by Irene Soave
Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced again; the independence of India (and its progress); the Giza Coptic Church in flames and mourning for children; Tehran on Rushdie; the Russian “gambling” by Mohammed bin Salman
Not all the world stops for Ferragosto, an all-Italian holiday. Here are five “pills” from as many world fronts.
Iran and the attack on Rushdie: “No one can accuse us”
The Tehran government “categorically” denies any connection to the attack on writer Salman Rushdie, who was fatwaed by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 for his satanic verses. The Iranian state media has repeatedly spoken of a “just reward” for the writer and a “divine reward”; National television Jaam-e Jam even commented on the news that the author could lose an eye, saying that “an eye of Satan may have been blinded”. However, Tehran’s Foreign Ministry, through the mouth of spokesman Nasser Kanaani – in the country’s first official response – declared that “no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran”. However, in the same note, he also stated that “freedom of expression does not justify the insults to the Islamic religion expressed in his writings. We do not consider anyone guilty of this attack other than Salman Rushdie himself and his followers, who deserve outrage and condemnation ».
Mohammed bin Salman’s “Russian Wager”
Kingdom Holding, one of the largest Saudi investment funds, has “poured” around $500 million into Russian state-owned energy companies such as Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom: just before the start of the war in Ukraine and shortly after in March, and despite financial pressure from Western exercise leadership on Moscow (which has increasingly turned to the Saudi monarchy for energy supplies since the war began).
Independent India turns 75. “Development? Within another 25”
Celebrations are also taking place in India, where – apart from the most gruesome and gory aspects – the 75th anniversary of national independence from the British government is being celebrated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised in his commemorative speech (wearing a tricolor turban) to lift millions of Indians out of poverty and transform India “into a developed country within the next quarter century”.
In the former Burma, a new sentence goes to Aung San Suu Kyi
A court in Myanmar again sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi, the expelled leader, to an additional six years in prison for corruption, in addition to the 11 years she had received at a previous trial. According to prosecutors, he misappropriated charitable funds and rented public land at below-market prices. Suu Kyi has denied all allegations and her lawyers are expected to appeal.
The orthodox church in Giza in flames during the mass
The crowded working-class neighborhood of Imbaba, Giza — in Greater Cairo — mourns its dead in the Sunday mass fire. The Coptic Orthodox Church of the Martyrs Abu Sefein in Giza caught fire: 41 believers died in the fire that broke out during a mass, including 10 children. Another 14 were injured. The fire was caused by an air conditioner failure on the building’s second floor and resulted in a thick blanket of smoke, which was the leading cause of death for victims. The priest of the church, Father Abdel Masih Bakhit, was also killed in the fire.
August 15, 2022 (change August 15, 2022 | 17:19)
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