GEOPOLITICAL WRANGLING IN THE STRATEGIC KASHMIR REGION OF GILGIT-BALTISTAN

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On 15 November, the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan will go to the polls for their legislative assembly, which currently has minimal powers and is largely governed directly by Pakistan.  However, on 1 November, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a “Provisional Status of the Province” during a visit to the scenic northern region of…

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INDIA: 2ND HIGHEST NUMBER OF COVID-19 INFECTIONS WORLDWIDE

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On Monday 7 September, India became the country with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world after a week in which it added nearly half a million new infections.  Indian health authorities said the country’s coronavirus tally passed 4.2 million, overtaking Brazil’s and putting the populous Asian nation only behind the United States. …

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‘TECH WARS’: THE CHALLENGE OF SOVEREIGNTY IN A DIGITAL WORLD

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By Alex Pollock Earlier this summer, the US government announced it was considering banning Chinese social media apps, including the popular app TikTok. In August, President Trump signed two executive orders to block transactions with ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, and Tencent, which owns the popular messaging service and commercial platform WeChat, and another executive order…

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FOUNDATIONS LAID FOR HINDU TEMPLE AT SITE OF RAZED MOSQUE

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a ceremony on Wednesday 5 August marking the start of construction on a new Hindu temple in the city of Ayodhya. The temple will take approximately three-and-a-half years to build and is located at the site believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, said to be one of…

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15 JULY ’20 | PRAY FOR COVID-19 ‘HOTSPOT’ NATIONS

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Dear prayer partners, On Sunday 12 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours. According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 12.7 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 globally, of whom, more than 565,000 have died, and over…

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DEADLY CLASH BETWEEN NUCLEAR-ARMED NEIGHBOURS

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By Donnelly McCleland and Gustav Krōs India and China, two nuclear-armed Asian neighbours, are in a tense diplomatic and military standoff following their first deadly border clash in more than 40 years. The 15 June incident in the disputed Galwan Valley, an arid Himalayan area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto…

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GOVERNMENT CLAMPDOWNS ON NGOs ON THE INCREASE

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By Donnelly McCleland Parliament in Kyrgyzstan on 22 May resumed formal scrutiny of a draft law that experts believe is designed to hobble the work of independent civic activists. And with coronavirus-related restrictions on their side, the legislature’s largely government-loyal members were able to hear discussions at the public forum with almost no interventions from…

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INDIA’S NEW RESIDENCE LAW TRIGGERS ANGER AND FEAR IN KASHMIR

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has introduced a new set of laws for India-administered Kashmir, including a controversial residence law which gives new rights for people from other parts of India residing in the territory. Under the new law, those who have resided for 15 years or studied for seven years in…

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INDIA’S LOCKDOWN TRIGGERS BIGGEST MIGRATION SINCE PARTITION

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On 20 March, hundreds of thousands of Indian migrant workers lost their jobs after India instated a 21-day lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This loss of employment has caused the workers to embark on journeys home to their villages — some as far as 650 kilometres — on foot, as all public…

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LOCKDOWN – GROWING NUMBER OF COUNTRIES IMPOSING STRICT CONTAINMENT MEASURES

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On Monday 23 March, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step of announcing a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). South Africa joins a growing number of countries implementing strict containment measures. UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson also announced on Monday the imposition of the most stringent restrictions…

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