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Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians in West Bank

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Ramallah, Dec 22 Israeli forces on Sunday arrested two Palestinians during their pre-dawn military raids in West Bank, Palestinian sources said.

The two men were arrested from Beit Ummar town near Hebron city, south of the West Bank, after Israeli forces stormed the town and searched homes of residents, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), which is a quasi-governmental body that provides legal aid to Palestinian prisoners, said that Mwafaq Arouq, a 77-year-old prisoner, who was diagnosed with cancer in July last year, was rushed to hospital after a serious deterioration on Sunday morning.

Arouq is a Palestinian resident of Israel. He is serving a 30-year sentence and has been imprisoned since 2003.

The PPS accused Israel of stalling time before providing the inmate with proper medical care, holding the Israeli prison authorities responsible for his life.

PPS Spokesperson Amani Sarahneh told Xinhua that 67 Palestinian prisoners have died while in Israel’s custody since 1967, and five of whom died in 2019.

At least 200 other prisoners are suffering serious or chronic diseases, added Sarahneh, warning that they are not receiving proper medical treatment.

Official Palestinian statistics say there are over 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including around 40 women.

World

Six French tourists among eight killed by gunmen in Nigeria

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PARIS, Aug 9 : Six French tourists were among a group of eight people killed by gunmen in Niger, AFP reported on Sunday, citing a local governor.

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China starts blocking HTTPS connections with encrypted SNI: Report

TLS 1.3 introduced Encrypted SNI (ESNI) that encrypts the SNI so that intermediaries cannot view it, said the report.

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Hacking

San Francisco, Aug 9 : In an update to its national censorship tool, known as the Great Firewall, China has reportedly started blocking HTTPS connections with Encrypted Server Name Indication.

The ban has been in place for over a week now, three organisations tracking Chinese censorship — iYouPort, the University of Maryland, and the Great Firewall Report – said this week in a joint report.

“We confirm that the Great Firewall (GFW) of China has recently begun blocking ESNI – one of the foundational features of TLS 1.3 and HTTPS,” said the report.

TLS is the foundation of secure communication on the web (HTTPS). It provides authenticated encryption so that users can know whom they are communicating with. It also ensures that an intermediary does not read or tamper with your information.

But even though TLS hides the content of a user’s communication, it does not always conceal with whom the user is communicating.

The TLS handshake (a process that kicks off a communication session) optionally contains a Server Name Indication (SNI) field that allows the user’s client to inform the server which website it wishes to communicate with.

Nation-state censors have used the SNI field to block users from being able to communicate with certain destinations, said that report, adding that China has long been censoring HTTPS in this manner.

TLS 1.3 introduced Encrypted SNI (ESNI) that encrypts the SNI so that intermediaries cannot view it, said the report.

The Great Firewall of China blocks ESNI connections by dropping packets from client to server, it added.

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World

Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong calls for resilience in face of economic downturn

The prime minister added that he is confident that Singaporeans will get through this current crisis, though it may take longer time.

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Lee Hsien Loong

Singapore, Aug 9 : Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday called for resilience in the face of severe economic downturn on the 55th National Day.

When delivering his National Day message, Lee said Singaporeans are understandably anxious and worried as business closures, retrenchments and unemployment are all likely to go up in the coming months, Xinhua news agency reported.

“But this is not the first economic crisis we have experienced,” he said. “Each time the outlook was ominous, and we feared the worst, but each time we worked hard to secure our position, gritted our teeth, and came through together.”

The prime minister added that he is confident that Singaporeans will get through this current crisis, though it may take longer time.

He said unity and resilience are needed more than ever. Many countries that had brought COVID-19 under control and eased restrictions see their cases rise sharply again, and this can happen to Singapore too despite all the precautions, he added.

Lee forecast that it will most likely take a year or two before a vaccine is widely available, and the threat of the virus is blunted. “Until then, we have to maintain our vigilance and resolve, to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours all safe,” he said.

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