08/17/2022, 09.58
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Coordinated attacks rock southern Thailand, at least seven injured

Today's headlines: a group of (Syrian) migrants rescued on a small island along the Turkey-Greece border; drought and power shortages in the Yangtze delta, as water at its lowest since 1961; in Pakistan, an anti-polio vaccination team attacked, two escort agents killed; Egyptian soccer player Salah donates 150 thousand euros to rebuild the burned Giza church; in Russia, a Protestant community targeted by police. 


Explosions and fires overnight rocked at least 17 different locations in southern Thailand, an area where Islamic separatist groups are active and have carried out attacks in the past. Today's events, which hit grocery stores and a gas station, appear to be coordinated with each other, but no claims are being made at this time. At least seven people were injured. 


A group of 38 migrants of likely Syrian origin, including a pregnant woman, were rescued on a small, unnamed island along the Turkish-Greek border. The 22 men, nine women and seven children say they have been on the small island on the Evros River since mid-July and report the death of a child. Once located, they were transported to the mainland by authorities in Athens. 


High temperatures in recent weeks have caused drought and power shortages in the Yangtze River Delta. Water levels in the region are at their lowest since 1961; at the Three Gorges Dam they are at 135 meters, about 40 percent lower than in the previous four years. The Sichuan government suspended industrial energy supplies from August 15 to 20.  


Two agents escorting a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan were shot dead by unidentified assailants. The attack occurred yesterday and is only the latest in a long series against health workers engaged in fighting the disease, often by Islamic extremists. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two nations where polio remains endemic.


Liverpool's Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah, who is also famous for his Muslim faith, has donated about 150,000 euros to help rebuild the fire-damaged church in Giza. Forty-one people, including children, died in the Aug. 14 blaze. On social media in the Land of the Pharaohs many people, including Christians, wanted to send messages of thanks. 


Police forces are conducting sweeping searches and arrests of members of the Protestant religious association "New Generation," active in Ukraine and declared "undesirable" in Russia, now accused of supporting the Azov battalion. For the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, the population's trust in the Orthodox Church is collapsing. 


Authorities in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan have banned the celebration of weddings attended by more than 250 guests, and to extend the festivities beyond midnight. The problem is not so much the sanitary isolation for the Covid, but the insane spending by Kyrgyz people on weddings and funerals, for which they take on huge long-term debts that are in fact impossible to pay off. 

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