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01 Headlines

Xi-Kim Set to Renew Their Diplomatic Vows

France 24 – Xi is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years, after relations between the Cold War era allies deteriorated over Pyongyang’s nuclear provocations and Beijing’s subsequent backing of UN sanctions.

Xi and Kim have been working to repair ties, with the young North Korean leader visiting his older ally four times in China in the past year and Beijing calling for sanctions to be relaxed.

But the Chinese leader waited to reciprocate the visit, biding his time to see how nuclear talks between Kim and Trump would play out before deciding to travel to Pyongyang, according to analysts. | go to source

01 Features

Google Denies Censorship Tool for China Still Being Worked On

China Digital Times – Last year, leaked plans for “Project Dragonfly,” a China-focused Google search product, triggered a fierce backlash within and beyond the company against proposed censorship and surveillance functions, and the unusual sidelining of the company’s privacy and security teams. The project was reportedly abandoned in December, but fueled lingering suspicions about Google’s plans for future engagement with China. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who previously defended the project, told CNN on Sunday that “there are no plans for us to consider relaunching our service in China”:

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, Pichai said Google is not actively working on a new Chinese search engine, though he acknowledged that Google isn’t about to ignore the country and its hundreds of millions of internet users.  “There are no plans for us to consider relaunching our service in China,” Pichai said. He added, “we have always looked at serving the next billion users….Our mission compass is to provide information.”

[…] Pichai said that Google would need the “right conditions” to relaunch in the country, and censorship-free internet is an “important condition” for making that decision. But he declined to share further details.  “I don’t want to speculate on a hypothetical situation,” he said. “We have no plans. And, you know, we are not spending time on it.”  […] “We are not doing any work in China. We have a limited presence in China,” he said. That includes “limited AI,” or artificial intelligence, work through an open-source project called TensorFlow, he said. The company also does “some nonprofit work,” Pichai said. [Source] | go to source

01 Sources Filtered

First Pewdie Pie, Now China, India to Pass China in “Subscribers” by 2027

CNN – India is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in less than a decade, according to a new United Nations report.  China and India currently account for about 37% of the entire global population of roughly 7.7 billion, with China currently home to about 1.4 billion people and India to 1.3 billion.  But by 2027, India will have more people than China, according to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects report released Monday, and by 2050 the gap is expected to have widened even further. | go to source

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01 Headlines

How Fintech Makes it Easier to Migrate…..People

Space Daily – The money transfer business is personal for Ismail Ahmed. It was cash wired by his family that allowed him to make the final leg of his journey from escaping fighting in his native Somaliland to London in 1988 to take up a university scholarship.

Today, Ahmed leads WorldRemit, one of a handful of fintech firms that is upending the remittances business that has long been dominated by three US firms — Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria — as well as banks.

Piggybacking on the development of mobile money systems in Africa and other developing countries, these fintech firms offer migrant labourers a more convenient way to send money home at a lower cost. | go to source

01 NewsrPosts

Leftzilla – New York Times Publisher: Trump Crossed a ‘Dangerous Line’ by Calling Our Reporting ‘Treason’ – The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast – New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday warning that President Trump’s recent “treason” accusation against the paper marks an escalation in his attacks on the media and “should concern every patriotic American.” “There is no more serious charge a commander in chief can make against an independent news organization. Which presents a troubling question: What would it look like for Mr. Trump to escalate his attacks on the press further?” Sulzberger wrote. “Having already reached for the most incendiary language available, what is left but putting his threats into action?” Sulzberger argued that the administration’s attack on the free press has already started—citing an increase of leak investigations, the attempt to block the AT&T-Time Warner (owner of CNN) merger, and the use of the Espionage Act against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

“Mr. Trump’s campaign against journalists should concern every patriotic American,” he wrote. “A free, fair and independent press is essential to our country’s strength and vitality and to every freedom that makes it great.” The op-ed came in response to Trump tweeting over the weekend to claim the Timescommitted a “virtual act of Treason” by publishing a story about his administration’s cyber offensive against Russia. | go to source

01 NewsrPosts

Rightzilla – ‘Wheat is a weapon’: US gov-funded, Democrat-linked think tank proposes starving Syrian civilians to weaken Assad – The Grayzone

The Grayzone – As the eight-year war in Syria winds down and the US regime-change operation falters, strategists in Washington are plotting new ways to terrorize Damascus into submission.  An analyst at a think tank bankrolled by the US government and NATO has an idea: Use the “wheat weapon” to starve Syria’s civilian population.

“Wheat is a weapon of great power in this next phase of the Syrian conflict,” insisted Nicholas Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC.  Washington can pressure its Kurdish allies to restrict the country’s food supply, Heras argued, “to apply pressure on the Assad regime, and through the regime on Russia, to force concessions.” | go to source

Pakistan Finally Reveals Total Loans Accepted From China Under IMF Pressure – EurAsian Times
01 Sources Filtered

Pakistan Finally Reveals Total Loans Accepted From China Under IMF Pressure – EurAsian Times

In the backdrop of the major escalation by the US against China in the trade war through the Huawai freeze-out, there’s this news of Pakistan having to come clean on the amount of loans it has received from China.   

Wire – Pakistan Finally Reveals Total Loans Accepted From China Under IMF Pressure – EurAsian Times

From Eurasian Times –

Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamabad has disclosed every type of loan that Islamabad has received from its strategic ally, China.  Foreign loan disbursements in Jul-Apr of the current financial year showed loans for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants, known as K2 and K3, and China SAFE deposits as part of federal debt obligations.

Earlier, the $2 billion worth of China SAFE deposits, which Islamabad had received in July 2018, were shown on the books of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). SAFE is an acronym for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange managed by the Chinese central bank. | go to source

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01 Headlines

British Empire Gets UN Hack

From The NY Times –

The United Nations General Assembly dealt Britain an embarrassing defeat on Wednesday in a protracted dispute over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, demanding that the British surrender the archipelago — home to an important American military base — to Mauritius, a former British colony. | go to source

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Taiwan Plays War Games with the Dragon

from The Japan News –

Taiwan’s Navy held a major live-fire exercise Wednesday off the island’s east coast in an area increasingly threatened by Chinese ships and planes.  The drills are part of annual Han Kuang exercises that simulate an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. | go to source