Japan's PM to replace chief cabinet secretary: Report

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to replace Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno amid media reports he received undeclared political funds, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Saturday (Dec 9), citing government and ruling party sources. Kishida and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are facing mounting scrutiny after allegationsContinue Reading

How the Indonesian siblings behind Animasinopal found YouTube success through animation and 'pure chaos'

Naufal said his new house is also more conducive for creating content. “Now we have air conditioning but back then, huddling together to record lines was like recording in a furnace,” he said. 

The walls in the new house also isolate noise much better. “Sometimes when we screamed for help when recording lines, people actually come to our (old) house. Like once, when we had a fire scene,” said Naufal.  

Elements of their new place have also found their way into their videos – like the fish pond which Naufal’s father specially asked for. It makes regular appearances in Nadiah’s own YouTube channel – where Naufal is seen parodying The Little Mermaid. In another their father dips his feet in as though he was at a fish spa.


To keep the channel’s content exciting, Animasinopal has since ventured beyond the Cuty-verse. While the cast of characters were limited to Nopal’s family members, Cuty and her friends in the early days, “now, I want new and different concepts, like talking animals and body parts,” said Naufal.  

“I get most of my ideas while going to the loo and when I look at the environment around me to look for ideas, I thought ‘oh yes, the materials are just here,’” said Naufal. “Turns out there are many stories that you can make from the toilet world.”

This has given birth to a series of videos featuring the adventures of anthropomorphised waste matter in the human gastrointestinal system. Yes, you read that right. Animasinopal also animates body parts such as the brain, pimples and body cells.

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US sanctions dozens of people worldwide over human rights abuses

WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday (Dec 8) slapped sanctions on dozens of people over human rights abuses, including Iranian officers it accused of being involved in the targeting of US officials, ahead of Human Rights Day on Sunday (Dec 11).

The US Treasury and State Departments imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on 37 people in 13 countries, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, in actions coordinated with Britain and Canada.

Over the last year the Treasury has sanctioned more than 150 individuals and entities across a dozen countries, freezing their US assets, for issues relating to human rights abuse. Americans who engage in certain transactions with them also risk being hit with sanctions.

Two Iranian intelligence officers who recruited people for US operations are listed, the Treasury Department said in a statement. Their mission included the lethal targeting of current and former US government officials as revenge for the 2020 killing of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.

The officers, Majid Dastjani Farahani and Mohammad Mahdi Khanpour Ardestani, also recruited people for surveillance activities focused on religious sites, businesses and other facilities in the United States, Treasury added.

Iran promised vengeance after a US air strike in Baghdad killed Soleimani, Tehran’s most prominent military commander and the architect of its growing influence in the Middle East.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taliban members were sanctioned for their links to the repression of women and girls. These include the minister for the so-called Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that the Treasury said has engaged in killings, abductions, whippings and beatings.

The Taliban administration spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Two mid-level Chinese officials were cited for their connection to “ongoing serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang”, the western Chinese region where the US says authorities are committing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.

The officials are Gao Qi, a Xinjiang public security official; and Hu Lianhe, the deputy office director for the Xinjiang Work Coordination Small Group of the Central Committee, which helped design policies for what Washington calls internment camps in the region.

Chinese embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said the sanctions were illegal.

“Such acts grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, flagrantly violate the basic norms governing international relations and seriously undermine China-US relations. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns them,” he said.

The United States on Friday also restricted imports from three more Chinese companies, including COFCO Sugar Holding, over forced labour practices involving Uyghurs and other minorities in China, the US government said on Friday.


“Our commitment to upholding and defending human rights is sacrosanct,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement.

“Treasury’s targeted sanctions announced today and over the past year underscore the seriousness of our commitment to promoting accountability for human rights abuse and safeguarding the US financial system from those who commit these egregious acts.”

Also sanctioned are leaders of the Islamic State in Democratic Republic of Congo, the heads of four criminal gangs in Haiti, and the Commissioner General of the Uganda Prisons Service, which Treasury said has engaged in torture and others serious human rights abuse including of LGBTQ community members.

Uganda enacted one of the world’s harshest anti-gay laws in May, which calls for the death penalty for certain same-sex acts.

Washington also targeted people in Liberia, South Sudan, Uganda and Central African Republic.

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