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Issue #1701      September 9, 2015

Region Briefs

Pakistan condemned the US’s recent drone attack in the country’s North Waziristan tribal area killing six people. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that the attack undermined its territorial sovereignty, created fear among people and broke international laws. It urged the US to stop similar attacks in future. This was the second attack in August, another seven people had been killed in the first one by two missiles launched from a US drone.

More than 120,000 people protested in front of the Japanese parliament building demanding the country’s Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo abolish controversial security bills. According to organisers of the protest, this was the largest rally in Tokyo for many years, participated in by people and of all political persuasions. A large number of similar protests were held across the country. One opposition leader, Katsuya Okada, said that people were angered about the bills because they violated Japan’s pacifist constitution. The Communist Party Chair, Kazuo Shii, said that Abe avoided direct answers to questions related to the bills, and Shii vowed to abolish them in the upper house. The lower house officially passed the bills last month, and they are currently under debate in the upper house.

Vietnam’s National Salary Council’s third meeting recently approved a 12.4 percent regional minimum monthly wage pay raise in 2016. The average pay rise would be over AU$20, and the exact number would be different in accordance with different living standards and development levels in four regions. Chairman of the council and Deputy Minister of Labour, Pham Minh Huan, said that 92.4 percent of participants in the meeting agreed to wage increases. The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour approved a proposal to subsidise 10 percent of the increase, in order to help both workers and employers.

Massive parades were held in Vietnam and China on September 2-3, celebrating Vietnam’s 70th National Day and China’s 70th anniversary of the victory of resisting Japanese aggression in World War 2. There were 30,000 people, 800 reporters and 145 press agencies involved Vietnam’s parade; 12,000 troops with 1,000 foreign troops from 17 countries participated in the Chinese parade, marking the victory that cost 35 million Chinese lives. The Chinese President in a speech at the parade said, “China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation”.

Next article – Culture & Life – Gangster arrogance

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