One Daniels suit dismissed
A federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, saying Trump made a “hyperbolic statement” against a political adversary when he tweeted about a composite sketch the actress’ lawyer released. Daniels in April sued Trump after he said a composite sketch of a man she said threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump was a “con job.” Judge S. James Otero said Trump’s statement was protected speech under the First Amendment. Daniels’ attorney vowed to appeal the decision and said he was confident it would be reversed.
‘Night Watch’ to be restored
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is going to restore its most famous painting, Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch, starting in July next year in a project that is to be open to the public and viewable online. Rijksmusem general director Taco Dibbits yesterday said the huge masterpiece is to be encased in a specially built glass chamber as it first undergoes a thorough varnish-to-canvas examination using a precise microscope. The work, which last underwent a restoration 40 years ago, is starting to show blanching in parts of the canvas, he said.
Voting records on sale
An estimated 35 million voter records from 19 states have been offered for sale on a darkweb online forum, security researchers said on Monday. The offering does not mean voter databases have been breached, they said, adding that the records could have been stolen from resellers who buy voter data from states for use by campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts. Policies vary by state on who can buy such records, which typically include telephone numbers and addresses, and sometimes voting histories. Experts said the main risk is of identity theft.
Photos trigger resignation
An Idaho state wildlife official on Monday was forced to resign after photographs of him posing with a family of baboons and other wild creatures he killed last month during a hunting trip in Africa went viral online. In a resignation letter to Idaho Governor Clement Leroy Otter, Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer cited poor judgement in posting the images. Otter said he asked for and received Fischer’s resignation on Monday. Among the photographs is one of Fischer smiling while propping up the heads of bloodied baboon carcasses, including that of a baby in its mother’s embrace.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Bentleys bought for APEC
The government has reportedly bought three Bentley limousines to use at the APEC summit next month, in a move set to rev up further outrage after the purchase of 40 Maseratis for the event. The Bentley Flying Spur cars cost more than A$320,000 (US$227,993) each, the Australian newpaper reported. The cars were en route by sea, it said, publishing an invoice purportedly detailing the purchase from a Malaysian company, South Pacific Ventures. “We are disgusted,” Legislator Bryan Kramer said on social media on Monday after meeting with other lawmakers to discuss the issue. A strike was originally scheduled for this week, but Kramer said it had been deferred to Thursday next week to avoid clashing with school exams.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
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
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
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