09/27/2022, 09.03
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World Bank: GDP drops in East Asia and South Pacific

Today's headlines: Human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng is released from prison in China; Vietnam prepares for the arrival of Typhoon Noru; India announces naval exercise with the US, Japan and Australia in November; Demand grows for Turkish armed drones; Protests in Russia over the 'partial mobilisation' ordered by Putin; Military tension between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan eases.


Economic growth in East Asia and the South Pacific is expected to slow this year, according to the World Bank. The combined GDP of the macro-region will increase by 3.2%, compared to a forecast in April that gave it at 5% and last year's figure of +7.2%. The decline is largely due to the economic crisis in China.


Zhou Shifeng, human rights lawyer arrested in 2015 in the '709' case, a police and judicial action that led to the arrest of more than 300 lawyers and activists, was freed after seven years in prison. Zhou was the first to face the related trial.


The country is bracing for the impact of Typhoon Noru, which has already devastated the Philippines with extensive flooding (and eight deaths). Wind gusts have already reached 183 km/h: it is expected to arrive on the Vietnamese coast tomorrow. The wave of bad weather will then move towards Thailand.


In the Quad format with the USA, Japan and Australia, the Indian Navy will participate from 8 to 18 November in the second phase of the Malabar exercises, which will take place off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan. Delhi will be present with a frigate, a corvette and a submarine 'hunter' aircraft. The Modi government is increasingly worried about Chinese naval manoeuvres in the Indian Ocean.


Malaysia and Indonesia are interested in buying Turkish armed drones, used to great effect by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Japan could also be a buyer of the Baykars, while the United Arab Emirates has already bought 20 of them.


In Dagestan, the Caucasian region of Russia, 'local partisans' spread messages via Telegram, calling on the population to oppose the mobilisation. They are also taking to the streets and using Molotov bombs against the barracks where the evacuees are imprisoned. In the capital Makhačkala, Putin's portrait was publicly burnt.


A first result of the talks between Tajiks and Kyrgyz for peace on the border is the cessation of activity of eight border posts on both sides, sources in Bishkek (unconfirmed by Dushanbe) reported. However, both sides have withdrawn a large part of the armaments placed on the front line.

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