05/29/2024, 10.27
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Thailand: Thaksin will also be indicted for contempt of the monarchy

Today's news: the Taiwanese government will reject the disputed Parliamentary Powers Act passed by the opposition yesterday; Floating dock that was supposed to bring aid to Gaza damaged by storm surges; Pyongyang sends 200 balloons loaded with rubbish to the South; Phnom Penh names one of its major thoroughfares after Xi Jinping.


Thailand's Attorney General will indict former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for allegedly insulting the monarchy. The move is linked to a complaint filed by forces close to the army that ousted the government of his sister Yingluck Shinawatra, after an interview the influential tycoon gave to foreign media in 2015. Thaksin - who returned a few months ago from self-exile after being guaranteed not to go to jail for corruption convictions - is still a central figure in the Pheu Thai, the party he founded that expresses the current premier Srettha Thavisin. There are, however, many signs that in recent weeks indicate growing tensions between Pheu Thai and parties close to the military, the former enemies who have joined forces against Move Forward, the progressive party that won the last elections.


Taiwan's government will reject and send back for review legislation the opposition passed Tuesday on parliamentary reforms that brought tens of thousands to the streets in protest amid accusations of Chinese interference. The reforms give lawmakers the power to ask the military, private companies or individuals to disclose information deemed relevant by parliamentarians. It also makes it an offence for government officials to be in contempt of parliament and requires the president to answer questions from MPs.


The floating pier built by the US military to bring aid to Gaza and put into operation just a few days ago has already been damaged by storm surges and will take at least a week to repair. Humanitarian organisations have repeatedly warned that the amount of aid reaching the Palestinians in Gaza is only a fraction of what is needed to meet the needs of the population and even this solution is proving ineffective.


Phnom Penh has renamed one of its main streets ‘Xi Jinping Boulevard’ in honour of the Chinese president for his ‘historic contribution to Cambodia's development’. The street naming ceremony was held at the Peace Palace on Tuesday in the presence of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and outgoing Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian. The boulevard, formerly known as the Third Ring, was built at a cost of USD 273 million, with concessional funding from the Chinese government and contributions from the Cambodian government. 


North Korea launched more than 200 balloons carrying waste across the inter-Korean border, the Seoul military reported. The North announced ‘retaliatory actions’ against the anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent by South Korean activists. The balloons fell in various locations across the country, reaching as far as the southeastern province of South Gyeongsang. This is the largest number of balloons sent to the South, compared to previous cases between 2016 and 2018.


Russia's foreign and justice ministries have proposed removing the Taliban of Afghanistan from the list of extremist associations, where they have been reported for more than 20 years, so that the Kabul government can proceed to recognise them, as suggested by the department's director for Asia Zamir Kabulov, according to whom ‘it is high time’.


Tajikistan is also looking for drones, but not for military operations: lately there have been grasshopper invasions that are very damaging to agriculture, and a young Tajik scholar, Boburdžon Nadžodov, who works at the Moscow Agricultural Academy, has proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture in Dushanbe to ‘open up to innovative technologies against natural threats’.

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