Seoul has offered “audacious” financial assistance if North Korea agrees to denuclearization of the peninsula
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has marked the anniversary of the peninsula’s liberation from Japanese occupiers in 1945 by offering a massive package of economic assistance to North Korea if the rival nation abandons its nuclear weapons program.
“The audacious initiative that I envision will significantly improve North Korea's economy and its people's livelihoods in stages if the North ceases the development of its nuclear program and embarks on a genuine and substantive process for denuclearization,” Yoon said on Monday in his Liberation Day speech.
The package would include “large-scale” food aid and funding to develop North Korea’s electricity generation and distribution infrastructure, as well as projects to modernize ports and airports to facilitate trade, Yoon said. “We will also help improve North Korea’s agricultural production, provide assistance to..
Quadruple-jabbed Lloyd Austin tests positive again but won’t reconsider vaccine mandate
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has tested positive for Covid-19 and is continuing to work from home while experiencing “mild symptoms,” he said in a statement released on Monday. The 69-year-old retired general had a bout with Covid in January, after receiving two vaccines and two boosters, but has not changed his mind on the Pentagon’s jab mandate for all members of the US military.
“Now, as in January, my doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why my symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case,” Austin said in his statement.
“Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of [Covid]-19 and to make its health effects less severe. Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted,” he added.
Austin also noted that his last in-person contact with President ..
More “Kabul moments” await if Washington fails to learn its lesson, said the Foreign Ministry in Beijing
The fall of Kabul a year ago was a failure of US hegemony and the strategy of exporting democracy globally, but Washington doesn’t appear to have learned anything from it, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Monday.
Asked about Taliban’s takeover of the Afghan capital, a year ago to date, Wang said the “Kabul moment” became a “byword for the US debacle in Afghanistan,” adding that it represented multiple American failures.
“The ‘Kabul Moment’ marks the failure of the ‘democratic transformation’ imposed by the US,” Wang said, noting that the “path to democracy varies from country to country, and will not work if it is imposed from the outside. Forcing the US-style democracy on a country has invariably led to dysfunction and failure of its implementation.”
Furthermore, Wang added, Afghanistan also represents the failure of Washington’s coalition-cen..
The domestically-made M-81 robotic system is capable of precision firing and can transport weapons across a battlefield
The Russian company Intellect Machine unveiled the first prototype of the M-81 robotic system during Russia’s Army 2022 expo, which opened on Monday outside of Moscow. The dog-like robot is capable of conducting both military and civilian tasks, according to its creators.
A spokesperson for the company told the RIA news agency that the robot can be used for a number of civilian applications, such as working in emergency zones and helping rescuers conduct reconnaissance, finding paths through rubble or delivering medicine to trapped victims.
However, company representative added that the M-81 can also be adapted for combat situations, as it can conduct precision fire, identify targets, carry out patrols, and transport weapons and ammunition.
During a demonstration held during the expo, the M-81 could be seen following a number of commands given by its owner al..
Washington has reportedly ruled out releasing any of the $7 billion in the country’s financial assets that it froze after the Taliban takeover
US President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly opted against releasing $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank assets, deciding to keep the funds frozen due to concern that the currently Taliban-ruled country is again harboring international terrorists.
Washington also has suspended talks with the Taliban after previously seeing progress in the negotiations, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing US officials. The decision concerns the war-torn country’s US-based assets, which Biden’s administration froze after last year’s Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The refusal to release the funds “deals a blow to the hopes of an economic recovery in Afghanistan as millions face starvation” one year into the Taliban’s rule, the WSJ said. Just last week, a group of 70 prominent economists and academics from the US, UK and five other count..
“Claims of government overreach” are fueling domestic terror, the agency said
The FBI and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claim that they’ve received threats of bombings, violence, and “civil war,” after federal agents raided the Florida home of Donald Trump. Supporters of the former president say the search was politically motivated.
The FBI and DHS “have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach search,” the agencies warned in a bulletin to federal and local law enforcement as reported by multiple US outlets on Sunday.
The bulletin stated that federal agents have “observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities,” including “a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion’.”
“Many of these threats inc..
Heavy rains submerged subway stations and disrupted transport in the Turkish metropolis
Massive rainfall hit the Turkish city of Istanbul on Monday, disrupting traffic all over the city, forcing road closures and requiring the shutdown of subway lines.
“We faced 90 to 100 kilograms of precipitation per square meter in Cekmekoy, and 80 kilograms of precipitation per square meter around Sariyer-Maslaki,” Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu told reporters during a press conference.
The 550-year-old Grand Bazaar, a popular tourist attraction, was flooded, and the roof of a shopping mall in Beykoz collapsed.
Videos posted to social media show water rushing through the Grand Bazaar while shocked shoppers take shelter inside storefronts.
İstanbul’da etkili olan yağış sonrası Kapalı Çarşı’yı su bastı. pic.twitter.com/3N0ej6I2Q6
— ibrahim Haskoloğlu (@haskologlu) August 15, 2022
Burası Venedik Değil #Tarihi “Kapalı çarşı” #Sondakika #BeklenenOldu #yagmur “skandal karar” pic.twitter.com/d6..
Invited into Mali to fight terrorism, Paris’ troops soon fell out of favor with the African nation’s government
The final French soldiers left the Gao military base in northern Mali on Monday, ending a nine-year counterterrorism mission by France in its former colony. While French troops were invited into Mali to fight Islamism, relations with the African country’s government later turned sour.
“Today at 13:00 Paris time the final contingent of the Barkhane force still on Malian territory crossed the border between Mali and Niger,” read a statement from the French military, referring to Operation Barkhane, the codename of its Malian mission.
French President Emmanuel Macron had announced the operation’s end last summer, and began withdrawing troops in February.
The French military initially deployed to Mali in 2013 at the behest of the Malian government. After pushing Islamist forces out of the northern half of the country, the military launched Operation Barkhane a year later, ex..
Albert Bourla is “experiencing very mild symptoms”
The CEO of Pfizer has tested positive for Covid-19, he revealed in a series of tweets on Monday. The drug giant’s chief executive added that he was taking his company’s antiviral, Paxlovid, slipping in some free advertising for the pill.
“We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery,” Albert Bourla tweeted, praising his employees for their efforts.
While Paxlovid was approved last month on an emergency-use basis to treat vaccinated individuals with Covid-19 symptoms, Pfizer’s own data warns its abilities in fighting the virus in vaccinated patients are negligible at best.
Paxlovid is not approved, but is authorized for emergency use by the FDA to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients 12+, weighing at least 40 kg, with positive results of SARS-CoV-2 viral testing. See safety info: https://t.co/XqokFVKBC7.
— Albert Bourla (@AlbertBourla) August 15, 2022 ..
The war games come in response to the visit of a US congressional delegation to the self-governing island
China’s People’s Liberation Army has deployed its Navy and fighter jets to the Taiwan Strait as part of fresh drills near the island which Beijing claims as its own. The latest show of force is meant as a “stern deterrent to the United States” after a group of five US lawmakers visited the island.
In a statement released on Monday, the Chinese military’s Eastern Theatre Command said it had conducted multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat exercises at sea and in the air in the vicinity of Taiwan.
The drills took place near Taiwan’s Penghu islands, which host a major air base.
Beijing shared footage of the island shot by military aircraft.
Chinese military officials insisted that by allowing the lawmakers to visit the island, the US effectively infringed on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They accused Washington of threatening “peace and stabilit..