The Financial Times
Openness, diversity and tolerance are the greatest strengths of the world’s liberal democracies. But to autocratic regimes like China, these same attributes are vulnerabilities ripe for exploitation. As reported by the Financial Times on Wednesday, a sitting member of the New Zealand parliament has been investigated by the country’s spy agency in connection with the decade he spent training and teaching at elite military and military intelligence institutions in China, his country of birth.
Serajul Quadir and Wa Lone, Reuters
China, which competes with the United States for influence in Myanmar, endorses the offensive against the insurgents and deemed it an “internal affair”, Myanmar state media said. “The counterattacks of Myanmar security forces against extremist terrorists and the government’s undertakings to provide assistance to the people are strongly welcomed,” the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper quoted China’s ambassador, Hong Liang, as telling government officials.
Josh Lederman, Michael Weissenstein, and Matthew Lee, Associated Press
The top U.S. diplomat has called them “health attacks.” New details learned by The Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling US officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up. “None of this has a reasonable explanation,” said Fulton Armstrong, a former CIA official who served in Havana long before America re-opened an embassy there. “It’s just mystery after mystery after mystery.”
Ted Francis, The Guardian
Irma hit Cuba as a category 5 hurricane and barrelled through the central and western provinces, causing catastrophic destruction in a country that prides itself on disaster preparedness. At least 10 people died—Cuba’s worse hurricane death toll since Hurricane Dennis killed 16 in 2005. “Nobody should be living where we are living,” one woman shouted furiously. “I go to all the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution meetings, all the assemblies, and I’ve always said they are not going to get us out of here until somebody dies.”
Hollie McKay, Fox News
As North Korea continues to develop a nuclear-weapons program, threatening the U.S. and neighboring countries while starving and enslaving much of its population, the regime of Kim Jong-un continues to receive an increasing amount of both public and private support from Russia.“Putin is weakening sanctions against North Korea to weaken the concept of sanctions themselves,” Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which seeks to illuminate human rights abuses in communist governments, told Fox News. “Russia is under heavy international sanctions and Putin wants to empower naysayers in the West who think sanctions are either too inefficient or too provocative of the dictatorial regimes they are levied against.”
Anna Nemtsova, The Daily Beast
Nearly 50 percent of voters in Moscow’s central Khamovniki district elected 33-year-old Ilya Azar, an independent reporter from Russia’s legendary Novaya Gazeta, who had no experience as a politician. And how many seats did candidates from President Vladimir Putin’s Unite Russia party win in Khamovniki? Zero. “United Russia was nowhere seen during the campaign, when we walked from door to door to speak with our electorate,” Azar suggested. “Maybe United Russia was too lazy, used to winning every election.”
Ukrainian moviemaker Oleh Sentsov, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for terrorism in Russia in 2015, has been transferred from an Irkutsk pretrial detention facility to another location, the public monitoring commission in the Irkutsk region told Interfax on September 12. “We received information from Irkutsk detention facility No. 1 that Oleh Sentsov had been transferred from Irkutsk to Chelyabinsk today,” a commission member said.
Mai Nguyen, Reuters
Prosecutors in Vietnam on Thursday said they were seeking the death sentence in an embezzlement case against a former chairman of state energy firm PetroVietnam, as the communist country steps up one of its biggest corruption crackdowns. Some high-ranking political officials have been punished as investigations widen into PetroVietnam and the banking sector, with dozens of banking and energy officials facing trial on charges such as embezzlement, mismanagement and abuse of power.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
September 14th, 1979: Afghan communist leader Nur Mohammad Taraki is assassinated during an intra-party feud. This assassination ultimately triggers the disastrous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the ten-year-long Soviet-Afghan War.
Mobilized Servicemen Day, Ukraine.