Indonesia, elections: General Prabowo Subianto ahead in the polls
Today's news: Myanmar militias make new territorial gains; The Indian Supreme Court confirmed the legality of the withdrawal of Kashmir autonomy; South Korea's government meets with childless couples to counteract under-natality; Chinese dissident who had exposed the spread of Aids in rural areas dies; The possibility of a tragedy in Gaza recedes; Elections in Azerbaijan brought forward; Migrants stranded in Russia recruited for war in Ukraine.
According to the latest polls, Defense Minister and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has an advantage of more than 20 percentage points over other candidates ahead of the February elections. Subianto, who chose the 36-year-old son of current president Joko Widodo as deputy, would have almost 40% of voters' preferences. Former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan stopped at 16.7%, followed by Ganjar Pranowo with 15.3%.
According to Myanmar's anti-coup publications, the militias fighting against the military junta responsible for the 2021 coup have again conquered new positions in different areas of the country, including Shan State, Rakhine State, the Sagaing region and a police post also in Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, underlining the results of Operation 1027, the joint offensive launched by the militias last month.
India's Supreme Court today upheld the validity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2019 constitutional order withdrawing the special autonomy of the Jammu and Kashmir region. The court issued the verdict after hearing about twenty petitions challenging the central government's decision, saying that the provision granting special status to the region was a temporary measure.
Some young South Korean couples have said that intense competition among students and financial issues are the reasons why they decide not to have children. They said this at a meeting with government officials held on the evening of December 7 in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul. The Ministry of Health and Welfare hosted six young couples who do not intend to have children as they try to come up with new policies to address the problem of South Korea's declining birth rate.
Gao Yaojie, a doctor and dissident who revealed an AIDS epidemic in rural China due to blood trading in the second half of the 1990s, has died at the age of 95. Since 2009 he had been living in exile in New York. Selling blood was a fairly common practice among poor families in agricultural provinces such as Henan, a practice also supported by local governments, who however had little awareness of HIV transmission.
GAZA – ISRAEL
The Palestinian Red Cross said Israeli warplanes launched a series of attacks this morning near al-Amal hospital in southern Gaza city. According to local authorities, the Palestinian death toll since the start of the conflict on October 7 has risen to 18,000, while the chances of reaching a ceasefire are receding, as stated by the Prime Minister of Qatar.
The president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, signed the decree establishing the date of the next presidential elections for February 7, 2024, brought forward by a few months as had already happened for the previous elections in 2018, held in April instead of October , while now they are brought forward by a year, as the presidential mandate is 7 years. Aliev has been in office in Baku since 2003, after succeeding his father Gejdar Aliev.
Migrants stuck at the border with Finland on Russian territory are recruited by Russia for the war in Ukraine, through the threat of expulsion. Journalists identified some cases of Somali and Iraqi citizens who had unsuccessfully attempted to enter Poland via Belarus, and were taken in by "men in uniform" who offered to "work for the state", also offering a good salary.