01/27/2024, 09.03
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Houthis step up attacks in the Red Sea with Iranian missiles

Today's news: An archaeological report finds that the Varanasi mosque in India was allegedly built on the ashes of a Hindu temple; Chinese industrial profits fell by 2.3% in 2023; The director of the WHO described conditions in Gaza as 'hellish'; General strike in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan over rising wheat prices; Vladimir Putin visits the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on Polish territory on 'Russian Students' Day' (Tatjanin Den). Malaysia increases water tariffs.


Yemen's Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks on ships transiting the Red Sea, including an attack that started a fire on a fuel tanker. Due to the intensification of attacks in the Gulf of Aden, the US military said it shot down an Iranian anti-ship ballistic missile fired by the Houthis. Yemen's rebel-controlled Al-Masira television said this morning the United States and the United Kingdom launched two airstrikes against the port of Ras Issa, Yemen's main oil export terminal.


The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered that the mosque built in the 17th century in Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, stands on the ashes of a Hindu temple. The archaeological discovery was made public by a lawyer following a petition signed by several Hindus. The mosque's Muslim lawyers following the ongoing court case have disputed the statements of the Hindu plaintiffs' lawyer. The mosque in question, that of Gyanvapi, is located in the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the "Indian People's Party", proponent of a nationalist policy and defense of Hindu identity.


Chinese corporate profits fell by 2.3% in 2023, the second consecutive annual decline after 2022, due to weak domestic and foreign demand, combined with the real estate crisis and deflationary risks. Last year's decline in profits was mainly due to sharply lower factory prices, driven by excess production capacity in some sectors, said economist Nie Wen of the Hwabao Trust in Shanghai.


Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on Polish territory on the “Day of Russian Students” (Tatjanin Den), meeting with students of the Baltic Federal University for a free dialogue, and then with governor Anton Alikhanov, to discuss of the "economic and social development of the region", without any real intention of "sending messages to NATO", as the Kremlin assured.


A general strike was observed in Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday, with large protests and rallies against the increase in wheat prices. Traffic was blocked, while shops, markets, restaurants and shopping centers remained closed in various areas of Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer, Astore, Shighar, Ghanche, Kharmang, Hunza and Nagar. The call for strike was launched by the Awami Action Committee (Aac) with the associations representing traders, transporters and owners of hotels and clubs.


The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a ceasefire and a "real solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, describing conditions in Gaza as "hellish". Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who lived through the war as a child and whose children were hiding in a bunker during the 1998-2000 bombings between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was moved when describing the conditions in the bombed Palestinian enclave of Gaza where more than 25,000 people have been killed in recent months.


In Malaysia, water tariffs are increasing to contain the high economic costs due to pipe leaks. Domestic users in Peninsular Malaysia and the federal territory of Labuan will pay an average of Rm0.22 (about .05) more per cubic meter of water from Thursday, February 1, the National Water Services Commission announced. Subsequently, 11 federal governments, except those of Sabah and Sarawak, announced several increases in their respective tariffs. According to experts, this is not enough, the entire aqueduct system should be rehabilitated and water safety improved.


The head of the Land Registry Committee of Armenia, Suren Tovmasyan, informed the government that "official data on the sovereign territory will be released only after the delimitation and demarcation of the borders with Azerbaijan", the negotiations of which are still ongoing , and which will subsequently be given a "definitive legal evaluation".

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