01/19/2022, 10.55
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Hong Kong independence leader Edward Leung released from jail

Today's headlines: Israeli police demolish a Palestinian home in Sheik Jarrah; opposition leader's treason trial resumes today in Cambodia; Afghan Taliban seek recognition from Muslim nations; former Kazakh President Nazarbaev condemns recent protests; one of the last Russians recognised as Righteous of Nations has died. 


Authorities released activist Edward Leung, leader of the independence movement convicted in the 2016 protests, ahead of the deadline for "good behaviour". He is among those who coined the slogan "Free Hong Kong, revolution of our times", used by protesters before the introduction of the National Security Act. 


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a joint plan to develop a hydrogen-based economy. In a meeting in Riyadh, the leaders signed preliminary agreements on renewable energy and energy sources, especially solar and wind power. Moon praised the Saudi 'Vision 2030' plan. 


Cyber security experts advise athletes and the public attending the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to obtain "burner phones", mobile phones for temporary use. And create email accounts for the time they are in China. This is to prevent intrusions into the devices linked to the (compulsory) downloading of the My2022 app for tracking as required by the anti-Covid measures. 


In the early hours of today, Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family and demolished their home in the disputed neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, which has been the scene of clashes and violence in the past. The police raid comes two days after a member of the family protested by climbing onto the roof of the house and threatening to blow it up in case of expropriation.


The Afghan Taliban launched an appeal to Muslim nations, asking them to give international legitimacy to the government of the Koranic students. The Islamic nations, explains Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund, must be "forerunners" and "officially" recognise the leadership of the country. The promise is that Afghanistan will undergo a "rapid development". 


In Phnom Penh, the treason trial of Kem Sokha, leader of the now outlawed Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), reopened today. The case has been delayed for two years due to the pandemic and is criticised by US and activist groups as being the result of 'political reasons'. The arrest dates back to sl 2017, in the meantime the party has been decimated by arrests and escapes into exile. 


The Russian Jewish Congress announced the death of one of the last Russians to be recognised as the Righteous of the Nations, Tamara Romanova, who died in St Petersburg at the age of 100. During the Nazi occupation of Žitomir, Tamara and her family had hidden her schoolmate Klara Steinberg and her mother in their house, providing documents to escape from the country.


Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev commented on the protests of the past few days, saying that the aim was "the destruction of the integrity of the country and its institutions". He called for support for his successor and to defend his independence. He also declared that he had never left the state, although several sources reported that his family had crossed the border into Kyrgyzstan. 

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