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News ID: 92945
Publish Date : 02 August 2021 - 23:22
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MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Troops from Russia and Uzbekistan began joint military drills on Monday near the Afghan border amid fears in both countries over a worsening security situation in Afghanistan that could spill over into Central Asia. Russia said 1,500 Russian and Uzbek troops would take part in the five-day exercises that began at the Termez military site in Uzbekistan, the TASS news agency reported. In a sign of how serious Moscow is taking the potential threat from Afghanistan, it said it would send a much bigger military contingent to Tajikistan for separate trilateral exercises due to begin there later this week.
Those separate drills are due to take place on Aug. 5-10 and involve Russian, Uzbek and Tajik forces. On Monday, Russia’s defence ministry said that 1,800 of its soldiers would take part in the Tajik drills, instead of 1,000 as initially planned. More than 2,500 troops would be involved in total, it said. Moscow will also use 420 units of military hardware for the drills, double the quantity originally planned, it said.

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia’s opposition lawmakers tried to march on the country’s parliament building on Monday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, after the premier deferred a parliamentary sitting amidst political turmoil. Muhyiddin cited the detection of COVID-19 infections for postponing the final parliamentary session scheduled for Monday, but the opposition called it a politically motivated move to block any challenges to his leadership. Opposition lawmakers marched towards the parliament building on Monday, but were stopped by police in riot gear. Malaysia has been in a state of political flux since Mahathir’s unexpected resignation last year that led to Muhyiddin coming to power in March 2020. Muhyiddin has governed with a razor-thin majority and led an unstable ruling coalition as the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have announced a large jump in the death toll from recent floods. The Henan provincial government said Monday that 302 people died and 50 remain missing. The vast majority of the victims were in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, where 292 died and 47 are missing. Ten others died in three other cities, officials said a news conference. Record rainfall inundated Zhengzhou on July 20, turning streets into rushing rivers and flooding the subway system. Video posted online showed people trapped in subway cars as the waters rose. Fourteen people died in the subway flooding.

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ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) -- Madagascar has arrested 21 more suspects, including 12 military personnel, in connection with a plot to kill President Andry Rajoelina and topple the government, a senior prosecutor said. Six people, one of them a French citizen, were arrested last month on suspicion of involvement in the plot, following what officials described as a months-long investigation in the Indian Ocean island. The military personnel who were arrested include five generals from the army and the gendarmerie and two captains and five non-commissioned officers, Berthine Razafiarivony, of the Antananarivo court of appeal, said late on Sunday. She did not give their identity. Four retired foreigners and five civilians were also arrested, some of whom were being held in police custody, the prosecutor said. Madagascar has a history of political violence. Rajoelina first seized power in the deeply impoverished former French colony of 26 million in a March 2009 coup, ousting Marc Ravalomanana. He remained in control at the head of a transitional government until 2014. In the 2018 elections, Ravalomanana challenged Rajoelina, lost, and cried fraud.

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ZURICH (Reuters) -- Police began clearing climate activists from the heart of Zurich’s financial district on Monday after they blocked bank entrances to protest against lenders’ financing of fossil fuel projects that damage the environment. Zurich police led away singing and chanting activists who had taken up positions at the entrances to Credit Suisse and UBS in the Paradeplatz square in the Swiss financial hub after they refused to disperse. “Credit Suisse and UBS have so far done anything but respond adequately to the climate crisis. That is why the climate justice movement is occupying the Credit Suisse headquarters and the nearby UBS office today to draw attention to the consequences of the Swiss financial institutions’ inaction,” Frida Kohlmann, spokesperson for the Rise Up for Change group, said in a statement. The protest comes amid a wave of civil disobedience by activists in Switzerland, where the climate is warming at about twice the pace of the global average and changing its famed mountain landscapes.

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CANBERRA (Reuters) -- Australian police said on Monday they had charged a man with impersonating a police officer, following an investigation into a fake video that purported to show a senior official plotting to overthrow the government. In the video widely shared on social media, a man claiming to be Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw is heard discussing a secret police unit and how Australia’s government could be “dissolved”. Police said Kershaw was not the individual in the video and investigations led to the arrest of a man in Western Australia, who, authorities said, had been in contact with other anti-government groups. “These are people who believe our systems of government do not apply to them, or are somehow illegal and must be usurped,” acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Donoghoe told reporters in Brisbane.

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