International News Summary, China/USA Web Conflict

China/U.S. Web Conflict

China’s decision to suspend its involvement in a cybersecurity working group with the U.S. after being accused of commercial spying threatens to undo efforts aimed at finding common ground to tackle hacking.

China halted the dialogue and threatened further retaliation after the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officials yesterday for allegedly stealing trade secrets. China’s Foreign Ministry called the U.S. move a “serious violation of the basic norms of international relations,” while China’s State Internet Information Office likened the U.S. actions to “a thief yelling ‘Catch the thief.’”

China confronts U.S. envoy over cyber-spying accusations

China summoned the U.S. ambassador after the United States accused five Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets, warning Washington it could take further action, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, met with Zheng Zeguang, assistant foreign minister, on Monday shortly after the United States charged the five Chinese, accusing them of hacking into American nuclear, metal and solar companies to steal trade secrets.

White House vows CIA will not stage fake vaccine programs

The White House has promised the United States will not use vaccination programs as cover for spy operations — after the move was attempted during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

As Pakistan suffers a resurgence of polio, a top White House official pledged in a letter dated May 16 that intelligence agencies would foreswear the tactic, which is partly blamed for the spread of the crippling disease.

Islamic militant leaders are reluctant to embrace vaccination programs after Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi attempted to help the CIA track down the Al-Qaeda terror chief through a fake vaccine project.

Russian Prime Minister: We Are ‘Approaching a Second Cold War’

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that “we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war.” He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be “more tactful politically” and that he’s disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.

“Yes, I believe that President Obama could be more tactful politically when discussing these issues. Some decisions taken by the US Administration are disappointing. We have indeed done a lot for Russian-US relations. I believe doing so was right. The agreements that we reached with America were useful. And I’m very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by these decisions. Basically, we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war that nobody needs. Why am I saying this? Because a competent politician knows how to make reserved, careful, subtle, wise and intelligent decisions, which, I believe, Mr Obama succeeded at for a while. But what is being done now, unfortunately, proves that the US Administration has run out of these resources. And the United States is one of the parties to suffer from this,” Medvedev said, according to excerpts of a partial transcript provided by Bloomberg Television.

Did the President Take a Pay Cut Like He Promised? White House Won’t Say
Year after pledge, confusion over whether Obama is writing checks

The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.

Obama promised last April to take a 5 percent pay cut in “solidarity” with federal employees who were furloughed as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. The cut was meant to equate to the level of spending cuts imposed on nondefense federal agencies.

“The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,” a White House official said at the time.

Army imposes martial law in Thailand

It’s tense in Thailand, where violence has spilled into the streets, people have died or been injured, and the army declared martial law Tuesday.

Underscoring the instability, the army’s decision to take control of the country came as a surprise to embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, an aide to the leader told CNN.

The army “took this action unilaterally,” said the aide, who did not wish to be named. The person described the action as “half a coup d’etat.”

Why did it take so long to bring Anbu Hamza to justice?
After being found guilty of eleven terrorism charges, many are asking why the man who devoted his life to violent jihad was not arrested sooner

Even the Queen expressed confusion when Abu Hamza was not arrested following his inflammatory Finsbury Park ‘sermons’. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Reuters

It was said that even the Queen questioned why Abu Hamza, the firebrand preacher of the Finsbury Park mosque who had been ridiculed in the tabloid press as ‘Hooky the panto villain’, had not been prosecuted in a British court.

“The Queen was pretty upset that there was no way to arrest him. She couldn’t understand – surely there had been some law that he had broken?” the BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner reported in 2012 when Hamza was battling against his extradition to the US.

The Queen, along with many others, was puzzled why Hamza had not been arrested and put on trial years before he was finally convicted and sentenced in 2006 to seven years for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred in his inflammatory Finsbury Park “sermons”

New Indian Premier Is Immediate Headache for Obama

President Barack Obama on Friday invited India’s Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi to visit Washington when he called to congratulate him on his landslide victory. Modi had been banned from visiting the United States under the International Religious Freedom Act, over allegations involving his handling of 2002 ethnic rioting while he was a state official, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

No one else has ever been banned from the United States under the act. Modi’s Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, captured 282 of 543 parliamentary seats also doing well in some Muslim districts.

In 2002, after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims went up in flames, Hindus in Gujarat retaliated against Muslims. In the ensuing mayhem, 1,000 people died, most of them Muslims. At the time, critics, including a former Supreme Court judge, held Modi — as chief minister of Gujarat — responsible for holding back as Hindus took revenge against Muslims



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