China Experiences Major Internet Outage; Cause Unclear
A major Internet outage in China has resulted in users being redirected to the website of a United States-based company that aims to circumvent Chinese web censorship.
Analysts are still unclear about what led to the issue, which lasted for several hours on Tuesday.
The government-run China Internet Network Information Center blamed the outage on a server malfunction. But the official Xinhua news agency reported the incident may have been caused by hackers.
Many of the millions of affected users were redirected to the site of Dynamic Internet Technology. The company sells anti-censorship tools to companies including the Falun Gong, a religious sect banned in China.
DIT, whose website is blocked in China, denied responsibility, suggesting the cause for the outage was on the Chinese end.
China blocks access to many overseas websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and most major foreign news outlets, viewing them as a threat to the Communist Party's grip on power.
Assad's Future Sparks Sharp Debate at Syrian Peace Conference
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's political future has been a divisive issue as delegations from more than 30 countries, the United Nations and Syria's warring sides meet for a long-awaited peace conference in Switzerland.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sharply criticized the Syrian government Wednesday, saying the country's crisis began as soldiers used "increasing force" against peaceful demonstrations. He said that because the government and opposition differ on Mr. Assad's fate, the Syrian leader cannot be a part of a mutually agreed transitional government.
"There is no way, no way possible in the imagination that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern."
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told Kerry that only Syrians have the right to choose their president. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also reiterated his country's stance that other nations should not have a say in Syria's affairs.