11/17/2021, 09.29
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Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenian soldiers killed in renewed clashes with Azerbaijan

Today's headlines: UAE announces purchase of South Korean anti-missile system. US and China agree on visas for journalists. Japan tests first self-driving superfast train. Protests in Kazakhstan over high prices. India reopens export of Covid vaccines. Tensions between Indonesia and Vietnam over fishing rights.


Azerbaijani forces have killed and captured Armenian soldiers in a resumption of clashes for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region; Yerevan also admits the loss of two defensive positions; Baku reports the wounding of two soldiers. Last night the parties agreed to a ceasefire. Last year clashes between the two armies resulted in more than 6,000 deaths.


The Gulf monarchy announced that it will purchase the "Cheongung II" anti-missile system from Seoul: a .5 billion deal. The South Korean government confirmed that the negotiations are in the final stages The defensive weapon is capable of intercepting and shooting down an enemy missile at an altitude below 40 km.


After the Biden-Xi summit, Beijing and Washington reached an agreement to make it easier for their journalists to travel to each other's countries; the understanding removes some restrictions on granting entry visas. In February 2020, the U.S. classified Chinese state media as foreign "missions" and applied more controls to them. China responded a month later by expelling 13 U.S. newspaper reporters.


The East Japan Railway Co. will test the first fully self-driving superfast train today. The test will be conducted in Niigata Prefecture. The vehicle will be remotely piloted from a control center.


In Almaty, hundreds of people have turned to the Financial Market Regulation Agency, protesting price increases, reduced wages and a general deterioration in the quality of life. The protesters almost all have bank debts that they are no longer able to repay. They hope for an amnesty, but the banks are unable to promise it.


The Modi government has authorized the resumption of exports of Covid-19 vaccines. A batch of doses will be distributed to African nations under the WHO's Covax program; Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Iran will be the first to benefit from the reopening. Delhi had blocked the export of vaccines after a new wave of infections broke out in the spring.


Jakarta repatriated 166 Vietnamese arrested earlier for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters. The issue has long been a source of conflict between the two countries. Together with Chinese boats, Hanoi's vessels often venture into the waters of the Natuna Sea, an area part of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

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