Israel, justice: Quashed by protest, Netanyahu blocks reform (for now)
Today's news: Covid-19 dismissed, North Korea decorates streets with (fake) flowers to celebrate Kim Il Sung; Recently released Vietnamese political prisoner Phan Kim Khanh denounces labour exploitation in prisons; Tomorrow evening, daylight saving time also strikes in Lebanon; in parks and public places in Russia, civil defence films are broadcast with warnings in case of a nuclear attack; In Uttar Pradesh Hindu radicals prevent Muslims from praying for Ramadan.
Calm returned to Israel overnight after days of violent protests following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that he intends to freeze the controversial justice reform for a month, at least until after Passover. The decision followed negotiations between the leaders of the far-right coalition, including Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was pushing for a quick approval.
Pyongyang buries the Covid-19 (and hunger) under a blanket of flowers. For the first time in three years, North Korea is celebrating the birth of founder Kim Il Sung by decorating streets and squares, from the capital to country towns. To compensate for the absence of real ones, paper flowers are being arranged. The occasion is known as the 'Day of the Sun' and celebrates the Kim cult.
Vietnamese political prisoner Phan Kim Khanh, recently released from jail after serving a six-year sentence, denounces the exploitation of prisoners in jail, who are not paid. They work six hours a day, with the threat of punishment if they refuse. Their duties also include making rattan or bamboo textiles for the EU market.
In Uttar Pradesh, ruled by Prime Minister Modi's BJP, exponents of the radical Hindu Bajrang Dal movement have prevented Muslims from reciting the Taraweeh, the prayer that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan. The extremists, led by leader Rohan Saxena, protested against the police for protecting the Islamic faithful during the worship celebrations.
The Lebanese interim government, after yesterday's meeting devoted entirely to the issue, decided to introduce daylight saving time from the night of 29-30 March, overturning Nagib Mikati's previous controversial directive to postpone its entry into force until the end of Ramadan. In a televised speech, the premier said he needed 48 hours to "settle technical issues".
In Moscow's Gorky Park and other places across Russia, a film is shown on advertising screens, produced by the Civil Defence. The video explains to the public how to prepare an 'emergency suitcase', arrange gauze bandages, and what to do in the event of a chemical or nuclear attack.
AZERBAIJAN - ARMENIA
The Russian Ministry of Defence has accused the Azerbaijani army of violating the 2020 agreements by setting up military posts beyond the decided line on the territory, and demanding withdrawal. The Azeris claim they had to organise a preventive defence against the Armenians' war actions on the Lačin corridor.