Lebanon adopts recovery plan to get loans from the IMF
The other news of the day: After signing a security pact with the Solomons, China is negotiating more pacts with two other South Pacific nations. More than 200,000 new daily COVID-19 cases have been reported in North Korea. Activist is convicted in Vietnam for defending Montagnards. In India’s Assam state, some 500 families found refuge from flooding on railway tracks. Russia spends more on weapons than children. Uzbekistan tries to save on energy.
Yesterday the Lebanese cabinet approved an economic recovery plan that would write off a large part of the Central Bank's foreign currency obligations to commercial banks and dissolve insolvent banks. The measures are necessary to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
CHINA – SOUTH PACIFIC
After the Solomon Islands, China is reportedly negotiating security agreements with two other Island countries in the South Pacific, this according to the Financial Times, citing official sources in the United States and some of its allies. China’s negotiations with Kiribati, for example, are said to be at an advanced stage. Australia, the United States and New Zealand have already expressed opposition to the pact between China and the Solomons.
The COVID-19 pandemic is raging through the country. More than 200,000 daily cases were reported for the fifth consecutive day. Foreign experts warn that North Korea lacks vaccines for its population, has inadequate health facilities, and faces a potential food crisis.
An ethnic Ede Montagnard rights activist has been sentenced to four years in prison. Y Wo Nie was convicted for sending three reports on human rights abuses against his group to foreign “reactionary forces”. The reports document human rights violations perpetrated against the Montagnards for their religious faith.
At least 500 families in two villages in Assam have been forced to live in makeshift camps built on railway tracks. Heavy rains have caused flooding in Jamunamukh district, and the railway is the only area not flooded. Locals have complained that local and national authorities have failed to provide help.
Defence spending in Russia in April rose two and a half times, to 630 billion rubles (about US$ 53 billion). Spending on children aged 8 to 17 totalled 450 billion rubles in one year. In short, Moscow spends more war than on children.
To cope with an ongoing energy crisis, the Uzbek government plans to introduce mandatory energy use standards to keep prices under control. To this end, the authorities have published some general information with special rates for the poorest segments of the population.