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Issue #1716      January 27, 2016

Region Briefs

Four fully armed terrorists stormed the Bacha Khan University in Pakistan’s northwest killing 22 people and injuring another 40. Victims included students, a gardener, two campus security guards and a chemistry teacher. The attackers, armed with machine guns and hand grenades, sneaked into the campus under a heavy fog. Many students were killed in a boy’s dorm. Pakistani security forces arrived shortly after the attack, and all the terrorists were shot dead on site. One affiliated militant group of the Taliban Pakistan claimed to be responsible for the attack. A similar attack happened in 2014, when 150 school children and 10 staff were murdered by Taliban militants in an army-run public school in the countryside.

Six hundred and eighty-five delegates recently attended the 10th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) in Vientiane. The Congress elected new LPRP Central Committee members, discussed and approved Central Committee’s report and the eighth Five-Year Plan (2016 to 2020), aiming to achieve an annual 7.5 percent GDP growth to help the country to change the current underdeveloped state status. Under the leadership of the LPRP, Laos maintained socialist political security and social order. The country also made steady progress in development; the poverty rate fell to 6.59 percent and per capital income was 16 times higher than that in 1985. The Chinese Party and Vietnamese Party sent letters of congratulation to the LPRP.

China’s top leaders and representatives of the 57 founding countries attended the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing. China’s President and Premier gave speeches at the ceremony. The AIIB was formally established in Beijing last month and became operational on January 25. The AIIB will help the current global economic system to become more just, effective and equitable. President Xi Jinping said that the AIIB would “enable China to undertake more international obligations and promote improvement of the current intentional economic system”.

Twenty-four thousand Bangladeshi workers from 23 tea gardens recently staged a strike to oppose the government’s plan of establishing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Chandpur and Begumkani tea garden areas. The workers worry that the SEZ would take the land where they live. They will remain on strike until the plan is cancelled said Nreepen Pal, Secretary of the district Tea Worker’s Union. The Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh issued a joint statement in solidarity with the workers. They stated that the plan was a conspiracy against the workers, taking the only source of livelihood from them. Both parties demanded the government cancel the plan and return the land to the workers.

Next article – Culture & Life – Guns and the USA – again

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