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South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

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SEOUL, South Korea — On Friday, South Korea summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the country’s new defense pact with North Korea, as border tensions remained high due to vague threats and brief, seemingly accidental incursions by North Korean forces.

Earlier Friday, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a vague threat of retaliation after South Korean activists flew balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border, while South Korea’s military said it fired warning shots the day before to repel North Korean soldiers who briefly crossed the rivals’ land border for the third time this month.

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South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

That happened two days after Moscow and Pyongyang signed an agreement promising mutual defense aid if either was attacked, and a day after, Seoul responded by stating that it would consider giving armaments to Ukraine to combat Russia’s incursion.

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong Kyun summoned Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev to denounce the agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and urged Moscow to immediately suspend its purported military collaboration with Pyongyang.

Kim, the South Korean official, emphasized that any collaboration that directly or indirectly assists the North in developing its military capabilities would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions, represent a threat to South Korean security, and warned of the ramifications for Seoul’s relations with Moscow.

According to Russia’s embassy’s X account, Zinoviev told Korean officials that any attempts to “threaten or blackmail” Russia were inappropriate and that his country’s agreement with North Korea was not intended for specific third nations. The South Korean ministry said Zinoviev agreed to relay Seoul’s concerns to his superiors in Moscow.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminded Russia and referenced U.N. Security Council sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name, which prohibits all countries from supplying the DPRK with material for nuclear or ballistic missile programs.

“Any relationship that any country has with the DPRK, including the Russian Federation, must entirely abide by those sanctions,” he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Leafleting activities by South Korean citizen activists in recent weeks have resulted in a resurgence of Cold War-style psychological warfare along the inter-Korean border.

South Korean civilian activists led by North Korean defector Park Sang-Hak claimed to have sent 20 balloons with 300,000 propaganda leaflets, 5,000 USB sticks containing South Korean pop music and TV dramas, and 3,000 US dollars from the South Korean border town of Paju on Thursday night.

According to observers, Pyongyang resents such material because it worries it may demoralize front-line troops and people, weakening Kim Jong Un’s grasp on power.

In a statement released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong, one of her brother’s top foreign policy officials, referred to the campaigners as “defector scum” and threatened punishment.

“When you do something you were clearly warned not to do, it’s only natural that you will find yourself dealing with something you didn’t have to,” she said, without mentioning what the North might do.

Following previous leafleting by South Korean activists, North Korea released over 1,000 balloons into South Korea, dropping tonnes of rubbish, destroying roof tiles and windows, and causing other property damage. Kim Yo Jong suggested that balloons could become the North’s routine response to leafleting, stating that the North would retaliate by “scattering dozens of times more rubbish than is being scattered on us.”

In response, South Korea resumed anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts with military loudspeakers deployed at the border for the first time in years, prompting Kim Yo Jong to issue another official media statement warning that Seoul was “creating a prelude to a very dangerous situation.”

Tensions between the Koreas have reached their greatest point in years, as Kim Jong Un advances nuclear weapons and missile development and seeks to bolster his regional position by uniting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a standoff with the US-led West.

South Korea, a rising arms exporter with a well-equipped military backed by the United States, has said it is considering increasing its support for Ukraine in response. Seoul has previously supplied humanitarian aid and other assistance while supporting the US-led economic sanctions against Russia. However, it has not directly provided weaponry, citing a long-standing policy of not sending weapons to countries actively involved in conflict.

South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

Putin told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday that delivering arms to Ukraine would be “a very big mistake,” and that South Korea “shouldn’t worry” about the pact if it isn’t plotting an attack on Pyongyang.

According to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Minister Cho Tae-yul spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa separately on Friday to discuss the new accord. According to Cho’s ministry, the diplomats agreed that the pact poses a major danger to regional peace and stability and pledged to deepen trilateral coordination to address the challenges posed by Moscow and Pyongyang’s alignment.

North Korea is particularly sensitive to criticism of Kim’s dictatorial regime and attempts to reach its people through global news and other media.

When South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts in 2015 for the first time in 11 years, North Korea launched artillery rounds across the border, leading South Korea to respond, according to South Korean officials. There were no casualties reported.

South Korea’s military said there are indicators that North Korea is placing its speakers near the border, albeit they are not yet operational.

In the most recent border incident, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that several North Korean soldiers engaged in undefined construction work temporarily breached the military demarcation line that separates the two countries around 11 a.m. Thursday.

South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

The South Korean military issued a warning and fired warning shots, prompting the North Korean soldiers to retreat. The joint chiefs did not immediately provide any information, such as why the material was released a day late.

South Korea’s military believes recent border incursions were unintentional, as North Korean soldiers did not return fire and left after the warning shots.

The South’s military has spotted the North sending massive numbers of soldiers on the front lines to construct suspected anti-tank barriers, reinforce roads, and place mines in an apparent attempt to bolster their side of the border. Seoul says the actions are intended to deter North Korean people and military from fleeing to the South.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Risk-Averse Companies Choose CrowdStrike for Cybersecurity. The Software is Causing chaos.

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(AP Photo/Haven Daley)

(VOR News) – Airlines, banks, hospitals, and other risk-averse institutions worldwide have chosen cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to protect their computer systems against hackers and data breaches.

But all it took was one misplaced CrowdStrike software update to cause worldwide havoc on Friday, including flight cancellations, Closure of banks and media outlets, and the interruption of hospitals, shops, and other services.

According to Cornell University assistant professor of engineering Gregory Falco, “This is a consequence of the highly homogeneous technology that provides the foundation for our entire IT infrastructure.”

“The root of this crisis is the fact that we are dependent on a small number of companies, and everyone employs the same individuals, resulting in a collective collapse.”

CrowdStrike says there was no hacking or cyberattack.

The business issued an apology and said that a fix was being prepared. But it turned out to be a difficult problem to fix. Analyst for Gartner Eric Grenier said that cleanup required “boots on the ground.”

Grenier said, “The fix is functional; however, it is a highly manual process and there is no magic key to unlock it.” “I believe that is the most significant challenge that companies are currently facing.”

Among the most well-known cybersecurity companies are CrowdStrike and its Falcon platform, which is not available to everyone. This is especially true for the banking and transportation industries, where the efficiency of computer systems is critical.

“They are typically risk-averse organizations that prefer something that is not only workable but also provides a safety net in the event of a mishap.” Falco said, “That is the essence of CrowdStrike.”

“They are observing their colleagues in other sectors and remarking, ‘Oh, you know, this company also uses that, so I’m going to need them, too.'”

It is hardly new to voice concerns about the susceptibility of an international technology ecosystem. This is the same thing that raised concerns in the 1990s about a possible technological glitch that might cause widespread chaos come the new year.

An Australian cybersecurity analyst named Troy Hunt said on the social media site X that “this is essentially what we were all concerned about with Y2K, except it’s actually happened this time.”

Worldwide computer systems began to display the “blue screen of death” on Friday, signaling a problem with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Falco clarified, though, that the current circumstance is unique as “these companies are even more entrenched.” “We like to believe that we have a large pool of players at our disposal.”

Despite that, CrowdStrike’s biggest companies use the same technology.

Established in 2011, CrowdStrike claims to have “reinvented cybersecurity for the cloud era and transformed the way cybersecurity is delivered and experienced by customers” in its yearly report to financial authorities. It highlights the use of artificial intelligence in enabling it to maintain its competitiveness.

One of the most well-known cybersecurity companies in the world, with its headquarters located in Austin, Texas, makes large marketing investments, which include Super Bowl commercials.

At cybersecurity conferences, the business is well-known for its expansive booths whereby they showcase massive action-figure statues that symbolize different state-sponsored hacking groups. CrowdStrike technology is meant to take on these kinds of organizations.

George Kurtz, the CEO of CrowdStrike, is among the highest paid people in the world with nearly $230 million in remuneration over the last three years. In addition, Kurtz drives for a team of auto racers that CrowdStrike sponsors.

Kurtz issued an apology in a follow-up social media post on Friday and on NBC’s “Today Show” following criticism of his previous comments addressing the matter for lacking remorse.

“We are profoundly sorry for the inconvenience and disruption and comprehend the gravity of the situation,” he said on X. Richard Stiennon, a cybersecurity industry analyst,

Claims that CrowdStrike made a historic error.

According to Stiennon, who has spent 24 years keeping an eye on the cybersecurity industry, “this is unquestionably the most severe technical error, faux pas, or glitch of any security software provider in history.”

He said that even if there is a simple technical solution to the problem, there may be long-term effects for some companies. “It is exceedingly challenging to interact with millions of machines.” In a few weeks, the CEO will return from his trip to the Bahamas, and since many others are now on holiday, he won’t be able to access his computers.

Stiennon said the outage did not point to a larger problem with Crowdstrike or the cybersecurity sector.

“The markets will forgive them, the customers will forgive them, and this will be resolved,” he said.

SOURCE: USN

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

California Representative Adam Schiff urges Biden to relinquish his position.

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Bob Newhart, the deadpan accountant-turned-comedian who became one of the most popular TV personalities of his time after striking gold with a classic comedy album, died at 94.

Bob Newhart’s publicist, Jerry Digney, says the actor died Thursday in Los Angeles following a series of brief illnesses.

Bob Newhart, best known today as the star of two famous 1970s and 1980s television sitcoms bearing his name, began his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1950s.

He rose to national prominence when his routine was recorded on vinyl in 1960 as “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” which won the Grammy Award for album of the year.

While other comedians of the day, such as Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Alan King, Mike Nichols, and Elaine May, regularly garnered laughs with their forceful attacks on current norms, Bob Newhart was an exception.

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His attitude was modern, but he rarely spoke above a timid, even stammering tone. His only prop was a telephone, which he used to pretend to converse with someone on the other end of the line.

In one memorable skit, he played a Madison Avenue image-maker who urged Abraham Lincoln to stop tampering with the Gettysburg Address and stick to the script written by his speechwriters.

“You changed four scores and seven to 87?” Newhart asks in disbelief. “Abe, that’s supposed to be a grabber…” It’s like Mark Antony saying, ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, I’ve got something to tell you.'”

Another favorite was “Merchandising the Wright Brothers,” in which he attempted to persuade the aviation pioneers to launch an airline despite acknowledging that the distance of their first flight might limit them.

“Well, see, that’s going to hurt our time to the Coast if we’ve got to land every 105 feet.”

Bob Newhart initially hesitated to join a weekly television series, thinking it would overexpose his material. Nevertheless, he accepted an enticing offer from NBC, and “The Bob Newhart Show” debuted on October 11, 1961.

Despite receiving Emmy and Peabody awards, the half-hour variety program was canceled after one season, but it became a source of Newhart’s gags for decades afterward.

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He waited ten years before doing another “Bob Newhart Show” in 1972. This was a situation comedy starring Newhart as a Chicago psychotherapist who lives in a penthouse with his schoolteacher wife, Suzanne Pleshette.

Their neighbors and his patients, particularly Bill Daily, an airline navigator, were a crazy, neurotic group who provided an excellent backdrop to Newhart’s deadpan remarks.

The series, one of the most celebrated of the 1970s, ran until 1978.

Four years later, the comedian debuted another show, “Newhart.” This time, he was a successful New York writer who decided to reopen a Vermont inn that had been closed for many years. Again, Newhart stood out as the calm, rational man among strange locals. Again, the show was a big success, spanning eight seasons on CBS.

It ended unforgettably in 1990, with Newhart waking up in bed with Pleshette as his old Chicago psychologist character, wincing as he tells her about his bizarre dream: “I was an innkeeper in this insane tiny hamlet in Vermont. The handyman continued missing the point, and then there were three woodsmen, but only one spoke!”

The stunt was a parody of a “Dallas” episode in which a main character was killed off and then revived when it was discovered that the death was a dream.

Two subsequent series were comparative duds: “Bob,” 1992-93, and “George & Leo,” 1997-98. Despite multiple nominations, his only Emmy was for a cameo appearance on “The Big Bang Theory.” “I suppose they think I am not acting. That it’s simply Bob being Bob,” he moaned at not receiving television’s highest prize during his prime.

Newhart has also appeared in several films, most of which are comedies. Among them are “Catch 22,” “In and Out,” “Legally Blonde 2,” and “Elf,” as the small father of adoptive full-size son Will Ferrell. More recent work includes “Horrible Bosses,” the TV series “The Librarians,” and the “The Big Bang Theory” spin-off “Young Sheldon.”

After his fourth sitcom ended, Bob Newhart continued appearing on television occasionally and swore to work as long as possible in 2003.

“It’s been so much, 43 years of my life; (to quit) would be like something was missing,” remarked the actor.

Source: AP News

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Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

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Political jokes: is it too soon?

Many quarters responded with a loud yes at midweek, days after an assassination attempt on Republican former President Donald Trump shook the nation over decades of political violence in the United States.

Several late-night shows that rely on political humor instantly modified their plans, with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” canceling its Monday show and intending to broadcast from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week. Its host, Jon Stewart, and his guests gave sad monologues.

By Tuesday, the comic rock duo Tenacious D, comprised of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, had canceled the remainder of their global tour “and all future creative plans” after Gass proclaimed onstage his birthday wish: “Don’t miss next time.” Gass apologized.

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Democratic President Joe Biden, no stranger to criticizing Trump, contacted his wounded competitor, paused his political advertisements and messaging, and urged the country to “cool” the rhetoric.

So, if comedy is tragedy plus time, when is joking acceptable again? And who gives a thumbs up, given that the shooter who targeted Trump also killed former fire chief Corey Comperatore while protecting his family?

The attempted assassination on Saturday, or any of the bloodshed that has afflicted the United States since its inception, is not funny. Trump was smacked in the ear while speaking to rallygoers in Pennsylvania. A Trump supporter and the gunman were dead, while two onlookers were injured. The attack sparked severe concerns about security shortcomings. It was the most recent example of political violence in America, where attacks on politicians date back to at least 1798 when two legislators from opposite parties brawled in the United States House.

Other examples abound in history texts, but the list from this century is particularly striking. Former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, D, was shot in the head in 2011. Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the current House majority leader, was shot and badly injured in 2017. On January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters invaded the US Capitol, preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s election. Paul Pelosi was bludgeoned at his home in 2022 by a guy looking for his wife, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In addition to that, unwavering fears about Biden’s fitness for office following his catastrophic debate performance, Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts, and American politics in 2024 appear anything but hilarious.

However, political comedy is as old as politics and administration.

It softens the impact of democratic decisions and is a powerful tool for politicians aiming to alleviate or increase concerns about themselves or their opponents. And in recent years, Trump has been the focus of more jokes than anyone else. According to a 2020 study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, late-night hosts made 97% of their jokes about Trump.

“It’s never too soon, unless it’s not funny,” Alonzo Bodden, a 31-year-old stand-up comedian, said in a phone interview Wednesday. He is not a Trump supporter but stated that comedians “will always make it funny no matter what happens.” That is what we do. “It is how we communicate.”

“In this case, Donald Trump is such a character and the fact that he wasn’t killed, the jokes started immediately,” said Bodden. “And I don’t believe he minds. He’s one of those persons who is always happy to be mentioned.”

Humor humanizes large figures.
Perhaps most effectively, political humor can make arrogant leaders appear more human or at least self-conscious.

Consider “covfefe,” Trump’s strange middle-of-the-night tweet in 2017 that went viral, prompting Jimmy Kimmel to despair that he’ll never write something funnier. “Make the Pie Higher,” a poem by late Washington Post cartoonist Richard Thompson, was composed solely of President George W. Bush’s botched words and was published for his inauguration in 2001.

“It is a very complicated economic point I was making there,” Bush said with a smirk at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner a few months later. “Believe me, what this country needs is taller pie.”

Before the debate, Biden attempted to use humor to bring the age issue to the forefront, but it became evident that the concern was more about his cognitive ability. “I know I’m 198 years old,” Biden declared, to wild laughter and clapping.

 

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Humor is such an effective campaign tactic that candidates flock to guest appearances on late-night shows, which have risen in political prominence. However, following the assassination, a pause settled over everything, as indicated by Stewart’s serious address on Monday.

“None of us knows what’s going to happen next other than there will be another tragedy in this country, self-inflicted by us to us, and then we’ll have this feeling again,” Stewart told the crowd.

“The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert recalled his astonishment at the attack, joy that Trump had survived, and “grief for my great country.”

“Though I could just as easily start the show moaning on the floor,” he laughed, “because how many times do we need to learn the lesson that violence has no role in our politics?”

As is customary for social media, it was acting more freely. “I think it’s ironic that Trump almost died from a gun today because he was too far right-leaning,” comedian Drew Lynch remarked on YouTube. “Alright. That’s all I have. I believe my neighbors might be listening.”

SOURCE | AP

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