VIF Neighborhood News Digest: December 11, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Media curbs on absconders, convicts in the offing: Dawn
December 11, 2019

Apparently targeting opposition leaders, the federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to impose curbs on media coverage of convicts and absconders. “The prime minister has given a task to the law minister to draft a law to curb media coverage of convicts and absconders,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference. The meeting was informed that Maryam Nawaz had filed an application with the interior ministry, seeking removal of her name from the no-fly list so that she could see her ailing father Nawaz Sharif in London and take care of him. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Confidential Documents on Afghanistan Released: Tolo
December 11, 2019

More than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished “confidential” documents were released by the Washington Post on Monday containing, in many cases, very candid appraisals by government officials, diplomats, military officers and aid workers of the post-2001 war effort in Afghanistan. Many of the reports were critical of how the war was conducted—on every level—and how falsely it was reported up the chain of command and to the public. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
RMG workers protest in Gazipur demanding arrears: Dhaka Tribune
December 11, 2019

According to the protesters, the factory authorities, who owe their workers the salaries for October and November, failed to make payments on the announced date of disbursement, despite making commitment to do so several times. Workers of two ready-made garment (RMG) factories blocked the Dhaka-Gazipur Highway in protest on Tuesday, demanding their arrears. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
US slaps sanctions on Myanmar military chief over Rohingya abuses: Al Jazeera
December 11, 2019

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military leaders, including the commander-in-chief, in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities. The sanctions targeted military chief Min Aung Hlaing on the same day that Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, attended the first day of hearings at the UN's highest court in The Hague, where she will lead Myanmar's defence against the charge of genocide. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
LTTE ideology continues to remain: Kamal Gunaratne: Daily Mirror
December 11, 2019

Defence Secretary Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said on yesterday even though the country was liberated from terrorism, LTTE ideology continues to remain. “You all have contributed to the liberation of the country from terrorism, but still we have to remember that LTTE ideology continues to remain. In the recent past, there were political hunts behind War Heroes and it was sad to see how some of our great guys were put behind bars for no fault of theirs,” he said. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Nepal moves up in Human Development Index but is still ranked second-to-last in South Asia: The Kathmandu Post
December 11, 2019

Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a ‘new generation of inequalities’ indicates that many societies are not working as they should and Nepal is not an exception, according to a new human development report released on Tuesday. The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the new generation of inequalities is based on technology, education and the climate, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
DHI and companies pay raise between 22 and 60 percent: Kuenselonline
December 11, 2019

After the state enterprises, the Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) has also announced the salary revision for employees of DHI and DHI-owned companies (DOC). The proposal was under the radar of its remuneration revision committee since July, almost a month after civil service pay hike came into effect. The approved pay scale maintains a uniform 10 percent variation across all grades bringing down the corporate allowance at 20 percent of the basic pay. No house rent allowances were provided for the employees of DHI and DOCs. Click here to read...

CHINA
Xi Focus: Top CPC leadership navigates China through testing year: Xinhuanet
December 11, 2019

China, the world's largest developing economy, has generally sailed through a challenging year marked by trade tensions and weak demand among others. Facing the complicated situation of rising risks and challenges both at home and abroad this year, China has maintained sustained and sound economic and social development, said a meeting held last Friday by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Click here to read...

Trade war: US-China deal deadline ‘likely to be missed’, says former US trade negotiator Wendy Cutler: South China Morning Post
December 11, 2019

A former US government trade official has warned that China and the United States are likely to miss a looming deadline to reach an agreement meant to pave the way for an end to their trade war. Click here to read...

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