09/29/2023, 09.12
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Cardinal-designate Chow: Beijing gives green light for Bishop Li Shan's trip to Hong Kong

Today's news: Xi Jinping also changes finance minister, who will have to deal with the 'hidden debts' of local governments; US soldier Travis KIng freed by Pyongyang now in custody: Turkish Court of Appeal confirms life sentence for Osman Kavala; Decree officially dissolving the autonomous republic of Nagorno Karabakh signed; Putin's Russia also pulls out of the Rio Climate Change Accords.


Pope Francis' message to China during his trip to Mongolia was "well received" by the communist government in Beijing. The authorities have already granted the archbishop of Beijing Antonio Li Shan permission for a return visit to Hong Kong following the visit by the local archbishop and cardinal-designate Msgr. Stephen Chow. Chow himself declared this in an interview with the Reuters agency on the eve of the Consistory in which he will receive the cardinal's hat.


In the midst of the real estate crisis and other clouds over the economy, Xi Jinping also changed the head of the Ministry of Finance. Lan Foan, an expert in public finance, was appointed head of the Communist Party group in the Ministry of Finance, replacing Liu Kun, a prerequisite for replacing him also as finance minister. Liu will be tasked with improving China's tax system and tackling the huge "hidden debt" caused by local governments' off-balance sheet borrowing.


Travis King, the American soldier who crossed the inter-Korean border into North Korea in July, is in US custody following his release by the captive regime. The release occurred through a diplomatic operation mediated by Sweden and China. King was flown out of North Korea across the border into China and appears to be in good condition.


Pro-India hackers have claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that temporarily knocked the Canadian Forces website offline. The Indian Cyber Force group shared screenshots of the Canadian Forces website on Telegram and X (formerly known as Twitter). The group said the breach would last two hours.


Turkey's highest appeals court confirmed the life sentence for entrepreneur and activist Osman Kavala, while annulling the 18-year prison sentence for three other people in the same case. Kavala, 65, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in April 2022 for organizing and financing the 2013 nationwide protests.


The newly elected president, Samvel Šakhramanyan, signed the decree on the cessation of the existence of the autonomous republic of Nagorno Karabakh as of January 1, 2024, on the basis of the “priority of ensuring the physical security and vital interests of the people of Artsakh”, and trusting in negotiations with Azerbaijan.


The Russian government has implemented President Vladimir Putin's decision to withdraw from the UNFCCC Convention, the UN "Rio Agreements" on climate change resulting from the 1992 "Earth Summit", with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement was a key part of membership of the Council of Europe from which Russia was excluded in March 2022.

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