Thousands of paramilitary police patrolled the streets of a northern Indian town to prevent clashes between Hindus and Muslims, as Hindu hardliners prepared to hold rallies yesterday to mark the 12th anniversary of the destruction of a 16th-century mosque. \nPolice barricaded many of the streets leading to the site of the demolished Babri Mosque in Ayodhya town, and frisked people entering the area. Nearby shops and businesses were closed amid fears of fights breaking out in a region with a history of deadly religion-fueled violence. \nTens of thousands of Hindu activists demolished the Babri Mosque with spades, crowbars and their bare hands on Dec. 6, 1992, sparking fierce clashes between Hindus and Muslims that killed 2,000 people across India. \nHindu leaders claim the mosque in Ayodhya, 550km east of New Delhi, was built by Mogul rulers at the site of a Hindu temple. They believe the site is the birthplace of Hinduism's supreme god, Ram, but Muslims say there is no proof of that claim. \nThe dispute over the site still rages, with the leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party vowing to build a Hindu temple there. \nMeanwhile, a long-running court case on competing Hindu-Muslim claims to the site continues to drag on. \nEach year, Hindu hardliners observe Dec. 6 as "Victory Day," while Muslims and opposition groups observe it as "Black Day." \nIndia's ruling Congress Party organized a Hindu-Muslim feast in Ayodhya yesterday to foster better relations between Hindus and Muslims.
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
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against