China espionage briefing leaked on YouTube
Today on the net, embarrassment in Beijing as details of Chinese spy cases are leaked online. Egyptian activists campaigning against military trials for civilians. And a photographer depicts the end of NASA’s manned space program…
China espionage briefing leaked on YouTube
It’s an embarrassing leak of information and calls into question China’s culture of secrecy within the military. In this video, which was immediately censored by the Chinese authorities, Major General Jin Yinan discloses cases of Chinese Communist Party officials selling state secrets to foreign countries. Numerous cases of espionage were addressed, some of which had not been exposed to the general public, until now.
The officer discussed the case of Li Bin, China’s former ambassador to South Korea, who was accused of handing over details to South Korea that compromised China’s position in nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea. The ex-diplomat was sentenced to 7 years in prison for corruption. According to the Major General, the authorities decided to abandon the charges of espionage in order to save face.
It would appear this was also the case for the former head of China’s nuclear power program, Kang Rixin, who was sentenced to life in prison last year on charges of corruption. General Jin said he had sold secrets about China’s nuclear industry to foreign states, but the details were considered too sensitive to bring up in court.
These revelations have prompted Evan Osnos, the New Yorker’s correspondent in Beijing, to question the level of corruption involved in China’s ambitious nuclear program.
And the contents of a US diplomatic cable recently published on Wikileaks, back up these concerns. The document states that China has vastly increased the risk of nuclear accident by opting for cheap technology.
Egyptian activists against military trials for civilians
More and more Egyptian activists are joining the protests against military trials for civilians. More than 10 000 civilians have reportedly been tried and convicted in military tribunals since the start of the Egyptian uprising in January, something which has been widely criticized online by activists and humanitarian organizations.
A number of sites like these ones have been set up to provide support for civilians. They people behind the sites want to show their solidarity with civilians in military detention and above all put an end to these military tribunals. The activists are also demanding that those who have already been sentenced be given a new and fairer trial in a civilian court.
Social networkers and Twitter users in particular have also joined the campaign. Micro bloggers have been expressing their opposition to military trials for civilians under the Twitter hashtag "#Nomiltrials".
And the Facebook community has also been highly active. A virtual protest was organized on the social network Saturday night, with citizens posting their grievances with the Egyptian army on the official pages of the transitional government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
And it would appear that the activists’ efforts are starting to pay off. After much campaigning on her behalf, all charges were dropped against Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26 year old woman who was due to face a military tribunal after being arrested on charges of defaming the military on her Twitter account.
Astronaut suicides photo series
Photographer Neil Dacosta created this tongue in cheek series to mark the end of the American manned Space Program. He portrays the astronauts as unemployed, depressed, and in these shots he depicts them ending it all. The collection is available to view on the artist’s website.
Steve Jobs’ patents
Steve Jobs resignation as CEO of Apple has been widely discussed on the net. And to pay tribute to the co-founder of the Apple brand, the New York Times has posted this infographic on their web site. It catalogues, by type, the 313 patents that list Steve Jobs among the group of inventors, and includes the first desktop computers, the iPhone, and also touchscreen tablet PCs.
Video of the day
In this video, football freestylers Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch give an amazing demonstration of their talents. The two young Brits perform a series of technical and highly skillful moves, which are likely to be great hit with football lovers the world over…