05/21/2024, 09.55
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President Raisi's 'first' funeral in Tabriz, but Iranians snub him

Today's news: India's anti-terror section arrested four Sri Lankans for pro-Isis propaganda; At least two dead and 10 injured in a knife attack on a primary school in southern China; The heat wave that is also affecting Myanmar has claimed at least 100 lives, including children; Seoul bans a North Korean propaganda video that went viral glorifying Kim Jong-un.

The "first" funeral of President Ebrahim Raisi (who died in the helicopter crash along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian) takes place today in Tabriz. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has proclaimed five days of national mourning, the solemn funeral scheduled for tomorrow in Tehran and the burial in the evening at the place of his birth, the holy city of Mashhad in the northeast. However, citizen participation is limited and many activities are regularly open. 

The counter-terrorism section of the Indian police arrested four Sri Lankans in Ahmedabad, in the west of the country, on suspicion of links to the Islamic State. The arrests date back to the evening of 19 May and took place at the city airport. The officers seized an Isis flag in their possession. Photos and videos linked to the militant group were found on their phones.

At least two people were killed and about ten injured in a knife attack yesterday at a primary school in the southern province of Jiangxi. The assailant, a 45-year-old woman armed with a knife, struck around noon local time at a school in Guixi. Parents report censorship and omertà: "The school did not inform us of anything and kept everything hidden."

The town of Fujikawaguchiko, famous for admiring the famous Mount Fuji, has erected a large net barrier to block the view and deter people, especially tourists in increasing numbers, from stopping and taking pictures. Bystanders block traffic, park in prohibitions, smoke ignoring the bans and provoke the wrath of the locals. Hence the 2.5 m by 20 m fence.

At least 100 people have died in the last four days in Myanmar due to high temperatures, as part of an exceptional heat wave that has been sweeping across several Asian nations for weeks. Among the victims are mainly the elderly, the sick and also several children some of whom are only four or five months old. The highest temperature was 45 degrees in Monywa. 

Seoul wants to ban a North Korean propaganda video that has gone viral on social media, especially among young people, extolling Kim Jong-un as a "friendly father" and a "great leader". The government's Security Act blocks access to Pyongyang's websites and media and punishes behaviour and speech in favour of the Kim regime, which is considered a crime in the South.

The statistical institute Rosstat reported that at least two million workers in various sectors are currently missing in Russia. In addition, more than 15% of the country's companies have started to hire prisoners who have not yet served their full sentences, with the special permission of the Moscow authorities similar to that on recruitment for the 'special military operation' in Ukraine. 

Uzbekistan is selling off a large part of its gold reserves, taking advantage of the high gold price, to reduce the state's debt and cover budget deficits, although economists consider this move imprudent so as not to deplete strategic reserves. In March, the Uzbeks ranked first in the world for gold sales.

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