10/31/2023, 09.20
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Magway: five civilians dead, three children, in Burmese army raids

Today's news: Ongoing ground battle in Gaza. Bangkok cancels visas for tourists from India and Taiwan; South Korean discount store recalls 53 thousand plastic slippers for toxic chemical substances; Two-year jail terms for four former student leaders at Hong Kong University; Nepal's mountains have lost a third of their glaciers in 30 years; On the Turkish side of Mount Ararat traces of seawater over 5,000 years old, possible evidence of the biblical universal flood; Naval'nyj and political prisoners on hunger strike yesterday on Prisoners of Conscience Day.

There are at least five civilian victims, including three children, from the Burmese army's artillery bombing in the center of the country. Local sources report that troops stationed in Pakokku, in the Magway region, attacked two villages with heavy weapons on October 29, also hitting a monastery in Kan Yat Gyi and wounding five displaced people, with hundreds of people fleeing.

Israel's ground offensive is underway in Gaza. In 24 hours the Israeli army claims to have hit 300 Hamas targets in the Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects any possibility of negotiations and says that this is "the moment of war". To date, 31 reporters have been killed: 26 Palestinians and 4 Israelis. Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon were also hit in response to mortar fire. The Commander of the Beit Lahia battalion of the Hamas Northern Brigade, Nasim Abu Ajina, who directed "the massacre of last October 7 in Kibbutz Erez and in the Moshav of Netiv HaAsara", was killed.

Household goods manufacturer Daiso has recalled 53,000 pairs of plastic bath slippers due to potentially dangerous levels of toxic chemicals. On sale from October 2022, the products appear to contain an excessive amount of lead, cadmium and phthalates, a substance used to increase their shelf life. The three substances pose health risks, particularly for children.

Bangkok will remove visas for tourists from India and Taiwan starting next month until May 2024, to strengthen the sector with the arrival of the high season and fuel the state coffers. Since September, a similar measure had affected Chinese citizens, the main pre-pandemic market with 11 million of the 39 million arrivals recorded in 2019, a record year.

Four former student leaders at the University of Hong Kong were sentenced yesterday to two years in prison for inciting violence after "praising" a man who stabbed a police officer before killing himself in 2021. Kinson Cheung, Charles Kwok, Chris Todorovski and Anthony Yung are "guilty" of expressing "profound sadness" over the suicide in a motion.

According to the UN secretary general, in 30 years the mountains of Nepal have lost almost a third of their glaciers. Earth's temperature has risen by an average of 0.74 degrees over the past 100 years, but warming in the Himalayas has been even greater. The glaciers of Nepal, wedged between China and India, have melted 65% faster in the last decade than in the previous one.

Traces of sea water, clay and remains of marine organisms at least 5,500 years old have been found on the Turkish side of Mount Ararat The announcement was made by scientists from three Turkish universities, after having collected dozens of samples in the area of the so-called "Ararat anomaly" which would confirm the biblical stories about Noah's Ark and the universal flood.

On the initiative of Alexei Naval'nyj, several political prisoners in Russian prisons and concentration camps launched a hunger strike on October 30 on the Day dedicated to Prisoners of Conscience. Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilja Yashin, Vadim Ostanin, Daniel Kholodnyj, Lilja Chanysheva, Mikhail Krieger and many others joined the initiative. There are over 600 prisoners detained for political reasons.

The Fergana court in Uzbekistan has begun hearing the lawsuit filed against blogger Olimzhon Khajdarov. He is accused of economic blackmail against various companies, from which he asked for large payments to exclude the publication of compromising materials against them, which thanks to his notoriety would have destroyed them.

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