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Trial to begin in assassination of N. Korea leader’s brother

October 2, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
The Associated Press
Mon, 2017-10-02 03:00
ID: 
1506903867034539100

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: The trial of two women accused of poisoning the estranged half brother of North Korea’s ruler is scheduled to begin Monday in Malaysia’s High Court, nearly eight months after the brazen airport assassination.
Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam are suspected of smearing Kim Jong Nam’s face with the banned VX nerve agent on Feb. 13 at a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur, killing him within about 20 minutes. The women say they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show.
The women are the only suspects in custody in a killing that South Korea’s spy agency said was part of a five-year plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to kill a brother he reportedly never met. Police say several North Koreans suspected of involvement left the country on the day of the attack and others were allowed to leave later in a diplomatic deal with Pyongyang.
The two women, who face the death penalty if convicted, will plead not guilty at the start of the trial, their lawyers said.
Prosecutors will then start to call their witnesses, with the first few likely to be medical experts to establish the cause of death, said Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Huong’s lawyer. The trial is expected to last for about two months, after which the judge will decide if there is a strong case for the women to have to mount their defense, Teh said.
Kim, who was 45 or 46, was the eldest son of the family that has ruled North Korea since its founding, yet he reportedly fell out of favor in 2001 when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland. He had been living abroad for years and at the time of his death was traveling on a North Korean diplomatic passport under the name “Kim Chol.”
North Korea has a long history of ordering killings of people it views as threats to its regime, though Kim was not thought to be seeking influence over his younger brother. He had, however, spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the reclusive, nuclear-armed nation.
Pyongyang has denied any role in the killing and has not even acknowledged the dead man was Kim Jong Nam. It has suggested the victim died of a heart attack and accused Malaysia of working with South Korean and other “hostile forces” in blaming Pyongyang.
The trial will be closely watched by the Indonesian and Vietnamese governments, which have hired lawyers to defend the women.
Aisyah’s core defense will be that she didn’t know she had poison on her hand when she smeared Kim’s face and was instead the victim of an elaborate trick, her lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said. The 25-year-old was at a pub in Kuala Lumpur in early January when she was recruited by a North Korean man to star in what he said were video prank shows, Gooi said.
Over the course of several days, the North Korean, who went by the name James, had Aisyah go out to malls, hotels and airports and rub oil or pepper sauce on strangers, which he would film on his phone, the lawyer said.
Aisyah was paid $100-$200 for each prank and hoped the income would allow her to stop working as an escort, Gooi said.
In late January, Aisyah flew to Cambodia, where James introduced her to a man called Chang, who said he was the producer of video prank shows for the Chinese market, the lawyer said. Back in Malaysia, Chang asked Aisyah to do several more pranks at the Kuala Lumpur airport a few days before Kim was attacked. At the airport on the day of Kim’s death, Chang pointed him out to Aisyah as the next target and put the poison on her hand, the lawyer said.
Police say neither Chang nor James were who they say they were. Chang was actually Hong Song Hac, one of four North Korean suspects who left Malaysia on the day of the killing, while James was Ri Ji U, one of another three North Koreans who hid inside their country’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur to avoid questioning.
Those three were later allowed to fly home in exchange for nine Malaysians allowed to leave Pyongyang in a deal easing the countries’ diplomatic tensions. Gooi said James was key to Aisyah’s defense and that his absence could weaken her case.
Aisyah, who has a son, has wrote to her family and told them to pray for her “so that the case will be over soon and I can go back home.”
The 29-year-old Vietnamese suspect Huong was caught on airport security surveillance camera wearing a white sweatshirt emblazoned with the big black letters “LOL” — the acronym for laughing out loud. Little is known about her. Raised in a rice farm in northern Vietnam, her family said they had hardly heard from her since she left home a decade ago.
She made postings on a Facebook page under the name Ruby Ruby, according to her niece, Dinh Thi Quyen.
Photos on the page show Huong wearing a white shirt that says “LOL,” like the one seen during the attack. It shows her posing for selfies in January in Cambodia and in Kuala Lumpur a few days before the attack.
Her last post was on the morning of Feb. 11, two days before the attack, from an area near the airport.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Women to plead not guilty in high-profile Kim Jong Nam murder trial
Suspects in Kim Jong Nam murder appear in Malaysia court
Lawyer: Malaysia may have compromised Kim Jong Nam case

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Which Altcoins To Buy This Week (1st of October, 2017) – Live Bitcoin News

October 2, 2017 cody 0

Live Bitcoin NewsWhich Altcoins To Buy This Week (1st of October, 2017)Live Bitcoin NewsLast week, the price of most major altcoins stabilized following a bullish week that witnessed some considerable gains in the price of multiple coins. Ethereum ETH…

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Visualizing America’s Disappearing Workforce

October 1, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

In his September 2017 paper entitled ‘Where Have All the Workers Gone? An Inquiry into the Decline of the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate’, Alan B. Krueger of Princeton University explores the dramatic fall in labor force participation in the U.S. from 1997 to 2017.

As Statista’s Martin Armstrong shows in the infographic below, over the last twenty years, the rate has fallen the most for the under 20’s, with the share of 16 to 17 year olds in work dropping by 18.4 and 16.2 percentage points for men and women, respectively.

Infographic: America's Disappearing Workforce | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

As Krueger reports, last year, Italy was the only OECD country which had a lower participation rate of prime age men than the United States. One of the reasons posited by the research is the opioid crisis currently ravaging the country. Labor force participation rates have fallen more in areas where more opioid pain medication is prescribed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was three times higher than it was in 1999.

As noted in the paper, while the direction of causality is not clear, a 2017 report by David Mericle entitled ‘The Opioid Epidemic and the U.S. Economy’ states that “the opioid epidemic is intertwined with the story of declining prime-age participation, especially for men, and this reinforces our doubts about a rebound in the participation rate.”

But as we pointed out previously, after spending months, or maybe even years, running very complicated regressions that your simple mind could never possibly understand, Krueger would like for you to believe that it’s the growing opioid epidemic that is forcing men to sit on their couches all day rather than look for work.  Here’s a summary of his findings from the Brookings Institute:

The increase in opioid prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 could account for about 20 percent of the observed decline in men’s labor force participation (LFP) during that same period.

 

In “Where have all the workers gone? An inquiry into the decline of the U.S. labor force participation rate” (PDF), Princeton University’s Alan Krueger examines the labor force implications of the opioid epidemic on a local and national level.

 

Among other findings, the research suggests that:

 

  • Regional variation in opioid prescription rates across the U.S. is due in large part to differences in medical practices, rather than varying health conditions. Pain medication is more widely used in counties where health care professionals prescribe greater quantities of opioid medication, with a 10 percent increase in opioid prescriptions per capita is associated with a 2 percent increase in the share of individuals who report taking a pain medication on any given day. When accounting for individuals’ disability status, self-reported health, and demographic characteristics, the effect is cut roughly in half, but remains statistically significant.

 

  • Over the last 15 years, LFP fell more in counties where more opioids were prescribed. Krueger reaches this conclusion by linking 2015 county-level opioid prescription rates to individual level labor force data in 1999-2001 and 2014-16. For more on the relationship between prescription rates and labor force participation rate on the county-level.

Krueger also provided this very helpful map proving that opioid abuse is highly correlated to unemployment.  Of course, it couldn’t possibly be the case that opioid abuse is the result of high unemployment and the associated depression that goes along with it…no, the opioid abuse definitely came first.

 

So, what is Krueger’s solution to help reverse the seemingly perpetual decline in labor force participation rates?  If you guessed ‘Obamacare’ then you’re absolutely right…and unfortunately, no, that is not a joke…here is the excerpt from page 38 of Krueger’s paper:

Third, addressing the decades-long slide in labor force participation by prime age men should be a national priority. This group expresses low levels of SWB and reports finding relatively little meaning in their daily activities. Because nearly half of this group reported being in poor health, it may be possible for expanded health insurance coverage and preventative care under the Affordable Care Act to positively affect the health of prime age men going forward.

And while we would never presume to be smart enough to question the very thorough, impartial research of a Princeton economist, we do wonder whether it’s in any way relevant that labor force participation rates seemingly started to decline in 1965…

 

…at exactly the same time that welfare spending started to surge?

 

It’s probably just a coincidence.

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Futures Saunter Higher In Careless Jaunt Towards Dissipation

October 1, 2017 The_Real_Fly 0

Fascism has been rearing its ugly head all weekend in Spain and has delighted investors to no end. S&P futures are heading up now, +3 in early trade. Over in Europe, the optimism born in Spanish law and order has become somewhat infectious, delight…

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Robert Gore: “The US Has Become An Infantile Nation”

October 1, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic,
Looking for a good laugh? Consider the United States.

Football is a tedious game that fills three-and-a-half hours of airtime with 30 minutes of action, commercials, commentary, instant replays, more in…

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An Interview with Robin Lee, the CEO of HelloGold

October 1, 2017 Gautham 0

HelloGold is the latest platform that is making an effort to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology by the masses. As the project aims to create a blockchain solution to help the unbanked and underbanked population, NewsBTC reached out to Robin Lee, the CEO to gain a better understanding of HelloGold. Q: If we have … Continue reading An Interview with Robin Lee, the CEO of HelloGold

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Free Talk Live’s Co-Host Discusses Bitcoin Radio Ads and Accepting Bitcoin Cash

October 1, 2017 Jamie Redman 0

This week news.Bitcoin.com chatted with Ian Freeman, co-host of the libertarian political talk show Free Talk Live (FTL). The call-in radio talk show is syndicated on over 160 radio stations and was the first radio show in the world to start accepting Bitcoin for ad payments. The broadcast has national radio ads promoting bitcoin to […]

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BBOD Revolutionizes Crypto-Derivatives Market by Introducing Decentralized Model of Sharing Economy

October 1, 2017 Guest Author 0

BBOD — Blockchain Board of Derivatives is the first open-source, community-owned, decentralized cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform with a disruptive model of sharing economy: “all fees earned by the platform land directly in token holders’ wallet”. The innovative platform, backed by National Quantum Information Centre,   is designed to overcome the serious flaws that are plaguing the … Continue reading BBOD Revolutionizes Crypto-Derivatives Market by Introducing Decentralized Model of Sharing Economy

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