03/28/2022, 09.03
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Kabul: Women's education activists march against the Taliban

Today's headlines: in Russia, student protests continue to call for an end to the war in Ukraine; the largest military exercise between the Philippines and the US is underway; Moscow relies on the Syrian army to recruit mercenaries; in Shanghai, lockdowns and mass swabbing to contain Covid-19; South Korean nuns on the border with the North open a reception centre for refugees; Manama closes an Indian restaurant for forbidding entry to a woman wearing a veil. 


Afghan women's activist groups threatened a wave of protests if the Taliban did not reopen secondary schools to female students within a week. The people," says Halima Nasari, leader of the protest, "cannot tolerate oppression any longer. Meanwhile, Koranic students have imposed a "male chaperone" on local and international airlines to allow women to fly. 


Demonstrations against the student war were held in universities all over Russia. Ukrainian flags are hung from the windows of hostels, leaflets and posters are attached, and censored information is disseminated. Meanwhile, Gazprom's shares are plummeting after European countries refuse to pay in roubles, and are losing an average of 6.5 billion euros a day. 


Russian Orthodox military chaplain, 65-year-old Protoierej Oleg Artemov, was killed in an armed clash in the village of Zhuravlevka in Ukraine, according to the Patriarchal Department for Assistance to Armed Forces. The priest was one of those in charge of the brigade for the care of military believers and civilian army personnel.


Moscow is recruiting mercenaries through Damascus to send to Ukraine. Instead of desperate and unemployed people, or guerrillas of uncertain origin, members of the elite will be selected. About 800 Syrians have been hired in the last few days, in addition to 1300 mercenaries of the 'Wagner Company' from Libya and 300 Hezbollah militiamen. 


The authorities in Shanghai announced a two-stage lockdown for the Chinese metropolis, where there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases. The testing period starts today and will last for nine days, initially in the districts east of the Huangpu River, then in those to the west. Public transport will be suspended for the entire period, and only authorised vehicles will be allowed to circulate. 


In the South Korean diocese of Uijeongb, not far from the border with the North, the Little Sisters of the Holy Family opened the Seeds of Peace centre. The centre aims to welcome all those fleeing the regime in Pyongyang. Bishop Pierre Lee Ki-heon hoped that the sisters could "share the pain" of the refugees and be a "source of hope" for them. 


Authorities in Bahrain, a country with an Islamic majority, closed down an Indian restaurant for forbidding entry to a woman wearing a veil. The incident took place at the Bahrain Lanterns in Manama. Following the protests, the owners issued an official apology, recalling that in 35 years of business they have welcomed customers of all nationalities. 


The Philippines and the United States today launched the largest joint military exercise of 12 days and 9,000 troops. A signal confirming the strengthening of relations and growing tensions in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. They are the latest under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, who in the past had soured the bond with Washington by focusing on China. 

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