11/09/2021, 00.00
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Singapore, Covid positive: Dharmalingam execution suspended

The day's news: In India, four newborn babies die in a hospital fire; China offers money for information in the fight against the new coronavirus; Pyongyang forges death certificates to remain 'Covid-free'; Pakistan signs ceasefire with Taliban.


Singapore has suspended the execution, scheduled for tomorrow, of a mentally ill young man sentenced to death for drug trafficking. Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, who has been on death row for 11 years, tested positive for Covid-19. The judges speak of an "unexpected turn of events" and emphasize that it is not appropriate to proceed "under the circumstances". 


At least four infants died in a fire that broke out last night in the neonatal ward of the Kamla Nehru Children's Hospital in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Firefighters were able to save another 36 babies from the flames. The cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained, but an electrical short circuit seems the probable. 


The city of Heihe, in the north on the border with Russia, is offering 100 thousand yuan (about 15 thousand euros) to anyone who offers information on tracing outbreaks of the new coronavirus. The choice is part of the "people's war" against Covid-19, which has re-emerged in China in recent weeks as Beijing pursues the policy of "zero contagion". Yesterday, 43 domestic cases were recorded. 


Islamabad has reached an agreement for a complete ceasefire with the Tehreek-e-Taliban movement, which had multiplied its attacks in the last period, galvanized by its successes in Afghanistan. Peace talks continue and the duration of the truce is linked to the outcome of negotiations. The government fears that the rise of the Taliban in Kabul could fuel regional instability. 


Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8% year-on-year (YoY) at the end of the third quarter of 2021. The oil sector grew 9% due to higher global demand for crude oil and a recovery in production. In addition, Riyadh can benefit from +6.2% in the non-oil sector and +2.7% in government activities. 


Military training maneuvers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which unites North Central Asian states, began yesterday in Kazan. Entitled "Unbreakable Brotherhood - 2021", they will involve 2 thousand soldiers in the republic of Tatarstan. Contingents from Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are participating.


Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with CIA chief William Burns, as confirmed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitrij Peskov, during his visit to Moscow on November 2 and 3 at the request of US President Joe Biden. Several unresolved issues were adressed including bilateral relations, diplomatic practice, regional conflicts and cyber security.


A hospital in North Korea sent 10 patients with Covid-19 symptoms to an unheated ward with freezing temperatures and then faked their cause of death. Anonymous sources report Pyongyang's goal of safeguarding the nation's "Covid-free" slogan was behind the decision. Medical reports mention "malnutrition," but they suffered from  "pneumonia." 

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