09/23/2022, 09.45
ASIA TODAY
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Lapid at the UN: Two-state solution for Israel and Palestine

Today's headlines: Burmese Nld MP dies from torture during interrogation; Singapore overtakes Hong Kong as Asia's leading financial centre; in Macao pandemic and unemployment exacerbate food crisis, Caritas leads the way in aid; FAO and WFP say 19 million people risk famine in Afghanistan; in Russia queues of cars loaded with fleeing citizens at the borders. 

ISRAEL - PALESTINE

An agreement with the Palestinians 'based on two states for two peoples', is the 'right' thing also for Israeli security', according to Prime Minister Yair Lapid, speaking at the UN assembly. It was a historic speech, even if it is unlikely to be followed up with the country called to the polls on 1 November. Criticised by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the nationalist and religious right.

MYANMAR

Myo Kyaw, a National League for Democracy (NLD) MP, died from torture during an interrogation. He had been arrested on 24 August in Myitkyina. The date of death is unknown and the body has not been returned to the family. At the time of the arrest, images of the government-in-exile (NUG) and its armed wing in Myanmar (PDFs) surfaced on the phone. 

SINGAPORE - HONG KONG

Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong - at the pole due to strict anti-Covid rules imposed by Beijing and an exodus of talent - to become Asia's leading financial centre, the third largest globally after New York and London. The city-state expects to welcome over four million visitors by the end of 2022 and is set to host a series of high-profile events. 

MACAO

Caritas Macao expects a spike in requests for food and basic necessities this year. The Catholic organisation's food bank, run in cooperation with the government, fears an escalation as the Chinese Special Administrative Region suffers severe economic consequences from the Covid pandemic, starting with a sudden increase in unemployment. 

AFGHANISTAN 

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report food insecurity is set to increase in 19 countries around the world. One of the most critical situations is in Afghanistan, where 19 million people 'experience an acute crisis'. For Kabul, drought, asset freezes and bank restrictions are the main causes of the economic crisis.

RUSSIA

Massive queues have formed at the borders with Georgia, a country that can be reached by car from Russia. Similar traffic congestion is registered at the borders of Mongolia (from Buryatia) and Kazakhstan, destinations that can be reached by Siberian roads. The car is now the most commonly used means of escape, also in view of the absolute lack of airline tickets.

AZERBAIJAN - MOLDAVIA

The Prime Minister of Moldova, Natalia Gavrilitsa, will visit Azerbaijan to discuss conditions for gas supplies. The trip is part of the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation between the two countries, which will be held in Baku from 10 to 12 October. Moldova has not renewed its gas contracts with Russia.

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