China Just Made It Even Harder to Get Around the Great Firewall
Kevin Lui, TIME
While calling for the maintenance of globalized free trade was high on Chinese Communist Leader Xi Jinping’s recent agenda in Davos, no evidence suggests that facilitating the free flow of information is high on Beijing’s to-do list. A notice from the country’s Ministry of Information and Technology says that all virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow Chinese Internet users to access blocked overseas websites, will have to be authorized by telecoms regulators. The move is likely to make most current providers of VPNs in China unlawful, reports the South China Morning Post.
Chinese Feminist “Hooligan Sparrow” Camping in Freezing Home Amid Eviction Threats
RADIO FREE ASIA
Chinese artist and feminist Ye Haiyan, known as “Hooligan Sparrow,” the eponymous subject of an award-winning documentary about her activism, is hanging onto her home in Beijing’s Songzhuang artists’ village after authorities cut off her water, electricity and heating, she told RFA. She believes the attempts to evict her are linked to a political essay she posted on Jan. 13 criticizing China’s Maoists, whose protests have led to the sacking of a university professor, a government official and media denunciation of a prominent journalist in recent weeks.
YouTube Is Removing North Korean Content and No One Knows Why
Yvette Tan, MASHABLE
YouTube has done it again. Two channels which featured content about North Korea have been removed from the video-streaming service, according to a report. The removal comes less than two months after YouTube blocked North Korea’s state television channel, Korean Central Television. As of now, it is unclear why the videos have been removed.
Putin May Brag About Russian Sex Workers, but He’s Killing Them
Melissa Hope Ditmore, THE DAILY BEAST
Russia President Vladimir Putin recently claimed that Russia sex workers are “of course the best in the world,” but his glib remark hides a darker reality. Russia has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world, accounting for eight out of 10 new infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Russia’s policies on sex work, LGBTQ people, and sex education are counter to good health. LGBTQ people are stigmatized and discriminated against and face grave violence, sex work is prohibited, the most effective HIV prevention strategies for people who use drugs are against the law, and comprehensive sexuality education is not offered in schools.
Trump Signs Executive Order Withdrawing US from TPP Trade Deal
Barnini Chakraborty, FOX NEWS
Making good on a campaign promise, President Trump on Monday signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the decision will “forfeit the opportunity to promote American exports, reduce trade barriers, open new markets, and protect American invention and innovation.” He added that it would “create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers.”
FBI Finds Nothing Amiss in Flynn-Russia Eavesdrop: Official
Ken Dilanian, NBC NEWS
The FBI eavesdropped on telephone calls between President Donald Trump’s national security adviser and the Russian ambassador but found nothing improper, a US intelligence official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said late Monday that there was never a formal “investigation” of the calls in December between retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn and Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington.
Senate Committee Approves Tillerson for Secretary of State
Nicole Gaouette, CNN
Former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson won the backing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday to be secretary of state when it voted 11-10 to send his nomination to the full Senate. Sen. Marco Rubio was a long hold-out and potential “no” vote after he raised concerns about Tillerson’s views toward Russia and human rights. But the Florida Republican announced earlier Monday that he would support the nomination.