More than two-thirds of British voters believe a culture of deceit exists at the heart of the Britain's government, according to a poll released yesterday and conducted following the presumed suicide of arms expert David Kelly. \nAs British Prime Minister Tony Blair battles to overcome his biggest crisis since coming power in 1997 over Kelly's death, a YouGov poll in The Daily Telegraph revealed that 68 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that a culture of deceit and spin exists at the heart of the British government. \nThe survey is the latest in a series of British polls published this week showing significant falls in voter support for Blair following Kelly's death on July 17. \nThe BBC says the arms expert was the main source for its report in May that said Blair's office "sexed-up" a dossier on Iraq in the run-up to war against the wishes of intelligence chiefs. \nThe row centers on a headline-grabbing claim in the September dossier that Baghdad could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes. \nThe poll also showed that only 23 percent of voters believe Blair can be trusted more than opposition leaders while 45 percent said Blair should be replaced as leader of the Labour party, the same proportion who said he should remain. \nA total 47 percent agreed with the statement that one cannot believe a word Blair says. while 61 percent said the government appeared to have lost control and to be at the mercy of events.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: In its tender, the Hong Kong administration said that it had failed to ‘mobilise the community to support law enforcement actions’ The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to a discreet London-based PR firm to counter coverage of the territory in the international media. Consulum, which has also represented Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was on Monday awarded the ￡5 million (US$6.2 million) one-year contract to improve Hong Kong’s reputation — the same day that China passed national security legislation targeting the territory. The Mayfair-based PR business was founded by Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell, two former employees of Bell Pottinger, an agency that has been criticized for representing some governments and leaders that other businesses