Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Wednesday that Ocean Lotus, a group with ties to the Vietnamese government, has been involved in hacking attacks targeting activists and an NGO. The accusations highlight how authorities could resort to unlawful digital surveillance to keep tabs on activists and government critics . Who was targeted? The suspected attacks took place between 2018 and November 2020. They targeted two prominent Vietnamese human rights defenders, one of whom lives in Germany, and a Vietnamese NGO based in the Philippines, Amnesty said. Blogger and pro-democracy activist Bui Thanh Hieu was targeted with spyware at least four times between February 2018 and December 2019, it revealed. He left Vietnam and has lived in Germany since 2013. It said another blogger based in Vietnam, who was not named due to fears for their safety, was targeted three times last year. A Philippines-based nongovernmental organization, the Vietnamese … [Read more...] about Hacking group targets Vietnam activists: Amnesty
China world trade organization
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country that is never far off the headlines. Sadly, there has scarcely been any positive news about the country. Its tumultuous history goes back to the 1870s when King Leopold II of Belgium orchestrated his private venture to colonize the Congo. As a young person growing up, I heard harrowing tales of how from 1885, following Leopold's announcement of the establishment of the Congo Free State, to the 1960s, over 15 million Congolese were brutally murdered. The hope that all this would end with independence was shattered with the killing in 1961 of the DRC's first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba . The country has been in a perpetually fragile state ever since. The murder of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio , his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci, and World Food Programme (WFP) driver Mustapha Milambo after the UN convoy they were travelling in was attacked near Goma, is a stark reminder that the DRC is still not ready to relinquish its … [Read more...] about Opinion: Another cold case in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
A large, real world study involving half a million people has revealed that the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective. The paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday and involved studying 1.2 million people during Israel's mass inoculation campaign . What did the study reveal? The study showed that two shots of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, while a single shot was 57% effective in protecting against symptomatic infections after two weeks. The vaccine also proved 92% effective at preventing severe illnesses after two shots and 62% after one, the peer-reviewed study found. The results of the study were close to those in last year's clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which found two doses to be 95% effective. It showed that there could be a strong protective benefit against infection, a factor that is considered crucial in breaking onward transmission. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: Mass study confirms BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine ‘extremely effective’