Philippines, Duterte: one of the presidential candidates is a cocaine addict
Today's headlines: Burmese junta arrests former Democratic MP and hip-hop star. Japan launches record 431 billion euro stimulus. Military talks between China and India on border issue resume. Alibaba's stock market plunge. Moscow wants to send prisoners to work at the North Pole. Collapse of the Turkish lira: the opposition calls for early elections.
Rodrigo Duterte's bombshell on presidential campaign. Without naming him, the incumbent president revealed that one of the candidates for high office is a cocaine addict. Duterte is renowned for his ruthless campaign against drugs in which thousands of drug dealers and users have died.
Forces of the military junta arrested U Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former parliamentarian and local hip-hop star. A member of the National League for Democracy, led by the deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the opponent of the military's regime is accused of masterminding terrorist attacks against the military stationed in Yangon.
To aid recovery from the Covid emergency, Premier Fumio Kishida has announced a record €431 billion economic stimulus. It is the third fiscal support since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. Those of his predecessors Suga and Abe amounted to 308 and 293 billion euros.
Talks resumed between Beijing and Delhi to reduce tension along the disputed border in the Himalayan region, the scene of repeated military skirmishes. Described as "frank and thorough" the talks have not resolved the main problem: how far the respective troops must retreat their positions.
Alibaba's shares have plummeted on the stock market. The Chinese e-commerce giant has lost 10% on the Hong Kong list after raising the alarm about the decline in consumer spending in the country. This year, the profits of the company founded by Jack Ma - hated by Xi Jinping - will grow at the slowest pace since its listing in 2014. Growing competition and new anti-trust regulations will be decisive.
The Russian Ministry of Justice is proposing that prisoners in its prisons work above the Polar Circle, the director of penal institutions Aleksandr Kalashnikov has announced. Prisoners will be used in large industrial projects and for the elimination of waste and refuse on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and will receive substantial reductions in their sentences.
Opposition leaders are calling for early elections after the Turkish lira plummeted yesterday. The national currency lost 6%, reaching new lows, after pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to cut interest rates. The country has been experiencing a serious economic crisis for some time.