Tokyo will release Fukushima waters into ocean starting Aug. 24
Today's headlines: Xi Jinping's BRICS summit kicks off in Johannesburg, Putin joins remotely; Israeli security forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy; Philippines and Australia conduct a joint military exercise in the South China Sea to counter Beijing; Pakistani prime minister visits Jaranwala's Christians where churches and homes of over 200,000 damaged; Taipei calls political foul over Chinese customs block mango on its imports.
Tokyo has announced the release of over one million tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima atomic power plant, scene of the March 2011 nuclear accident, starting August 24th. A plan that the Rising Sun deems crucial to deactivate the plant, but which has attracted strong criticism from many nations in the area, in particular from China which fears the environmental impact.
ASIA - SOUTH AFRICA
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, opens today until 24 August. The group's leader, Chinese President Xi Jinping, aims to lay the foundations for a new G7 under the leadership of Beijing. 44 heads of state and government were present, as well as UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. Russian Vladimir Putin will speak on video as he is indicted for war crimes in Ukraine.
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israeli security forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian in clashes that originated from the raid carried out in the early hours of today in Jenin, in the West Bank, the scene of serious violence. The military also announced the arrest of two Palestinians, suspected of the attack in which an Israeli woman died, hit by bullets while she was aboard her car. Seriously injured a man.
Pakistan's interim prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar visited Jaranwala, the Faisalabad area where mobs destroyed dozens of churches and homes of Christians over blasphemy allegations, to express solidarity with the community. According to estimates by the district administration of Faisalabad, at least 22 churches looted by the mob suffered damages for 29.1 million rupees (almost 90 thousand euros), while 91 houses suffered devastation for 38.5 million rupees (118 thousand euros).
Eight women's unity and national solidarity activists in Afghanistan were arrested and detained for several hours on August 19, accused of organizing a protest in Kabul. Security officers used violence in carrying out the detentions. The women, gathered at home to organize a demonstration, were later released.
PHILIPPINES - AUSTRALIA
The Philippines and Australia conducted an exercise simulating an air attack in the South China Sea, the "first major" military operation for 2023 between the two armed forces in a context of growing tensions between Manila and Beijing. The basic exercises in Rizal, in the province of Palawan, involved 175 troops of the Philippine Army (AFP) and two platoons of the Australian Defense (ADF).
CHINA - TAIWAN
The Chinese customs authority has suspended imports of mangoes from Taiwan due to the presence of parasites in the fruit. The decision is only the latest in a long series of measures that have targeted agricultural products from the "rebel" island and which Taipei denounces as "politically motivated". In the past, various agricultural and fish products, including pineapples and grouper, had been banned.
Unbeknownst to him, the Russians recruited director Roman Polanski into the war by cloning several scenes from the 2002 film The Pianist condemning the Holocaust. The Russian propaganda film is titled "The Witness" and talks about the "bloody terrors of Ukrainian Nazism". At first the film was to be called "The Musician", a title rejected as a nickname for Yevgeny Prigozhin.