Clashes in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount leave dozens injured
Today's news: In China, online searches for ways to emigrate and escape the government’s zero-COVID policy hit a record; in Myanmar, the Church is negotiating with the military for the release of a priest and 13 worshippers; in Hong Kong, a law forces pet owners to hand over their animals if they are “suspected” of having COVID-19; the UN allocates funds for Yemen where there is some “light at the end of the tunnel”; more than 700,000 Ukrainians have been deported to Russia.
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Violent clashes broke out this morning between Israeli police and Palestinians on Temple Mount, where score of worshippers were gathering for Friday prayers in the month of Ramadan. According to early reports, at least 90 were wounded amid growing tensions and killings that had hitherto spared Jerusalem. Protesters waved Palestinian and Hamas flags.
In Shanghai and a hundred other cities, life is getting harder for people stuck at home due to lockdowns and restrictions imposed under Xi Jinping's zero-COVID policy, with food shortages and riots and clashes breaking out as police detain people who tested positives to the coronavirus. As a result, online searches have increased at least 100 folds as more and more people look for ways to emigrate. Among the most popular destinations are Canada, the United States and Australia.
Church leaders in Myanmar are negotiating with the authorities the release of a young priest, arrested by a military patrol in Sharge, a village in the Irrawaddy region. On 10 April, soldiers broke into St Joseph Catholic Church and seized the priest and 13 worshippers, including two seminarians, who were preparing the Palm Mass.
The authorities have introduced a law that forces pets owners to hand over animals “suspected” of being positive for COVID-19, this according to a written response by the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan to a lawmaker's question. The law has been in force since 31 March 2022 and anyone caught breaking it faces six months in jail and a fine.
The United Nations has allocated US$ 100 million to fight hunger in Yemen and six African countries. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the food emergency, which threatens to push millions of people to the brink of famine. Meanwhile, UN special envoy Hans Grundberg said he sees some “light at the end of the tunnel” in the suffering of a country that has been at war for more than seven years.
Russian orientalist Irina Serenko believes that events in Pakistan that led to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation and his replacement by Muslim League leader Shehbaz Sharif are linked to Khan's visit to Moscow on 24 February, the first day of the war in Ukraine, during which Khan did not convince the Kremlin, which preferred Sharif.
More than 700,000 Ukrainians have been deported to Russia. Moscow calls this exodus an "evacuation", while sources in Kyiv claim that they were forced to go to Russia against their will and are facing major hardships. The exiles are being locked up in “deportation camps” like those run by the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB, during the early years of Soviet rule.
This year Kazakh authorities have decided not to hold military parades on 7 May, Defender of the Fatherland Day, and 9 May, Victory over Nazism Day. Parades had been cancelled in the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic; this year, celebrations will be limited to about 50 “regional patriotic events”.