APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Jun 24- Jun 30)



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 | Russia opens criminal case against Wagner chief for armed mutiny


Russia's FSB security service has opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia's Wagner private military group, for calling for armed mutiny, Russian media reported on Friday, citing the National Antiterrorism Committee.

Prigozhin on Friday accused the Russian military of "destroying" his fighters, without fully explaining his accusation, and vowed to stop what he called the "evil" of the military leadership.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports circulating on social media that the Russian Armed Forces carried out strikes on Wagner encampments and urged Wagner fighters to "stop the columns" and return to their deployment points.

Top 2 | India's Prime Minister Modi wraps up official visit to United States


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is winding down his official visit to the United States on Friday, meeting with U.S. and Indian business leaders in Washington D.C., followed by an address to business leaders at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Modi joined U.S. President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for a gourmet vegetarian state dinner on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, June 22.

Dinner guests included OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and his partner Oliver Mulherin, fashion designer Ralph Lauren and his wife Ricky, and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and his wife Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan.

Top 3 | Greece's conservatives win election, pledge more reforms


Former Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, 55, promised more reforms at a faster pace after his conservative party won the second general election in five weeks and an outright majority in parliament on Sunday.

With 95 percent of the votes counted, New Democracy (ND) party garnered 40.55 percent of the votes, securing 158 seats in the next 300-member parliament to form a single-party government, according to official results released by the Interior Ministry.

"We received a strong mandate to proceed faster on the path of reforms our country needs," said Mitsotakis at the party's headquarters.

Top 4 | Germany plans to permanently station 4,000 more soldiers in Lithuania


Germany plans to permanently station an additional 4,000 soldiers in NATO ally Lithuania to help secure the alliance's eastern flank, said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during a visit to Vilnius on Monday, without giving a timeline.

He said, however, that the necessary infrastructure must be in place as a precondition. In the past, Berlin said it would take Lithuania years to provide barracks, housing areas for families, depots and training grounds.

"We agree that the brigade will grow step-by-step as the infrastructure is established," Pistorius said, adding that such a deployment could not be completed within "a few months".

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda said he was aiming for the infrastructure to be in place by 2026.

Top 5 | Chile assumes pro tempore presidency of Pacific Alliance


Chile assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance on Wednesday, according to a statement published by the group.

The decision comes after Mexico refused to hand over the alliance's rotating presidency to Peru, amid an ongoing diplomatic spat between the Latin American nations. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has labeled Peruvian President Dina Boluarte's administration as "spurious".

The Pacific Alliance trade bloc is composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

A meeting set to be held in Peru last December was postponed amid a political crisis in the South American country sparked by former president Pedro Castillo's ousting and arrest for his attempt to illegally dissolve Congress.

Top 6 | Chinese, Russian diplomats stress political settlement of Korean issue


Liu Xiaoming, special representative of the Chinese government on Korean Peninsula affairs, held a consultation over the peninsula with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko in Beijing on Monday.

Liu and Rudenko said the root cause of tensions in the Korean Peninsula is the insufficiency of addressing security concerns of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"Seventy years have passed since the armistice of the Korean War, the transition from armistice mechanism to peace mechanism has not been realized," read the news briefing by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. "Relevant parties concerns, particularly the DPRK's reasonable security concerns, have not been addressed in a balanced manner," it added.

Top 7 | China's tourism spending jumps during Dragon Boat Festival


China's tourism industry displayed strong signs of recovery during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday that ended Saturday.

Official data showed a domestic travel record of 106 million trips, representing a 32.3 percent year-on-year growth which exceeded the pre-COVID levels in 2019.

Domestic travel revenue surged 44.5 percent year on year, recovering to 94.9 percent of the 2019 level, according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Inbound and outbound tourism have also been boosted by favorable policies, along with the steady recovery of supply chains including civil aviation and hotels. During the festival, China's immigration authorities processed a total of 3.9 million inbound and outbound visits, a jump of about 2.3 times from last year, or 64.6 percent of the 2019 level.

Top 8 | Chinese, Sri Lankan FMs vow to strengthen BRI cooperation


China and Sri Lanka will further strengthen their cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and promote greater development of China-Sri Lanka relations, according to foreign ministers of both countries on Sunday.

During their meeting in Beijing, Qin Gang, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, said that the two countries have set a good example of friendly coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation between big and small countries, and China is willing to further consolidate and expand the strategic cooperative partnership with Sri Lanka.

He added that the two countries should implement the important consensus reached by the heads of state, intensify high-level exchanges, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and push for more achievements in high-quality BRI cooperation.

Top 9 | Train derailment on Montana bridge sends multiple rail cars into the Yellowstone River


A train derailment in the U.S. state of Montana caused a bridge across the Yellowstone River to collapse on Saturday morning, landing multiple rail cars carrying hazardous materials in the water, according to CNN.

Montana Rail Link, the company operating the train, said in a statement that "several hazmat cars" plunged into the river. No injuries have been reported among the train crew, it added.

The rail cars were carrying asphalt and molten sulfur, substances that quickly solidify when they come in contact with cooler temperatures, the company said.

Two cars transporting sodium hydro sulfate, an acid salt, did not enter the water, and initial air quality assessments indicate the chemical was not released from the cars, Montana Rail Link said.

Top 10 | Nicaragua urges U.S. to pay 'historical debt'


The United States has the legal obligation to pay a historical debt to Nicaragua as per an international court ruling over 30 years ago, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said on Tuesday.

Moncada, on Tuesday, handed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres a letter signed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, requesting the UN chief to circulate a document about Nicaragua's position on the U.S. obligation to the UN General Assembly.

The document says that "there is a historical debt to the Nicaraguan people that 37 years later has not been settled by the United States."