07/29/2023, 13.32
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Singing 'Glory to Hong Kong' is not a crime, High Court tells government

Today's news: Japan restarts a nuclear power plant built 48 years ago. Putin forgives African debt and promises more grain to African countries. Syrian child worker dies at 13 in Ankara. Indian nuns are hard-pressed to provide care to elderly and sick sisters. In Vietnam archaeologists discover the oldest traces of curry outside India.


Hong Kong's High Court has rejected the government's attempt to ban playing the pro-democracy protest song Glory to Hong Kong with illegal intentions, arguing such a move could have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. The lyrics to Glory to Hong Kong, which became popular during the 2019 extradition law protests, contain the words “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times,” deemed capable of inciting secession at the first trial under the city's national security law.


The United States has announced a new US$ 345 million military aid package to Taiwan as part of a programme authorised by Congress to help the island stand up to Chinese claims. The move is bound to provoke a harsh reaction from Beijing, which has repeatedly called on the United States – Taiwan's most important arms supplier – to stop selling weapons to Taipei.


Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted a nuclear reactor yesterday at the Takahama power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, for the first time in 12 years, making it Japan's oldest operational reactor since it began operating commercially 48 years ago. The restart comes after the nuclear regulator gave the go-ahead in 2016 for the reactor to operate beyond its 40-year service period. Out of more than 40 commercial reactors in Japan, 11 are currently in operation.


At the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was forgiving US$ 23 billion in debt owed by African countries. He also said that his government would invest another hundred million in African development, and increase grain exports "to promote political stability". About 11 million tonnes were delivered in 2022, while another 10 were shipped so far this year.


A 13-year-old Syrian boy, A.A., died in a work-related accident in Altındağ, Ankara. The child was crushed between a freight lift and the wall of the furniture factory where he worked, while some materials were being carried downstairs on the lift. At least 888 child workers have been killed in the workplace since 2013 in Turkey, this according to a statement released by Health and Safety Labour Watch (İSİG) on 12 June, World Day Against Child Labour.


Most congregations of Catholic nuns in India struggle to provide health care to their elderly and sick sisters due to logistical and financial problems. A survey carried out by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, the Jesuit university in Washington, D.C., for the Conference of Catholic Religious Women in India (CRWI), shows that about 44 per cent of 190 religious congregations do not have care facilities for elderly and infirm sisters.


An international team of archaeologists has discovered in Vietnam the oldest evidence of the presence of curry outside India. The spice mixture was probably brought to Vietnam more than 1,800 years ago via sea trade networks. Examining ancient stone tools, scholars from Australia, Vietnam and China found traces of ancient spices, including cinnamon from Sri Lanka and nutmeg from Indonesia.


Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree designed to turn Tashkent, the country’s capital, into one of the "50 most liveable cities in the world" by 2030.  According to the president’s plans, the capital will become “one of the megacities with clean air”, with 5,000 hectares of green areas, up from the current 900, and “no problems in public services”.

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