A man believed to be a Chinese rights activist was apprehended in South Korea following an audacious attempt to flee the country on a jet ski.
South Korea’s coast guard reported that the man had traversed approximately 300 kilometers across the Yellow Sea, relying on binoculars and a compass for navigation before encountering difficulties.
Local reports have identified him as Kwon Pyong, a vocal critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping, but his identity remains unverified. The Chinese embassy in Seoul has declined to comment on the matter.
In recent years, Beijing has escalated its use of exit bans at airports and other legal border crossings to prevent activists from leaving Chinese territory. The situation has become more challenging for dissidents as many countries in Southeast Asia with pro-Beijing inclinations have ceased providing refuge to asylum seekers.
Last month, prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Lu Siwei was apprehended in Laos and forcibly returned to China, preventing him from reuniting with his wife and children in the United States.
Jet skiing across treacherous waters to reach South Korea is a remarkable escape attempt, even in modern times. South Korea’s coast guard revealed that the man, wearing a life jacket and helmet, towed five barrels of fuel from Shandong province behind his 1800cc jet ski. He refueled during the journey and disposed of the empty barrels in the sea. However, he ran into trouble near a cruise terminal off the western port of Incheon and sought assistance.
While the coast guard did not disclose the man’s identity, they confirmed his detention last Wednesday for attempting to “smuggle himself” into the city. There are no suspicions of espionage in this case.
Lee Dae-seon, a South Korea-based campaigner from the non-profit organization Dialogue China, told AFP that the escapee is indeed Mr. Kwon, aged 35, who has previously been imprisoned in China for openly criticizing President Xi.
Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?
Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.
Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.
While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.
Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY
What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry
Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.
The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.
The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.
New Zealand example
Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.
The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.
With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.
Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’
Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.
The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.
In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.
We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.
Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.
This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.
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