06/13/2022, 09.13
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India, cause remains unknown in 75 per cent of deaths

Today's headlines: Pyongyang launches artillery strikes; Seoul approves strengthening of defence capabilities with the US and Japan; fresh Covid outbreak in Beijing; one of the earliest Islamic burial sites, dating to mid 7th century, discovered in Syria; Duma bans use of 'anglicisms' in public. 


In India, more than 75 per cent of causes of death are not ascertained, with an extremely low rate of death certificates. In 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, less than a quarter of deaths were ascertained (22.5% of over 8 million victims). The issue raises serious questions about the country and its public health institutions and policies. 


South Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup announced a plan to strengthen capabilities to repel attacks and threats, in cooperation with the US and Japan. The aim is to respond effectively in the event of a North Korean missile and nuclear threat. Yesterday Pyongyang launched several artillery shells, which fell into the sea, in yet another show of strength. 


Beijing is struggling to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 linked to the Heaven Supermarket Bar, a 24-hour venue famous for crowds and cheap booze. Millions will have to undergo daily tests, thousands are already in lockdown. Nearly 200 cases have been recorded so far, the capital risks new closures after relaxing measures last week under the 'Covid-zero' policy. 


A team of Swedish researchers discovered what is thought to be one of the earliest Islamic burial sites, dating back to the Umayyad era between the 7th and 8th centuries. Two ancient tombs have emerged at Qarassa North Tell, a Neolithic site in southern Syria. The bodies of a man and a woman were wrapped with a cloth before burial and facing towards Mecca, according to Muslim burial rites.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that communications between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which had been blocked for two years due to the border conflict, had been restored. Armenian commentators consider this announcement to be the death of the 'Armenian corridor' requested by Yerevan on its sovereign territory, to be limited to Russian-controlled channels.


The Duma (Parliament) in Moscow approved a bill banning 'Anglicisms' in public, in particular the use of English and Latin characters in signs and billboards. Currently, more than half of the advertisements in the streets are in English. A survey of the population will be carried out on this issue.


The family of Ajkorkem Meldekhan, the 4-year-old girl who died in the Almaty clashes in January, was forced to leave the country after a series of threats by the Knb security services. The child had been caught up in a police barrage as she was travelling with her parents to the capital in search of food, her 16-year-old sister injured; her parents demanded justice.

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