Malaysia has lowered voting age by three years, and China has offered Sri Lanka another grant.
Does Trump know Twitter is banned in Iran?
US President Donald Trump’s all-caps Twitter threat for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has triggered a wave of social media humour.
BBC reports that “while media coverage has focused largely on the geo-political ramifications of Trump’s unique brand of Twitter diplomacy and the deterioration of relations between the United States and Iran, many Twitter users chose instead to make fun”.
In one take, an old picture of Trump talking to a boy mowing the White House lawn was re-imagined.
NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS! pic.twitter.com/QgsL5jU9aM
— shauna (@goldengateblond) July 23, 2018
Republican political strategist Rick Wilson, who is also a Trump critic, tweaked Trump’s message to advocate a personal cause.
NEVER, EVER LEAVE THREE WEEK OLD YOGURT IN THE FRIDGE AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR FEMENTED FOODS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 23, 2018
Another tweet paid homage to Trump’s fondness for fast food.
To my local McDonald’s: NEVER, EVER FORGET MY EXTRA NUGGETS AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. I AM NO LONGER A MAN THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED STAFF MESSING UP MY ORDER & STUFF. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Sᴄʀᴜ̈ᴇɢɢS 🌹 (@scrueggs) July 23, 2018
Xi Jinping orders a crackdown following Chinese vaccine scandal
Describing the vaccine scandal as “appalling”, Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged a thorough investigation into the worst health crisis the country has seen in years.
The South China Morning Post reports that Xi took time out of his trip to Africa, and ordered “local authorities to conduct an investigation immediately and release the findings to the public ‘on time’ to ensure social stability”.
Xi also ordered the authorities to use “severe punishment… to cure the chronic disease [of corruption] and scratch poison from one’s bones”.
A firm named Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology has been found to be producing inferior vaccines deemed dangerous to children’s health. During an unannounced inspection, state authorities also found forged data on the company’s production of rabies vaccines. The company has begun recalling its rabies vaccines, and was fined heavily over the production of inferior DPT vaccines.
This is, however, not the first time China has experienced a vaccine scandal. As recently as 2016, it was discovered that 570 million yuan worth of expired drugs had been sold across the country.
Malaysia is pushing for greater youth involvement in politics
“Malaysia’s youth are likely to get more power after backing 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad to topple a regime that ruled the southeast Asian nation for six decades,” reports Bloomberg.
The two-month-old cabinet will be amending laws to reduce the voting age to 18 from 21, which would increase the number of registered voters by nearly four million, and give a louder voice to youngsters grappling with high unemployment.
The move to lower the voting age is being championed by southeast Asia’s youngest minister,the 25-year-old youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“That means the youth voter block becomes bigger and stronger, and, therefore, they cannot be sidelined in the Malaysian political scene anymore,” said Saddiq, a member of Mahathir’s political party.
German football star quits team because of racism
Mesut Ozil, a Turkish-origin German football player who also plays for Arsenal, quit the German national team over the weekend over alleged racism. Ozil was part of the 2014 World Cup winning squad, and has been hailed as one of the best midfielders of his generation.
Echoing the voices of other European footballers of immigrant descent, Ozil said the German Football Association (DFB) treats him as “a German when we win, and an immigrant when we lose”.
The past couple of weeks have given me time to reflect, and time to think over the events of the last few months. Consequently, I want to share my thoughts and feelings about what has happened. pic.twitter.com/WpWrlHxx74
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018
The BBC reports that the DFB has “emphatically rejected” his claims, but agrees that they could have done more to protect him from hate and threats.
Al Jazeera reports that the “29-year-old Muslim footballer said he felt singled out for the failure of the German team to advance beyond the group stage at the 2018 World Cup, because of his Turkish heritage and his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May”.
Thousands took to Twitter in support of Ozil with the hashtag #IStandWithOzil, and criticised the abuse that Muslim and African players are subjected to in Europe.
China is offering a $295 million grant to Sri Lanka
“Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan ($295 million), as Beijing looks to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India’s southern tip,” reports Reuters.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena made the announcement while marking the start of the construction of a kidney hospital funded by China.
“When the Chinese ambassador visited my house to fix the date for this ceremony, he said that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent me another gift,” Sirisena said. “He has gifted 2 billion yuan to be utilised for any project of my wish. I’m going to hand over a proposal to the Chinese ambassador to build houses in all the electorates in the country.”
A Chinese firm, the China Harbour Engineering Company, is currently facing heavy criticism for financing former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election campaign.
“Rajapaksa, the Chinese embassy in Colombo and state-owned CHEC have all denied the allegation, but Sirisena’s coalition government held a parliament debate on Thursday over the report and called for an investigation into the alleged funding,” Reuters reports.
Number of women and children in IS terror group ‘underestimated’
The Guardian reports that the number of women and minors linked to the Islamic State terror group are “significantly underestimated”.
According to a new report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London, “a combination of an absence of government data and a changing view within ISIS of when women should take up arms means that the danger they pose is likely to be much greater than official figures suggest”.
The reports finds that women have recently been active in terror plots across the world. As many as 13 per cent of all foreign citizens — a number close to 5,000 — who became affiliated with ISIS between 2013 and 2018 are believed to be women. A further 12 per cent were minors.
In Britain alone, 850 citizens became affiliated with ISIS, including 145 women and 50 minors. “Of the 425 who returned to the UK, only two women and four minors were confirmed. The figures are believed to be vast underestimates due to an absence of official government data,” the report adds.