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No to normalization

Bahrainis have taken to the streets for the fifth straight night to denounce the opening of the Israeli embassy in Manama. Demonstrators gathered outside the newly-opened Israeli embassy. They chanted slogans to slam its opening. No incidence was reported during the demonstration. Previous protests turned violent as Bahraini security forces attacked the demonstrators to disperse them. Israel opened its embassy in Manama last Thursday during a visit by foreign minister Yair Lapid. Bahrain is one of the four Arab states that normalized ties with Israel last year under a US-brokered deal. Bahrain’s main opposition group al-Wefaq and top cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim have condemned the normalization. Palestinians have called it a stab in their back. 

Taiwan-China tensions

Taiwan has criticized China for what it called “over the top” military activities over Taiwanese air space. The Taiwanese premier said the region does not seek military confrontation. But, he added, Taiwan will do whatever it takes to defend itself, if its democracy is threatened. The self-ruled island says dozens of Chinese aircraft have flown over its airspace since Friday. China considers the island as its own territory and is opposed to Taiwan seeking independence. China is also opposed to the military support Taiwan receives from the United States. Beijing says Washington is threatening regional peace and stability. 

Stock markets in red

Asian stock markets suffer heavy losses and plunge into multi-month lows following a broad sell-off on Wall Street. Japan stocks were down 2.8 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares dropped 1.3 percent too. It reached 619.87, the lowest since November 2020. The drops come as investors get frantic about the impact of the soaring oil prices and supply chain disruptions. Oil prices have jumped to their highest level since November 2014. That happened after OPEC member states and their allies decided to hold to their planned output increase.

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