12/16/2023, 10.19
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Fighting between Burmese junta and rebels blocks trade with China

Today's news: To protect women from abuse, Afghan Taliban locks them in prison; Over19,000 Palestinian casualties in Gaza, Israeli army mistakenly kills three hostages while Tehran executes "a Mossad agent"; Record number of bullying cases in Seoul schools; Tokyo sanctions Russian entities for war in Ukraine; Iranian woman to serve 13 years in prison for social posts regarding the killing of her son in protests over Mahsa Amini.

The six-week offensive by rebel groups against the Burmese coup army has dealt a severe blow to the economy on the border between Myanmar and China. According to some estimates, losses in the Shan State area already amount to over 500 million euros. Some entrepreneurs and traders confirm that trade is blocked in Muse and Chinshwehaw, two key border towns.

The Taliban locks women in prison to prevent gender-based violence. The practice is denounced by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama), which also denounces the closure of the 23 state centers once used to protect victims of abuse or family violence. Behind the choice is the fact that "women's shelters are a Western concept" for Koranic students.

The Israeli army admitted to having killed three hostages seized by Hamas in the October 7 assault and so far held in Gaza, recovering their bodies and triggering street protests today in Tel Aviv, while the number of Palestinian deaths exceeds quota 19 thousand, dozens of these in air raids in the last few hours in the Strip. Meanwhile, international pressure for a truce is growing, from the United States to the trio of China, Saudi Arabia and Iran who yesterday called for an "immediate cessation" of operations. Tehran executed a man in Sistan-Baluchistan accused of being a Mossad agent.

The percentage of students victims of bullying in the capital's schools is the highest in the last 10 years. This was revealed by a survey by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (Smoe), according to which of 486,729 students between the fourth grade and final year of high school, 2.2% had been subject to some form of mistreatment at school. The figure increased by 2% compared to 2022.

President Joko Widodo has asked the army to help farmers increase rice production, while the arrival of El Niño - which causes drought in some areas of the continent - and export limitations by the main supplier, l 'India, they are restricting supply. According to models, this year El Niño threatens to become one of the most intense events in history.

Japan has issued specific sanctions against two Russian scientific research institutes and four machinery factories in the Rostov and Volgograd regions, deemed particularly responsible for the war against Ukraine. Tokyo has banned any economic operations with these groups, blocking any of their material or financial assets in the country.

Mahsa Yazdani, mother of a young man killed during last year's riots linked to the killing of Mahsa Amini, must report to prison by December 17 and serve a 13-year sentence. Behind the conviction, the comments left on her social networks by the woman regarding the death of her son, defined by a Tribunal of the Islamic Revolution as "propaganda against the system" and "insulting".

The imams of Turkmenistan, especially in the velayat of Balkan, are intensifying their homilies and appeals against New Year celebrations, which are contrary to Islamic customs. In Lebap they also managed to have most of the trees with decorations installed on the streets removed at the expense of state employees, who were not reimbursed for this.

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See also
China arrests over a thousand Tibetans for protests against a dam
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