11/16/2021, 09.51
ASIA TODAY
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Israeli warships in maneuvers with Gulf countries, eyes on Iran in

Today's headlines: Kuwait "pardons" three political dissidents; China imprisons a blogger for "insulting" dead Chinese soldiers on the border with India; Journalist Danny Fenster freed in Myanmar; Hindu radicals attack the home of former Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid.

ISRAEL-GULF

Israeli warships have just completed the first-ever naval exercises held with Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf. Military units from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates participated in the tests in the Red Sea, under US coordination. A follow-up to the September 2020 "Abraham Agreements," the maneuvers have Iran in their sights.

KUWAIT

After receiving a pardon from Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, three political dissidents returned to the Gulf country yesterday. The move is seen as an attempt by the monarch to ease tensions with the opposition. A court had convicted Jamaan al-Harbesh, Mubarak Al-Waalan and Salem Al-Namlan for their role in the 2011 anti-government protests.

CHINA

A court in Xinjiang sentenced a blogger to seven months in prison for "disrespecting" Chinese soldiers who died in June 2020 during clashes with Indian troops along the Himalayan border. Li Qixian must also issue a public apology within 10 days; other Chinese Internet users have received convictions for similar charges this year. 

NORTH KOREA

First public appearance in over a month by Kim Jong-un. The North Korean leader visited the city of Samjiyon on the border with China, which was closed again last week due to new outbreaks in neighboring Chinese provinces. Kim's absences are often associated with his possible health problems.

MYANMAR

The coup junta in Naypyidaw has freed US journalist Danny Fenster. After being sentenced in recent days to 11 years in prison, the generals say they have released and "forgiven" the Frontier Myanmar reporter on humanitarian grounds. Former Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi indicted for fraud in 2020 election.

SINGAPORE-ASIA

The City-state has launched a corridor for travelers vaccinated against Covid-19. Starting Nov. 29, it will open for departures from India and Indonesia; starting Dec. 6, from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

INDIA

About 20 Hindu radicals attacked and torched the home of former Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid. The raid took place yesterday in Naintal (Uttarakhand). Muslim and member of the Congress (in opposition), the former diplomat compared Hindu nationalism under Modi to Isis.  

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