Iranian Pasdaran bomb rebel positions in Iraqi Kurdistan
Today's headlines: Hong Kong: activist Ted Hui sentenced in absentia; The US will invest $ 860 million in the South Pacific; India continues to pay for Russian oil in dollars; New conviction for Aung San Suu Kyi; First deaths in Ukraine among new soldiers mobilised by Putin; Patriarch Kirill supports annexations of Ukrainian territories.
Iranian Pasdaran bombed Kurdish rebel positions in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan yesterday. Missiles and attack drones were used: nine people were killed, including civilians. Local and central authorities in Baghdad condemned the attack.
The city high court today sentenced Ted Hui in absentia to three and a half years in prison. The charge is contempt of court. In November 2020, the democracy activist had fled to Australia while free on bail on nine criminal charges. Authorities later also charged him with threatening national security.
During a summit in Washington, the US announced that it had reached an agreement for a partnership with the South Pacific island nations. The US pledge is to invest more than USD 860 million in the region. The aim is to stem the growth of Chinese influence and meet the demands of local leaders to combat climate change.
Kremlin's attempts to circumvent Western sanctions for the war in Ukraine have been dealt a hard blow: Indian refineries continue to buy Russian oil in dollars. Moscow asks its partners for payments in roubles or other currencies other than the US banknote. A request to use the UAE dirham in transactions has failed.
A military court today sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi and one of her former Australian economic advisers, Sean Turnell, to three years in prison. The charge against them is violating state secrets. Since the military coup in February 2021, the former leader of Burma's civilian government has been convicted several times by courts accountable to the ruling junta.
The first call-ups from the mobilisation ordered by Putin were sent to the front in Ukraine, without adequate preparation and armaments, to defend the villages of Svatovo, Lyman and Kupjansk, in the Kharkiv region. Some of them died immediately, several were taken prisoner and one has already been shown by Ukrainians on social media in a state of terror.
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
In a liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Patriarch Kirill called for the 'spiritual mobilisation' of all believers, expressing the hope that this would help achieve full peace between Russia and Ukraine. Kirill then bestowed the patriarchal symbol of "church builder" on former deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin, who was appointed curator of the Ukrainian territories to be annexed by Russia.