11/12/2021, 09.04
ASIA TODAY
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Burmese military junta sentences U.S. journalist to 11 years

Today's headlines: Beijing wants to introduce mental screening for students; Israeli couple arrested in Turkey for photographing Erdogan's residence; controversy in Russia over the "mandatory, but not forced" introduction of the QR-Code; Damascus and Abu Dhabi sign a solar power agreement. 

MYANMAR

American journalist Danny Fenster has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a military court in Myanmar. Managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, he had been charged with incitement and sedition by the junta under laws on terrorism, immigration and illegal associations. He is among dozens of reporters convicted since the February coup.

CHINA

By the end of 2022, China's Ministry of Education (MoE) will include mental health screenings as part of the checks required of pupils to attend school. It will be aimed at detecting cases of depression among students. Most are found among young people between the ages of 14 and 18, as they are under heavy pressure in their academic studies. 

TURKEY - ISRAEL

An Israeli couple has been arrested in Turkey for photographing President Erdogan's residence in Istanbul from a boat. Originally from Modiin and on vacation to celebrate a birthday, they disappeared after sharing the images on WhatsApp; Israel downplays the incident. In October, 15 people were arrested on charges of being Mossad spies. 

RUSSIA

Controversy erupts in Russia over the "compulsory, but not obligatory" introduction, according to President Putin's expression, of vaccination certificates with Qr-Code. A protest demonstration was held in St. Petersburg. Large sectors of the Orthodox Church have for years opposed electronic tax cards, and even more so the green pass, seen as a diabolical instrument of control. 

HONG KONG

A Hong Kong court sentenced "Captain America 2.0," an activist famous for displaying the super-hero's shield at a protest, to nearly six years in prison on charges he promoted independence from China. Ma Chun-man, 31, is guilty under the National Security Law sought by Beijing. He had pleaded not guilty and did not testify.

PAKISTAN

On November 11, the "Troika plus", met in Islamabad bringing together Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan. The meeting focused on the situation in Afghanistan, with the planned intervention of Kabul Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki. The Secretary of the U.S. State Department Ned Price hopes for the recognition of the achievements in civil rights, especially for women and minorities. 

SYRIA - UAE

Syria has signed an agreement with UAE companies for the construction of a solar power plant near the capital, a sign of growing economic ties between two former enemies in  conflict. The announcement comes two days after a meeting between Assad and the Emirates' foreign minister, a sign of regional efforts to end Damascus' diplomatic isolation. 

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