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Kim Jong Un Reportedly on Visit to China

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Policemen take position along Beijing's main east-west thoroughfare, Changan Avenue, near the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 26, 2018. VOA
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly in China on an unannounced visit, Bloomberg News reported Monday, citing three unnamed sources.

There was no official statement on the report, which was not covered by Chinese or North Korean state media. If Kim is in China, it would be his first foreign trip since taking power in 2011.

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It would also mark a significant diplomatic development ahead of a potential meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Kim Jong-un Wants to ‘Write New History’ With S.Korea

Footage from Japanese TV showed an old-style green train at a Beijing train station similar to the one used by Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il.

Journalists in Beijing also reported seeing a military honor guard welcoming a convoy of vehicles arriving at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where top North Korean officials have stayed during a visit to China.

There were also reports of heavy security along Beijing’s main east-west thoroughfare, Changan Avenue. Police also cleared all tourists out of Tiananmen Square, which usually only happens when Chinese leaders are meeting with visiting heads of state in the Great Hall of the People. VOA

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Facebook Cannot Regulate Itself: U.S. Lawmakers

Now we know that once they knew the truth, top @Facebook executives did everything they could to hide it from the public.

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Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., center, talks with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., right, during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill. VOA

Democratic U.S. Representative David Cicilline, expected to become the next chairman of House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, said on Wednesday that Facebook cannot be trusted to regulate itself and Congress should take action.

Cicilline, citing a report in the New York Times on Facebook’s efforts to deal with a series of crises, said on Twitter: “This staggering report makes clear that @Facebook executives will always put their massive profits ahead of the interests of their customers.”

“It is long past time for us to take action,” he said. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said a year ago that the company would put its “community” before profit, and it has doubled its staff focused on safety and security issues since then. Spending also has increased on developing automated tools to catch propaganda and material that violates the company’s posting policies.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Other initiatives have brought increased transparency about the administrators of pages and purchasers of ads on Facebook. Some critics, including lawmakers and users, still contend that Facebook’s bolstered systems and processes are prone to errors and that only laws will result in better performance. The New York Timessaid Zuckerberg and the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, ignored warning signs that the social media company could be “exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe.” And when the warning signs became evident, they “sought to conceal them from public view.”

“We’ve known for some time that @Facebook chose to turn a blind eye to the spread of hate speech and Russian propaganda on its platform,” said Cicilline, who will likely take the reins of the subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law when the new, Democratic-controlled Congress is seated in January.

Also Read: Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

“Now we know that once they knew the truth, top @Facebook executives did everything they could to hide it from the public by using a playbook of suppressing opposition and propagating conspiracy theories,” he said.

“Next January, Congress should get to work enacting new laws to hold concentrated economic power to account, address the corrupting influence of corporate money in our democracy, and restore the rights of Americans,” Cicilline said. (VOA)