Six In The Morning Monday 12 August 2019


Hong Kong isn’t just battling on the streets: There is also a war on misinformation online

Updated 2347 GMT (0747 HKT) August 11, 2019

It’s a viscerally emotive picture. A woman who appears to be pregnant lies on the floor of a subway station. It was taken on July 21, after a mob attack in the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong left at least 45 people injured — including the woman, a civilian who had been caught up in the attack and became known locally as “the woman in white” or “big belly lady,” slang for “pregnant lady” in Cantonese.

On social media, posts alleging that she had suffered a miscarriage were shared thousands of times. As more footage emerged, public outrage intensified over the Yuen Long violence, and towards the police for their alleged failure to protect victims from the baton-wielding attackers, who appeared to target protesters returning home from a march.

Australia coal use is ‘existential threat’ to Pacific islands, says Fiji PM

Frank Bainimarama appeals to larger neighbour to ‘more fully appreciate’ climate risks and reduce carbon emissions

The prime minister of Fiji has warned Australia to reduce its coal emissions and do more to combat climate change as regional leaders prepare to gather in Tuvalu ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum this week.

Speaking in Tuvalu at a climate change conference ahead of the forum on Monday, Frank Bainimarama appealed directly to Australia to transition away from coal-powered energy and asked its government “to more fully appreciate” the “existential threat” facing Pacific nations.

“I appeal to Australia to do everything possible to achieve a rapid transition from coal to energy sources that do not contribute to climate change,” said Bainimarama, who presided over the UN’s peak climate change body, Conference of the Parties, in 2017.

The Death of Marie Sophie Hingst Why It Was Right to Report on Her Lies

In June, I wrote an article exposing fabrications in Marie Sophie Hingst’s blog about Jewish family members who allegedly died in the Holocaust. In mid-July, she was found dead in her apartment. Now, I am grappling with the question of whether my reporting was necessary.

The death of historian Marie Sophie Hingst, who was found lifeless in her apartment in mid-July, bothers me by day and keeps me awake at night. I find myself occupied by the same question that others are also asking in the wake of this dramatic event: Was it right and necessary to report about the young woman and her lies?

My article, which was published on June 1 in DER SPIEGEL, had a prehistory. Her lies were first noticed by a handful of researchers who came together by chance. A historian, a lawyer, an archivist and a genealogist specializing in Jewish families all independently noticed inconsistencies in the blog “Read On My Dear, Read On,” written by Hingst. The group corresponded via Facebook and email, and discovered the Jewish family biographies she had written about on her blog were false, and that she had falsely registered 22 alleged Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial center in Israel, to support her claims.

China’s Ivy League dreams fuel lucrative admissions industry

From hiring ghostwriters and forging sports credentials to generous ‘gift-giving’, admissions middlemen in China are advising wealthy parents to take an array of ‘shortcuts’ to secure places at foreign universities.

The service comes with a hefty price tag, often running into tens of thousands of dollars, but nonetheless the industry is booming.

The lengths to which some are willing to go to were highlighted in the admissions scandal that shook US universities this year, where prosecutors found one Chinese family had given $6.5 million to an admissions agent to get their daughter to Stanford, while another had coughed up $1.2 million for entry to Yale.

‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ Talks Gun Control and “Weakened” NRA

Dino-Ray Ramos,Deadline

John Oliver came in hot on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight recapping Donald Trump’s “busy” week which included the largest single-state ICE raid, retweeting conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein and his visit to the sites of last week’s mass shootings where there was footage of him at an El Paso bragging about one of his rally crowd sizes in the city and belittling Beto.

“We all know the struggles to do the bare minimum of being a president,” said Oliver. “But it still generally shocking just how much he struggles to the bare minimum as a f***ing person.” This quip led to a discussion about Trump, gun control and the NRA.

August 12 2019

ON DECEMBER 29, 2017, the night his daughter was born, Augusto left the hospital and rode his motorcycle to his home in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, to pick up a change of clothes for his wife. On his way back, he was stopped at a police checkpoint and taken into custody. Police officers questioned him for hours about his father, a former mayor and member of the opposition party to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. At one point, a police detective pushed Augusto into a windowless room and beat him with a plastic Pepsi bottle loaded with sand. The next morning, caked with blood and bruised to a pulp, Augusto was released without charges.

The beating, along with more threats against his father, inspired Augusto to join in the mass protests against the Ortega government that erupted in April 2018. A month later, a little after midnight on May 29, police broke down Augusto’s door, pulled him barely dressed out of his house, and took him back to the police station to question him again about his father.