Ong Ye Kung denies Singapore’s initial advice against wearing mask was due insufficient supplies...
During his speech on Singapore's COVID-19 response, Workers' Party MP Gerald Giam argued that the Singapore government initially advised against wearing masks not because they believed it was less effective than hand-washing, but because of a shortage of surgical masks. Mr Giam noted that it took a leaked recording of a Minister at a closed-door meeting in February 2020 to reveal that Singapore was rationing masks to save them for healthcare workers. However, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung clarified to Parliament that the initial advice was due to the lack of understanding of the virus and was based on WHO recommendations.
Taiwan recalls ambassador to Honduras over FM’s China visit
Taiwan has recalled its ambassador to Honduras over the visit of Tegucigalpa's foreign minister to China, with Taiwan's government citing the "serious damage" it has caused to their friendship. Honduras' president had ordered the foreign minister to establish diplomatic ties with China, which would sever its ties with Taiwan, leaving Taiwan with just 13 countries with formal diplomatic ties. China sees Taiwan as a part of its territory and has stated that it will be retaken one day, by force if necessary.
People smugglers use TikTok to promote their services
People smugglers are using TikTok to advertise their services, posing a challenge to Mexican and US authorities fighting a regional migration crisis. Dozens of accounts were found offering to smuggle irregular migrants through the violence-wracked Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, among other regions. The advertising violates TikTok's rules, which prohibit the "promotion and facilitation of criminal activities." Mexican authorities have formed specialized cells to counter the threat posed by people smugglers on social media. More than 7,600 migrants have died or disappeared in transit in the Americas since 2014, according to the International Organization for Migration.
TikTok chief faces US Congress as lawmakers mull ban
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced skeptical lawmakers in Washington over the company's alleged ties to the Chinese government. The video-sharing app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is under pressure from Western countries to cut ties with China or face a ban. Chew, a 40-year-old Singaporean, assured lawmakers that ByteDance is not an agent of China and that TikTok has never shared US user data with the Chinese government. However, several pieces of legislation are already paving the way for a potential ban of the app.
Chinese military says ‘warned’ US warship to leave South China Sea
China's military tracked and warned a US warship to leave waters claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, despite overlapping claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei. The US sends naval vessels through the region to assert freedom of navigation in international waters, while China has built artificial islands with military facilities and runways.
TikTok users protest proposals for US ban at Congress
TikTok content creators protested against a potential ban on the app at the US Capitol, arguing that the platform is no more prone to data breaches than other apps. A group of around a dozen teenagers, teachers, and business owners rallied at Congress to draw attention to the benefits of TikTok on their lives and livelihoods.
Foreign students petition UK PM to retract ‘unjust’ visa revocation order
Foreign students deliver a petition to the British PM Rishi Sunak, requesting the revocation of an "unjust" visa revocation order. The order was issued in response to a decade-old English test scandal undercovered by BBC.