11/11/2021, 09.33
ASIA TODAY
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Cop26: Beijing and Washington ready to work together on climate change

The news of the day: Thai authorities deported two Cambodian activists; the toll of floods in India and Sri Lanka rises to 41; in Hong Kong more than one in five citizens in poverty; a Taliban commander is the new governor of Kabul; Erdogan wants two more atomic power plants.

 

CHINA - USA

In a surprise announcement at COP26 in Glasgow, China and the United States agreed to strengthen climate cooperation over the next decade, issuing a (rare) joint statement promising action. From the two sides, a commitment to "work together" to close the "significant gap" toward the 1.5°C target set in the Paris Agreement.

THAILAND - CAMBODIA

Thai authorities have arrested and deported two activists linked to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Police detained Voeung Samnang and Voeun Veasna as they were returning home. The latter in October - under the pseudonym of Kranhoung Preylang - had published a poem critical of the Cambodian Prime Minister. 

SRI LANKA - INDIA

The provisional toll of the heavy rains that have fallen in recent days along the Sri Lankan coast and in Tamil Nadu (southern India) has reached 41 victims. The government of Colombo counts at least 20 deaths, most of them from drowning. According to forecasts, the showers should diminish in intensity in the next hours, with occasional more intense phenomena. 

HONG KONG

More than one in five Hong Kong citizens (1.65 million) lived in poverty in 2020, the highest number since data collection began 12 years ago. The poverty rate rose to 23.6 percent, up from 21.4 percent a year earlier, with growth linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. Activists and experts reject the measures put in place by the government, judged inadequate. 

AFGHANISTAN

A Taliban commander linked to al Qaeda, famous for kidnapping foreign journalists and planning suicide attacks, is the new governor of Kabul province. Intelligence sources reported Qari Baryal's death a decade ago in a U.S. raid. He has actually established himself as a leader in the north, leading attacks in the capital and surrounding areas.

INDONESIA

Anti-terrorism Detachment 88 arrested five people in East Java on charges of illicit arms trafficking, recruiting and training militiamen in the pay of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The Islamic extremist group is responsible for bloody attacks, including the 2002 Bali massacre. This is the second largest counterterrorism operation in the year. 

TURKEY

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the construction of two more nuclear power plants, which will add to the Akkuyu plant already under construction. The first unit is expected to be active by 2023. Concern is expressed by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to which the plant in the southern province of Messina will become "a new Chernobyl". 

RUSSIA

In Russia exceeded the records of cases and deaths for Covid-19 with more than 250 thousand victims, but citizens refuse protection measures: spacers, masks and vaccines are ignored and in the last three months more than 10 thousand people have been fined. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that "in 12 regions oxygen supplies will be enough for a couple of days".

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