05/31/2023, 09.20
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North Korean 'space carrier' launch failed

Today's headlines: OSCE says Erdogan had 'unfair advantage' in presidential run-off; UN special rapporteur terms Rohingya in Bangladesh are 'the new Palestinians'; Beijing deploys hundreds of police to quell the protest of the Hui Muslims in Yunnan; Nepalese experts say climate change is behind the continuing deaths in the Himalayas; Birth rate  plummets in Russia down to 31% with second child.

The North Korean 'space launcher', which launched early in the morning, crashed into the water. The craft crashed into the West Korean Sea due to an abnormal engine start, causing the mission to fail. The launch raised the highest alert in Tokyo and Seoul. Yesterday Pyongyang had announced the imminent launch of its first military reconnaissance satellite in June. 


The runoff of the presidential elections in Turkey on 28 May was characterised by "unequal conditions, media bias and lack of transparency" that favoured the victory of outgoing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This was denounced by a joint OSCE international observer mission, which spoke of the use of "discriminatory and inflammatory language". 


The Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh risk becoming "the new Palestinians", victims of a prolonged and increasingly forgotten humanitarian and diplomatic crisis. According to Olivier De Schutter, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the one million people in the crowded camps in Cox's Bazar in "terrible" conditions are entitled to work in the host country. 

Beijing deployed hundreds of police and made numerous arrests in an attempt to quell a protest by Hui Muslims in Yunnan, who were demonstrating against the government's plan to tear down and rebuild the mosque dome in a 'Chinese style'. One million Uyghurs, Hui and other Muslim minorities have been arrested in Xinjiang since 2017 in a crackdown. 

Climate change was behind the deaths of 17 mountaineers on Mount Everest in recent weeks, according to the head of the Kathmandu Tourism Authority, who spoke of extreme weather variability behind the record year - so far - for accidents and fatalities. The environmental issue for director Yuba Raj Khatiwada has 'a huge impact on the mountains'. 

Jho Low, suspected to be the mastermind of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1Mdb) fraud, is reportedly hiding in Macau. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission speaks of "several sources" confirming the news having seen the businessman in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. A global arrest warrant has been issued against him for the largest case of global kleptocracy.

The birth rate in Russia has plummeted in recent years, with the number of first children falling by 19.9% and second children by 31%, as confirmed by several statistical institutes. Almost half of births occur in the 30-39 age group, but by 2030 this category will shrink by 33.8%, from 12 million to 7.9 million. The other age categories are also declining sharply.

New talks between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the border demarcation between the two states were concluded in Samarkand, where the legal-normative and technical documents for the agreed part were approved. The border between Uzbeks and Tajiks stretches for 1314 kilometres, and the disputes were concluded in November 2022. Another 300 kilometres remain to be settled.

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