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DW News 06 October, 2021 - 09:45am 2 views

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's new government signalled on Tuesday a more assertive position on China's aggressive posture towards self-ruled Taiwan, suggesting it would consider options and prepare for "various scenarios", while reaffirming close U.S. ties.

Taiwan and broader relations with China are likely to dominate security policies and foreign relations from the outset of new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's administration.

Tension has been rising over Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory to be taken by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy.

In recent days Taiwan has reported 148 Chinese air force planes flying into the island's air defence zone and Taiwan government leaders have said it needs to be on alert for "over the top" Chinese military activity.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, asked about the Taiwan situation, said he hoped "this matter is resolved peacefully between the two parties through direct talks".

"Additionally, instead of simply monitoring the situation, we hope to weigh the various possible scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have, as well as the preparations we must make," Motegi said.

Motegi, along with Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, were kept on in the new cabinet unveiled on Monday, which analysts said indicated a focus on strong security ties with the United States.

Motegi's comments on Taiwan mark a departure from the past by explicitly speaking of possible involvement, and were also aimed at drawing international attention to the issue and pressing China, analysts said.

"That part was always unspoken ... but this time, they're taking a stronger stand," said Yoichiro Sato, an international relations professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

Robert Ward, a London-based senior fellow for Japanese Security Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the change in the way Japan was articulating its concerns about Taiwan was significant.

"It is drawing a line of sorts and thus creating expectations," Ward said.

"The new government will continue with the harder line, as Motegi is showing. This fits with Japan's broader push to balance China from a position of strength."

Kishida, a former foreign minister, told reporters earlier he had spoken to U.S. President Joe Biden for about 20 minutes and they had confirmed their regional security cooperation.

"We affirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, as well as our commitment to working together to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

Kishida did not mention Taiwan in his comments to reporters but said: "We also affirmed that we would work closely on challenges that this region faces with regards to China and North Korea."

He said he had received a "strong" message from Biden about the U.S. commitment to defending the disputed East China Sea islets known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan. China also claims the islands, which it calls the Daioyus.

Kishida on Monday unveiled a cabinet allies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and ex-Finance Minister Taro Aso in key posts along with relative political novices, in keeping with a promise to give younger lawmakers a chance.

The 64-year-old Hiroshima native surprised the opposition by calling an election for Oct. 31 and vowed to bolster the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But his pledges didn't appear to give him a popularity boost ahead of the election, with a daily Mainichi poll showing a 49% approval rating - well under the 64% who supported his predecessor's administration after it took office.

Kishida, who is from a traditionally dovish faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), tacked to the right as he campaigned to become party leader.

Kishida has said that acquiring the ability to strike enemy bases, a controversial step backed by Abe, was a viable option and that he would appoint an aide to monitor China's treatment of its Uyghur minority. China denies accusations of abuse.

Underscoring the new cabinet's China focus, Kishida created the post of economy security minister, filled by Takayuki Kobayashi, 46, an official who helped craft policies aimed at protecting sensitive technologies in supply chains and cyber security from China.

In his first news conference, Kobayashi aimed to strike a balance, saying ties were of great importance to both countries.

"It's important that China, as an economic superpower, complies with the rules of the international community and fulfils its responsibilities in a way that is fit for a large country for the further development of the global economy," Kobayashi said.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Antoni Slodkowski, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Sakura Murakami, Ju-min Park and Elaine Lies; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Robert Birsel)

Since the Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen first became president in 2016, Taiwan-China ties have soured again, with China cutting off a formal dialogue mechanism, flying fighters and bombers near Taiwan, forcing foreign firms to refer to Taiwan as part of China on their websites, and whittling away Taiwan's diplomatic allies. Beijing believes Tsai, who won re-election by a landslide last year, wants to push Taiwan's formal independence, a red line for China.

Taiwan needs to be on alert for China's "over the top" military activities, the premier said on Tuesday, after a record 56 Chinese aircraft flew into Taiwan's air defence zone, while the president said the island would do what it took to defend itself. Taiwan has reported 148 Chinese air force planes in the southern and southwestern part of its air defence zone over a four day period beginning on Friday, the same day China marked a key patriotic holiday, National Day. China claims Taiwan as its own territory, which should be taken by force if necessary.

TAIPEI (Reuters) -A group of French senators including a former defence minister will visit Taiwan this week, the island's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, with the visit coming at a time of soaring tensions between Taipei and Beijing and despite China's opposition. Their trip comes after China flew almost 150 warplanes into Taiwan's air defence zone over a four-day period beginning Oct. 1, China's National Day holiday. China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and is always angered by any trips to the island by foreign officials.

Taiwan falling to China would trigger "catastrophic" consequences for peace in Asia, President Tsai Ing-wen wrote in a piece for Foreign Affairs published on Tuesday, and if threatened Taiwan will do whatever it takes to defend itself. Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its sovereign territory, has faced a massive stepping up of pressure from Beijing since Friday, with 148 Chinese air force aircraft flying into Taiwan's air defence zone over a four-day period. China has blamed the United States, Taiwan's most important international backer and arms supplier, for the rise in tensions, while Taiwan has called China the "chief culprit" in the current situation.

Taiwan, a strategic U.S. ally claimed by Beijing as sovereign territory, says 145 Chinese military planes have violated its air defense zone in four days.

As countries vie for attention at Expo 2020 Dubai, China has gone all out, hoping to take centre stage by showcasing more than 5,000 years of civilisation crowned by recent technological advances. A robotic panda shakes hands with visitors to its pavilion, named "Light of China", one of the biggest at the expo which opened last week. Built on a site covering around 4,600 square metres, 'Light of China' offers a glimpse into the future: space exploration, robotics and smart cities, and is a source of pride for some early Chinese visitors.

The Chinese military on Monday sent 52 military planes into Taiwan’s air defense zone — the most ever in a single day — one day after the U.S. issued a warning to Beijing over similar flights it conducted in recent days.

Japan's COVID-19 case numbers have plummeted to the lowest in nearly a year just as other parts of Asia are struggling with surging infections, leaving health experts perplexed and raising concern of a winter rebound. After a slow start, Japan has made rapid progress in its vaccination campaign and almost six months of emergency distancing restrictions have likely helped stem the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, the speed with which a wave of infections and hospitalisations fuelled by the infectious Delta variant has ebbed away has confounded the experts.

The company will tie executive pay to emissions reduction and eliminate deforestation through its supply chain Mars is seeing the impact of climate change across its business – droughts in west Africa, for example, affecting cocoa production. Photograph: Luc Gnago/Reuters The chief executive of Mars, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, has warned that “all too often” corporate commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions fall short and threaten to undermine their credibility a

ROME (Reuters) -Divisions in Italy's government widened on Tuesday when the rightist League deserted a cabinet meeting that approved the framework of a contested tax reform promised to the European Union. The bill, aimed at reducing income taxes and simplifying the system, was initially promised by the end of July as part of Rome's Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), but had been held up by coalition tensions. These erupted on Tuesday when the League, a key component of Prime Minister Mario Draghi's national unity government, protested the bill could lead to an unacceptable increase in taxation and that it had not had time to examine it properly.

With Medicare's open-enrollment period just around the corner, millions of Americans age 65 and older will sign up for the federal health insurance program -- and many will go in with wrong ideas...

Instagram is unifying IGTV with the regular videos in your feed, and it's giving you more editing tools at the same time.

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil, under fire for failing to stop destruction of the Amazon rainforest, plans to show the world at next month's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) that it can fight climate change while remaining a top agricultural powerhouse, Environment Minister Joaquim Leite said on Tuesday. Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been blasted internationally for not doing enough to stop deforestation. The country's rainforest is considered a crucial bulwark against global climate change.

The dollar eased and a gauge of global equity markets fell on Monday as investors worried about the potential for renewed U.S.-China trade tensions, stalled talks in Congress and rising inflation as oil prices surged to multi-year highs. U.S. Treasury yields rose on investor caution about the need to raise the government's debt ceiling as the United States faces the risk of a historic default in two weeks. Oil jumped after Reuters reported the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies would stick to their current output policy instead of boosting supply more.

A woman was busted Tuesday for a terrifying Times Square subway station attack that sent an unsuspecting woman sailing into the side of an uptown No. 1 train, police said. The caught-on-video assault showed accused attacker Anthonia Egegbara, now charged with attempted murder, sitting on a platform bench as the train pulls into the Midtown station during the Monday morning rush hour. The ...

U.S. lawmakers pounded Facebook on Tuesday, accusing CEO Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety and they demanded regulators investigate whistleblower accusations that the social media company harms children and stokes divisions. During a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing, whistleblower Frances Haugen called for transparency about how Facebook entices users to extend their stay on the site, giving them ample opportunity to advertise to them. "As long as Facebook is operating in the shadows, hiding its research from public scrutiny, it is unaccountable," said Haugen, a former employee of the nearly $1 trillion company who turned whistleblower.

There was plenty to like but also some things to clean up leading into their preseason home opener at Spectrum Center on Thursday.

Snapchat is the reigning social media champion among teens.

"Who is going to stand up and say to Xi Jinping, ‘Your policy is going to be harmful to China’? " asks Chinese politics specialist at London institution.

Read full article at DW News

Booster War Isolated Biden Team From Top Scientists 06 October, 2021 - 05:01pm

The war over whether or not scientific data suggests COVID-19 booster shots are necessary for all Americans isolated the Biden administration and their COVID agenda from top scientists, a new report in Politico indicates.

These experts reportedly expressed their discomfort with the Biden administration’s politicized plan in an off-the-record call last week with federal health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House policy adviser Cameron Webb, and other agency heads.

“Current U.S. data on vaccine performance does not justify using boosters widely to reduce the risk of breakthrough infections and slow the virus’ spread, the experts said,” according to Politico.

Instead of listening to the health experts’ concerns, however, Fauci and others lectured the top scientists who joined the call on why Biden’s booster plan should overrule any scientific data they found. Fauci even reportedly said the claim that “science did not support giving boosters to all adults … was incorrect.”

“The president’s chief medical adviser also told the outside experts that boosters could, and should, be given widely to reduce the spread of the coronavirus rather than only to prevent severe disease or death,” Politico reported.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ruled last month that data only suggested COVID-19 booster shots could be useful for older adults in the United States or those who are considered at high risk for hospitalization or death if they catch the virus, Director Rochelle Walensky overruled their recommendation to align herself with the Biden administration’s goals of re-vaccinating all Americans.

Just a week prior to that, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee agreed that, despite the Biden administration’s push to start offering extra shots to people as young as 16 years old, there was not enough evidence to support COVID-19 booster shots for every age group.

The Biden administration previously planned to move forward with supplemental jabs for adults beginning as early as the White House’s Sept. 20 deadline, pending the FDA’s approval. This pressure from the Democrat president and his administration to offer “premature and unnecessary” consent to something that scientific data does not conclusively back up caused strife within the regulatory agency and even pushed several high-profile FDA officials to resign. Later, these officials publicly disagreed with the administration’s booster shot push by signing a letter opposing it.

Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

Experts reportedly expressed discomfort with the Biden administration’s politicized plan in an off-the-record call last week with federal health officials.

Transportation employees are fighting for medical freedom as their companies cave to pressure from the Biden administration to mandate COVID-19 shots.

Dane County residents had our fears and suspicions confirmed on Monday: The mask mandate is never going to end. 

Private companies are proving just as draconian as federal and state governments, threatening Americans with financial ruin if they don’t get a COVID shot.

There’s a simple fact that everyday Americans have internalized, adapted to, and accepted: The pandemic is endemic. Fauci isn’t fooling them.

Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

Promote Instagram Eating Disorder Pages for Teens

Socialpost 05 October, 2021 - 05:05am

NEW YORK (pte013 / 05.10.2021 / 10:30) – ‘I should be skinny’, ‘Forever hungry’: These and similar accounts suggested Instagram algorithms for a 13-year-old girl who showed an interest in losing weight and dieting. And “CNN” reported, quoting Senator Richard Blumenthal, whose team noticed this. Such sites glorifying eating disorders actually violate Instagram’s guidelines and shouldn’t be allowed, the news channel affiliate Facebook has admitted.

Senator Blumenthal and his team created the account, presumably belonging to a 13-year-old, to get an idea of ​​how well or poorly Instagram protects young people from potentially harmful content. As a test, they followed some narratives about diets and those that glorify eating disorders (which are actually not allowed). Within a short time, the algorithms were suggesting more and more similar sites. For a selection of five questionable accounts, with whom CNN switched to Instagram, the platform confirmed that they violated the platform’s guidelines.

A spokesperson for parent company Facebook said: “We don’t allow content that promotes or encourages eating disorders, and we’ve removed accounts shared with us because they violate these rules.” It is claimed that in addition to user reports, technology is also used to instantly find and remove relevant content. When CNN repeated Blumenthal’s experience with her own demo account, the 13-year-old was soon presented various accounts with the word “skinny” in the name — a term used for years in glorifying eating disorders. The anorexia movement is popular.

Blumenthal told CNN Monday that his team’s experience shows very clearly that “Facebook’s claims to protect children or delete accounts that could put them at risk are nonsense.” They should represent only the tip of the iceberg. After all, the Wall Street Journal launched discoveries in September of this year, according to which Facebook should know exactly how much harm its platforms, especially Instagram, can do to young girls in particular – but perhaps not do much out of greed.

“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”

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