05/02/2022, 09.34
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Kabul sees bloody end to Ramadan, despite Taliban leader praising security

Today's headlines: Taiwanese premier describes Chinese anti- Covid-19 measures as "cruel", underlines Taipei's different approach; Armenian opposition calls for the premier's resignation over concessions to Azerbaijani "enemy" for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh; Ukrainian sources report Russian occupation forces in Kherson have kidnapped dozens of children; Ashgabat forbids childrens T-shirts and games depicting foreign heroes, women wearing make-up risk being fired. 


The Afghan Supreme Leader appeared in public for the second time in six years yesterday on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. Hibatullah Akhundzada "praised" the successes of the Koranic students, who are said to have provided "freedom and security" to the country. At the same time over the weekend, on the eve of the end of Ramadan, two bloody attacks in Kabul claimed dozens of lives.


The lockdowns imposed by China to contain the Covid-19 are "cruel" Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang has said,  adding that Taipei would not follow Beijing's lead on the pandemic. As an example of emergency management, the island also saw an increase in cases with the Omicron variant, but thanks to the vaccination campaign the number of victims remains low and restrictions are relaxed.  


The war in Ukraine is also causing "suffering" in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged during a May Day address to the nation. The losses amount to about 5.5 billion euros and are linked to uncertainties in energy prices, which the city-state is forced to import in full. Fears are of an economic recession.


An emergency caused by dust and sand storms, which have turned the sky and air orange, is underway in the country. Flights at Baghdad and Najaf airports have been suspended due to poor visibility. The phenomenon, exacerbated by climate change and the water crisis, is expected to continue today. Hospitals are on alert for a possible spike in admissions due to respiratory problems. 


Thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated yesterday in Yerevan, against the government's threatened concessions to the Azerbaijani "enemy", in view of an agreement on the disputed lands of Nagorno-Karabakh. Demonstrators blocked traffic, accusing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of selling off the territory under pressure from the international community, and calling for his resignation. 


The former commissioner for children's rights in Ukraine, Nikolaj Kuleba, reports that Russian occupying forces kidnapped 58 orphans in Kherson, hiding in the basement of a church. In addition, Moscow soldiers looted museums in Mariupol, taking more than two thousand unique works of art to Donetsk, including paintings by Arkhip Kuindži and Ivan Ajvazovsky, icons, Torahs and ancient Gospels. 


Ashgabat has banned kindergarten children from wearing clothes with drawings of foreign cartoon heroes, particularly those of Disney. They are also not allowed to bring cartoon toys, which are also banned from sale in shops. Women who use cosmetics risk their jobs, civil servants have to sign a form in which they "undertake not to wear make-up". 

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