SEOUL: North Korea is experiencing its worst drought in over a century, official media reported Friday (May 17), days after the World Food Programme expressed "very serious concerns" about the situation in the country.The isolated, impoverished North - which is under several sets of sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes - has long struggled to feed itself, and suffers chronic food shortages.It recorded its worst harvest for a decade last year, according to the United Nations, down by 500,000 tonnes as natural disasters combined with its lack of arable land and inefficient agriculture to hit production.In the year to Wednesday the North received just 56.3 millimetres of rain or snow, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported Friday, the lowest since 1917.Water was running out in the country's lakes and reservoirs, said the paper, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, adding: "The ongoing drought is causing a significant effect on the … [Read more...] about North Korea seeing worst drought in a century: State media
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MEXICO CITY: After a long push in Mexico, China's Huawei landed a coveted job in 2017: supplying equipment for the country's so-called "red compartida," an ambitious telecommunications network built for carriers delivering the latest generation of technology.The contract came with a catch.Altan Redes, the company developing the network, announced that the most delicate work – involving the system's "core" and sites near the U.S. border – would go to Nokia, and awarded Huawei southern and central Mexico. Political sensitivities around Huawei, which the United States has denounced since 2012 as an untrustworthy agent of the Chinese government, factored into the decision, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.But limiting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's role was easier said than done. While sites along the U.S. border remain with Nokia, Huawei has since gained work in three cities in northern Mexican regions that Altan had said publicly would go to Nokia, according … [Read more...] about US campaign against Huawei hits a snag south of the border
PANMUNJOM: South Korean soldiers held their normal stern and unmoving positions Wednesday outside the blue huts of Panmunjom village, the only place along the border where troops from the two Koreas stand nearly face-to-face, but with one notable omission: their weapons.Sporting their signature aviator sunglasses, the guards in the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the peninsula - standing only metres away from North Korean soldiers - were visibly no longer armed.Public tours to the southern side of the inter-Korean border village resumed on Wednesday morning with firearms and guardposts now removed from the designated Joint Security Area (JSA), after having been stopped in October to facilitate joint efforts by Seoul and Pyongyang to demilitarise the border.But with Pyongyang still in deadlock with the US over its nuclear weapons and economic sanctions - and fresh tension between North and South Korea - the tours began again with little fanfare.The truce … [Read more...] about Inter-Korean border village re-opens for public tours
By Brian Lee Crowley Justin Mohammed Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 Are the federal Liberals right to make it more difficult for immigrants and refugees to enter Canada from the United States? Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, argues Yes, while Justin Mohammed, a human rights law and policy campaigner at Amnesty International, argues No. Yes, Canada would be right to tighten its borders, particularly with respect to those who have been entering Canada illegally. Unfortunately, while the government is making noises that it wants to do so, there is little evidence that those measures will be effective. Let’s begin with why it would make sense to toughen border controls. Canada’s highly successful postwar immigration policy, supported by an all-party political consensus and public opinion, has never been laissez-faire about who gets in. On the contrary. That admirable policy has always been premised on the idea that … [Read more...] about Is Canada right to tighten its border?
BEIRUT — Five years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi mounted the pulpit of a mosque in Iraq to declare himself the head of a rapidly expanding terrorist organization. Since then, his group, the Islamic State, has transfixed the world with its apocalyptic violence while he has remained a mystery. Spottings were rare. Rumors swirled that he was wounded or dead. The United States put $25 million on his head and still failed to find him. On Monday, he reappeared, leaning on a cushion with an assault rifle at his side, in a video seeking to rally his followers after the loss of the group’s territory in Iraq and Syria and its execution of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in years, on Easter in Sri Lanka. “Our battle today is a battle of attrition, and we will prolong it for the enemy, and they must know that the jihad will continue until Judgment Day,” he said in the video. The message he intended to send was clear, analysts said: The Islamic State still exists, he is … [Read more...] about News Islamic State leader surfaces in video, vows fight until ‘Judgment Day’