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Vast numbers of people all over Myanmar flouted orders against demonstrations Sunday to march again in protest against the military takeover that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Large demonstrations were held in the major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and the capital, Naypyitaw, as well as in far-flung areas dominated by ethnic minorities. Protesters in Yangon again rallied outside the Chinese and US embassies. They accuse Beijing of propping up the military regime and applaud Washington’s actions sanctioning the military. For more updates, here’s Mint Lite

Hong Kong plans money flow scrutiny

Hong Kong plans money flow scrutiny
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Hong Kong plans money flow scrutiny

Hong Kong plans to expand scrutiny on capital flows and transactions by Chinese officials, according to a recent consultation paper on anti-money laundering. The financial services and the treasury bureau is proposing to implement enhanced due diligence on “politically exposed persons" (PEPs) from anywhere outside Hong Kong instead of outside the People’s Republic of China. Bloomberg has reported that the Asian financial hub is seeking to enhance compliance of anti-money laundering regulations ahead of a series of assessments in the next few years. The proposed amendments come as the ruling Chinese Communist Party adopts an increasingly tough stance on corruption among government cadres and corporate executives. Hong Kong financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses are required to conduct enhanced due diligence on foreign PEPs as well as their family members.

Kosovo begins early elections

Kosovo begins early elections
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Kosovo begins early elections

Kosovo is holding an early parliamentary election to form a new government amid the coronavirus pandemic, an economic downturn and stalled negotiations with wartime foe Serbia. Some 1.8 million eligible voters on Sunday started to cast their ballots in 2,400 polling stations. They’re electing 120 lawmakers among more than 1,000 candidates from 28 political groupings. Those infected by the coronavirus will be able to vote through mobile polling teams. Reducing unemployment and fighting organized crime and corruption remain the biggest challenges. Negotiations on normalizing ties with Serbia, which have stalled again last year after talks brokered by the US and the European Union, have not figured high on any party’s agenda. The EU has sent an elections expert mission to Kosovo to monitor the vote. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Winning back trust post covid

Winning back trust post covid
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Winning back trust post covid

As the hospitality industry fights for survival after suffering huge losses due to covid-19 last year, hotels are incorporating a combination of cutting-edge technologies to improve customer confidence, and mitigate losses incurred during the pandemic. A study published in November by researchers at Stanford University and Northwestern University, US, stated that reopening of restaurants, gyms and hotels carries the highest risk of further spreading covid-19. Hotels are now incorporating a combination of cutting-edge technologies to improve customer confidence, and mitigate losses incurred during the pandemic. Due to the pandemic, India’s hospitality and tourism sector suffered three quarters of economic wipeout estimated to be up to 15 trillion.

Strong quake in Japan’s Fukushima

Strong quake in Japan’s Fukushima
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Strong quake in Japan’s Fukushima

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake off Japan’s Fukushima injured dozens of people, authorities said Sunday, nearly 10 years after the eastern region was hit by a huge quake that sparked a tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said no casualties had so far been reported after the late-night quake, which did not trigger a tsunami warning. The disaster agency said 74 injuries had been reported in the region and also around Tokyo. But local media counted at least 104 reported injuries, from broken bones to cuts from shattered glass. No abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which melted down in the wake of the March 2011 quake that triggered a towering tsunami and killed more than 18,000 people. Japan’s meteorological agency said Saturday’s quake was considered an aftershock of the massive tremor nearly a decade ago.

A sanctuary for swifts

A sanctuary for swifts
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A sanctuary for swifts (Photo: iStock)

Conservationists are hoping to turn Edinburgh into a sanctuary for swifts after a drastic decline in the bird’s population, reports BBC. Numbers fell by more than 50% in the UK between 1995 and 2016. One of the biggest challenges that the species faces is the loss of nesting sites in older buildings, which are often blocked off during renovation work or lost when buildings are demolished. The Edinburgh Swift City Project is asking people to make boxes in a bid to encourage pairs to nest and breed. Residents are also being urged to report any sightings of swift screaming parties—groups of two or more swifts flying at low level while calling loudly, which means they are breeding nearby. Hubs are being created along a cycle route through the city to raise awareness, and a huge mural depicting the bird’s long migration path between Africa and Europe is also being planned.

Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen

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