07/02/2022, 13.58
ASIA TODAY
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Supreme Taliban leader Mullah Akhunzada makes a rare appearance in Kabul

The other news of the day: Russia arrests scientist accused of spying for China. North Korea blames the South for the spread of COVID-19. New Philippine foreign minister signals a “more inclusive” approach. Inflation skyrockets in Sri Lanka. Putin was not met by local authorities upon his arrival in Turkmenistan. Belarus arrests people helping Ukrainian refugees.

AFGHANISTAN

Supreme Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada made a rare appearance in Kabul. During a meeting with the country's clerics, he warned foreign critics not to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, which returned to Taliban control last August.

CHINA – RUSSIA

Russian authorities have arrested scientist Dmitry Kolker for high treason. The physics and mathematics professor is accused of collaborating with China’s secret services. The arrest took place in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, where Kolker is the head of the quantum optical technologies laboratory at the local state university.

KOREA

According to the South Korean Ministry for Unification, it is impossible that COVID-19 spread to North Korea through leaflets launched from the South by North Korean defectors. Yesterday North Korean authorities issued a statement claiming that the wave of infections that hit the population is due to contact with “foreign objects”.

PHILIPPINES

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has picked a career diplomat as his foreign minister. According to experts, the appointment of 69-year-old Enrique Manalo signals the willingness of the new president to carry out a "more inclusive" foreign policy, i.e., seeking a balance in relations with the United States and China.

SRI LANKA

In a country struggling with an unprecedented economic crisis, inflation reached 54.6 per cent in June, for a ninth consecutive monthly record. In order to provide financial relief, the International Monetary Fund is asking Sri Lankan authorities to reign in prices and fight corruption.

TURKMENISTAN – RUSSIA

Upon his arrival at Ashgabat airport for the Caspian Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not met by local authorities. The other heads of state were greeted with the traditional offering of “bread and salt” and bouquets of flowers. Putin walked alone to a waiting car. It is not known if this was a deliberate snub by Turkmenistan authorities or something done on Putin’s orders. The Russian president is known for disliking contact with strangers.

BELORUS

In Homiel (Gomel), police broke up a Birthday Day party organised for the children of refugees from Ukraine by a group of volunteers in a city park. One of the organisers, Alla Korolenko, was arrested. The event included prizes and competitive games, one of which was drawing a “dove of peace”.

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