China Blocks WhatsApp Messages
The Daily Telegraph
Chinese authorities appear to have severely disrupted the WhatsApp messaging app in the latest step to tighten censorship as they prepare for a major Communist Party congress next month. Users in China have reported widespread disruptions in recent days to the Facebook-owned service, which had previously malfunctioned in the country over the summer.
“Football Is No Place For Religion,” Chinese Team Is Warned
The Chinese Football Association have told Super League side Henan Jianye to seek salvation from goals rather than the gods after Taoist priests performed an on-pitch ritual—and the team duly won at home for the first time in over three months. The CFA are investigating after fans of the club invited 15 Taoist priests on to the pitch to pray for a good result in Sunday’s match with Shandong Luneng, which Henan went on to win 2-1. China’s Communist Party keeps a tight control on religion for fear of a challenge to its grip on power.
North Korea’s foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country and said Pyongyang had the right to shoot down US bombers. Ri Yong-ho said this could apply even if the warplanes were not in North Korea’s airspace. The White House dismissed the statement as “absurd.” The Pentagon warned Pyongyang to stop provocations.
Natalya Golitsina, RFE/RL
The latest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian Anne Applebaum, Red Famine: Stalin’s War On Ukraine, sheds new light on one of the seminal events in Ukrainian history – the deadly famine of 1932-33 that Ukrainians call the Holodomor. Some 4 million Ukrainians were killed in a famine that was engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to eliminate a perceived threat to central Soviet power.
Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes
The $5 billion lawsuit against Russia’s Gazprom, filed Wednesday, complains that the natural gas company has taken control of its assets in Crimea. A statement of claim was filed yesterday with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. This is the third lawsuit between the two firms, and the seventh such lawsuit against Russian owned companies operating in Crimea. A decision is not expected until late 2018, Naftogaz said in its statement.
David J. Krajicek, New York Daily News
As fall arrived in 1960, the Urdaneta family of Maracaibo, Venezuela, was sightseeing in Manhattan, enjoying the final days of an American vacation. The centerpiece of their trip had been a visit to Disneyland, the new California wonder. The adventure was a gift from Rafael and Nieves Urdaneta to reward the sterling school work of their older daughter, Magdalena, 9.
As the economic and political crisis deepens in Venezuela, so do the levels of hunger. A survey by a top university found the average Venezuelan has lost nine kilogrammes in the past year. Many families are now forced to scavenge for food in what was once South America’s richest country. Venezuela’s prolonged and acute economic crisis—characterised by food shortages and hyperinflation—has seen infant mortality rise to almost 35 percent and maternal mortality to 65 percent in just the last year.
John Paul Rathbone and Gideon Long, The Financial Times
After a month in hiding and a clandestine three-day road trip through the jungle, Venezuelan politician David Smolansky arrived in New York last week — one more exile from the oppressive regime of president Nicolás Maduro. “I had to pass through 30 road checks to get out,” says Mr. Smolansky, recounting his epic escape across the Orinoco Basin, through the wilderness of southern Venezuela and across the border into Brazil. “I had to disguise myself. I cut my hair, shaved off my beard and I wore a cap.”
Protesters in northern Vietnam’s Hai Duong province have vowed to continue blocking the entrance to a textile factory that has polluted local water supplies, despite threats from local authorities, until the company ceases operation and moves from the area. For more than two years, Hong Kong-owned Pacific Crystal has been discharging smoke into the air which people have described as “horrible” and smelling like “burnt plastic.”When locals detected the foul smell in the area a year ago and found it coming from water discharged by the mill, they reported it to the local government, which they say has failed to address and resolve the problem.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
September 26th, 1950: United Nations troops recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul from invading North Korean forces.