Children as young as 13 are being targeted by extremist recruiters as the number of terrorism leads under investigation doubled over the past year.

Mike Burgess, the boss of Australias domestic intelligence agency ASIO, says terrorism remains a threat.

“As a father, I find it truly disturbing to see cases where extremists are actively trying to recruit children who have only just started high school and are as young as 13 or 14,” he said as he delivered his first annual threat assessment on Monday.

“Our view is that the threat of terrorism will remain a constant feature of the global security environment in 2020 and the threat to Australia and Australian interests will remain.

“The number of terrorism leads we are investigating right now has doubled since this time last year.”

Australias terrorism threat level remains at “probable” and would remain unacceptably high for the foreseeable future, dBurgess said.

“The unfortunate reality is that, right now, terrorists are still plotting to harm Australians,” he said.

Of great concern was the use of the internet and new technologies.

The director-general of security said that while messaging apps and greater global connectivity had been a “force for good”, they also had a dark side being used in nine out of 10 priority counter-terrorism cases.


EDMONTON — The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that the federal carbon tax is not constitutional.

In a 4−1 decision, the court says the legislation that brought in the tax erodes provincial jurisdiction.

The Alberta government had argued in its challenge of the tax that climate change isnt a national issue requiring overriding federal intervention.

The federal government countered by saying climate change is a national and global concern that cant be left to each of the provinces to take on alone.

The majority of the Appeal Court judges sided with the province.

“The act is a constitutional Trojan horse,” said the portion of the decision written by three of the four majority justices.

The court rejected federal arguments that reducing greenhouse gases met the legal test of being a national concern.

“Almost every aspect of the provinces development and management of their natural resources … would be subject to federal regulation.”

It noted health care, minimum wages and justice are all national concerns but are administered by the provinces.


Former film producer Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of charges of third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

He was acquitted of the most serious charges against him – of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape.

Accusations against Weinstein helped build the #MeToo campaign against sexual assault and harassment.

This verdict comes more than two years after the Me Too movement went viral…which begs the question did it change anything?

Women have told the BBC theyve faced propositions, name-calling and being grabbed all while just tryRead More – Source

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BEIJING: A Chinese court has sentenced Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai to 10 years in prison on charges of illegally providing intelligence abroad in a case that has rattled relations between Beijing and Stockholm.

The court in the eastern city of Ningbo said Gui was convicted on Monday (Feb 24) and that he had applied to have his Chinese citizenship reinstated in 2018, but it was not immediately clear if he had given up his Swedish nationality.



Gui, one of five Hong Kong-based booksellers known for publishing gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders, was snatched by Chinese authorities while on a train to Beijing in February 2018, the second time he disappeared into Chinese custody.

READ: China cancels Sweden business trips after prize for dissident Gui Minhai

Gui first vanished in 2015 while on holiday in Thailand and eventually surfaced at an undisclosed location in China, confessing to involvement in a fatal traffic accident and smuggling illegal books.

He served two years in prison but three months after his October 2017 release, he was again arrested while on a train to Beijing while travelling with Swedish diplomats.




WASHINGTON: The United States and South Korea said Monday (Feb 25) they were considering scaling back a military exercise planned for this spring because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The commander of US forces in South Korea, General Robert Abrams, and the head of that country's joint chiefs of staff, General Park Han-ki, "are looking at scaling back the command post training due to concerns about the coronavirus", US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a news conference.

READ: South Korea reports eighth COVID-19 death, 60 new cases



His South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, said at the same briefing that 13 servicemen from his country have become infected with the virus and that all leave for the military has been cancelled nationwide so as to limit soldiers' movements.

"The situation is quite serious," Jeong said.

The two countries have significantly scaled back traditional joint military exercises so as to facilitate US nuclear talks with North Korea.

This spring they planned to hold a command coordination exercise.

channel news asia

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NEW YORK: There is no China Pavilion at this year's Toy Fair owing to the new coronavirus outbreak, and the travails of the world's second-biggest economy hang over the giant trade show.

Output in China – by far the world's biggest maker of toys – has slowed to a trickle as the country reels from a public health crisis that has already claimed nearly 2,600 lives and spread to dozens of countries, raising fears of a global pandemic.



As some 25,000 toy industry officials gather this week in New York for the largest toy show in the Americas held among a sea of stuffed animals, electronics and action figures, attendees are grappling with a considerably less cheerful topic: a deadly health crisis and its effect on the world's leading maker of consumer goods.

The hit has been mitigated somewhat for toys because it is taking place during a seasonal lull and not closer to the holiday shopping period, toy executives say.

Still, there is widespread worry and talk of item shortages as soon as this summer. China manufactures about 85 per cent of US toys, according to industry officials.

Magformers was among the companies exhibiting at the New York Toy Fair, but depends on China for 100 per cent of its production and worries it won't be able to keep its product on shelves. (Photo: AFP/Kena Betancur)




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Accusers of Harvey Weinstein have welcomed the guilty verdicts in the rape and sexual assault case against the former Hollywood mogul.

Actress Rose McGowan told the BBC "this is a great day", while others said the ruling brought hope to victims that their voices would be heard.

Weinstein, 67, was convicted in New York City of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act.

He was cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison over the guilty verdicts relating to two women. His lawyers say he will appeal.

"I'm innocent. How can this happen in America?" Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala quoted his client as saying.

The former movie executive still faces charges in Los Angeles of assaulting two women in 2013.

In all, at least 80 women had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek. Most of those complaints, however, have not led to criminal charges, as they are beyond the statute of limitations – meaning they happened too long ago.

The allegations were at the centre of the #MeToo movement that prompted women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men.


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The worst-hit countries are intensifying their efforts to contain the deadly coronavirus as the number of cases globally surpassed 80,000.

In South Korea, there have been 60 new infections, taking the total to nearly 900. Americans have been warned against all but essential travel to the nation.

Italy and Iran are both battling to contain outbreaks of the virus.

In Japan shares slumped on Tuesday, reacting to a global plunge on Monday sparked by fear of further outbreaks.

Wall Street and London had both suffered big drops.

The World Health Organization said on Monday the world should do more to prepare for a possible pandemic – a situation where an infectious disease spreads easily between people in many countries.

The WHO said it was too early to label the outbreak as such, but countries should be "in a phase of preparedness".

More cases of the virus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19, continue to emerge. The proportion of infected people who die from Covid-19 appears to be between 1% and 2%, although the WHO cautions that the mortality rate is not known yet.

What's the latest from China?

The Chinese government has announced a ban on the consumption of wild animals and a crackdown on the hunting, transportation and trade of prohibited species, state media say.


KUALA LUMPUR—Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has submitted a letter of resignation to Malaysias king, his office said on Monday, amid talk of forming a new governing coalition.

“The letter has been sent to His Royal Highness the King at 1 p.m.,” Mahathirs office said in a statement.

Mahathirs party, Bersatu, also quit the ruling coalition, its president, Malaysian home minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Facebook.

The fate of Malaysias ruling coalition had been in doubt after surprise weekend talks between it and opposition groups on forming a new government that would exclude Mahathirs anointed successor Anwar Ibrahim.

On Sunday, Anwar had accused Bersatu and “traitors” in his own party of plotting to form a new government with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the former ruling party ousted in 2018 amid graft accusations.

Sources said Bersatu and a faction in Anwars party met officials from UMNO and Islamist party PAS in efforts to form a new coaRead More – Source

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The Epoch Times

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President Donald Trump has landed at Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport in Ahmedabad as he begins his two-day visit to the country—his first official trip to the country since taking office.

Touching down in the South Asian country, Trump was greeted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a warm hug before embarking on a tour of Mahatma Gandhis Sabarmati Ashram, the former home of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Trump and Modi
Trump and Modi
Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) embraces U.S. President Donald Trump upon his arrival at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad on Feb. 24, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The president and the Indian prime minister will then begin a 14 mile roadshow from the airport to Indias new cricket stadium, the worlds largest, where crowds of more than 110,000 people have gathered to welcome the U.S. president.

From Ahmedabad, Modi, the President and his entourage are expected to travel to Agra at 3:30 p.m. local time where he will take a tour of the iconic Taj Mahal before sunset. Theywill then leave for the main leg of the trip in New Delhi, where they are expected to discuss a number of U.S.-Indo trade deals.

U.S.-India bilateral trade stood at $87.95 billion in 2018-2019, The Economic Times reported, overtaking Indias trade with China.

Now, in the upcoming trade negotiations, Trump wants the Asian nation to grant free market access to more U.S. products as his administration seeks to reduce the United States overall trade deficit. Trump had previously called India a “tariff king.”

Some of his demands have not been well received by Modis government, who fear that things such as the free import of U.S. dairy items may have a negative impact on Indian farmers.

The unrestricted flow of foreign goods was one of the reasons India cited while walking out of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership held in Bangkok in November last year.

India, meanwhile, is more concerned with the restoration of the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) benefits, allowing duty-free entry of thousands of products from designated countries, which the United States cancelled last year.

“The U.S. cancellation of GSP (General Scheme of Preferences) was received with dismay here in India. There has to be some give-and-take and it is hoped from the Indian side that the United States, which has been tough with all countries, friend and foe, would relent and support the growing economy of India,” Dr. S. Chandrasekharan, director of India-based South Asia Analysis Group, told The Epoch Times.