Two small planes crash
A small plane crashed into a forest on Saturday, killing a local family of four who had just taken off for France, police said. In a separate incident, a vintage World War II plane crashed in the country’s southeast later the same day, with up to 20 people feared dead. Local media and aviation Web sites have reported that the plane, which seated 17 passengers along with two pilots and a flight attendant, was fully booked and that no one survived. “The JU-Air team is deeply saddened and is thinking of the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims,” JU-Air said on its Web site yesterday. The airline was established in 1982 and offers sightseeing, charter and adventure flights with its three mid-20th century Junkers Ju-52 aircraft.
Ebola outbreak kills 33
A new outbreak of the Ebola virus is believed to have killed 33 people in the east of the country, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Thirteen Ebola cases have been confirmed since the fresh outbreak was declared on Wednesday in North Kivu Province. While just three of the fatalities have been among the 13 confirmed cases, the death toll is believed to have risen to 33, the health authorities said in a bulletin. Containing an Ebola outbreak in a “war zone” in the country is among the most difficult challenges the WHO has faced, a top WHO official said on Friday. In North Kivu, health workers have to navigate their response among more than 100 armed groups, 20 of whom are “highly active,” WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters.
Seagal appointed envoy
Moscow has appointed action movie star Steven Seagal as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the US. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday announced the move on Facebook, saying Seagal’s portfolio in the unpaid position would be to “facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges.” Seagal is an accomplished martial artist — like President Vladimir Putin. The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has vocally defended Putin’s policies, including the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticized the US government.
Moms breastfeed in public
Hundreds of mothers yesterday simultaneously nursed their babies in public, some of them two at a time, in a government-backed mass breastfeeding event aimed at combating child deaths. About 1,500 women, some of them wearing tiaras and superhero T-shirts, sat on the vast floor of a Manila stadium and let their babies suckle to the beat of dance music. The annual event aims to draw public support for a government campaign to get more mothers to switch to breast milk from infant formula, organizer Rose Padua said.
Rival groups clash
Small scuffles broke out on Saturday as police in Portland, Oregon, deployed flash-bang grenades and other means to disperse hundreds of right-wing and self-described anti-fascist protesters. Four people were arrested during the protests, the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement. Officers also seized “multiple weapons throughout the day,” police said. A reporter for The Oregonian was bloodied when he was struck by a projectile. Eder Campuzano later tweeted that he was “okay.”
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread