Six In The Morning Wednesday 31 July 2019


North Korea fires two ballistic missiles as South Korea bristles

Two projectiles flew about 250km as Pyongyang intensifies pressure on the US to start up new denuclearisation talks.

North Korea conducted its second weapons test in less than a week on Wednesday, firing two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast in a move observers say could be aimed at boosting pressure on the United States to set up new denuclearisation talks.

The projectiles were launched early from the Hodo Peninsula in South Hamgyong province on North Korea’s east coast, according to South Korea’s military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

‘A cop said I was famous’: China accuses foreigners in Hong Kong of being ‘agents’

Chinese state media and pro-Beijing lawmakers post images of westerners to stoke suspicions of ‘external forces’

Westerners living in Hong Kong are being targeted online by China’s state-owned media and local pro-Beijing politicians who have accused them of stoking demonstrations that have now run into their eighth week.

Images showing foreign workers at the site of protests are being circulated, sometimes alongside speculative text questioning why they are there.

Some images have been circulated so widely that one foreign worker and long-term Hong Kong resident said he was now recognised in the street, including by police. “I now sometimes have to pose for CIA selfies with protesters,” he said, referring to a post which asked if he was a member of US intelligence.

Chicago shooting deaths: Outcry as anti-gun violence mothers shot dead while campaigning

Police hunting for suspect in ‘senseless’ murders

Andrew BuncombeSeattle @AndrewBuncombe

Two women who campaigned against Chicago’s infamous gun violence have themselves been shot and killed on a street corner where activists frequently stood to keep watch.

The anti-gun violence group Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) confirmed Chantell Grant and Andrea Stoudemire were killed after a blue SUV pulled up to the corner, and someone in the vehicle opened fired into the crowd.

“People are tired of being afraid. We’re sick of being afraid. We live in these communities and then we somehow are penalised and punished for living here. If you’re poor, you’re poor,” said MASK founder Tamar Manasseh.

Vilification and the language of villainy

US and Iran, short memories

Western media have demonised Iran for 40 years, especially in the US. A selective memory of recent history greatly helps the tone and content of that demonisation.

by Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert

Imagine an Iranian drone had been shot down over Florida or just off its coast. Rather than arguing about its exact position, we would surely be shocked at its presence 11,000km from Iran. But on 20 June, Iran downed a US drone that had come close to its territory (according to the Pentagon) or violated its airspace (according to Tehran), and almost nobody asked if the US military presence in the Persian Gulf was justified.

Gregory Shupak, a media expert at the University of Guelph-Humber in Canada, warns that in the current escalation between the US and Iran, ‘presenting Iran as a threat, nuclear or otherwise, over and over again, carries the clear message that it must be confronted … It’s much more accurate to say that the US is a threat to Iran than the opposite; after all, it’s the US government that is destroying Iran’s economy through sanctions that limit Iranians’ access to food and medicine, while surrounding Iran with military bases and land, sea and air forces. Iran has done nothing remotely comparable to the US’ (1).

The Brazilian justice minister’s dubious deportation decree

Justice Minister Sergio Moro wants Brazil to deport “dangerous foreigners.” Observers believe that the threat is aimed at the US journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose Intercept has aggressively reported on Moro’s conduct.

On Friday, Justice Minister Sergio Moro issued a decree, provocatively titled No. 666, that would expedite the deportation of noncitizens whom the government alleges pose a threat to Brazil — or even bar them from entering the country at all. Many observers call the timing curious.

“Nothing has happened in Brazil that would warrant such a decree,” Tania Maria de Oliveira, of the ABJD jurist association, told DW.

Kyoto Animation confirms it received novel from writer with same name, address as arson suspect

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The July 18 arson attack on Kyoto Animation’s Fushimi studio has resulted in the deaths of 35 employees who were in the building at the time the arsonist struck. Though the building was compliant with all local fire codes, such regulations are largely designed as precautions for accidental fires, not the sort of pre-meditated attack that was carried out on the anime production company.

Based on security camera footage and witness reports, investigators believe that the suspect, 41-year-old Shinji Aoba, purchased two 20-liter canisters of gasoline at a gas station, the wheeled them to the studio on a hand cart before igniting them inside the building, and also spraying the flame accelerant directly on victims.

The pre-meditated nature of the attack suggests a grudge against the company and/or its employees, and as Aoba was taken into custody by police he was heard to have shouted “They ripped me off” and “They stole my novel, so I set the fire.” Following the attack, Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta said: “I have no idea what he’s talking about,” and that he had never had any written or spoken communication with Aoba.