03/06/2023, 09.19
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Five dead in clashes between Armenians and Azeris in Lachin corridor

Today's headlines: Philippine coast guard spotted over 40 Beijing ships in a disputed area of the South China Sea; Pakistani police serve arrest warrants on former premier Imran Khan; Qatari emir 'perplexed' over delays in aid to post-earthquake Syria; illegal pangolin sales increase in Laos.

At least five people were killed in a shoot out between the Azerbaijani army and Armenian police officers yesterday. The shooting was triggered by the arrest of an Armenian police vehicle by the Baku army, along a road disputed by the two sides on the Lachin corridor, which had been blocked by the Azeris for more than 80 days. According to the Baku government there were weapons on board the vehicle, accusations described as "absurd" by Yerevan. 

Over the weekend, the Philippine coast guard (Pcg) spotted more than 40 Chinese ships near Pag-asa, one of the islands occupied by Manila in the disputed area - with Beijing - in the South China Sea. Among the boats were also a military ship and a coast guard ship. According to the Philippine government, they were stationed within the 12-nautical-mile border. 

Police served arrest warrants on former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure his appearance in court to answer charges of abuse of office. Yesterday, hundreds of supporters of the 70-year-old cricket champion turned politician blocked police from entering his home. On 28 February, he had deserted a hearing in his corruption trial. 

The Emir of Qatar said he was "perplexed" by the delays in aid for earthquake victims in Syria, stressing that it is "wrong" to use humanitarian issues for "political purposes" as Christian leaders have already denounced. Words that sound like support for Damascus, after Doha has been financing rebel groups for years during the war. For the World Bank, the damage caused by the earthquake amounts to more than 5.1 billion euro. 

In Laos, the illegal online sale of pangolins and parts of the animal is on the increase, despite campaigns to protect a species considered endangered and threatened with extinction. Similar to an anteater, the animal is coveted in China, Vietnam and Hong Kong because its scales would provide medical benefits, although there is no proof. Vientiane is one of the crossroads of trade. 

In St. Petersburg, the Vagnerjonok youth club, 'the Wagnerino', was organised by the Wagner Company, with the support of politicians, journalists and bloggers, together with war veterans, where primary and secondary school pupils are brought in during school hours to 'educate themselves in patriotic love'. At the first meetings, the Spetsnaz illustrate war moves and strategies.

At least 36 people are arrested during a demonstration in front of the parliament in Tbilisi, protesting against the new law on 'foreign agents', copied partly from the Americans, partly from the Russians. Among them were also journalists, such as 'Publika' agency director Zura Vardiašvili and 'Tabula' reporter Beka Džikurasvili.

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