[News] Around The Rest of World

A posting place for news from places around the globe, outside of the US/Europe.

Must be nice to live in a functional country.

It's very unlikely that an election will be called, but I'm glad Elections Canada has a strong plan to run the election safely just in case.

gewy wrote:

Must be nice to live in a functional country.

Reading all of that actually hurt.


Sushant Singh Rajput: Rhea Chakraborty on 'media trial' after Bollywood star's death

Just two months after Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment, his actress girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty has found herself at the centre of a vicious hate campaign led by some of India's most high-profile journalists and social media trolls.

Rajput was a rising star in India's popular Hindi film industry, and his death shocked India. His body was discovered in his bedroom on 14 June. Mumbai police said the 34-year-old appeared to have taken his own life, and reports in the press suggested that the actor had been dealing with mental health issues.

But within days, the attention generated by his death had shifted to Chakraborty. She has become the subject of gossip and innuendo and misogynistic abuse. Every little detail of her life and relationship have been laid bare and debated in public.

Conservative television hosts have described her as a "manipulative" woman who "performed black magic" and "drove Sushant to suicide". On social media, she has been trolled mercilessly and called a "fortune huntress", a "mafia moll" and "sex bait to trap rich men".

Last month, Chakraborty posted on Instagram a screen grab of a message from a person claiming to be a fan of Rajput's, threatening her with rape and murder and urging her to "commit suicide otherwise I will send people to kill you".

Under the post she wrote: "I was called a gold digger, I kept quiet. I was called a murderer, I kept quiet. I was slut shamed, I kept quiet." She pleaded for help from the cyber crime police.

Prederick wrote:
gewy wrote:

Must be nice to live in a functional country.

Reading all of that actually hurt.

If you want to feel real pain, read this page.

What ID do you need to vote in Canada in federal elections?

Cheng Lei: Australian anchor on Chinese TV detained in China

Chinese authorities have detained an Australian citizen working as a high-profile TV anchor, as relations between the two countries deteriorate.

Australia's foreign ministry said Cheng Lei, an anchor for Chinese broadcaster CGTN, was detained two weeks ago.

Foreign minister Marise Payne said a virtual consular visit had been held with Ms Cheng via video link.
Australia's government warned its citizens in July that they were at increased risk of detention in China.

The best they could do with no unwitting tourists on hand?

Last two Australian correspondents pulled out of China after five-day diplomatic standoff over national security case

The ABC and the Australian Financial Review have rushed their correspondents out of China after police demanded interviews with both journalists, resulting in an extraordinary diplomatic standoff.
Bill Birtles, the ABC's correspondent based in Beijing, and Mike Smith, the AFR's correspondent based in Shanghai, boarded a flight to Sydney last night after the pair were questioned separately by China's Ministry of State security.

Birtles had spent four days sheltering in Australia's Embassy in Beijing, while Smith took refuge in Australia's Shanghai consulate as diplomats negotiated with Chinese officials to allow them to safely leave the country.

The saga began early last week, when Australian diplomats in Beijing cautioned Birtles that he should leave China, with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade giving the same advice to ABC's managing director David Anderson in Sydney.

Subsequent advice prompted the ABC to organise flights back to Australia for Birtles. He was due to depart last Thursday morning.

But the threatening behaviour from Chinese officials peaked before he could leave, when seven police officers arrived at Birtles' apartment at midnight last Wednesday as he was holding farewell drinks with friends and colleagues.

They told him he was banned from leaving the country, and that he would be contacted the next day to organise a time to be questioned over a "national security case".


Sushant Singh Rajput: Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty moved to prison

Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty has been sent to jail by India's narcotics control authority for allegedly buying drugs for her actor-boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput.

Rajput, 34, was found dead in his flat in Mumbai on 14 June. Police said he had killed himself.

His family, however, registered a police complaint against Chakraborty, accusing her of abetment to suicide.
She is yet to comment but denied any wrongdoing in earlier statements.

Chakraborty spent the night at the Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) office in Mumbai after she was arrested by the agency on Tuesday. She was moved to a women's jail on Wednesday morning.

Chakraborty's brother, Showik, and Rajput's former house manager, Samuel Miranda, were also arrested last week in the same drugs case. But the charges against them have not been revealed.

All three are reportedly accused of organising and financing Rajput's alleged consumption of cannabis. The case is connected to the investigation into Rajput's death.

The NCB asked the court to detain Chakraborty for further questioning, while describing her as part of an "active drug syndicate".

A magistrate rejected her bail plea and remanded her to judicial custody until 22 September.

Thousands need aid after fire destroys Europe’s largest refugee camp

Thousands of people urgently require emergency shelter and aid after a fire destroyed Europe’s largest refugee camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos.

As the Athens government declared a state of emergency and a delegation of officials rushed to the north-eastern Aegean island, the sheer scale of devastation wrought by the overnight blaze became increasingly evident.

In the mangled wreckage of gutted facilities, incinerated tents and blackened containers, Moria was no more. The camp whose overcrowded and unsanitary conditions had spawned global outrage since its inception in 2015 had been erased.

“At this moment the reception centre has been completely destroyed,” Greece’s alternate migration minister, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, told reporters, saying it was miraculous there had been no deaths or injuries. “As a result, thousands of people are homeless.”

Calling the situation an “unprecedented humanitarian crisis”, the politician said the coronavirus pandemic had created “exceptionally demanding” circumstances on the island, long at the forefront of refugees fleeing war-stricken homelands for the west. Eyewitnesses reported terrified and traumatised residents fleeing the hilltop facility through thick, acrid smoke laced with the stench of burning plastic.

At least three dozen people living in the camp had been diagnosed with Covid-19 before the fire erupted. Local islanders’ fears that the virus could spread were exacerbated when authorities admitted that by late afternoon on Wednesday they had only managed to locate eight of them.

Echoing other government officials who had alluded to arson, Koumoutsakos said it appeared the blaze broke out “as the result of the discontent” among camp residents over lockdown measures being prolonged following a positive virus test for a Somali asylum seeker.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene as flames whipped by gale force winds enveloped the camp spoke of the fire bursting into life in at least three places, suggesting it had been deliberately lit.

“It broke out on multiple fronts,” the north Aegean fire brigade chief, Konstantinos Theofilopoulos, told the state-run TV channel ERT. As teams battled to extinguish the flames they had “met resistance” from stone-throwing refugees, he said.

More coverage from the Beeb.

China's 'hybrid war': Beijing's mass surveillance of Australia and the world for secrets and scandal

A Chinese company with links to Beijing's military and intelligence networks has been amassing a vast database of detailed personal information on thousands of Australians, including prominent and influential figures.
A database of 2.4 million people, including more than 35,000 Australians, has been leaked from the Shenzhen company Zhenhua Data which is believed to be used by China's intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.
While much of the information has been "scraped" from open-source material, some profiles have information which appears to have been sourced from confidential bank records, job applications and psychological profiles.
Of the 35,558 Australians on the database, there are state and federal politicians, military officers, diplomats, academics, civil servants, business executives, engineers, journalists, lawyers and accountants.
But there are 656 of the Australians featured on the list as being of "special interest" or "politically exposed". Exactly what the company means by either of these terms is unexplained, but the people on the list are disparate in occupation and background, and there seems little to no explanation in who has made the list.

This list is the scarier one. What does the CCP have on them and how have they been acting on the CCP's behalf.

And that's just the one we know about. You know Russia is compiling the same kind of data.

Luckily Australia is not really on Russia's radar.

Do you really think not having an immediate conflict with them means you're not on their radar? If I were them I'd have a list similar to China's so I could manipulate your ongoing conflict for my own benefit, even if it's just keeping them distracted with you so they don't focus as much on what I'm doing. I expect every world power has a similar list of people from all major countries (and plenty of minor ones too) because you never know where you'll need to manipulate people next.

I mean in terms of priorities. Australia and China have a huge amount of bilateral trade, significant population of Chinese descent located in Australia (~6% or 1.2m), overlapping spheres of influence (specifically the Pacific Island nations). In fact 30% of Australia's trade is with China, something less than 2% with Russia (outside of the top 10 at least).

Mr GT Chris wrote:

Luckily Australia is not really on Russia's radar.

I meant on every powerful nation, not just Australia.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

I mean in terms of priorities. Australia and China have a huge amount of bilateral trade, significant population of Chinese descent located in Australia (~6% or 1.2m), overlapping spheres of influence (specifically the Pacific Island nations). In fact 30% of Australia's trade is with China, something less than 2% with Russia (outside of the top 10 at least).

Right, but that means that it'd be beneficial for Russia to interfere with Australia's relationship with China as an way to get at China, or your relationship with the US, or the EU, or any country that is on their radar. You don't have to be on their radar yourselves for them to want to keep tabs on your citizens/officials.

Sure, but it's just a case of how many eggs can you juggle and where their focus is at the moment.

Oh you can bet your bottom dollar that Russia has similar dossiers on Australian targets of interest. We’re a middle power of little concern to them at the moment but the ultimate target of their destabilisation efforts is not the US, it’s western democracy as a concept. They will want as many fulcrums as possible and a little bit of kompromat can go a long way today. We are not as far away from dystopia as we like to believe, we’re just far more laconic about it then our northern compatriots. Australia is at the mercy of the creeping banality of evil rather than the bombast of it.

BHP tells parliamentary inquiry it was granted approval to destroy Aboriginal heritage sites in the Pilbara

Mining giant BHP has conceded it submitted an application to destroy Aboriginal heritage sites at its $5 billion South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara, despite opposition from local traditional owners.
The WA Government granted approval to destroy dozens of sites just days after Rio Tinto destroyed 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

BHP is the second major miner to appear at a federal parliamentary inquiry investigating Rio Tinto's destruction of the ancient sites.

I'm glad people are paying attention now but some serious reform is surely required to prevent this happening again.

It is not fun, but once can see a possible vision of our future of nationalism, reactionary politics, and inter-ethnic and religious conflict stoked by cynical politicians and social media companies constantly behind the ball on moderation in India right now.

“Jai Shri Ram!” Those were the words 25-year-old Kapil Gujjar shouted as he pointed his semi-automatic pistol at hundreds of unarmed women and children at Shaheen Bagh, a predominantly Muslim colony in New Delhi, on Saturday, Feb. 1. It was a cool, smog-infused afternoon, and Indians from all walks of life had gathered in a peaceful protest against a controversial new citizenship law that especially affects the country’s poor, women, and, perhaps most of all, Muslims. Gujjar fired three bullets in the air. The crowd scattered. Later, while being handcuffed by the police, Gujjar explained his motive: “In our country, only Hindus will prevail.”

Jai Shri Ram literally translates as “Victory to Lord Ram,” a popular Hindu deity. But while this seemingly harmless phrase originated as a pious declaration of devotion in India, it is today increasingly deployed not only as a Hindu chauvinist slogan but also as a threat to anyone who dares to challenge Hindu supremacy.

Gujjar’s message was aimed at India’s 200 million Muslims—the largest religious minority in a mostly Hindu population of 1.3 billion people—who have become unwitting targets in an us-versus-them culture war waged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The latest catalyst for tensions is the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which discriminates on the basis of religion. The law grants citizenship to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Zoroastrians—but not Muslims—as long as they entered India before 2015.

Activists point out that the CAA goes against the secular principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution. And when coupled with a proposed national registry of citizens that could force people to prove their citizenship, the government’s plans could hurt the many millions of poor and illiterate Indians who don’t possess any documents to further their claims. Mass protests have seized the country’s cities and towns since the CAA was passed on Dec. 11; in scenes unprecedented in modern India, thousands of demonstrators have been forming human chains, singing the national anthem, and reading the constitution aloud. Shaheen Bagh, where hundreds of local Muslim women have staged a sit-in since the start of this year, has become the center of the national movement as more and more Indians—students, professionals, activists, singers, artists—join them every day.

Two days before Gujjar walked into Shaheen Bagh, another young man, a teenager, produced a pistol near the area and shot at anti-CAA demonstrators, injuring one and terrifying hundreds. The juvenile shooter, whom Indian law prohibits the media from naming, had apparently been prepared to become a martyr in what he perceived as a war for Hindu supremacy. In a Facebook video he recorded while on his way to Shaheen Bagh, he had left instructions for his fellow warriors: “On my final journey, cover me in saffron clothes and chant Jai Shri Ram.” The phrase has provoked terror in the capital since the beginning of this year: On the night of Jan. 5, a group of masked attackers affiliated with the Hindu far-right cried “Jai Shri Ram” as they entered Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, a hub of left-wing politics, and brutally beat up students who had been protesting against a recent fee hike.

Meanwhile, Armenia and Azerbaijan....

Heavy fighting has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with both civilians and combatants killed.

Accusing Azerbaijan of air and artillery attacks, Armenia reported downing helicopters and destroying tanks, and declared martial law.

Azerbaijan said it had begun a counter-offensive in response to shelling.

The region is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

They broke away in the dying years of the Soviet Union. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the communist state, which sought to suppress ethnic and religious differences.

Amid the clashes, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he was confident of regaining control over the breakaway region.

Martial law has also been declared in some regions of Azerbaijan.

The Turks are not going to be happy about that...

They're still shooting at each other, FYI.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have defied calls for a ceasefire amid the worst fighting in decades between the two over a disputed territory.

The US, France and Russia jointly condemned the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the southern Caucasus.

But Turkey - an ally of Azerbaijan - also dismissed demands for a ceasefire.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan but governed by separatist ethnic Armenians. Years of negotiations have never resulted in a peace treaty.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war in 1988-94 over the territory. Armenia backs the self-declared republic but has never officially recognised it.

Intense fighting has continued on the ground for a fifth day, despite mounting international concern.

At least 100 people have reportedly been killed with hundreds wounded in the latest flare-up.

In the early hours of Friday morning local time the Armenian government said it had shot down several Azerbaijani drones, including one that was "very close" to the capital, Yerevan.

Also, would whoever placed a bet on "Azeri Military Music Video" please come down and collect your winnings.

Still shootin'

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan after a historic cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh was shelled as fighting continued over the disputed region.

Photos showed damage to both the interior and exterior of the Holy Saviour Cathedral in Shusha city.

More than 300 people have died and thousands displaced since the latest fighting broke out on 27 September.

International monitors from the US, Russia and France have begun efforts to try and end the violence.

They are meeting the Azeri foreign minister in Geneva on Thursday. The Armenian foreign minister is due to meet his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Monday.

Stopped shootin'

At least, for now.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed a temporary ceasefire in the conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the agreement just before 03:00 local time (01:00 BST), following 10 hours of talks in Moscow.

The two countries will now begin "substantive" talks, he said.

More than 300 people have died and thousands displaced since the latest violence in the long-running conflict broke out on 27 September.

The hostilities will be halted from midday (08:00 GMT) on Saturday, to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies.

Nagorno-Karabakh is run by ethnic Armenians although it is officially part of Azerbaijan.

The two former Soviet republics have blamed each other for the latest outbreak of violence - the worst in decades.

It looks like Turkey is testing drone warfare doctrine there.

They've been doing it in Syria and Libya, too. Getting pretty sophisticated, by the reports I've seen.

Today is Indigenous Peoples day, believe it.

This is a hell of a headline:

New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia but not marijuana

Absolutely amazing.

So, about a month ago, a number of indigenous tribes in Nova Scotia decided to take advantage of their treaty rights (which were confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada) to make a "moderate living" (direct quote from Supreme Court) catching lobster year-round. As you can imagine, the commercial fisheries took great exception to this and decided some good, old-fashioned terrorizing was due.

A number of Mi'gmaw (the indigenous tribe in question) boats were burned to ashes, a couple of vans were firebombed, some people got roughed up and a storage unit (where the lobster are stored after being caught and before shipping) was also burned to the ground.

Welp, it looks like the Mi'gmaw (with another partner) just bought Clearwater, the commercial fishery that employed all the lobstermen.