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Regional News • Asia
Armenian says no diplomatic solution in war with Azerbaijan is possible, vows to fight until end

The Prime Minister of Armenia has announced that there is no diplomatic solution in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and subsequent war with Azerbaijan. He has vowed to fight "until the end".

Regional News • Asia
12 civilians killed in Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan
12 civilians killed in Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan
Credit: Hikmet Hajiyev via Twitter

The Armenian army has struck Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan with a missile attack. Twelve civilians have been killed and over 40 have been injured.

Hikmet Hajiyev, the assistant to the Azerbaijani president and Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department, has stated that Azerbaijan is "responding them in the battleground. We are not fighting with civilians".

Regional News • Asia
Protesters gather again and defy the Thai government
Protesters gather again and defy the Thai government
Credit: Thai Enquirer (Twitter Reproduction)

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered Thursday in Bangkok defying the authorities that had issued a decree banning demonstrations. The pro-democracy demonstration eventually dispersed several hours after the 6 pm curfew.

The government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has been the main target of the demonstrations, but protestors have also aimed at Thailand's monarchy.

Regional News • Asia
Kyrgyzstan: President resigns to end post-election crisis
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov during a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, 2018
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov during a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, 2018 Credit: Kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has resigned on Thursday to bring an end to the unrest following a disputed election. Protests had erupted after the October 4th election was won by parties local to Jeenbekov. There had been “credible allegations of vote buying remain a serious concern,” Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said.

Jeenbekov said he was not clinging to power and that he refused to go down as a president who "allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people." Over 1200 people were injured in the protests between security forces and protesters.

Regional News • Asia • India
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
Credit: Barry Pousman from New York, NY / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in India will reopen on Thursday after a drop in Coronavirus cases. Schools in the Dehli region and the western Maharashtra state will remain closed until October 31.

Regional News • Asia
Pakistan also bans TikTok
Pakistan also bans TikTok
Credit: Kon Karampelas

Pakistan officials announced Friday a ban on TikTok after receiving complaints of "immoral and indecent" content on the popular video-sharing app.

In a press release, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stated that given a "number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued instructions for blocking of the application."

Reuters quotes an official involved in the decision: "We have been asking them repeatedly to put in place an effective mechanism for blocking immoral and indecent content."

Regional News • Asia
Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on cease-fire during Moskow negotiations
Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on cease-fire during Moskow negotiations
Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

After around ten hours of talks between diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan, both countries have agreed to a cease-fire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. It came into effect only hours later at noon local time on Saturday.

The negotiations had been initiated and taken place under Russian supervision. The cease-fire happens "on humanitarian grounds for exchanging POWs and other detained persons and dead bodies" according to a statement.

Regional News • Asia
President of Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency for capital Bishkek
President of Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency for capital Bishkek
Credit: Kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Kyrgyzstan's president Sooronbay Sharipovich Jeenbekov has declared a state of emergency for the capital Bishkek in order to get the unrest after the parliamentary elections under control.

The president's office announced on Friday that a curfew would be imposed and security measures tightened. The state of emergency comes into effect on Friday at 20:00 (local time) and remains in effect until October 21 at 08:00. The head of state also issued an order to the military to station soldiers in Bishkek.

Previously, the controversial president had declared himself ready to resign under certain conditions. "I am ready to give up the presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic as soon as the legitimate executive authorities have been confirmed and we are back on the path of legality," said Jeenbekov in a speech published on his website early Friday morning. In addition, a date for new elections must first be set.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia and Azerbaijan will engage in peace talks

Both the Armenian and the Azerbaijani government have announced that they will join peace talks in Moscow.

Regional News • Asia
Kyrgyzstan annuls elections after protestors storm parliament
Kyrgyzstan annuls elections after protestors storm parliament
Credit: Kayhan ERTUGRUL / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Following violent protests, the electoral authorities in Kyrgyztan have annulled the results of the parliamentary elections. After only four out of 16 parties that were eligible to vote for in the elections passed the threshold of 7% for representation in the parliament protests had broken out.

Out of these four parties three have close ties to the current president of Kyrgyztan Sooronbai Jeenbekov who accused that "certain political forces" are now trying to illegally seize power.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia states readiness to a cease-fire with Azerbaijan
House in Tovuz District of Azerbaijan damaged by Armenian Armed Forces due to clashes in July 2020
House in Tovuz District of Azerbaijan damaged by Armenian Armed Forces due to clashes in July 2020 Credit: Voice of America / Public domain

Armenia has announced that they are ready to work together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) in order to return to cease-fire terms with Azerbaijan. In the announcement, they referred to the terms set out in an agreement from 1994-1195.

Regional News • Asia
President of Azerbaijan vows to continue the war against Armenia

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has stated that they "only have one condition: Armenian armed forces must unconditionally, fully, and immediately leave our lands".

Fights had previously broken out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and over 100 deaths have been reported.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down its fighter jet
Turkish Air Force F-16
Turkish Air Force F-16 Credit: Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Armenia says a Turkish F-16 shot down one of its SU-25 fighter jets in a significant escalation of the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey, which openly backs Azerbaijan in the conflict, has denied the claim.

Regional News • Asia • India
Amnesty International to halt operations in India
Amnesty International Logo
Amnesty International Logo Credit: Amnesty International

Amnesty International said Tuesday it is halting work in India due to a "continuing crackdown" and "harassment" by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The human rights watchdog said the bank account of its India branch has been frozen by the right-wing government.

In a statement, Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of the organization, said: "The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental."

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: New detention camps for Uighur in China detected - number 40% higher than estimated

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute China has 380 facilities in the Xinjiang region that are suspected to serve as detention centers for the Uighur minority in China.

The number is around 40% higher than previously estimated and contradicts claims by China that the system that they claim is for "re-education" is being scaled back.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia declares martial law - Armenia and Azerbaijan now at war
Arayik_Harutyunyan, President of Artsakh
Arayik_Harutyunyan, President of Artsakh Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has claimed that Azerbaijan has initiated a "missile & aerial attack" against Artsakh, a territory that is claimed by Armenia.

Azerbaijan claims to have launched a "counter-offensive" against Armenia.

Both countries are now at war.

Regional News • Asia
Kim Jong-un apologizes in a letter to Seoul for the shooting of South Korean official
Kim Jong-un apologizes in a letter to Seoul for the shooting of South Korean official
Credit: Kremlin.ru (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued an apology for the death of a 47-year-old South Korean government worker, who was shot dead and his body set alight North Korean troops. The unidentified man was found floating on the sea, in the North's waters.

The apology came in the form of a letter sent to South Korea's Blue House Friday morning, which acknowledged that the incident should not have happened.

According to the Blue House, the letter read "Chairman Kim Jong Un asked to convey that he feels very sorry that instead of giving aid to our compatriots in the South who is struggling with Covid epidemic, we have given President Moon and our compatriots in the South a great disappointment with this unseen misfortune in our sea."

Regional News • Asia
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Credit: Joshua Wong courtesy of Facebook

After reporting to a police station in Hong Kong, pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong (Huang Zhifeng) has been arrested for participating in an illegal assembly on October 5 in 2019. In addition he has been charged with violating the anti-mask law in 2019.

Regional News • Asia
Vietnam has reached 3 weeks without community transmission of coronavirus

For the past three weeks now new community transmissions of Covid-19 have been recorded in Vietnam.

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: China allegedly forces Tibetians into military-style training centers
Report: China allegedly forces Tibetians into military-style training centers
Credit: unsplash.com / Evgeny Nelmin

According to a report by the Jamestown Foundation, the Chinese authorities are allegedly forcing Tibetans into military-style training centers that are similar to labor camps. 500,000 people have been trained by the Chinese authorities and based on quotas relocated within Tibet and into different parts of China.

The report has been compiled from satellite images, policy documents and state media reports.

Regional News • Asia
Indonesia: Villagers who refuse to wear masks forced to dig graves
Indonesia: Villagers who refuse to wear masks forced to dig graves
Credit: KOMPAS.COM/istimewa

Indonesian villagers who refuse to wear masks are now being forced to dig graves for Covid-19 victims as punishment. The punishment was enforced for the first time on September 9th.

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Yoshihide Suga elected by the Liberal Democratic Party to succeed Shinzo Abe
Yoshihide Suga
Yoshihide Suga Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary of Shinzo Abe administration, was voted to be the leade of the Liberal Democratic Party, the governing party of Japan. Suga is considered to be a close ally of Abe.

There will be another vote Wednesday in parliament, where Suga is almost certain to be made prime minister because of his party majority.

Taking over mid-term, Mr Suga is expected to finish the rest of the current period, until elections in September 2021.

Regional News • Asia
China and India pledge to de-escalate Himalayan border standoff
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and China's State Councillor Wang Yi
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and China's State Councillor Wang Yi Credit: Russian Foreign Ministry (Public Domain)

The foreign ministers of China and India announced an agreement to ease tensions after recent clashes on their contested Himalayan border.

Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met in Moscow on Thursday and issued a five-point statement aimed at ending a simmering confrontation.

Wang Yi said, "it is normal for China and India to have some differences as two neighbouring powers, but to put the differences in the proper place in bilateral relations."

S. Jaishankar stated "India does not want to see an escalation of tension in the border areas between India and China. India’s China policy has not changed, and I believe China has not changed either."

Regional News • Asia
Myanmar: New restrictions to curb the rise of Coronavirus cases
Street in Yangon, Myanmar
Street in Yangon, Myanmar Credit: Dudva

Parts of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, have been put under a stay-at-home-order. The country has seen a rise in Coronavirus cases, reported 115 new infections of Friday morning.

"It took five months to discover 374 infection cases in the first wave of the disease. The number of infections quadrupled now although it's been only 24 days since the second wave started on Aug 16," said Dr Khin Khin Gyi, director of Contagious Disease Prevention and Eradication Division of Public Health Department under the Health and Sports Ministry, told Xinhua. "Active cooperation and participation of the public are needed to reduce the number of infections by following the preventive measures and guidelines by the ministry."

Regional News • Asia • India
India: almost 100,000 new Coronavirus cases in one single day
A Newspaper vendor in Tamil Nadu, India, wearing safety gloves, mask and safety glass.
A Newspaper vendor in Tamil Nadu, India, wearing safety gloves, mask and safety glass. Credit: Vaikunda Raja (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

India reported 96,551 new Coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period, reaching 4.5 million total cases since the beginning of the outbreak.

Regional News • Asia • China
Australian journalist held in China on national security grounds

Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been detained since August 14th and is suspected of "criminal activity endangering China's national security". Lei is a news anchor for China Global Television Network (CGTN) and was arrested in Beijing and was taken into secretive detention. The reason for her detention is still unclear.

Regional News • Asia • China
Hong Kong: ~100 arrested in protests against postponed elections

Around 100 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Sunday while protesting against delayed legislative elections. Elections were supposed to happen on September 6th but were allegedly postponed due to the Coronavirus.

Regional News • Asia
Pakistan has banned datings apps Tinder and Grindr over ‘immoral’ content
Pakistan has banned datings apps Tinder and Grindr over ‘immoral’ content
Credit: unsplash.com / Kon Karampelas

Pakistan has blocked access to multiple dating apps, including Tinder and Grindr, in a bid to restrict "immoral" and "indecent" content.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said it issued notices to the management of Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi, seeking the removal of dating services on those platforms.

Regional News • Asia • India
India reports 80,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day - the highest number in the world
India reports 80,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day - the highest number in the world
Credit: unsplash.com / Syed Ali

As the first country to cross the mark India has reported 80,000 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday. The growth rate of new cases and fatalities has more than doubled compared to the previous week.

In total India has reported 3,616,730 Covid-19 cases out of which 2,767,412 patients already have recovered.

Regional News • Asia • India
Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee dies at 84,
Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee dies at 84,
Credit: Ministry of Finance (GODL-India) / Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has died at age 84. He tested positive for the Coronavirus and was in a coma following a brain surgery earlier in August. His death is followed by seven days of state mourning.

His son bhijit Mukherjee took to Twitter to release a statement: "With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri #PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital & prayers ,duas & prarthanas from people throughout India ! I thank all of You 🙏."