Punjab, Christian school under attack: money extorted, students and teachers abused
Today's headlines: Hong Kong drops in the RFS press freedom rankings; against cyber-attacks, the Israeli government asks companies to create an "Iron Dome"; Caritas Philippines launches a schooling program for young adults and students who have dropped out of classes; in Russia, information and rumors continue to filter out about Putin's health; in Yerevan, opposition demonstrations continue, calling for the premier's resignation.
Global Passion School, a Presbyterian Christian school in Sheikhupura, in Pakistan's Punjab province is being targeted in a string of attacks and threats. The institute has been operating since 2018 and provides free education to young people. In recent days, 14 assailants who caused damage, inflicted violence on students, abused teachers and female staff, and extorted money.
Under Chinese control, Hong Kong has plummeted in Reporters Without Borders' (RSF) annual press freedom rankings. In the crosshairs is the security law that has silenced journalists, caused arrests and shut down newspapers. In one year the governorate has lost 68 positions, moving to 148th place between the Philippines and Turkey. It is the worst collapse among nations in the world.
CHINA - JAPAN
Eight Chinese warships, including an aircraft carrier, sailed between the islands of Japan's southern Okinawa chain, though without trespassing into territorial waters. Helicopters aboard the Liaoning aircraft carrier took off and landed. Beijing did not want to comment on the episode. It is the first crossing in the area since last December of Chinese military vehicles.
In the face of escalating cyber-attacks, the Israeli government has required telecommunications companies to strengthen their security efforts. The new regulations aim to create a sort of "Iron Dome" along the lines of the one already in place in the country to protect missiles launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip.
Caritas Philippines has promoted a pilot education program dedicated to young adults and school-age children who have long since dropped out of school. National director Msgr. Jose Colin Bagaforo stresses that the goal is to ensure "better access to quality basic education and stable employment", as well as to counteract the phenomenon of unemployment.
The news about the health problems of Vladimir Putin, who is said to be suffering from Parkinson's disease and other complications, so much so as to require a surgical operation already planned for April. Surgery then postponed to after the celebrations of May 9. During the treatment the leadership of the country would be entrusted to the Secretary of the Security Council Nikolaj Patrušev.
M. EAST - UKRAINE
The blockade of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea by the Russian fleet and armed forces has resulted in the impossibility to load and transport four and a half million tons of grain, as stated by the UN representative for production programs, Martin Freak. The expert also reminded that many nations in the world depend on Ukrainian exports.