10/26/2022, 10.04
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Former premier Imran Khan marches on Islamabad in bid for early elections

Today's headlines: Chinese police continue to maintain restrictions against activists and dissidents imposed during the party congress; in Iran 'the world's dirtiest man' died at 94, almost 60 years without ever washing; Hanoi imposes a travel ban on a Redemptorist priest from the former Saigon; Russia's war in Ukraine blocks international studies on the melting of Arctic glaciers.


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan intends to promote a march with his supporters from the eastern metropolis of Lahore to the capital Islamabad, where he will arrive on 28 October to call for early elections. Already last week there had been some minor protests after the judges' ruling that ousted him from parliamentary office.


The government has launched a new residence permit allowing tourists with at least EUR 185,000 in the bank to settle 'for up to 10 years' in the country, particularly in Bali. Like other countries, from Mexico to Thailand, the aim is to attract wealthy customers and revive the pandemic-hit sector. The permit is called the 'second home visa' and will come into effect at Christmas. 


The police continue to keep activists and dissidents under house arrest or under restrictions, even after the conclusion of the 20th Communist Party Congress. One of them was arrested for violating the surveillance measure. The 'stability maintenance' measures range from house arrest to ward off activism, to escorting dissidents. Under Xi Jinping they have increased. 


In Iran, a man considered 'the dirtiest man in the world' has died at the age of 94 and entered the records for never washing for almost 60 years. Amou Haji, a hermit in the southern province of Fars, refused soap and water for fear of viruses and bacteria. He reportedly fell ill shortly after taking a bath forced upon him by fellow villagers, and died months later. 


Fr. Truong Hoang Vu, a Redemptorist priest from Ho Chi Minh City appreciated for his work assisting the disabled and war amputees in the South Vietnamese army, cannot leave the country. Security forces stopped him at the airport as he was boarding a flight to Manila, on his way to the United States. The ban is related to 'social order and security reasons'.


Because of the war in Ukraine, all international projects to study the melting of Arctic glaciers have been halted, from which Western partners have withdrawn. This decision has effectively rendered inactive the 'Arctic Council', founded in 1996 to deal with the climate crisis in a vast area, 56% of which is on Russian territory.


At Kuljab in Tajikistan, a new railway junction was opened, which will allow commercial cargo to be transported to Turkey and Iran via Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. A route that will be used to export mostly products from China, but will also offer local producers more opportunities to trade in Europe.

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