets. But there is not unanimous support for the bills targeting Big Tech.
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Novavax: Large study finds COVID-19 shot about 90% effective, 14 June 2021

Vaccine maker Novavax has noted that its COVID-19 shot was highly effective against the disease and also protected against variants in a large study in the U.S. and Mexico, potentially offering the world yet another weapon against the virus at a time when developing countries are desperate for doses. The two-shot vaccine was about 90% effective overall, and preliminary data showed it was safe, the American company said. That would put the vaccine about on par with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.
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Economy
The U.S. Economy Is Sending Confusing Signals. What’s Going On? 3 June 2021

Unemployment is still high, but companies are complaining they can’t find enough workers. Prices are shooting up for some goods and services, but not for others. Supply-chain bottlenecks are making it hard for homebuilders, automakers and other manufacturers to get the materials they need to ramp up production. A variety of indicators that normally move more or less together are right now telling vastly different stories about the state of the economy.
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Perspective
Decoding the NATO summit, 14 June 2021

In the summit communique, NATO members stopped short of labelling China a threat, but did little else to conceal their concerns, referencing “systemic competition from assertive and authoritarian powers.” The allies criticized Russia directly, saying it has “intensified its hybrid actions against NATO Allies and partners, including through proxies.”
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Biden-Putin summit: Ukraine should not expect miracles, 1 June 2021

Ukraine is set to be high on the agenda when US President Joe Biden holds a hotly-anticipated summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Switzerland on June 16. However, there is little reason to expect any breakthroughs towards ending the Kremlin’s seven-year campaign of aggression against Ukraine. Instead, the meeting will likely highlight the need for Ukrainian policymakers to bolster the country’s own defensive capabilities and strengthen Kyiv’s international position.
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II. EUROPE

Politics and Society
Brussels unveils plans to reform borderless Schengen Area, 2 June 2021

With the aim of preparing the Schengen area for the post-COVID era and making it “stronger and more resilient”, the Commission has unveiled a new strategy centred on three pillars: external borders, internal measures and governance. The plan comes as European economies reopen after lifting coronavirus restrictions and cross-border travel gradually normalises. Schengen’s integrity has been severely damaged by two recent crises: the 2015 influx of migrants and refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic. Both episodes saw many EU countries reintroduce border checks, arguing the extraordinary circumstances required extraordinary measures.
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France’s New Caledonia set for final independence referendum in December, 2 June 2021

The French Pacific Island of New Caledonia, which rejected independence in two previous referendums, will have a third and final vote on 12 December, France’s overseas territories minister said. The referendum would be followed by a two-year transition period to allow Paris to clarify its relations with New Caledonia, minister Sebastien Lecornu said. New Caledonia, which houses business operations for Brazilian multinational mining company Vale and French mining group Eramet, has been hit by riots in recent months.
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EU to impose new sanctions on Myanmar junta, companies, 3 June 2021

The European Union will impose a new round of sanctions on Myanmar’s military junta and its economic interests in the coming days, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told Reuters.
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G7: Germany urges vaccine solidarity, 3 June 2021

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Thursday urged COVID-19 vaccine producers to step up alliances with manufacturers in developing countries. His remarks came ahead of a meeting of G7 health ministers in Britain amid increasing calls for wealthy countries to share COVID-19 vaccines with lower-income nations. Spahn also reiterated Germany’s support for financing the COVAX vaccine sharing program.
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The EU Bans Belarus Airlines and Reroutes Flights Around Its Airspace, 4 June 2021

European and U.S. governments have been engaged in an apparent tit for tat with Belarus and Lukashenko’s government following the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich by the Belarusian government last month in which it forced the plane he was aboard to land in Minsk. European Union ambassadors have approved a plan to ban Belarus airlines from flying over EU territory or landing in EU airports. European Union airlines will be prohibited from flying over Belarus as well. That affects about 400 civilian flights that usually fly over Belarus every day, according to European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol. That includes 300 overflights, about 100 operated by EU or British carriers.
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Resisting patent waiver, EU submits vaccine plan to WTO, 5 June 2021

The European Union has submitted a plan to the World Trade Organization that it believes will more effectively broaden the supply of COVID-19 vaccines than the intellectual property (IP) rights waiver backed by the United States.India, South Africa and dozens of developing countries are demanding the waiver to address what they say is a “staggering inequity” in access to vaccines and other COVID-19 treatments.
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The EU is planning to end U.S. tariff battle with Biden due in Brussels next week, 9 June 2021
The European Union wants the United States to commit to end their aircraft-related tariffs next week, according to a draft statement seen by CNBC, as both sides look to get the transatlantic relationship back on track. The EU is also hoping that President Joe Biden, who is due in Brussels for a summit early next week, will vow to end steel and aluminium duties before December this year, according to the document from the EU.
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MEPs back action against European Commission over Poland and Hungary, 10 June 2021

MEPs have backed legal proceedings by the European parliament against the European Commission over a failure to trigger financial sanctions against Poland and Hungary for undermining the rule of law. The parliament’s legal service is now expected to prepare a case to be lodged at the European court of justice later this year, pitting two EU institutions against each other in the EU’s highest court, with only the formality of approval by key committees of the chamber now required.
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UK, EU seeking “radical” solutions to N. Ireland trade, 11 June 2021
Britain is working with the European Union to urgently find radical proposals that would solve the post-Brexit trade problems in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said. The two sides are at loggerheads over how to ease post-Brexit trade between Britain and its province of Northern Ireland, with both accusing the other of dealing with part of their divorce deal called the protocol in bad faith.
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The EU-US summit, 15 June 2021

The EU-US summit on 15 June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership and set a joint agenda for EU-US cooperation in the post-pandemic era. The leaders committed to regular dialogue to take stock of progress.
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Canada, EU form raw materials pact to cut reliance on China, 15 June 2021

Canada and the EU launched a new partnership to secure supply chains for critical minerals and reduce dependence on China in a push for jobs and to counter climate change. “With EU partners, we talked about what we can do to build a cleaner economy for years to come,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday after meeting with EU chiefs in Brussels. “To begin with, in order to continue creating good, green jobs for the middle class, we must secure supply chains for critical minerals and metals that are essential for things like electric car batteries.”
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U.S. and EU resolve 17-year Boeing-Airbus trade dispute, 15 June 2021

The United States and European Union have resolved a 17-year-long fight over aircraft subsidies, agreeing to suspend tariffs for five years stemming from the Boeing-Airbus dispute. “This meeting has started with a breakthrough on aircraft,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who met with President Joe Biden at a U.S.-EU summit in Brussels. “This really opens a new chapter in our relationship because we move from litigation to cooperation on aircraft -after 17 years of dispute.”
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EU-China investment deal is still possible-but not before 2023, analyst says, 15 June 2021

An investment pact between the European Union and China is still possible, but both sides may wait until 2023 at the earliest to ratify the deal, said an analyst from risk consultancy Eurasia Group. The EU and China agreed on the deal in December after seven years of negotiations. But tensions between the two-which saw both sides imposing sanctions on each other-led the European Parliament to freeze the deal until Beijing lifts sanctions on EU politicians.
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Economy

EU reaches deal on tax transparency for multinational firms, 2 June 2021

European Union government and parliament negotiators have reached a deal on rules that will force large multinational companies to disclose how much revenue and tax they pay in the 27-nation bloc and how much in countries considered tax havens by the EU.
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The hurdles to German investments in India, 2 June 2021

Germany is the seventh largest FDI provider in India since April 2000. The fast-track mechanism of problem resolution, however beneficial, has not led to a quantum leap in German investments. First, inter-governmental collaboration led to an increasing support for India’s development through governmental funding. However, Germany does not tie its ODA to its enterprises, unlike Japan, whose companies use ODA projects to create business in India. This is detrimental to converting ODA projects into greater trade and FDI into India. Secondly, large old German companies such as Siemens, Bosch, Bayer and Daimler have been in India for more than a century, reinvesting profits more than bringing in new FDI. There is also a regional dimension to this lack of diversification. There is also the problem of the lack of a bilateral investment treaty.
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Europe’s social peace requires a return to fiscal discipline, 2 June 2021

“In the long run we are all dead,” wrote John Maynard Keynes 98 years ago. He believed short-term economic intervention was necessary in times of crisis to stabilise the economy. New stimulus programmes, including the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund, are in line with this tradition. I was in favour from the outset — to the surprise of some people”, writes Wolfgang Schäuble-president of the Bundestag and a former German finance minister.
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Perspective
As the EU debates rules for its economy, a more ambitious political vision is inevitable, 3 June 2021

Ayear ago, the European Union arrived at a Hamiltonian moment. The sense of human solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths it was causing pushed European leaders to make unprecedented choices. The heart attack suffered by the economy justified a surge of concrete and mutual support. To manifest it, fiscal rules constraining member states’ social expenditures were suspended and a sizable and shared EU financial facility was established through the issuance of common debt. Europeans seemed ready to follow in the footsteps of the agreement engineered in 1790 by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton that transformed the United States into a true federation with a stronger central government.
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III. RUSSIA

Politics and Society
Putin highlights relations with ex-Soviet nations as Russia’s foreign policy priority, 1 June 2021

Relations with former Soviet countries are among Moscow’s foreign policy priorities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a video conference meeting with the permanent members of the country’s Security Council. “Relations with our closest neighbours, the former Soviet countries, are among Russia’s most important foreign policy priorities,” the president pointed out.
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Russia is ready supply at least 40 mln tonnes of coking coal to India, 1 June 2021

India asked Russia to supply at least 40 mln tonnes of coking coal annually and Russia is ready to provide this volume, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky told reporters on the sidelines of the Russian Coal and Mining exhibition. “We have prepared a draft memorandum of cooperation between the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Steel Industry of India. While preparing this document, we held several meetings via videoconferencing because of the pandemic and our Indian partners said, that they would like to purchase at least 40 mln tonnes of coking coal from Russia.
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President’s meeting with heads of international news agencies, 4 June 2021

On the sidelines of the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin met by videoconference with the heads of the world’s leading news agencies.
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First line of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline now laid – Putin, 4 June 2021

The pipes for the first line of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline have now been laid, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I am pleased to announce that today, 2.5 hours ago, the laying of pipes for the first line of the gas pipeline was successfully completed,” he said.
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Putin signs law denouncing Open Skies Treaty, 7 June 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on Russia’s denunciation of the Treaty on Open Skies. The document was published on the official web portal for legal information. The law denouncing the Treaty on Open Skies was unanimously adopted by the State Duma on May 19 and approved by the Federation Council on June 2. Moscow has said that its denunciation of the treaty is connected to the United States’ own withdrawal from the treaty.
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The Foreign Ministry on about the expectations from the meeting between Putin and Biden, 8 June 2021

A number of issues related to the organization of the summit of Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden are at an advanced stage of development, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Russia hopes that the result of the meeting between the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, will fix the movement forward in the field of strategic stability and stabilize relations with the United States, he added.
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Full transcript of exclusive Putin interview with NBC News’ Keir Simmons, 14 June 2021

NBC News interview with Russian President Vladimir Putintook place in Moscow on June 11, 2021; NBC’s Keir Simmons posed several questions on Russia’s view on global and regional developments in the days leading to the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva.
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Erdogan sticks to his position on Russian missile deal after meeting with Biden, 14 June 2021

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave no indication that Ankara’s deal with Moscow for the S-400 missile system, which triggered U.S. sanctions on the NATO ally, would be reversed. Erdogan’s comments came on the heels of his first face-to-face bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO leaders’ summit.
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Russia ready to reciprocally transfer US convicts, Whelan not among them – diplomat, 15 June 2021

Russia is ready to hand over US citizens, convicted in Russia, via the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons mechanism; however, US citizen Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia for espionage is not among them, says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
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Health and Economy
CoviVac vaccine efficacy tentatively estimated at over 80% – developer, 2 June 2021

The efficacy of the CoviVac coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chumakov Center exceeds 80%, however, the final stage of clinical trials is still ongoing, the Chumakov Center said in a material presented at the stand of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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Russian GDP growth in April tops 10%, Econ Ministry could revise annual forecast in June – minister, 3 June 2021

Russian annual GDP growth in April exceeded 10% compared to the decline in April of last year, the recovery of the economy is slightly ahead of expectations, and the annual forecast for 2021 could be revised in July, Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov told reporters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
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Gazprom Neft considers Arctic development relevant; oil prices and tax regime facilitate this, 15 June 2021

The current oil price environment, the tax regime for Arctic projects in Russia, and Gazprom Neft’s portfolio of shelf assets allow the company to consider development of the Arctic shelf as relevant, in connection with which dialog with the state on supporting geological exploration on the shelf is necessary, Deputy CEO for Upstream Vadim Yakovlev told reporters. “The tax regime [in the Arctic] creates good stimuli for projects at the production stage. This is primarily a lower rate of mineral extraction tax. At the same time, such projects are characterized by a very long investment cycle from the stage of seeking an estimate, geological exploration to commissioning. For this, we believe stimuli need to be created at the geological exploration state too, so that this part of the country’s resource potential also gets the opportunity for development,” Yakovlev.
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Perspective
Will Russia Put China’s Arctic Ambitions on Ice? 5 June 2021

Despite its enthusiasm, China’s efforts to become a key voice in Arctic affairs have been met with skepticism, even alarm by Arctic states, and few of its investment initiatives have borne fruit. Are China’s fortunes turning with strategic partner Russia assuming the role of chair of the Arctic Council, a two-year rotating position? For China, an observer in the organization since 2013, Russia’s new status as of May 20, 2021 provides opportunities as well as risks.
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Russia-US Summit: Global Is More Important than Bilateral, 15 June 2021

The most positive expectations from the upcoming Russia-US summit are associated with the fact that neither side is approaching it from the position of maintaining peace and improving relations at any cost. Unlike a number of contacts of this level in the past, now Moscow and Washington are not ready, and do not seek, to compromise their principles in order to make their own lives calmer and more comfortable, and those around them – more confident in their future. The maximum diplomatic achievements of the summit (one can expect, for example, the return of the ambassadors to both countries) will not change the nature of the relationship.
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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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