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World in brief Saturday: June 11, 2021

MYANMAR: UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned today of a military build-up in parts of the country, with the army using heavy weapons against armed groups as well as civilian targets.

Ms Bachelet said more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in eastern Kayah state in the last three weeks, and her office cited “credible reports” that security forces have shelled civilian homes and blocked access for humanitarian aid.

The military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February.

FINLAND: Local elections go ahead on Sunday in a first test for Social Democratic Party leader Sanna Marin, who took office shortly before the global outbreak of Covid-19.

The 35-year-old Ms Marin, who became Europe’s youngest government leader in December 2019, has won international praise for her handling of the pandemic but her party has failed to attract young voters.

The conservative National Coalition Party and the far-right Finns Party are in the lead in the polls.

MARS: The dusty rocky Martian surface and a Chinese rover and lander bearing small national flags were seen in photos released today that the rover took on the red planet.

China landed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft carrying the rover on Mars last month after it spent about three months orbiting Mars.

The six-wheeled rover is surveying an area known as Utopia Planitia, especially searching for signs of water or ice that could lend clues as to whether Mars ever sustained life.

HUNGARY: Prime Minister Viktor Orban has prepared new legislation that bans showing content encouraging homosexuality or gender transition to under-18s under the guise of banning pornography.

LGBT rights activists denounced the bills as discriminatory, with some comparing the proposed legislation to a 2013 Russian law banning gay “propaganda.”

“These proposals, which have dark echoes of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, will further stigmatise LGBTI people, exposing them to greater discrimination in what is already a hostile environment,” Amnesty International Hungary director David Vig said.

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