Republican lawmakers signaled Sunday that Democrats will have a fight on their hands to secure the conviction of Donald Trump when the Senate next month opens its first-ever impeachment trial of a former president.
Two top Brazilian indigenous leaders have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for "crimes against humanity", accusing him of unprecedented environmental damage, killings and persecution.
As the Chinese saying goes: for every measure from above, there will always be a countermeasure from below.That may explain why, for many years, despite local governments’ bests effort to cool off the overheating property market in major Chinese cities, resourceful residents have always found a way to beat the system.One example is the administrative orders limiting the number of homes one family can own, which varying from city to city. In Shanghai, for instance, a person with a hukou, or permanent residency, can buy two properties at most, and those without can only buy one.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.But no matter what the quota is, there has been one glaring loophole: to become eligible for a first-time homebuyer scheme, many couples divorce, which allows the spouse without any property to snap up a new one, before remarrying.Now the authorities are striking back.The government in Shanghai, China’s biggest city, where home prices recently set records, has rolled out a new policy to curb the use of sham divorces to cash in on the property market. Guangzhou clamps down on homeowners colluding to inflate home pricesAccording to a directive issued by the Shanghai government, from January 22, the home ownership history of would-be homebuyers who have been divorced for less than three years will be subject to scrutiny.In practice, this means the newly divorced will not be allocated a home purchase quota and cannot benefit from preferential mortgage rates offered to first-time buyers.In the past, once someone divorced, the home-ownership and mortgage records from their previous marriage was expunged. Many couples have taken advantage of this rule and resorted to fake divorces so they can buy an extra home.Over the past two decades, home ownership has become the most important investment for Chinese families, and this trick – and the increase in demand it generated – helped fuel soaring home prices in China.Shanghai’s latest directive, which includes a number of other measures to stabilise the property market, is in line with the principle advanced several years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping that “homes are for people to live in, not for speculation”.In Beijing, people are known to have married and divorced multiple times just to get vehicle licence plates, as the government has strict limits on the number of licence plates it issues to reduce smog and congestion in the Chinese capital.A driver who needs a plate marries someone who owns one, has it transferred to their name, and the two then divorce. Local police has been cracking down on this illegal trade. It detained 166 people in November.Amid rapid urbanisation, fake marriages have become a common as a way to cheat the system. Couples, for instance, get more financial compensation than sole owners if the residential building they live in is earmarked for demolition.Last year, police in Zhejiang province, eastern China, arrested 11 members of an extended family who married and divorced each other 23 times in a fortnight to cash in on an urban renewal project when their village was earmarked for demolition. This entitled 13 more of them to claim a government payout than woud otherwise have been the case.More from South China Morning Post: * Shanghai changes rules to stop couples from faking divorces as they vie for less up-front money to buy residential property * More Chinese cities ease residency rules to boost local economies * China’s average home price rises for 33rd month, defying bank regulator’s warning of ‘grey rhino’ spillover risksThis article Sham marriages and divorces are common in China to beat limits on home and vehicle ownership – no wonder Shanghai has cracked down first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated the need to fight corruption if the country is to achieve its economic and political goals.Speaking on Friday at the annual conference of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), Xi said the threat of corruption remained serious, and promised to get tough on Communist Party officials who feigned loyalty while engaging in corrupt activities.“As the biggest risk threatening the party’s governance, corruption still exists,” state media quoted him as saying.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“The struggle between corruption and anti-corruption efforts will continue to exist for a long period to come,” he said.“[We must] thoroughly implement the principle of exercising strict governance over the party and maintain the political orientation … to ensure the development goals and tasks of the 14th five-year plan are fulfilled.”The situation was “severe and complex”, he said, adding that political and economic issues were becoming intertwined. Ex-chairman of China Huarong Asset Management sentenced to death for briberyXi has been fighting an anti-corruption campaign since taking office in 2012. His efforts led to the demise of party heavyweights like ex-security tsar Zhou Yongkang, former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai and close aide of former president Hu Jintao, Ling Jihua.State media accused all three not only of making illicit financial gains but also forming cliques against the party leadership.Xi also urged regulatory bodies and other authorities to tighten oversight and governance in the financial sector.Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of state-owned financial company China Huarong Asset Management, was sentenced to death at the start of the year after being found guilty of taking and seeking bribes worth almost 1.8 billion yuan (US$277 million).The CCDI said in December that 32 officials at the provincial or ministerial level were investigated last year. In the first 11 months of 2020, 1,229 fugitives were returned to China to face charges and more than 2.4 billion yuan in ill-gotten gains was retrieved, it said. China’s Communist Party warns cadres it’s on the corruption warpathXie Maosong, a political scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said officials were not only taking cash bribes but engaging in different kinds of corruption.“For example, it could be equity, and the person may not hold the shares himself. That form of bribery is not as simple as before and it’s not easy to investigate,” he said.“Financial security is an important part of national security. If financial risk can’t be controlled, it will threaten economic security and may threaten political security.”More from South China Morning Post: * China jails former China Development Bank chief Hu Huaibang for life for graft * Ex-chairman of China Huarong Asset Management sentenced to death for bribery * Former head of China’s aircraft carrier programme expelled from Communist Party over corruption claims * Chinese court jails former Yunnan Communist Party boss Qin Guangrong for seven years for briberyThis article Chinese President Xi Jinping says corruption remains biggest threat to Communist Party first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Rafa Benitez abruptly left as coach of Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro on Saturday, saying it was for family reasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States' commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid", the State Department said late Saturday, as it warned that China's "attempts to intimidate" the island are a threat to regional peace.
Edmund Tie & Co announced on 18 Jan that it is pleased to announce the launch of a District 9 freehold residential block for sale by tender. Edmund Tie is the sole marketing agent for the three freehold residential buildings 2, 4 and 6 Mount Emily Road. 100% of the owners have given consent to the [&hellip The post District 9 freehold residential block for sale at guide price of $18m appeared first on iCompareLoan Resources.
A former CIA software engineer charged with leaking government secrets to WikiLeaks says it's cruel and unusual punishment that he's awaiting trial in solitary confinement, housed in a vermin-infested cell of a jail unit where inmates are treated like “caged animals." Joshua Schulte, 32, has asked a Manhattan federal judge to force the federal Bureau of Prisons to improve conditions at the Metropolitan Correction Center, where he has been held for over two years under highly restrictive conditions usually reserved for terrorism defendants. In court papers Tuesday, Schulte maintained he is held in conditions “below that of impoverished persons living in third world countries.”
The tiny clinking vials supervised by silent PPE-wearing technicians belie the excitement inside the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, a major player in the fight against coronavirus.
Manchester City were given a huge FA Cup scare by fourth-tier Cheltenham before a late blitz gave them a 3-1 win on Saturday after Southampton dumped holders Arsenal out of the competition.
The success of the French crime series "Lupin" on Netflix, riding on the heels of hit Spanish show "Money Heist," may hint at a waning of US dominance on the small screen as ambitious European, Latin American and South Korean players kick down the doors on streaming platforms.
Britain is expanding a coronavirus vaccination program that has seen more than 6 million people get the first of two doses — even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that three-quarters of the U.K.’s over-80s have received a vaccine shot. Health officials aim to give 15 million people, including everyone over 70, a first vaccine shot by Feb. 15, and cover the entire adult population by September.
A Chinese city has brought 2,600 temporary treatment rooms online as the country’s north battles new clusters of coronavirus. The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed 48 new cases of COVID-19 infection – all imported – in Singapore as of noon on Sunday (24 January).
Thousands of people in Brazil protested on Saturday against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, on the anniversary of the Chinese city of Wuhan beginning its 76-day lockdown.
London will enjoy a very strong year for stock market flotations, analysts say, arguing that both Brexit and coronavirus offer firms a unique opportunity to expand.
SpaceX on Sunday launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a record number of satellites on board, the private space company said.
Memory Makers: In a new series, Yahoo News Singapore talks to a man who shoots photographs 19th century style.
An 18-year-old woman has been arrested for her suspected involvement in cheating cases in which victims paid for "nude materials" they did not receive.
Brazil's newly launched vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has gotten off to a late and rocky start -- as the country is hammered by a second wave of the disease, it is already close to running out of vaccine, syringes and other vital equipment, according to scientists who blame the government of Jair Bolsonaro.