06/25/2022, 09.17
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Xi Jinping in Hong Kong for July 1 celebrations

Today's headlines: a U.N. investigation determines that Israeli security forces killed Shireen Abu Aqla; Afghanistan lacks medicine for earthquake survivors, yesterday five more victims of aftershocks; Vietnamese church organizes a "National Synodal Cup 2022-23" soccer match; Siberia floods destroyed two bridges, isolated villages. 


Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Hong Kong on July 1 for the 25th "return" of the territories from London to Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency announced. He will also attend the installation ceremony of John Lee as governor. For the president, this is the first visit outside mainland China since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 


Israeli security forces, not Palestinians, shot and killed al-Jazeera Christian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla. This was established by an investigation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ohchr) published yesterday, based on "independent observations." For the U.N. body, it is "deeply disturbing" that a "criminal investigation" of Israel has been lacking. 


Muslims in southern Thailand are speaking out against three laws being considered by Parliament and passed on first reading. The regulations concern the use of hemp and cannabis, alcohol, and the introduction of civil unions. For the Islamic Council, "they are not in line" with the tenets of the faith. Also in the crosshairs is a fourth amendment enshrining "equality" between spouses in marriage.


Afghanistan, hit by a major earthquake on the evening of June 21, is struggling with a shortage of basic medicines to treat the wounded. Meanwhile, the death toll according to the UN has reached 1036. More aftershocks occurred yesterday, the largest at magnitude 4.3, killing five people. Authorities have called off the search for any survivors. 


In July, the Archdiocese of Hué organized a soccer match between local priests and those of the Da Nang diocese. It is the opening match of what has been dubbed the "National Synodal Cup 2022-23," a competition promoted by the Vietnamese Church to strengthen the synodal spirit in the clergy. The final on Oct. 1, in conjunction with the 15th National Congress of Bishops. 


In Sretensky Province, around Lake Bajkal in Siberia, two bridges collapsed as a result of flooding from the Klara River. Six villages remained isolated and more than 8,000 residents cannot travel to the city to buy necessities or be reached by medical services. "As always, there is no money for us," local residents complain.


Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdymuhamedov inaugurated the "Gadyn" gas storage station, built by the Chinese Gas Corporation (Cnpc), in Lebap velayat. The ceremony was also attended by Cnpc Chairman Hou Jitsiung, Turkmen branch director Chen Hualyun and several senior Chinese officials.

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