VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 8, 2020
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PAKISTAN
Court seizes slain Taliban chief’s properties for auction: DAWN

Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s five properties, estimated to be worth over Rs32 million and purchased by him in Karachi by using fake identities, have been taken over by the anti-terrorism court for auction, sources told Dawn on Thursday. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Dostum to be Awarded 'Marshal' Rank in Proposed Plan: Aide: TOLO News

Afghanistan’s former first vice president and leader of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, would be awarded the rank of marshal as part of a proposed political agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah, said a close aide to Dostum on Thursday. This new development takes place amid recent reports of a breakthrough in the talks between Ghani and Abdullah. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
Study: Ensure maximum allocation of govt’s incentive package for workers, factories that need it most: Dhaka Tribune

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the authorities concerned have to ensure maximum allocation of the government’s incentive package for the workers and the factories that need it the most, says a study. The findings of the study, “Rapid Research Response to Covid-19,” conducted by the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), were released through a webinar. A press release was issued in this regard on Thursday. Click here to read....

MYANMAR
EU puts Myanmar on money-laundering blacklist: Myanmar Times

The European Commission has added Myanmar to its list of states that pose high risks to the bloc’s financial system today (May 7) because of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing deficiencies. Cambodia, Barbados, Botswana, Ghana, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe are also included in the latest EU listing. Laos, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Guyana, Sri Lanka and Tunisia are removed from the list. There was no immediate statement by the Myanmar government in response to the blacklisting. Click here to read....

NEPAL
Empty trails and deserted villages: the pandemic brings the mountain economy to a standstill: The Kathmandu Post

Every year between March and May, Biswas Gurung, a trekking guide and tourism entrepreneur from Ghandruk, would hardly get time for anything else apart from work. During these three months, hundreds of trekkers from around Nepal and across the world would visit Ghandruk, a picturesque village in Kaski district, within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), and guides like Gurung, specialised in organising guided treks in the region, would be in high demand. Click here to read....

BHUTAN
Jomotshangkha decision based on scientific reasons and facts: PM: Kuensel

With the highest preventive approach put in place two months after the detection of the first Covid-19 case, the country has so far prevented local or community transmission. However, the recent ‘possible’ Covid-19 case in Jomotshangkha has once again raised questions on the testing procedure and the decision to restrict movements in the dungkhag. On April 30, a 55-year-old shopkeeper in the dungkhag tested positive on the rapid diagnostic test (IgM positive). However, after two confirmatory tests conducted on the reliable reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the suspect tested negative. Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
Another stock of 30,000 COVID-19 test kits to arrive from China: Daily Mirror

Responding to the urgent need of Sri Lankan side fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, 30,000 Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Test Kits (PCR-Fluorescence Probing) and 15,000 Disposable Coverall (PPEs), will arrive in Sri Lanka on May 8, the Chinese Embassy said. This medical supplies are a part of the third batch of medical supplies donated by the Chinese Government to Sri Lanka and will be air-freighted from Shanghai to Colombo by China Eastern Airlines MU231 on May 8. Click here to read....

CHINA
China’s Military Is Tied to Debilitating New Cyberattack Tool: The New York Times

On the morning of Jan. 3, an email was sent from the Indonesian Embassy in Australia to a member of the premier of Western Australia’s staff who worked on health and ecological issues. Attached was a Word document that aroused no immediate suspicions, since the intended recipient knew the supposed sender. Click here to read....

Online transactions of Union Pay exceed 1.5 trillion yuan during May Day holiday: People’s Daily

From May 1 to 5, the total amount of UnionPay online transactions approached 1.6 trillion yuan (about 0.2 trillion U.S. dollars), with a daily average of about 310 billion yuan, an increase of 16 percent compared with daily Saturdays and Sundays in April, according to data from China Unionpay, a Chinese financial services corporation. Click here to read....

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