VIF Neighborhood News Digest: December 3, 2019
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PAKISTAN
New FIA chief meets PM as ‘sidelined’ predecessor resigns: Dawn
December 3, 2019

The newly-appointed director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia, who shot to fame for heading the Joint Investigation Team that probed NAB references against former premier Nawaz Sharif, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Monday. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, who was also one of the key players in Panama Papers case, was appointed Minister of State for Interior. He will hold dual charge of the special assistant and the state minister. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Uncertainty Surrounds Beijing Peace Meeting: Tolo
December 3, 2019

Amid reports of disagreements over the list of the participants for the Beijing peace meeting on Afghanistan, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said that it expects the plan for such a meeting to be implemented in the near future. When asked whether the meeting was canceled, Geran Hewad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Kabul was not aware of such reports. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Dhaka, Delhi secretary-level talks Wednesday: Dhaka Tribune
December 3, 2019

Secretary-level meetings between the Shipping Ministries of Bangladesh and India will be held at the InterContinental Dhaka later this week. The meeting of the standing committee on “Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade” (PIWTT) affairs will be held on Wednesday, while the secretary level and inter-governmental committee meeting will take place the next day. Secretary of Shipping Md Abdus Samad on behalf of Bangladesh and Indian Secretary of Shipping Gopal Krishna would take part in the meetings, a press release said on Monday, reports UNB. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Hundreds rally in Yangon to support State Counsellor: Myanmar Times
December 3, 2019

About 700 people rallied in Yangon on Sunday to show support for State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as she prepares to defend the country against charges of genocide at the UN’s highest court. Members of her National League for Democracy swelled the ranks of a crowd in front of the colonial-era City Hall in downtown Yangon as people waved national flags and listened to music and poetry. A popular local singer told them. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Some officials may have forged docs to cover up failure led to Easter attack: PCoI to Gota: Daily Mirror
December 3, 2019

The Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks has told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he had reasons to believe that certain officials had prepared forged documents in order to cover the failure led to the terror attacks. Chairman of the five-member Commission, Court of Appeal Judge Janaka de Silva made this observation when the PCoI members met the President last evening. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Nembang all but certain to become next Speaker, party insiders say: The Kathmandu Post
December 3, 2019

With the winter session of Parliament just a couple of weeks away, the ruling Nepal Communist Party has two names for the post of House Speaker—Subash Nembang and Agni Sapkota. However, given internal deliberations, party leaders say that Nembang is the clear frontrunner. Both UML and Maoist factions of the ruling communist party have been vying for the post of Speaker, the fifth-highest position in the state. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been lobbying in favor of former Speaker and chairman of both Constituent Assemblies Nembang. The Maoist faction in the party has also been demanding that the position stays with them, but Pushpa Kamal Dahal is willing to give up his claim, party leaders told the Post. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
Ineffective ban on plastics impacts entrepreneurs: Kuenselonline
December 3, 2019

Almost seven months after the National Environment Commission (NEC) reinforced the plastic ban, every grocery shop; vegetable vendors and other business outlets are still flooded with various plastic bags. NEC, while reinforcing the ban on single-use plastic carry bags, doma wrappers and ice cream pouches this April claimed they are serious but many are now questioning their seriousness. Click here to read...

CHINA
Chinese court jails senior ethnic Uygur official for life on corruption charges: South China Morning Post
December 3, 2019

A Chinese court on Monday sentenced one of China’s most senior Uygur officials to life in prison for taking bribes, state media reported. Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court in the northeastern province of Liaoning handed down the sentence to Nur Bekri, a former director of the National Energy Administration, on Monday and ordered the confiscation of all of his personal properties. Click here to read...

Xi stresses firm, strong strategic support between China, Russia: Xinhua
December 3, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday that China and Russia should always be sincere and reliable strategic partners, and give each other firm and strong strategic support amid the complex and volatile international situation. Xi made the remarks when meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Click here to read...

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