More than 50 people are killed in twin attacks in Pakistan
Today's news: Maldives’ run-off presidential election is underway pitting pro-Chinese and pro-India candidates. A curfew was imposed again in Manipur due to continued unrest. Food prices reach an all-time high ahead of a Korean Thanksgiving holiday. The Un is sending a mission to Nagorno-Karabakh. Philippine security guards recruit a new feline member.
More than 50 people were killed yesterday in a terrorist attack at a mosque in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where worshippers had gathered to celebrate the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. As a result, provincial authorities have declared a state of emergency. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. At least five other people died in another explosion near the city of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
MALDIVES – CHINA – INDIA
Thousands of people queued early to vote in the runoff to choose the Maldives’ next president. In view of its strategic location on sea routes, both China and India are trying to exert their influence in the country. Opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu came behind incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the first round by 6 per cent. A poll last week showed President Solih ahead with 30 per cent against Muizzu’s 24 per cent, but with 36 per cent of voters still undecided.
On Thursday, security forces injured at least 10 people, part of a group of protesters who tried to storm the house of Manipur’s chief minister. Violent interethnic clashes have been taking place since May in the northeastern Indian state. According to a police official, the situation is "extremely tense". India has re-imposed a curfew in the state capital Imphal and other areas after protests broke out against the alleged kidnapping and murder of two students.
To mark the traditional Korean Thanksgiving holiday of Chuseok, many families in South Korea have opted for ready meals instead of preparing traditional dishes, this due to rising inflation. Usually, during Chuseok, a charye (a memorial rite) is prepared, which includes a table with food offerings like fruit, rice, fish, and meat, to honour one's ancestors. According to the Korea Price Information, the cost of preparing a charye for four people has reached an all-time high.
A popular Thai tourist resort, Koh Samui, is kept going thanks to water runners, a rudimentary system of pumps extracting groundwater before it is filtered and then tapped into waiting lorries. The area faces a serious water shortage and the drought, combined with poor infrastructure, and a boom in tourist arrivals has made it hard for local authorities to provide services to the population.
In Manila security guards have recruited a stray cat, who now wears a black and yellow security vest. Thousands of cats live on the streets of the capital, and one of them, Conan, has been adopted by security guards at a local building. While cats lack the security skills of dogs, they are good at keeping company. Conan landed his current job by chance after his predecessor, Mingming, died.
The United Nations will send a mission to Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time in 30 years after Azerbaijan recaptured the territory and triggered a large exodus. In order for UN officials to reach the region, Armenia has asked the International Criminal Court to order Azerbaijan to withdraw all its troops from civilian establishments. For those who choose to stay, Azerbaijan has instead started the registration procedure to define their legal status.
RUSSIA – CUBA
A group of Cubans recruited by Russia to fight in Ukraine told CubaNet that Vladimir Shkunov, a researcher with the History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was the contact that led them to the battlefront. As a leading member of the Russian Society of Friendship with Cuba, he is involved in organising cultural exchanges. He recruited Cubans by proposing first, “"a good salary in construction”. To those who accepted, he offered "up to 200,000 roubles” extra to fight for Russia.