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.”
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘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
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting