09/11/2023, 09.06
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Myanmar: Wa militias arrest and repatriate 1,200 Chinese for online scams

Today's headlines: Afghan Taliban against Islamabad for closing Torkham crossing; Manila wants a tariff cut on imported rice to curb price escalation. India's Silicon Valley paralyzed by vehicle strikes; Japanese premier announces government reshuffle and "drastic" economic measures; In Israel, artists and film and TV personalities revolt over industry cooperation agreement between Tel Aviv and Moscow; The "Tiger Valley" park in Tajikistan will enter among UNESCO heritage sites.

The United Wa State Army (USWA), one of the most powerful ethnic militias in Myanmar, active in the east of the country, has arrested and repatriated over 1,200 Chinese involved in online scams in an area of Shan State under their control. In Asia, the phenomenon of online scams is increasingly widespread: the people stopped were handed over to the Chinese police across the border in the city of Pangkham.

The Taliban have criticized the closure of the main border crossing with Pakistan (Torkham), decided this week after clashes between the security forces of the two countries. For Koranic students, the interruption of trade wanted by Islamabad will cause heavy losses for businesses. Hundreds of trucks loaded with goods are blocked and traders are complaining of serious repercussions.

The Finance Ministry recommends a series of measures, including cutting tariffs on imported rice, to curb the surge in retail prices that is driving inflation. The proposal is to reduce duties from 35% to a value between 0 and 10%. The government is also encouraging the importation of large quantities from the proven sector and speeding up customs clearance procedures.

Thousands of drivers of the transport companies Uber and Ola today promoted the largest strike in the sector, leaving many commuters, including students and employees of the so-called "Indian Silicon Valley", on foot. The protest is based on a Karnataka government program for free transport of women on "non-premium" public buses.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a cabinet reshuffle this week, followed by a package of "drastic" economic measures to support the fragile economic recovery. The objective is to protect citizens from rising prices, support wages and increase investments. The head of government's statement is also linked to the collapse of the executive's approval rating.

Dozens of cultural, cinema and television workers in Israel have released an open letter of protest against the intergovernmental agreement signed on 6 September by the Tel Aviv ambassador to Moscow with the Minister of Culture Olga Ljubimova. A pact signed in the field of film production and considered "a shame: you cannot collaborate with a dictatorship".

The "Tiger Valley" national park, in the southern part of Tajikistan, will be included in the UNESCO world heritage list in the session that opened yesterday and will continue until September 25 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The nomination was sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences, as the only pristine riparian forest in the world with rare animals.

In the city of Goris, in southern Armenia, the blogger Mikael Badalyan and the Sputnik Armenia journalist Ašot Gevorkyan, well-known pro-Russian Armenian commentators, were arrested and placed under house arrest. Both are accused of clandestine trafficking of firearms together with seven other people in the border area with Afghanistan. Observers speak of "provocation against Russia".

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