MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 06 APRIL
PICTURE OF THE DAY
Anti-coup protesters holding pictures of those who died during a protest against the military offer prayers for them. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government.
Why Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s South Asia trip is crucial
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov are visiting India and Pakistan this week. The visit is extremely important because it concerns much more than just the Afghan peace process and preparing for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned trip to India sometime later this year like most media have reported. Although those two topics are of course very significant, the real purpose of the visit is to advance Russia’s vision for a Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP). South Asia has an indispensable role to play in this framework by virtue of the fact that it constitutes roughly a quarter of the world’s population, which in turn imbues it with promising economic potential across the 21st century.
Who is Tulsi Gabbard and why is she suddenly interested in Bangladesh?
Former US congresswomen and US Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard took to Twitter on Friday and posted a video where she raised concerns, of all things, about the plight "Hindu minorities in Bangladesh." According to Gabbard, Hindus were facing religious persecution in Bangladesh and it was a continuation of the persecution carried out by the Pakistan Army in 1971.
The Global tremors of Myanmar’s coup
Myanmar is leading Southeast Asia’s race to the political bottom. Since overthrowing a civilian government on February 1, the military has killed more than 530 unarmed civilian protesters and arrested thousands more. Now, the country is confronting a deepening humanitarian crisis and the growing possibility of a civil war – developments that would have serious regional and even global consequences.
Dassault paid 1 million euros to Indian middleman in Rafale deal: Report
The Rafale fighter jets deal involved a payment worth one million euros (Rs 8.62 crore) to an Indian middleman, which plane maker Dassault has not been able to explain to the French anti-corruption authorities, the country’s online journal Mediapart reported on Sunday. The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades. In the first report of a three-part investigation, Mediapart said that in mid-October 2018, French anti-corruption agency, Agence Française Anticorruption, first spotted the payment and asked Rafale manufacturer Dassault for an explanation.
US looks to build on secret portions of Taliban deal to reduce violence
US diplomats are trying to build on parts of the peace deal made with the Taliban last year, specifically the classified portions that outlined what military actions — on both sides — were supposed to be prohibited under the signed agreement, according to American, Afghan and Taliban officials. The negotiations, which have been quietly underway for months, have morphed into the Biden administration’s last-ditch diplomatic effort to achieve a reduction in violence, which could enable the United States to still exit the country should broader peace talks fail to yield progress in the coming weeks.
China emerges as big winner in vaccine outreach
China is on the verge of expanding its international influence as it adroitly wields what is arguably the most valuable export of the moment, COVID-19 vaccines. The global rollout of Chinese jabs amid a serious shortage of doses, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is helping Beijing attain a new kind of soft power that could easily translate into global clout. At least 70 countries and territories have either approved Chinese vaccines or struck deals to receive doses from China.