APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Jan 28- Feb 03)



Every weekend, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.

This week, the following hot news you should know:

Top 1 | Palestinian president blames Israel for tension in meeting with Blinken

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Israeli government "is fully responsible for the current tension and violence in the Palestinian territories".

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting held at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah with Blinken, who is on a three-day Middle East visit that started on Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA) reported.

Abbas also accused the international community of failing to end the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories and end the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Top 2 | UK's teachers and civil servants join biggest strikes in years on 'Walkout Wednesday'

Up to half a million British teachers, civil servants, train drivers and university lecturers walked out over pay and conditions on Wednesday in the largest coordinated strike action in Britain in a generation, causing widespread disruption.

The mass walkouts across the country shut schools, halted most rail services, and the military was put on standby to help with border checks.

About 300,000 teachers are expected to strike on Wednesday, the biggest group involved, as part of wider action by 500,000 people, the highest number for at least a decade.

Top 3 | At least 10 children killed in Pakistan as boat capsizes

At least 10 children were killed on Sunday when a boat carrying religious school students capsized in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

Around eight students were still missing while seven injured had been taken to hospital, according to local officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the accident took place.

Kohat's district commissioner Mahmood Aslam said around 50 students from a local religious school, had gathered near Tanda lake for a picnic. Twenty-five had ventured out on the water - which was closed by authorities for recreational trips - on a boat that capsized, he said.

Top 4 | U.S. police brutality shows deep-rooted racial and structural problems

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was beaten to death by five police officers charged with second-degree murder. A chilling video of the incident was released by Memphis City, sparking uproar over police brutality in the U.S. The fatal police beating has further exposed deep-rooted racial problems and the deep-seated issues in the American criminal justice system.

More than a racial issue, the incident serves as a harsh reminder of the significant structural problems that still exist within the policing system in the country, alongside the urgent need for reforms. Cases such as the killing of Tyre King and Tyre Nichols by Black police officers demonstrate that anti-Black sentiment is a pervasive cultural issue that affects individuals of all races and ethnicities.

Racial problems in U.S. policing are systemic discrimination and bias that some communities of color, particularly Black Americans, experience at the hands of law enforcement. These issues are rooted in the country's history of slavery, racial segregation, and ongoing structural inequalities in education, employment, and housing. They manifest in several ways, including racial profiling, excessive use of force, coinciding with arrests and incarceration.

Top 5 | Türkiye may respond 'differently' to Finland's NATO bid: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Türkiye may respond "differently" to Finland's NATO bid in a way that would "shock" Sweden, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Türkiye submitted a list of 120 "terrorists" to Sweden for extradition, Erdogan said, adding that the Nordic country must extradite these people in order to join the NATO.

It is the first time that Erdogan indicated that Ankara could evaluate ratifying Sweden and Finland's NATO membership with a different approach, according to the report.

Top 6 | Peruvian Congress rejects president's request for early elections

Peru's Congress has rejected a request by President Dina Boluarte to move forward elections slated for April 2024 to December 2023.

The proposal was rejected in the early hours of Saturday at a plenary session after receiving just 45 votes in favor, with 65 against and two abstentions.

Advancing the elections to later this year could help Peru "get out of this quagmire we're in," she said, pointing out that protests continued in Peru with "more violence" in the streets.

Top 7 | Xi Jinping calls for confidence, efforts to secure a good start to new journey

Top 8 | Pavel wins Czech Presidency after bitter election campaign

Voters in Czechia have elected retired NATO General Petr Pavel to become the country's next president.

Pavel defeated former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a run-off vote by the widest margin ever in a presidential election - 58 to 42 percent.

General Petr Pavel, or The General as Czech voters warmly call him, is now president-elect. Soon after the polls closed and results began to trickle in on Saturday, Pavel took a commanding lead over his opponent billionaire Andrej Babis who publicly conceded.

Top 9 | Sri Lanka's leader suspends parliament until policy address

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an extraordinary decree suspending parliament until February 8.

He said he would announce a new set of long-term policies to address the country's economic crisis and other issues.

The government did not give a clear reason for the move, but Wickremesinghe's office said in a statement that his address to lawmakers on February 8 will announce new policies and laws, which will be implemented until the centenary celebrations of Sri Lanka's independence in 2048.

Top 10 |** Bill Gates says 'China's rise' is a 'huge win for the world'**

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, said on Wednesday that China's rise is a "huge win for the world" during an interview with the Lowy Institute, a think tank based in Australia, according to Fox Business.

When asked about how "bullish" he was on China, he said he does think that "the current mentality of the U.S. to China and which is reciprocated is kind of a lose-lose mentality."

He said it takes the whole world to work together for the global economy, for the discovery of cancer drugs and for the solution to climate change.