Other news of the day: private pediatric clinics closed in Seoul. In India, opposition parties are criticizing the inauguration of the new parliament building built by Modi. At least 30 people have been charged in Nepal with passing off citizens of that country as Bhutanese refugees. Malaysia and Swatch face each other over the watches from the Pride collection. Iran develops missiles and underground nuclear power plants. Chinese is increasingly studied in Russia.
A group of hackers sponsored by the People’s Republic of China has spied on a number of important computing infrastructuresWestern intelligence agencies and Microsoft said yesterday. The group uses the code name “Volt Typhoon” and has been operating since 2021. According to experts, it is one of the largest Chinese cyber espionage campaigns against the United States.
According to a report published by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, one in 10 children’s clinics in Seoul has been forced to close in the last five years, going from 521 in 2017 to 456 last year. Along with the declining birth rate of the Korean population, baby clinics have very little income compared to other health care centers, because all services are covered by health insurance and they have no other income.
The new Indian Parliament building decided by the BJP, the ruling party, should open on May 28, but 19 opposition parties have said that will not participate in the ceremony and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “constitutional irregularity” because the Indian president has not been asked to lead the ceremony. The prime minister was also criticized for the date chosen, the birthday of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar.
At least 30 people, including some former ministers, have been arrested and charged with bribery and forging documents to allow Nepali nationals to enter the United States posing as Bhutanese refugees. According to the Kathmandu Post, the people involved “swindled some 875 Nepali citizens out of crores of rupees.” About 120,000 Bhutanese of Nepali origin have been expelled from or have fled from Bhutan to Nepal since the early 1990s, with many resettling in third countries over the years.
In the last week there have been several break-ins at Swatch stores who sell rainbow watches in support of Pride, the LGBTQ rights movement, following pressure from the Islamist party Parti Islam SeMalaysia. Interior Ministry officials confiscated hundreds of products in shopping malls. Chief Executive Nick Hayek said the products “are not political at all.”
Iran has successfully tested a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km, two days after the head of the Israeli Armed Forces raised the possibility of “taking action” against Tehran and its nuclear program. In recent days, some experts have also pointed out that in the Zagros Mountains, in the central regions of the country, a underground nuclear plant so deep that it cannot even be reached by the latest generation of US weapons.
A survey by the Vtsiom institute shows that for Russians, German and French have slipped down the list of languages of global importance (in 2018 they had 28% and 23% approval, now 12% and 9%) . Chinese is increasingly valued, going from 40 to 48%, and Russian stands at 65%. The most important continues to be English, although in 5 years it has dropped from 91 to 80%.