CAMBODIA – THAI – ISRAEL – CONGO – CHINA – IRAN – KOREA
REUTERS – AP – AFP – CHINESE RADIO – RT – ACTIVIST POST
Cambodia police disperse demonstrators in TV channel protest
Cambodian military police used smoke grenades and batons on Monday to quell a protest by demonstrators demanding that a new television channel be allowed to broadcast, Reuters said. At least eight people were wounded, according to witnesses. The demonstration near the Information Ministry breached a ban on public gatherings imposed by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The ministry earlier refused to grant a broadcast license to a new television channel run by a staunch government critic.
Thai protesters won’t negotiate over freeing up access to ministries
Protesters seeking to overthrow Thailand’s government will not negotiate over freeing up access to ministries and state agencies that they have blockaded, Reuters reported protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, as saying on Monday. The protesters have blockaded seven big intersections in the capital of Bangkok. Many ministries and other bodies such as the central bank were forced to close their doors, with staff working from home or back-up facilities.
Hackers attack Israeli defense computer – expert
Hackers attacked Israeli computers including one used by the Defense Ministry, an Israeli data protection expert said on Monday. “At the beginning of this month a number of mails were sent to a number of companies in Israel, including security organizations,” AFP quoted Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Israeli cyber security firm Seculert, as saying on army radio. An attachment that was in the email was infected with a virus, a Trojan Horse, which allowed the attackers to control the computers, Raff said. One of the computers belonged to the Defense Ministry department dealing with civilians in the occupied West Bank. The radio said the attack was “apparently from Gaza” and added that 15 Israeli computers were targeted.
At least 20 killed in Congo arms depot blasts
Explosions from an arms depot near the diamond-mining hub of Mbuji-Mayi have killed more than 20 people, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo announced. The explosions injured 50 people and destroyed many houses, causing “desolation” in the heart of Congo’s third largest city, AP said, citing the statement. A lightning bolt on Friday reportedly hit the munitions depot of an army barracks outside Mbuji-Mayi and exploding shells hit homes some 6km away.
China ships sail off Tokyo-controlled islands after Abe’s WWI claim
Chinese ships sailed through disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands on Monday, AFP reported. Around 9am (00:00 GMT), Chinese coastguard vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters of one of the Senkakus, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, according to Japan’s coastguard. The move came days after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared Sino-Japanese tense relations with the run-up to World War I.
Magnitude 4.9 earthquake hits southeastern Iran
A moderate earthquake has struck southeastern Iran, and no injuries or damage were immediately reported, AP said. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 struck at 6:16am local time Monday (02:46 GMT), some 100km southwest of Zahedan, Iran, according to the US Geological Survey. That area is near Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan.
S. Korea proposes family reunions in February
Seoul on Monday proposed that the rival Koreas restart arranging reunions next month for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, AP reported. North Korea last week agreed to resume the reunions and let South Korea choose dates for the humanitarian program, the latest move in a recent series of conciliatory gestures Pyongyang has taken. Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Monday that it sent a message proposing that the reunions to take place from February 17-22 at a North Korean mountain. About 22,000 North and South Koreans briefly met with their relatives during a period of détente, but family reunions have not been held since October 2010.
Libyan militias release kidnapped Egyptian diplomats
Libya’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday that five Egyptian diplomats and an embassy employee kidnapped by militias in Tripoli have been released. They were abducted by armed gunmen as retaliation to Egypt for the arrest of Shaban Hadia, commander of the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, a powerful militia. The kidnappings forced Egypt to evacuate its embassy and Benghazi consulate on Friday, prompting it to once again stress the Libyan central government’s inability to reign in armed groups operating around the country. Deputy Foreign Minister Abdul Razak Al-Grady told Reuters that three of the released are already back home, while another three are on their way back to Tripoli. He did not provide any further details on their release.