Beijing develops undersea drones to patrol the South China Sea
Today's headlines: Bangkok removes Covid from the list of diseases that prevent entry; Hong Kong police arrest a citizen for playing the harmonica during Queen Elizabeth's funeral; Riyadh funds the construction of the first mosque in Cuba; the founder of the Gulagu humanitarian project denounces an assassination attempt by Russian intelligence.
Beijing has developed underwater drones, first spotted at the navy base in Sanya, Hainan Island in the South China Sea. They are submarines capable of operating unmanned, part of a 'key programme' that has remained secret. Experts believe they could be signs of a much larger project that follows the US and UK.
The government has approved a ministerial decree that excludes Covid-19 from the list of diseases that prevent entry into Thailand or the acquisition of residency. The rule will come into effect following publication in the Royal Gazette, expected shortly. Among the diseases that will remain in force are leprosy, tuberculosis, drug addiction, chronic alcoholism and stage three syphilis. .
Police have arrested for 'sedition' a citizen 'guilty' of playing the harmonica in front of the British consulate building during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. These days there has been no lack of tributes to the monarch and feelings of nostalgia for a colonial past of greater freedom, compared to a present of violations of freedom and rights to please Beijing.
SAUDI ARABIA - CUBA
Riyadh will finance the construction of the first mosque in Cuba. The place of worship will be built in Havana and will host sermons and prayers of the small local community of about 9,000 worshippers. Until now, the rites were held in private homes or improvised spaces. Instead, Friday sermons are held in the 'Casa de los Arabes', which once belonged to a wealthy immigrant follower of Islam.
The floods in Pakistan have triggered infections that risk getting out of control, according to Unicef the situation is 'more than bleak'. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are living in the open air, water and mud spread over hundreds of kilometres begin to recede. Cases of malaria, dengue fever, infections and dysentery are increasing. Yesterday, nine more deaths were counted, bringing the death toll to 1559, including 551 children.
RUSSIA - FRANCE
The founder of the humanitarian project gulagu.net, Vladimir Osečkin, told of an assassination attempt in France by "a person linked to the FSB", the Russian intelligence service. It happened in Biarritz, where he lives with his family; the assassination attempt failed because Osečkin accidentally noticed the red laser pointer mark on the wall of his house.
In Kazakhstan, the authorities started to block and requisition trucks carrying European products, bought to circumvent sanctions against Moscow for the war in Ukraine. Eight loads are stopped on the road and at customs terminals. The drivers have had their licences confiscated and are forbidden to move from the country.