02/28/2022, 09.42
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Russia-Ukraine war: 77% of Japanese fear Chinese invasion of Taiwan

Today's headlines: Pyongyang's new missile test for the development of spy satellites; Baghdad hosts its first official football match in years, to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup; Nepal's parliament passes a controversial rule on US funding that triggers street protests; Russian teachers' petition against the war; at least 12,000 people evacuated in Malaysia due to flooding. 


Russian invasion of Ukraine worries Japanese: 77% believe there is a risk of similar use of force by Beijing towards Taiwan. The poll by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo shows that the figure rises to 83% among 40-50 year olds. On Tokyo's response, 61% want tighter sanctions against Moscow, which is meeting with Kiev delegates in Belarus today for crucial negotiations. 


A group of teachers in Russia has published a petition openly supporting the anti-war protest, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the invasion of Ukraine. More than 1,200 teachers from 65 regions, as well as foreign countries, have already signed.


The head of the self-proclaimed Donbass republic Denis Pushkin has welcomed the recognition of Donetsk's independence by the (self-proclaimed) Georgian republic of Abkhazia. This decision, he added, "takes our relations to another level".


Singapore intends to impose "appropriate sanctions and restrictions" on Russia, including banking and financial measures and export controls. The city-state usually complies with UN measures but rarely issues sanctions on its own initiative. Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan says the sanctions are the result of a situation of "unprecedented gravity". 


Iraq and the United Arab Emirates will play in Baghdad the qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, originally scheduled for Amman or Doha. FIFA has lifted its long-standing ban on competitions on Iraqi soil. The capital witnessed a cultural renaissance with book fairs and art exhibitions, although there was still sporadic violence. 


Pyongyang conducted a test of "great importance" for the development of spy satellites, the day after - according to Seoul - the launch of a new ballistic missile. This is the first launch in February, after repeated tests in January, and is a confirmation of the increasing accuracy of the identification and data transmission system for surveillance. 


Parliament approved a controversial bill authorising the entry into the country's coffers of some €448 million for infrastructure development. According to proponents, it is part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an agreement signed with the United States in 2017. Critics say it violates the country's sovereignty. Outside, protesters clashed with police. 


At least 12,000 people were evacuated from their homes yesterday as heavy rains hit Malaysia's east coast states. In neighbouring Indonesia, the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck West Sumatra on 25 February left more than 400 people injured and thousands displaced. 

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