02/24/2023, 10.02
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Lebanon: central bank governor accused of money laundering

Today's headlines: as Pyongyang tests more missiles, Seoul warns of risk of exposure to radioactive materials. In Vietnam, US diplomats prevented from meeting Christian leaders. 150 asylum seekers died in Malaysia in 2022, while on the island of Nauru two migrants sewed their lips shut in protest.


Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh has been charged with money laundering, embezzlement and illicit enrichment for embezzling 0 million from the Banque du Liban between 2002 and 2015. The prosecutor also filed charges against Salameh's brother Raja and an adviser. The judge's charges come after an 18-month investigation while Lebanon is experiencing a moon and severe economic depression.


As Pyongyang tests four cruise missiles to demonstrate its ability to conduct a nuclear counterattack (so said North Korean state media), Seoul warns that hundreds of thousands of North Koreans could be exposed to radioactive materials that end up in the water. A risk, the Transitional Justice Wrking Group specified, that also extends to citizens of China, Japan and South Korea.


Local authorities prevented the staff of the American Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City from meeting Christian leaders living in Dak Lak Province to talk about religious freedom. Members of the Central Highlands Evangelical Church of Christ reported that police officers were deployed in front of their homes. In recent months, many religious groups in the region have been prevented from holding services or performing rituals on the pretext that the groups have not registered with the government and are therefore illegitimate.


The chaos over the local elections in Sri Lanka continued. The Supreme Court postponed until 11 May the hearing of the appeal against the government's failure to fund the voting operations, scheduled for 9 March. The move effectively sanctions the impossibility of holding the elections on the scheduled date.


Human rights groups urged Malaysia to investigate living conditions in migrant detention centres after the government claimed that 150 foreigners, including seven children, died inside the facilities in 2022. The causes of the deaths or the number of migrants detained have not been revealed, but according to data from last year, Malaysia is holding more than 17,700 people in its centres.


In another migrant detention centre, in the small island nation of Nauru, two refugees from Bangladesh literally sewed their lips shut in protest after nearly 10 years of detention on the island. "In Nauru, people treat us like animals, not humans," said Mohammad Shofiqul Islam and Mohammad Kaium. About 150 migrants are still in Narau and Papua New Guinea, the two countries where Australia has sent asylum seekers it does not want to accept on its territory.


An investigation by Currentime.tv, with the participation of several associations, informed about sexual violence by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, for which so far only 155 people have filed formal complaints, but which would in fact be several hundred, including against children, minors, the elderly, and numerous gang rapes.


President Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan paid an official visit to Egypt, where at the Business-Forum in Cairo he concluded an agreement with the country's largest companies to implement 20 projects, with a total investment of USD 1.6 billion, before meeting Egyptian President Al-Sisi.

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