11/07/2023, 10.01
ASIA TODAY
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Myanmar and Russia begin joint military exercises in Yangon

Today's news: regional elections have begun in some Indian states, the first test for Modi and Gandhi's Congress ahead of the 2024 general elections. One of the last English-language, independent newspapers in China, 'The China Project', is closing due to lack of funds. Tokyo, worried by North Korea's military escalation, started security tests for citizens in the capital. After France and the UK, bugs have also invaded major centres in South Korea

MYANMAR - RUSSIA

Three Russian destroyers with a crew of around 800 soldiers docked at Thilawa port in Yangon to conduct the first bilateral maritime security exercise, together with the army of the junta that carried out the coup in 2021. 

The junta is suffering heavy losses in northern Shan State where it has lost around 100 outposts and bases in a week and warships are frequently attacked by resistance forces on the Chindwin and Ayeyarwady rivers. Observers say the visit will give a psychological as well as military boost to the regime.

INDIA

Stubble fires in Punjab and Haryana typically account for 30% to 40% of Delhi's pollution between October and November, according to India's government air quality monitoring agency SAFAR. In response to government incentives and fines, the number of fires this year has fallen by 40-50% compared to a year ago, the government estimates.

CHINA

One of China's few independently funded English-language news outlets, "The China Project," is closing due to a lack of funding, according to its editor-in-chief, Jeremy Goldkorn.

The China Project, which began as a newsletter in 2016 and was formerly known as SupChina, has expanded to become a "news company focused on helping a global audience understand China," it says on its website. Its products also included the popular Sinica podcast on social and news topics about China and the organization of conferences.

MOLDOVA

The pro-European party in government in Moldova, "Action and Solidarity", won 19 of the 32 regions in the local elections on 5 November, 8 more than the previous elections in 2019, despite not obtaining an absolute majority of seats in any regional assembly , contested above all by the pro-Russian socialist party.

MALAYSIA

Malaysia has abandoned drafting a law aimed at stopping cross-border air pollution. This was communicated by the Ministry of the Environment. Every "dry season", smoke from fires caused by palm oil, pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia blankets much of the region, causing public health damage in Malaysia and disrupting tourism. Environmental groups say countries should adopt laws to prosecute plantation companies suspected of being responsible for the pollution.

Singapore passed such a law in 2014, with the aim of prosecuting both criminally and civilly those responsible. But this only applies within the country, which is why Malaysia has given up on drafting the law.

JAPAN

Yesterday, Monday 6 November, some residents of the Nerima district of Tokyo - alerted in advance - took refuge inside a train station in the area as part of the first anti-missile evacuation exercise in years. Japan is in fact worried about the growing threat from neighboring North Korea, equipped with nuclear weapons, from short-range and cruise missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) which could also hit the continental United States.

Some of those launches, including a missile that flew over Japan's southern islands on Aug. 24, triggered Japan's J-Alert system that allows authorities to instantly send alerts to residents via television, email and cellphone notifications.

BELARUS

Belarusian President Alexander Lukasenko inaugurated the new nuclear power plant built by the Russian state company Rosatom. Lithuania sent a note of protest about the opening of the plant to Lukasenko, who responded in a contemptuous and vulgar way: "I'll send it, we have plenty of space in the toilet".

SOUTH KOREA

South Korean authorities are working to contain bedbug infestations across the country. At least 17 outbreaks have been reported in the capital Seoul and in the cities of Busan and Incheon as of November 5. Seoul has allocated 500 million won (3,000; £310,000) and created a bedbug response team. Before South Korea, bedbugs were spotted in France and the United Kingdom.

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