SANCTIONS FOR CHINA? The United States is drawing up plans to sanction certain Chinese companies and individuals that have benefited from their country’s cybertheft and cyber-espionage, The Washington Post reports. Whether Washington actually slaps such unprecedented sanctions on China remains to be seen, but the decision is coming soon – just as Chinese president Xi Jinping is due to visit the United States for his first state visit. Officials say China has the most active hacking operation against the United States of any country, with much of it attempting to help China’s economy.
THE ISLAMIC STATE’S PATH OF DESTRUCTION. In its apparent crusade against idolatry, the Islamic State has destroyed the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria in a massive explosion, The Wall Street Journal reports. While historians are mourning the progressive destruction of the ancient site as an effective attack on Syrian identity and history, the country continues to hemorrhage refugees. Austria has launched spot checks for migrants at its border with Hungary, the New York Times reports, and in case you missed it, The Washington Post reported about the influx of Syrians into Lebanon over the weekend.
K-POP AS A NORTH KOREA STRATEGY. They say rock music helped along the fall of the Soviet Union and smoked Noriega out of the Vatican embassy in Panama. Well, now South Korea is turning to the same kind of aggressive cultural offensive, blasting K-Pop music across the demilitarized zone at North Korean troops, the New York Times reports. They’re calling it the “Hello Kitty” offensive, it basically consists of some giant loudspeakers and the hope that the troops on the other side are listening – and being moved by, or at least exposed to, new ideas.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WON’T COME. As immigration heats up as a topic on the campaign trail, the GOP candidates are getting equal-opportunity about their border walls. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walked said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he would consider building a wall on the U.S.-Canada border as well as the southern border as a way of blocking migrants’ entry into the United States. But he would like to walk back all this mess about birthright citizenship he stepped in, by apparently endorsing the Donald Trump-style repeal of the 14th Amendment. Trump’s hard line on immigration – and immigrants – has forced many of the other candidates in the field to either respond or justify their positions in comparison, as Trump has held on to the lead in the GOP’s wide 2016 field.