05/24/2024, 09.16
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Burmese army attacks Kachin village: 30 detained, including Christian leaders

Today's news: Poverty in Lebanon tripled in a decade; Summit between leaders of South Korea, China and Japan on 26-27 May in Seoul, first trilateral talks in four years; Heavy pre-monsoon rains claim seven victims in Kerala; A centuries-old Armenian church reopens in Zakho, Iraq; Russian local government offers children a prize trip to ‘fascinating’ North Korea. 

Myanmar's coup army raided the village of Hapakant in northern Kachin State yesterday, detaining more than 30 people including Christian leaders and teenagers on charges of supporting a rebel group. About 100 soldiers stormed the area before dawn, rounding up residents in a school. Those detained were released after nine hours of interrogation. At least 20,000 trapped in fighting in Maungdaw, western Rakhine State. 

The poverty rate in Lebanon has tripled in a decade, affecting one in three people and exacerbated by the economic crisis that erupted in 2019 and the conflict in the south with Israel. According to a World Bank report, the figure has risen from 12 per cent in 2012 to 44 per cent in 2022 and, in some rural areas, it will reach 62 per cent. As for Syrian refugees, nine out of 10 are below the poverty line.

The leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet on 26-27 May in Seoul for the first trilateral talks in over four years. South Korean Prime Minister Yoon Suk Yeol will hold bilateral talks with Chinese counterpart Li Qiang and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, while on the second day there will be a three-way mini-summit. They will discuss economics and trade, sustainable development, health, science and technology, disaster management and security, and people-to-people exchanges.

At least seven people have died in the southern state of Kerala from heavy pre-monsoon rains, while the rest of the Asian sub-continent remains affected by a persistent heat wave that has claimed lives in several countries. Showers were 18% higher than normal in the area, causing heavy flooding and disrupting flights at the Kozhikode airport.

With the support of Erbil, Hungary and the Armenian Archdiocese of Iraq, a 100-year-old church was reopened in recent days in Zakho, Kurdistan. The building is one of five Armenian places of worship in the northern autonomous region, built in 1923. At the inauguration, former MP Yarwant Aminyan recalled that the town opened its doors to survivors of the 1915 genocide. 

The administration of Russia's eastern Primorje region decided to celebrate Child Protection Day by offering children a great sightseeing trip to the ‘fascinating country’ of North Korea. The programme includes visits to the zoo and the Aquapark, a visit to Pyongyang and ‘much more’, thanks to an agreement between the governments of the two countries.

The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Akylbek Žaparov, told the Republican Plenary Assembly that ‘with Uzbekistan we have closed all border disputes’. With Tajikistan ‘little remains’, negotiations are slow and laborious, but ‘we trust to conclude as soon as possible, to defend the integrity of our territory and the unity of our people’.

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