Turkish opposition overcome divisions: Kilicdaroglu to challenge Erdogan for presidency
Today's headlines: for the UN, the Taliban's treatment of Afghan women is tantamount to 'crimes against humanity'; the Philippine Catholic Educators Association condemns the practice of 'hazing' after a suspicious death at a university. Tehran confirms its hard line on transgressions of the Islamic 'dress code'; in 2022, new births in Japan fell below 800,000 for the first time.
The leader of the Chp, Turkey's main opposition party, 74-year-old Kemal Kilicdaroglu will challenge Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the presidential elections on 14 May. After a weekend of tensions, the 'Table of Six' reached a consensus around the 'Turkish Gandhi'. The coalition accepted the IYI Party's proposal to appoint the mayors of Istanbul and Ankara as vice-presidents in case of victory.
The treatment of women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan is tantamount to 'crimes against humanity'. This is what emerges from a UN report presented yesterday in Geneva, which accuses the Koranic students in power since August 2021 of also carrying out 'gender persecution'. A "deliberate policy" of repudiation of rights and "erasure" of women "from public life".
The Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines (Ceap) condemns 'hazing' and 'bullying' in institutions, stressing that 'these acts have no place' and 'do not represent the values of the Gospel'. The note follows the death of 24-year-old John Matthew Salilig, a student at Adamson University in Manila, the victim of probable acts of bullying that led to his death.
Tehran confirmed the hard line on the Muslim 'dress code', including the compulsory veil (hijab) symbolising the protest after the death of Mahsa Amini. Head of the judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said violations will be punished according to sharia, Islamic law. The security forces will be allowed "all means" to repress those who disturb public order.
In 2022, the number of new births in Japan fell below 800,000 for the first time, a substantial drop from the 1.5 million in the early 1980s. The figure includes children born to non-Japanese parents living in the Rising Sun and those born to Japanese parents living abroad. This represents a drop of 44,000 births from the previous year, or 5.3%.
The Russian censorship agency Roskomnadzor has blocked the 'Mediazona Belarus' site, which will no longer be accessible in Russia, as will the 'Central Asia' section. According to calculations by Setevye Svobody ('Freedom on the Net'), in 2022 there were 637 thousand cases of blocking Internet pages in Russia, an absolute record for the last 15 years, due to censorship for war.
KAZAKHSTAN - UZBEKISTAN
The presidents of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Tokaev and Mirziyoyev, met "in the east" in the Kazakh city of Šymkent for informal talks in which they discussed the recent visit of US Secretary Blinken and the position to be taken with Russia. The two leaders also discussed cooperation projects in industry, energy, agriculture and infrastructure.