By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate


HIV-AIDS infection rates on the rise in China

HIV-AIDS rates have increased around 14% in China since last year. Over 820,000 people were reported to have HIV or AIDS in June in the country. This marks an increase of around 100,000 cases since 2017 with almost 40,000 new cases in the second quarter of 2018 alone.

Since 2003, China has granted wide-ranging access to HIV treatment under universal health care to fight the disease.

The previous main method of transmission of HIV in rural parts of China was via infected blood transfusion. Government officials now report that this method of disease transmission has fallen to zero, meaning most of the new cases have been transmitted sexually.

With files from BBC News and Al Jazeera.


Attack on Facebook leaves information of users at risk

Around the end of September, Facebook announced that its servers had been attacked. The breach, exploiting a weakness in Facebook’s software code, left the information and the accounts of almost 50 million users at risk.

Facebook states it has since resolved the software vulnerabilities that led to the attack. But the firm still does not know the source or scale of the attack. Facebook is integrating programmers responsible for software security with its product team in the company to make product development more secure.

The American government has called for more congressional oversight of Facebook in response to the attack.

With files from The New York Times.


India’s supreme court rules in favour of biometric system use

India’s highest court has decided that the use of the nation’s biometric identity system, called Aadhaar, is not unconstitutional.

The system which contains information about the user’s face, iris and fingerprints, was mired with concerns over privacy violations in the use of Aadhaar. But the court stressed the usefulness of Aadhaar, stating that it helped the poor by providing access to welfare and social services. However, the court blocked government attempts to make Aadhaar compulsory for banking, and school or mobile registration.

Up to a billion people are already registered in Aadhaar since it began in 2010.

With files from BBC News and Reuters.


Mexican military detains Acapulco police

The Mexican military has disarmed the Acapulco police force in the southern state of Guerrero and detained around three of its high-ranking members on suspected ties to crimes, homicide, and for carrying unlicensed weapons. The police force itself is also currently under investigation. The state security ministry will take over policing duties in the city.

The city of Acapulco in the southern state of Guerrero has one of the highest murder rates in the world due to its drug networks and fighting between drug cartels.

With files from Reuters and Al Jazeera.

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