VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 8, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan expels Indian envoy, suspends trade ties with India: Dawn
August 8, 2019

The National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday, in light of India's recent actions in occupied Kashmir, resolved to downgrade Pakistan's diplomatic relations with New Delhi and suspend all bilateral trade. The meeting also decided to review Pakistan's bilateral arrangements with India, take the matter of revocation of Kashmir's special status to the United Nations, including its Security Council, and observe the upcoming Independence Day on August 14 "in solidarity with brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination". August 15, the Indian independence day, will be observed as "Black Day". Click here to read...

AJK legislature vows to resist Indian move with full force: Dawn
August 8, 2019

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Wednesday met on the first day of its special session to discuss the situation arising out of what it called “constitutional terrorism” by India and vowed that any move aimed at changing the internationally recognised status and demography of the disputed Himalayan region would be resisted with full force. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
AUAF Calls On Taliban to Release Its Professors: Tolo
August 8, 2019

The American University of Afghanistan in a statement on Wednesday appealed for the release of Kevin King and Timothy Weeks, two of the university’s professors kidnapped in 2016. August 7 was the third anniversary of the hostage-taking by the Taliban of the two AUAF professors, Kevin King and Timothy Weeks. US citizen King, along with Australian national Weeks, were kidnapped shortly after leaving the university compound on Darulaman Road on the evening of August 7, 2016. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Home Minister Amit Shah Holds Extensive discussion with Bangladeshi Counterpart: News18
August 8, 2019

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan on Wednesday held extensive discussion on a number of key bilateral issues here. This was Shah's first interaction with a foreign leader after assuming charge as the country's home minister two months ago. Following the talks, Shah said on Facebook he "had extensive discussion on the bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh". Click here to read...

Myanmar
Myanmar’s very own satellite now in orbit: The Myanmar Times
August 8, 2019

Myanmar’s very own satellite was successfully launched into orbit on Wednesday after two years of planning. The nation will see improved and faster communications as a result, primarily in far-flung areas. Arianespace, the French service provider, was able to successfully launch two satellites – the Intelsat 39/ Myanmar Sat 2 and EDRS-C, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana, a French territory in South America. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka
Navy pre-plans to counter floods: Adaderana
August 8, 2019

Sri Lanka Navy, as a precautionary measure of averting possible floods during the rainy season ahead, removed logs and branches of trees clogged underside of the Wakwella bridge in Galle. The Metrological Department has predicted that the intermittent rains prevailing in these days will be increasing. Click here to read...

Bhutan
Finance ministry initiates salary revision for SOEs: Kuensel
August 8, 2019

The finance ministry has instructed the state owned enterprises (SOE) to review and propose salary revision for its employees. Unlike the last salary revision where SOEs were issued with a guideline specifying the maximum and minimum salary for each grade, this time the ministry has only asked the companies and its board to be mindful of the affordability. This is to ensure that the pay raise will be financed from the SOE’s revenue. Click here to read...

Nepal
Two Indian Nationals Arrested in Separate Cases in Nepal: News18
August 8, 2019

Nepal Police have arrested two Indian nationals in separate cases of plotting to kill a local man here and for possessing narcotic substances. Nineteen-year-old Kunal Kumar, a resident of Sitamarhi in Bihar, was arrested from Metro City Hotel in Biratnagar for allegedly plotting a murder, police said. The police confiscated two automatic pistols, four magazines and eight rounds of bullets from Kumar. Along with Kumar, the police have also arrested Mannu Gupta, a resident of Biratnagar, for his involvement in the plot. Click here to read...

China
China’s exports post surprise growth in July despite dramatic escalation in US trade war: South China Morning Post
August 8, 2019

China’s external trade reported surprising stability in July, with exports growing 3.3 per cent and imports shrinking at 5.6 per cent, which was slower than analysts expected. Exports, having dropped by 1.3 per cent in June, beat the median forecast of a Bloomberg poll of analysts who had suggested a 1.0 per cent decline. This is despite July being the second full month under which China’s exports to the United States faced a higher tariff of 25 per cent. July’s total exports were US$221.53 billion. Click here to read...

Hong Kong's most urgent task is to stop violence, end chaos, restore order: People's Daily
August 8, 2019

The most pressing and overriding task of Hong Kong is to stop violence, end the chaos and restore order, a central government official said here Wednesday. Hong Kong is facing the most severe situation since its return to the motherland, said Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, at a symposium jointly held by the office and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Click here to read...

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