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China-Russia expanding ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is in Moscow on a key visit, meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two presidents discussed bilateral ties and the war in Ukraine during the informal meeting. Putin told Xi that Russia is open to discussing China’s proposals for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. The Chinese president hailed what he called close ties between China and Russia. Xi also said he was convinced that Putin enjoyed the Russian people’s support ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Xi’s visit to Moscow is seen as a show of support for Russia amid the war in Ukraine. China’s peace proposal is high on the agenda of his talks with Russian officials. The Chinese president earlier said Beijing’s initiative is aimed at promoting a political settlement to the Ukraine crisis.

Human rights in Iran

Iran has dismissed the human rights allegations against the country as a case of sheer hypocrisy. Bahraini was speaking after a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, accusing the country of violations. Bahraini slammed the report by Javid Rahman as false and biased, saying it ignored the realities on the ground. He said Rahman refrained from mentioning the foreign-backed terrorist attacks in the country which led to the deaths of dozens of security forces and innocent people. Elsewhere in his remarks, Bahraini also touched on the role of the foreign-backed media in spreading terror in the country. He said hundreds of foreign-based TV and Radio channels as well as social networks encouraged violence by providing tutorials on how to make weapons and engage in armed conflict during the riots.

US banks collapse risk

A study finds nearly 190 US banks at significant risk of collapse, after the Silicon Valley and Signature Banks crashed over a week ago. The survey by economists from four prestigious universities shows these banks will face meltdown if their depositors are to withdraw their funds quickly. Such withdrawals are likely due to fears about un-insured deposits. According to the economists, the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes to curb rampant inflation have eroded the value of banks assets. They say this has very significantly increased the fragility of the banking system. The economists are warning that even deposits insured by the Federal Reserve are at risk as its insurance fund starts incurring losses.

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