Afganistan: 8 children killed in undetected bomb explosion
Today's headlines: Alikhan Smajlov is Kazakhstan's new prime minister; Hong Kong's Carrie Lam announces a new national security law, in China a man was arrested for setting fire to the internet cables over slow connection, riots in Philippine jails where family visits have not been received for two years, in Cambodia an anti-mine rat, awarded a medal for courage, has died.
8 children died in the explosion of a undetected bomb uncovered near a school yesterday in the district of Lal Pur, Nangarhar province. Four other children were injured. Alice Akunga, Unicef's acting representative in Afghanistan in a statement explained that "in 2020, globally, explosive devices, including remnants of war, accounted for nearly 50% of all child casualties, with more than 3,900 children killed and maimed." Also in Afgahnistan Kabul University professor Faizullah Jalal has been released.
Kazakhstan's President Kasym-Žomart Tokaev has signed the decree appointing Alikhan Smajlov as the new prime minister and addressed the Mažilis (the parliament) with a series of statements regarding economic reforms and other pressing issues in the country. Tokaev also announced the conclusion of the Csto peacekeeping mission and the withdrawal of Russian and other "sister country" troops within 10 days at the latest.
Governor Carrie Lam, during the opening session of the new "patriots-only" Legislative Assembly, said that the national security law sought by Beijing will soon be joined by a local law that will include other crimes, without specifying which ones. At the moment the law prohibits four crimes: secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
A Chinese man has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for setting fire to internet cables, complaining that his connection was too slow. According to the local court, the man, named Lan, burned down the telecommunications box at a road intersection, preventing about 4,000 households and offices and a public hospital from connecting to the Internet.
6 inmates died and 33 were injured during a clash between rival gangs in an overcrowded prison in Caloocan City. It is unclear how the fight started and what weapons were used, but commentators say a contributing factor may be the ban on family visits imposed two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic. Prisons in the Philippines are being filled to five times their capacity.
Indonesia yesterday provided prosecutors with evidence of embezzlement in agreements by the national airline Garuda to lease aircraft manufactured by ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Italy's Leonardo. Irregularities in the procurement contract were discovered during an audit of Garuda's operations.
Magawa, an 8-year-old mouse who had been trained by the NGO Apopo to find mines, died yesterday. During his career, he had managed to uncover more than 100 explosive devices, helping to clear more than 225,000 square meters of Cambodian land, corresponding to 42 soccer fields. In September 2020 he was awarded a medal for bravery.
The United Arab Emirates will join the aid fund established by France and Saudi Arabia for the Lebanese population. This was announced yesterday by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Riyadh and Paris had agreed in December that they would commit to rebuilding ties with Beirut to counter Iranian influence.