Politics • Asian • Russia
Putin wins constitutional referendum and will be able to stay in power until 2036
Archive Vladimir Putin 2018
Archive Vladimir Putin 2018 Credit: (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The Central Election Commission has announced that the Russians have voted in favor of adopting the proposed constitutional changes. According to the commission, 77.9 percent of the voters were in favor and 21 percent against. With the changes, Putin will be able to run for two more six-year terms after 2024, thus being able to stay as the head of the country until 2036. Multiple countries have called for Russia to investigate possible irregularities with the voting process.

A spokesperson for the United States state department stated that "We are troubled by reports of Russian government efforts to manipulate the result of the recent votes on constitutional amendments, including reports of voter coercion, pressure on opponents of the amendments and restrictions of independent observers of the vote".

Politics • Asian
House of the United States pass sanctions against China over Hong Kong security law
House of the United States pass sanctions against China over Hong Kong security law
Credit: / ElevenPhotographs

In a unanimous vote the United States House of Representatives has passed a bill sanctioning banks that are in business with Chinese officials responsible for the national security law and action against the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that "The law is a brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised".

The bill is pending Senate approval and the signature of President Donald Trump.

Politics • Asian
370 people arrested in Hong Kong after protests erupt despite police ban
370 people arrested in Hong Kong after protests erupt despite police ban
Credit: Reddit via SakuraTestarossa

The Hong Kong police have arrested 370 people during protests on Wednesday were detained for alleged "unauthorised assemblies, disorderly conduct, possession of offensive weaponry and other related offences". Ten of these were arrested for breach of the new national security law that has been effective since Wednesday.

Politics • Asian
Boris Johnson confirms that the UK will open path to citizenship for Hong Kong citizens
Boris Johnson confirms that the UK will open path to citizenship for Hong Kong citizens
Credit: "FS Johnson visit to Belgrade" by UK in Serbia (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Following up on previously made considerations, the prime minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has announced that his country will extend the rights of Hong Kong citizens to live and work in the Kingdom, following the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong. Johnson called this a "clear and serious breach" of the Sino-British joint declaration with Britain that China has made over Hong Kong. Holders of the British National (Overseas) passport will be granted "limited leave to remain with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship and that is precisely what we will do now", according to Johnson.

Politics • Asian
Hong Kong arrests first protester defying new security law
Hong Kong arrests first protester defying new security law
Credit: Hong Kong Police Force via Twitter

The Hong Kong police have arrested the first protester after the new national security law had been passed. The man has been standing in Causeway Bay with a flag titling "Hong Kong Independence". Thousands of Hong Kongers have defied the police ban and went to the streets chanting slogans and protesting the new security law as the ban of the annual July 1 pro-democracy protests has been upheld by the police.

Politics • Asian
China has deployed 20,000 troops to disputed region facing India

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed over 20,000 troops to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the disputed region between India and China after conflicts are tensing. The Times of India has reported on the movement of additional forces, saying that Chinese troops are able to reach the Indian front in 48 hours time using high mobility vehicles and weaponry. According to Asian News International an Indian government source has stated that "The Chinese Army has deployed around two divisions worth of troops (around 20,000) along the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector. There is another division (10,000 troops) which has been stationed by it in the Northern Xinjiang province almost a 1,000 kilometres from the front but they can be mobilised to reach our frontiers in maximum 48 hours time due to the flat terrain on the Chinese side".

Politics • Asian
China passes Hong Kong security law that enables life long imprisonment
Gathering outside the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in solidarity with the demonstrators who were arrested and detained during the demonstrations. in September 2019
Gathering outside the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in solidarity with the demonstrators who were arrested and detained during the demonstrations. in September 2019 Credit: 立場新聞 [Copyrighted free use or Copyrighted free use]

Beijing has passed the new Hong Kong security law shortly before it was published and put into effect on July 1st. The new law faced heavy protests in Hong Kong and cities around the world. According to the text of the legislature, people can get punished with a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of a lifetime in prison for actors of secession, subversion, terrorism or for the collusion with foreign forces. In addition arson or vandalism with a political intent to intimidate the Hong Kong or Chinese government will be counted as terrorism under the new law.

Politics • Asian • China
China forces Uyghurs to have less children through mandatory birth control, abortions and other measures
Uighur women in Kashgar
Uighur women in Kashgar Credit: mikepryan (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

In order to reduce the number of Chinas Muslim population, the Chinese government is reportedly forcing women of the minority onto birth control and to do regular pregnancy checks.

According to Associated Press women are also forced to abort pregnancies, to take birth control as well as forcing them to get sterilised. The failure to comply with these measures is the main reason why people of the minorities are sent to detention camps.

Politics • Asian • China
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
Credit: Bicanski

The Chinese military has developed a Covid-19 vaccine in its research unit together with the biotech firm CanSino Biologics. The vaccine has now been approved for military use as it shows a "good safety profile". Currently, the approval has been granted for one year as the studies are not fully conclusive and the vaccine only shows the potential to prevent symptoms from the Covid-19 infections. CanSino Biologics has also stated that it can't guarantee public access to the vaccine.

Politics • Asian • India
India bans TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps
iPhone displaying the TikTok app
iPhone displaying the TikTok app Credit: Kon Karampelas

The Ministry of Information Technology of India announced Monday the ban of 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok and WeChat. In a press release, the Ministry, states the ban is a response "of the emergent nature of threats" and that the apps "are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.".

At the moment, all listed apps are still available on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, and it is not clear how the Indian Government plans to enforce the ban.

Politics • Asian
Multiple people dead after raid on Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi

Four gunmen attacked the Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi, killing at least two people and wounding others before police shot them dead. A police officer and security officials are also among those confirmed dead.

In an interview with BBC, Sindh police additional inspector general Ghulam Nabi Memon said: "The attackers came in a silver Corolla and were stopped by police at the gate outside where the exchange of fire took place,".

Militants from the Majid Brigade of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) took responsibility for the attack, but the claim has yet to be confirmed.

Politics • Asian • India
India: Father and son die in police custody over alleged torture

J. Jayaraj, 58, and Bennicks Immanuel, 31 have died in police custody after being arrested on June 19. The police had detained the father and son over the accusation that they kept their store open past permitted hours during the reimposed Covid-19 lockdown in the southern state Tamail Nadu. Their family has filed written complaints about alleged abuse by the police and stated that both suffered from rectal bleeding. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami of Tamil Nadu has stated that two policemen have been suspended and that the case would be transferred to the federal agency the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Politics • Asian • China
500,000 Chinese people go into lockdown again
500,000 Chinese people go into lockdown again
Credit: Fusion Medical Animation

Near Beijing, 500,000 people are in mandatory lockdown again.

The Chinese government has announced that the number of new Covid-19 infections in the capital city has risen again and the city of Anxin will now be "fully locked and controlled". Only one person per household is allowed to go outside to buy groceries and medicine.

Politics • Asian • China
Hong Kong annual pro-democracy demo banned by police
Hong Kong annual pro-democracy demo banned by police
Credit: / Leung Yattin

For the first time in 17 years, since the demonstration has first been held in 2003, the Hong Kong police have banned the annual pro-democracy demonstration on July 1. According to the organizers the police stated that the reason for the ban is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the claim that social distancing measures wouldn't be able to be upheld as well as previous unrest. The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has shared an official letter which stated that only group gatherings of up to 50 people could be permitted.

Politics • Asian • Russia
Russia passes 600,000 Covid-19 cases one day before referendum
COVID-19 Girl in mask on the street.
COVID-19 Girl in mask on the street. Credit: (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Russia has reported 7,176 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the nationwide total number to 606,882 confirmed Covid-19 cases. The country remains the third most infected in the world one day ahead of the constitutional referendum.

Politics • Asian • Russia
Russia stages military parade one day ahead of referendum to extend Putin's rule until 2036
2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade
2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade Credit: (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Russia is showing it's military in a parade on Wednesday one day ahead of the constitutional referendum that would enable President Vladimir Putin to extend his reign until 2036. The military parade is happening in honour of the 75th anniversary of the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. The annual parade was originally scheduled for the beginning of May but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year 14,000 soldiers and different kinds of weapons will be shown in it.

Politics • Asian
Taiwan has announced plans to open an office for Hongkongers that flee to Taiwan
Chen Ming-tong
Chen Ming-tong Credit: VOA / Public domain

Taiwan has announced that the country will cover "necessary expenses" for people that flee from Hong Kong for "political reasons" for example because their freedom and safety are threatened due to the new security laws. Chen Ming-tong, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council has stated that "In the past the NGOs were basically doing that but now the government will stand up and finance the expense".

Politics • Asian
Border clash: At least 20 Indian deaths and 43 Chinese deaths

During the border clash between India and China at the Galwan Valley at least 20 members of the Indian army and 43 members of the Chinese army have died. The location of the stand-off between the two forces is located on high altitude terrain which exposes the soldiers to temperatures below zero putting additional strains on them. The Indian side claims that China unilaterally tried to change the status quo in the region and couches to protect the Indian border.

Politics • Asian • China
Beijing closes schools and cancels flights amid rising Covid-19 cases
People, who had been in contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market waiting in line for nucleic acid testing at a Chinese epidemic control testing site at Beixiaguan Street, Haidian District, June 16, 2020
People, who had been in contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market waiting in line for nucleic acid testing at a Chinese epidemic control testing site at Beixiaguan Street, Haidian District, June 16, 2020 Credit: 舞月書生 / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Beijing's health alert has been raised to the second-highest level on Tuesday after medical authorities have confirmed 106 new Covid-19 cases since last week. In response, the city has closed schools and Beijing Airport has cancelled over 1,200 flights in an effort to contain a second outbreak. A new cluster of cases is believed to have its origin in the Xinfadi wholesale food market and almost 30 residential compounds have been put under quarantine. Beijing reported 31 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Politics • Asian
Chinese and Indian forces clash in Kashmir region - multiple deaths
Indian Soldiers, Kashmir
Indian Soldiers, Kashmir Credit: flowcomm (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

For the first time in 45 years, soldiers have died in the highly disputes Kashmir border region as Chinese and Indian military forces have clashed. India has stated that one officer and two soldiers had died, with both sides saying that "no shots were fired". Indian local media outlets have reported that the soldiers have allegedly been "beaten to death" - with confirmation still pending. China claims that India has crossed the border twice on Monday. According to the Indian army, both sides are "meeting to defuse the situation".

Politics • Asian
Inter-Korean liaison office blown up by North Korea

North Korea has blown up an inter-Korean liaison office at its border hours after threatening South Korea with military actions. The joint liaison office, located near the North Korean border town Kaesong, was opened in 2018 and was used for talks with South Korea. The explosion was confirmed by South Korea's Unification Ministry at 2:49 p.m. local time. Kim Yo-jong, sister to Kim Jong Un, had threatened the demolition of the office last weekend.

Politics • Asian • China
Thousands sing in Hong Kong for first anniversary of protests

Across the city, thousands of protestors have sung a protest anthem and chanted slogans to mark the one year anniversary of the ongoing demonstrations. The police have declared the protests unlawful and made several arrests, saying that they are in breach with the Anti-Covid-19 regulations regarding large groups.

Politics • Asian • India
India runs out of ICU beds as 99% are in use in Mumbai

With a rising number of Covid-19 cases, India is running out of Intensive Care Units in Mumbai, which is most affected by the pandemic. The city reports the use of 99% of its ICU beds and 9% use of ventilators according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Out of the 1,181 ICU beds, only 14 are open for new patients.

Politics • Asian
North Korea threatens military action against South Korea

The sister of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong has announced that "By exercising my power authorized by the supreme leader, our party and the state, I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with the enemy to decisively carry out the next action" and adding that it would be time to break with the authorities of South Korea. Kim Yo Jong has not specified that the next action would be that she instructed to be carried out.

Politics • Asian
North Korea cuts communication channels with South Korea
North Korean soldier
North Korean soldier Credit: Roman Harak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

North Korea announced Tuesday it would cut off all communication channels with South Korea, including a hotline between the two countries' leaders. Pyongyang decided to escalate its pressure on the South for not stopping activists from floating anti-regime leaflets across their tense border.

South Korea's government repeated that it would work toward restoring peace on the Korean Peninsula. North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.

Politics • Asian
Japan records first day without Covid-19 deaths since March
Japan records first day without Covid-19 deaths since March
Credit: nakashi (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to Japans Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, no Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded on June 7 for the first time in three months. The last day without a Covid-19 fatality had been on March 6.

In total, 932 people have died in Japan from Covid-19.

Politics • Asian • China
Japan declined to condemn China for Hong Kong law
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Japan has declined to join Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States in issuing a statement condemned China for imposing a new security law on Hong Kong.

The statement condemned China on May 28 for pushing a law that would threaten freedom and breach a 1984 Sino-British agreement on the autonomy of the former colony.

Politics • Asian • China
Singapore announces wearable device for Covid-19 tracing
San Marina Bay, Singapore
San Marina Bay, Singapore Credit: Mike Enerio

In order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore has announced that it'll launch a wearable Bluetooth based device to track the spread of the coronavirus. This comes after the developed apps sometimes have connection problems when running in the background of the phones and is a step towards higher inclusivity as not every person is the possession of a smartphone.

Politics • Asian
Hong Kong citizens defy police order and commemorate Tiananmen massacre
30th Anniversary Memorial of Tinanmen Square Protests. Photographed in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.
30th Anniversary Memorial of Tinanmen Square Protests. Photographed in Victoria Park, Hong Kong. Credit: だ*ぜ / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

On the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre that happened in Beijing on June 4, 1989, thousands of Hong Kong citizens have defied police orders and commemorated the victims with a candlelight vigil. The protestors pushed over the barriers that were used by the police to close off Victoria Park and peacefully gathered there. According to Chinese state media, thousands of police officers were deployed and put on standby but kept a low profile.

Politics • Asian • China
China: Security Guard Hurts 40 Children

A security guard at a primary school in southwest China has severely injured some 40 children with a knife.

The perpetrator was arrested, the motive is still unknown.

There are repeated attacks by criminals in kindergartens and schools, often the perpetrators justify their actions with resentment and perceived injustice.