Today's headlines: at least seven die in a fire on a ferry in the Philippines; week of prayer for China and its people; first case of monkeypox confirmed in Israel; in Afghanistan, female journalists and TV anchors forced to cover their faces at the behest of the Taliban; Russian gas sales to Europe will exceed 100 billion in 2022; still no agreement between Yerevan and Baku on borders.
The number of people displaced around the world by violence and rights violations has exceeded 100 million for the first time. That's according to official data released today by the United Nations, which says Russia's war on Ukraine is among the factors that have fueled the exodus along with other conflicts and hotbeds of tension around the world, as is happening in Myanmar and Afghanistan.
A global forum of activists has issued a call to Christians around the world to participate in China's Week of Prayer for Church and People. An initiative spearheaded by Global Prayer for China and now in its second year, in response to an appeal made by Card. Charles Bo. The cardinal recently renewed his request after the arrest of Card. Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.
At least seven people are dead, including five women, from the fire that broke out aboard a fast ferry in the Philippines with at least 134 people on board. Coast Guard sources report that as of now, seven passengers are still missing. The vessel MV Mercraft 2 caught fire before reaching the port of Real in Quezon province.
Israel has confirmed the first case of monkeypox, joining several European and North American countries in detecting the disease endemic in parts of Africa. A man in his 30s who returned from Western Europe has tested positive for the virus and is accusing symptoms related to the disease. The fear is that the infection could spread to other nations in the Middle East region.
Afghan female journalists and TV anchors have since yesterday been on air with their faces covered by a hijab, in line with Taliban dictates. Resistance against the impositions of Quranic students lasted a few hours, but top broadcasters said they will enforce the norm. To date, women must visit public parks on different days and have a male attendant to travel.
Despite blocking supplies to several countries, Russian gas sales to Europe will increase in 2022 to more than 0 billion. This is double the volume recorded last year; the growth is linked to sharp increases in gas and oil prices.
AZERBAIJAN - ARMENIA
Azerbaijan has so far not accepted Armenia's proposals for regulating border conflicts, refusing to discuss the status of Karabakh, which is considered a fully Azerbaijani region. According to Baku's aims, the disputed area is to be the "symbolic center of the Turkic world" in the future.