Indonesia's president ended a trip to Ukraine and Russia saying he hoped for progress reintegrating global food and fertiliser supply lines disrupted by the conflict, and offered to be a diplomatic bridge between the two nations.

President Joko Widodo, who is the G20 president this year, was speaking at a news conference alongside his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after a bilateral meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

His trip followed a visit to Kyiv on Wednesday where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The Nepalese government has refused to cooperate with the United States in security matters via the State Partnership Program (SPP). Kathmandu made the decision to not promote the SPP ahead of a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in mid-July, where he will be accompanied by senior military officials, including Nepal’s army chief of staff, General Prabhu Ram Sharma. Nepal effectively does not want to ruin the delicate balance it has between China and India, the two giants that the country is sandwiched between, by adding the US into the geopolitical equation.

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The starving and hungry people of collapsing Sri Lanks have been rioting over the cost of food and lack of energy. As if things couldn’t get worse, the ruling class has taken to gunning down those who stand against being ruled.

Democratic countries are proposing a new Pacific-wide pact to strengthen cooperation and development efforts in the region to combat Beijing’s influence building and hybrid warfare operations.

The “Partners in the Blue Pacific” would involve the United States, Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to provide “closer, more purposeful, and more ambitious cooperation.”

The head of US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) on Friday sounded the alarm on China and Russia’s growing cooperation, calling it “extremely dangerous” and accused Beijing of “the largest military buildup” since World War II.

Adm. John Aquilino said China’s actions mean the US should spend more money on building up Guam’s defenses. INDOPACOM is seeking additional funds for a program known as the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, and part of the plan is to buildup US military facilities in Guam.

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Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told his parliament this week that the economy has “collapsed” and the government was unable to buy crude supplies, with final stocks running out this week. The fuel and food shortage has hit the low and middle income groups pretty hard, with many fleeing the country using both legal and illegal means.

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US Central Command commander Gen. Michael Kurilla said the US is considering transferring aircraft that once belonged to the Afghan Army to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan. The aircraft was flown to Tajikistan by Afghan soldiers during the fall of the US-backed government in Kabul. 

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Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh staged demonstrations to demand repatriation back to Myanmar, where they fled a brutal military crackdown five years ago.

Simultaneous marches and rallies were allowed to be held on Sunday, a day before World Refugee Day, despite a ban on rallies since a 100,000-strong protest in August 2019.

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