Japan, record number of elderly: more than 15% are over 75
Today's headlines: Saudi GDP set to grow by the highest figure in the last decade; Shanghai launches a 260 billion development plan; Pakistan's high court clears former premier Khan of terrorism charges; a giant statue of Padre Pio is to be erected in Cebu in a pilgrimage site; Moscow patriarchate says the meeting between the pope and Kirill is still possible and desirable.
For the first time in history, Japanese people over the age of 75 exceeded 15% of the total, reaching 19.37 million (+720 thousand). A confirmation of the rapid ageing of Japanese society, with a record figure this year also among the over-65s (36.27 million, or 29.1%). The Rising Sun is at the top of the world ranking for oldest society, followed by Italy and Finland.
Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product (GDP) is set to grow at the highest rate in a decade, at 7.5% in 2022. According to S&P data, the projected surplus for the state budget is around 6.3%. According to the rating agency, production capacity will also increase in the long term due to the development of finances and economic reforms.
In the morning, the Shanghai authorities launched eight infrastructure projects with a total value of almost EUR 260 billion. The focus is on the development of new energy and mobility plans for citizens including urban transit, railways and improved housing. Specific projects also include an ecological park, offshore wind energy, security and drinking water.
The High Court ordered the dropping of terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The indictment was related to a public speech in which he allegedly threatened police officers in response to the failure to release one of his aides on bail. The case was therefore transferred from the anti-terrorism court to an ordinary criminal section.
A giant statue of Padre Pio stands on a hill overlooking Cebu, part of the shrine dedicated to the saint from Pietralcina (Italy) in the village of Pulangbato, which is a pilgrimage destination. The inauguration took place on 17 September, in the presence of Archbishop Jose Palma and members of the contemplative community of Padre Pio. An oratory will also be built at the foot of the work.
RUSSIA - VATICAN
The 'Foreign Minister' of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan of the Antonij has reiterated that a second meeting of Kirill with Pope Francis is still possible and desirable. He added that Jerusalem would be the ideal place to realise it, but "now the ball is in the hands of the Vatican".
The recently imposed ban on termination of pregnancy in Turkmenistan has so far not led to a decrease in the number of abortions, Radio Azattyk reports. What has changed is the sharp increase in the bribes women have to pay to medical personnel to terminate pregnancies after the fifth week after conception.