Headlines 

Security News This Week: Chinese Hacking Surges Amid Coronavirus Crisis

As the world continues to adjust to the reality of the new coronavirus, scammers are increasingly taking advantage as well. But one Twitch streamer has been calling them out before a live audience of thousands. And as health care systems become increasingly overwhelmed, the Army Corps of Engineers has drawn up plans to convert hotels, dorms, and even convention centers into makeshift hospitals. In non-Covid-19 news, Google security researchers spotted sophisticated hackers using new fewer than five so-called zero days in attacks against North Korea. (That's a lot.) Researchers at…

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Odds and Ends 

The Coronavirus Stock Market Rollercoaster Isnt Stopping Anytime Soon

It may get a lot worse before it gets any better. Sales of face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant may be spiking worldwide due to the cascading spread of 346 companies set to announce earnings results from 2019s fourth quarter on Friday; more than 1100 were expected to release quarterly earnings reports the first week of March. Any additional news of lower-than-expected sales, production, inventory, or profits will also drag down stock prices and related indexes. In the years after the car parts, computers, chemicals, clothing, plastic components and even…

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Coronavirus deals China’s economy a ‘bigger blow than global financial crisis’

Factory production plummets at the fastest pace seen in three decades, as first-quarter figures emerge China has suffered even deeper economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic than predicted, with figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday showing factory production inside the country dropped at the fastest pace seen in three decades. Financial analysts have said the economic impact of the pandemic may have cut Chinas growth in half during the first quarter. Industrial output fell 13.5% in January-February, compared with 2019, which ING economist Iris Pang…

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested on charges of illegal assembly

Lai, who was arrested with two other activists and later released on bail, has been a major financial patron of Hong Kongs pro-democracy movement Hong Kong police arrested three veteran pro-democracy figures for taking part in an unauthorised anti-government march last year amid the citys most serious political crisis for decades. Jimmy Lai, the 71-year-old founder of Next Media, which publishes the popular, anti-government Apple Daily newspaper, was picked up by police on Friday morning for taking part in a march banned by police on 31 August. Lai, a self-made…

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China to expel WSJ journalists over ‘malicious coronavirus column

Three journalists told to leave within five days after paper declined to apologise for opinion piece China is expelling three Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporters from the country, a move with no recent precedent, marking a sharp escalation in pressure on foreign media in the country. The expulsions come amid a domestic tighten controls on Chinese state-owned media operations in America. The Chinese foreign ministry said it had ordered the reporters to leave within five days after their paper declined to apologise for an opinion piece calling China the real…

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Country life: the young female farmer who is now a top influencer in China

Li Ziqi, 29, has garnered millions of followers with her videos of her idyllic life in rural Sichuan. Is she too good to be true? Since she began posting rustic-chic videos of her life in rural Sichuan province in 2016, Li Ziqi, 29, has become one of Chinas biggest social media stars. She has 22 million followers on the microblogging site Weibo, 34 million on Douyin (Chinas version of TikTok) and another 8.3 million on YouTube (Li has been active on YouTube for the last two years, despite it being…

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Headlines 

Scientists Predict Wuhan’s Outbreak Will Get Much Worse

As more data on the new coronavirus circulating in China emerges, it’s becoming clear that whatever the country is experiencing now—dozens of deaths, hundreds of people hospitalized, cities of millions quarantined—is just the tip of the outbreak. On Friday, a team of researchers based in the UK and US up to 729. Using case data scraped from official reports, a team led by Jonathan Read at Lancaster University plotted a temporal map of the coronavirus’s spread, starting on January 1, when local authorities closed the meat-and-animal market where the virus…

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Odds and Ends 

Congress Finally Agrees to Cover Sonic Attack Victims Medical Bills

Over 40 U.S. government officials and family members who suffered mysterious brain injuries during their service overseas will finally receive guaranteed, long-term medical care thanks to a deal included in Congress year-end spending bill. In 2018, U.S. officials serving at embassies in Cuba and China began to report strange sensations of sound and pressure, causing symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury. Who or what caused the sickness remains unconfirmed, despite efforts from the CIA, FBI, and other branches of the Trump administration to figure it out. The governments of those…

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Odds and Ends 

TikTok lawsuit claims app sends ‘vast quantities’ of data to China

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the highly-popular app TikTok over allegations that it secretly sent the data of U.S. users to China. Filed in California last week, the lawsuit accuses the app, owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance, of collecting and transferring to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data. That data, the suit adds, can be employed to identify, profile and track the location and activities of users in the United States now and in the future. The suit challenges TikToks repeated claims that…

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‘Amazing deal’ or ‘capitulation’? Why the US-China trade truce may not last

Donald Trump hailed the agreement, but others think it masks a process of deglobalisation as the two superpowers struggle for hegemony The trade war between the US and China may never be settled, experts fear, even after the two sides agreed on an outline phase one deal. Economists and investors have been poring over agreement would also require China to make structural reforms and other changes to its economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. In exchange,…

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Thousands in Hong Kong praise Trump with ‘Thanksgiving’ rally as more protests loom

We really appreciate the effort made by Americans, says one protester, as city braces for another weekend of protest Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong, some draped in American flags, have staged a Thanksgiving rally in the heart of the city after the approval by Donald Trump of human rights legislation aimed at protecting them. The rationale for us having this rally is to show our gratitude and thank the US Congress and also president Trump for passing the bill, said 23-year-old Sunny Cheung, a member of the student group…

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Headlines 

US official says China trade deal possible but Trump won’t ignore Hong Kong

Robert OBriens comments add to growing worries Chinese crackdown on protests could complicate efforts to end trade war US national security adviser Robert OBrien said on Saturday an initial trade agreement with a Chinese crackdown on anti-government protests could further complicate the efforts by Washington and Beijing to end a prolonged trade war that has roiled global markets and undercut global economic growth forecasts. We were hoping to have [a phase one] deal done by the end of the year. I still think thats possible, OBrien told reporters at a…

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Odds and Ends 

Will Ballots or Bullets Decide Hong Kongs Upcoming Elections?

HONG KONGYou have bullets. I have the right to vote. Those were words found on banners and posters hoisted during peaceful demonstrations when one million, then two million people marched toward the government headquarters here in June. The message was simple: If youre fighting for democracy, dont forget to register to vote, and be sure to show up when its time. But before the ballots, the bullets have started flying. A trigger-happy and ill-trained police force is constantly itching for a skirmish, this week placing a shot point-blank into a…

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