05/17/2024, 09.44
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India under scrutiny for carcinogenic ingredients in spices

Today's news: Vietnam has lost billions of dollars in foreign aid due to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign; Japan approved joint custody of children for divorced couples; South Africa appealed to the International Criminal Court demanding an end to the military operation in Rafah; The problem of natural disasters in Tajikistan.


The UK has imposed further controls on all spice products imported from India. In recent weeks, Hong Kong and Singapore had reported finding carcinogenic substances in powdered spices sold by two Indian companies. In an order dated 8 April, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had raised the maximum permitted limit of pesticide residues in spices and herbs.


Vietnam has lost at least USD 2.5 billion in foreign aid over the past three years and could lose another billion due to bureaucratic red tape and the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, which has created administrative paralysis as officials, fearful of breaking the rules, are taking decisions more slowly. This is stated in a document by the United Nations, the World Bank and some Western donors. The potential losses correspond to about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product.


This morning the Japanese parliament approved a bill introducing joint custody for divorced couples with children, a practice already widely used in many countries. Until now, custody was allowed to one parent, usually the mother. The legislation will enter into force within two years and will have retroactive effect.


The Seoul High Court rejected a request by striking doctors to suspend the government's plan to increase the number of medical places. This gave the government the green light to make all the necessary changes for next year, but the striking doctors are continuing to strike, even though they have less and less support from the public.


South Africa has asked the International Criminal Court to order Israel to stop its military offensive in Rafah, southern Gaza, which began 10 days ago. Israel will provide its response to the court today. South Africa has also requested access to Gaza for aid workers, journalists and investigators. The court is already considering a case filed in January by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide.


Tajikistan's Civil Defence service released statistics on the population living in areas at risk of natural disasters such as avalanches, landslides and floods, affecting 72,000 families and more than 400,000 people who need to be relocated to safer territories, abandoning their often squatter homes.


The Russian Ministry of Culture has expressed its non-objection to handing over the 'Chersoneso in Tauride' memorial museum in Simferopolis to the Russian Orthodox Church, as requested by the Crimean Metropolitan, Tikhon (Ševkunov), who has already opened a men's monastery next to the Unesco heritage museum in recent months.

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