Dec 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment Co Ltd:
* SAYS CHAIRMAN SUN XINGHUA RESIGNS DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/2ESGRMp Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)
Dec 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment Co Ltd:
* SAYS CHAIRMAN SUN XINGHUA RESIGNS DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/2ESGRMp Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)
Europe's vaccine solidarity got a boost on Friday after France said it could emulate Italy's move to block coronavirus vaccine exports outside the European Union if that's what is needed to enforce the bloc's own contracts with drugs manufacturers. The European Union defended the Italian authorities' decision to stop a large shipment of doses destined for Australia as part of a longstanding feud with drug manufacturer AstraZeneca. The EU's executive arm said the decision was not targeting Australia but that it had been taken to ensure that AstraZeneca delivers the number of doses it committed to dispatching to EU countries.
Other methods that can also reduce risk of transmission must instead be used, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Santhara entered New Zealand while the country’s citizens were having trouble getting home. This article, How did Malaysian MP Edmund Santhara get into New Zealand? NZ’s COVID-19 rep wants to know, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
Myanmar's newly-appointed ambassador to the United Nations has resigned, saying that his predecessor -- who was fired by the military junta -- continues to represent the country, a UN spokesman said Thursday, the latest twist in a diplomatic row.
Queen Elizabeth II's 99-year-old husband Prince Philip has undergone a successful heart procedure, Buckingham Palace said Thursday, raising hopes for his recovery after a lengthy stay in hospital.
China has released footage of its military conducting joint landing drills in the disputed South China Sea, days after US reconnaissance operations and a Taiwanese exercise simulating a mainland Chinese attack on its reefs. Mainland China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent navy, army and marine corps and air force troops to take part in a war game around Triton Island, in the Paracel Islands, “to explore the tactics and methods of joint warfare”, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday. The Paracel Islands are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. The United States Navy’s vessels have conducted frequent “freedom of navigation” operations in the region, most recently last month.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The CCTV report showed several Type 726 “Wild Horse” air-cushioned landing craft sailing off a Type 071 amphibious transport dock and rushing onto a beach, each with a Type 96A main battle tank and fully armed marine corps soldiers on board. A Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate and a support ship kept guard off the coast, while an Su-30MKK fighter and an H-6K bomber provided air cover. In the scenario for the assault exercise, PLA marine corps troops landed from vessels and helicopters, then faced strong fire resistance before the army tank team sent vehicles forward and destroyed enemy bunkers. The report did not specify the time of the exercise, but said that it was conducted in recent days. It was broadcast after the PLA kicked off a month-long military exercise in the South China Sea on Monday, at a time when the United States has stepped up reconnaissance operations. The naval flotilla also practised training objectives including air defence, anti-missile operations, and helicopter take-off and landing at night, according to the TV report and PLA statements. South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflict According to monitoring data released by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank, the US sent reconnaissance aircraft – including an MQ-4C maritime reconnaissance drone, an EP-3E spy plane and an RC-135U strategic reconnaissance aircraft – to the South China Sea last week. It also sent the USNS Impeccable ocean surveillance ship to the region. The PLA video also came as Taiwanese armed forces carried out live-fire shooting exercises from the Pratas Islands (also known as the Dongsha Islands in Chinese) into its surrounding waters on Monday. Further such events are scheduled for next week and the end of this month, on Taiping Island. Both the Pratas Islands and Taiping are Taiwanese-controlled, with the former located in the north of the South China Sea, between Taiwan and the mainland island province of Hainan, and the latter further south, the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands. Taiwan’s exercises were planned annual training, according to the Taiwanese coastguard, “mainly to simulate the handling of intrusion by the PLA and Vietnamese ships”. As the relationship between Beijing and Taipei has become more tense, the PLA has stepped up its warnings to the self-ruled island, which the mainland government views as part of its territory.More from South China Morning Post:Beijing to Berlin: respect South China Sea sovereignty during frigate visitSouth China Sea: how the French navy is charting its own course between China and the USSouth China Sea: how the US Navy aims to better home in on targetsThis article Chinese military in South China Sea landing drill as Taiwan tension persists first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
A Singapore permanent resident who allegedly met his wife while serving his Stay-Home Notice, and spent hours in the car with her, was charged in the State Courts.
Philippine authorities have seized illegally harvested giant clam shells worth $3.3 million as smugglers turn to the endangered creatures as a substitute for the illicit ivory trade.
A top Hong Kong microbiologist has advised that elderly and chronically ill residents take the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine following the death of a Sinovac recipient, though a key government expert has said there is little evidence to suggest the mainland-produced jabs should be restricted by age. The debate emerged as the city recorded 11 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, taking the overall tally to 11,066, with 201 related deaths. Four of the cases were from untraceable sources, while three were imported. University of Hong Kong microbiology expert Ho Pak-leung said while it was clear the February 28 death of a man suffering from chronic illnesses was unrelated to the mainland-produced jab, publicly available information on the vaccines was not yet sufficient.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Ho said published third-phase data on Sinovac clinical trials involving the chronically ill and those aged 60 and above remained insufficient, noting that mainland authorities had recommended residents in those two groups not receive the shot yet. Asked on a radio show whether elderly people and such patients should pick BioNTech, he said: “If you strictly follow the data available and the drug label, that would be ideal.” He said more than 10 million people had already taken the BioNTech jab in the United States, Britain and Israel, making a mass amount of data available for the vaccine, which was jointly developed by German and US firms. “Overall, it’s very safe,” he said. “So if we work in accordance with the data available, then give clear advice about the two vaccines should be diverted [among various groups] there will not be information confusion,” he said. But Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at Chinese University and government pandemic adviser, noted the clinical study of Sinovac – which analysed more than 400 people aged above 60 years old – had determined its efficacy rate could still hit 51.1 per cent for the age group if the second shot was injected within 14 days. “Although the number of participants is small, there are signals that its efficacy rate is 51.1 per cent. So it’s hard to restrict them based on their ages,” said Hui, who is also a member of the expert advisory group on vaccines. “If there had been a need to direct residents to take specific shots, the advisory group would have suggested it.” He added that a phase-two clinical study of 350 people aged above 60 indicated that antibodies were developed at a reasonable level after two doses, too. Hong Kong’s vaccination scheme, under way since last Friday, currently provides only Sinovac shots, with the BioNTech version becoming available from next week. On Tuesday night, health authorities revealed the death of the 63-year-old, who had suffered shortness of breath two days after being vaccinated in late February, sparking concerns over the safety of the drugs. Vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new cases An expert committee monitoring the side effects of vaccines made a preliminary conclusion his fatality was not related to the Chinese-produced jab. In February, Director of Health Dr Constance Chan Hon-yee said two scientific committees under her department had reviewed trial data and decided those aged above 85 years, those who are bedridden or otherwise physically frail, and those with a fever would be advised not to get a BioNTech jab. A fact sheet on Sinovac from Hong Kong’s health department states that only 5.1 per cent of participants in the phase-three clinical trial conducted outside China were 60 years old or above, so the efficacy data for this group was insufficient. For this age category, health status and exposure risks should be considered before taking the jab, it said. But Ho said different doctors could have varying views as to the suitability of those aged 85 and above for vaccination, as the government’s explanation was not clear enough. He said a small number of people would need to seek advice from their doctors before inoculation, and suggested the government arrange consultations for them. “Most of the elderly and those living on a low income cannot afford [the fees for consultation]. So if the government doesn’t follow the Sinovac drug label for elderly people and chronically ill patients, it should arrange for some clinics to provide free consultation for these residents,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new Covid-19 casesCovid-19: China will have enough vaccine doses – convincing the public is the issue, experts sayThis article Coronavirus: top microbiologist recommends BioNTech vaccine for Hong Kong’s elderly, chronically ill; 11 new cases logged first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Some of China’s biggest and most affluent cities have introduced new administrative measures to stem runaway home prices, after a top banking regulator flagged concerns about a bubble in the domestic real estate market. Local authorities in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen imposed new market curbs on Wednesday, including a ban on flipping homes for a quick profit and more stringent qualification criteria for first-time buyers, according to notices published on their websites. The new measures added to steps over the past few months since authorities in August issued so-called three red lines on corporate leverage in the industry The move came a day after Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said he was concerned about the bubble in domestic real-estate prices, which could threaten China’s financial sector and economic stability.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “Many people buy homes not to live in, but to invest or speculate,” he said, likening the property market leverage to a “grey rhino” risk to the broader economy. “This is very dangerous.” Shanghai, the country’s commercial and financial hub, banned homeowners from reselling their new homes within five years, its housing watchdog said late on Wednesday. There were no restrictions on flipping them previously. Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province and home to some of the nation’s largest fintech groups, on the same day tightened rules on foreclosed homes. It stipulated that buyers must first be qualified to buy a residential home, before they are allowed to transact in such properties. In the past, buyers who have exhausted their quotas have turned to those homes foreclosed by lenders to skirt ownership restrictions, analysts said. In Shenzhen, new residential projects in the city dubbed China’s Silicon Valley have begun to adopt a points based scoring system to prioritise deserving first-time buyers and push back those already with existing homes. Among others, a person without home ownership or transaction record for more than 10 years in the city will be awarded 40 points, and those without a home but with past transaction history would receive 20 points. People with higher scores would be ahead in the queue for quota. “It is a very clear signal that a battle to curb runaway home prices in major cities has started on a national scale,” said Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based real estate think tank E-house China R&D Institute. “The government, from the top to local authorities, has been very determined,” he added. Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou’s economies were worth a combined 8.24 trillion yuan (US$1.3 trillion), accounting for about 8 per cent of national gross domestic product in 2020, according to government statistics. The three cities recorded home-price appreciation above the national average in 2020, according to a CBRE survey. Guo of the CBIRC is not the only official to galvanise the latest drive to rein in market excesses. Deputy housing minister Ni Hong also emphasised the matter during a visit to Hangzhou and Wuxi, also in eastern Jiangsu province. “The central government has highlighted solving home affordability issues in major cities as one of the major tasks,” Ni said, reiterating the state mantra that “homes are for living in, not for speculation”.More from South China Morning Post:Bad news for Shenzhen housing speculators as officials steer home prices below market levelsBeijing bank regulator orders crackdown on illegal property loansChina warns ‘side effects’ of US economic stimulus risk causing sharp market correctionChina’s tightening measures aimed at rooting out housing speculators end up hurting genuine buyersFour of China’s costliest cities scramble to knock a real estate bull run off its pace amid fear of risk and bubbling debtThis article Shanghai, Shenzhen lead China’s biggest cities in latest clampdown on housing market speculation after bubble warning first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats were hoping for Senate approval of the package before next week, in time for the House to sign off and get the measure to Biden quickly. Democratic leaders made over a dozen late additions to their package, reflecting their need to cement unanimous support from all their senators — plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — to succeed in the 50-50 chamber.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (5 March), taking the country's total case count to 60,007.
A woman who slapped an Indonesian domestic helper with so much force that it caused her nose to bleed was jailed for six months in Singapore.
The week that began with the former president in prison will end with a new president in power as Barcelona hope Sunday's elections can be a turning point for a club seemingly locked in crisis.
Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial for fraud would be “a triumph for the rule of law”, a Canadian government lawyer said at an extradition hearing for the Huawei Technologies Co. executive on Thursday in Vancouver, as he rejected claims that former US president Donald Trump and other politicians had irreparably tainted her legal proceedings. Meng’s defence team has depicted her as a pawn in a new cold war between the US and China, battling for supremacy over the field of 5G technology, in which Huawei is a key player. They say that the US bid to have her extradited from Canada to face trial in New York is poisoned and should be stayed, and that the case against her has been politicised, citing Trump’s 2018 claim that he would intervene to help strike a trade deal with China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. But government lawyer Robert Frater, representing US interests in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, ridiculed the argument. He told the Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that the defence characterisation of Trump’s remarks as “shocking, egregious, corrosive, poisonous” were “adjectives in search of facts to support”. He said that Trump’s remarks matched neither a dictionary nor case-law definition of what constituted a “threat”, and that if a case was to be made that the US prosecution was political, this was not for a judge to decide. Instead, that argument should be made to Canada’s minister of justice in the event that Holmes recommended that the extradition request be granted. The minister has the final say in whether to allow extraditions to proceed. Frater also said the argument about political interference is moot because Trump is no longer president. “Having these charges heard on their merits would be a triumph for the rule of law,” said Frater. Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians Government lawyer Robert Frater Meng’s lawyers have invested much time pointing out supposed weaknesses in the US case, he said, “but be that as it may, if she goes to trial and whether she is convicted or acquitted, justice is served.” Meng is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the country. On December 11, 2018, 10 days after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport, Trump was asked by the Reuters news agency if he would intervene in her case. He responded: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” Meng’s lawyers say HSBC ‘fully knew’ about Huawei’s Iran business Meng’s lawyers also cited comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 19, 2019, when he said, “The United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians” – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested by China days after Meng was detained. China has charged Kovrig and Spavor with espionage, but Canada says they are hostages. On Wednesday, Meng’s lawyer Richard Peck said Trump had “co-opted the extradition process in an attempt to leverage Ms Meng and her extradition status” to aid his trade war with China. He called the remarks “abhorrent” and an abuse of process. But Frater said Trump’s statements were insubstantial and “anodyne”, and US and Canadian political figures had since disavowed them. ‘Abhorrent’ Trump remarks take centre stage at Meng extradition hearing Meng’s application to stay proceedings because of the remarks “was based on the thinnest of evidence. That evidence only got worse over time … and our position is that the basis never existed,” Frater said. He added that “no pristine separation” could be made between politics and a prosecution, but it was Holmes’ job to ensure that politics did not intrude on the case. “Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … with respect, we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians,” said Frater. Another of Meng’s lawyers, Eric Gottardi, said afterwards that the defence had been “careful not to say … that the charges were politically motivated”. Instead, they argued that there had been an “inappropriate co-opting” of Meng’s prosecution by Trump. Arguing for the admission of an affidavit by an expert witness on US law, Michael Gottlieb, Gottardi said the testimony showed that Trump had displayed a “pattern of conduct” that amounted to inappropriate interference in prosecutions. Gottardi said Frater had tried to normalise Trump’s remarks about Meng’s case. But if the remarks were normal, “how does he explain the immediate reaction to those comments, from both side of the border,” said Gottardi, citing remarks by former Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and US officials. “Why, if they are not to be worried about, if they are anodyne?” Gottardi asked. Trudeau’s 2019 statement linking Meng’s case to a US trade deal, meanwhile, was not mitigated by others in which Canadian officials sought to separate the case from political considerations, Gottardi contended. “It’s a very troubling statement … my friend [Frater] says ‘you took one statement, and the rest of them are good, and one is bad’. Respectfully, this is really bad. And there’s no undoing the statement,” he said. In closing, Gottardi added: “This is [the] clearest of cases. And this court, in my submission, should dissociate itself and our entire system from what the [US] president proposed happen and our prime minister agreed [should happen].” The hearing was adjourned until Friday. Further hearings in the extradition case are expected to continue until mid-May. Appeals could continue for years. Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been living under partial house arrest in a C$13 million (US$10.3 million) Vancouver home while she fights extradition.More from South China Morning Post:‘Abhorrent’ remarks by Donald Trump take centre stage at Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearingMeng Wanzhou’s lawyers say HSBC ‘fully knew’ that Huawei controlled affiliates that did business in IranWill Joe Biden fix Canada’s broken relations with China? It’s about more than Meng WanzhouAfter weeks of courtroom drama, curtain falls on witness phase of Meng Wanzhou extradition battleCanada feared for safety of Macau-based witness who refuses to testify in Meng Wanzhou extradition caseThis article Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial would be ‘triumph for rule of law’, Canadian government lawyer says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Two women died of their injuries. This article, Driver in fatal Malaysian highway collapse was on meth: Police, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
The last man facing a non-capital charge in the fatal 2019 Orchard Towers brawl was jailed four years and nine months and given 12 strokes of the cane
Your favourite international buffet haunts may be closed during Phase 3 of post-Circuit Breaker, but a la carte buffet restaurants have reopened (yay!). Like most self-professed foodies in Singapore, the one thing that made everything feel better during Circuit Breaker was the fact that you […] The post 7 A La Carte Buffets To Enjoy During Phase 3 appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
The remains of a woman who went missing in the devastating 2011 Japan tsunami have been found and identified, police said Friday, days before the 10th anniversary of the disaster.
China is the biggest geopolitical challenge that United States faces in the 21st century, one that pales beside the likes of Russia or the Middle East, the US secretary of state said on Wednesday in an address outlining the Biden administration’s foreign policy priorities. If the US does not push back on China’s efforts to “trample democracy” and undercut human rights, Beijing will only become more emboldened, Blinken said in a video presentation from the State Department. “China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system,” he said. “Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength.” Blinken’s speech echoed a 23-page “interim national security strategic guidance” document released by Biden a few hours later designed to “provide direction to departments and agencies in advance of a new national security strategy, which we expect to release later this year,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. Blinken said the United States needed to turn a page and pursue a foreign policy that combines humility and confidence – not bluster and bullying – and shore up ties with allies, partners and multinational organizations to pursue its core interests. “Where we pulled back, China has filled in,” he said. “It requires standing up for our values when human rights are abused in Xinjiang or democracy is trampled in Hong Kong because if we don’t, China will act with even greater impunity.” In addition to those parts that mentioned China, major sections of the 30-minute speech also involved it implicitly. Antony Blinken confirmed as top US diplomat These included the need to share information quickly and completely on Covid-19 and future diseases – China has been harshly criticised for its lack of transparency – and the urgency of tackling global climate change; the importance of securing US leadership in technology; and the need to defend democracy. “Shoring up our democracy is a foreign policy imperative,” Blinken said. “Otherwise we play right into the hands of adversaries and competitors, like Russia and China, who seize every opportunity to sew doubts about the strength of our democracy.” “We shouldn’t be making their jobs easier.” The speech sought to draw a bright line between the style and substance of Biden’s foreign policy approach and the “America First” approach of former president Donald Trump. In contrast to Trump’s themes of xenophobia, closed borders, distrust of allies and scepticism toward institutions, Blinken focused on the need for collective global action and the importance of ensuring that American foreign policy benefited American workers. “Those of us who conduct foreign policy have not always done a good job connecting it to the American people,” he said. “Distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away. Our domestic renewal and our strength in the world are completely entwined.” Analysts said Blinken’s speech and the “strategic guidance” report served at least three objectives: to signal American resolve to China; to communicate to allies that China is a threat worthy of cooperation; and to avoid appearing weak on China to Republican critics. “The challenge for the administration is to develop a policy and diplomacy that treats China as a competitor but doesn’t demonise China and that doesn’t present the United States as an implacable adversary,” said Robert Ross, professor of political science at Boston College. One of the biggest global challenges facing the nation will be securing US leadership in technology, from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, at a time when the world’s leading powers are in a race for primacy, Blinken said. US must face artificial intelligence competition from China, report says But that technology will not be universally beneficial, he added. Some countries are keen on using it to intrude on individual liberty and privacy, he said, without explicitly mentioning China and Russia, making it incumbent on friends and partners to help create guardrails and strengthen defences. Blinken’s speech focused largely on challenges with China and made little mention of potential areas of cooperation. with China. In a separate press conference, however, State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed hope that Beijing could intercede in Myanmar, where the military staged a coup against the civilian government last month. “We are looking for China to play a constructive role in the restoration of civilian-led government in Burma,” Price said. Biden has referred to Beijing as America’s “most serious competitor” and his administration has indicated it will broadly continue the tough approach taken by Trump. A Pew Research survey in October found that 73 per cent of respondents in 14 industrialised countries saw China unfavourably – a double-digit rise over 2019 – China’s worst score ever. “Our combined weight is much harder for China to ignore,” Blinken said. That’s easier said than done, however. Many allies are distrustful of Washington after four years of being whipsawed by the Trump administration. Finding common ground is also challenging given disparate interests over national security, investment and 5G telecommunication issues. Anticipating Biden’s strategy, China has also stepped up efforts to divide, conquer and otherwise avoid being isolated, seen in December’s announced EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. Blinken said that diplomacy must come first and that Washington would not pursue “costly military interventions” to promote democracy. “We have tried these tactics in the past,” he added. “However well-intentioned, they haven’t worked.” Additional reporting by Jacob Fromer and Owen ChurchillMore from South China Morning Post:US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discusses China-related issues with fellow ‘Quad’ diplomatsAntony Blinken criticises China and Russia in interview, weighs new sanctions against North KoreaAntony Blinken, US secretary of state nominee, says Trump’s tough approach to China was right but tactics were wrongThis article Antony Blinken says China poses 21st century’s greatest geopolitical challenge first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.