BEIJING: Beijing has found its villain in its multi-fronted conflict with the United States: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.The former CIA chief has been singled out for scorn, in Chinese state media and even at the foreign ministry, over his criticism of everything from Chinese tech giant Huawei to its record on human rights.During a regular media briefing on Monday, China's Foreign Ministry accused Pompeo by name of telling lies, a striking departure from its usual practice of referring to foreign officials as "the relevant person", or using similar wording.Relations between the world's two largest economies have nosedived amid a bitter trade war, US sanctions on Huawei Technologies, Washington's support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan and criticism of a China's treatment of Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang.Pompeo has also angered Beijing with warnings about Chinese activity in the Arctic and President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road infrastructure programme.On Monday, … [Read more...] about China turns its anger on ‘Cold War warrior’ Pompeo
Country report on human rights practices
SEOUL: North Korea continues to carry out state killings as a way of intimidating its citizens, campaigners said Tuesday (Jun 11), although the number of executions may be declining in the face of mounting international pressure.Pyongyang has long been accused of using state killings to instill fear among its population, and leader Kim Jong Un has executed top aides in the past - including his powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2013.A new report by the Transitional Justice Working Group documented hundreds of public executions over several decades - the most recent in 2015 - for charges as trivial as stealing copper or a cow."The rules on public execution demand that three shooters fire three rounds each into the body of the condemned person, for a total of nine bullets," said Seoul-based group, which seeks to highlight what is says are grievous human rights abuses by the North.This was a widely used tactic, especially against the elites, it added, "designed to maximise public … [Read more...] about North Korea may be cutting back on public executions: Report
Trump unexpectedly announced his readiness to levy tariffs on all Mexican imports, beginning at five percent starting June 10 and rising monthly to as high as 25 percent until Mexico substantially reduces the flow of illegal immigration. Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that his country was "doing our job" to stop the flow of undocumented migrants to the United States, and warned Trump that hitting his neighbor with tariffs would be a lose-lose game. But the US leader then doubled down on his threats, saying in a flurry of tweets that "Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades." The impact of new tariffs would be devastating for Mexico, which sends 80 percent of its exports to the US. Lopez Obrador reminded his American counterpart the tariffs would also take a heavy toll on the United States, whose largest trading partner so far this year is Mexico -- thanks mainly to Trump's trade war with China. Earlier this month Trump, angered by … [Read more...] about Trump doubles down on Mexico tariff threat, markets rattled
BOGOTA: New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey said Sunday he has left Colombia amid controversy over a story of his on its military and what he called false allegations from pro-government parties. The Times Andean bureau chief penned an article entitled Colombia Army’s New Kill Orders Send Chill Down Ranks, putting some in Bogota and among government allies on the defensive. Colombia, currently under a conservative administration, is a close US ally. “The head of Colombia’s army, frustrated by the nation’s faltering efforts to secure peace, has ordered his troops to double the number of criminals and militants they kill, capture or force to surrender in battle – and possibly accept higher civilian casualties in the process, according to written orders and interviews with senior officers,“ Casey’s story said. It was enough to alarm lawmaker Maria Fernanda Cabal of the party of Colombian President Ivan Duque. Cabal posted photos of the Times … [Read more...] about NYT reporter leaves Colombia after report on army kill orders
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?