Bahrain and Qatar set to re-establish diplomatic relations
Today's headlines: China will close its airspace north of Taiwan to recover parts of a falling satellite; North Korea reportedly launched a new type of ballistic missile; Notorious Vietnamese blogger sentenced to six years; In India, references to the fathers of the motherland continue to be erased; Arrests in the Russian Far East of people accused of supporting Ukraine.
Manama and Doha will re-establish diplomatic relations. The normalisation comes two years after some Arab countries, including Bahrain, had broken off their boycott of Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt had resumed full relations with the Qataris in December 2021, unlike Manama.
The Taiwanese government says it has convinced Beijing to scale back its plan to close the airspace north of the island. According to South Korea, the Chinese announced the initiative to recover falling debris from one of its own satellites. The operation went from a duration of three days as of 16 April to 27 minutes on Sunday.
North Korea reportedly tested a new type of solid-fueled ballistic missile today. This is the warning issued by Seoul. The rocket allegedly landed east of the Korean peninsula, in the direction of Japan. Tokyo had issued an evacuation order for the island of Hokkaido, which was withdrawn after 30 minutes.
The Hanoi People's Court sentenced Nguyen Lan Than, a well-known political activist and blogger, to six years in prison. Two years of probation were added to the sentence. The charge against him is spreading "anti-state propaganda".
The removal of references to the fathers of the motherland from school textbooks continues. The National Council of Educational Research has removed from political science textbooks the sentence referring to former education minister Maulana Azad (a Muslim) as a member of the post-independence Constituent Assembly. Already deleted mention of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination.
Two more arrests were made in the Russian Far East on charges of 'betrayal of the state'. One on the island of Sakhalin of a citizen who intended to move from the East to Ukraine to join the Kiev army; the other in Khabarovsk, from where funds were allegedly transferred to the Ukrainian forces, a fact already noted on other occasions.
Astana wants to increase oil exports via Azerbaijan (to Europe), President Tokaev said after his meeting with Azerbaijani counterpart Aliev. The Kazakhs intend to give the new directive 'a stable and long-term character', with the 'Middle Corridor' project for the period 2022-2027, as a guarantee for all international partners.