VIF Neighborhood News Digest: October 18, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Speculation swirls as Shahbaz in no hurry to meet Nawaz: Dawn
October 18, 2019

PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif seems to be in no hurry to meet his imprisoned brother Nawaz Sharif, triggering speculation that he is angry over rejection of his opinion with regard to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s (JUI-F) ‘Azadi March’ on Oct 31. The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly skipped on Oct 10 ‘an all-important meeting’ with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail, citing his backache. Similarly, he did not press the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to allow his meeting with him (Nawaz) at its Thokar Niaz Baig headquarters on Thursday. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Civilian Casualties Have Spiked: UN: Tolo
October 18, 2019

According to a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission, in the first nine months of 2019 the UN documented 2,563 civilians killed and 5,676 injured, which is similar to the same period from last year; however, in the third quarter—July 1 to September 30--UNAMA documented an unprecedented spike in civilian casualties, with 1,174 civilian deaths and 3,139 injured. “This is the highest number of civilian casualties UNAMA has recorded in a single quarter since it began systematic documentation in 2009.” This was a 42 percent increase from the previous year. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
President assures Saudi entrepreneurs of cooperation: Dhaka Tribune
October 18, 2019

Saudi business delegation expresses their keen interest to invest $3 billion in Bangladesh's power and energy sector. President Md Abdul Hamid has assured the visiting Saudi business delegation of providing all cooperation to execute their projects as Bangladesh has a very favorable environment for investment at present. The head of the state came up with this assurance as a Saudi business delegation, during a courtesy call on him at Bangabhaban in Dhaka on Thursday evening, expressed their keen interest to invest $3 billion in Bangladesh's power and energy sector, reports BSS. ADB to remain Bangladesh’s development partner, says In-chang Song. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for the quick repatriation of the displaced Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine state of Myanmar. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Myanmar needs more than easing of visa rules to perk up tourism: Myanmar Times
October 18, 2019

There is no doubt the government struggles to plug the gaping hole brought about by the ripples of the northern Rakhine conflict that have western tourists shunning the country. The number of tourists, especially from western European countries, has been on the slide since the massive military operation in August 2017 aimed at flushing out the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Subsequent accusations of systematic abuses perpetrated by government forces that forced over 700,000 Muslim people in northern Rakhine to flee to cramped camps in Bangladesh tarnished the country’s international image. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Senadhipathi remanded till November 8: Daily Mirror
October 18, 2019

Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd Chairman Nissanka Senadhipthi who was arrested upon his arrival from Singapore was remanded till November 8 by the Special Trial-at-Bar today. Mr. Senadhipathi was arrested by the CID on his arrival from Singapore at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake earlier today. He was arrested following an arrest warrant issued against him by the Galle Magistrate for violating a travel ban imposed on him. Click here to read...

NEPAL
China to provide Rs 2.5 billion in military aid to Nepal: The Kathmandu Post
October 18, 2019

Just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping returned to Beijing after completing a two-day state visit, Nepal and China are already set to sign a fresh agreement regarding 150 million RMB (approximately Rs 2.5 billion) military aids to the Nepal Army. This is the first time that China has pledged back-to-back annual military support to the Nepal Army. Beijing extended a similar kind of military assistance to the national defence force in October last year. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
Parking space for Bhutanese trucks opens at Changrabandha: Kuenselonline
October 18, 2019

The problem of parking space for trucks, both Bhutanese and Indian, ferrying boulders and minerals from Bhutan to Bangladesh via Changrabandha-Burimari border has been solved. A designated parking space with a capacity to accommodate more than 600 trucks was opened yesterday at Changrabandha in India. The seven-acre parking space is located just about a kilometre away from Burimari, Bangladesh and it provides added advantage to the drivers and exporters. Click here to read...

CHINA
China’s economic growth worse than expected, sinking to new low of 6.0 per cent in third quarter amid US trade war: South China Morning Post
October 18, 2019

China’s economy grew by 6.0 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, the lowest quarterly growth rate since records began in March 1992. The new low marks a continuation in a long-running slump that has been compounded by the US-China trade war, which has hit manufacturing and exports in the world’s second largest economy. Click here to read...

2019 Military World Games torch relay held in host city Wuhan: Xinhuanet
October 18, 2019

The torch relay for the 2019 Military World Games took place here in Wuhan on Wednesday, with 100 torchbearers passing the flame on a route through the host city's iconic East Lake Greenway. Click here to read...

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