International Intonation: Oct. 24, 2012

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

Google’s troubled relationship with Brazil

In another chapter of the on-going troubles between Google and Brazil (see Oct. 3rd International Intonation regarding the detaining of a Google executive in Brazil), the country’s National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) banned Google News from using its content.

Accounting for 90 per cent of the country’s distribution, the ANJ consists of 154 newspapers across Brazil, which have followed the recommendations of the ANJ and barred Google from accessing their content.

Google News claims it increases traffic to these news sites that it gathers content from by bringing attention to their headlines. Users then go to the newspaper’s website to read the whole story.

“Staying with Google News was not helping us grow our digital audiences,” Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto, ANJ president, told the BBC.

Marcel Leonardi, Google’s public policy director, claims Google News generates “a billion clicks” to news websites around the world.

Where you can find out more: www.bbc.co.uk

Tensions continue to mount between Japan and China

China has begun conducting naval exercises in the East China Sea near some disputed islands.

Vessels from the marine surveillance and fisheries agencies are engaging in exercises for the purposes of “sharpening response to emergencies in missions to safeguard territorial sovereignty,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news.

The disputed islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Daioyu Islands in China, have been a source of tension since the Japanese government nationalized three of the islands that both countries claim sovereignty over. (More information on the causes for the dispute can be found in the Sept. 26 International Intonation.)

While both sides claim they want to resolve the situation peacefully, neither is backing down.

“On the issue of sovereignty, Japan cannot concede where it cannot concede,” Koichiro Gemba, Japan’s foreign minister, told the BBC.

Where you can find out more: www.bbc.co.uk

North Korea threatens military strike against South Korea

North Korea has issued a warning to South Korea that it will conduct a military strike in the event of an anti-Pyongyang demonstration.

South Korean activists have dropped anti-Pyongyang leaflets from hot air balloons across the border into North Korea. This has happened six times since Kim Jong-Un rose to power.

North Korea has threatened a “merciless military strike,” according to the North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency, in the event of any such activism.

South Korean defence minister Kim Kwan-Jim has promised retaliation if such an attack happens.

“The South is fully prepared to take out the source of the attack,” Kwan told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

Where you can find out more: www.guardian.co.uk