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North Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ nearing death

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North Korea calls Joe Biden a 'rabid dog' nearing death 2

North Korea calls Joe Biden a 'rabid dog' nearing death 3

North Korea’s state media has accused former US vice president Joe Biden of slandering its leader and called the Democratic presidential candidate “a rabid dog” that needed to be put down.

The official KCNA news agency did not say how Mr Biden had insulted Kim Jong-un, but the 2020 presidential hopeful has been critical of Donald Trump‘s policy towards the secretive communist state, saying he was coddling a murderous dictator.

Misspelling Mr Biden’s name, KCNA said the former vice president was showing signs of “the final stage of dementia”, and the “time has come for him to depart his life”.

In a commentary, it said, “Such a guy had the temerity to dare slander the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK,” using the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“It was the last-ditch efforts of the rabid dog expediting his death,” it added. “Rabid dogs like Baiden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about. They must be beaten to death with a stick, before it is too late.”

In contrast, the North has credited a “close personal relationship” between Mr Kim and Mr Trump for saving ties between their countries from a destructive pattern of hostility.

The leaders have met three times to discuss improving ties and ending the North’s nuclear weapons programme.

Mr Trump backed a previous personal attack on Mr Biden by the North and dismissed criticism that he was siding with a foreign dictator over a fellow American.

In May, North Korea had called Mr Biden “an imbecile” for criticising its leader.


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Political News

NATO is experiencing ‘brain death’, says Emmanuel Macron

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NATO is experiencing 'brain death', says Emmanuel Macron 5

NATO is experiencing 'brain death', says Emmanuel Macron 6

Emmanuel Macron has described Nato as “brain” dead, citing waning US support for the transatlantic military alliance.

The French president suggested US interest in protecting the global order had receded under the tenure of Donald Trump, who has pursued an “America First” policy.

The US president has previously described Europe as “foe” which is “almost as bad as China” and hinted that he might pull out of the alliance if its terms were not altered to suit the United States.

“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato,” Mr Macron told The Economist magazine in an interview published on Thursday. 

Questioning the future of the military alliance, the French president added: “There’s a considerable risk that in the long run we will disappear geopolitically, or at least that we will no longer be in control of our destiny.” 

He cited Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish-led forces in Northern Syria as an example of where the alliance was not functioning properly

“You have no coordination of the United States’ strategic decision with NATO’s partners and we are witnessing an aggression led by another NATO partner, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake, without coordination,” he told the magazine. 

In 2018 Mr Macron called for the creation of a European army, which provoked an angry reaction from Mr Trump, who described the proposal as “insulting”.

Separately on Thursday, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed the French president, describing US support for the international order as “dwindling”. 

But she said NATO would “remain the anchor of Europe’s security” and said that any move to develop an independent European military capability would be complement the alliance. 

Speaking on Thursday NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg however disagreed that the alliance was obsolete.

“We do work, we modernize more and we invest more than we did for decades,” Mr Stoltenberg told reporters. “The US is realising that NATO is important to them.”

The UK will host world leaders including Mr Trump in London for a 70th anniversary Nato summit in early December – right in the middle of an election campaign.

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New law requiring ID cards to open social media accounts debated in Italy

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New law requiring ID cards to open social media accounts debated in Italy 8

New law requiring ID cards to open social media accounts debated in Italy 9

Italy is debating the merits of forcing people to show an ID card before they can open a social media account, with proponents claiming the move would help tackle hate speech and fake news.

The new law proposed by a centrist MP would make it easier to trace posts back to individual people, whose details would be kept on file – though users could still go by pseudonyms.

Luigi Marattin, an Italian MP from former prime minister Matteo Renzi’s party Italia Viva, said political debate was being “manipulated and distorted” through the internet. He claimed that the proposal would “prevent the web from becoming a sewer” and said it was “time to act”.

“The right to anonymity must be guaranteed but reconciled with another consideration to protect the public interest: the protection of public space as a place where anyone can be called to answer for what he writes,” he wrote in a defence printed in newspaper La Repubblica

In response to the lawmaker’s plan, Italian social media users trawled through Mr Marattin’s past posts on Twitter and shared screenshots where he had used vulgar language, including posts where he had labelled opposition politicians ”miserable d***heads” and other obscenities.

Critics of the proposals also pointed out that it was already mostly possible to ascertain the identity of a poster by tracing their IP address, and argued that people had the right to anonymity. 

Unlike the UK most EU countries already have a national identity card system and cards. In Italy ID cards themselves are not specifically mandatory, but people must be able to prove their identity when stopped by police.

There have been some calls in the UK for similar laws banning anonymous accounts. Independent MP Ian Austin earlier this month asked the government if they had “plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent people from establishing anonymous profiles on Twitter”.

Culture minister minister Matt Warman however replied: “Companies need to take responsibility for tackling abusive behaviour on their services, including taking steps to limit anonymised users abusing their services. 

“However, online anonymity is an important principle of a free and open internet and there are many legitimate reasons why an individual would not wish to identify themselves online – including to protect whistleblowers and empower victims of modern slavery and domestic and sexual abuse. 

“Globally, anonymity can be especially important for allowing human rights defenders and journalists to operate, especially within authoritarian regimes, without fear of undue reprisal and detention.”

The proposals come as the European Commission warned that social networks like Twitter and Facebook need to do more to tackle disinformation or face regulation. The commission said in a statement this week ahead of the UK general election that “large-scale automated propaganda and disinformation persist” online.

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