06/24/2024, 09.39
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Dagestan: Islamist attacks on churches and a synagogue on the Orthodox feast of Pentecost

Today's news: Tension in New Caledonia re-ignites after independence leader is extradited to France; Lottery ticket sales in China increased by almost 20%; The Dalai Lama in the USA for surgery; Bahrain and Iran meet to re-establish diplomatic relations. 


In the Russian Republic of Dagestan, a series of coordinated attacks by Islamist militias struck several churches and a synagogue last night, killing at least 15 people, including police officers, an Orthodox priest and some civilians. The attacks targeted the cities of Derbent and Makhachkala on the occasion of the Orthodox feast of Pentecost. Dagestan has a long history of militia attacks carried out by Islamist militias.


Pro-independence demonstrators returned to burn police vehicles and block roads in New Caledonia, following the extradition of protest leader Christian Tein to France. The French High Commission in Noumea said protesters set fire to the town hall in the municipality of Koumac and destroyed some areas in Paita. The protests began in May after France voted to approve reforms to allow thousands of French residents who have lived in the territory for at least 10 years to vote.


In the first quarter, sales of all types of domestic lotteries exceeded 149.5 billion yuan (.6 billion) in China, up 19.7% year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. By comparison, in the first quarter, the national general budget revenue stood at 6.1 trillion yuan, down 2.3% year-on-year. According to many observers, the increase is due to the fact that many young people are seeking a shortcut to wealth in the context of China's post-pandemic economic recovery.


The Dalai Lama was greeted in New Jersey by thousands of Tibetans chanting and waving flags as he arrived in the United States yesterday for knee surgery. It was the first trip abroad since November 2018 by the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader who lives in exile in Dharamsala, northern India.


Two large local government-run hospitals in Seoul have estimated the economic damage caused by the prolonged strike by resident doctors at 90 billion won (more than 60 million euros) if the clash is not resolved by the end of the year. The protest caused a drop of more than 20% in bed utilisation, while the number of outpatients decreased by more than 10%. Despite the strong opposition of the doctors, the government confirmed late last month the increase of admission quotas of about 1,500 students for medical schools, the measure for which the current residents have been striking since February.


Bahrain and Iran have agreed to begin talks aimed at restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries, following a meeting between their respective foreign ministers in Tehran, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry said. The meeting took place on Sunday during al-Zayani's visit to Iran, where he is attending the Asian Cooperation Dialogue summit. Manama suspended relations with Tehran in 2016 after tensions between Bahrain's ally Saudi Arabia and Iran.


In Uzbekistan, the construction of an atomic energy plant near Lake Tuzkan in the Džizzak region, 55 km from the border with Kazakhstan, sponsored by Russia's Rosatom near population centres for more than 3 million people in Šimkent and the Turkestan region, a project that has been in preparation since 2017, has begun.

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