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Political spam spikes ahead of the midterms

Photo: Schicke/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Political spam via calls, texts, emails and social media posts is rising, with more people looking to take advantage of minimal regulation and heightened interest around the midterms.

Why it matters: For years, people have complained about feeling inundated with political messaging during election seasons. But it's only getting worse now that new, unregulated technologies are being used more frequently by both campaigns and spam actors.

Europe’s North Korean defectors fear deportation to South Korea

Musselkanaal reception centre. Photo: Je Seung Lee/Al Jazeera

Gilze en Rijen, the Netherlands — There are hundreds of North Korean defectors living in Europe, many considering it safer for themselves and their families still in the North than either South Korea or the U.S.

Why it matters: "North Korea considers the U.S. and South Korea as enemies, while its view on Europe is more neutral,” says Jihyun Park, outreach officer at Connect to North Korea, an NGO that campaigns for the rights of North Korean defectors worldwide. Most defectors from North Korea are eventually offered South Korean citizenship, leading to some European countries deporting asylum seekers there. But right activists protest against this, saying North Koreans complain of discrimination in South Korea, which is ill-equipped to handle so many refugees.