09/04/2023, 09.58
ASIA TODAY
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South Korean teachers strike in thousands after colleague's suicide

Today's headlines: at least 40 injured in Taiwan in passage of a typhoon; Pakistan shop owners close in protest over high bills; The ASEAN foreign ministers summit gets underway in Indonesia; Israel wants to expel Ethiopian asylum seekers; Kyrgyzstan has repatriated women and children linked to ISIS from Syria; Latvia wants to require citizens of foreign nationality to take a language exam.

SOUTH KOREA

About 200,000 teachers from across the country gathered in the capital Seoul over the weekend to demand greater protection of their rights and to commemorate the suicide of a 23-year-old teacher under pressure from students' parents. After the death of two other colleagues, South Korean teachers have called for the revision of the child welfare law which contains ambiguous clauses under which teachers can be held responsible for child abuse.

TAIWAN

More than 40 people were injured after typhoon Haikui uprooted several trees and forced thousands to evacuate. Yesterday about 160,000 homes suffered a power cut, but no serious structural damage has been reported so far. Haikui is the first storm to directly hit the island in the past four years.

ASEAN-INDONESIA

Starting today Foreign ministers of Southeast Asian nations will meet in Jakarta in Indonesia to discuss various issues, including the revision of the peace plan for Myanmar proposed by the organization - and which has so far brought no results -, the management of Chinese interference in the South China Sea and the fight against transnational crime. Representatives from allied countries such as the United States, South Korea, Australia, China and Japan will join in the coming days.

PAKISTAN

Hundreds of traders in the cities of Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar closed their shops and went on strike against the increase in taxes and electricity costs. "Everyone is participating because the situation has become unbearable," said the president of the Lahore Trade Union. To get a loan from the International Monetary Fund, Pakistan has been forced to cut petrol subsidies and bills.

ISRAEL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the immediate expulsion of Eritrean refugees involved in clashes in Tel Aviv yesterday between protesters and police and between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean regime led by President Isaias Afwerki. About 170 people were injured. Netanyahu called African migrants "illegal infiltrators" and proposed a review of reception policies

IRAQ

Iraq has deployed security forces in the city of Kirkuk to prevent further sectarian violence, local authorities said, after four Kurds were killed. Tensions arose over a dispute over a building in the city that was once the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), but has been used by the Iraqi army as its base since 2017. In recent days, the Supreme Court of Iraq ordered the delivery of the building to be delayed.

KYRGYZSTAN – SYRIA

Thanks to the "Aykol" humanitarian mission, 31 women and 64 children from Syria were repatriated to Kyrgyzstan, where they were in detention camps for people linked to ISIS. It is already the second success of the mission after the repatriations of last February, and those of the "Meerim" from Iraq, but now for them "a long period of rehabilitation will be necessary".

LATVIA – RUSSIA

In Latvia, a Baltic country with a large Russian-speaking minority, it has been decided that all citizens of other nationalities will have to take an A2-level Latvian language exam, which is a serious problem especially for the elderly and pensioners who have lived in the country since Soviets, who for various reasons preferred the Russian passport to the Latvian one and are unable to hold long conversations in the local language.

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