Swastika-wearing gunman kills 13 at Russian school

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Swastika-wearing gunman kills 13 at Russian school

Swastika-wearing gunman kills 13 at Russian school

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

A gunman with a swastika on his teeshirt killed 13 people, including seven children, and wounded more than 20 at a school in Russia on Monday before committing suicide, investigators said.

The identity of the attacker and the motive for the shooting in Izhevsk, about 970 km (600 miles) east of Moscow, were not clear.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said the gunman was wearing a balaclava. It released a short video showing his body lying on the floor of a classroom with overturned furniture and papers strewn on the floor. He was dressed all in black, with a red swastika in a circle drawn on his teeshirt.

The committee said the six adult victims included teachers and security guards. It said 21 people, including 14 children, were wounded.

Tass news agency quoted investigators as saying the attacker was armed with two pistols and a large supply of ammunition.

Russia has seen several school shootings in recent years.

In May 2021, a teenage gunman killed seven children and two adults in the city of Kazan. In April 2022, an armed man killed two children and a teacher at a kindergarten in the central Ulyanovsk region before committing suicide.

Speculation mounts over Kim Jong Un’s alleged daughter on state media

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Speculation mounts over Kim Jong Un's alleged daughter on state media

Speculation mounts over Kim Jong Un’s alleged daughter on state media

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Seoul said on Monday it is analysing recent North Korean state-run television footage of a girl whom South Korean media reported as could be Kim Jong Un’s daughter.

The girl, whom North Korea’s KRT showed on Sept. 8 performing with other children at an event celebrating the country’s founding anniversary, fuelled speculations she was allegedly the North Korean leader’s daughter after reports by South Korean local media on Sunday, citing Chinese experts.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry acknowledged the reports and said it is analysing the footage, spokesperson Cho Joong-hoon said at a news conference. The possibility of the girl being Kim’s daughter is low and there was no way to confirm the reports, the ministry said.

South Korean media reports said the KRT footage focused heavily on the child and she was the only girl who did not tie her hair, claiming it was a form of special treatment. It also said Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju was seen approaching the girl to talk to her while patting her back after the performance. Reuters cannot independently verify the reports.

Speculation mounts over Kim Jong Un's alleged daughter on state media
Speculation mounts over Kim Jong Un's alleged daughter on state media

South Korean media reports said the KRT footage focused heavily on the child and she was the only girl who did not tie her hair, claiming it was a form of special treatment. It also said Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju was seen approaching the girl to talk to her while patting her back after the performance. Reuters cannot independently verify the reports.

Vietnam’s northern and central provinces prepare for arrival of typhoon Noru

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Vietnam’s northern and central provinces prepare for arrival of typhoon Noru

Vietnam’s northern and central provinces prepare for arrival of typhoon Noru

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Northern and central provinces have been told to prepare for super typhoon Noru, which is heading in a northwest direction with wind speeds of up to 183km per hour.

The typhoon is set to enter Vietnam’s East Sea later today, becoming the fourth to hit the country in 2022.

The typhoon was about 250km off Luzon Island in the Philippines at 10am on Sunday, with wind speeds of 167-183km per hour, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

By 10am on Monday, it will be about 740km off the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands with wind speeds slowing to 134-149km per hour.

All vessels working in the danger zone are at high risk of strong winds, high waves and tornadoes. The disaster risk level is at level three (five is the highest).

By 10am on Tuesday, the typhoon will be about 140km off the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands and its wind speed is forecast to be 134-140km per hour.

Parts of the South China Sea are already seeing the effects, with strong gusts and waves of between six to eight metres in height.

​Thua Thien-Hue Province, home to more than 2,000 fishing ships with about 11,350 fishermen, on Sunday morning banned all vessels from going to sea. The provincial port authorities are working to ensure safety for ships anchored in Thuan An and Chan May ports. The province also asked localities to assign workers to be on duty all day to monitor the typhoon’s progress and arrange any response measures.

Residents are being moved to safety, with priority given to children, the elderly, pregnant women and disabled people. There are also plans to move 26,255 households with 99,424 people in case of flooding.

Vietnam’s northern and central provinces prepare for arrival of typhoon Noru

The provincial Department of Industry and Trade has prepared 100 tonnes of noodles and 100 tonnes of rice to serve people in need.

Thua Thien-Hue Province has 56 irrigation reservoirs and 12 hydropower reservoirs with a total capacity of about two billion cubic metres. Currently, the water level in the reservoirs is safe, and the reservoirs are ready to take on flood water.

Nghe An Province has witnessed heavy rain over recent days, causing flooding of agricultural and aquatic areas, and landslides in some mountainous areas.

In Phu Yen Province, the provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on Sunday sent letters to localities and concerned organisations calling for preparations ahead of the typhoon. Heavy rain since Saturday evening submerged some low areas in Song Cau Town.

Localities have been told to closely monitor forecasts and bulletins while keeping search and rescue forces ready for deployment.

The Phu Yen Border Guard Command said that it had 396 fishing boats with 2,377 workers. Of which 294 fishing vessels with 1,799 seamen working offshore, 102 fishing boats with 578 workers working near shore. All of them have received information about the supertyphoon.

Vietnam’s northern and central provinces prepare for arrival of typhoon Noru

The Quang Tri Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said that all 2,397 boats with 6,569 crew members in the province had received information about typhoon Noru. The province has 126 dams with a total capacity of over 260 million cubic metres.

The province asked localities to reinforce houses, schools, healthcare centres, and offices and ensure the power grid system’s safety in strong winds.

Viet Nam News

Asia News Network

Calls grow for legal measures to protect minors from metaverse sex crimes

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Calls grow for legal measures to protect minors from metaverse sex crimes

Calls grow for legal measures to protect minors from metaverse sex crimes

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Calls for measures to counter sex crimes in the metaverse are rising with an increasing number of predators targeting teenagers.

Huh Kyung-mi, a professor of police administration at Keimyung University, said that legal measures are essential to respond to sexual exploitation in the metaverse in a paper published on Sunday.

According to Huh, 70 per cent of metaverse service users are teenagers, and criminal attempts on the metaverse platform, especially those that target youthful avatars, have been increasing.

Perpetrators lure minors with virtual items and gradually lead the minors into having inappropriate conversations or filming and sending sexual content. Some cases are not even considered illegal under the current law, such as sexual harassment against virtual avatars.

In some cases, crimes within the metaverse evolve into crimes in the real world. A man in his 30s who forced 11 minors he met through Zepeto – Asia’s largest metaverse platform operated by Naver Z – to film and send sexually explicit content of themselves for about a year since April 2021 was sentenced to four years in prison on Sept. 11.

Amid continuing challenges, both the industry and the government are having difficulties in getting a detailed picture of the situation, as there is no efficient system for receiving reports about such crimes.

The Korea Communications Commission and the Ministry of Justice have been trying to analyze metaverse crime issues since early this year. The KCC is conducting a survey to specify the scope of actions that can be interpreted as a crime. The digital sex crime committee under the Justice Ministry commented on the limit of the current law in January, recommending that criminal acts against virtual avatars and personal accounts should be considered no less than criminal acts against real human users.

Professor Huh pointed out that the core of the controversy comes from the unfamiliar concept of the metaverse. “In order to curb sex crimes in the metaverse, social consensus on the nature of the metaverse should be made first — whether it is an extension of the real world or not. Discussion on a new legal structure to restrain the metaverse should follow,” said Huh said.

Lee Jung-Youn

The Korea Herald

Asia News Network

German protesters call for opening of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

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German protesters call for opening of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

German protesters call for opening of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Some hundreds of Germans protested in the eastern German seaside town of Lubmin on Sunday, calling to put into service the halted Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that was designed to transport fuel from Russia to Germany but was put on ice after the war in Ukraine broke out.

“Open Nord Stream 2” read one placard, “The government must go”, read another. “When someone turns off a gas tap, turns off the heating, these are not normal conditions and they can’t be. Germany is one of the richest countries in the world and then something like that is just not possible,” said protest organiser Martin Klein. Lubmin is the city, where the Nord Stream 2 pipeline lands in Germany.

A group of Ukrainian women got in front of the stage to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine but were escorted away by security staff.

Recently also German Economy Minister Robert Habeck visited Lubmin, stating that he didn’t see “a scenario, or no foreseeable scenario where Nord Stream 2 would play a role for Germany’s energy security.”

The protest took place on the second day of a two-day trip to the Gulf region by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in order to intensify energy cooperation and secure independence from Russia.

German protesters call for opening of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
German protesters call for opening of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Scholz and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al Thani, spoke about LNG supplies in the light of the current energy crisis during their meeting in Doha on Sunday.

“We want to make further progress on this soon. At the same time, we will push ahead with cooperation on hydrogen, which will play a key role in the decarbonisation and electrification of our economy,” Scholz told reporters during a joint news conference.

Scholz also commented on the upcoming FIFA World Cup held in Qatar, welcoming “numerous improvements in workers’ rights in recent years” by Qatar, “in particular the abolition of the Kavalah wage system and the introduction of a minimum wage.”

German utility RWE has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to deliver liquefied natural gas to Europe’s largest economy by the end of December, RWE announced on Sunday.

Though the initial amount to be delivered is relatively small, it’s a politically significant deal to shore up supplies of gas from outside of Russia as Scholz seeks to deepen ties with the Gulf and find alternative energy sources.

The deal, which includes a memorandum of understanding for multi-year supplies of LNG, came on the second day of a two-day trip to the Gulf region by Scholz.

Clashes erupt in London over Iranian protests

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Clashes erupt in London over Iranian protests

Clashes erupt in London over Iranian protests

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Protesters gathered in their hundreds outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday as part of demonstrations triggered by the death of a woman detained by the morality police.

British police jostled with demonstrators as they blocked the road to the embassy, which appeared to earlier have had red paint thrown at it.

Officers detained at least one protester here.

Several attendees waved the national flag of Iran that was used prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution.

And clashes also broke out in northwest London during protests connected to the death of a woman in Iran.

British riot police were deployed to the scene of the clashes, which occurred near Marble Arch in central London and near the Islamic Centre of England, 3 kilometres to the northwest.

Demonstrations erupted across Iran more than a week ago at the funeral of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini, who died in detention after being arrested by police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict restrictions on women’s dress.

They have turned into the biggest Iranian protests in years and countries around the world have seen protests of solidarity in recent days.

Clashes erupt in London over Iranian protests
Clashes erupt in London over Iranian protests

Iran summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors over what it called interference and hostile media coverage of the nationwide unrest.

Reuters

Vietnam fast becoming Thailand’s competitor in China durian market

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Vietnam fast becoming Thailand’s competitor in China durian market

Vietnam fast becoming Thailand’s competitor in China durian market

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

THE NATION

Thailand may soon have to compete with Vietnam along with Malaysia when it comes to exporting durian to China, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) said on Sunday.

The department said Vietnam recently started exporting fresh durian to China under the official quota for the first time, and the volume is expected to surge in the future.

For years, Vietnam has been exporting the fruit to China unofficially, but recently Chinese authorities made it official by setting up 76 origin codes for durian farms in Vietnam and 25 codes for packaging firms.

DIPT quoted a government online circular, vietnamnet.vn, as saying that Van Xuan Phat Import-Export Co, which has already sent three containers of the fruit to China, plans to export 1,000 tonnes of durian to the mainland every month.

“Being allowed to export under the official quota is a very good opportunity for Vietnamese durian. I foresee bigger durian exports to China in the next five or 10 years,” Ha Duy Trung, owner of the durian brand 9 Phe, said.

According to customs data, China imported 821,600 tonnes of fresh durian last year worth US$4.2 billion, up 82 per cent year on year, the biggest import of any fruit. It is estimated that imports will continue rising this year.

Vietnam fast becoming Thailand’s competitor in China durian market

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s total export of durian in the first half of this year was worth over $84 million, recording a more than 90 per cent rise year on year. China proved to be its biggest market by contributing $2.86 million to the earnings, up 123 per cent year on year, according to Vietnam Customs.

DIPT said Vietnam exporters are facing some obstacles in durian exports, notably their post-harvest technology that can only keep the fruit fresh for three to four days, which makes it unsuitable for longer journeys by ship. Vietnam also needs to build strong durian brands in China to compete with market dominators like Thailand and Malaysia.

“Furthermore, the Chinese durian market is becoming fiercer since Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines are also eyeing it, not to mention the fact that Chinese companies are trying to grow their own durians in Yunnan, Hainan and Guangxi,” said the department.

THE NATION

Interpol slaps Terraform Labs co-founder with Red Notice, South Korea says

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Interpol slaps Terraform Labs co-founder with Red Notice, South Korea says

Interpol slaps Terraform Labs co-founder with Red Notice, South Korea says

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

THE NATION

Bloomberg on Monday reported that according to South Korea, Interpol requested law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, who faces charges related to the $60 billion wipeout of cryptocurrencies he created.

Prosecutors in Seoul said Monday in a text message the international police organization has issued a Red Notice for Kwon, the latest inglorious chapter of a $2 trillion rout in digital assets that exposed hugely risky practices. 

South Korean officials have accused Kwon and five others of crimes including breaches of capital-markets law. Kwon earlier this year moved from South Korea to Singapore, where his now collapsed Terraform Labs had a base, but his location became unclear after the city-state on September 17 said he was no longer there. Prosecutors subsequently stepped up their efforts to find him.

Terraform Labs was behind the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin and its sister token Luna. Both coins imploded in May and sparked huge losses in crypto markets, which were already reeling from tightening monetary policy, said Bloomberg.

South Korean prosecutors have said they issued an arrest warrant for Kwon in part because there was “circumstantial evidence of escape” ever since he left for Singapore. They also took issue with his claim that he was cooperating.

“We are in the process of defending ourselves in multiple jurisdictions — we have held ourselves to an extremely high bar of integrity, and look forward to clarifying the truth over the next few months,” Kwon has previously said on Twitter.

THE NATION

Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines

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Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines

Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Philippine authorities rushed on Monday to distribute aid to thousands of evacuees after typhoon Noru made landfall in the capital and northern provinces, leaving at least five dead and many areas flooded.

Residents in Bulacan province were seen wading through waist-deep waters as some asked for aid like food, water and medicine after floods inundated their homes. Five rescue workers were also killed in Bulacan province, Governor Daniel Fernando told a radio station.

President Ferdinand Marcos ordered supplies to be airlifted and clean-up equipment be provided to most-affected communities.

Noru made landfall as a category 3 typhoon but weakened as it traversed land on Sunday night. The storm was headed out over the South China Sea and toward Vietnam, according to the state weather agency.

Super Typhoon Noru has weakened to a typhoon after it made its second landing in the Philippines at 20:20 Sunday, according to the Philippine National Weather Service.

Noru, the 16th typhoon of 2022, made its first landfall in Quezon Province, at the level of super typhoon.

According to the Philippine National Weather Service, Noru is the strongest typhoon affecting the Philippines so far this year. After landing, it will traverse Luzon Island, and the capital region and central Luzon will be greatly affected.

The Philippine government approved many areas to suspend work and classes on Monday.

Affected by the bad weather, at least five international flights and 44 domestic flights were cancelled at the Capital Manila International Airport.

Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines
Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines
Heavy rains from Typhoon Noru flood houses in northern Philippines

Residents have been forced to evacuate in places such as Polillo Island, where the No. 5 wind signal has been raised.

Reuters

Italy’s right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election

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Italy's right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election

Italy’s right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Giorgia Meloni, head of the nationalist Brothers of Italy party, said on Monday that Italian voters had given a clear mandate to the right to form the next government and called for unity to help confront the country’s many problems.

Provisional results from Sunday’s general election showed Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) group topping the polls with almost 26% of the vote, propelling an alliance of right-wing parties to clear majorities in both houses of parliament.

At the last general election in 2018, FdI won just 4.3%.

As head of the largest single party, Meloni will almost certainly get the nod from the head of state to form a new government and is also likely to become Italy’s first woman prime minister and face a daunting array of problems, including surging energy prices and war in Ukraine.

Meloni, 45, plays down her party’s post-fascist roots and portrays it as a mainstream conservative group. She has pledged to support Western policy on Ukraine and not take undue risks with the third largest economy in the eurozone.

“When this night is over, we must remember that we are not at the endpoint, we are at the starting point. It is from tomorrow that we must prove our worth,” Meloni told the party faithful early Monday morning.

The rapid rise in her fortunes is intricately tied to the transformation of Brothers of Italy, which has moved out of the shadows and into the mainstream without ever entirely repudiating its post-fascist roots.

Friends and critics alike say the surge in support is mainly due to the steely determination of Meloni, who won her first local election at 21 and became Italy’s youngest ever minister when, at the age of 31, she was given the youth portfolio in Berlusconi’s 2008 government.

Italy's right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election
Italy's right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election

An exit poll for Italy’s SKY said the bloc of conservative parties, which also includes Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, won over 40%, enough to guarantee control of both houses of parliament.

Italy’s electoral law favours groups that manage to create pre-ballot pacts, giving them an excessive number of seats by comparison with their vote tally.

Full results are expected by early Monday.

Italy’s first autumn national election in over a century was triggered by party infighting that brought down Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad national unity government in July.

Italy has a history of political instability. The next prime minister will lead the country’s 68th government since 1946 and face a host of challenges, notably soaring energy costs and growing economic headwinds.

The outcome of the vote was also being watched nervously in European capitals and on financial markets, given the desire to preserve unity in dealings with Russia and concerns over Italy’s daunting debt mountain.

The new, slimmed-down parliament will not meet until Oct. 13, at which point the head of state will summon party leaders and decide on the shape of the new government.

Italians expressed a deep feeling of uncertainty in the early hours of Monday shortly after exit polls projected the right-wing coalition’s win in the country’s national election.

‘It seems that the centre-right won over the centre-left. An uncertain future awaits us.’, said Rome resident Silvia Zacchi.

Reuters