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Amazon & Apple deny China spy claims, and TIME amplifies Christine Blasey Ford message

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Cristiano Ronaldo kept out of games over rape allegations, and Sri Lanka says Hambantota port not a ‘debt trap’.

Amazon and Apple Inc deny China snuck in microchip in servers

Amazon and Apple have denied explosive claims made in a report this week that China inserted microchips for surveillance in servers used by major technology companies, including the two giants of the sector, reports Verge.

The report, published by Bloomberg Businessweek Thursday, claimed that both companies discovered microchips the size of “a grain of rice” in their systems and informed the US authorities.

The report detailed years of apparent efforts by China to install surveillance chips in servers whose motherboards were assembled in the country. The servers of one of the affected companies was reportedly used by the US department of defence data centres, Navy warships, and the CIA in drone operations.

In emailed statements released by Bloomberg, the companies have denied the claims and sought to explain what they believe actually happened. China’s ministry of foreign affairs, too, replied to Bloomberg, stating it was a “resolute defender of cyber-security”.

According to the Verge report, the companies named by Bloomberg have been denying the claims for a very long time.

Christine Blasey Ford makes a point on TIME cover 

The latest edition of TIME magazine, known for making powerful statements through its iconic covers, weighs in on the sexual assault allegations against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Gracing the cover is an illustration of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago. The artwork by California-based artist and designer John Mavroudis is made up of statements from Ford’s testimony before the US Senate last week.

According to a CNN report, while her forehead includes phrases like: “I’m terrified”, “agonized daily”, and “seared into my memory”, her hand displays phrases such as “traumatic experience”, “personal attacks and invasion of privacy”, and “constant harassment and death threats”.

“The memory quotes would be attached to her forehead area, and the quotes about wanting to help I placed on her hand. The hand could be seen as welcoming, but also deflecting,” Mavroudis told TIME.

The magazine is due to release on 15 October.

Cristiano Ronaldo kept out of matches over rape allegations

One of international football’s biggest stars, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been left out of the Portuguese football team for the upcoming friendlies with Poland and Scotland in light of rape allegations against him, reports CNN.

Ronaldo has been accused of rape by a woman named Kathryn Mayorga, who says the crime took place at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. Denying all allegations, the footballer said in a statement Wednesday that he had a “clear conscience”.

However, Portuguese Football Federation president Fernando Gomes expressed solidarity with Ronaldo, saying, according to a CNN report, that “his good name and reputation are being questioned”.

Hambantota not a ‘debt trap’, says Sri Lankan ambassador to China

The Sri Lankan ambassador to China, Karunasena Kodituwakku, has denied claims that China set a “debt trap” for Sri Lanka with the Hambantota port, reports Lanka page.

With 85 per cent of it funded by China, the first phase of construction of Hambontata was completed in 2010. However, unable to pay China back, Sri Lanka handed over the project to the country on a 99-year lease last December.

“Of course, we have difficulties paying back… but I must say that the Chinese government assisted the government of Sri Lanka to build this project,” Kodituwkku said. He also said the decision of handing over the port came from Sri Lanka, and not China.

Responding to concerns regarding China militarising the port, he said that it was an economic venture and that Sri Lanka had made it clear to China from the beginning.

Osaka severs ties with ‘sister city’ San Francisco over comfort women statue 

Outraged over the installation of a statue that memorialises sex slaves used by Japanese soldiers in the 20th century, Osaka has called off a sister-city agreement with San Francisco, US, Al Jazeera reported.

Osaka and San Francisco had been ‘sister cities’ since 1957.

The statue is an ode to the so-called “comfort women” from China, Korea and the Philippines who were forced to frontline brothels under Imperial Japan as sex slaves to Japanese soldiers.

The statue bears an inscription that reads: “This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls, euphemistically called ‘Comfort Women’, who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931-1945. Most of these women died during their wartime captivity.”

In a letter to his San Francisco counterpart London Breed, Osaka mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura said the degree of involvement of the Japanese army was yet to be verified. “In the future, should the City and County of San Francisco retract the Comfort Women Memorial and plaque from public property… the City of Osaka will be genuinely inclined to fully revive the sister city affiliation whenever necessary,” he added.

The statue is said to have been erected by a private group. However, San Francisco officials agreed to recognise it as public property this week.

In a statement, Breed’s office is reported to have called Osaka’s decision “unfortunate”.

A push in Afghanistan for polio eradication

A video produced by Tolo TV, an entertainment channel in Afghanistan, shows the country’s rich culture and heritage, and emphasises the need to end polio. Afghanistan is one of only three countries in the world with polio transmission, and the video says efforts to control the infection will help the country eliminate polio from the world. The short awareness video concludes with the message, “Be proud. Be polio-free.”

Saad Mohseni, founder of TOLO TV, tweeted the video:


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  1. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two individuals who work for the safety of women in war zones. Dr Christine Ford deserves to be honoured. Unfortunate that the FBI investigation was rolled up in a few days. A single copy of the 46 page report was made available for 100 Senators to peruse in a matter of hours.

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