Thought for the day

"Arms are the only true badges of liberty.  The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave." -- Andrew Fletcher 1698

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The defense ministries of both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating a recent cease-fire on Friday.

Fighting between the neighboring countries, located between Turkey and Russia in the Caucasus, in early September left almost 200 soldiers dead.

Yerevan and Baku both said that the other had fired on their own military positions along the shared border.

Nepal has been battling a dengue outbreak, with the country recording over 17,500 infections and 21 related deaths in the past few months.  

The surge in dengue case numbers comes just as the COVID health crisis in the Himalayan nation was subsiding, with daily new coronavirus infections dropping to below 500

Tom Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has said that conditions for Myanmar’s 54 million people have gone from “bad to worse to horrific” since the military seized power last year.

Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Andrews said the international response to the crisis caused by the February 2021 coup had “failed” and that the Myanmar military was also committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, torture, deliberate campaign against of civilians, and murder.

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 A Russian-led security bloc will hold military drills in Kazakhstan from Sept. 26 to Oct. 8, the Kazakh defence ministry said on Thursday, telling the public not to be surprised by the arrival of foreign troops and military vehicles.

Kazakhstan is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) which also includes Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as Russia.

There are four possible scenarios for how everything could unfold:

1) Armenia remains in the CSTO and doesn’t receive US military equipment;

2) Armenian remains in the bloc but ends up receiving such aid;

3) Armenia announces its withdrawal from the bloc;

4) Armenia unilaterally hosts US forces and is kicked out of the CSTO.

At least 11 schoolchildren died in an air strike and firing on a Myanmar village, the UN children’s agency said, an attack the country’s junta said targeted rebels hiding in the area.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power in a coup in February last year, with nearly 2,300 civilians killed in a crackdown on dissent according to a local monitoring group.

The Kremlin has expressed skepticism over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Armenia and her condemnation of Azerbaijan over the latest border clashes.

Pelosi visited the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday and accused Azerbaijan of launching an “illegal and deadly” cross-border attack against Armenia earlier in the week. Baku claimed it retaliated after provocations from Yerevan.

The Kremlin on Monday that "loud announcements" from US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the causes of the border conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia were unlikely to help stabilize the situation.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a "quiet and businesslike approach" to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict would bear fruit.

The Kremlin says US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “loud announcements” about the latest clashes on the border conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia are unlikely to contribute to settling the tension.

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that a "quiet and businesslike approach" to the border conflict between the two countries would bear fruit.