01/15/2024, 10.21
ASIA TODAY
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Gaza: Beijing wants a peace conference. War exceeds 100 days

Today's news: Maldives calls for withdrawal of Indian troops from archipelago; New Pyongyang missile experiment, launches hypersonic solid-fuel medium range missile; First public appearance by Vietnamese Communist Party chief after days of health speculation; Work to restore the Baghdad-Kirkuk railway, closed for 20 years.

ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Beijing is proposing a large-scale and authoritative peace conference to put an end to the war in Gaza 100 days after the Hamas attack, while the militiamen of the Strip show a video with three Israeli hostages, one of whom is of Chinese origin. In the 37-second film we see Noa Argamani, 26 years old, Yossi Sharabi, 53 years old, and Itai Svirsky, 38 years old and a final note warning that "tomorrow [today, ed.] you will know their fate". Turkish authorities have arrested Israeli player Sagiv Jehezkel of Antalyaspor for displaying a conflict sign after a goal.

MALDIVES - INDIA
The Maldives has asked India to withdraw troops by March 15, further straining ties between the two neighbors. A small contingent of around 80 soldiers is stationed on the Indian Ocean archipelago to provide support to military equipment supplied by Delhi and assist in humanitarian activities. President Mohamed Muizzu has proposed its removal.

NORTH KOREA
Pyongyang launched a missile yesterday that ended up in the sea. This was revealed by sources in Seoul and Tokyo, in a climate of growing tension due to the experiments in recent weeks with long-range launchers and spy satellites. Northern media reported a solid-fuel hypersonic missile of intermediate range, which traveled 1000 km off the east coast at an altitude of 50 km.

VIETNAM
Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong attended a session of the National Assembly today after days of concerns - and speculation - about the state of health of the country's most powerful man. It is the first public appearance since December 26th. At the beginning of the month he had not attended meetings with the Indonesian president and the prime minister of Laos.

IRAQ
Closed for over 20 years and subject to terrorist attacks, in particular by ISIS, the railway between Baghdad and Kirkuk will be reopened after reconstruction work started recently, thanks to the commitment of the Ministry of Transport and the Kirkuk governorate . The overall project includes a further section up to Mosul, and then extending across the border into Turkey.

PHILIPPINES
Manila wants to promote the development of some islands in the South China Sea that it considers part of its territory, to make them more habitable for its troops, as army chief Romeo Brawner explains. A plan that risks fueling the conflict with China, which claims part of the territory in the context of mutual exchanges of aggressive behavior.

RUSSIA
Forced internet blockades during Ukraine's two-year war cost Moscow .6 billion. This is a figure corresponding to 10 years of budget of large regions such as Voronezh or Volgograd, making Russia the leading country for losses linked to this form of censorship and overtaking Ethiopia and Iran.

KAZAKHSTAN
Health authorities in Astana have involved worship workers from mosques and churches to conduct "clarifying conversations" with anti-vax parents who refuse for religious reasons to vaccinate their children against measles. The president of the doctors of the capital of Kazakhstan, Sarkhat Bejsenova, explained this to the press, according to which 80% of cases are unvaccinated.

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