China accused of foreign interference after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account hijacked and renamed – ABC News

… Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s WeChat account remains active.

Coalition MP and chair of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee
James Paterson said he believed the move was an act of foreign interference by the Chinese government.

“WeChat is owned by Tencent, which is one of the most closely controlled,
theoretically private companies in China,” he told Sky News…

US congressman’s home raided by FBI — RT World News

…The Texas Democrat has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration
and its border policy, lambasting the president for the impotence of his
words” as opposed to taking action in stopping the flow of humans across the border….

America’s pro-Israel diplomacy at the UN hits a new level | Aletho News

Only a few days ago, the UN Secretary General made sure that the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People did not infringe on Israel’s colonial existence. So how can the US ambassador claim that the UN is denying Israel’s right to exist, when the two-state framework and the 1947 Partition Plan endorsed colonialism in Palestine and has protected it ever since?

The UN’s “unfair” focus on Israel is favourable to the settler-colonial enterprise. Its alleged unfairness has generated unrivalled impunity for Israel, while Palestinians have been begging for their political rights for decades to no avail. While Israel is recognised, endorsed and supported, Palestinians have lost so much territory that recognition of a Palestinian state renders no tangible benefits in terms of state-building. The “unfair focus” to which Thomas-Greenfield refers has allowed a colonial settlement project – with war crimes, as the International Criminal Court determined – to continue without any punitive measures, while Palestinians remain stuck in a perpetual cycle of dispossession. “Unfair focus” has also prioritised Israel’s existence over the Palestinian right of return, which the international community has long since written off as unfeasible and worthy only as a symbolic gesture, as opposed to a necessary political reckoning…

What a Travesty! Iron Dome Subsidy | VikingLifeBlog

For the United States to pay the bill for replenishing missiles in the Israel’s Iron Dome defense system used during the Gaza attack in May is a travesty of law and justice. And for such an initiative to gain support for such a measure by a vote of 420-9 in an otherwise hopelessly divided U.S. House of Representatives should be an embarrassment rather than the occasion for restoring this questionable Special Relationship no matter how adverse its unconditional maintenance is for the wellbeing of the people of the Middle East and the strategic rationality of American foreign policy.


TikTok users offered $300 to produce anti-ScoMo content for Labor campaign | The Wentworth Report

TikTok users offered $300 to produce anti-ScoMo content for Labor campaign. By Cam Wilson.

A marketing firm claiming to work for the Labor Party is offering to pay TikTok users to post anti-Scott Morrison sponsored content.

Crikey has obtained an email and campaign brief from Vocal Media, a small US-based based influencer marketing agency that has worked with other left-leaning political and non-for-profit organisations.

The email was sent to a TikTok user — this author — with the subject line “Paid TikTok Opportunity: Australian Labor Party”. The email offers $300 to make and post a TikTok video “based on the overarching theme of ‘Scott Morrison is too slow and always late’.”

A linked document titled “Australian Labor x VOCAL Creative Brief” lays out the goals for the creator: “This campaign aims to help shift the political discourse on TikTok […] …

(The brief is at the link).

Once they share a proof of concept, the agency will approve it and ask for a draft. Once that’s approved, Vocal Media will tell them when to post and pay them.

Unlabelled paid content on social media tires to get around true and tried election rules:

Nowhere does the brief discuss making a political authorisation or disclosing that this content is sponsored. Failure to authorise political content is a breach of election laws and can result in a penalty for up to $26,640 for an individual according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Videos criticising or satirising the prime minister have racked up tens of millions of views on hashtags like #scomo and #scottmorrison. That includes content from the Australian Labor Party’s official TikTok account, which has 47,700 followers.

In the lead-up to last year’s US election, social media influencers on platforms like TikTok and Instagram were paid to produce political content.

While the federal government has paid influencers to produce sponsored content in the past, this is the first reported time that an Australian political party has reportedly offered to pay influencers to produce political material.

Consumer beware.

We all know which side of politics is going to benefit most from this.


Comment by tonytran2015: Has V. Putin been successful in keeping Russian territory? Is this the result of USA treating Russia badly?


…Trud summed up the view in its May 20 editorial, titled “Russia hands out islands.” A total of 337square kilometers (about 130 square miles) will be transferred to China, the newspaper noted. Russia will soon loose two of its islands, the Ekho Moskvy Radio agreed on May 20. The
radio conducted an overnight opinion poll that found 82% of the listeners opposed the border agreement.

“Why should we transfer islands to the Chinese?” asked the popular
Komsomolskaya pravda. The newspaper quoted Viktor Ishayev, governor of
Khabarovsk region, as saying that the “yellow threat” could soon become a
reality, notably by 2020 when China’s population is expected to reach 1.5 billion (Komsomolskaya pravda, May 21)…

Moldova: Russia threatens gas supply in Europe’s poorest state – BBC News

… Once in Moscow’s orbit, Moldova has been tilting from Russia towards the West more recently.

The country’s leadership is now pro-European and supports closer ties with
the EU. Many here suspect that the gas crisis is the Kremlin’s way of
expressing its disapproval.

Washington ‘strongly opposes’ West Bank settlement expansion as Israel moves forward with thousands of new homes — RT World News

Comment by tonytran2015: It is unusual that Washington can have independent opinion this time. Is Biden following Kennedy?

The US has voiced “strong” opposition toward the Israeli
government’s push to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian
territories, as Tel Aviv placed tender for 1,300 new homes and is
expected to greenlight a further 3,000.
The US Department of State
condemned the new push by Tel Aviv to expand its settlement program,
stating the move undermines peace efforts and makes prospects of ever
reaching a two-state solution even bleaker.

“We are deeply
concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of
settlement units tomorrow, Wednesday, many of them deep in the West
Bank,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told a press briefing on Tuesday.

strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely
inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, and it
damages the prospects for a two-state solution.

rebuke of Israeli settlement activities comes as Tel Aviv put a new
plan to expand its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian
territories into motion. On Sunday, the country’s authorities published a
tender for over 1,300 new houses for Israeli settlers.

authorities are also expected to approve the construction of a further
3,000 houses this week. The discussion of the project is set to take
place on Wednesday, according to a weekly schedule published by the
Civil Administration’s planning committee. If the plan is approved, it
would be the first time Israel greenlit new settlement units during the
Biden administration, as well as under the new post-Netanyahu Israeli

Also on
Israeli ministers in war of words over ‘problematic’ move to brand Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations – reports

The settlement program remains a major issue in Israeli foreign
policy, somewhat complicating its generally close ties with Washington.
Settling the Palestinian territories, which have been under Israeli
occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War, is recognized internationally as
an illegal practice. Despite repeated condemnation by the UN and other
international bodies, Tel Aviv has been consistently expanding the
settlements, regularly approving construction of new batches of homes
for Israeli settlers.