- FBI representatives reportedly told Congress that the only part of the Christopher Steele dossier on Donald Trump that they can verify is that Carter Page visited Russia in July 2016, and that was public knowledge.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on two North Korean officials who work on the country’s ballistic missile program:
Kim Jong Sik, a veteran rocket scientist, and Ri Pyong Chol, a former senior air force commander, are often seen on television and in photographs with leader Kim Jong Un, walking down the red carpet or sharing a smoke with him to celebrate a successful missile launch.
The sanctions by the Treasury Department mean that any assets the two men hold in the United States can be seized and that Americans are prohibited from dealing with them. More significantly, banks are prohibited from transactions with them involving U.S. dollars, which includes a considerable number of international transactions.
- One of four North Korean soldiers who defected to South Korea this year is immune to anthrax, which suggests the North Korea army is inoculating at least some of its soldiers against a biological weapon it’s believed to possess.
If you’re a Chinese citizen and you write a blog post critical of the government or you forget your ID card, the government can take a sample of your DNA:
Many of the ways Chinese police are collecting samples are impermissible in the U.S. In China, DNA saliva swabs or blood samples are routinely gathered from people detained for violations such as forgetting to carry identity cards or writing blogs critical of the state, according to documents from a national police DNA conference in September and official forensic journals.
Others aren’t suspected of any crime. Police target certain groups considered a higher risk to social stability. These include migrant workers and, in one city, coal miners and home renters, the documents show.
- China sentenced blogger Wu Gan to eight years in prison for subversion:
Wu Gan, a blogger better known by his online name “Super Vulgar Butcher”, regularly championed sensitive cases of government abuses of power, both online and in street protests. He was detained in May 2015 and later charged with subversion.
Wu criticized China’s political system online and used performance art to create disturbances, as well as insulting people and spreading false information, according to a statement form the court posted on its website.
The Syrian army and their Shiite militia allies backed a Sunni rebel group into a corner where the borders of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel meet. Israeli officials are nervous about the proximity of Iranian-backed Shiite militias to the country’s border.
The U.S. killed a Haqqani Network operative, Jamiuddin, in Pakistan via a drone strike. Jamiuddin moved fighters in and out of Afghanistan.
Pakistan claims Indian soldiers killed three of its soldiers in Kashmir. Two days ago India claimed Pakistani forces killed four of its soldiers.
An Argentine judge ruled that Alberto Nisman was murdered. Nisman was a prosecutor who turned up dead after accusing former President Cristina Fernandez of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. At the time of Nisman’s death, Fernandez and others claimed it was a suicide.
Someone blew up a pipeline that feeds Libya’s Es Sider oil terminal, cutting oil output by 100,000 barrels a day.