Zhang Chongzhu, the pastor of the state-run Pyongyang Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church in Zhejiang province, China, was released on Monday after eight months in prison for protesting against the government's forced demolition of Christian crosses and churches.
China Aid reported that Zhang has frequently spoken out against the ongoing persecution of Christians in the country, with hundreds of rooftop crosses and churches being taken down by bulldozing crews at the orders of Communist Party officials. The government has argued that it is targeting places that violate its building codes, deeming rooftop crosses unsafe.
Zhang was reportedly taken into custody on Sept. 8, 2015, and charged with "stealing, spying, buying, or illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to entities outside China," which is a common accusation against those who challenge the Communist regime. more >>
On Monday, the Philippines started voting for its next president and ahead of the official declaration of results, frontrunner Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte has claimed victory over his opponents.
Local networks started releasing unofficial results and the figures suggest that Duterte might soon celebrate a landslide victory. Major TV station GMA Network unveiled partial numbers as of May 10, 2016, 1:00 PM PHT. Based on the numbers, Duterte is leading by 6 million votes.
According to The Guardian, the tough Davao City mayor said, "It's with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people." Before the elections started, two polls revealed that the Donald Trump-like presidential hopeful led his opponents by 11 percent. more >>
Singapore's City Harvest Church, which recently celebrated its 27th anniversary, has seen its membership numbers drop for yet another year amid the ongoing trial and eight-year prison sentence, pending appeal, for founder and Senior Pastor Kong Hee.
The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that CHC's congregation dropped to 16,482 in 2015, as seen in its annual report, which represents a 6 percent drop from 2014. The publication noted that church membership has been dropping ever since a criminal investigation against the church's leaders began in 2010.
Back in 2009, CHC's membership was up to 23,565, which means the megachurch has seen close to a third of its congregation leave. more >>
North Korea may be the most secretive and isolated country in the world, but everyone knows that its economy is failing due to the government's insistence of putting majority of its money for military build-up. But that may soon change, at least in theory, with the nation's leader's five-year economic plan unveiled in a speech made on Sunday.
The speech, per Reuters report, revealed something that hasn't been done for decades. The young leader also said that his country will "faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearization." He also surprisingly claimed that his country is open to "normalizing" ties with states that had been hostile to it. But if the country's sovereignty is threatened, he said that they will not hesitate in using nuclear weapons.
Just like his previous appearances to the public and his speeches, this one was aired exclusively on state television and was delivered to the audience of the congress of the Worker's Party. more >>
Following the criticisms that Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte received over the past weeks for his brash personality and rape joke, the Donald Trump-like candidate is looking to secure his spot in the Philippines' highest seat as voting officially started on Monday.
According to The Wall Street Journal, police estimates reveal that about 300,000 people thronged Manila on Saturday when Duterte held his final campaign rally. Previous polls also placed the 71-year-old city mayor on top of his opponents, with an 11-point lead.
Though some have questioned Duterte's stand on several issues that the government is faced with, he stood firm on his ground that criminals and drug dealers should be "butchered." He also urged the community to "forget the laws on human rights" as he is determined to eradicate crimes in the country within six months of his presidential reign in case he wins the election. more >>
When you put the new Huawei P9 smartphone beside an Apple iPhone 6s, you'll see for yourself that there is little difference between the two, at least in the aesthetics. The Chinese phone manufacturer is notorious for copying phone designs from leading counterparts, particularly Apple, but it certainly looks like they raised the bar this time.
According to Wired, the latest flagship phone from Huawei even has the same proprietary star-shaped security screw to that of the iPhone. Well, not only that, the same screw is situated in the exact same spot where the iPhone's screw is placed. The finish, design, and even the antenna bands are literally the same, the tech blog states.
Specs wise, everyone knows that the iPhone is built and designed by some of the best in the industry, so everyone else really is a step behind. But judging by the latest teardown from iFixit, it really is difficult to deny that the P9, which by the way sports a dual-camera feature at the back, nailed it when it comes to equaling the fanciness of its American counterpart. Both devices received a 7/10 repairability score, which should be deemed by Apple engineers as a threat to their dominance. more >>