MOSCOW (AFP) - The Kremlin on Monday (April 26) said it favoured an internal solution to the unrest in Myanmar, which has been rocked by protests since a military coup in February and the subsequent death of hundreds at the hands of the security forces. Earlier this month Moscow warned that sanctions against the authorities in Myanmar could push the country towards civil war. On Monday, the Kremlin said that Russia "strongly condemns actions that lead to civilian casualties". "We are very concerned and are observing what is happening there with great attention," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call. "Russia has longstanding relations with Myanmar, which we value, and we are in favour of Myanmar sorting out its own internal problems."
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Joe Biden took aim at China in his first speech to Congress on Wednesday (April 28), pledging to maintain a strong US military presence in the Indo-Pacific and promising to boost technological development and trade. "China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future," Mr Biden said. And in a line that drew some of the strongest applause of the evening, he said, "There is simply no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing." Mr Biden has repeatedly identified competition with China as the greatest foreign policy challenge the country faces. He and his fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans have all moved toward a harder line on dealings with Beijing. "America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and American industries, like subsidies to state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technology and intellectual property," Mr Biden said. He also said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the United States will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo–Pacific "just as we do
BERLIN: Germany will hold a national memorial service on Sunday for its 80,000 victims of the coronavirus pandemic, sharing the pain of grieving families and those who died alone because of Covid curbs. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will join an ecumenical service in the morning at Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a memorial against war and destruction. They will later attend a ceremony at the capital's Konzerthaus, where the president will make a speech. With pandemic curbs still in force restricting the number of people who can attend, the ceremonies will be broadcast live on public television. "As president I believe it is very important for us to stop to say goodbye in dignity to those who died during the pandemic -- including those who did not fall victim to the virus but who also died in loneliness," said Steinmeier as he announced the national service. Besides suffering the pain of losing a loved one, restrictions in place to curb infections mean that relatives are often unable to even hold their family members' hands as they lay dying. Others have been left grieving on their own, as funerals or memorials are curtailed by pandemic curbs. In a