Beijing’s mass surveillance of Australia and the world for secrets and scandal

A Chinese company with links to Beijing’s military and intelligence networks has been amassing a vast database of detailed personal information on thousands of Australians, including prominent and influential figures.

A database of 2.4 million people, including more than 35,000 Australians, has been leaked from the Shenzhen company Zhenhua Data which is believed to be used by China’s intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.

Zhenhua has the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party among its main clients.

Information collected includes dates of birth, addresses, marital status, along with photographs, political associations, relatives and social media IDs.

It collates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and even TikTok accounts, as well as news stories, criminal records and corporate misdemeanours.

While much of the information has been “scraped” from open-source material, some profiles have information which appears to have been sourced from confidential bank records, job applications and psychological profiles.


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Tulsa World editorial: America depends on the U.S. Postal Service; undercutting it for political reasons is outrageous | Editorial

Election 2020 Postal Service

Rebecca Slisher of Groveport, Ohio, holds a sign while rallying with others during a Save the Post Office Rally on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Whitehall, Ohio. (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

The current controversy over the U.S. Postal Service has brought out one clear point: America still depends on the mail.

Recently, President Donald Trump said he wasn’t interested in emergency funding for the Postal Service because he doesn’t want to aid vote-by-mail efforts. Ironically, Trump mailed in his own ballot for the Florida primaries last week.

Meanwhile, we have seen reports of significant mail delays, a problem postal workers and Democrats have attributed in part to operational changes imposed by Trump’s postmaster general, Louis DeJoy.

Under pressure, DeJoy announced last week that he was suspending Postal Service changes until after the election to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail,” but that hasn’t

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Ethiopia’s Tigray Region to Holds Poll, Defying Federal Government | World News

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region will head to the polls on Wednesday in defiance of the federal government, the latest challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from a slew of regional leaders flexing their muscles ahead of next year’s national elections.

Abiy has overseen sweeping democratic reforms since taking power in Africa’s second most populous nation two years ago. But the federal government – and major opposition parties – agreed to postpone national and regional elections due in August until the COVID-19 pandemic was under control.

Tigray, whose leaders dominated the previous administration and have often bitterly denounced Abiy, announced it would hold elections anyway.

“We know there is an open threat by Abiy to militarily intervene against Tigray and to cut funds, but we will still go ahead with the vote,” said Getachew Reda, a former federal information minister and now a spokesman for the Tigray

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Political Notebook: LaWall intervention in prison initiative angers; Huckelberry lashes out over World View; Grijalva back | Local news

“What’s not normal is when you go into court to rehabilitate signatures, to show that signatures are valid, that you have opposition from the county recorder, and then you also have Barbara LaWall involved,” said Roopali Desai, the attorney who represented the initiative’s supporters.

LaWall, who leaves office at the end of December after 24 years as county attorney, said she opposed the initiative because she doesn’t want the state to rewrite state statutes on victims’ rights and sentencing via the initiative process.

“I am not opposed to criminal justice reform. I am not opposed to prison reform. I am not opposed to giving people second chances,” she said.

“Writing statutes and putting them on the ballot as initiatives is a bad way to make criminal justice policy.”

“In this particular case, it (the initiative) overturns some of the mandatory sentencing laws, it overturns truth in sentencing,” she said. “There

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5 questions for Ronald Bailey on how the world is improving over time | American Enterprise Institute

When one looks at the data, it becomes clear that the
world is dramatically improving over the long term. So why are people so
pessimistic about the future? Ronald Bailey recently joined the Political
Economy podcast to explore this question.

Ronald is the science correspondent for Reason magazine and He’s the co-author — along with Marian Tupy — of the upcoming book, “Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.” He’s also the author of the 2015 book, “The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century.”

Below is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation. You can read our full discussion here. You can also subscribe to my podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, or download the podcast on Ricochet.

Pethokoukis: Why aren’t people as optimistic as you? Why
don’t they understand that the world is not terrible and has actually

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Law and Legal Education and the Challenges of 2020: A Conversation with Dean Jenny Martinez of Stanford Law School | Nation & World

NEWTOWN, Pa., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — 2020: A global pandemic, the steepest economic collapse since the Great Depression, a tide of protest against racial injustice, a contentious presidential election, a tectonic shift to remote work and education, and more. What is the role of law and legal education at this complex time in our world? Is this a good time to go to law school? Does the legal profession have a special role to play amid these challenges?

Aspiring and current law students, legal educators, lawyers, and the public are invited to join us for the second anniversary edition of Live with Kellye & Ken on Monday, August 31, at 4:00 p.m. ET as we explore these and related topics with Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez, a leading expert on international and constitutional law, who is also a formidable litigator as well as the author of The Slave

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UK Government Health Advisers Say Missing School Is Greater Risk to Kids Than COVID | World News

LONDON (Reuters) – The chief medical officers of the United Kingdom have said children should return to school after the summer holidays, warning that missing out on their education posed much bigger risks to them than catching COVID-19.

The rare joint statement from the top health advisers to the governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland represents a boost for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has said getting children back to school is a national priority.

Confidence in the government’s approach to schooling during the coronavirus pandemic took a hit last week when education minister Gavin Williamson was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over examination results.

“Very few, if any, children or teenagers will come to long term harm from COVID-19 due solely to attending school,” they said. “This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm to many children and young people from not attending

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How World War II changed Uganda political, social scenes

By Henry Lubega

Last week, Japan marked the 75th anniversary of its surrender in World War II. It was a war whose impact was felt far and wide, including in Uganda.

Then governor Philip Mitchel had told Ugandans at the start of the war not to worry as they were far from the battle area.

“Do not be afraid. There are Italian forces in Abyssinia but it is a very long way from you people of Uganda, and there are large armies to prevent them from coming here. It is possible, but not likely that you may see an Italian aeroplane or two over some part of Uganda; if you do, do not be frightened. Sit quietly in your banana groves or under any trees until it has gone away. It will do you no harm,” he said in his June 11, 1940, statement.

As a British protectorate, Uganda was

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China’s Communist Party is a threat to the world, says former elite insider

Cai Xia is no stranger to defying expectations. During her years at the Chinese Communist Party’s top training center and think tank, the outspoken professor had surprised many with her liberal ideas and support for democratic reform.

More recently, she caused a stir with a spate of scathing denunciations of China’s ruling elite and the country’s leader Xi Jinping — a rare rebuke from a longtime insider that led to her expulsion from the Party earlier this week.

In an interview with CNN from the United States, where she has lived since last year, Cai went a step further by calling on the US government to double down on its hardline approach towards Beijing. She said she supported the Trump administration’s ban on telecommunications giant Huawei, which Washington claims is a national security risk due to its alleged connection to the Chinese government — an allegation Huawei has repeatedly denied.

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The Weird World of Political Conventions

CHARLESTON, WV – Call me old school, but I hated most of this Democratic National Convention, and suspect the same for next week’s Republican National Convention. I have watched every convention since 1964, and have attended ten of them as a reporter. I love the excitement and electricity. I love when you hear in the roll call vote, “The great State of Idaho, the potato capitol of the world, proudly casts its 19 delegates for the next President of the United States, Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas!’ And they cut to the wide-shot and half the delegates are wearing Mr. Potato Head hats!!! It’s the color, the corny pomp and circumstance of American politics, but this year we have zero, and that makes me sad. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“Politics Stops at the Water’s Edge?” – We used to have a tradition in this country where ex-presidents did

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