Lawmaker sparks outrage
Lawmaker Jeong Kab-yoon from the conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party yesterday provoked outrage by berating a female economics professor nominated to head the Fair Trade Commission for not “fulfilling her duty to the nation” by having a child. “I’m aware that you are still single and the biggest problem in South Korea is that [women] are not giving birth,” Jeong said at the confirmation hearing for Joh Sung-wook, an unmarried academic in her mid-50s, Yonhap news agency reported. “You have a great resume, but please fulfil your duties to the nation.” While Joh did not react to his remark, social media users were furious. “This is an outright sexual assault and a violation of women’s rights,” one wrote.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Australia contract canned
The Ministry for Immigration and Border Security yesterday took a significant step toward shutting the Manus Island refugee camps that have become synonymous with Australia’s controversial immigration policies, by announcing it was ending a contract with Paladin Holdings, which runs the camps. The ministry said ending the contact to provide security and other services was “the most significant milestone to date in ending regional processing in Manus Province.” The remaining 64 migrants on Manus are to be transferred to Port Moresby or found homes overseas, it said. A local firm would be contracted to provide services in the interim, it added.
PM avoids fraud charges
Prosecutors have decided against charging Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a fraud case, DennikN reports, a major step toward clearing the biggest political risk for the billionaire leader. Authorities investigated the legality of a 50 million koruna (US$2 million) EU subsidy to one of Babis’ former firms more than a decade ago, before he became a politician. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The Prague prosecutor in charge of the case handed his decision to his supervisors, who will review the case, DennikN reported, citing people with knowledge of the case.
Student pilot lands plane
A Perth man taking his first flying lesson was forced to make an “amazing” solo landing after his instructor blacked out mid-flight. Max Sylvester’s wife and three kids watched from the ground as air traffic control talked him through safely landing the Cessna two-seater at Jandakot airport on Saturday. He had issued a mayday call from an altitude of 1,900m after his instructor slumped onto his shoulder and could not be woken. The instructor was taken to hospital in a stable condition and Sylvester received his first solo flight certificate.
Journalist killed by militants
A local extremist group linked to al-Qaeda was responsible for the murder of three prominent citizens, including a journalist missing for more than five years, the independent Presidential Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances said. Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, a reporter with the independent Minivan News Web site, was abducted on Aug. 8, 2014, and murdered at sea, the commission said. The reporter had received death threats from a group operating under the name Bilad-al-Sham on Facebook, the commission’s head said. The group was also responsible for the assassination of a moderate legislator in 2012 and liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed in 2017.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made