Radio broadcasts in English from the BBC World Service are being jammed in China, the British broadcaster said on Monday, suggesting the Chinese authorities were behind the disruption.
“The BBC strongly condemns this action which is designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information,” the BBC said in a statement.
China, which enforces strict restrictions on its domestic media, has been accused by several prominent foreign media of seeking to stop their news reports reaching Chinese audiences.
“The BBC has received reports that World Service English shortwave frequencies are being jammed in China,” said the London-based public service broadcaster.
North Korea has told its key ally, China, that it is prepared to stage one or even two more nuclear tests this year in an effort to force the United States into diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, said a source with direct knowledge of the message.
Further tests could also be accompanied this year by another rocket launch, said the source who has direct access to the top levels of government in both Beijing and Pyongyang.
The isolated regime conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday, drawing global condemnation and a stern warning from the United States that it was a threat and a provocation.
“It’s all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year,” the source said, adding that the fourth nuclear test would be much larger than the third at an equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT.
China unveiled tighter Internet controls on Friday, legalizing the deletion of posts or pages which are deemed to contain “illegal” information and requiring service providers to hand over such information to the authorities for punishment.
The rules signal that the new leadership headed by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping will continue muzzling the often scathing, raucous online chatter in a country where the Internet offers a rare opportunity for debate.
The new regulations, announced by the official Xinhua news agency, also require Internet users to register with their real names when signing up with network providers, though, in reality, this already happens.
Chinese authorities and Internet companies such as Sina Corp have long since closely monitored and censored what people say online, but the government has now put measures such as deleting posts into law.”
Service providers are required to instantly stop the transmission of illegal information once it is spotted and take relevant measures, including removing the information and saving records, before reporting to supervisory authorities,” the rules state.
The restrictions follow a series of corruption scandals amongst lower-level officials exposed by Internet users, something the government has said it is trying to encourage.
Residents in the southern Philippines buried their dead on Friday even as rescue workers continued scouring remote areas for survivors of Typhoon Bopha, the nation’s strongest storm this year, which killed 418 people and left nearly as many missing.
Officials in Compostela Valley, one of the worst hit provinces on the resource-rich island of Mindanao, were considering mass graves for unclaimed bodies killed by the typhoon which hit two days ago.
Bopha cut a swath of destruction in the valley, flooding farming and mining towns and burying many people in mudslides.
“We are thinking of burying the unclaimed bodies on health concerns,” Major General Ariel Bernardo, an army division commander in the southern Philippines, told Reuters.
“The foul smell is becoming strong.”
Blocked roads and severed communications in the southern Philippines frustrated rescuers on Wednesday as teams searched for hundreds of people missing after the strongest typhoon this year killed at least 283 people.
Typhoon Bopha, with central winds of 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph), battered beach resorts and dive spots on Palawan island on Wednesday but it was weakening as it moved west.
Hardest hit was the southern island of Mindanao, where Bopha made landfall on Tuesday. It triggered landslides and floods along the coast and in farming and mining towns inland.
Interior Minister Manuel Roxas said 300 people were missing.
“Entire families were washed away,” Roxas, who inspected the disaster zone, told reporters.
It may have sounded good on paper: Win re-election, fly to Asia, soak up the adulation of fellow world leaders, then go home with at least a few tangible rewards to show for a legacy-shaping U.S. strategic shift eastwards.
But U.S. President Barack Obama’s first post-election trip abroad did not work out exactly according to plan.
To be sure, he had a chance to tout a foreign policy success with a landmark visit to the former pariah state of Myanmar, demonstrate he was serious about improved U.S. ties with nations in China’s backyard and take in a travelogue’s worth of iconic religious and cultural sights.
But even as Obama sought to strengthen his administration’s “Asia pivot,” he came face-to-face with the tough realities of what it will take to counter China’s influence in the region.
At the same time, he found his attention constantly diverted back to the world’s biggest hotspot, the Middle East, where a Gaza crisis raged on.
A police officer uses his baton to hit an activist from the National Committee to protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports during a protest against the government in Dhaka September 30, 2012.
Demonstrators demanding the government withdraw the recent power tariff hike marched towards the city’s energy ministry on Sunday, but were dispersed by local authorities using batons and tear gas, according to local media. [REUTERS/Andrew Biraj]
The Indian government faced an angry backlash from Twitter users on Thursday after ordering Internet service providers to block about 20 accounts that officials said had spread scare-mongering material that threatened national security.
The backlash came as New Delhi turned up the heat on Twitter, threatening “appropriate and suitable action” if it failed to remove the accounts as soon as possible. Several Indian newspapers said this could mean a total ban on access to Twitter in India but government officials would not confirm to Reuters that such a drastic step was being considered.
There was no immediate response from Twitter, which does not have an office in India. There are about 16 million Twitter users in the South Asian country.
India blocked access to more than 300 Web pages after threatening mobile phone text messages and doctored website images fuelled rumors that Muslims, a large minority in the predominantly Hindu country, were planning revenge attacks for violence in the northeastern state of Assam, where 80 people have been killed and 300,000 have been displaced since July.
Japan on Tuesday flagged the Chinese army’s growing role in shaping the country’s foreign policy as a security risk, saying a sense of caution exists across East Asia about Beijing’s apparent military expansion in the region.
In its annual defense white paper, Tokyo said some believe that relations between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Communist Party leadership were “getting complex” and said this was a matter of concern.
There is a possibility that the degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions has been changing, the paper said, without elaborating.
“This situation calls for attention as a risk management issue,” it added.
North Korea’s new young leader, Kim Jong-un, is married, state media said on Wednesday, putting an end to speculation over the relationship with a woman seen at his side during a recent gala.
The announcement, which fits a trend the upbeat Kim appears to have taken to break out of the dour management style of his father, Kim Jong-il, came just two weeks after he was seen at the performance accompanied by the woman, with rumors swirling as to whether she was his wife, lover or sister.
Some observers in South Korea speculated she was a singer he dated years ago before his father put a stop to it, but who was now back on the scene.