Cyber Warriors — South Korea security experts believe North Korea has been training teams of tech-savvy “cyber warriors,” reports the Associated Press, as cyberspace becomes a heated battleground between the two countries. Students at North Korea’s top science schools are reportedly trained to become hackers, with some sent to study abroad in China and Russia. South Korea has blamed the North for six cyber attacks since 2009. Cyber warfare has been cited as being convenient for North Korea as it’s cheaper and faster than developing nuclear arms or other weapons and can be waged anonymously. “North Korea has nothing to lose in a cyber battle,” Kim Seeong-joo, a professor at Seoul-based Korea University’s Department of Cyber Defense, told the AP. “Even if North Korea turns out to be the attacker behind the broadcasters’ hacking [last week], there is no target for South Korean retaliation.”
Suicides in Bulgaria — Bulgaria’s interim government will announce a plan Monday to curb an epidemic of suicides, notes the New York Times. Experts have blamed poverty for the recent wave of suicides; in the past month, six men set themselves on fire as an act of protest against the country’s economic desperation. The average monthly wage in Bulgaria is $480, the lowest in the European Union. Late last month, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov resigned after nationwide protests over rising electricity costs, government corruption, and decreasing living standards.
Xi’s Africa Visit — China’s new president Xi Jinping arrived in Tanzania Sunday on the first stop of a tour of Africa, his first foreign trip since he was anointed president earlier this month, reports the Daily Telegraph. China is the second-largest foreign investor in Tanzania, notes the Telegraph, with stakes in agriculture, coal, iron ore, and infrastructure. On arriving in the country, Xi immediately signed 16 different trade, cultural and development accords, including improvements to Tanzania’s hospitals and ports and the building of a Chinese cultural centre. The visit is seen as further cementing China’s presence in the continent, notes the Telegraph. The tour will also see Xi attend an emerging economies summit in South Africa before concluding his trip in Congo-Brazzeville.
U.K. Immigration — British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to restrict access to welfare, housing and free health care for non-British people, reports the BBC, as political parties in the U.K. attempt to assure voters they understand rising fears over mass immigration. In a speech Monday, Cameron set out measures that will curb the rights of foreigners to claim unemployment benefits after six months, and restrict the access of foreigners, who are in the U.K. temporarily, to free healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS). He also announced that local governments will be expected to require at least two years’ local residence as qualification for social housing.
Venezuela Presidential Race — Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles said his campaign against interim president Nicolas Maduro is a spiritual battle of good versus evil, reports the AFP. Capriles, who is the Miranda state governor, is running against Maduro to succeed Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer this month, in elections to be held April 14. Campaigning officially begins on April 2, writes the AFP. But candidates have already started courting votes in a pre-campaign filled with confrontation and religious connotations. Capriles, who lost to Chavez in last October’s elections, also criticized the ruling party for using the late president’s image to bolster the hand-picked Maduro, notes the AFP.