Asia Bibi's appeal for the victims of Pakistan's blasphemy law
Today's headlines: State of maximum alert for thousands of Indonesians in East Java after the eruption of Mount Semeru; Tokyo and Beijing create a military 'red line' to avert incidents in the East China Sea; Israeli President Herzog on an official visit to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates; Kim Jong-un has reportedly identified his successor in his (nine-year-old) daughter Ju Ae, the 'most beloved'.
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Catholic who spent years on death row charged with blasphemy, has launched an appeal from exile in Canada for victims of a law which is used in her home country for personal vendettas or to settle disputes. In her first video interview since her acquittal in 2018, she urges the government to "thoroughly" investigate the allegations to "protect innocent" wrongfully accused and abused people.
Thousands of Indonesians in East Java are on high alert this morning after the violent eruption of the island's highest volcano. The authorities have imposed a no-go zone of at least 8 km from the crater of Mount Semeru and the forced evacuation of entire villages. At the moment there are no official casualties or injuries and no disruptions to air transport have been reported.
JAPAN - CHINA
Tokyo and Beijing have reached an agreement to create a military 'red line' between the two countries. The aim is to minimise the risk of clashes and incidents in the East China Sea, where China's increasingly aggressive policy has raised the risk of escalation, including for operations in disputed waters. The link is expected to be operational next spring.
ISRAEL - BAHRAIN
The first visit of an Israeli head of state to Bahrain took place yesterday when Isaac Herzog met King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The aim is to relaunch the economic-diplomatic cooperation that led to the signing of the 'Abraham Agreements' two years ago and to reassure Arab partners worried by the new extreme right-wing government. The president will then travel to the United Arab Emirates.
Kim Jong-un seems to have already identified his successor in his daughter Ju Ae, who is now only nine years old. Cheong Seong-chang, an expert on North Korean affairs at The Sejong Institute, says this. The child is said to be "the most loved" by her father and recently witnessed the launch of a ballistic missile alongside her parent and groups of scientists, engineers and senior army officers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has explained that the date of President Vladimir Putin's message to the Federation Council, Russia's Senate, is not yet known and is normally proposed in early December. Many believe that on this occasion he could announce the end of the war or, on the contrary, general mobilisation and martial law.
TAJIKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
Akhmad Masud, leader of the Afghan National Opposition Front, spoke at the 'Herat Security Dialogue' conference in Dushanbe. He told experts and representatives from Tajikistan and Afghanistan that "since the Taliban invasion, no one in the international community has done anything" except for "critical statements" against the government in Kabul "that leave time to be found".