Press freedom curbs decried
Media executives yesterday told a parliamentary inquiry that there are many laws that criminalize journalism in a nation plagued by official secrecy. The inquiry into press freedom was called by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security following high-profile Federal Police raids on media outlets in June. A dozen senior executives from major news organizations demanded changes to national security laws at the Sydney hearing. News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller criticized lawmakers for stamping the words “secret” or “classified” on documents, and then hiding behind laws that keep citizens in the dark. “We might not be living in a police state, but we are living in a state of secrecy,” he said.
‘Disguised’ police defended
Police have defended their tactics and use of force against protesters during another weekend of violent clashes, including deploying officers disguised as protesters and allegedly shooting at demonstrators at close range with pepper-spray pellets. The police on Monday attempted to fend off criticism about videos from Sunday night’s clashes that showed graphic images of a woman who was shot in the eye and of an arrest in which officers dressed like protesters pinned a bleeding demonstrator to the ground. “Our decoy officers do not take part in any unlawful activities,” Deputy Commissioner Tang Ping-keung (鄧炳強) said.
Trudeau warns China on HK
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said that he was extremely concerned about events in Hong Kong and urged Chinese authorities to handle the protests there with tact. “We certainly call on China to be very careful and very respectful in how it deals with people who have legitimate concerns in Hong Kong,” Trudeau told a news conference in Toronto.
Ex-head plotted coup: official
Former president Almazbek Atambayev, who was detained on Thursday last week in raids on his compound, was seeking to overthrow the government, State Committee for National Security head Orozbek Opumbayev said yesterday. “His intention was a state coup. I say that officially,” Opumbayev told a news conference in the capital of Bishkek. Atambayev was detained in a massive security operation after a previous attempt to detain him a day earlier failed amid clashes between his supporters and law enforcement that left one officer dead.
Suspects killed themselves
Police say they believe that two fugitives suspected of killing a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as another man died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire. The Manitoba Medical Examiner has completed the autopsies and confirmed on Monday that the bodies they found last week were indeed 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky.
Truck hid 146 migrants
Federal police said that they have found 146 Central American migrants packed aboard a freight truck in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The migrants were traveling in overcrowded and unsafe conditions in the tractor-trailer, the Department of Public Safety said on Monday. One hundred and fifteen of the migrants were from Honduras, and the rest were from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. They were placed in the custody of the National Institute of Migration.
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