MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 24 FEBRUARY
PICTURE OF THE DAY
Private school teachers and other education workers take part in a protest calling for the Karnataka state government to withdraw its order that private schools take a 30% cut in tuition fees.
6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup
More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, the Guardian can reveal. The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory. Data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka revealed there were 5,927 deaths of migrant workers in the period 2011–2020. Separately, data from Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths of Pakistani workers, between 2010 and 2020.
Nepal's top court orders reinstatement of Parliament dissolved by Prime Minister Oli
Nepal's top court on Tuesday (Feb 23) ordered the reinstatement of the nation's Parliament, a court official said, dealing a political blow to beleaguered Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. The court order comes two months after Mr Oli plunged the Himalayan nation into political turmoil when he dissolved Parliament and called for an early election due to bitter squabbling within the ruling Communist party. "The recommendation for the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the notice dissolving Parliament have been rejected by the honourable judges," Mr Bhadrakali Pokharel, a court official, told Reuters.
Who is Myanmar's coup leader and what does he want?
In the Western world's rush to condemn Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for the forced exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine State into Bangladesh, little was said about the role and responsibilities of Myanmar's commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. Now that he has mounted a coup and toppled the world's fallen democracy icon, there have been numerous international calls for Suu Kyi's release from arbitrary detention, including a United Nations Security Council resolution on Feb. 5. Only now is the world asking questions about the senior general: Who is he, what is he like and what is he up to?
Kashmir situation likely to deteriorate in 2021: Report
Violence along the de-facto border in Kashmir is likely to continue to increase and India and Pakistan are unlikely in the near future to make efforts to resolve the conflict bilaterally, according to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) Project. While the borders are likely to stay “hot,” the explosive situation inside Kashmir could deteriorate further, said the ACLED report, which lists Kashmir as one of the 10 conflicts to watch for in 2021 alongside others such as Yemen, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Armenia and Azerbaijan. The report said there could be a surge in the activity of domestic and foreign militants in Kashmir because of “policy shifts” after Aug. 5, 2019, when India stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomous status and divided it into two centrally ruled territories.
Fear, silent migration: A year after anti-Muslim riots in Delhi
Migration from Hindu Mohallas: Mohammad Hanif’s story is no different. He too sold his two-story house in violence-hit Karawal Nagar – two kilometres (1.2 miles) from Shiv Vihar – a few months after the riots and is now living in a rented accommodation in Mustafabad – a Muslim-majority suburban area in India’s capital. Mohammad’s house was ransacked and looted during the violence. “I had four beds, a bike and two fridges. Nothing was spared. There was no point living in the area now. It was better to vacate,” the 50-year-old said. Mohammad’s was the only Muslim household in the lane and, after the violence last February, he and his family decided to leave forever. Finally, in October last year, he managed to sell the property.
US, Iran edging back to negotiating table
The frozen lake of US-Iran confrontation is generating a pinging sound. The cracking of the ice is yet to produce that loud booming thunderclap. But these are early days. It was only last Thursday that the US and the three European states who are party to the JCPOA (2015 Iran nuclear deal) — Germany, France and UK, or the ‘E3’ — lobbed a joint statement across the court to Tehran, whereby the Joe Biden Administration announced its willingness to return to diplomacy with Iran.