09/22/2022, 09.08
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Lebanese banks to remain closed 'indefinitely'

Today's headlines: Phnom Penh raises minimum wage to €203 per month,  this is not enough for trade unions; students at a business school in Wuhan protest against power cuts and lockdowns for Covid; over 55% of online content of an 'Islamophobic' nature comes from India; Seoul aims to return to pre-pandemic normality by next spring; after Putin's military mobilisation, the hunt is on for tickets to flee the country. 



Lebanese banks, which were to reopen today, will remain closed 'indefinitely', according to the association of the country's banks. In a statement the association says that the decision is necessary to avoid the "risks" faced by employees and staff after the assaults - at least seven in just a few days - by the same current account holders who kidnapped the staff in order to access their frozen accounts.


The Cambodian government has ordered an increase in the minimum wage, which from next year will be around EUR 203 per month. However, trade unionists and labour experts criticise a sum that raises the basic salary by only EUR 6, which is insufficient to cover the inflation-related cost of living. During the negotiations, the workers' representatives demanded a sum between 206 and 216 euro per month. 


Hundreds of students from a business school in Wuhan, a city that became famous for being the first epicentre of the pandemic, have been protesting for several days. They are targeting the cuts in electricity supplies and the harsh lockdown (combined with mass testing) imposed by the authorities on the campus as part of the 'zero-Covid' policy imposed by Beijing. 


More than 55% of online content of an 'Islamophobic' nature comes from India, according to a study by the Islamic Council of Victoria (Icv), Australia, which analysed messages posted during the two-year period August 2019-2021. Considering Twitter, those of a prejudicial and discriminatory nature towards Islam number over 871,000, followed by the US with just under 290,000. 


South Korea may return to a pre-pandemic normality in spring next year. By then all restrictive measures should be lifted, including the requirement to wear masks in enclosed places. This was said by the head of the anti-Covid taskforce in Seoul. The virus will not disappear, but the country will be able to cope with it as best it can in the face of continuous infections. 


After Putin's announcement about mobilising for military service until the age of 50, Russians rushed to buy all possible tickets to flee abroad, paying up to 10,000 Euros to fly to Turkey, Armenia or Georgia. Tickets to Istanbul sold out within minutes. Protest demonstrations took place all over the country, several arrests were made.


Yerevan celebrated Independence Day, recalling the referendum of 21 September 1991 in which the overwhelming majority of the population voted to leave the Soviet Union (USSR) and form an autonomous state. The celebrations were held in a sombre tone, due to mourning for those killed and injured in the recent clashes with Azerbaijan.

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