Geopolitics

North Korean Military Ramps Up COVID Response

North Korean military medics ramped up the distribution of medicines to fight a growing coronavirus outbreak, state media said on Tuesday, with the number of reported cases of "fever" nearing 1.5 million.Leader Kim Jong-un has ordered nationwide lockdowns to try and slow the spread of the disease through the unvaccinated population, and deployed the military after what he has called a botched response to the outbreak.Hundreds of personnel in camouflage uniforms from the Korean Peopl

17 May 2022
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Beijing Students Protest Against COVID Controls

Hundreds of students at an elite Beijing university have protested against strict COVID-19 curbs on campus, in a rare show of defiance as anger mounts over virus controls.China is the only major country adhering to a rigid zero-COVID policy and its restrictions have prompted frustration with lockdowns, spartan quarantine facilities and heavy-handed enforcement.In Beijing – which has reported more than 1,000 infections in recent weeks – most restaurants and public spaces have been shut and mil

17 May 2022
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China Has Avoided US COVID Toll But At What Cost?

In Pyongyang, COVID is spreading fast, and one capital where the North Korean disaster is surely being watched with rapt attention is Beijing. North Korea, like China, has made a virtue of its authoritarian system being better suited to COVID control than the democracies.Unlike North Korea, China has been rolling out vaccines for more than a year, but like its neighbour, it has millions of older people who have never taken the jab.

16 May 2022
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N Korea Reports 15 More 'Fever' Deaths

North Korea on Sunday reported 15 additional deaths from "fever", days after officially confirming its first-ever COVID-19 cases and ordering nationwide lockdowns.The outbreak, which leader Kim Jong-un has said is causing "great upheaval", leaves a country with one of the world's worst healthcare systems on the edge of potential disaster.North Korea has no COVID vaccines, antiviral treatment drugs or mass-testing capacity.While it has maintained a rigid coronavirus bl

15 May 2022
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Monks Celebrate Buddha's Birthday At Junta Event

Thousands of monks celebrated the birth of Buddha at a junta-organised event in Mandalay on Saturday, highlighting a division in the clergy since last year's coup in Myanmar.Since the coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, more than 1,800 people have died in a brutal military crackdown on dissent, according to a monitoring group.Some monks have joined street protests opposing the power grab, while other religious leaders have defended the military junta.Ahead of Buddha's

15 May 2022
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War In Ukraine: Latest Developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:Intense Battles In The East Intense fighting rages in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, where Russia has been concentrating its forces without making significant progress.Ukrainian forces repulsed Russian attempts to cross a river and encircle the city of Severodonetsk, says Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the eastern Luhansk region."There's heavy fighting on the border with Donetsk region, from the side of Popasna,&quot

15 May 2022
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Israeli Police Beat Mourners At Journalist Funeral

The United States (US) and European Union (EU) led an international outcry Saturday after Israeli police charged the funeral procession in Jerusalem of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and beat pallbearers who almost dropped her coffin.Thousands of people packed Jerusalem's Old City on Friday for the burial of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist, two days after she was killed in an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank.Television footage showed the pallbearers struggling to s

14 May 2022
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China Struggles With Invisible Enemy

Leaving a fine mist of disinfectant in their wake, China's hazmat-clad health workers are cleaning homes, roads, parcels and even people – but more than two years into the pandemic, experts say it is a futile measure against COVID-19.China is tied to a zero-COVID strategy, wielding snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines as part of unrelenting efforts to quash virus outbreaks no matter the cost to the economy or freedoms of its people.Among its arsenal of virus controls is d

14 May 2022
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Myanmar Slams US Summit Snub, Praises China Ties

Myanmar's junta on Friday slammed the United States (US) for snubbing it at a regional summit and meeting with opposition leaders, and instead lauded its ties with "powerful" China.Washington has repeatedly denounced the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's government last year, and the US government has imposed sanctions on top figures in Myanmar's military.Myanmar was represented by an empty chair at a summit this week between US President Joe Biden and leaders of th

14 May 2022
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Presidential Runner-Up Robredo To 'Fight Lies'

Philippine presidential runner-up Leni Robredo vowed Friday to focus on "fighting lies" as she urged supporters to accept election results showing the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos had won by a landslide.Robredo was the last obstacle to the Marcos family completing a decades-long climb back to the peak of power in the country they left impoverished when they were ousted in 1986.After narrowly beating Ferdinand Marcos Junior in the 2016 vice presidential race, Robredo, 57,

14 May 2022
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Sri Lanka Crisis: How War Heroes Became Villains

Since early April protesters had been demanding that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda, his prime minister, quit for leading the country to economic ruin – but this week saw a decisive turning point.First, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, triggering deadly clashes across the country.

13 May 2022
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Russia War Crimes Mount, Refugees Top 6 Million

Russia faced mounting accusations of war crimes in Ukraine Friday including forcing thousands of people into interrogation camps, as the number of refugees reported to have fled the conflict surpassed six million.The Russian invasion has also led to a seismic policy change by Finland, whose leaders said Thursday the previously neutral nation must apply to join NATO "without delay" – triggering a blunt warning of retaliation from the Kremlin.Throughout the 11-week conflict, Russian f

13 May 2022
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