Burglar-proof your home


House_Burglar-proof
Fending off thieves need not be expensive

PROTECTING a home from break-ins is high up on everyone’s priority list.

But fending off burglars and thieves doesn’t always require one to buy expensive security systems, or plonking down cash to turn houses into impenetrable forts.

The following are some simple, inexpensive ways to burglar or theft-proof your house against unwanted intruders.

Reinforce the doors and locks

According to the The Telegraph’s “How to burglar-proof your home – tips from an ex-thief,” a shabby-looking door is an open invitation for thieves.

“If your front door looks tatty, or if it only has one cylinder lock instead of a cylinder lock plus deadlock, it will catch a thief’s eye.

Marilyn Lewis of MSN Real Estate points out that thieves generally prefer to use the front door.

“Creeping out a window is hard, and it’s far more difficult when carting out a load of loot. Thieves typically test a house by first ringing the bell to ensure no one’s home, then trying the door handle and perhaps putting a shoulder to the door to see how solid and how firmly attached it is.

“To enter, the usual tool is a pry bar or a strong kick of the boot. Sadly, many doors fly open easily.”

Reinforcing your front entrance with a steel gate is a popular and common option to protect your front door.

Secure the perimeter

According to the Malaysian Department of Statistics, the bulk of burglaries tend to take place in the night rather than in the day. According to its Crime Index for the year 2009, a total of 27,060 burglaries took place in the night compared with 11,396 burglaries in the day.

This clearly justifies the need to reinforce the security around your home.

“Replacing porch lights and other outdoor lights with motion-sensor lights is cheap and easy,” writes Lewis.

With the bulk of burglaries taking place in the night, it makes sense to “light up the house,” says ABCNews.

“Scare off those burglars with motion-sensor lights. Look for ones with adjustable sensitivity to avoid getting a false alarm from things like tree branches rustling. And keep the outside of your home illuminated an all sides using energy-efficient compact fluorescent,” it says.

Buying a good alarm system is also a viable option – provided it doesn’t cost you a bomb. Lewis says many people spend thousands of dollars buying, leasing and installing electronic alarms, and then sign contracts requiring them to shell out thousands more to a company that monitors the alarm.

“A 30-second alarm blast should scare away intruders. Also, newer alarms can be programmed to do what monitoring companies do first anyway: phone you (or text you) when the alarm has been tripped.”

Make the house seem “lived in

Even if you’re not home (be it out at work or away on vacation), don’t give the impression that there’s no one at home.

“Make sure you don’t give obvious clues that you’re not home. Turn down the telephone ringer, so burglars won’t hear you aren’t there. Make the house seem like someone is home with lamps or a radio on a timer,” says ABCNews. “(Also) don’t leave mail piled up in the mailbox if you’re away. Again, you’re telling the thieves what’s going on, that you’re not home,” it says, adding that if you do go away on vacation, “don’t blab on Facebook when you’re leaving town.”

If you have newspapers delivered to your home, inform the vendor that you’ll be away, or get your neighbour to remove them from your doorstep.

Says Lewis: “When you’re gone, don’t let stuff like newspapers, real-estate cards and pizza fliers accumulate in front of your door.

“Leave a vehicle in your carport or in front of the house if possible. Ask a neighbour or friend to help you out by parking there. Get friends to pick up newspapers, cut the grass, water plants, feed pets and open and close curtains, varying their routine to add a note of unpredictability if possible.”

 Get a dog

Owning a dog is an inexpensive and effective way to keep robbers at bay.

House_Burglar-proof_dog

ABCNews, in its article “5 Ways to Avoid a Break-In: Confessions of an Ex-Burglar,” speaks to a former convict that actually confirms this fact: “No burglar wants to deal with a dog and so won’t take the chance and probably will avoid the neighbors’ houses, too.”

Lewis, meanwhile, notes that while owning a dog may not make your property impregnable, it can, however, make the home less approachable.

“You don’t want a pooch? That’s okay. Post a “beware of dog” sign anyway.”Lewis cites Chris McGoey, a security expert and consultant who doesn’t have a dog, but owns a sign and makes a point of asking service people to wait before entering his property, so that he can “put the dog in the house.”

“The sign is cheap. It makes people think twice,” says McGoey.

By Eugene Mahalingam The Star/Asia News Network

China wants strong defense; Never seek hegemony on 5 Principles of Peaceful Coexistence; Japan, Philippines using rule of law pretext


Xi Jinping stresses building strong frontier defense

Senior Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhang Gaoli meet with representatives attending a national meeting on frontier and coast defense in Beijing, China, June 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping called for efforts to build a strong and solid frontier defense network for both territorial land and water at a national meeting held here on Friday.

Xi said, upon mentioning frontier defense, one cannot help thinking China’s modern history when the country was so weak and destitute that it was for everyone to bully.

Foreign aggressors broke China’s land and sea defense for hundreds of times, plunging the Chinese nation into the abysm of calamity, Xi added, calling on the people not to forget the history of humiliation and to build a strong frontier.

Xi urged China’s frontier defenders to meticulously monitor over and control the frontier and to mount actions to defend the country’s maritime right, while implementing an overall national security outlook.

Furthermore, Xi called for efforts from both the military and civilian communities to strike a balance between frontier defense and economic development, staunchly safeguarding frontier security, stability and prosperity.

Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli also attended the meeting. – Xindua

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

President re-affirms vow at meeting with leaders of Peaceful Coexistence doctrine’s founding countries
Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday delivered a keynote speech at a commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

Chinese President Xi Jinping (front row C), Myanmar President U Thein Sein (front row 4th L) and Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari (front row 4th R) together with delegates from China, India and Myanmar attending a conference marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence pose for a group picture during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, June 28, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will never seek hegemony, no matter how strong it becomes, President Xi Jinping said on Saturday at a high-profile meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

“China does not accept the logic that a strong country is bound to become hegemonic, and neither hegemony nor militarism is in the Chinese DNA,” Xi said in a speech, as he played host to leaders from Myanmar and India to commemorate the anniversary.

Citing poems and old sayings from the three countries, Xi called for dialogue based on equality to resolve disputes and joint efforts to preserve regional peace.

He also announced the establishment of a friendship award and an outstanding scholarship related to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. 

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

Myanmar leader hails ties

Observers said Xi’s remarks and the first meeting of leaders of all three of the peace code’s founding countries since its inception sought to assure the world of China’s peaceful development amid simmering tension in the East and South China seas.

It will take time for China, or any growing power, to be fully accepted by the world. But China will prove its intentions with its actions, based on the five principles, which can play a bigger role in the current international community, they added.

In 1954, the leaders of China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. They are mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence.

The joint commemoration – especially the presence of Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein and India’s Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari – shows those two countries’ efforts to push forward the peace code and their relationship with China, said Zhang Jiuhuan, former director of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

Having guided the rapid development of ties between China and Southeast Asia, the principles could also lead to the resolution of issues between China and some Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, said Zhang, who is also a former Chinese ambassador to Singapore and Thailand.

Wang Fan, vice-president of China Foreign Affairs University, said the five principles could be developed to become a mechanism to guarantee the spirit’s future implementation.

East Asia – divided by an outdated alliance system – lacks a sound multilateral platform for cooperation. So the five principles under a mechanism could better restrict all concerned parties, he said.

Ansari also called for “a new paradigm for global action”, “a framework in which opportunities and challenges for the betterment of our societies coexist”.

The five principles “can act as a catalyst”, he said in a speech at the meeting.

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

Japan, Philippines using rule of law pretext
BEIJING, June 27 — A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday said Japan and the Philippines have infringed on other countries’ interests under the pretext of rule of law.

“Some countries are provoking and stirring up tensions on the one hand and vilifying other countries under the pretext of rule of law,” Qin Gang said at a daily press briefing.

Qin’s comments came after Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday called for use of “the rule of law” to solve regional disputes, at a time when both countries are embroiled in separate rows with China.

Qin said China has always been committed to working with relevant countries and resolving the disputes on the basis of historical facts and international laws.

He also said China does not accept the international arbitration put forward by some countries, not because it is afraid to do so. The country is only “exercising the legitimate rights of signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

In early June, the Permanent Court of Arbitration asked China to submit evidence on its territorial claims in the South China Sea within six months for a procedural review of the suit filed by the Philippines.

China aims to properly resolve issues and protect regional peace and stability, which is also in line with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea , according to Qin.

“Some countries have infringed on the legitimate interests of other countries under the pretext of rule of law,” he added, urging Japan and the Philippines to reflect on their acts in accordance with international laws and the norms guiding international relations.

(Xinhua)AFP

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FIFA World Cup gambling on the go, technologies got smarter


Fifa-world-cup-2014


KUALA LUMPUR: Illegal betting for this year’s World Cup is set to hit a record high – thanks to smart technology which will allow punters to place bets from anywhere and at anytime.

Federal Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Roslee Chik said the total bets for the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago amounted to more than RM438mil nationwide.

“We expect this year’s tournament to surpass that amount as syndicates and gamblers are using smartphones rather than laptops.

“In the 2010 World Cup, we only had to deal with syndicates and gamblers using laptops but now smartphones have become the tool of the bookies,” he said.

Some of the gambling apps that are easily available are M88 Sports, IBCBET and SBOBET.

“We have started preparations in the last three weeks and we are ready to come down hard on anyone involved in illegal football betting,” SAC Roslee told a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.

Betting on football matches is illegal in Malaysia and even those who place bets on betting websites that are legal in other countries will face action.

Johor police have also set up a taskforce in every district to check on gambling activities and will focus on premises such as cybercafés and restaurants that offer live matches.

Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff had these words of advice for those likely to get into bigger trouble by borrowing from loan sharks: “Just enjoy the games. There is no need to bet.”

Sabah police have set up eight teams for the Ops Soga 5 to combat football betting activities.

State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Omar Mammah said the police did not want to reveal details of their operations so they could catch the bookies and the gamblers by surprise.

According to SAC Roslee, although police arrested 143 people in 2010, including bookies and those who placed bets, most of them could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence.

The youngest among those arrested was 15 and the oldest was 73. There were also 22 women and nine Indonesians.

He added that a total of 270 premises were raided nationwide during the month-long tournament and RM110,124 seized.

“We have learned some lessons and have improved our strategies.

“We will use the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Act 2001 (Amlata) and enforcement will be more stringent,” he said.

SAC Roslee said bets for the World Cup would increase as the tournament progressed, with the stake getting higher for the quarter-final, semi-final and the final.

It is learnt that a minimum bet could from between RM200 and RM300 and they could go up to hundreds of thousands of ringgit.

SAC Roslee vowed the police would use the Prevention of Crime Act to catch syndicate members as a last resort.

“We will also work closely with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to identify illegal gaming facilities and websites,” he said.

SAC Roslee added they were also looking into amending existing gambling laws, to enable the authorities to have more bite against illegal gambling syndicates as syndicates are using the Internet with servers based overseas.

“It is hard to get cooperation from the authorities in countries where gambling is legal,” he said.

- Contributed by Farik zolkepli, Yuen Meikeng, Randeep Singh, Aida Ahmad, Stephanie Lee, & Farhaan Shah

Related article Avoiding the gambling disease

Football Every Day Webcast to keep up with the samba beat

PETALING JAYA: The greatest show on earth has kicked off and the Football Every Day Webcast will be keeping up with the samba beat on a daily basis throughout the tournament’s duration.

With seasoned faces as well as fresh ones, join football crazy fans Zack Yusof, Daryl Goh, Ian Yee, Brian Martin and Nelsen Ng as they get together to run the rule over each day’s matches.

This time around, viewers and footie fans alike stand a chance to walk away with a pair of the latest Adidas Battle Pack Footwear worth up to RM800 and dining vouchers from SOULed Out.

To win, simply send us your most wacky and creative photo or video selfies of you and your friends enjoying the World Cup.

Entries can be submitted by email to football@thestar.com.my or via Twitter at @switchup.tv. Make sure to include your full name, IC and contact numbers.

The Star’s Football Every Day webcast can be viewed at www.Switchup.tv.

Smartphones causing a spike in betting among youth

PETALING JAYA: Internet gambling has become more rampant among young people, especially since it has become so easy to bet using smartphones.

Those aged between 17 and 30 now make up 75% of online gamblers. The other 25% consists largely of those aged between 31 and 42.

Data from Gamblers Rehab Centre (GRC) Malaysia received between 2007 and last year show that the number of online gamblers who received counselling have increased from just 16 cases in 2007 to 112 last year.

“We received an average of 120 gamblers seeking help from us every year.

“Due to the popularity of smartphones, internet gambling has become more common,” said the GRC in a statement.

“There is no age minimum and it is open to everyone. The only qualification is the amount of money one has in the account,” it said.

The GRC said online gambling on credit was operated by illegal syndicates that set up their own websites and appointed agents to get clients to open trading accounts.

“They will give their clients credits to bet. This type of gambling is very popular, especially among school students,” it said.

Any losses or wins would be transacted via the account on a fixed day of the week.

“Since it does not require any cash deposit, it causes many to lose control and fall into the whirlpool of gambling.

“In order to win back lost money or to repay their debts, clients tend to borrow money from loan sharks, who in fact, are partners in the whole operation,” the GRC said.

However, there are a few types of online gambling games which do not involve money and are found on Facebook, said GRC, adding that such games might encourage some to move on to “real” online gambling.

The GRC has conducted awareness seminars in schools and other places to prevent people from picking up the habit.

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Foreign tech firms pose threat on Internet; World’s largest Internet hacker


Foreign Tech firms_ThreatsCompanies asked by Washington to use online services to spy on customers

Foreign technology services providers such as Google and Apple can become cybersecurity threats to Chinese users, security analysts said, one week after China announced that it will put in place a security review on imported technology equipment.

Other major tech companies, such as Yahoo, Cisco, Microsoft and Facebook, were required by the US National Security Agency to transfer their users’ information, according to Wan Tao, founder of Intelligence Defense Friends Laboratory, an independent institution focusing on cybersecurity in China.

Wan said that online services have become a major way for the US to steal information globally.

Foreign tech firms pose threat on Internet

Foreign tech firms pose threat on Internet

Ning Jiajun, a senior researcher at the Advisory Committee for State Informatization, said, “Previously, the US asked companies to install wiretapping software on their technological products, but if users found and shut down related functions, its ‘plan’ would fail,” he said.

For instance, information on a Chinese organization can be stolen when it places an order on an international shopping website, he said.

With technologies such as cloud computing and big data getting popular, information can be collected and analyzed immediately, which means the damage can be much greater and more difficult to prevent, analysts said.

“It can be said that those who master online services can get more information in cyberspace,” said Du Yuejin, director at the National Engineering Laboratory for Cyber Security Emergency Response Technology.

Last month, China’s Internet Media Research Center issued a report saying the NSA makes use of large technology companies for its wiretapping plans, including Prism, which was unmasked by former NSA intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, asking them to collect information on their users and urging them to hand in the data regularly.

The report also said that the NSA has taken iOS and Android, two leading mobile operating systems applied to iPhone and Samsung, as the “gold mine” of data.

The NSA grabbed users’ information and stored most of it for analysis by invading database and communication networks of Yahoo and Google, while it has also controlled applications on smartphones with Britain, said the report released at the end of May.

“The US, in fact, could get these users’ information or conduct the wiretapping by attacking the network instead of ‘cooperating’ with the enterprises, but it might take more time and money,” said Wan.

The actions of the NSA have put huge pressure on US technology companies, as customers from Paris to Sao Paulo and from Beijing to Berlin worry about their privacy being invaded.

US President Barack Obama held two discussions with CEOs of major US technology companies in the past six months about the NSA snooping, which led to a “reform” of the NSA to focus on protecting US citizens’ privacy, but with little improvement on foreign organizations and citizens.

In May, John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, wrote a letter to Obama urging Washington to stop using the company for surveillance of its customers, according to an Al Jazeera report.

Foreign tech firms pose threat on InternetWeb security firms pledge to patch XP ‘vulnerability’ 

Foreign tech firms pose threat on InternetIBM ‘unaware’ of server ban 

- Contributed By CAO YIN (China Daily)

World’s largest Internet hacker

The spying actions of the US have underscored the urgency of formulating common rules for activities in cyberspace

Last month, the United States Attorney-General Eric Holder announced the indictments of five Chinese military personnel on cyber espionage charges, accusing them of hacking into US companies in the nuclear power, metals and solar products industries. This has seriously compromised relations with China and sabotaged the bilateral cybersecurity cooperation that had been put back onto a normal track after overcoming setbacks.

With the indictments, the US has tried to present itself as the largest victim of cyberattacks, when in fact it is the Cold War mentality and troublemaking of the US that have precipitated the instability and insecurity in cyberspace. If the US doesn’t change its behavior, all peoples in the world may become victims of Internet insecurity.

In June 2013, Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Bureau contractor, revealed US intelligence agencies were conducting large-scale network spy programs, such as PRISM, Xkeyscore and others, across the world. His disclosures indicated the omnipotence of the US’ Internet surveillance and cyberattacks, which range from spying on communication metadata and backbone networks to the monitoring of short message services, instant messaging and video chats; from spying on ordinary people to spying on enterprises, universities, military units and even heads of state, not to mention the revelations about the US’ cyber warfare capabilities.

Aside from its cyber command that has been rapidly growing, the US’ marine, land and air forces have also set up their own cyber headquarters. Cyber combat capabilities are already regarded as part of the weaponry of the US’ fighting forces. A series of US cyber combat programs have been revealed, from Stuxnet to Fslame and X-Plan, all of which indicate that the US has mastered more complicated means and more threatening abilities than other countries in terms of cyberattacks.

The latest indictments against the five Chinese military personnel have also reminded people of a series of previous cyber espionage claims against China by the US. In February 2013, Mandiant, a US cybersecurity firm, released a report accusing China’s military of plotting hacker attacks against US enterprises. After that, many in the US, including the president and senior government officials, expressed a tough stance toward China and threatened economic sanctions against it. Some even suggested that US enterprises “hacked” by China should make cyber counterattacks in retaliation. Such groundless accusations of Chinese cyberattacks have drastically tainted the US’ domestic political environment toward China and also frozen cybersecurity cooperation between the two countries.

The Chinese government has consistently advocated a new type of major-power relations with the US, and it has refrained from overreacting to Washington’s “threatening signals”. Even after the Snowden revelations, the Chinese government still adhered to the principles of no-conflict, no-confrontation, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, and it is actively pushing for cooperation with the US in cybersecurity and working for the establishment of a cybersecurity work panel under the Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue framework.

All the evidence indicates that it is the US that is the world’s largest Internet hacker and that the global cyber arms race triggered by the US’ actions poses the largest threat to global cybersecurity. The US has so far cited “for the sake of national security” as the only excuse for its pervasive Internet espionage. The US should know that a country cannot put its national security above the interests and national security of other countries and the basic norms of international relations. The double standards the US has embraced in cybersecurity have damaged its credibility and compromised its image as a responsible power.

To enjoy the dividends of the booming Internet sector and communication technologies, cyberspace must be peaceful, safe, open and cooperative. Cyberspace should not be a field for either a cold or hot war, and the latest developments have once again underscored the importance and urgency for formulating common rules for cyber activities.

The US indictments of the Chinese military personnel are not conducive to global efforts to maintain the stability and security of cyberspace. The US, by taking advantage of its technological and military dominance, has established a cyber hegemony. It is hoped the US can lead the global Internet sector to develop in a healthy direction, as it once spearheaded the progress of Internet technologies for human progress.

- Contributed By Tang Lan (China Daily) The author is deputy director of the Institute of Information and Social Development Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

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US-China cyber-battles intensify


The United States has accused some Chinese of hacking into American companies’ computers but the US itself has been engaging in massive spying of foreign companies and trade officials.

Reports of US spying have sparked anger in many countriesUS spying vs China

WE live in a world where “spying” by electronic means is now pervasive and practically no one or institution that uses telephones, smart phones, emails and the internet is protected from intelligence gathering.

This much we know, from the media revelations emerging from files leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the US National Security Agency.

They showed that the US has been tapping the telephones and emails of Americans and others around the world in a sweeping and systematic way.

It was revealed that even the top political leaders of Germany, Indonesia and Brazil had their mobile phones tapped, leading their countries to protest against such a bold intrusion of privacy and national security.

Last week, the intelligence issue was highlighted again when the US Justice Department indicted five individuals who are members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

They were accused of hacking into the computers of American companies in the nuclear power, steel, aluminium and solar power industries to obtain trade secrets for the benefit of Chinese state owned enterprises.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman denounced the allegations as baseless and said China “never engages in the activity of stealing commercial secrets through the internet”, and accused the US of hypocrisy.

It is common knowledge that intelligence agencies use all kinds of devices to gather information and spy on foreigners as well as their own citizens.

The US has the most sophisticated system with the broadest coverage, as the Snowden files revealed.

By charging China of spying on specific American companies for the commercial benefit of Chinese enterprises, the US was trying to draw a very fine line.

It would have been clearly double standards to accuse other countries of spying on government personalities or agencies or on civilians, as the US itself has been shown to be more systematically doing this than any other country.

In announcing the indictment on the five Chinese, the US Attorney General said the hacking was conducted to advantage Chinese enterprises, a tactic that the US denounces.

“We do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to US companies, or US commercial sectors.”

But in fact the US does spy on companies and trade policy makers and negotiators of other countries, presumably in order to obtain a commercial advantage.

Two articles by David Sanger in the New York Times last week commented on the “fine line” the US attempts to draw between spying for the benefit of specific companies, and for overall commercial advantage.

He gave examples of revelations of US agencies targeting foreign companies.

These include Huawei, a major Chinese internet and communications company.

According to his article, the Snowden documents showed that one purpose of this spying was to “get inside Huawei’s systems and use them to spy on countries that buy the company’s equipment.

“Huawei officials said they failed to understand how that differed meaningfully from what the United States has accused the Chinese of doing.

The US agency also hacked into the computers of Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, which has data on Brazil’s offshore oil reserves and perhaps its plans for allocating licences for exploration to foreign companies. State owned oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Africa are also intelligence targets.

The NSA also went into the computers of China Telecom, one of the largest providers of mobile phone and Internet services in Chinese cities, and Pacnet, the Hong Kong-based operator of undersea fibre optic cables.

“Once inside those companies’ proprietary technology, the NSA would have access to millions of daily conversations and emails that never touch American shores,” said Sanger.

The NSA spied on Joaquín Almunia, the antitrust commissioner of the European Commission, who had brought charges against several US companies.

In each of these cases, American officials insist the US was never acting on behalf of specific American companies, but the government does not deny it routinely spies to advance American economic advantage as part of national security, said the Sanger article.

This includes spying on European or Asian trade negotiators, using the results to help American trade officials and thus the American industries and workers they are trying to bolster.

According to Sanger, the United States spies regularly for economic advantage when the goal is to support trade talks. When the US was negotiating in the 1990s to reach an accord with Japan, it bugged the Japanese negotiator’s limousine and the main beneficiaries would have been US auto companies and parts suppliers.

The US is also “widely believed to be using intelligence in support of trade negotiations underway with European and Asian trading partners. But in the view of a succession of Democratic and Republican administrations, that is fair game.”

An earlier New York Times article, citing Snowden documents, also revealed that the US and Australian agencies gathered intelligence on Indonesia and a law firm acting for it during US-Indonesia trade negotiations.

This line the US is attempting to draw between what is illegitimate (spying to benefit particular companies) and legitimate (spying to broadly benefit companies and the economy) is not appreciated nor accepted by other countries.

The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Contributed by Global Trends Martin Khor
Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre since 1 March 2009. He replaced Dr. Yash Tandon who was the Executive Director of the South Centre from 2005-2009

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Terrorists attack crowded Chinese market, strongly condemned by international community!


Terrorists Attach_Chinese market

Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows.

The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a ‘serious violent terrorist incident’ by China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Two 4×4 vehicles rammed into shoppers in an open market, Xinhua news agency reported, citing witness reports.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows+17
Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows

The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security+17
The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a ‘serious violent terrorist incident’ by China’s Ministry of Public Security
Photos posted on social media site, Weibo, show bodies and debris from the market strewn about the streets

Photos posted on social media site, Weibo, show bodies and debris from the market strewn about the street

 

A picture allegedly from the bomb site, shows a man lying on the street after explosions rocked through Urumqi in China's north-west

A picture allegedly from the bomb site, shows a man lying on the street after explosions rocked through Urumqi in China’s north-west
Explosives were flung out of the vehicles, and one of the vehicles exploded.

One witness told Reuters he saw the aftermath of the blasts on his way to work
‘The air was full of the smell of gunpowder and the sound of sobbing,’ he said. ‘There were simply too many (casualties), old folks who were at the morning market.’

Sources: Dailymail.co.uk

Video: International community strongly condemns Urumqi terror attack

The international community has strongly condemned the terrorist attack. World leaders and internati…

Strong condemnation of the terrorist attack that claimed over 31 lives in China’s northwestern city of Urumqi poured in from the international community on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the victims of the attack, which took place at a morning market earlier on Thursday and left 94 injured, via a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the message, Putin strongly condemned the bloody crime, saying he hoped the organizers will be found and prosecuted, and confirmed Moscow’s interest in further strengthening Russia-China cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism.

Putin also sent condolences to the relatives of those killed and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms the killing and injuring of many innocent people.

Karzai offered his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of China and called the attack “an act by the enemies of peace and stability who don’t want to see our region grow secure, stable and developed.”

The president stressed that the Afghan people, more so than others, can well understand such pains and grief as they have long been victims of terrorist attacks.

He also expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured.

The South African government condemned all forms and manner of terrorism.

“We believe that terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned,” the country’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

France, Hungary and Greece, as well as the European Union (EU), also lashed out at the terrorist activity and showed sympathy with those who fell victim, with the EU branding it a “senseless act of violence.”

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal expressed his country’s solidarity with the government and the people of China in this ordeal.

Hungary was shocked by the Urumqi attack, stressing that terrorist activities targeting innocent civilians are severe crimes and can not be accepted under any circumstances.

Greece also strongly condemned the act, expressing solidarity with the Chinese people.

“We condemn in the most unequivocal manner the deadly terrorist attack carried out today in China, in the city of Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region,” Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement released by the ministry.

“We express our solidarity with the Chinese people and our condolences to the families of the victims, and we wish those who were injured a speedy recovery,” he added.

“The European Union condemns this senseless act of violence and extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims,” Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told Xinhua on Thursday.

Australia’s ambassador to China, Frances Adamson, has joined the global chorus of condemnation, reporting that the Australian government is concerned by reports of the explosions in Urumqi.

“We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the victims of the attack and their families,” she said.

“The Australian government deplores all forms of terrorism and condemns any attack on innocent people.”

Pakistan also voiced its condemnation and showed sympathy with the government and the people of China.

Iran said acts of violence and extremism targeting innocent people anywhere in the world are condemned and such moves have no connection with the principles of Islam at all, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said.

Vietnam strongly condemned the terrorist attack and extended deep condolences to the Chinese people and relatives of the victims. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said he hoped that the culprits would be brought to justice.

Also on Thursday, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev condemned the violence, expressing the SCO’s strong indignation and deep sorrow.

“We express deep-felt condolence to the victims and convey sincere solace to relatives of the victims and the injured people,” Mezentsev said in a statement.

It is the priority of the SCO to fight terrorism, the statement said, adding the international community should further boost cooperation to combat terrorist activities effectively.

The Palestinian presidency condemned the terrorist attack. – Xinhua

“We condemn with the strongest words this heinous crime,” Nemer Hammad, political advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua.

“We support our Chinese friends, and wish speedy recovery to the injured, as well as prosperity, safety and stability to the people of China,” Hammad added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China has the confidence and capability to crack down upon the audacious terrorists.

“The violence, a further indication of the terrorists’ anti-human, anti-society and anti-civilization nature, should be condemned by the Chinese people and society,” Hong said.

In response to the attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability, asking local authorities to solve the case quickly, put the injured under proper care and offer condolences to families of the victims.

Two vehicles, without license plates, broke through roadside fences and plowed into people at an open air market in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Thursday morning. Explosive devices were set off, causing the deaths of at least 31 people and injuring 94 others.

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New security structure needed: Trust, collaboration key to Asian security


CICA Shanghai

The fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), under the theme of “enhancing dialogue, confidence and coordination, and on jointly constructing a new Asia with peace, stability and cooperation,” was held in Shanghai Wednesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech calling for a proactive outlook on Asian security and a new security cooperation framework. The intertwined key words have sketched the contours of this summit.

When it comes to Asia, scholars from all around the world will focus on two phenomena: economic growth and security dilemma. The economic development of Asia has promoted the interdependence and integration of interests among nations in this region, which constitute the resources of Asian security at the present stage. Meanwhile, many Asian countries feel insecure, which has little to do with a country’s size and strength. Though it is a large and powerful Asian state, China doesn’t have a better sense of security than smaller countries.

With a myriad of leftover conundrums, Asian countries have become interest-conscious as quickly as economic growth. Nonetheless, Asia is in dire need of an efficient security mechanism as well as common consensus to achieve it.

Asia has long been affected by external forces and in particular the US to a large degree. Washington has forged military alliances with several Asian countries and sometimes targeted a third party, making it all the more difficult for Asia to entirely cast off the specter of the Cold War. The US “rebalancing to Asia” policy conforms to its global strategy, inevitably increasing the cost of achieving Asian security.

Across the fairly intricate tapestry of Asian security, there is no difference between small and big powers in terms of security guarantee. Various messages further fuel contradictions and disorders in the region and add to strategic uncertainty.

Asian countries need to distinguish between realities and wishes and learn to compromise. It is unrealistic for some countries to quit counting on Washington in the short term but all Asian nations should recognize Uncle Sam cannot tide them over the security dilemma. Therefore, they should divert more attention to coordinating security concerns among themselves.

Security in Asia will eventually be realized through increasing mutual trust and cooperation in this region. We welcome external powers to play a constructive role in this process but object to their biased interference that will only increase the possibility of regional conflicts.

China is a rarely patient country in the world and spares no efforts to promote peace, which is a starting point and pillar for permanent peace in Asia. Resolution to safeguard peace may constitute the invisible bottom line despite numerous potential flashpoints in Asian security. – Global Times

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