Friday, October 16, 2020

Anti-Monarchy Protests In Bangkok, Thailand

(Staff article from the ABC NEWS Australia on 16 October 2020.)

Bangkok anti-government protests see riot police use water cannon and shields: Electric blue water with tear gas shot from a water cannon flies over demonstrators during a Bangkok protest. The UN has voiced concern over Thai authorities' harsh response to pro-democracy protests.

Thai police used water cannons and pushed forward with riot shields and batons in an attempt to disperse thousands of protesters who defied a ban on demonstrations for a second day. The protesters had gathered in monsoonal rains to push their core demands, including that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha leave office, the constitution be amended and the nation's monarchy undergo reform.

Protesters pushed back, some using umbrellas, while a few threw plastic bottles at police in full riot gear. "The dictatorial government is using violence to disperse the people's movement," said Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, one of the protest leaders.

Smoking-gun Email Reveals Biden Family Corruption

(Emma-Jo Morris's article from The NEW YORK POST on 14 October 2020.)

Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad: Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads. An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Joe Biden: Finger Rapist and Next US President?

                          (Staff articles from The FOX NEWS & NEW YORK TIMES in April 2020.)

The allegations were leveled earlier this week by a woman named Tara Reade, an apparent supporter of Biden’s primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who said she was a staff assistant for Biden in 1993 when he was in the Senate.

Reade has come forward before—last year, when multiple women emerged claiming inappropriate touching by Biden. Reade, at the time, claimed Biden put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed his fingers up and down her neck, but was unable to gain traction on her story aside from an article in a local newspaper.

But this week, Reade told a far more graphic account, with different and more serious details, raising the allegation to the level of sexual assault. Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept. She then was interviewed by podcast host Katie Halper. There, Reade claimed that in 1993, she was asked by a more senior member of Biden’s staff to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Tony Abbott: Lockdowns Are Health Dictatorship

(Staff article from The ABC NEWS on 01 September 2020.)

Tony Abbott urges against coronavirus restrictions, argues 'uncomfortable questions' need to be asked: Tony Abbott says media has spread "virus hysteria" and people should be allowed to make their own decisions.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for COVID-19 restrictions to be relaxed, arguing officials have become trapped in "crisis mode" and that governments need to consider "uncomfortable questions" about the number of deaths they are prepared to live with.

Mr Abbott said governments have approached the pandemic like "trauma doctors instead of thinking like health economists". He accused Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews of wanting to extend a "health dictatorship" by pushing for an extension of state of emergency powers. He said the media had spread "virus hysteria" and people should be allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to their own lives.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Flow Of Illicit Chinese Guns To Myanmar Insurgents

(Staff article from The EFSAS on 24 July 2020.)

Chinese rifles in the hands of AA insurgents.
The easy flow of illicit Chinese weapons into Myanmar poses threats to regional security and stability, according to The European Foundation for South Asian Studies - EFSAS). Reports on the independent Myanmar-centric news website The Irrawaddy recently brought to light the seizure on 23 June of a large consignment of Chinese-made weapons in Mae Sot district on the Thai side of the Myanmar-Thailand border.

While preliminary investigations have suggested that the weapons may have been destined for insurgent groups in Myanmar, the development has nonetheless raised antennae within security circles in New Delhi. It has also reignited the serious questions that had existed for long about the scope and depth of China’s support to terrorist groups in the region in pursuit of its policy of what a Thailand-based organization termed “diplo-terrorism”.

A joint task force of the Thai military and police carried out a raid on a house in Mae Tao in Mae Sot district, which in recent years has emerged as a hotbed of insurgents of all ideological persuasions and a preferred staging area for the transportation of arms and ammunition, and uncovered a large cache of Chinese-made weapons.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Stranded Burmese Crew of Bulk-carrier Unison Jasper

(Staff article from The ABC NEWS on 31 July 2020.)

Crew members of ship detained in Newcastle complain of mistreatment, underpayment: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has detained a ship in the Port of Newcastle after seafarers complained about being mistreated, fatigued and underpaid.

Eleven crew from Myanmar have been taken off the ship and transferred to Sydney, after Australian Border Force and NSW Police were called to Kooragang Island where the Unison Jasper is docked. With their suitcases packed and masks on, the crew members waited several hours while police coordinated exemptions so they could be transferred to a hotel for quarantine and then eventually flown home.

According to the International Transport Workers' Federation, the crew members were desperate to return home. When the ship arrived in Newcastle this week, union representatives boarded and said they found documents showing the seafarers were in some cases only being paid a quarter of what they were due.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Australia Forcing Google To Pay Failing Newspapers

(Staff articles from The BLOOMBERG NEWS & FOX BUSINESS on 30 July 2020.)

Australia to force Facebook, Google to pay media companies for content: U.S. social media and search giants would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content. Australia will force Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.

Frydenberg said the mandatory code of conduct, which will be legislated into law this year, is needed to ensure the viability of Australian media companies. "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 media landscape," Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

Under Australia's proposal, the U.S. social media and search giants would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content. Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content. Both companies have spent years fending off demands for payment from news publishers worldwide.

Monday, August 17, 2020

ASEAN East-West Economic Corridor Railway

(James Clark's article from The LIVING IN ASIA on 21 April 2020.)

The East–West Economic Corridor Railway from Myanmar to Vietnam: The East–West Economic Corridor is an economic development program spanning across mainland Southeast Asia, covering Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, with Cambodia also included.

The corridor was envisaged as a land bridge connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans, saving the sea route via the Malacca Strait. The road route connects the port cities of Mawlamyine in the west, to Da Nang in the east.

The EWEC also calls for the development of a railway that would connect the two ports. The railway would then serve cargo and passenger trains. Work on the EWEC has focused on improving highways, building new bridges, and streamlining cross-border transport agreements. Unfortunately, not a single kilometre of new railway has been added.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Kamala Harris Is Not A Natural-Born Citizen?

(Dr. John Eastman's article from The NEWSWEEK on 12 August 2020.)

The fact that Senator Kamala Harris has just been named the vice presidential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has some questioning her eligibility for the position.

The 12th Amendment provides that "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." And Article II of the Constitution specifies that "[n]o person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of President."

Her father was (and is) a Jamaican national, her mother was from India, and neither was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of Harris' birth in 1964. That, according to these commentators, makes her not a "natural born citizen"—and therefore ineligible for the office of the president and, hence, ineligible for the office of the vice president.

"Nonsense," runs the counter-commentary. Indeed, PolitiFact rated the claim of ineligibility as "Pants on Fire" false, Snopes rated it simply "False," and from the other side of the political spectrum, Conservative Daily News likewise rated it "False."