Thais hold huge protest demanding reforms

More than 15,000 people join calls for the prime minister’s resignation and reform of the monarchy.

It was one of the biggest protests in years with at least 15,000 people, police said. “Down with feudalism, long live the people,” chanted some.

There were no reports of violence.

Since July, rallies have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha who took power in a 2014 coup and won disputed elections last year.

Saturday’s student-led demonstration moved from the campus of Thammasat University to a park next to a grand palace used for royal ceremonies.

Demonstrators say they plan to stay overnight and march to the offices of the prime minister on Sunday morning.

Source: Thais hold huge protest demanding reforms

Chinese Whistleblower to Tucker Carlson: Coronavirus Was Man-Made And Released Intentionally

 

The Chinese scientist who alleges that the coronavirus that has spread throughout the world was man-made emerged for an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Dr. Li-Meng Yan came forward recently to allege that the coronavirus was a lab-manufactured disease that did not come from nature and that the wet market story was a “smoke screen” aimed to pivot attention away from this virus’ apparent release. Dr. Yan said that this virus was China’s Frankenstein monster. Carlson asked about China’s motives in creating this virus if it is man-made, which Dr. Yan said you’d have to ask the Chinese Communist Party.

Source: Chinese Whistleblower to Tucker Carlson: Coronavirus Was Man-Made And Released Intentionally

China’s Xi Jinping facing widespread opposition in his own party, insider claims | World news | The Guardian

Exclusive: Cai Xia, who has been expelled from the elite Central Party School, says president’s ‘unchecked power’ has made China ‘the enemy of the world’

A former professor at China’s elite Central Party School has issued an unprecedented rebuke of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, accusing him of “killing a country” and claiming that many more want out of the ruling Chinese Communist party.

Cai Xia, a prominent professor who taught at the school, a higher education institution for top officials, was expelled from the party on Monday after an audio recording of remarks she made that were critical of Xi was leaked online in June. She is no longer in China. The school said in a notice that Cai, a professor at the party school since 1992, had made comments that “damaged the country’s reputation” and were full of “serious political problems”.

In her first interview with English-language media since her expulsion, Cai told the Guardian she was “happy to be expelled”.

Source: China’s Xi Jinping facing widespread opposition in his own party, insider claims | World news | The Guardian

Newt Gingrich: China behaved horribly in coronavirus cover-up and is responsible for deaths around world | Fox News

China’s Communist dictatorship mismanaged the outbreak of the coronavirus and tried to cover it up, lying to the United States and the rest of the world.

Indeed, the Chinese government is largely responsible for a local outbreak in the city of Wuhan becoming the global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans and puts tens of millions more out of work.

But we still don’t know the exact origins of the virus. Did it come from a Chinese wet market or a laboratory? We also need to figure out what responsibility China should bear for the devastation the pandemic has caused and how to hold Beijing accountable.

Source: Newt Gingrich: China behaved horribly in coronavirus cover-up and is responsible for deaths around world | Fox News

Gunfire exchanged across border in DMZ between North and South Korea – CNN

North Korea fired gunshots at the wall of a South Korean guard post in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a buffer area which separates the two countries, on Sunday,

The South Korean military responded by broadcasting a verbal warning and returning fire twice, according to protocol outlined in the response manual and on the judgment of the field commander, according to the JCS statement.
The South Korean military said that “the military is in the process of identifying situations over the military communication line with the North and preventing any additional situations from occurring.”
Under the military accord signed between the two Koreas on September 29, 2018, the South and North each demolished 11 guard posts along the DMZ, but dozens of guard posts remain.
There have been exchanges of fire between the Koreas in the past, including in 2017, when a North Korean solider defected at the JSA (Joint Security Area) and, in 2014, when a North Korean defector organization launched balloons of leaflets criticizing the country’s reclusive regime.
It is not known what caused this exchange of fire.

Source: Gunfire exchanged across border in DMZ between North and South Korea – CNN

Kim Jong Un may have left Pyongyang as health rumors swirl

Kim Jong Un may have left the capital of Pyongyang and could be sheltering in an undisclosed location on North Korea’s eastern coast, according to multiple reports, UPI reported Friday.

The dictator’s absence triggered speculation about his health this week, following reports he was in critical condition after heart surgery.

Kim may have been evacuated to the coastal city of Wonsan, Kangwon Province, where he may have been overseeing construction of a major resort, the South Korean news service Newsis reported Friday.

Newsis said movement by Kim’s “dedicated vehicles” suggested he may have been evacuated from Pyongyang.

A special train for Kim’s use was stationed in Wonsan, but Kim’s private plane remained in Pyongyang, the report says.

Source: Kim Jong Un may have left Pyongyang as health rumors swirl

Stock Markets in Asia Dip on Dire U.S. Warning: Live Updates – The New York Times

Markets fell in early Wednesday trading in Asia as investors digested a steady drip of worrying news about the economic ramifications of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Major indexes in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were modestly lower midday, as financial markets settled into a slow grind of bad news. While the panic of recent weeks appeared to have subsided, numerous signs pointed to glum prospects for a quick recovery.

After Wall Street’s Tuesday close, President Trump said at a news conference that the United States would face “a very painful, very very painful two weeks.” U.S. government scientists projected that the outbreak could kill up to 240,000 Americans.

Futures markets predicted Europe and the United States would open lower later on Wednesday. Prices for long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, a traditional investment safe haven, rose, as did gold futures. Oil prices were mixed.

Source: Stock Markets in Asia Dip on Dire U.S. Warning: Live Updates – The New York Times

Earthquake cracks streets, leaves 5 injured in Japan

 

TOKYO — A strong earthquake hit western Japan early Monday, cracking streets, cutting water and power to a number of homes and injuring five people. The Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 6.1 quake struck 7 miles underground near Ohda city, about 480 miles west of Tokyo.

Five people sustained injuries, but most of them were minor and not life-threatening, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

The quake also rattled nearby Izumo, home to one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. No damage was reported at the shrine.

Source: Earthquake cracks streets, leaves 5 injured in Japan

Secret, direct talks underway between US and North Korea – CNNPolitics

Washington (CNN)The United States and North Korea have been holding secret, direct talks to prepare for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, a sign that planning for the highly anticipated meeting is progressing, several administration officials familiar with the discussions tell CNN.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and a team at the CIA have been working through intelligence back-channels to make preparations for the summit, the officials said. American and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times and have even met in a third country, with a focus on nailing down a location for the talks.

Source: Secret, direct talks underway between US and North Korea – CNNPolitics