Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Online censorship hits VPNs

Tech specialists and companies are reporting that the nation is blocking virtual private network (VPN) services that let users skirt online censorship of popular Web sites such as Google and Facebook. The virtual private network provider Golden Frog wrote on its blog that the controls have hit a wide swath of VPN services. Another provider, Astrill, informed its users that the controls have started hitting iPhone access to services such as Gmail this year.

AUSTRALIA

Exercise causes bomb scare

A bomb scare on a ferry that caused major disruptions in downtown Sydney was a training exercise gone wrong, an official said yesterday. The transport hub of Circular Quay, between the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, was shut for two hours on Thursday afternoon after the crew of a moored ferry found a suspicious package. Bomb squad police were called to examine the package, which was described by the Australian Broadcasting Corp as two bottles containing liquid and nails with protruding wires. Harbour City Ferries chief executive Steffen Faurby yesterday described the package as “a training device, which was not recognized as a typical training device by staff.” He said in a statement that there had been “no intentional hoax.” An employee brought the device on board for training, but staff did not know what it was and called police, the statement said.

JAPAN

KFC stops fries sales

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Japan has stopped selling fries, as industrial disputes that have crimped potato exports from the US took another bite out of the nation’s fast food market. The chain became the latest casualty of the potato shortage that has already forced McDonald’s Japan to ration its servings. “Due to the prolonged dockworkers’ disputes on the United States West Coast, it has become difficult to secure stable supplies of potatoes,” the firm said in a statement on Thursday. “The company will halt the sales of potatoes temporarily until a stable supply becomes available.” Fries troubles for “The Colonel” came after McDonald’s in Japan said last month it had airlifted in more than 1,000 tonnes of potatoes and had put in place emergency shipment via an unusual sea route. The airlift eased the shortage that had forced the chain to limit customers to small servings of fries. That came after the operator of the Gusto restaurant chain also said it planned to airlift in about 200 tonnes of french fries to avoid running short. Dockworkers in the US are reportedly on a go-slow and have not been providing full crews for months in a bid to gain bargaining leverage in labor negotiations with employers.

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