09/18/2023, 10.00
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Insulin prices prohibitive in Myanmar

Today's headlines: ChatGPT lands in Protestant churches in South Korea; Japanese municipalities are in favour of more foreign labour; A woman accused of kidnapping and trafficking children is sentenced to death in China; India beats Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup cricket final; The Mufti of Uzbekistan speaks out against the burqa.


Insulin, a key drug for managing diabetes, is reaching prohibitive costs in Myanmar due to import restrictions imposed by the military junta, which, short of cash, is trying to hold on to the few dollars it has available in its coffers . An import permit that used to be obtained in two weeks now takes two months to be approved, pharmacists say, causing serious shortages of basic medicines.


ChatGPT's artificial intelligence has arrived in evangelical churches in South Korea: Meadow is an application that suggests prayers and Bible verses based on the conversations users have with the chatbot. Developed by the South Korean company Awake, it is very popular among Protestant 20- and 30-year-olds. But not everyone approves of it: a professor at Chongshin University claims to have found "heretical content in 10 sermons" written by artificial intelligence.


86% of Japanese municipalities feel the need to boost foreign labor. The figure emerged following a survey by Kyodo News, which highlighted the lack of workers in agriculture and other sectors. 84% of local governors said they were greatly concerned about population decline and the disappearance of their community, up from 77% in 2015.


A woman who kidnapped and trafficked 11 children between 1993 and 1996 has been sentenced to the death penalty by a court in Guizhou province. Yu Huaying, who had already spent time in prison between 2000 and 2004, had worked in collaboration with another man who died during the judicial process. The case emerged after a 33-year-old woman kidnapped by Yu was reunited with her biological family two years ago and reported the matter to the police.


India won the cricket Asia Cup for the eighth time after beating Sri Lanka in the final. The tournament was initially supposed to take place in Pakistan, a country where India had no intention of sending its team. For this reason, Sri Lanka hosted seven of the 11 matches, an event that managed to lift the country's economy and the spirit of the local population a little, according to testimonies.


A drone attack by Turkey killed three fighters belonging to the YBS, the Sinjar Resistance Units, a Kurdish militia that Ankara associates with the PKK, considered a terrorist organization. Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes in northern Iraq and has dozens of outposts on Iraqi territory, but in recent days it has stepped up drone attacks, hitting main roads and areas close to population centers.


The President of the Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan, Mufti Sheikh Nuriddin Khaliknazarov, expressed his negative opinion on the use of the burqa in public places by women, clarifying that "Islam does not obligatorily require women to have full coverage of the face and the obligation to wear black clothes, our religion recommends appearing in a dignified and pleasant way, avoiding excesses".


Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Antony (Sevrjuk), head of the patriarchal department for external relations, paid a visit to Japan, presiding over a commemorative funeral liturgy in the Russian cemetery in the city of Nagasaki, and also at the memorial of soldiers and sailors fallen in the war Russo-Japanese of 1904-1905, finally honoring the Japanese Christian martyrs who died during the persecutions of the 16th century.

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