Activist charged over rally
Authorities yesterday charged human rights activist Jolovan Wham for organizing public assemblies without a police permit, prompting rights groups to call on the government to guarantee the right to peaceful assembly. The 37-year-old former executive director of a group advocating the rights of foreign workers in Singapore could be fined up to S$10,000 (US$7,435) or imprisoned for up to six months, or both, if found guilty of repeat offenses. Wham was involved in a protest in June by several blindfolded activists who held up books on a subway train in a call for justice for 22 people detained in 1987 under a tough internal security law. He was also charged for vandalism and refusing to sign statements made during investigations, the Singapore Police Force said. He faces a total of seven charges stemming from public assemblies he organized from November last year, it said. Human Rights Watch urged the government to drop the case against “peaceful protester” Wham and to amend what it called a “draconian” law on public order to guarantee Singaporeans the right to peaceful assembly. A pre-trial conference for the case will take place on Dec. 13.
Hundreds more arrested
Prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 360 people in an operation targeting supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen within the army, state-run Anadolu news agency reported yesterday. It said 333 of those facing arrest in the Istanbul-based operation were soldiers, 216 of them serving personnel. Ankara accuses Gulen and his network of orchestrating an attempted coup last year. Gulen denies the charge. Istanbul police officers were continuing operations to capture the suspects, it said. The private Dogan news agency said seven of those facing arrest were pilots.
Classified army data online
UpGuard, a California-based cybersecurity company, on Tuesday said that it found top secret files related to classified army communications systems sitting unprotected online for anyone to see. The data belonged to the US Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, a division of the army and the National Security Agency. The agency referred questions to the intelligence command, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. UpGuard analyst Chris Vickery discovered the unprotected data online on Sept. 28. Vickery notified the government about what he had found and was told on Oct. 10 that it had been secured. The data contained 47 files and folders that could be viewed, including three that could be downloaded. The exposed data included sensitive details concerning a battlefield intelligence platform, known as the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, as well as the platform’s troubled cloud auxiliary program codenamed “Red Disk.”
Morales cleared for 4th run
The nation’s highest court on Tuesday struck down limits on re-election in the constitution and election laws, paving the way for President Evo Morales to run for a fourth term in 2019. Morales’ Movement to Socialism (MAS) party in September asked the court to rescind legal limits barring elected authorities from seeking re-election indefinitely, saying they violate human rights. “All people that were limited by the law and the constitution are hereby able to run for office, because it is up to the Bolivian people to decide,” Macario Lahor Cortez, head of the Plurinational Constitutional Court, wrote in the ruling.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of