Weapon production ordered
Leader Kim Jong-un has supervised the test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system, and ordered its mass production and deployment throughout the country, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported yesterday, after weeks of defiant ballistic missile tests. The agency did not report the exact nature of the weapon or the time of the test, but said it was organized by the Academy of National Defense Science, a blacklisted agency that is believed to be developing missiles and nuclear weapons. “This weapon system, whose operation capability has been thoroughly verified, should be mass-produced to deploy all over the country ... so as to completely spoil the enemy’s wild dream to command the air,” KCNA said.
Gas mask imports banned
Courier services have told customers that the customs authority has banned them from importing items such as gas masks, slingshots and bulletproof vests used by some demonstrators in anti-government protests. Other prohibited items include first-aid supplies, such as burn cream and gauze, according to e-mailed messages sent to clients this week by the package delivery companies. These goods have been used to treat injured protestors. Courier services sending the advisories included local service Zoom and the local office of Mail Boxes Etc, known as MBE.
Conservatives elect leader
The Conservative Party on Saturday chose a 38-year-old social conservative and opponent of carbon taxes to lead its campaign against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election. Ottawa native Andrew Scheer was narrowly elected as the party’s leader at its convention in suburban Toronto, winning 50.95 percent of the available points under the Conservatives’ complex voting system. He defeated Maxime Bernier, a free-market conservative from Quebec, after 13 rounds of ballot counting.
‘Red collar’ rule change
Civil servants are to face new restrictions when changing jobs as authorities move to prevent them from using official posts to make personal profit, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Those in leadership positions or at the county level and above would not be allowed to work in businesses or for-profit organizations related to their previous administration for three years after resignation. Lower-level civil servants should also follow the rules, but with a limit of two years, according to Xinhua. So-called “red-collar” jobs are considered stable careers with generous benefits, especially those based in major cities and economically developed regions.
Gregg Allman dies aged 69
Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, the group that inspired and gave shape to both the Southern rock and jam-band movements, died on Saturday at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He was 69. His death was announced in a statement on his official Web site. His manager, Michael Lehman, said the cause was a reoccurrence of liver cancer. The band’s lead singer and keyboardist, Allman was one of the principal architects of a taut, improvisatory fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that became the Southern rock of the 1970s. Allman struggled for years with alcohol, heroin and other drugs, and entered treatment for them numerous times, before embarking on a path of recovery in the mid-1990s.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable
BEIJING REACTS: China announced that Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain would be suspended after those nations acted earlier New Zealand yesterday announced that it would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. The move came after China passed sweeping new security legislation for the territory. New Zealand is the final member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance to take such action after the Australia, Britain, Canada and the US previously announced similar measures. New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said that the new legislation goes against commitments China made to the international community. “New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China,” Peters said. Moreover, Wellington would treat military and technology exports to