Welcome to Thursday, where Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan is out of danger after an assassination attempt at a protest march, inflation is getting out of hand in Turkey and Switzerland takes the crown for best cheese. Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage looks at the relationship between Georgia and its problematic neighbor, Russia: Yes, it’s complicated.
[*Malay, Malaysia, Indonesia]
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• Russian shelling knocks Ukraine nuclear plant offline: The last two high-voltage communication lines connecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Ukrainian power system were damaged by Russian attacks, sending the plant into full blackout mode and all 20 emergency diesel generators were switched on.
• Imran Khan shot: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the foot in what is believed to be an assassination attempt, as he was leading a protest march in Islamabad, eastern Pakistan.
• Truce in Ethiopia: The Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels agreed on a permanent cession of conflict late Wednesday, hopefully restoring peace in the area, which has been at war for almost two years. Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed described the agreement as “monumental.”
• North Korea fires long-range missile: An alert was triggered for residents in parts of north and central Japan on Thursday, after North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles. Officials in South Korea and Japan said the missile may have been an ICBM, which are North Korea's longest-range weapons. Initial reports say the test failed.
• Bolsonaro calls for end to truck protests: Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made an appeal to truck drivers in protesting his election loss to leftist Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva to choose other ways to demonstrate.
• Former Myanmar politician sentenced to 173 years in jail:A Myanmar court has sentenced Win Myint Hlaing to 148 years in jail on terrorism charges. Added to a previous sentence, this brings the total of his term to 173 years in prison — the longest for a former member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government.
• The world's best cheese for 2022 is revealed: The 2022 edition of the World Cheese Awards has crowned a winner: a gruyère from Switzerland, chosen by a panel of top judges and beating out the competition of 4,434 other cheeses from 42 other countries.
South Korean daily newspaper JoongAng Ilbo worries about North Korean missiles crossing the Northern Limit Line for the first time since the division of Korea in 1945. Pyongyanf fired missiles near South Korea’s territorial waters on Wednesday, and launched another suspected test ICBM this morning, which failed mid-air.
According to official data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Thursday, inflation rose to 85.51% in October — the highest it’s been since June 1998 — as a result of a significant devaluation of the lira, Turkey’s official currency. Experts say food prices were 99% higher than for the same period last year, while housing rose by 85% and transport was up 117%.
Calling Georgia: Time for Russia’s ambivalent neighbor to pick a side
Unlike other neighbors in the region, leading political figures in Georgia have refrained from officially denouncing Russia's invasion. From Joseph Stalin's birthplace, it's a complicated relationship. But winding up on the wrong side of history has its consequences.
🇬🇪 Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili declared last week that his nation stands in solidarity with Ukraine in its opposition to Russian aggression, and will not allow its territory to be used to circumvent the sanctions imposed against Russia. The statement was clear, strong and specific — it was also eight months late. Since the beginning of the war, unlike other neighbors in the region, leading political figures in Georgia have refrained from officially denouncing Russia's invasion and still offer no military support for Ukraine.
🇷🇺 Russia ruled Georgia for more than 200 years, first conquered by the Czarist Russian Empire, later absorbed into the Soviet Union. In Soviet times, Georgia was tightly linked to the Kremlin because of Joseph Stalin, a Georgian native from the industrial city of Gori, who grew to be the bloodiest ruler of the USSR. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, Georgia was quick to declare its independence. Still, it was bound to struggle to hold on to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which every Georgian believes is illegally occupied by Russia.
⚠️ Georgian journalist Zurab Bezhanishvili, analyzing the Georgian response to military conflicts in the region, notes that the Russian leadership has adopted the doctrine of "getting back up from its knees," to paint Moscow as a victim seeking justified retribution. The principle of revanchism implies "traitors of the inner circle" working with larger forces outside the country. Georgia and Ukraine are "inner circle traitors. Having destroyed these states, Russia will have no obstacles to recreating the "red empire." Bezhanishvili also believes that Georgia, ultimately, has no choice but to pick sides.
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