■ South Korea \nMilitary ships in showdown \nA North Korean patrol boat threatened yesterday to fire warning shots after accusing a South Korean ship of violating the countries' western sea border, an official said. The South's sailors responded that they were operating normally in their waters, and warned they would "strictly respond" if the North side fired any warning shots, a military official said on condition of anonymity. North Korea doesn't recognize the western sea border demarcated by the UN at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The boats remained 20km apart for about an hour during the incident Friday morning until the Northern boat retreated northward, Yonhap news agency reported. \n■ China \nMore miners feared dead \nRescuers in southern China searched for a third day yesterday for 10 miners believed trapped in an illegal mine flooded with river water, the government said. The flood occurred Wednesday around 11am at a coal mine near the city of Laibin in China's Guangxi region, Xinhua News Agency reported. The report said nine men and one woman were missing. The owner of the mine allegedly fled and was being sought by police. Meanwhile, an investigation into a separate disaster on Dec. 21 at a mine in China's Shanxi province that killed 13 people showed that a lit cigarette was to blame, Xinhua said. \n■ Vietnam \nChild-using dealer jailed \nA woman has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being caught using her 12-year-old-son to deliver heroin, a court official said yesterday. Thirty-five-year-old Le Kim Loan was arrested in March in a hair dressing salon in Hanoi after police found her son carrying 76 grams of heroin, said the court official, who asked not to be named. "She drove her son to somewhere near her clients, dropped him off and had him bring the heroin to the customer," the official said. Loan was given the sentence after a one-day trial in the capital, said the official from the Peoples Court. "The boy did not know that he was carrying heroin because his mother had warned him not to open the box," the court official said. \n■ Singapore \nMilitary bases opened to aid \nThe government opened up the Southeast Asian city-state's naval and air forces bases yesterday so that donors could drop off supplies before they were shipped on for distribution in Indonesia. Defense Minister Teo Chee-hean said airports in the Sumatran towns of Medan and Banda Aceh were already overstretched because of the massive amount of aid and personnel arriving to support the global quake relief effort. About 470 personnel set sail from the base aboard RSN Endurance bound for Aceh, Sumatra and the region that was closest to the Sunday quake. \n■ United Kingdom \nProzac-suicide link lost \nA British medical journal said yesterday that it gave US regulators confidential drug company documents suggesting a link between the popular anti-depressant Prozac and a heightened risk of suicide attempts and violence in 1988. The British Medical Journal reported that Prozac's manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Co, was aware in the 1980s that the drug could have troubling side-effects. The journal said the missing documents had formed part of a 1994 lawsuit against Eli Lilly on behalf of victims of a workplace shooting. One of the 1988 records reported that fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac, had caused "behavioral disturbances" in clinical trials. The journal said it turned the documents over to the US Food and Drug Administration, which had agreed to review them. \n■ Italy \nJudge has custody coin toss \nWhen the separated parents of a five-year old Italian boy could not agree whose house he should stay at over Christmas, a judge settled the dispute by tossing a coin, an Italian newspaper reported on Thursday. The squabbling couple took their argument to a family disputes court a few days before Christmas and were surprised when the judge, who said there was not enough time to convene the tribunal, tossed a two-euro coin for "heads-or-tails." "I did it in the interest of the child," Judge Carlo Alberto Agnoli was quoted as saying in Italy's leading daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. "I certainly couldn't do like Solomon and divide the child. So I trusted to luck," said the judge who presides at a court in the northeastern town of Trento. \n■ Greece \nAttache's guard shot \nA Greek police officer standing guard outside the private home of Britain's military attache to Greece was found shot dead in northern Athens early Friday, police said. The body of the officer, 32-year-old member of Greece's Special Guard Force Haralabos Amanatidis, was discovered around 3:15am. According to first findings, the guard was shot down with eight or nine bullets from a machine gun fired by an unknown number of assailants who had approached him. The attackers removed the victim's automatic machine gun and escaped, Brigadier Vassilis Tsiatouras, security police chief of the greater Athens area, told reporters. British diplomats and companies have been the target of extremist attacks in Greece in the past -- notably in 2000 when London's previous military attache to Athens Stephen Saunders was killed by dismantled extremist group November 17. ? is a criminal act. Its circumstances and motives are under investigation,?siatouras said. \n■ Mexico \nBlackout affects flights \nSix flights were diverted from Mexico City airport when a power failure cut runway lighting for about 45 minutes on Thursday night, airport authorities said. All landings and takeoffs were suspended during the runway blackout, starting at about 9:45pm, a spokesman said. Two flights were diverted to Acapulco International Airport, on the Pacific coast 290km south-southwest of Mexico City; two flights to Morelia, 215km west of Mexico City; and two more to Bajio airport in Guanajuato state, 275km northwest of the Mexican capital. Electricity and lighting elsewhere at the airport were not affected.
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