11/10/2021, 09.24
ASIA TODAY
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Dhaka ready to trade low cost anti-Covid pill

Today's headlines: A "virtual summit" between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping next week; The Burmese junta indicts a US journalist for "sedition and terrorism"; China stages drills near Taiwan in response to US congressional delegation visit; The E-economy booms in Southeast Asia. 

BANGLADESH

Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Beximco will be the first in the world to sell Merck's generic pill for the treatment of Covid-19, molnupiravir. The drug has received emergency use approval from authorities in Dhaka and is a less expensive version of the original. It could represent a breakthrough for care and treatment in poor countries. 

CHINA - USA

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are scheduled to hold a "virtual summit" next week, though no official date has been announced. In the face of an apparent détente between the two superpowers, unresolved issues remain, including Taiwan and Beijing's atomic arsenal. Xi has not left China for almost two years, while the country continues to pursue the Covid-zero policy. 

SYRIA - UAE

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus yesterday. At the center of the talks bilateral ties and economic partnership. It is the first official face-to-face between high officials since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. The Emirates have long supported rebel groups economically and militarily. 

MYANMAR

The Burmese military government has indicted for the American journalist Danny Fenster,"sedition and terrorism". The  37 year-old was arrested last May while trying to leave Myanmar. He is already on trial for "fomenting dissent towards the junta and, with the new charges, risks life imprisonment. In these months of imprisonment he would have contracted Covid-19.

TAIWAN - CHINA

The Chinese army is conducting military exercises near Taiwan, in response to the visit to the island of a delegation of the U.S. Congress. Beijing says it is a "necessary measure" to safeguard "national sovereignty". The United States has strong but informal relations with Taipei, which China considers an integral part of its territory. 

RUSSIA - VATICAN

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mišustin has approved plans for mutual recognition of university degrees with the Vatican. The decision was published on November 9 on the official government website. Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had met with the Secretary of Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

SOUTH-EAST ASIA

The e-economy among Southeast Asian countries will reach trillion by 2030. Tens of millions more people are using online shopping and home food delivery services. The region is among the fastest-growing markets, growing from 4 billion in gross volume (Gmv) today to 0 billion by 2025. 

KAZAKHSTAN

The Majilis (Parliament) of Kazakhstan has approved the law on amnesty on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the independence of the republic. All those detained for minor offences will be released from prison. According to Interior Minister Erlan Turgumbaev, a total of 2236 convicted criminals and 11,310 defendants awaiting trial will benefit from the law. 

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