Xi Jinping and Biden clash over Taiwan in phone call
Today's headlines: In Japan again Covid-19 emergency in hospitals; A Syrian cargo ship carrying grain Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing from warehouses docks in Lebano; Vietnamese academic who had called for Party reforms under house arrest;. Azerbaijan wants to join the D8, the group of 'big Islamic countries'.
The leaders of the US and China traded warnings over Taiwan yesterday during a phone call that lasted more than two hours. Joe Biden said the US strongly opposes any unilateral move to change the status of the island. Xi Jinping said the US must stick to the one-China principle, warning that "those who play with fire get burned". During the talks - described as "direct" and "honest" - climate change and global health policies were also discussed.
Japan recorded 233,100 new cases of coronavirus, setting a new record for the second consecutive day. The new wave of Covid-19 - the seventh - is causing concern because of the pressure on the healthcare system: in 19 prefectures, the occupancy of available hospital places has exceeded 50 per cent. According to the WHO, Japan is the country with the highest number of infections in the last week
A US-sanctioned Syrian cargo ship has docked in the port of Tripoli in Lebanon with cargo that Ukraine claims consists of stolen barley and flour. According to allegations by the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in Beirut, the grain was allegedly taken by the Russians from warehouses in Ukraine.
Russia has concluded an agreement with Iran for the supply of spare parts and equipment for Russian aircraft, and also for on-board maintenance and repairs, according to Iranian civil aviation representative Mirakbara Razawi, who said that passenger traffic between the two countries will also be intensified.
The former director of the Institute for Research and Technological Development in South-East Asia and North Asia - Nguyen Son Lo, 74 - was placed under house arrest and banned from leaving Vietnam as part of an investigation into allegations of "abuse of democratic freedoms" for making a series of recommendations on improving the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam.
Twenty-six-year-old Manisha Ropeta is the first woman from Pakistan's Hindu minority community to become deputy superintendent of police. In the male-dominated Pakistani society and culture, it is difficult for women to enter professions considered 'male' such as the police force.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the Apa news agency in Istanbul that Azerbaijan has applied to join the D-8 organisation, the 8 'big Islamic countries' together with Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.