11/23/2022, 10.12
ASIA TODAY
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Explosion in Jerusalem: one dead and several injured

Today's headlines: in China, marches and protests continue in the iPhone factory; only a small fraction of the prisoners released last week by the Burmese junta were political prisoners: in Kashmir reports at least 300 active militiamen; In Thailand the opposition against decriminalisation of cannabis; gas price rises sevenfold in Moldova.

HOLY LAND

Two explosions in Jerusalem that left at least one person dead and a dozen injured occurred this morning in Jerusalem. Local police believe it was a Palestinian attack. The explosions took place in a highly tense atmosphere. Yesterday, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed this year in Israeli-Palestinian clashes, making 2022 the deadliest year since 2006.

CHINA

Protests broke out at the world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou. Last month, the local authorities had locked workers inside the factory for the 'zero covid' policy and many fled. The Foxconn company hired new employees promising lavish rewards, which apparently were not granted, sparking protests. In videos circulated online, workers march demanding the defence of their rights and confronting police in riot gear.

INDIA - PAKISTAN 

An estimated 300 militiamen are active in the disputed region of Kashmir, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, head of the Indian Army's Northern Command, said yesterday. These include Pakistani fighters and local rebels opposed to the Delhi administration. Islamabad claims to only provide diplomatic and moral support to the separatist movement.

MYANMAR

Of the 6,000 prisoners released in a general amnesty last week, only 402 were political prisoners, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported. In the vast majority of cases, these were prisoners who would finish serving their sentences within the next three months. Almost 13,000 people arrested immediately after the coup in February 2021 are still in prison.

THAILAND

The Thai opposition is trying to annul the law, passed in June, allowing the liberalisation of cannabis for medical purposes. As a result, several protesters gathered in Bangkok while the Narcotics Control Board is in the Thai capital to consider how to proceed. Decriminalisation and the lack of an ad hoc law specifying the conditions for cultivation and sale have allowed the growth of a recreational cannabis industry.

SOLOMON ISLANDS 

A strong earthquake also rocked the Solomon Islands yesterday, but it did not cause any deaths or injuries. The magnitude 7 quake was felt in the capital Honiara for about 20 seconds. There were power cuts and several people rushed out of buildings.

RUSSIA 

The mobilisation over the past two months has already deprived almost 100 families of their husbands and fathers, including at least 15 with more than three children. So far, 159 children have been orphaned by their fathers because of this, with mortality estimated at 23.5 days between being called to arms and being sent to the Ukrainian front.

MOLDOVA 

Moldova is asking the West for help in tackling the country's dramatic energy situation, where the price of gas has increased sevenfold, electricity fourfold, and citizens are unable to pay their bills. According to President Maria Sandu, Moldovans will spend 65% of their income on heating alone this winter.

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