In a major step toward completing its pledged disarmament, Libya on Saturday sent to the US all the equipment believed to remain of its nuclear weapons program, along with its longer-range missiles and launchers, the White House said. \nAs part of an agreement to rid Libya of weapons of mass destruction, a ship containing 500 tonnes of equipment left the North African country earlier on Saturday for an undisclosed destination in the US, White House National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said. \nThe shipment included all of Libya's known centrifuge parts used to enrich uranium, and all equipment from its former uranium conversion facility. The White House said the ship was also carrying all of Libya's longer-range missiles, including five Scuds, and all associated equipment, including launchers. \n"It contained all the known remaining equipment associated with Libya's nuclear weapons program ... It's coming to the US We're not saying where or when for security reasons," McCormack told reporters after President George W. Bush met with the president of Mexico at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. \nEarlier shipments of nuclear weapons-related equipment were taken to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the US Department of Energy's largest science and energy laboratory. There, lawmakers said, it was destroyed. \nLibya announced in December it would abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and has allowed US inspectors to search its weapons sites and to remove sensitive equipment. \nIt is expected next week to sign on to a tough inspections procedure that allows snap UN inspections of nuclear facilities. \nMcCormack said the US was to begin discussions with Libyan officials yesterday on retraining their weapons scientists. \nIn recognition of Libya's efforts, the Bush administration announced last month it would allow US oil firms to begin negotiating to return. It also ended a restriction on Americans from using their US passports to visit the oil-rich nation. \nIn addition, the administration decided to allow Libya to establish a diplomatic presence in Washington following its decision to base several US diplomats in Tripoli. \nCongressional sources said the US could roll back additional sanctions in the coming months. \nEasing the sanctions could allow US oil companies to resume activities in Libya, which they had to abandon when expanded US sanctions forced them to pull out in 1986. OPEC member Libya produces around 1.4 million barrels of oil a day. \nLibya named veteran oil expert Fethi Omar bin Chetwane as its first energy minister in more than five years on Saturday ahead of negotiations on the return of US oil firms. \nBush has seized on Libya's pledge to abandon its weapons programs as an example for other countries, including Syria. \nThe Bush administration plans to impose sanctions on Syria within weeks for what Washington says is its support of terrorist groups and its failure to stop guerrillas from entering Iraq, congressional officials and other sources said on Friday. \nMcCormack said all of Libya's known chemical munitions have been destroyed. He said stocks of mustard gas have been moved from insecure warehouses to a single secure facility, adding that the US will work with Libya to "achieve the destruction and elimination of the actual agent itself." \nUS Assistant Secretary of State William Burns is considering traveling to Libya this month in what diplomats believe would be the highest-level US visit in more than three decades.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday