Pakistan, millions in the dark due to 'major power grid failure'
Today's headlines: Chinese tourists return to Thailand's beaches after three years of Covid closures; the Taliban have arrested five people, including two Chinese, for trafficking in rocks containing lithium; Dubai is ready to build the first mosque with a 3D printer; a meeting between Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders on the Lačin corridor is under consideration.
Millions of people were left in the dark in Pakistan this morning following a 'major failure' in supplies across much of the country. According to Energy Minister Khurrum Dastagir, the blockade affected factories, hospitals and schools and lasted several hours due to a 'voltage fluctuation' in the grid in the southern province of Sindh.
After the Beijing government's draconian Covid-19 restraint regulations were lifted, the Chinese are back on the road for the Lunar New Year. And for the first time in three years groups of tourists are flocking to the beaches of Thailand. In the pre-pandemic era, the Chinese spent over 255 billion euro annually on tourism, feeding the coffers of many nations in the region such as Japan.
CHINA - RUSSIA
A Russian warship with new generation hypersonic weapons will participate in joint exercises with the navies of China and South Africa in February. This was reported by Tass, which confirms for the first time the presence of the frigate equipped with Zircon missiles capable of flying nine times faster than sound, with a range of over a thousand kilometres.
The Taliban authorities arrested five men, two of them Chinese nationals, for trying to smuggle around one thousand tonnes of rock containing lithium (30%) out of the country. The arrests took place in the border town of Jalalabad in the east of Afghanistan. The Chinese traffickers wanted to transport 'the precious stones' back home via Pakistan.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Emirates plans to build the world's first 3D-printed mosque, a project that should be completed by 2025 in the suburb of Bur Dubai. Construction of the 2,000-square-metre place of worship, capable of accommodating up to 600 worshippers, will begin next October. It will cost 30 per cent more than traditional techniques, but should be equivalent in the future.
RUSSIA - SINGAPORE
Singapore is increasingly buying Russian crude oil, although local companies mix oil products from various countries, so that it is rather difficult to indicate the actual origin and quantity of the import cocktail. In this way, limits and sanctions are avoided and circumvented, and the scheme seems to work very efficiently.
ARMENIA - AZERBAIJAN
It is reported from various sources that a meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pašinyan could take place soon. The face-to-face meeting is expected to take place in Tbilisi with the mediation of Georgian Prime Minister Iraklij Garibašvili. The talks will focus on the issue of the Lačin corridor.