Officials meet in Panmunjom
A delegation met yesterday and Sunday with North Korean officials in Panmunjom truce village between South and North Korea to make preparations for a summit between US President Donald Trump and North leader Kim Jong-un, a US Department of State spokeswoman said. “A US delegation is in ongoing talks with North Korean officials at Panmunjom,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Sunday. A “pre-advance” team of officials was also traveling to Singapore to meet with North Koreans there, the White House said.
Mass cow cull planned
The government yesterday said it plans to slaughter about 150,000 cows in a bid to eradicate a strain of disease-causing bacteria from the nation. Politicians and industry leaders said the plan would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and, if successful, would be the first time an infected nation has eliminated Mycoplasma bovis. The bacteria, which cause cows to develop mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and other diseases, was discovered in the country for the first time in July last year. Officials say they plan to kill all cows on any farms where the bacteria are found, even if some are healthy. Officials have the legal authority to forcibly enter farms and kill animals even in cases where a farmer might resist, but they said they hope they do not have to use those powers. Many of the cows will be slaughtered at processing plants and used for beef, but some will have to be killed and buried on the farms or dumped in approved landfills.
Interim leader named
The ruling party and the opposition have selected a former chief justice as the nation’s caretaker prime minister for an interim two-month period. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, whose term ends on Thursday when the parliament is to be dissolved ahead of elections scheduled for July 25, and opposition leader Khursheed Shah announced that Nasir-ul-Mulk has been appointed caretaker. Mulk is expected to sworn in on Friday.
World Cup TV ban mulled
Minister of Public Security Gilad is seeking to ban Palestinian prisoners who are members of Hamas from watching the upcoming World Cup, he said on Sunday. “I have no intention of letting Hamas members who are detainees in our prisons enjoy the World Cup matches while we have Israeli hostages and soldiers in the Gaza Strip,” Erdan said, as quoted by the YNet news Web site. He said he had asked the Israel Prison Service to “put pressure” on jailed members of Hamas. Under current rules, prisoners have the right to watch television, but Erdan said he was checking to see if regulations could be changed in time for the World Cup. Prisoners who “support terrorism cannot benefit from a sporting competition which unites populations,” he said.
Elderly driver kills one
A woman was killed yesterday and three others injured as a car driven by a 90-year-old driver ploughed into pedestrians in Chigasaki, officials said. The car mounted the curb near a busy crossroads, hitting four pedestrians, a police spokesman said. “One female victim was later confirmed dead and three others — two women and one man — were injured,” he added.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after