01/20/2022, 10.01
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China, 10,000 citizens forcibly repatriated since 2014

In other news today: Kuala Lumpur eases anti-Covid restrictions for Lunar New Year; India's UN ambassador calls for 'Hinduophobia' to be recognised as religious hatred; Pyongyang ready to restart nuclear tests; Ankara bans arms sales to Myanmar; for Patriarch Kirill, part of Orthodoxy ready to switch with schismatics. 


Since 2014, Beijing has forced the repatriation of almost 10,000 citizens abroad by coercive, extra-judicial means. According to the NGO Safeguard Defenders, these figures are "the tip of the iceberg". China is allegedly multiplying "illegal" operations on foreign soil. On an official level they are fighting corruption, but they mainly target dissidents and critical voices. 


Kuala Lumpur relaxed anti-Covid-19 guidelines ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations on 31 January. The measures cover family gatherings, convivial times at the dinner table and visits to homes. Unlike last year, there are no particular prohibitions, although receptions will have to respect a maximum capacity of 50%. Temples are open for prayers. 


Pyongyang is ready to resume nuclear tests and the launching of long-range ballistic missiles. The announcement came today, at the end of the meeting of the political bureau of the country led by Kim Jong-un. The country is reportedly preparing for a 'long-term confrontation' with the US. In the past, threats and experiments were used to cover up internal, economic or food crises. 


The government in Ankara has approved a ban on the sale of weapons and military equipment to the Burmese army. The decision, although late, is a response to the military coup in February last year and the military's use of weapons against the civilian population in recent months. Turkey is the 45th country in the world to publicly declare a ban on arms sales. 


More than a year after the Moscow agreements, the commission to define the state borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not yet been formed. The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan has promised to keep the public informed "about the forthcoming formation of the commission".


The Indian Ambassador to the UN, T.S.Tirumurti, called for "Hinduphobia" and violence against Buddhists and Sikhs to be added to the forms of religious violence condemned by the UN. He also rejected the idea that the violent actions of Hindu extremist groups could be recognised as terrorism.


In Kyrgyzstan, the negative effects of the extremely hot summer, characterised by several periods of drought, which led to a shortage of agricultural crops, are materialising. In all, wheat production has been reduced by more than half by 2021, and increases in food prices are feared, despite the optimism of the Ministry of Agriculture.


Moscow Patriarch Kirill (Gundjaev) is not ruling out a substantial part of world Orthodoxy may "move into the camp of schismatics", given the latest developments in internal conflicts between Churches. We know," said the Patriarch, "that not only individuals, but also entire Churches are turning away from God under the influence of powerful external forces".

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