Zhu Fenglian, from the Taiwan Affairs Bureau, was slamming the new US arms sale in Taipei when she was asked an embarrassing question. Caught off guard, it took her several minutes to respond with “pre-packaged” answers. Taiwanese politician notes that Beijing has not yet considered the quasi war scenario, and its press officers cannot act independently.
In a telegram to the bishop of Nice, signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis condemns “in the strongest possible way such violent acts of terror” and blesses “all those touched by the tragedy”. The pontiff is also praying “for people to look at each other again as brothers and sisters and not as enemies”.
More than 70 million voters are called to vote in three phases with official results announced on 10 November. The ruling coalition promises free vaccines for all in case of victory. The opposition focuses on jobs in one of India’s poorest states, badly affected by lockdowns. Distrust is strong among voters.
Demonstrations and protests over the kidnapping of a thirteen-year-old Christian girl by a 44-year-old Muslim who forced her to convert and marry him. The authorities must respect the laws that protect minorities.
Russia wants to integrate the Eurasian Economic Union with China’s Belt and Road initiative to create a large geopolitical block in opposition to the one led by the US. Trade "de-dollarisation" will help resist US sanctions. However, Sino-Russian rivalry makes integration efforts harder whilst Beijing's presence in Central Asia is a source of dissatisfaction.
The Principal Br. Joseph: the pandemic made St Catherine "respond positively and find solutions, so that the education of poor children continues".
Written by Vladimir Zobern, who has worked in the publishing sector of the Moscow Patriarchate since the 1970s. The book is inspired by the Letter of St. James (5.15). "Turning to earthly doctors, we must not forget the heavenly ones". The prayers concern the sick, but also healthcare workers, volunteers and those who sacrifice themselves to help "the country and the world". Buddhists and Muslims also have special invocations against the pandemic.
The former founder of the Studentlocalism group is also accused of money laundering, because he had a bank account and a Paypal account of about 700,000 Hong Kong dollars. He is also accused of "conspiracy" for posting material on social media. The judges apply the new security law and a colonial-era law. Two other former members of the group, Yanni Ho and William Chan, face jail time.
Tensions build between Paris and Ankara. Charlie Hebdo publishes a new cartoon targeting Erdogan. The Turkish president presents himself as defender of the Muslims of France. Hocine Drouiche: problems can be solved with dialogue, no need for winds to fan the flames from "Turkey". In Indonesia the Nahdlatul Ulama calls for calm, while criticizing "extreme secularism".
The Senate, controlled by the premier's military allies, will be deprived of the power to elect the prime minister. However, democracy protesters want Prayuth's resignation and a review of the king's role. The former general ready to create a "reconciliation committee" to calm dissent.