Prostitute remark angers
The government yesterday lashed out at an “unspeakable” personal attack, a day after Pyongyang called President Park Geun-hye a “prostitute.” In a statement released through state media, North Korea likened Park to a “comfort woman” and accused her of pandering to her “pimp” US President Barack Obama by breaking an agreement reached in February to tone down inflammatory rhetoric.” “The North ... not only broke the agreement once again, but also continued to issue unspeakable curses and foul words in an immoral act,” Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do said.
More MERS cases reported
The governnment confirmed 26 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed nearly a third of sufferers, and said 10 more people have died. The country has now had 339 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 102 have been fatal. The 143 cases announced since the start of this month represent a 73 percent jump in total infections in the kingdom this month. The 10 confirmed on Saturday included seven in Jeddah, the focal point for the recent outbreak, two in the capital, Riyadh, and another in Mecca. Two of the 10 patients died. The 16 further cases confirmed on Sunday included two in Riyadh, eight in Jeddah and another six in the northern city of Tabuk. Eight MERS sufferers died on Sunday.
Hackers target parliament
A cyberattack on the federal parliament’s computer network in 2011 may have given Chinese intelligence agencies access to lawmakers’ private e-mails for an entire year, the Australian Financial Review reported yesterday. The newspaper said new information showed the attack had been more extensive than previously thought and “effectively gave them control of” the entire system. “It was like an open-cut mine. They had access to everything,” a source told the newspaper.The parliamentary computer network is a non-classified internal system used by federal lawmakers, their staff and advisers for private communications and discussions of strategy.
Australian told to leave
Authorities in Bali on Sunday released an Australian man who caused a hijack scare by trying to break into a plane’s cockpit, police said. Authorities say the drunken man pounded on the cockpit door during a Virgin Australia flight on Friday, forcing the pilot to issue an alert code to air traffic control. The man was released late on Sunday and was to leave Bali on his own initiative, Bali police special crimes chief Colonel Suryambodo Asmoro told reporters. “Under Indonesia’s law, he couldn’t be charged in Indonesia because what he did was on a plane registered in Australia,’’ Asmoro said, adding that it would be up to Australian authorities to decide on further action.
Abhisit meets commander
Opposition leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva met the head of the armed forces yesterday to discuss ways to avert a potential showdown between political groups next month. Abhisit, who met Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, has asked for two weeks to try to resolve the crisis peacefully. “He [Thanasak] supports what I want, which is to bring all sides together to find a way out for the country... The commander underscored that political problems must be solved through political means,” Abhisit told reporters.