Azerbaijan claims to have 're-established sovereignty' over Nagorno-Karabakh
Today's news: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in China for the first time since 2004. Australia rejected 50,000 visa applications from Afghanistan. In Thailand concern over the uncontrolled spread of plankton. Indonesia jailed a woman for uttering an Islamic phrase before eating pork. In India inflation went down but farmers lost out.
After the cessation of fighting, which came yesterday after a heavy toll of 200 deaths in a few hours, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, declared that sovereignty had been re-established over Nagorno-Karabakh. According to some sources, local leaders and Baku authorities will meet today in Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, to sign the capitulation of the territory. Yesterday, thousands of Armenian demonstrators protested calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, held responsible for having thwarted 30 years of fighting and demands for the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, as Nagorno-Karabakh is defined.
According to data published by the Wall Street Journal, the supply of gas from the Russian Gazprom to Europe has fallen from 40% to 13%, and within the year it could reduce to the levels of the 1970s, handing the European market over to competitors, in particularly Algeria, Azerbaijan and Congo, thanks also to the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline through Norway, Poland and Denmark, active since October 2022.
The Bishkek parliamentary commission for the fight against corruption was unable to evaluate the bill "On non-governmental associations and foreign representatives" due to a lack of quorum, also due to the critical position of several deputies who consider the law "a copy of the Russian one on foreign agents”, also withdrawing signatures on the project.
CHINA – SYRIA
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou for the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, Beijing media said today. This is Assad's first visit to China since 2004. According to what was declared by his presidential office, the various meetings also included one with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
AUSTRALIA – AFGHANISTAN
Australia has announced that it has rejected the asylum applications of 50,000 Afghan citizens who applied for humanitarian visas after the fall of the Afghan government in August 2021, leaving another 144,000 pending. In two years the Australian government has granted 13,612 humanitarian visas to Afghan citizens.
An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman to two years in prison for posting a video on TikTok in which she uttered the Islamic phrase “Bismillah” (“In the name of God”) before eating pork. Under Indonesia's blasphemy law, Lina Lutfiawati, 33, who has over two million followers on TikTok, was found guilty of "inciting hatred" against individuals and religious groups.
The spread of unusually dense plankton off Thailand's east coast is creating a "dead zone" and threatening the livelihoods of local fishermen who farm mussels in those waters. According to marine biologists, due to climate change, some areas of the Gulf of Thailand contain more than 10 times the normal amount of plankton, but it is the first time the situation has been so serious, they commented. The fishermen say they have suffered economic losses of more than 140 thousand dollars.
According to a report published by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, the policies adopted by the government to curb food inflation have caused farmers losses of 400 billion rupees (4.5 billion euros). “The concern was that if market prices remained as they were, the government would not be able to procure enough grain to meet the food distribution under the public distribution system,” the study said.