APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Jul 29- Aug 4)



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 | Trump allies charged with felonies involving voting machines, illegal 'testing'

Two Michigan allies of former U.S. President Donald Trump were charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in the state after the 2020 election, prosecutors announced on Tuesday.

Attorney Matthew DePerno was charged with undue possession of a voting machine and conspiracy, while Daire Rendon, a former Republican state representative, was charged with conspiracy to commit undue possession of a voting machine and false pretenses, special prosecutor D.J. Hilson announced in a news release.

DePerno, who was endorsed by Trump in an unsuccessful run for Michigan attorney general last year, acknowledged in a statement that he was arraigned Tuesday, but his lawyer said that he denies any wrongdoing.

Top 2 | Niger junta says will not back down despite sanctions

The self-declared new leader of Niger on Wednesday said the junta would not bow to pressure to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, intensifying a standoff with the West African bloc, which has threatened to intervene after last week's coup.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions on Niger and said it could authorize the use of force if the coup leaders do not restore Bazoum's presidency within a week from Sunday, July 30.

The bloc also sent a delegation to Niger on Wednesday to negotiate with the military officers who seized power, hoping to find a diplomatic solution before they have to decide whether or not to intervene.

Top 3 | China to strengthen defense cooperation with Saudi Arabia

China is ready to continue strengthening strategic and practical cooperation with Saudi Arabia in defense and various military fields to promote the relations between the two militaries to a higher level, said the defense attache at the Chinese Embassy in Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Zhu Jie made the remarks at a reception held by the Chinese embassy in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), which falls on August 1.

Zhu reviewed the PLA's glorious journey under the leadership of the Communist Party of China over the past 96 years, major achievements in military building, and the significant contributions it made in maintaining world peace and stability.

Top 4 | Iraq, Gulf Cooperation Council discuss ways to strengthen ties

Iraq on Monday discussed with the visiting secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) the ways to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields.

During a meeting with the GCC chief Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid expressed Iraq's desire to establish strong political, social, administrative, and diplomatic ties with other countries, according to a statement by the Iraqi Presidency.

For his part, Albudaiwi expressed his full confidence that relations between Iraq and the Arab Gulf states will witness positive developments in terms of electricity interconnections, trade exchange, and other areas, according to the statement.

Top 5 |** Chinese president's special representative calls for upgrading CPEC development**

Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, called for an upgrading of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to promote a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

He made the remarks on Monday while attending the Decade of CPEC celebration event in the Pakistani capital, during which he read President Xi's congratulatory letter and delivered a speech.

In his congratulatory letter, President Xi fully recognized the positive achievements and great significance of the construction of CPEC, which provided strategic guidance for the development of the corridor and the practical cooperation between China and Pakistan, He said.

Top 6 |** Sweden, Danmark struggle to tame Muslim fumes over Quran burnings**

Sweden and Denmark have been striving to tame widespread Muslim anger sparked by government-approved demonstrations involving the burning of Quran copies in the two countries.

The Danish government will seek to "find a legal tool" that would enable authorities to prevent such burnings in front of other countries' embassies in Denmark, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told the national broadcaster DR on Sunday.

It followed the Swedish migration agency's statement issued late on Friday saying it is re-examining the residency permit of an Iraqi refugee who is behind several Quran desecrations in Stockholm in recent weeks.

Top 7 | The 'war' is returning to Russia, Zelenskyy warns after latest drone attack

Ukraine attempted to launch an attack on targets in Moscow with three drones but failed to achieve its goal, said the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the "war" was coming to Russia.

Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the drone attacks, but Zelenskyy said the "war" was "gradually returning to Russia's territory – to its symbolic centers." He described Sunday as "a good day, a powerful day" at the front.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kyiv launched three unmanned aerial vehicles at Moscow early Sunday morning. One was shot down by air defense forces over the Odintsovo district in the Moscow region, while the other two were jammed by electronic warfare systems and crashed into a non-residential building complex in Moscow.

Top 8 | UAE to set up anti-money laundering bodies

The UAE announced plans on Sunday to establish judicial bodies to prosecute money laundering and financial crime following increased monitoring by a global watchdog dedicated to battling illicit cash flows.

The official WAM news agency reported that the United Arab Emirates has approved a "proposal to establish federal prosecution entities specialized in economic crimes and money laundering".

It said the move "represents a first step towards investigating and cracking down on" shady financial transactions.

Top 9 | Ukraine moves official Christmas Day holiday to Dec. 25, denouncing Russian-imposed traditions

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday signed a law moving the official Christmas Day holiday to Dec. 25 from Jan. 7, the day when the Russian Orthodox Church observes it.

The explanatory note attached to the law said its goal is to “abandon the Russian heritage,” including that of “imposing the celebration of Christmas” on Jan. 7. It cited Ukrainians’ “relentless, successful struggle for their identity” and “the desire of all Ukrainians to live their lives with their own traditions, holidays,” fueled by Russia’s 17-month-old aggression against the country.

Last year, some Ukrainians already observed Christmas on Dec. 25, in a gesture that represented separation from Russia, its culture and religious traditions.

Top 10 | France riots: Man details attack by Marseille police that left him with disfigured head

A 22-year-old man who had to have part of his skull removed after he was attacked by Marseille police has spoken out about the scale of his injuries as an angry debate rages on in France over how to handle police brutality.

Hedi, an assistant restaurant manager in Marseille, was hit in the head by a police flash ball during protests in the city over the killing of Nahel M., a 17-year-old boy of Algerian background who was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb in late June.

Nahel's death sparked mass unrest across French cities, with some of the worst violence seen in the southern city of Marseille.