An 'alarming' number of Cambodians sell off their homes to pay off debts

Today's headlines: aftershocks from yesterday's earthquake in southern Taiwan at least one victim and 150 injured; more clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, a hundred people dead; a mega-church in Zhejiang held prayer services with sacred music linked to traditional Chinese culture; Turkish president and Pakistani premier agree on Russian gas supply. 



An 'alarming' number of Cambodians have had to sell their homes and property to repay credit card charges or debts accumulated through small loans. This is the finding of a micro-finance study, according to which many families had entered into agreements for loans at 18% interest. In one year, almost 34,000 sales were made to repay debts.


A series of aftershocks were recorded in south-east Taiwan, including a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that was also felt in the capital. Yesterday afternoon, the main earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.9, disrupted roads and collapsed some houses in Yuli. The provisional toll in the city is at least one victim and 150 injured. 


Clashes on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which accuse each other of provocations, have not abated, with a partial death toll of almost 100. According to Bishkek, the army in Dushanbe fired medium-range missiles at the airport in Batken, damaging much of the city's infrastructure. The Tajiks did not comment on this accusation.


A mega-church in the south-eastern coastal province of Zhejiang held prayer services singing sacred music related to traditional Chinese culture. The Sicheng Church in Hangzhou held two Sunday services, under the theme 'Localisation of Sacred Music'. In both performances, the erhu, a musical instrument with a two-stringed bow, was used. 


At the Shanghai Cooperation Summit, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif and Turkish President Erdogan met and agreed on gas supplies from Russia to Pakistan, using existing infrastructure via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Ankara considers Islamabad a 'priority partner in Asia'.


Heavy monsoon rains, causing floods and mudslides, have killed some 50 people between Nepal and India in recent days. In western Nepal there are 22 dead and about a hundred houses submerged by mud and debris, at least 11 injured. Across the border, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, there were 26 official casualties. 


Putin approved the resignation from the Court of Accounts of President Aleksej Kudrin, one of the few politicians with liberal tendencies in the entourage of the Kremlin leader, of whom he has been a close friend since his youth. Kudrin, who is against the war in Ukraine, will not leave Russia, but will devote himself to the technological and communication development of the Yandex website.