Trump claims Nobel nod
President Donald Trump on Friday said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work to open up a dialogue with North Korea. At an event at the White House, Trump spoke about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. Early exchanges with Kim were filled with “fire and fury,” but since their first meeting last year, the two have established a good relationship, he said. Abe gave him a copy of the letter he wrote nominating him for the Nobel Prize, Trump said. A spokesman for the Japanese embassy said he had no information about such a letter.
Jail for abortion overturned
The Supreme Court has overturned a 30-year sentence for a woman convicted in July last year of aggravated homicide for allegedly having an abortion. The court ordered a new trial for Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz, who was released on Friday after almost three years in jail. She was greeted by advocates chanting: “Evelyn, you are not alone!” Hernandez said she was raped and did not realize she was pregnant. She also said she felt pains and passed out during what might have been a miscarriage in April 2016. Abortion is illegal in all situations in the country.
Missile purchase to go ahead
The government will not turn back from its deal to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying yesterday, a day after an informal deadline Washington set for Ankara to respond to a rival offer passed. US officials have said that if Ankara proceeds with the S-400 purchase, Washington would withdraw its offer to sell a US$3.5 billion Raytheon Co Patriot missile package. They have also said it would jeopardize the country’s purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and possibly result in the US imposing sanctions.
Call to isolate Iran rejected
The country on Friday rejected an appeal by US Vice President Mike Pence for Europeans to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and isolate Tehran. Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas defended the 2015 agreement under which Iran drastically scaled back its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. “Together with the Brits, French and the entire EU we have found ways to keep Iran in the nuclear agreement until today,” Maas told the Munich Security Conference. A day earlier, Pence accused Tehran of planning a “new Holocaust” with its opposition to Israel and regional ambitions in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.
Space harpoon tested
A harpoon flung from a satellite has successfully captured a piece of pretend space junk. The British-led experiment is part of an effort to clean up debris in orbit. The steel-tipped harpoon on Friday last week scored a bullseye, the University of Surrey’s Guglielmo Aglietti said on Friday. The harpoon — no bigger than a pen — pierced an aluminum panel the size of a table tennis paddle attached to the end of a satellite boom. The distance was just 1.5m, but researchers were delighted. A video shows the harpoon slamming into the target and knocking it off its perch and then the harpoon cable becoming entangled around the boom. A much bigger harpoon would be needed to snare a real dead satellite, Aglietti said.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of