02/27/2024, 09.37
ASIA TODAY
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Tehran: Hundreds of activists boycott Assembly of Experts vote

Today's news: Japan's record low in new births and marriages; Afghan Taliban publically execute a man convicted of murder; Seoul imposes a deadline on (youth) white coat protest; Anti-Muslim hatred grows in India, also linked to the 7 October attack and Gaza war.

IRAN
Around 300 political, social and cultural leaders are launching a boycott campaign ahead of the elections to the Assembly of Experts, scheduled for May 1st, which saw the exclusion of moderate former president Hassan Rouhani. The promoters speak of a farce vote with a pre-packaged outcome. Among the promoters are Morteza Alviri, Abdolali Bazargan, Alireza Rajaei, Ali Babachahi, Alireza Alavitabar and Abolfazl Ghadiani.

JAPAN
Historic minimum of new births in 2023, in which a decline in birth rate was recorded for the eighth year. According to government data there is a decrease of 5.1% on 2022, with 758,631 children, while the data relating to marriages (489,281 in total, for the first time under 500 thousand in 90 years) fell by 5.9%. The task of stemming depopulation is becoming increasingly difficult for the executive.

MALAYSIA
The number of people employed in the gig economy - based on on-call, casual and temporary work - reached an all-time high of three million in 2023, raising fears about possible shortages of skilled workers in the future. They represent more than 17% of the total workforce, an increase of 25% from 2.4 million in 2021 according to Maybank Investment Bank Research.

RUSSIA - CHINA
The Chinese translation of the "Foundations of the social conception of the Russian Orthodox Church" will be presented in March in Moscow, in the Library of Foreign Literature. A text approved in the 2000 Synod which inspired the entire policy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and which Patriarch Kirill considers "very interesting for readers of contemporary China".

AFGHANISTAN
A man was publicly executed yesterday in a stadium in Shibirghan, in Afghanistan's northern Jawzjanm province. This was reported by a Taliban spokesperson, for the fifth street execution since the return to power of the Koranic students in August 2021. The Supreme Court judges had issued the capital punishment for murder. Two more public executions last week, also for murder, in the southern city of Ghazni.

SOUTH KOREA
Seoul has set February 28 as the deadline for the end of the protest launched by the young doctors, inviting them to return to the departments to avoid sanctions. For a week, over 10,000 white coats have folded their arms - around 80% of interns - against the increase in places for medical students to make up for staffing shortages. The protest forced hospitals to turn away patients and cancel scheduled visits and operations.

INDIA
Anti-Muslim hate speech increased by 62% in the second half of 2023 compared to the first six months of the year and the conflict launched by Israel against Hamas in Gaza played a key role. India Hate Lab documented 668 incidents, 255 of which occurred in the first half of the year while 413 took place in the last six months. About 75% in states governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

KAZAKHSTAN - QATAR
Kazakhstan and Qatar are preparing the ratification of an agreement for the regulation of labor migration of Kazakh citizens to the emirate. It will depend on requests from employers for staffing, who will indicate the necessary qualifications of collaborators and offer citizens of the Central Asian nation "all the necessary information" to join.

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