WUZHEN, China (Reuters) -- A "Cold War mentality” and "bully behavior” are hindering mutual trust in cyberspace, China’s propaganda chief said on Sunday at the start of the World Internet Conference in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen.
Huang Kunming, head of the publicity department of China’s ruling Communist Party, also said that under the pretext of national security, some countries had launched cyber attacks on countries and enterprises.
The state-run World Internet Conference, one of the country’s most prominent tech conferences, takes place this year against a backdrop of rising U.S.-China tensions that has especially overshadowed the tech sector.
Washington has barred U.S. firms from exporting to certain Chinese tech companies through trade blacklists and the two countries have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on each other in an intensifying trade war, which has also hit tech supply chains.
SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Australia’s biggest newspapers were expected to run front pages on Monday made up to appear heavily redacted to protest against recent legislation that restricts press freedoms, a rare show of unity by the usually tribal media industry.
Mastheads from the domestic unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Australian Financial Review publisher Nine Entertainment and the website of the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) were expected to show current news stories with most of the words blacked out.
The protest was designed to put public pressure on the government to exempt journalists from laws restricting access to sensitive information, enact a properly functioning freedom of information system, and raise the benchmark for defamation lawsuits.
Global attention turned to media freedoms in Australia this year when a court order prevented media from reporting that the former Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, had been found guilty on child sex abuse charges.
LA PAZ (Reuters) -- Bolivians voted in an election on Sunday to decide whether to extend the rule of President Evo Morales to nearly two decades or oust the great survivor of South America’s "pink tide” of leftist leaders.
Morales, widely known as just "Evo,” is the favorite to win, but it is set to be his toughest race yet since sweeping to power as Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2006. Recent opinion polls show he could win with his weakest ever mandate and may face a risky second round run-off.
In his favor, Morales - a former union leader for coca growers - has overseen a long stretch of political and economic stability for Bolivia, a landlocked country of 11 million people that is the continent’s poorest. But support for him has slipped amid slowing economic growth and concerns about government corruption and anti-democratic practices.
"I support Evo because I want a stable economy,” said Elsa Lima, 55, who sells sweets from a kiosk in the capital La Paz. "Otherwise everything will spin out of control and there will be crisis.”
ZURICH (AFP) -- Switzerland was counting votes on Sunday in an election that could see unprecedented gains for parties demanding bold climate action and a possible slip for the anti-immigrant right-wing.
In a country that recently held a funeral march for an iconic glacier that has nearly vanished due to melting, opinion polls indicate that climate change has displaced migration as the top concern among the electorate.
That marks one of the most significant shifts in recent Swiss political history, according to the Sotomo political research institute, which forecast that Sunday's results could generate a "green wave."
The Swiss People's Party (SVP), which has repeatedly been accused of demonizing migrants, is poised to remain the largest parliamentary party however, with pre-vote surveys giving it over 27 percent support in the wealthy Alpine nation.
TOKYO (AFP) -- When it comes to Japan's royal family, anti-monarchy sentiment is almost non-existent. But government funding for two highly symbolic imperial rituals this year has sparked rare dissent.
On October 22, Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his enthronement, which occurred earlier this year after his father's abdication, and in November he will perform the sacred Daijosai thanksgiving ritual.
The government is setting aside millions of dollars in funds, in particular for the sumptuous October event, which will draw dignitaries from around the world.
But critics say the two ceremonies are effectively religious rites, and public funding for them violates a constitutionally mandated separation of state and faith.
"The Daijosai ritual is nothing more than a Shinto ceremony," the United Church of Christ in Japan, a leading Protestant group, said in a statement earlier this year.
BERLIN (AP) — A German union representing cabin crew has called members at several Lufthansa subsidiaries out on strike — a walkout that was extended by 13 hours at short notice.
The UFO union is locked in a long-running dispute with the company over pay and the legal status of the union, which has been engaged in an internal leadership struggle.
UFO initially called on members at Eurowings, Germanwings, Lufthansa CityLine and SunExpress to walk out from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, but on Sunday morning extended the strike to midnight, accusing the company of turning up pressure on cabin crew not to participate. Lufthansa itself wasn't affected by Sunday's strike.
Some flights were canceled, but it wasn't immediately clear how many.