The government is taking emergency measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever, state media said yesterday, weeks after confirming an outbreak in the country. The virus, fatal to wild boar and pigs, but harmless to humans, has cut a swathe through China, Vietnam and Mongolia before reaching the country. Pyongyang last month told the World Organisation for Animal Health that 77 out of 99 pigs had died from the disease at a farm near the Chinese border, the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture has said. Seoul has expressed concern over the possible spread of the disease across the border and repeatedly offered to assist with quarantine efforts, but said that Pyongyang had yet to respond. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said that nationwide quarantine efforts were under way, including disinfecting farms and banning the distribution of pork products. “Emergency preventive efforts are actively under way all across the country to block the spread of the African swine fever,” it said.
Flooding kills 19 people
Flooding caused by torrential rains has killed at least 19 people in the south, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. In the Guangxi region, which borders Vietnam, week-long downpours triggered floods in six cities, killing 12 and affecting more than 570,000 people, Xinhua said, citing the regional emergency management department. Houses collapsed and crops were damaged, it added. Rainfall was expected to intensify through today, the regional weather bureau said, according to Xinhua. In Guangdong Province, seven people were killed and one was missing as heavy rain destroyed roads and toppled houses, the report added.
Troops to head to Poland
The government was yesterday expected to announce that it would send about 1,000 additional troops and a squadron of Reaper drones to Poland to beef up the nation’s ability to defend itself amid worries about Russian military activity, officials said on Tuesday. A preliminary agreement avoids any permanent US base or presence in the country and sticks instead to a rotational force, they said. The Reaper drones would be used to provide greater intelligence to Poland, they added. An announcement was expected yesterday, when President Donald Trump meets with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House.
Most Internet users fooled
About 86 percent of Internet users have been duped by misinformation, a global survey published on Tuesday showed. Respondents said that they want governments and social media companies to crack down on these activities, which are contributing to a growing distrust of the Internet, as well as negatively affecting economies and political discourse. The US took the lion’s share of the blame for spreading misinformation, followed by Russia and China, the annual Ipsos survey of more than 25,000 Internet users in 25 countries found. The results revealed widespread distrust of social media companies, and growing concerns over online privacy and biases baked into algorithms used by Internet companies.
Top diplomat to visit China
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard on Tuesday said that he plans to visit China after a G20 summit in Japan later this month. “The meeting in China is very important, something that we’ve been planning for months,” Ebrard said at a banking conference, adding that the visit would take place early next month. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador last week said that he does not plan to travel to the G20 meeting in Osaka scheduled for June 28 to 29, adding that Ebrard and Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Carlos Urzua would represent him instead. It is to be the first time a Mexican president skips the summit of the most powerful world leaders.
Trump decries CIA sources
Trump on Tuesday took a public stance against the use of CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, possibly taking away a valuable tool of the intelligence community. Trump spoke a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Kim’s slain half brother, Kim Jong-nam, was a source for the CIA. “I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half brother, and I would tell him [Kim Jong-un] that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” Trump said.
Official says firing political
The head of the National Indian Foundation on Tuesday said that he was fired due to pressure from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which under President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking to open reservation lands to commercial agriculture and mining. Franklimberg Ribeiro de Freitas was dismissed by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, which oversees the agency, the ministry confirmed. In remarks to agency employees, De Freitas blamed Luiz Antonio Nabhan Garcia, secretary of land affairs in the agriculture ministry, for his dismissal. De Freitas said that Bolsonaro was “very poorly advised.”
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