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Myanmar authorities open new corruption cases against Suu Kyi

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(Last Updated On: June 10, 2021)

New corruption cases have been opened against Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other former officials from her government, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Thursday.

The cases are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, 75, who was overthrown by the army on Feb. 1 in a coup that has plunged the Southeast Asian country into chaos.

The state newspaper quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission as saying the accusations related to the misuse of land for the charitable Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which she chaired, as well as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.

It said case files had been opened against Suu Kyi and several other officials from the capital Naypyidaw at police stations on Wednesday.

“She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank. So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55,” the paper said. That law provides for up to 15 years in prison for those found guilty.

The lead lawyer for Suu Kyi in several other cases said that as far as he was aware the corruption investigations were continuing and were not before any court.

He described the accusations as “absurd”.

“She might have defects but personal greed and corruption are not her traits. Those who accuse her of greed and corruption are spitting towards the sky,” Khin Maung Zaw said in a message to Reuters.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, over which Suu Kyi is accused, was set up in the name of her late mother to help develop education, health and welfare in Myanmar.

Cases Suu Kyi already faced ranged from the illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act. Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

The army overthrew Suu Kyi saying her party had cheated in November elections, an accusation rejected by the previous election commission and international monitors.

Since then, the army has failed to establish control. It faces daily protests, strikes that have paralysed the economy by opponents of the junta, a rash of assassinations and bomb attacks and a resurgence of conflicts in Myanmar’s borderlands.

A military plane crashed on Thursday near Myanmar’s second-biggest city of Mandalay, killing 12 people, the city’s fire service said. There was no immediate indication that the crash was related to the crisis.

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Magnitude 5.6 quake hits western Afghanistan, killing more than 20

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

An earthquake rocked western Afghanistan on Monday, killing more than 20 people and destroying hundreds of homes, local authorities said.

The 5.6 magnitude tremor shook the western province of Badghis, bordering Turkmenistan, in the afternoon, reducing brick homes to rubble, according to photos shared by local authorities, Reuters reported.

“Unfortunately, our initial reports show that 26 people, including five women and four children, have been killed and four others injured,” said Baz Mohammad Sarwari, the director of Information and Culture of the Badghis provincial administration.

“The Mujahideen have reached to some of the affected areas, but Badghis is a mountainous province, the number of casualties might go up,” he added, referring to Taliban fighters, and adding that heavy rain was also lashing the area.

Mullah Janan Saeqe, head of the Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of State for Emergency Affairs, confirmed the death toll and said more than 700 houses had been damaged, Reuters reported.

Sanullah Sabit, the head of the nursing unit at the main hospital in Badghis’ capital said they had received five patients injured in the quake, mostly with broken bones and fractures.

The quake was at a depth of 30 km (18.64 miles), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

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Pakistan fired 21 rockets towards Afghanistan: officials

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

Military officials in the eastern zone told Ariana News on Monday that clashes broke out between Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and Pakistani forces on Sunday night in the Sarkano district of Kunar province, close to the Durand Line.

Officials said that Pakistani forces fired 21 rockets towards Afghanistan, but that no casualties were reported.

Hamdullah Hamdard, the spokesman for the 1st Border Battalion of the Eastern Zone, said that IEA forces also fired several rockets back at Pakistani forces.

“Clashes erupted between Taliban (IEA) and Pakistani forces in Sarkano district of Kunar province. The clashes continued until 9:00 pm. The cause of the clashes was because of the attack by Pakistani forces. In response, Taliban (IEA) forces also fired rockets towards them, and maybe they suffered casualties. Our forces and people did not suffer casualties,” added Hamdard.

IEA officials said recently they are establishing 32 new check posts along the Durand Line to counter Pakistani attacks.

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China’s birthrate falls to lowest level in 61 years

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths in 2021 despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis.

Across China, 10.62 million babies were born in 2021, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the national bureau of statistics said on Monday.

In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per thousand head of population, the Guardian reported.

The rate of growth is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of last May’s once-a-decade census, which found an average annual rise of 0.53%, down from 0.57% reported from 2000 to 2010.

China, like much of east Asia, is in the grip of a population crisis, with lowering birthrates, and predictions of imminent negative population growth and an ageing population. Monday’s figures showed the proportion of over-60s in China rose from 18.7% in 2020 to 18.9%.

Beijing has announced major reforms to address the decline, including raising the retirement age. A three-child policy has replaced the two-child policy that was introduced in 2016 and had sparked a slight increase in births before falling again.

The high cost of living, delayed marriages and lack of social mobility are frequently cited as contributing factors to young Chinese people’s reluctance to have children.

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