10/04/2022, 09.16
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Laos, hundreds of Malaysian migrants hostages in Chinese casino

Today's headlines: Delhi unveils first batch of locally made assault helicopters; Japan aims to become the world's third military power; Saudi Arabia will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games in Neom; the Islamabad High Court accepted former Prime Minister Khan's apology; Yerevan revives call for international investigation against Baku for war crimes. 


About 700 Malaysian migrant workers were abducted from a Chinese-owned casino-hotel in northern Laos. They are being abused and mistreated by the managers of the hotel, who have demanded a ransom for their release. Lured with the promise of a job in the Golden Triangle, most of them are exploited for online scams behind beatings and torture. 


Delhi unveiled the first batch of locally manufactured assault helicopters yesterday. Aircraft specifically designed for use in high-altitude areas such as the Himalayas, where there have been tensions and occasional clashes with China for at least a couple of years. The light combat aircraft represent a further step by India in reducing its military dependence on Russia. 


Saudi Arabia was awarded the 2029 Asian Winter Games. The event will be held in the complex part of the futuristic city of Neom, which Mohammad bin Salman wanted to the tune of billions and rights violations. The Trojena development is expected to be completed in 2026 and includes outdoor ski facilities, an artificial freshwater lake and a nature reserve.


Over the next five years, if Tokyo hits its budget targets in terms of spending, the Land of the Rising Sun will become the world's third military power - in terms of firepower and defence capability - behind the United States and China. The forecast is for an increase from 53 billion next year to over 70 billion in 2027, with an annual growth rate of 7.3%.


The Islamabad High Court accepted the apology offered by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, dismissing the criminal case against him. A possible conviction would have meant exclusion from political life or institutional positions for at least five years. The indictment was linked to a public speech in which he had threatened the police and the judiciary.


One of Russia's most prestigious art critics, Dmitry Ozerkov, resigned after 22 years as head of the contemporary art section of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In a post on Instagram he said he 'no longer wants to deal with today's Russia, where there is no longer any place for dialogue and respect, and information gives way to propaganda'.


While the meeting of the delegations from Yerevan and Baku is taking place in Geneva, the Armenians are accusing the other side of the shooting of many prisoners of war, demanding an international investigation into the matter. According to Armenian media, videos of the shootings are available on Telegram channels, confirming long-standing accusations of war crimes against Azerbaijan.

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