12/08/2022, 10.24
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Afghan Taliban carry out first Sharia-inspired public execution

Today's headlines: Jakarta has released Umar Patek, one of the perpetrators of the 2002 Bali massacre, on probation; human rights in Vietnam are deteriorating; South Korea is emerging as Asia's main market for luxury cars; two people were killed in clashes between police and protesters in the streets against the conviction of an activist; Russia's birth rate is plummeting, birth incentives under study. 


The Taliban, after announcing the return of Sharia-inspired punishments, carried out the first execution in public. A man convicted of murder was executed by firing squad and the shooter was the victim's father. The incident took place in a stadium in the southwestern province of Farah. Dozens of Koranic students and numerous citizens witnessed the event. 


Jakarta released one of the perpetrators of the 2002 Bali massacre, in which over 200 people, mostly tourists, died. He is Umar Patek, a member of an al-Qaeda affiliated group who carried out the attack. The decision to place him on probation raised numerous protests, including those of the Australian authorities, who counted 88 victims in the attack. 


South Korea is emerging as Asia's main market for luxury cars, including Ferrari and Lamborghini. In fact, Seoul will be the first country on the continent where the Maranello company will present one of its latest cars, the Purosangue. Although it is a market with fewer users, it is registering record sales: over 25 thousand last month, well over Japan's 17 thousand.  


At least two people were killed in yesterday's clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against the conviction of an activist. Earlier, a court had handed down a three-year sentence against Haidar al-Zaidi, 20, for 'insulting state institutions'. In a post he criticised a pro-Iranian militia (the PMF); he defended himself by saying that his account had been hacked. 


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on its way to a landslide victory in Gujarat, the homeland of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A further affirmation of Hindu nationalists ahead of the 2024 general elections. According to early projections, the BJP leads in over 80% of the seats, out of 182 in total, and could surpass its best result of 2002 with 127 seats. 


The human rights situation in the country is 'continuously deteriorating'. Raising the alarm is the Vietnam Interfaith Council, an organisation that brings together local and international activist groups, calling on the government in Hanoi to fulfil its commitments on individual freedoms. Among the most common cases are violations of religious freedom, particularly of unrecognised movements. 


After the birth rate plummeted to its lowest level since 2001, the Russian authorities decided to directly ask the population how to stimulate new births with a public survey on the Citizen Services Portal. Respondents are asked whether they think economic support and rent subsidies, increased holidays or a distance working scheme are more appropriate. 

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