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Mar 21 08:07

Myanmar Military Seizes George Soros Organization’s Bank Accounts, Announces Arrest Warrants After Coup

The military government in Myanmar, in place after a coup provoked by widespread accusations of voter fraud plagued the country’s recent election, has now seized the bank accounts of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

After taking control of the country in a military coup provoked by allegations of voter fraud earlier this year, the Myanmar military government has seized several bank accounts belonging or affiliated with George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and has announced arrest warrants for 11 members of the organization in the country “on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta.”

Mar 19 14:37

Myanmar Regime Seizes Bank Accounts of George Soros' Open Society Foundation!!!

Myanmar Regime Seizes Bank Accounts of George Soros' Open Society Foundation!!!, Issues arrest warrants for Soros Staffers!

The Jews have been kicked out of 109 nations, some of them twice. I think Soros makes that 115 but the number could be higher!

Mar 19 11:49

Myanmar Military Seizes George Soros Organization’s Bank Accounts, Announces Arrest Warrants After Coup

The military government in Myanmar, in place after a coup provoked by widespread accusations of voter fraud plagued the country’s recent election, has now seized the bank accounts of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

After taking control of the country in a military coup provoked by allegations of voter fraud earlier this year, the Myanmar military government has seized several bank accounts belonging or affiliated with George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and has announced arrest warrants for 11 members of the organization in the country “on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

NOW they've done it! :)

Mar 19 08:06

Myanmar factory attacks put focus on Chinese influence

Confusion over what exactly happened during recent attacks on factories in Myanmar has highlighted the complex and troubled nature of the country's relations with China amid a broad public backlash against a Feb. 1 coup.

Many in Myanmar suspect Beijing of supporting the military’s takeover, and there has long been a deep vein of resentment against China's growing influence, but protesters insist they were not responsible for a spate of attacks on factories last weekend. Some say they suspect the military instigated attacks on the factories to justify imposing martial law in industrial zones that have been hotspots for protests against the junta.

Adding to the uncertainties, China has said it is prepared to do more to protect its extensive business investments in Myanmar, which include factories, pipelines and other big infrastructure projects.

Mar 19 07:49

Fears of 'digital dictatorship' as Myanmar deploys AI

Protesters in Myanmar fear they are being tracked with Chinese facial recognition technology, as spiralling violence and street surveillance spark fears of a "digital dictatorship" to replace ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Human rights groups say the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to check on citizens' movements poses a "serious threat" to their liberty.

More than 200 people have been killed since Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi was overthrown in a Feb. 1 coup, triggering mass protests that security forces have struggled to suppress with increasingly violent tactics.

Security forces have focused on stamping out dissent in cities including the capital Naypyitaw, Yangon and Mandalay, where hundreds of CCTV cameras had been installed as part of a drive to improve governance and curb crime.

Mar 19 07:07

Myanmar’s Side of the Story

Mar 18 12:39

Australia: Sex consent app proposal sparks backlash

Australians have derided a suggestion by the New South Wales (NSW) police commissioner that an app could be used to register sexual consent.

On Thursday, Mick Fuller championed the idea of an app where people could digitally record their mutual agreement to have sex.

He said the technology could be used to establish "positive consent".

But many people have criticised the proposal as short-sighted and potentially open to abuse.

Concerns have also been raised about whether it could be used for state surveillance.

Mar 18 05:05

Myanmar: Hidden Opposition Violence

As is common with US-backed color revolutions around the globe, the Western media will attempt to cover up opposition violence for as long as possible until shifting the narrative toward a “reluctant civil war” in which opposition groups were “given no choice” but to take up arms.

Of course, in every example – from Libya and Syria to Yemen and Ukraine – violence was part of US-backed political subversion from the beginning.
This is no different in the Southeast Asian state of Myanmar where US-backed protesters are in the streets fighting with Myanmar’s police and military.

Mar 17 07:19

Myanmar: Protests continue, powerful Buddhist group signals break with junta

Daily protests have been ongoing for more than a month in Myanmar since the military ousted the civil government and arrested de facto leader Aung Sung Suu Kyi and other political leaders.

Security forces, made up of police and military personnel, have intensified a brutal crackdown that includes shooting protesters and overnight arrests.

At least 180 people, including children, have been killed since the coup on February 1, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office.

More than 2,100 people have also been detained, often during overnight raids.

Mar 17 06:27

Blinken: US Will 'Push Back' Against China's 'Coercion and Aggression' in Indo-Pacific

In their first overseas trip, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Tokyo, Japan, and met with several Japanese officials, including Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, to hold a "two-plus-two," bilateral dialogue regarding the Indo-Pacific region.

The US' top diplomat issued a warning to China on Tuesday, urging Beijing to shy away from their usual "coercion and aggression" in the Indo-Pacific region.

"China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law," Blinken said during the March 16 news conference from Tokyo.

Mar 16 08:37

Australian Navy caught in massive coronavirus vaccine side effects COVER-UP as sailors collapse into “critical condition” following vax jabs

The mainstream media does not want anyone to know that sailors in the Australian Navy have been dropping like flies ever since Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines became available to them.

Numerous stories detailing the horrific adverse events incurred by members of the Australian military have been completely scrubbed from the web. Some of them have been replaced with highly sanitized propaganda pieces claiming that only “mild side effects” are being observed.

Gregg Hunt, Australia’s Health Minister, who pushed the experimental gene therapy injections on his nation’s military, fell “critically ill” himself just one day after getting jabbed for the Chinese virus. All of this has created major setbacks for the pro-vaccine lobby, which is having an increasingly harder time convincing people to get stabbed.

Mar 16 05:57

Death toll in weeks of Myanmar protests passes 180: activist group

A total of 183 people have been killed by security forces in weeks of protests against the military coup in Myanmar, an activist group said on Monday.

At least 20 people were killed on Monday, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said. On Sunday, 74 people died - the bloodiest single day so far.

Mar 16 05:56

China takes toughest line yet on Myanmar crisis as turmoil escalates

China called on Myanmar's military to stop attacks on Chinese-invested factories after dozens went up in flames in Yangon on Sunday - Beijing's strongest comments yet on the crisis gripping its Southeast Asian neighbour.

In one of the deadliest days since the military seized power in a coup in February, Myanmar's security forces killed dozens of protesters on Sunday, some of them near an industrial zone housing the factories.

The protesters accuse Beijing of supporting the coup and the junta although China has denied playing a role in the turmoil.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Mar 16 05:55

32 Chinese-invested factories vandalised in attacks in Myanmar: Global Times

A total of 32 Chinese-invested factories were vandalised in “vicious” attacks on Chinese companies in Myanmar’s Yangon as of noon on Monday, China’s state-controlled tabloid Global Times said.

Two Chinese employees have been injured and no fatalities have been reported, with property losses reaching 240 million yuan ($36.9 million), Global Times wrote in a post on its Twitter account, citing the local Chinese embassy.

Mar 15 07:46

Exclusive: Myanmar’s First Satellite Held By Japan On Space Station After Coup

Myanmar’s first satellite is being held on board the International Space Station following the Myanmar coup, while Japan’s space agency and a Japanese university decide what to do with it, two Japanese university officials said.

The $15 million satellite was built by Japan’s Hokkaido University in a joint project with Myanmar’s government-funded Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University (MAEU). It is the first of a set of two 50 kg microsatellites equipped with cameras designed to monitor agriculture and fisheries.

Human rights activists and some officials in Japan worry that those cameras could be used for military purposes by the junta that seized power in Myanmar on Feb. 1.

That has put the deployment on hold, as Hokkaido University holds discussions with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the two Hokkaido University officials said.

Mar 13 20:42

Doctors, healthcare workers to be punished for anti-vax COVID claims

Doctors, nurses and pharmacists who spread COVID anti-vaccination claims will face harsh penalties, including being stripped of their ability to practise, by the medical watchdog.

The national medical boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) released a joint directive warning healthcare practitioners that they risk regulatory action if they spout false or deceptive misinformation to patients or on social media that could undermine the national vaccination program as the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout begins.

“There is no place for anti-vaccination messages in professional health practice, and any promotion of anti-vaccination claims including on social media, and advertising may be subject to regulatory action,” spokesman for the medical boards and Pharmacy Board chairman Brett Simmonds said.

Mar 13 07:08

Russia to retaliate, if US brings intermediate-range missiles to Asia-Pacific — diplomat

Russia will react and take measures to maintain its national security, if the United States deploys intermediate and shorter-range missiles to the Asia-Pacific Region, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Friday following Japanese mass media reports Tokyo and Washington were mulling plans for discussing the outlook for bringing to Japan US ground-based intermediate range missiles, previously banned under the INF treaty.

Mar 10 07:37

Bangladesh bought phone-hacking tools from Israel, documents show

Documents obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) and Israeli newspaper Haaretz reveal how the Bangladesh government spent at least $330,000 on phone-hacking equipment made by an Israeli company, even though the two countries do not have diplomatic relations.

Developed by the Cellebrite security firm, UFED is a product that is capable of accessing and extracting data from a wide range of mobile phones. Its ability to hack encrypted phone data has worried civil rights campaigners, who have long called for its use to be more strictly regulated.

Mar 10 06:45

U.S. plans to deploy long-range missiles in Asia to deter 'our greatest strategic threat'

The U.S. military plans to deploy long-range missiles in Asia capable of threatening China as part of efforts to deter a conflict with Beijing, the commander of American military forces in the Pacific said Tuesday.

Adm. Philip S. Davidson, who soon will be retiring as the four-star commander of the Indo Pacific Command, also told a congressional hearing his most pressing defense need is a ground-based missile defense system on the U.S. island of Guam to provide 360-degree defense from a potential Chinese attack.

With the Biden administration still formulating its diplomatic and security strategy for East Asia, Adm. Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the greatest long-term strategic threat to security in the 21st century [is] China.” The Pentagon is pressing for a major increase in funding for the theater.

Feb 28 07:32

Myanmar protesters injured as police escalate use of force

Myanmar security forces cracked down on anti-coup protesters in the country’s second-largest city on Friday, injuring at least three people, two of whom were shot in the chest by rubber bullets and another who suffered a wound on his leg.

Protesters had gathered on a wide road outside a park in Mandalay in the early afternoon when security forces arrived and began firing what sounded like gunshots and using flash bang grenades to disperse the crowd.

Bullets, shell casings, and other projectiles were later found by local residents on one of the main streets and shown to journalists.

The victims were all taken to a private clinic for treatment. One of the men who was shot in the chest with a rubber bullet also had a white bandage wrapped around his head. The man with an injured leg was later photographed in a cast that stretched from his foot to his knee.

Feb 26 08:39

6,500 ASIAN WORKERS DIED BUILDING FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 STADIUMS IN QATAR

Deaths of more than 6,500 South Asian workers has been reported in Qatar building stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 2011 to 2020. An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.
Qatar was awarded the FIFA World Cup 2022 hosting in 2010 and death of migrant workers has been reported since then.

An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.

These migrant workers were from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India. Government data from these countries reported 5,927 deaths and the Pakistan Embassy in Qatar further reported 824 deaths.

Feb 26 08:16

Myanmar riot police fire at crowd to disperse protesters, as military tries to reimpose rule after coup (VIDEO)

Witnesses have reported Myanmar riot police firing guns and stun grenades at protesters, dispersing crowds and setting up road blocks as the military tries to secure control after a coup removed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Footage earlier on Friday showed protesters and police in a standoff, as authorities attempted to disperse individuals who had gathered in the cities of Hledan, Mandalay, and Yangon to oppose military rule in the country.

Feb 26 07:18

Myanmar police fire into air to disperse protests as Suu Kyi's lawyer says access denied

Police dispersed protesters in Myanmar's two biggest cities on Friday, firing stun grenades, rubber bullets and guns into the air, witnesses said, as the challenge to the army's bid to re-impose its rule showed no sign of slackening.

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: Riot police officers get on a police vehicle during a rally against the military coup, in Yangon© Reuters/STRINGER Riot police officers get on a police vehicle during a rally against the military coup, in Yangon
At least one person was wounded in the protests in the main city of Yangon, a witness said, and several people were hurt in the second city of Mandalay.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and detained government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election her party won. The election commission said the vote was fair.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yeah, and we are still being told our last election was fair!

Feb 25 12:16

Protests in Myanmar amid flurry of Southeast Asian diplomacy

Protests against the coup continued in Myanmar on Wednesday with people gathering outside the embassies of Indonesia and Thailand, amid fears a flurry of diplomacy to build a regional coalition to steer a path out of the country’s political crisis could give the generals’ power grab legitimacy.

Wunna Maung Lwin, Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister, flew to Bangkok for talks on diplomatic efforts by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), a source in Thailand told Reuters news agency.

Feb 25 08:00

Facebook bans Myanmar military accounts with immediate effect over coup

Facebook announced in a blog post on Thursday that it has removed Instagram and Facebook accounts used by Myanmar’s military to communicate with the public in the wake of a coup by the armed forces in the Asian nation.

The social media company said it was left with no choice but to ban the accounts following the “deadly violence” in the country after the coup, believing that it was too risky to allow the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, to remain on its platforms.

Facebook will also remove and prevent all Tatmadaw-linked commercial entities from advertising on its platforms.

The tech company had previously removed 20 military-linked individuals – including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing – and organizations from the site in 2019 over “severe human rights violations,” and taken down six “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior networks” run by the Tatmadaw in the last two years.

Feb 24 09:16

More Myanmar protests follow strike amid foreign concerns

Protesters against the military’s seizure of power in Myanmar were back on the streets of cities and towns on Tuesday, a day after a general strike shuttered shops and brought huge numbers out to demonstrate.

In Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, a funeral was held for 37-year-old Thet Naing Win, one of two protesters shot dead by security forces on Saturday.

He and a teenage boy were killed when police and soldiers opened fire on a crowd that had gathered to support dock workers whom the authorities were trying to force to work. They have been on strike, as have many civil servants and state enterprise workers, as part of a nationwide civil obedience movement against the Feb. 1 military takeover.

Numbers were down from Monday’s massive crowds, but groups of demonstrators in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, assembled again at various venues on Tuesday for peaceful protests.

Feb 22 10:22

Huge crowds in Myanmar undeterred by worst day of violence

Huge crowds marched in Myanmar on Sunday to denounce a Feb. 1 military coup in a show of defiance after the bloodiest episode of the campaign for democracy the previous day, when security forces fired on protesters, killing two.

The military has been unable to quell the demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, even with a promise of new elections and stern warnings against dissent.

Tens of thousands of people massed peacefully in the second city of Mandalay, where Saturday’s killings took place, witnesses said.

“They aimed at the heads of unarmed civilians. They aimed at our future,” a young protester told the crowd.

Feb 22 07:39

Striking Oil Is No Antidote for What Ails Cambodia’s COVID-hit Economy

In the final days of 2020, Cambodia extracted its first crude oil from the Apsara field, 110 nautical miles off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province in the Gulf of Thailand. After years of delays, Prime Minister Hun Sen hailed the start of production as “a blessing for Cambodia,” making it the eighth oil producer in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Yet striking oil comes amid a COVID-induced recession, which saw Cambodia’s economy contract by 2% last year after decades of sustained growth.

Feb 22 07:37

Protests Against Military Takeover Hit Yangon, Myanmar on General Strike Day

The protests in the country are entering their third week, with reports suggesting that at least two people were recently shot dead and dozens injured amid violent clashes in the city of Mandalay.

Sputnik is live from Yangon, Myanmar, as mass demonstrations against military rule are being held in the city, with a general strike announced by protesters.

The wave of rallies come after the Myanmar military arrested the head of the government Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and the whole cabinet, formed by the National League for Democracy (NLD) on 1 February. The armed forces accused NLD of electoral fraud during the November 2020 vote and declared a one-year state of emergency.

Feb 22 07:31

Myanmar begins general strike as junta warns protesters can 'suffer loss of life'

Myanmar begins a nationwide general strike and thousands of protesters take to the streets across the country despite a curfew and a chilling warning by the military junta that anti-coup protesters will “suffer the loss of life.”

“Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life,” the military said in a statement on state-run broadcaster MRTV on Sunday.

The statement, read out in Burmese with text of the English version on the screen, cautioned protesters against inciting "riot and anarchy."

In the deadliest weekend since the February 1 coup, two protesters were killed on Sunday when security forces fired on a demonstration rally in the capitol. The protesters had gathered for the funeral of a woman who was shot in the head earlier this month and succumbed to her injuries on Friday.

On Saturday, two more protesters were killed when police opened fire in the city of Mandalay.

Feb 22 07:15

U.S.'s Blinken vows 'firm action' against Myanmar military

The United States will keep up “firm action” against Myanmar authorities violently cracking down on opponents of a military coup, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, after two protesters were shot dead over the weekend.

Myanmar’s security forces have been unable to stop more than two weeks of daily protests and a civil disobedience movement demanding the reversal of the Feb. 1 coup and the release of detained elected leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The United States will continue to take firm action against those who perpetrate violence against the people of Burma as they demand the restoration of their democratically elected government,” Blinken said in a post on Twitter.

Feb 18 08:41

Myanmar Protesters Denounce China's "Hidden Hand" In Propping Up Junta

There's increasing suspicion that China had a "hidden hand" in Myanmar's coup d'etat which kicked off Feb.1 upon the arrest and detention of the country's civilian leadership.

The substantial rumors that Beijing assisted in the military coup that's plunged its southeast Asian neighbor into unrest - with a near total internet blackout and armored vehicles patrolling the streets - have grown to the point that it prompted a formal denial from China’s ambassador to Myanmar.

Ambassador Chen Hai early this week responded to growing pro-democracy protests that have formed outside the Chinese embassy in the city Yangon. It a written public statement the ambassador claimed to have had no "prior knowledge" of the coup, further saying that allegations of Communist China's assisting in setting up a telecommunications firewall in cooperation with military coup forces are "laughable".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This blaming of China reinforces the theory that the unrest is a US-backed color revolution.

Feb 18 07:52

Protesters out again in Myanmar, police use water cannon in capital

Protesters demonstrated across Myanmar again on Thursday to denounce the Feb. 1 military coup and arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and police forcefully dispersed crowds, using water cannon in the capital and catapults in a northern town.

The daily protests and strikes that have paralysed many government offices show no sign of easing even though the junta has promised a new election and appealed for civil servants to return to work, threatening action if they do not.

Feb 17 07:18

Myanmar coup: Roads blocked in Yangon as thousands protest

Dozens of vehicles are blocking key roads across Myanmar's main city Yangon, in what appears to be a new tactic employed by protesters.

It comes as tens of thousands of people gather downtown, in what organisers hope will be the biggest protest yet.

The UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, also known as Burma, has warned of potential violence.

Demonstrators are demanding the release of their elected leaders following a 1 Feb military coup.

Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders have been detained by the military.

Today's protests, which have nearly paralysed traffic in downtown Yangon, come just a day after Ms Suu Kyi was handed a second criminal charge.

Feb 16 09:48

Philippines Wants More Than ‘Loose Change’ for US Troop Deal

With the US and the Philippines working out an extension of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which allows US troops in the Southeast Asian country on a rotational basis, Manila is looking to get as much money as it can out of Washington.

Harry Roque, a spokesman for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, said the US provides the Philippines military assistance that amounts to “loose change” compared to other countries. “If we have very strong ties with a very strong ally then I think it also comes with a higher amount of financial assistance to be given,” he said.

Roque cited a study that showed the US gave the Philippines $3.9 billion in military aid from 2002 to 2017, compared with $16.4 billion that Pakistan received over the same period. “We got $3.9 billion. Is that a huge amount? That’s loose change compared to what other countries were getting,” he said.

Feb 16 09:12

Myanmar coup: Military hardens online censorship campaign

For the third time in two weeks, Myanmar's junta has shut off the internet to restrict the flow of information for protesters. A new cybersecurity law would permit officials to arrest the military's online critics.

Internet access in Myanmar was cut off again on Monday, as the military attempts to stifle growing opposition to its rule weeks after a coup ousted the democratically elected government.

According to the network analysis company Kentik, internet traffic in and out of Myanmar was reduced to nearly zero early Monday morning. The blackout came as Myanmar's military, the Tatmadaw, deployed armored vehicles to counter-protesters in big cities.

Feb 16 07:29

'Not a Coup': Myanmar Armed Forces Had 'No Choice But to Take Power', Military Spokesman Says

Myanmar's military has also stated that they will stick to the 2008 constitution, which was adopted following a constitutional referendum held the same year.

Myanmar's armed forces had no choice but to seize power in the country, the spokesman for Myanmar’s military said on Tuesday, insisting it wasn't a coup.

The detention of the civilian government’s leaders was justified, General Zaw Min Tun said, claiming that alleged election fraud in November hasn't been addressed at the behest of the military, General Zaw Min Tun said.

"Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party," Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told a press conference.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, those people KNOW how to deal with election fraud!

Feb 15 10:02

MYANMAR JUNTA TELLS MEDIA "COUP" LABEL IS 'ILLEGAL' AS ARMORED VEHICLES POUR INTO CITIES

Myanmar's military coup leaders are lashing out at both world powers and the domestic public, including national media, over this month's dramatic events there being widely dubbed a coup d'état.
The junta is now declaring it illegal to use "incorrect words" such as coup when referring to the new government, the Ministry of Information announced Friday. The message further claimed the newly issued one year 'state of emergency' is "in accordance" with the constitution. The United States among other nations recently formally declared it recognizes that a coup d'état has occurred.

The army further said new laws are pending that will target "acts of instigation that may arouse civil unrest" - which presumably is aimed at media sources that use "coup" or related language in their reporting.

Feb 15 09:57

Myanmar protests resume, internet restored as military circles

Pro-democracy protests resumed in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, on Monday two weeks after the military seized power in a coup, despite a heavy military presence that has increased concern of a crackdown.

Livestreams shared by Myanmar media showed people gathering in different parts of Yangon, as an Internet blackout that was enforced overnight appeared to lift.

Feb 15 09:03

Philippines denies trying to ‘extort’ US after Duterte demands Washington pay for its troops staying in the country

The presidential spokesman has denied allegations that the government is trying to extort money from the US in exchange for a new Visiting Forces Agreement, but is upset that Washington gives more defense aid to other countries.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is only asking for compensation for the continued presence of American troops in the Philippines, presidential spokesman Harry Roque told reporters on Monday.

This is not extortion… The Philippines can face huge damages when we are involved in a war of attrition that we are not involved in but because the Americans are here and their armies and their equipment, it means we can be a valid military target.

Feb 15 08:39

Myanmar coup: Protesters face up to 20 years in prison under new law

Myanmar's military has warned anti-coup protesters across the country that they could face up to 20 years in prison if they obstruct the armed forces.

Long sentences and fines will also apply to those found to incite "hatred or contempt" towards the coup leaders, the military said.

The legal changes were announced as armoured vehicles appeared on the streets of several cities.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests in recent days.

The demonstrators are demanding the release from detention of their elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Feb 15 08:37

Tanks push through crowds of protesters in Myanmar as new law threatens 20 years in jail for anyone 'inciting hatred against coup leaders'

Armoured vehicles pushed through crowds of protesters in Myanmar today as the country's military rulers threatened activists with 20 years in jail for opposing their coup.

Vehicles appeared on the streets of Yangon and other large cities on Monday as the armed forces ramped up pressure on tens of thousands of protesters to abandon their quest for democracy and accept military rule.

Meanwhile new laws were passed carrying harsh penalties for anyone found guilty of obstructing the armed forces or of inciting 'hatred or contempt' towards coup organisers, including general-turned-ruler Min Aung Hlaing.

Feb 15 08:18

Police fire at anti-coup protesters in Myanmar as clashes intensify (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Fierce clashes have erupted between protesters in northern Myanmar and security forces. Footage emerged online showing police opening fire on the crowd. It’s unclear if live rounds or rubber bullets were used.

Dozens of protesters faced off with riot police at a power plant in the city of Myitkyina on Sunday. The city is 1,480 kilometers from the capital, Yangon in the northern part of the country, which has been gripped by protests since the February 1 military coup.

Feb 11 07:06

Something Is Iffy In Myanmar - Only Ten Days After The Coup There Is Already A U.S-Style Color Revolution Countering It

On February 1 the military of Myanmar, the Tatmadaw, launched a coup d'état. President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained, along with ministers and their deputies and members of the parliament. They were accused of some minor crimes and will be kept off the streets for some time. Aung San Suu Kyi party, the NLD which had widely won the latest election, will be prohibited.

All that was not astonishing and is unlikely to make a big difference in the politics within and towards the extremely complex country:

There’s no smoking gun, of course, but it’s virtually impossible that Beijing had not been at least informed, or “consulted”, by the Tatmadaw on the new dispensation.

Feb 10 12:10

Myanmar military raids Suu Kyi's party offices as UN slams 'unacceptable' violence

Myanmar's military raided the Yangon headquarters of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party late Tuesday, officials said, hours after the United Nations condemned "unacceptable" violence against protesters demanding a return to democracy.

The latest assault on Myanmar's civilian leadership came as anger at last week's coup and the detention of Suu Kyi by the generals has driven hundreds of thousands of people into the streets in recent days, defying a junta ban on rallies.

"The military dictator raided and destroyed NLD headquarters at around 9:30pm," the National League for Democracy announced on its Facebook page.

The party's short statement gave no further details.

The raid came after demonstrations erupted for a fourth straight day Tuesday, with police using water cannons in several cities, firing rubber bullets at protesters in the capital Naypyidaw and deploying tear gas in Mandalay.

Feb 09 09:25

Myanmar's military coup leader pledges to hold new election & repatriate Rohingyas amid mass protests

The leader of Myanmar's military junta has pledged to hold a new election and cede power to the winner, in his first speech since deposing State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in a coup last week.

Addressing the country via state TV on Monday, military ruler General Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar will become a "true and disciplined democracy". He also accused Suu Kyi and other leaders, who are currently under house arrest, of failing to properly hold the general election in November last year.

Aung Hlaing ousted Suu Kyi's government on February 1 after claiming her National League for Democracy Party (NLD) had rigged the vote, after it won in a landslide.

The military leader said he invited new foreign investment and pledged to keep foreign policy unchanged.

Feb 09 08:09

Myanmar military ruler defends coup as protests intensify

Myanmar’s new military rulers have imposed a curfew in the country’s two biggest cities and banned gatherings of more than five people, as they seek to stamp out growing protests against last week’s military coup.

The decrees issued on Monday came as Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in a televised address to the nation, called on the public to prioritise facts and not feelings and repeated the unsubstantiated claim that there were irregularities in November’s election.

Feb 09 08:09

Myanmar general pledges again to hold new election as anti-coup protests grow

Myanmar’s military leader said on Monday his junta would hold a new election and hand power to the winner as tens of thousands of people took to the streets for a third day to protest against the coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was speaking in a televised address, his first to the country since last Monday’s military takeover. He did not say when the election would be held, but repeated claims that last November’s poll, won by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), had been fraudulent.

In the capital Naypyitaw, crowds of protesters chanted anti-coup slogans and told police they should serve the people not the military, according to media and a live feed of events.

Feb 09 08:08

Military leaders order curfew, ban gatherings in Myanmar

The junta responsible for Myanmar’s military coup on Monday announced strict crackdowns on public protests in the nation’s two largest cities.

The junta announced an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in parts of the cities of Mandalay and Yangon, which have been the site of major demonstrations since last weekend. The rulers also said any motorized processions or gatherings of more than five people would be prohibited, according to The Associated Press.

Similar measures are likely for other cities and townships in the country, according to the AP. The country has seen mass demonstrations against the coup in its northern, southeastern and eastern regions.

Over the weekend, police hit hundreds of protesters in the capital city of Naypyitaw with water cannons. The capital, an unusual site for mass unrest, is the home of numerous civil servants seeking the restoration of the elected Myanmar government, which took power after five decades of military rule.

Feb 08 14:56

New Discovery In The Case Of Missing Flight MH370: ‘Secret’ Cargo Weighing Over 4 Metric Tons?

Thankfully, there are still folks out there who haven’t given up and are still trying to figure this mystery out.

One such person, reports Daily Express, is a MH370 investigative journalist named Florence de Changy, who recently made a very interesting discovery.

According to her upcoming book, The Disappearing Act, set to be released on June 8, 2021, the missing Boeing 777 was reported to have four-and-a-half metric tons of mangosteens (pictured below) on board when it took off from Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Changy is calling B.S. on that report, writing that the cargo manifest “could have been made public within minutes of the plane going missing,” but it was not. Plus, it took her more than two months to obtain on the plane’s cargo documents, and they were incomplete. Not normal.

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim also told her, “I wonder what kind of cargo could be so secret that the cargo manifest of a commercial flight is treated as a classified document.”

Feb 08 11:52

Days After Blocking Facebook, Myanmar’s Military Government Has Now Blocked Instagram and Twitter

Myanmar’s new military-led government has blocked Instagram and Twitter in the country in an attempt to squash citizen resistance to the coup it staged earlier this week that ousted the country’s democratically elected government.

The new restrictions were announced on Friday by Telenor, an internet provider with headquarters in Norway, which stated that all mobile operators, international gateways, and internet service providers in Myanmar received a directive from the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications to block the social media networks until further notice.

The move comes just days after the new government blocked Facebook, which is estimated to be used by roughly half of the country’s 55 million people. It is one of the most popular forms of communication in Myanmar.

Feb 08 08:20

How US plans for first Quad summit with leaders of Japan, Australia and India could be first steps towards ‘mini-Nato’ to counter Chinese influence

The US has proposed the first summit between the leaders of the “Quad” group, media reports said on Sunday, as the new administration looks to strengthen a framework that some observers believe could develop into a “mini-Nato” designed to counter China’s growing power in the Asia-Pacific.

Washington has already proposed an online meeting with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Sunday.

Joe Biden’s administration has already said it will build on the previous administration’s work in setting up the group, one of the few Donald Trump policies it has decided to continue.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said last week that the White House sees the Quad as “fundamental, a foundation upon which to build substantial American policy in the Indo-Pacific region”.

Feb 08 08:09

Myanmar police deploy water cannon as thousands continue protests against military coup (VIDEO)

Mass peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar against the military coup continued for the third day in a row, with thousands participating throughout the country. In the capital, Naypyidaw, police briefly used a water cannon.
The crowd control device was briefly used on Monday at a demonstration that was clogging a road. It was fired in short bursts, knocking some people to the ground, according to footage from the scene.

Feb 08 06:39

Real household incomes decline for first time in more than 10 years

The Covid-19 pandemic hit Singapore households hard last year, with the overall median household income falling for the first time since the economy was battered by the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Last year, the median household income fell 2.5 per cent in nominal terms from $9,425 to $9,189. After taking into account inflation, this works out to a 2.4 per cent drop in real terms.

The dip matches the decline seen in 2009, when the median monthly household income from work fell by 1.5 per cent in nominal terms, or 2.4 per cent in real terms after factoring in inflation.

In a new report released on Monday afternoon (Feb 8), the Department of Statistics (DOS) found that lower-income households were the hardest hit, with those in the bottom 10 per cent seeing a 6.1 per cent real decline in income.

In contrast, the rest of the households recorded real declines of 1.4 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

Feb 03 08:25

US Officially Declares Myanmar Situation a ‘Coup,’ Cutting Aid to Government

The Biden Administration officially declared on Tuesday that the seizure of power in Myanmar by the country’s military was a “coup d’etat,” triggering aid cuts and a review of all foreign aid to Myanmar.

US officials said the aid restrictions only apply to Myanmar’s government. The vast majority of US aid to Myanmar, an estimated $108.65 million requested for 2021, goes to organizations inside the country, and will not be affected.

The Biden Administration is considering additional sanctions against Myanmar’s military. A State Department official said four of Myanmar’s military leaders are already under US sanctions over their role in the displacement of the Muslim Rohingya population.

Feb 03 07:35

IMF Sent $350 Million in Cash to Myanmar Days Before Military Takeover, Report Says

On Monday, Myanmar's military declared a one-year state of emergency after detaining State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint as well as other politicians during a series of raids.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent $350 million in cash to the Myanmar government as part of an emergency aid package to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, an IMF spokesperson told Reuters.

The money was sent days before Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the governing National League for Democracy were arrested in an early morning raid on Monday in the capital Naypyitaw.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Interesting timing!

Feb 03 07:30

Fresh fears of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of violating ceasefire with machine gun volley

Just months after a Russian-brokered accord paused hostilities in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of restarting fighting, sparking concern for the fragile ceasefire.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Baku’s State Border Service said that “the provocations of the enemy on the frontier with Armenia are continuing.”

Earlier, they alleged, Armenia’s troops “violated the ceasefire by firing 20 machine guns at the border checkpoint.” However, Gevorg Altunyan, the head of the press service for the Defense Ministry in Yerevan, strongly denied the claims in comments to RIA Novosti. “This is an absolute lie,” he said.

On the same day, Armenian officials announced they had launched an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, insisting that Azerbaijan has violated the rights of the inhabitants of the disputed region.

Feb 03 06:48

World fell for ‘farcical’ notion of fragile democracy in Myanmar: Analyst

Muang Zarni, a Burmese academic in exile, says the military coup in Myanmar was not out of expectation as the international community came to accept the "farcical" notion that the country is "a fragile democracy" when in fact it has been largely controlled by the generals.

Feb 03 06:37

Myanmar coup: Detained Aung San Suu Kyi faces charges

The military sought to justify its action by alleging fraud in last November's elections, which Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won decisively.

Feb 02 09:15

Bangladesh-Based ‘Rohingyas’ Agitate against Regime Change in Myanmar

The aggressive statement by Bangladesh-based ‘Rohingya’ leader Dil Mohammad imploring the international community “to come forward and restore democracy at all costs” in Myanmar following Monday’s dramatic developments there is extremely counterproductive and risks confirming accusations that this Muslim minority group is being exploited as proxies for carrying out regime change in the Southeast Asian state.

Feb 02 08:44

'Chaos' in the White House as Biden administration officials argue over whether to call Myanmar military takeover a 'coup' over fears they will 'anger China and be forced to withdraw foreign aid'

President Joe Biden threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar on Monday as his administration debates whether to call the military takeover a 'coup.'

Insiders familiar with the back-and-forth described the discussions as 'chaos' as officials fear that the White House calling the military takeover a coup could anger China and force the United States to withdraw foreign aid, Politico reported.

Myanmar's army took power of the country early on Monday and declared a state of emergency after detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with members of her party.

Feb 02 08:41

Military coup in Myanmar a blow against the Biden regime

This week, news of a coup in Myanmar shocked international society. Official statements by the UN and several Western governments condemning the attitude of the Burmese military in overthrowing Aung San Suu Kyi and its allies are sharing space in public opinion with neutral statements that only call for the country’s stabilization, as was the Chinese position. Between having been dangerous to democratic institutions or merely changing the government by armed means, there is a range of different possibilities, making the case worthy of a technical and impartial analysis.

Feb 02 08:13

Biden Threatens Myanmar With Sanctions Over Army Coup, Vows to 'Stand Up for Democracy Under Attack’

Myanmar's military, Tatmadaw, detained National League for Democracy Party (NLD) leader and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as President Win Myint and other members of the ruling party on 1 February, voiding the NLD's landslide November election victory in response to alleged voter fraud and declaring a state of emergency for a year.

US President Joe Biden has made a statement warning that America could reinstate sanctions on Myanmar in light of the military takeover in the country.

Myanmar's military detained National League for Democracy Party (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials on 1 February, citing fraud concering the NLD's recent landslide election win.

Feb 02 07:48

Biden Threatens to Take Action Over Myanmar Coup

President Biden released a statement on Monday condemning the military coup in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and threatened to take action against those responsible.

Myanmar’s military seized power after claiming there was fraud in recent elections. The military detained senior political leaders, including Aung San Suu Ky, who served as the State Counsellor of Myanmar, the country’s de facto ruler.

In his statement, President Biden said the international community should come together and demand that Myanmar’s military “relinquish the power they have seized.”

“We will work with our partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition,” the statement said.

Feb 01 10:51

Myanmar: What happened and what's next?

Myanmar's newly elected parliament is scheduled to meet for the first time on Monday. However, the military earlier on Monday declared the legislative functions of all parliaments and leading bodies would be suspended as the country entered into a state of emergency.

The chaos raised several questions: what happened, why did the military act now and what happens next?

Feb 01 09:02

Azerbaijan won the war in Nagorno-Karabakh but reduced its sovereignty

Although Azerbaijan won the war against Armenia, both countries have in fact lost part of their sovereignty.

Azerbaijan won the war and expanded territorially after it captured or received the districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh proper that Armenian forces captured in the first war (1988-1994). The status of Nagorno-Karabakh proper remains undetermined but is protected by Russian peacekeepers and is still governed by Armenians.

Feb 01 08:40

Bangladesh sends Rohingya Muslim refugees to deserted islands

The government of Bangladesh has sent Rohingya Muslim refugees to remote and deserted islands in the Bay of Bengal.

More than 1400 refugees set sail for the island of Bhasan Char, the fourth group sent to the island, where the Bangladeshi government plans to eventually move 100,000 Rohingya.

Bangladesh also aims to decongest refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, which shelter approximately 1 million Rohingya.

The relocation began in December and have been criticized by human rights groups who say that many of the refugees are being forced to move against their will.

The government of Bangladesh says the relocation is voluntary. But many refugees have talked about the move as being coerced.

Feb 01 08:38

America vows to 'take action' if Myanmar military coup is not reversed after soldiers arrest Aung San Suu Ky, the president and MPs in dawn raids

America has vowed to 'take action' if Myanmar military coup is not reversed after soldiers arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Ky, the president and members of parliament in dawn raids on Monday.

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken condemned the reports in a statement released overnight, and called for the military to 'reverse these actions immediately'.

The generals struck amid fears that Suu Kyi would use her new mandate - which saw her humiliate military-backed parties at a vote held last year - to reform the constitution and remove their strangle-hold on power.

Military leaders, who claim the vote was fraudulent, have now declared a year-long state of emergency, appointed Vice President Myint Swe - a former general - as acting president, and closed all banks until further notice.

Feb 01 08:16

Military Coup Underway In Myanmar As Civilian Leaders Arrested - State TV Off Air, Internet Cut 

It appears a military coup is underway in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar (formerly Burma), where a state of confusion has descended on the population with soldiers now patrolling major city streets, and given state TV has also been taken off the air, according to Reuters.

The national army says a recent major vote won by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party was "fraudulent," as a breaking BBC report details:

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's governing National League for Democracy (NLD) party, has been arrested, the spokesman for the party said. It comes amid tensions between the civilian government and the military, stoking fears of a coup.

The NLD won enough seats in parliament to form a government in November, but the army says the vote was fraudulent.

The army has called on the government to postpone convening parliament, which was due to take place on Monday.

Feb 01 07:54

BREAKING: Burmese Military Arrests Country’s Leaders For Alleged Election Fraud

The leaders of the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar have been arrested by the nation’s military for allegedly committing massive vote fraud during the November 2020 elections.

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were both arrested in morning raids on Monday by the nation’s armed forces, after widespread allegations that they had committed election fraud.

The official results of the November election in Myanmar, also known as Burma, showed a victory for the liberal National League for Democracy (NLD), which is led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The conservative nationalist Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is supported by many members of the country’s military, lost several seats.

However, it soon became apparent, according to the military, that massive vote fraud had taken place.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We need some of that here!

Feb 01 07:32

Military stages coup in Myanmar, detains Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s military staged a coup Monday and detained senior politicians including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi — a sharp reversal of the significant, if uneven, progress toward democracy the Southeast Asian nation has made following five decades of military rule.

An announcement read on military-owned Myawaddy TV said the military would take control of the country for one year. It said the seizure was necessary because the government had not acted on the military’s claims of fraud in November’s elections — in which Suu Kyi's ruling party won a majority of the parliamentary seats up for grabs — and because it allowed the election to go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Feb 01 07:12

Myanmar army pledges new elections after one-year state of emergency

Myanmar’s military declared a one-year state of emergency on Monday (Feb 1) and appointed a general as acting president, after arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials.

The military said it would hold a "free and fair general election" after the emergency is over.

An announcement read out on military-owned Myawaddy TV said the move to declare an emergency was needed to preserve the "stability" of the state, accusing the country’s election commission of failing to address "huge irregularities" in the November election.

"The UEC (election commission) failed to solve huge voter lists irregularities in the multi-party general election which was held on Nov 8, 2020," said the statement signed by the new acting president Myint Swe, a former general who had been vice-president.

Jan 29 11:22

Hundreds of Rohingya disappear from Indonesia’s Lhokseumawe camp

Hundreds of Rohingya are missing from a refugee camp in Indonesia and are believed to have been trafficked to neighbouring Malaysia, according to officials and other sources.

Just 112 refugees remain at the makeshift camp in Lhokseumawe on Indonesia’s northern coast this week, well down from the almost 400 that arrived between June and September last year.

Jan 26 07:15

Asia Today: Taiwan quarantines 5,000 after hospital cluster

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Health authorities in Taiwan are quarantining 5,000 people while looking for the source of two new coronavirus cases linked to a hospital.

Officials said on Monday that they have not been able to identify how the husband and wife became infected after a brief hospital stay in the Taoyuan General Hospital, located in the city of Taoyuan just outside Taiwan’s capital city. The man had stayed at the hospital for three days for health problems unrelated to COVID-19, while his wife looked after him.

Those asked to quarantine include patients who were discharged from the hospital from Jan. 6 to 19, and their caregivers.

Taiwan is on higher alert after the latest domestic cluster, which has now seen 15 cases from the hospital in Taoyuan.

Taiwan has been applauded for its swift and sustained efforts to contain COVID-19, with just seven deaths and fewer than 900 confirmed cases, despite its close proximity to China, where the pandemic began.

Jan 23 08:26

Thousands in Nepal protest against dissolution of Parliament

Three former Nepali prime ministers joined thousands of demonstrators on Friday to protest against Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s abrupt move to dissolve Parliament and call snap elections.

Oli dismissed the legislature in December, accusing members of his own party – including the former rebels – of noncooperation, and called for new elections in April.

Jan 22 07:15

Deal for Russia to supply Myanmar with Pantsir-S1 air defense systems & reconnaissance drones announced during Shoigu visit

Russia is set to supply Myanmar with Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile and gun systems, Orlan-10E surveillance drones and radars. The deal was signed during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to the country on Thursday.

Shoigu arrived in Myanmar for his first foreign trip of 202 to discuss military cooperation between the states. The southeast Asian country is one of Russia’s traditional partners for arms exports.

“We view today’s talks as an opportunity to further our cooperation, especially in the military field,” Shoigu said as he met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces. The two previously spoke via video link in November.

“Regardless of the restrictions these difficult times have brought us, we hope to deepen the relations between our defense agencies,” Shoigu said, adding that Moscow is ready for “substantial” discussions.

Jan 14 05:58

World’s oldest painting of animals discovered in an Indonesian cave

Stunning cave paintings discovered in Indonesia include what might be the oldest known depictions of animals on the planet, dating back at least 45,000 years.

The paintings of three pigs, alongside several hand stencils, were discovered in the limestone cave of Leang Tedongnge on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Even local people were unaware of the cave sites’ existence until their discovery in 2017 by Adam Brumm at Griffith University, Australia, and his team.

“I was struck dumb,” says Brumm. “It’s one of the most spectacular and well-preserved figurative animal paintings known from the whole region and it just immediately blew me away.”

Sulawesi is known to contain some of the world’s oldest cave art, but the new paintings may predate all other examples so far discovered on the island.

Jan 07 16:37

The Top Import for Each Country: Asia

Jan 07 08:43

Just BuzzFeed being BuzzFeed (Picture)

Dec 17 06:59

Video shows smugglers beating Rohingya refugees on Malaysia-bound boat

A newly surfaced video shows a group of smugglers mercilessly beating rake-thin persecuted Rohingya Muslim refugees crowded onto a Malaysia-bound fishing boat at sea.

The video, filmed on a mobile phone apparently in April, shows dozens of refugees sitting in the hull and on the deck as smugglers stand among them.

One of the traffickers, holding a thick rope in one hand, pushes a Rohingya man back and kicks him. He then uses a whip with his other hand to repeatedly lash a group of shirtless refugees, including children, who scramble to avoid the beating.

The footage was shot several days before the group’s Malaysia-bound boat returned to Bangladesh in mid-April. It had departed in February.

Rohingya witnesses, who were on the ship, later told media outlets that several of their fellows on their vessel died from beatings, starvation, and illness.

Dec 16 14:38

The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list in an annual report designed to halt countries from manipulating their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

It marked the first time that the United States has labeled another country as a currency manipulator since August 2019 when it called out China at a time when the world's two largest economies were locked in tense trade negotiations.

“The Treasury Department has taken a strong step today to safeguard economic growth and opportunity for American workers and businesses” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Treasury will follow up on its findings with respect to Vietnam and Switzerland to work toward eliminating practices tat create unfair advantages for foreign countries.”

Dec 14 10:14

Ankara and Azerbaijan put their differences aside in pursuit of a military victory over Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. The outcome is a huge geopolitical shift in Turkey's favour

It took 44 days for Azerbaijan to defeat Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and make Turkey one of the fundamental players in the Caucasus.

And today, Turkey's power in the region could not be clearer.

Dec 14 07:13

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russian army reports cease-fire breach

Several people were killed in an apparent attack by Azerbaijani forces at a military base in the restive Nagorno-Karabakh region, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported on Saturday, citing local officials.

Separatist officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said the Azerbaijani military launched an attack late Friday that left three local ethnic Armenian servicemen injured. The attack comes just over a month after fighting ceased in the region.

The Russian defense ministry, which has deployed peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh to monitor the peace accord, also reported a violation of the cease-fire.

"One case of cease-fire violation was reported on December 11 in the Hadrut district," it said in a statement.

Dec 08 08:09

Mass protests in Armenia demand PM's resignation over Nagorno-Karabakh

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched across the Armenian capital Saturday to push for the resignation of the ex-Soviet nation's prime minister over his handling of the conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

In six weeks of fierce fighting that ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal on Nov. 10, the Azerbaijani army reclaimed lands that Armenian forces have held for more than a quarter-century.

Armenia's opposition parties warned Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan there would be civil disobedience across the country if he does not resign by noon on Tuesday. Pashinyan has refused to step down, defending the peace agreement as a painful but necessary move that prevented Azerbaijan from overrunning the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region.

More than 20,000 protesters rallied in Yerevan on Saturday, chanting “Nikol ,you traitor!” and “Nikol, go away!” and then marched to the prime minister's official residence.

Dec 05 07:10

Rohingya refugees coerced into going to remote Bay of Bengal island: Aid workers

Rights groups and humanitarian workers say some of the thousands of Rohingya refugees being shipped to a Bangladeshi island have been coerced into going to the remote, flood-prone place.

Bangladeshi police on Thursday escorted the first group of 1,000 refugees in buses from Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar for the journey to Chittagong port and then on to Bhasan Char – a flood-prone Bay of Bengal island.

A Bangladesh naval official said the first 1,500 refugees would leave from the port on Friday morning to cross to the island.

Mohammad Shamsud Douza, a deputy in charge of refugees in the Bangladeshi government, said the relocation was voluntary.

Dec 04 07:29

SECOND KARABAKH-WAR RESHAPES TRANSPORT CORRIDORS IN SOUTH CAUCASUS

The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War not only led to a shift of the military political balance of power in the South Caucasus, but the agreements reached to put an end to it would potentially greatly reshape transport links, and thus freight and passenger flows in the region. The deployment of Russian peacekeepers to Azerbaijan, the growth of Turkish-Azerbaijani cooperation and the decline of the project of the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic are reactivating several strategic directions that have been inactive for almost 30 years and regional players are now publicly declaring plans regarding the creation of new economic corridors.

Dec 02 08:20

Video: US-Backed Thai Mobs Remove Barriers at Army Base

After the government took extensive measures to protect the army base the US-backed anti-government protesters originally targeted as their next protest site – protest leaders switched the venue at the last minute.

Immediately the protest guards began removing razor wire standing between them and the army base’s gates and security personel. Storming a military base anywhere in the world can be a potentially deadly provocation – and protest leaders by picking a military base to target and encouraging followers to dismantle security barriers is a reckless move that should be condemned by the media.

Instead the Western media and opposition media in Thailand is acting as if this is just a normal part of the protest and are likely to spin any potential violence as the government’s fault.

Dec 02 08:05

Turkey, Azerbaijan drone success should worry Europe, says European Council analyst

The success in drone warfare conducted by Turkey and Azerbaijan is a cause of concern for Europe and should force it to consider its options, a senior policy fellow and analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has warned.

In the analysis written by Gustav Gressel, he noted that Azerbaijan's victory over Armenia in the renewed conflict for the Nagorno-Karabakh region offers "distinct lessons for how well Europe can defend itself".

During that 44-day conflict, in which Armenia and its militias suffered the loss of thousands of troops and military vehicles, one of the key decisive factors which granted Azerbaijan superiority were the Turkish drones used by the Azeri military.

Those drones, along with the methods of warfare developed through their use in other fronts, enabled Azerbaijan to capture the strategic city of Shusha and force Armenia's surrender on 9 November, leading to the Russia-brokered ceasefire deal which returned the territory to Baku.

Dec 02 07:31

Thai court rules in favor of PM, more protests likely

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has won a legal battle in a conflict-of-interest case that had been brought by opposition politicians and could have seen him thrown out of office.

The prime minister, who was under pressure from months of street protests, was accused of a conflict of interest because he remained in military housing despite his retirement from the army in 2014, months after overthrowing an elected government.

The nine-member constitutional court, however, unanimously ruled in his favor on Wednesday.

The head judge said the military had changed the status of the residence from an army house to a guest house in 2012, "so, technically, the defendant's no longer living inside an army house."

Dec 02 02:53

California Judge Strikes Down Trump Administration Rules That Would Limit Visas To Skilled Workers

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White struck down two Trump administration rules Tuesday that would have reduced the number of visas issued to skilled foreign workers each year.

The Trump administration announced new changes to the H-1B visa program in October, which included new salary requirements on companies that hire foreign skilled workers and limited speciality occupations, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said the changes were necessary as the economy recovers from the pandemic, according to the AP.

“With millions of Americans looking for work, as the economy continues its recovery, immediate action is needed to guard against the risk lower-cost foreign labor can pose to the well-being of U.S. workers,” he said.

Dec 01 07:52

Video: War Ended but Armenia Still Suffers Losses. Azerbaijani Troops Enter Largest Armenian Gold Mine

This week, the Armenian leadership has reached an unprecedented height in its state management achievements. Prime Minsiter Nikol Pashinayan and his government did not stop at the successful campaign to undermine the Armenian regional position and the epic loss in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Now, they are losing their largest gold mine, which was controlled by the Armenians for the last few decades.

On November 26, Azerbaijani troops entered the Sotk gold mine, which is located in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia, right on the border with the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The mine reserves are estimated at more than 130 tons. GEOPROMINING GOLD, which operates this mine, is one of the largest taxpayers and employers in Armenia. According to Armenian sources, the company paid $34 million into the Armenian budget in the period just between January to September of 2020.

Nov 30 07:00

Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters march on royal barracks wielding rubber ducks against armour-clad riot police to demand the King give up his regiments

Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand's royal barracks last night holding inflatable rubber ducks - a symbol used by the peaceful pro-democracy movement to ridicule the police.

Heavily-armoured officers defended by shields and banks of barbed wire kept the demonstrators from getting close to the King's Guard headquarters in Bangkok on Sunday.

Protesters are demanding curbs on of King Maha Vajiralongkorn's power, including that he renounce his claim on several of the royal army regiments.

Nov 28 07:51

Video: Why US-Funded Mobs Are Attacking Thai-Chinese Relations

Thailand’s ongoing US-funded anti-government protests aren’t “pro-democracy,” they are anti-Chinese.

Just like in Hong Kong, the US is attempting to create crisis for China and its allies and impede both China’s and Asia’s rise upon the global stage.

I go over the close and ever-growing ties between Thailand and China and why the US is so determined to undo them.

Nov 25 07:59

MAJOR: Russia Could Soon Intervene As Azeris And Turks Start Settling 4000 Terrorists In Artsakh (Karabakh)

Sources close to the government of the Syrian Arab Republic have managed to obtain information that Turkey, in cooperation with Azerbaijan, provided documents for the legal settlement of the first group of no less than 4,000 Turkmens (who came to Azerbaijan as terrorists and mercenaries) who will soon settle in towns and villages in southern Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

These towns and villages were formerly populated by Armenians, who were forced to leave the area after the Azeri attack on September 27. Since these “settlers” are mostly terrorists and extremists who fought in Jihadist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and even the Islamic State, the formation of Wahhabi strongholds in the border area with Armenia, especially on its southeastern border, cannot be ruled out.

Nov 24 06:16

WATCH: Azeri Military Molests The Elderly, Desecrates WWII Memorials, Ransacks Armenian Property In Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)

Although the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated that “he would make sure peaceful coexistence is established” in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) after Azerbaijan invaded the Armenian-populated area, the situation on the ground couldn’t possibly be any further from that statement. The following videos show just how “peaceful coexistence” looks like to Azeris.

Nov 24 06:14

Nagorno-Karabakh: victory of London and Ankara, defeat of Soros and the Armenians

The Pentagon, which had planned the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, was overtaken by its British allies. But none of the great powers worried about the deaths it would cause. Moreover, while London and Ankara renewed their historic alliance, Washington and Moscow gained nothing, while George Soros and the Armenians lost much.

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