A month after his knockout victory over American Stipe Miocic in Las Vegas, Cameroonian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou makes a triumphant return to the capital Douala.
A month after his knockout victory over American Stipe Miocic in Las Vegas, Cameroonian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou makes a triumphant return to the capital Douala.
Social media has been his weapon of choice for battling Republican dissidents, but Donald Trump is seeking to tighten his iron grip on the party even after a ruling Wednesday extending his ban on Facebook.
Upset that a police officer who was supposedly shouting at him for being near a police operation, a lawyer shouted back, claiming that he was an officer of the Supreme court and that he was "bigger" than the police officer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday dismissed an advisory panel of doctors' ranking of Covid vaccines according to safety, saying Canadians should take whichever jab is offered to them first.
A group seeking election to the student union of Hong Kong’s oldest university has revealed it plans to adopt a more discreet approach to political issues under the shadow of the national security law, striking a balance between staying true to its values and avoiding the legislation’s pitfalls. “Defiance”, the sole contenders to run the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) student union, also pledged on Tuesday to be more cooperative following management’s decision last week to cut off services to the body, which came two weeks after Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily described it as a “malignant tumour”. HKU on Friday said the intervention was necessary as it accused the student union in recent years of using the campus to spread “propaganda” and make “inflammatory and potentially unlawful public statements and unfounded allegations against the university”.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. The university’s sidelining of the union – which is independently registered under the Societies Ordinance – includes reasserting control over the body’s facilities, cutting off its access to financial services and stopping the collection of dues on its behalf. The management’s approach sparked fury among some students and alumni, who organised petitions against the decision. Grilled by fellow students on Tuesday ahead of the by-election being held between May 24 and 28, the proposed student cabinet Defiance said it wanted to “strike a balance between freedom of speech and legal risks”. The four-member group was asked about its stance on HKU management’s moves last week, as well as its take on sensitive political issues. They earlier described the HKU intervention as “drawing a clear line of demarcation with the [student] union”, but told the consultation session they hoped at this stage to show “goodwill” to the administration. University of Hong Kong cuts off services to student union over ‘propaganda’ “That does not mean we are backing down on our values,” said presidential hopeful Kwok Wing-ho, adding it would still “exhaust every way to protect [and ensure] that the student union can still manage the [facilities it previously controlled]”. The union’s 68-page campaign booklet referred to “dwindling freedom of speech and imminent suppression” faced by HKU’s student union. The manifesto added the risks surrounding students taking part in union activities were unprecedented, with the body “facing the grimmest challenges it has ever seen”. The candidates also said they planned to handle political issues more discreetly, although they pledged to “speak out against injustice” in their campaign booklet. “We will [for instance] issue statements on important issues,” Kwok said. As examples, he pointed to HKU severing ties with the union last week and Beijing’s sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, which include cutting the number of directly elected seats in the legislature. One student asked the group if it would arrange a screening of Inside the Red Brick Wall – a documentary featuring a 13-day stand-off between protesters and police at Polytechnic University at the height of the 2019 anti-government protests – even if HKU management disapproved of such an event. The aspirant cabinet said would consider doing so in venues outside the university, but would also consider the legal risks. “We will not actively hold [activities] that would risk breaching the law. We would also seek legal advice,” he said. “We have to strike a balance between legal risks and freedom of speech, such that students’ safety [as participants] can be eventually protected.” Kwok added: “We are neither lawyers, judges nor national security officers, so we cannot know for sure what may or may not break the law. But we have to resign [to the fact] that authorities have already declared certain phrases and slogans as unlawful.” Most of Hong Kong’s eight public universities have been left without popularly elected student unions this year, with some young people deterred from putting themselves forward for election for fear of falling foul of the national security law. Only PolyU’s student union is still operating after being elected by their peers in February. In March, Chinese University’s popularly elected student union cabinet resigned on the same day as taking office, shortly after school management severed ties with the student body over concerns its pre-election manifesto could be in violation of the national security law, which was imposed last June and bans acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. University management also accused the union of “exploiting” the campus for their political agenda.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong protests: Civil Human Rights Front refuses to cooperate with police investigation into its activitiesHong Kong protests: students say lifetime ban on teacher over ‘biased’ materials unfair and disproportionateThis article National security law: University of Hong Kong student union hopefuls plan cautious approach to avoid flouting Beijing-decreed legislation first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Pentagon said Wednesday it is following the trajectory of a Chinese rocket expected to make an uncontrolled entry into the atmosphere this weekend, with the risk of crashing down in an inhabited area.
US President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday announced its support for a global waiver on patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines, and will negotiate the terms at the WTO.
Rafael Nadal began his bid for a sixth Madrid Open title in simple fashion on Wednesday, easing past youngster Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 to reach the last 16.
A Malian woman who gave birth to nonuplets in Morocco is "doing well" and her nine babies are being treated in incubators because of their weight, the Moroccan clinic where she delivered said Wednesday.
Police are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out in a Hong Kong residential block on Wednesday, sending a woman to hospital and forcing more than 30 to flee from their homes. Emergency personnel were sent to the six-storey building on Canton Road in Mong Kok at 12.08am when a first-floor flat burst into flames. No one was inside the flat at the time, according to police. Dense smoke billowed out from the burning flat, spreading to the staircases and forcing 32 tenants to flee the building.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. According to the Fire Services Department, 12 fire engines and two ambulances were deployed to the scene. “Firefighters had to break through the door to enter the flat and fight the blaze with two water jets,” its spokeswoman said. Four family members, including 2-year-old girl, killed in blaze She said the flat was packed with piles of sundry items and firefighters spent more than two hours battling the flames. A search was also carried out inside the flat to ensure no one was trapped. Two female tenants inhaled smoke while fleeing from the building and complained of feeling unwell. One of them, aged 40, was sent conscious to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment. The other one was treated at the scene. The spokeswoman said initial investigation found nothing suspicious about the cause of the fire, and the case had been handed over to police. A police spokesman said some accelerant substances were found at the scene and officers were investigating the cause of the blaze. There were two cases of deadly fire in the city over a stretch of four days last month. On April 16, a 47-year-old woman, her two daughters and granddaughter were killed in a fire at their flat in Kwun Tong. The woman’s husband was also critically injured. Fatal fire at Hong Kong housing estate leaves one dead, one injured Police said a lithium battery in an electric massage chair in the flat was suspected to have overheated, causing the piece of furniture to burst into flames. The fire department said a task force had been set up to investigate the cause of the blaze. On April 19, a 70-year-old man suffered serious burns while trying to put out a fire that broke out in his Sham Shui Po flat. He died in hospital the next day.More from South China Morning Post:Fatal fire at Hong Kong housing estate leaves one dead, one injuredFour family members, including 2-year-old girl, killed in Hong Kong housing estate blaze after massage chair catches fireThis article Police investigating cause of midnight blaze in Hong Kong residential block first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The fate of the European Union’s investment deal with China fell further into doubt after an EU spokeswoman was forced to deny a report on Tuesday saying it had suspended the treaty’s passage to ratification. The French news agency AFP quoted EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis as saying in an interview: “We have … for the moment suspended some efforts to raise political awareness on the part of the Commission because it is clear that in the current situation, with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions, including against members of the European Parliament, the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement.” AFP’s Twitter feed used the headline “#BREAKING EU suspends efforts to ratify China investment deal: commissioner”, sparking debate among EU-China watchers, trade analysts and others on the social media network.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. But an EU spokeswoman said Dombrovskis’s comments had been taken out of context. In a written statement, the EU said: “The agreement needs to be now legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process of the [deal] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship.” It continued: “In this context, Chinese retaliatory sanctions targeting members of the European Parliament, and an entire parliamentary committee, are unacceptable and regrettable. The prospects for … ratification will depend on how the situation evolves.” The deal needs to be approved by the parliament but also the EU Council, which is made up of all 27 heads of state, before it can becomes law. Chinese sanctions leave investment deal with EU on the rocks With dozens of members of the European Parliament being sanctioned by China in March in response to low-level EU sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it seems unlikely to get the votes required in 2022. Nonetheless, the depth of the opposition to the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) could be seen in the reaction to the suggestion that the EU was ready to kill it before it reached the parliament. “Considering the frenzied lobbying of multinationals and the German government for the CAI, it’s a huge victory!” tweeted Raphael Glucksmann, a French MEP sanctioned by China in March. Hannah Neumann – a German MEP and a vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, the entire membership of which was sanctioned – said that regardless of whether Dombrovskis had spoken out of context, the parliament would vote to take the decision out of the commission’s hands in a motion that would see all debate on the CAI frozen until sanctions are lifted. “There will be a resolution in parliament in the May session. Given the debate we had in plenary and earlier, in the human rights committee, I see a majority to put the CAI ‘in the freezer’, meaning not to deal with it, as long as China upholds its sanctions against elected members of parliament as well as the human rights committee,” Neumann told the South China Morning Post. China, meanwhile, has been urging EU leaders to make faster progress on the treaty. EU lawmakers vow to kill China investment deal over Beijing’s sanctions In a readout of a call between President Xi Jinping and German and French counterparts, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Chancellor Angela Merkel had remarked that “she hopes that with joint efforts from both sides, the EU-China investment agreement will take effect at an early date”. These or similar words were absent from the German readout. Antoine Bondaz, a China analyst with the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, said that China’s sanctioning of MEPs had sealed the deal for the investment deal, which he believed would not pass. “China brilliantly succeeded in doing what it feared the most: to make China an object of an European political debate and above all to unite the different political sensitivities among themselves,” Bondaz said.More from South China Morning Post:China tops agenda as G7 foreign ministers meet in LondonEU aims to cut reliance on China for chips and pharmaceutical materialsChina-EU relations: why Beijing may not want to let Xinjiang sanctions undermine investment dealThis article EU denies it has suspended efforts to ratify China investment deal first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts.
Malaysia’s Disney+ will cost RM54.90 every three months. This article, Disney to launch ‘Hotstar’ streaming service in Malaysia in June, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
At least 10 COVID-19 cases of the Indian variants have been detected in Singapore's community, with half linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, including the 46-year-old Filipino nurse who is fully-vaccinated.
Thousands of Shiite Muslim devotees –- many not wearing masks -- gathered in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore for a religious procession on Tuesday, fanning fears about the spread of the coronavirus after similar crowds were blamed in neighbouring India for its own surge.
The United States should prepare for the possibility that its strategy to rally allies to confront China may not succeed in pressuring Beijing to alter its behaviour, the White House’s top Asia official said on Tuesday. One abiding belief held by China analysts was that the Chinese government would alter course if it faced opposition from a front of other countries, said Kurt Campbell, who serves as the Indo-Pacific coordinator on the Biden administration’s National Security Council. “I believe that there is some hope for that, but at the same time I do believe that Chinese foreign policy is in the midst of a substantial evolution,” Campbell said during a discussion event hosted by the Financial Times.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “It’s entirely possible that in some circumstances they will simply double down and that they will not backtrack,” he said. “And I think we have to recognise that some elements of our playbook may require revision.” As the Biden administration has formulated its nascent China policy, senior officials have repeatedly highlighted the need to bolster partnerships with allies to confront Beijing, distancing themselves from the go-it-alone approach of the previous administration. In the new administration’s first three months, the push for multilateralism has brought coordinated sanctions with allies against Beijing over its treatment of ethnic minority groups in China’s far west; a rare joint statement from Tokyo and Washington regarding the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait; and a G7 session this week dedicated entirely to the challenges posed by Beijing. Yet Chinese officials have shown little sign of bowing to the mounting pressure, instead issuing their own retaliatory sanctions, dismissing criticism as interference in China’s internal affairs, and using a bilateral meeting in Alaska to chastise US diplomats in front of the cameras over their claims to occupy a “position of strength”. Speaking on Tuesday, Campbell did not suggest that a refusal by Beijing to change course in the face of an international front meant the policy was not worth pursuing. Rather, he said, a coordinated approach would help the US and allies to better defend their interests should China continue to rebuff their grievances. “The reason that we work together with other countries is not simply about the hope that China will change course, but [is also] for the goal of working with other countries in and of itself,” Campbell said. “It leads to greater resiliency: we may need to work more closely together if we face, in some circumstances, an implacable set of circumstances with regard to China.” Campbell’s remarks come as the Biden administration wades through an inter-agency review of its China policy, touching on matters ranging from defence to the suite of tariffs on Chinese imports – a legacy of the Trump administration. What is going on in Xinjiang and who are the Uygur people? Top US officials have publicly expressed the belief that the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping is pursuing an increasingly authoritarian agenda, be that domestically, in the Indo-Pacific region or in multilateral forums such as the United Nations. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent CBS interview that Beijing was “acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad”, while US President Joe Biden last week described Xi as an autocrat who was “deadly earnest about [China] becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world”. The prospect of a Chinese government increasingly defiant of international pressure came as Xi chose to surround himself with a smaller number of loyalists, said Campbell, a long-time China expert who previously served as Barack Obama’s top diplomat overseeing East Asian and Pacific affairs. Xi had moved China’s governance away from a model of collective leadership towards a scenario in which he would listen to the counsel of three to seven advisers, according to Campbell, who said: “He is a person who likes to be reaffirmed in his views.” Asked about any plans for Biden to convene a face-to-face meeting with Xi, Campbell suggested that such an event was a way off. “We want to make sure that the set of circumstances domestically in the United States are appropriate before we undertake some of the things that we’re contemplating [regarding China] as we go forward,” he said. The Biden administration’s early approach to handling relations with Beijing – keeping in place many of the Trump administration’s unilateral policies while fortifying partnerships with like-minded nations – represented “the worst of all worlds” for Beijing, said Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Despite the double-pronged approach, it would be “very difficult” to get China to change course on issues surrounding Hong Kong and Xinjiang, said Economy, speaking alongside Campbell at the Financial Times event. But that could change if an increasing number of countries in the Middle East and Africa began to join the international outcry over China’s actions in Xinjiang, according to Economy. “It’s easiest for China to push back against this when it’s just the United States or even just the United States and sort of the advanced democracies” because Beijing can frame such opposition as “an effort by the US to contain China in some way”, she said. Additional reporting by Robert DelaneyThis article US efforts to rally allies may not sway China, says Joe Biden’s top Asia official first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
American warplanes were backing Afghan forces against a major Taliban offensive in the south of the country even as the US military pressed on with a troop withdrawal, officials said Wednesday, but insurgents still captured a northern district.
An administrator of a Telegram chat group which shared pornographic images pleaded guilty on Tuesday (4 May) to his charge of circulating obscene images in order to keep his account active.
An SMRT train captain who videoed himself sleeping inside what appears to be a moving MRT cockpit has been disciplined and is no longer working at the company, said the head of the train operator on Tuesday (4 May).
FYI: Non-practicing Muslims exist in Malaysia This article, The woes of four non-practicing Muslims in Malaysia during Ramadan, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
Last year, as China’s economy started to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, Ding Yi saw export orders take off. Ding, who runs a factory making stainless steel strips in the city of Wuxi in eastern Jiangsu Province, even invested in new equipment while demand was good. But with commodity prices now above pre-pandemic levels, the businessman is starting to feel anxious again.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We tried to find new suppliers, but every supplier was raising prices,” he said. “Then we raised the prices of our products instead, but our downstream suppliers could not accept it. “Now we are stuck in a stalemate.” Profits at China’s industrial firms nearly doubled in March from a year ago as both foreign and domestic demand surged along with the economic recovery. But the sharp rise in demand from China and developing countries has had the knock on effect of boosting demand for raw materials, eating into those profits. Small private-sector manufacturers like Ding, whose profit margins were thin to begin with, are left with no choice but to try to pass the spike in raw material costs on to consumers. China’s home appliance industry, where analysts say raw materials can account for more than 60 per cent of costs, announced late last year it would increase prices, with a number of leading brands jacking up prices again in the first quarter of this year. In its semi-annual Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank forecast energy prices to be on average more than one-third higher this year than in 2020, with oil around $56 a barrel. Metal prices are expected to increase 30 per cent and agricultural prices to rise almost 14 per cent. “Global growth has been stronger than expected so far and vaccination campaigns are under way, and these trends have buoyed commodity prices. However, the durability of the recovery is highly uncertain,” said Ayhan Kose, World Bank group acting vice-president for equitable growth, finance and institutions, and director of the prospects group. “Emerging market and developing economies, both commodity exporters and importers, should strengthen their short-term resilience and prepare for the possibility of growth losing momentum.” In China, economic activity is still robust and is likely to remain so in the near-term, with both the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices in April above 50, the level that separates growth from contraction. But analysts say growth has likely peaked or is close to doing so after expanding at 18.3 per cent year on year in the first three months. Ding invested 100 million yuan (US$15.4 million) in new equipment and projects last year as orders increased, even though he knew demand would slow as the vaccination roll-out gathered pace in the West. “I know what we are doing, but I also sensed that a lot of our counterparts who massively increased investment last year did not realise this order surge would not last,” Ding said. He added supply, supported by the new capacity, would outweigh demand in the second half of the year, when there will be “wailing wind and weeping rain” for many firms. The price of some raw materials like iron ore and copper have surged to all time highs this year amid a post-coronavirus recovery in many countries around the world, said Tony Sycamore, APAC market analyst at City Index. China’s Politburo targets economic risks to ensure post-pandemic recovery “In China, a lot of fiscal stimulus projects are centred around infrastructure, which requires a lot of steel,” he said. “The key inputs for steelmaking is iron ore and coking coal.” In the first quarter, China imported 283 million tonnes of iron ore – about 60 per cent of which was from Australia – to record an increase of 8 per cent year on year. The import price for iron ore averaged US$150.79 per tonne, up 64.51 per cent from a year earlier, according to China Iron and Steel Association. Surging iron ore prices have pushed up domestic steel prices, too. In the final week of April, the steel price index rose to 148.88 points, up 24.36 points from the end of last year. We now hope the government will increase investment in infrastructure construction to spur consumption Ding Yi China started to scrap import tariffs on certain steel products and raw materials from May 1 to secure more steel resources and curb iron ore consumption amid skyrocketing prices. It also temporarily exempted some primary steel products from import tariffs and hiked export tariffs for ferroalloys and high-purity pig iron to reduce exports and increase domestic supply. Authorities also cancelled export tax rebates for 146 steel products at the beginning of the month in another blow to exporters. “Our annual revenue is expected to be slashed by millions of yuan at least after the export tax rebate is cancelled,” Ding said. “We now hope the government will increase investment in infrastructure construction to spur consumption, so manufacturers can get through this difficult time.”More from South China Morning Post:China’s economic growth may have ‘peaked’, will ‘wane’ for rest of 2021 after April sentiment slowdownChina population: coronavirus pandemic fuels decline in migrant labourers amid fears about ageing workforceChina digital currency: could backing bitcoin as an investment help promote its sovereign digital currency?China unlikely to certify Boeing 737 MAX to fly again any time soon, analysts sayAsia’s finance chiefs in united call to help Covid-hit economiesThis article China’s small manufacturers endure ‘difficult time’ as surging raw material prices drive up costs first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.