North Korea’s Deputy Ambassador in London has defected in London with his family. The high-profile defection is one that is possibly the biggest in the history of North Korea.
According to South Korea JoongAng Ilbo newspaper on Tuesday, a high-profile UK diplomat from North Korea had defected with his wife and son. The diplomat soon defected to a third country.
The man was named Thae Yong Ho, a North Korean Embassy counsel and Deputy Ambassador.
According to the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, the diplomat embarked on a defection journey using a “very scrupulous plan” and was in the process of landing “in a third country as an asylum seeker”.
The North Korean embassy in London did not issue an official statement. It said that it would only provide a response where appropriate.
The Deputy Ambassador and diplomat had a plan to follow a string of recent flights by North Koreans. His pattern is similar to the twelve waitresses from a North Korean restaurant who defected to South Korea earlier this year.
According to a Unification Ministry Officer from South Korea, about 816 defections had come from North Korea. However, the number of defections had instead decreased when Kim Jong-Un took over as the leader of North Korea.
The Ambassador’s responsibility to his country was to usher in British correspondents intending to travel to Pyongyang.
China’s avoidance of decrees by the United Nations pits it against its Asian neighbours over its aggressive stance on maritime islands.
According to Japan in a security assessment meeting on Tuesday, China is risking a furthered maritime conflict with its Asian neighbours.
China’s claims in the South China Sea and its building of artificial islands that support military operations have increased international alarm. Its continuous “assertive manner” in dealing with the situation along with “dangerous acts” that can possibly cause unintended consequences could mean trouble with its neighbours.
The white paper said China was “poised to fulfil (sic) its unilateral demands without compromise” including efforts “to turn these coercive changes to the status quo into a fait accompli.”
And it again called on Beijing to abide by the ruling of the tribunal, which China has denounced as a fraud.
Chinese state media in Beijing quoted Defense Minister Chang Wanquan as urging preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty.
Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea,” Xinhua news agency said.
The military, police and people should prepare to mobilize to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said during a tour of the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to Xinhua.
Islamic Militant Group the Islamic State had released a video from its social media accounts showing a video of an Afghan asylum seeker in Germany who had attacked a train with an axe and a knife. The “Afghan Knifeman” was only 17-years-old.
Authorities believe the young attacker was “self-radicalised”. They had found a hand-painted IS flag in his room.
According to witnesses, the young teenager had shouted the phrase “Allahu Akhbar” (God is Great) before he attacked passengers.
In the video, he said with the camera pointed to his face that he was preparing for a suicide mission for the Islamic State.
According to the self-styled Islamic State news the attack was launched in answer to the IS’ calls to “target countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State.”
The IS called the attacker as Muhammad Riyad who was heard speaking in Pashto in the video.
According to Bavaria Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, the Afghan teen was living in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt. He said there is no indication that Chinese citizens had been specifically targeted. This is because the attacker had ran to police who gunned him down.
This is the second attack Europe had seen following the attack of a ploughtruck driven by a self-asserted IS militant who killed more than a hundred people during Bastille day.
Senior International Monetary Fund economist Ashoka Mody believes the Brexit vote is neither a correct decision nor a mistake considering the economic position it places the country outside the European Union.
Mody believes the value of trade deals being negotiated is placed at the lowest level of certainty and at the highest level of risk.
The IMF senior economist said that “levelling the ground by opening borders in the playing field” has become high risk for many investors. He stressed that it would always be part of the economic strategy. To say that the UK would not survive outside the European Union would mean that negotiations for businesses – whereas suitable and objective – is unlikely to happen at all.
He stressed that lobbyists may have infiltrated the highest levels of government where re-negotiation and re-establishment of desirable trade deals objectively had been stressed by remain.
Mody pointed out that productive trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union will continue especially when both parties would benefit from long-term gains and better social relationships. He stresses to view the Brexit as a contract renewal that would shift towards faster trade.
Mody pointed that that it is highly likely the UK would serve as the catalyst to break up the European Union. A referendum from other member countries five years from now would introduce a clearer decision that they would be willing to say out.
South African Paralympic and Olympic Athlete Oscar Pistorious removed his prostheses he uses for walking and running in court on Wednesday to appeal to court that he is not an ‘aggressive young man focused on winning medals.’
Pistorious’ defence lawyers wished to show his vulnerability before the Gauteng High Court in Praetoria. Lawyer Barry Roux who leads the defence said that Pistorious wasn’t the strong, ambitious man winning gold medals.
“I don’t want to overplay vulnerability … I don’t want to overplay disability … It doesn’t mean because he’s vulnerable that he can do what he likes. But please let’s understand … who is this man that you must sentence?” Roux said.
Meanwhile, state prosecutor Gerry Nel said to Judge Thokozile Masipa that she has a duty to impose the 15 years prescribed minimum sentence for murder in South Africa “beyond her personal doubts.”
While walking the aisle, Reeva Steenkamp’s father Barry and family watched Pistorious shaking while walking on just one leg.
Prosecutor Nel said she could not think of further use of a firearm than four shots through the doorway.
“Murder remains the most reprehensible crime … Society demands that appropriate sentences be imposed. We argue for long-term imprisonment.”
Pistorious had killed Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Praetoria in February 14, 2013.
The Australian Environmental Department had requested UNESCO to remove all mention of hazards and threats to the Great Barrier Reef and other environmental issues in its area to save its tourism industry.
The UNESCO report, compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the United National Environmental Agency, was to feature the Great Barrier Reef as one of the “World Heritage Sites in Danger.”
The report said:
“Concern has continued to grow that … [the reef’s] biodiversity and natural beauty may lose its World Heritage values”
“Spurred by the direct evidence of climate change already impacting the GBR, degradation of the reefs and the likelihood of much worse to come, the Australian government has begun to plan and implement actions to reduce the risk of future damage. At the core of the adaptation strategy are efforts to build ecosystem resilience, fill gaps in scientific knowledge, and monitor environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2012).”
According to observers and environmental groups, the Australian government’s move indicated was a step back for democracy as it reminded them of a “Soviet-era” objection to save face and its economy.
A spokesperson for the Australian Environmental Department said the move was to remove the improper framing of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as in the past statements as such had damaged tourism in the country.
In Guarenas City, Venezuelans spend hours waiting in line for food. Social tensions and looting has increased in the City after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a state of emergency for 60 days as he deals with announced threats to external security.
Citizens are become restless.
“We have no food. They are cutting power four hours a day. Crime is soaring. And (President Nicolás) Maduro blames everyone but himself for the mess we find ourselves in,” said Sanchez, 36. “We can’t go on like this forever. Something has to give.”
Some citizens have turned to eating domesticated pets including cats, dogs and pigeons to resolve their food problems.
Venezuela is currently suffering from a combination of lower oil prices and limitations on its dollar purchases. As the Venezuelan economy is 70 per cent dependent on importing goods such as medicine, the shortage has increased numbers of cancer, diabetes, hypertension and HIV.
“Shortages are just going to get worse in the coming weeks and months, and the government’s bet that they can keep the protests and looting … small-scale seems risky,” said David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. “Venezuelans are not used to hunger and do not have a lot of respect for Maduro as their leader.”
According to Maduro:
“They don’t want a referendum, they want a coup,” Maduro said this week during meeting with foreign journalists. “We have no obligations to hold any type of referendum in this country.”
Remaining as the world’s champion against global economic depression, Asia maintains its performance. However, due to very slow global recovery, lower trade and export and China’s slow economic growth, Asia is challenged by its debts.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific continues to challenge many Asian economies.
Japan is expected to slow sharply over the next two years due to weaker external demand. Slow domestic demand across the region is consistent due to increased employment levels, better disposable incomes and lower commodity prices.
Macroeconomic stimulus in both China and Japan had played huge roles to aid their respective economies.
“Asia is impacted by the still weak global recovery and by the ongoing and necessary rebalancing in China,” said Mr Changyong Rhee, the director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF.
“But domestic demand has remained remarkably resilient throughout most of the region, supported by rising real incomes, especially in commodity importers, and supportive macroeconomic policies in many countries.”
“Asia is impacted by the still weak global recovery and by the ongoing and necessary rebalancing in China. But domestic demand has remained remarkably resilient throughout most of the region, supported by rising real incomes, especially in commodity importers, and supportive macroeconomic policies in many countries,” according to Changyong Ree, the director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF.
Council of Europe listed numerous concerns on human rights broken by the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal.
The human rights body of Europe raised issues on overcrowding, insanitary detention centres and inadequate legal protection for people seeking to appeal against rejection of an asylum claim.
The deal also places 3.1 million refugees in Turkey and more as it takes back irregular migrants from Europe. In exchange, the Turkish can end visa restrictions with the United Kingdom and its access to Europe is guaranteed.
Only about 72,000 Syrian refugees living in Turkey and the equivalent of £2.3 billion would be provided for humanitarian funding.
However, the EU is attempting to abstain on its deal for visa-free travel to Turkish.
Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that the country may opt out of the deal if the EU failed to deliver on its promises.
“I maintain my belief that, God willing, we will have the visa exemption in June. In the absence of that, then of course no one can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments,” he said.
Dutch MEP Kati Piri said the EU must not lower its visa requirements to hasten a deal with Turkey.
“Visa-free travel in the Schengen zone has to be based on objective criteria and not on the fact that Turkey is threatening to blow up this deal if we don’t give this now”, she said.
A huge revelation involving a data leak from the firm Mossack-Fonseca in Panama and made its way to the press had shocked the entire world.
Iceland’s Prime Minister, one of the first casualties of the revelations, might step down after the expose on his offshore wealth-building tactics.
Mossack Fonseca’s clients ranged from Europe, the West, Asia and even the Middle East.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, hot in the world’s eyes as a violent and ruthless dictator, and his ancestral family had left behind a lengthy money trail that had implicated the Syrian President despite being unnamed.
The documents exposed al-Assad’s cousins Rami and Hafez Makhlouf as making profits by using their family ties to the Syrian leader, such as Rami acting as a “wall” to pay for foreign companies seeking to profit from Syria.
In Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman al Saud had used two companies situated in the British Virgin Islands as securities for his lavish London homes. About $34 million had been shielded by front companies Verse Development Corporation and Inrow Corporation.
Meanwhile, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, next in line to the Saudi throne, Salman’s nephew and Saudi’s current crown prince used Swiss bank UBS to buy Panamanian companies from Mossack Fonseca in order to open bank accounts.