India: first polling stations open in the long vote, results on 4 June

Today's news: Israeli raid in Iran, for Tehran nuclear sites 'intact'; China, Japan and South Korea voted to recognise Palestine at UN in resolution blocked by US veto; Terrorist attack in Karachi, five Japanese unhurt; The ground in half of China's cities is subsiding due to water extraction; Russia started the withdrawal of its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh now in the hands of Baku.


In India, the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections opened this morning. Today, 102 constituencies in 21 Indian states cast their votes to elect their deputies. The general elections are being held in seven different phases across the country and will end on June 1. The counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on June 4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist party BJP, is seeking his third reconfirmation as leader of the country at the polls.


According to US sources, Israel carried out an attack on Iran this morning. The action - not confirmed so far by Israel - would have been aimed at a target not linked to the nuclear program near Isfahan. Another raid reportedly took place in southern Syria. For his part, an Iranian official said that air defenses intercepted three drones and that no missile attacks were reported. Many state-aligned news agencies have reported that sites associated with Iran's nuclear program are "fully intact."


The United States last night vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have allowed Palestine to be admitted as a full member of the international body, effectively recognizing its statehood. The resolution received 12 votes in favour, while the United Kingdom and Switzerland abstained. To pass it needed at least nine votes and no vetoes from the five permanent members - the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. Russia, China, France, Japan, South Korea, Ecuador, Algeria, Malta, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Guyana voted in favour.


Five Japanese citizens remained unharmed this morning after their vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber in Landhi area of Karachi. Two terrorists involved in the attack were killed, while the private guard accompanying the foreigners was injured. The Japanese were traveling to the Export Processing Zone in an armored van when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle hit them.


Nearly half of China's major cities are experiencing land subsidence due to water extraction and the growing burden of their rapid expansion. This was revealed by a survey carried out by a team of researchers from various Chinese universities who examined 82 cities, including all those with a population of more than 2 million inhabitants. Looking at the period between 2015 and 2022, the team determined that 45% of urban areas are sinking by more than 3 mm per year. About 16% of urban areas - a total population of 67 million people - are sinking at a rate of more than 10mm per year, which scientists describe as a rapid decline.


Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, announced that Russia has begun the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Nagorno Karabakh, where they have been since November 2020 with functions of pacification of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and were to remain until 2025, while " the military operation in Baku solved the problem”.


Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have entered into an agreement to build on Kyrgyzstan the new Kambaratinsk hydroelectric power station on the Naryn River, with a 34% stake in Bishkek and 33% in Tashkent and Astana, although it will remain a property of Kyrgyzstan. Costs and implementation times will be communicated later.