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President Xi Jinping hailed China's rule over Hong Kong on Friday as he led 25th anniversary celebrations of the city's handover from Britain, insisting that democracy was flourishing despite a years-long political crackdown that has silenced dissent.
John Lee, a former beat cop who became Hong Kong's security chief and played a key role in suppressing democracy protests, became the business hub's new leader on Friday in a ceremony overseen by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Dialogue between Myanmar's junta and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the bloody crisis unleashed by the toppling of her government last year is "not impossible", a junta spokesman told AFP on Friday.
India has imposed windfall tax on oil producers and refiners who have boosted product exports to gain from higher overseas margins as the government seeks to increase local supply of fuels to meet rising demand and increase federal revenues. New taxes along with export restrictions will curb fuel exports by refiners Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy, part-owned by Russia's Rosneft, and could further tighten global oil product supplies and support prices.
India's rice farmers have planted 4.3 million hectares with the grain so far this season, farm ministry data showed on Friday, down 27% from the same period last year after lower than usual June rainfall. India is likely to receive monsoon rainfall between 94% and 106% of the long-term average in July, the most crucial month for the planting of summer crops. The weather office defines average rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 87 cm (35 inches) for the entire four-month season beginning in June.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party is returning to power in the country's richest state, Maharashtra, giving it a fillip ahead of the 2024 national election after an unlikely ruling alliance of parties crumbled after more than two years. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party will now form the government in Mumbai's home state along with a faction of the regional Shiv Sena party, which surprised analysts by tying up with ideologically opposed parties such as Congress after the 2019 state election to oust the BJP. Both the BJP and the Shiv Sena draw their support mainly from the majority Hindu community.
Thousands of people protested in the Indian city of Udaipur on Thursday following the murder of a Hindu tailor, with many calling for the two Muslim men accused of killing him to get the death penalty.
China accused New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday of making "wrong and thus regrettable" statements that were unhelpful for keeping the two countries' relationship "on the right track".