Colombia recorded 420 deaths from Covid-19 on 19 April 2021, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic broke out 13 months ago, says Colombian President Ivan Duque.
Colombia recorded 420 deaths from Covid-19 on 19 April 2021, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic broke out 13 months ago, says Colombian President Ivan Duque.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (6 May) confirmed 18 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,286.
Jeff Bezos sold about US$2.5 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, his first big disposal this year.
US defence contractor Honeywell has been fined US$13 million for harming national security after sharing technical information about American fighter jets and other military aircraft with China and other countries. The US State Department said on Monday it had reached a settlement with the company on 34 charges relating to 71 drawings it shared with Beijing, Taiwan, Canada and Ireland between 2011 and 2015. The documents included the specifications of parts for the F-35 joint strike fighter, B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber and F-22 fighter aircraft, as well as gas turbine engines and other military electronics.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 US government reviewed copies of the 71 drawings and determined that exports to and retransfers in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] of drawings for certain parts and components for the engine platforms for the F-35 joint strike fighter, B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber and F-22 fighter aircraft harmed US national security,” the charging document said. The State Department said it would not debar Honeywell because it voluntarily disclosed its alleged violations. Honeywell said it “inadvertently shared” the technology during “normal business discussions” but “no detailed manufacturing or engineering expertise was shared”. “Since Honeywell voluntarily self-reported these disclosures, we have taken several actions to ensure there are no repeat incidents,” the State Department said. “These actions included enhancing export security, investing in additional compliance personnel and increasing compliance training.” The settlement showed “the department’s role in strengthening US industry by protecting US-origin defence articles, including technical data, from unauthorised exports” and highlighted the “importance of obtaining appropriate authorisation from the department for exporting controlled articles”, it said. Taiwan vows to defend itself after Yoshihide Suga qualifies Japan’s stance Honeywell was the target of Chinese sanctions over its arms sales to Taiwan under the Donald Trump administration in 2019. The company has been expanding its presence in China. In 2003, it moved its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Singapore to Shanghai, and in 2017 paid US$100 million for the land on which the property was built. In February, Honeywell was awarded a contract with Chinese firm Sepco Electric Power Construction Corp to supply telecommunications and security systems for the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services, a shipyard in Saudi Arabia.More from South China Morning Post:How next-generation technology could allow US to fight off mainland Chinese invasion of TaiwanTaiwan vows to defend itself after Yoshihide Suga qualifies Japan’s stanceChina’s military commanders come under attack for outdated trainingUS welcomes China’s peacekeepers in Africa but wary of Beijing’s military inroadsThis article Honeywell fined US$13 million for sharing military specs with China first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Prison authorities have barred the detained former leader of Hong Kong’s biggest opposition party from attending his father’s funeral and offered to live-stream the ceremony for him instead, triggering a furious response from the family. The Democratic Party’s Wu Chi-wai, currently in custody awaiting three separate trials, had earlier requested permission to pay tribute to his father – who died last month – in person on Friday. A former lawmaker, the 58-year-old has been charged under the Beijing-imposed national security law as well as two other criminal offences.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. Rejecting media reports the decision was politically motivated, the Correctional Services Department said subsidiary legislation required officials to take into account factors such as security risks, possible escape routes and the charges involved when processing such requests. After the funeral’s details were reported, the spokesman said, online calls were issued for members of the public to show up and lend their support. “After a risk assessment, the Correctional Services Department has decided to reject the application to protect the safety of correctional officers, the person in custody and members of the public,” the spokesman said. However, the department said it was sympathetic to Wu’s situation and had therefore decided to allow him to watch a live stream of the funeral. Wu’s party colleague, Albert Ho Chun-yan, revealed Wu had offered to be handcuffed and wear prisoner clothes so he could be present for the ceremony, and was prepared to stay for just five minutes. “This is really inappropriate and inhumane,” Ho said of the department refusing Wu’s application. In a separate statement, the party said that prison authorities had proposed sending officers to film the proceedings and relay the live footage to Wu, his father’s only son. “Chi-wai and his family members have rejected the arrangement as they find it intolerable [for the authorities] to show such disrespect to his late father,” the statement said. Democratic Party chairman Lo Kin-hei also called on authorities to reconsider their decision and vowed to make every effort to encourage them to change tack. But pro-establishment lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan, who chairs the Legislative Council’s security panel, said the department’s ruling was appropriate. He said people who had been planning to answer online calls to attend the funeral could have posed a risk to Wu’s safety, while also increasing the chances of him absconding. “You also have to take into account that Wu is accused of possibly breaching the national security law,” he said. But Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, from the Society of Community Organisation, which advocates for prisoners’ rights, said the more stringent bail requirements imposed by the national security law should not be confused with the department’s discretionary powers in this area. The department said it did not keep track of how many of these types of application it had approved. In 2014, the department declined to let former feng shui master Peter Chan Chun-chuen attend his mother’s funeral, saying it was inevitable his presence would draw a huge number of journalists. Chan was jailed for forging a will so he could inherit the multibillion-dollar estate of his late lover Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, who was once Asia’s richest woman. Tycoon Thomas Kwok freed after three years in prison for bribery But in 2018, prison chiefs granted permission for the then jailed property tycoon Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong to visit his ailing brother Walter Kwok Ping-sheung in hospital before he died. The Sun Hung Kai mogul had been jailed for bribing former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan. In March 1997, the then commissioner of correctional services Lai Ming-ki allowed Yeung Mok-yeh, a young murderer jailed in Stanley Prison at the time, to attend the funeral of his parents, who were killed in a car crash. Yeung was convicted of murder after a gang fight in April 1990 when he was 17. Former lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung, who had pleaded with authorities to allow Yeung to attend his parents’ funeral, said the prisoner was handcuffed and escorted by up to three correctional services officers to the ceremony “without causing a stir at the time”. Leung said the department’s reasoning for rejecting Wu’s application was unconvincing, arguing the security issues would be manageable. Wu entered politics in the early 1990s and was chairman of the Democratic Party between 2016 and 2020. He was charged last December with inciting others to take part in an unauthorised assembly on July 1, 2019, when Hong Kong was embroiled in anti-government protests sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill. Wu is also among 47 opposition figures charged with conspiring to subvert state power under the national security law for his role in an unofficial primary election last year. He is further accused of contempt and interference with Legco officers under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance over a chaotic legislative meeting in May of last year. Additional reporting by Lilian ChengMore from South China Morning Post:National security law: bail denied again for 11 of the 47 Hong Kong opposition figures charged with subversion; 10 others withdraw bids at last minuteAll 53 Hong Kong opposition figures arrested under national security law released, except former lawmaker who failed to surrender BN(O) passportNational security law: 47 Hong Kong opposition figures charged with conspiring to subvert state power, after arrests over roles in bloc’s primaryThis article Hong Kong national security law: ex-lawmaker in jail awaiting trial barred from attending father’s funeral, told he can watch online first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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.
Check out our list of eight affordable Ramadan snacks perfect for the coming Hari Raya festivities. Hari Raya Puasa is barely a week away, which means it’s time to indulge in your favourite Ramadan snacks and traditional cookies! We’ve rounded up eight popular halal […] The post 8 Affordable (and Amazing) Ramadan Snacks by Halal Bakers in Singapore appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Singapore Press Holdings chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung took offence to a reporter's question about SPH's goal of "editorial integrity" at a news conference on 6 May to announce plans to spin off the conglomerate's ailing media business.
The Philippines has accused China of blocking coastguard patrols near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, just days after Beijing announced its seasonal fishing ban over the resource-rich waterway. In a statement on Tuesday night, Hermogenes Esperon, a national security adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, said the China Coast Guard conducted “shadowing, blocking, dangerous manoeuvres and radio challenges” to two Philippine Coast Guard vessels in the waters near the shoal late last month. “We condemn in the strongest terms the ... manoeuvres, and radio challenges conducted by the Chinese Coast Guard against PCG vessels BRP Gabriela Silang and BRP Sindangan, during legitimate law enforcement patrols and maritime exercises while in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc on 24-25 April 2021,” Esperon said, referring to the shoal by its Philippine name.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 shoal is a group of tiny, low-lying rocky islets off the east coast of Luzon, the main island in the Philippines, and is claimed by both countries. It is known as Huangyan Island in China. The statement did not say how many Chinese vessels were involved or how the encounter developed, but it did add that Philippine Coast Guard vessels were on their way to the area “to enforce our fisheries laws and protect our fishermen” as part of the rotational patrols of Scarborough Shoal. The shoal is a traditional fishing ground in the region and was at the centre of a stand-off between China and the Philippines in 2012 that prompted Manila to file an arbitration case against Beijing over its claims. The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said earlier this week that diplomatic protests had been filed against the Chinese coastguard’s actions at Scarborough Shoal. The Philippines also said it dispersed Chinese “maritime militia” ships – fishing vessels in paramilitary service – in the waters near Sabina Shoal, an atoll in the Spratly Islands about 600km (370 miles) from Scarborough Shoal. Esperon said seven Chinese vessels “nested or in stationary liner formation” were seen near the Sabina Shoal on April 27 and left 20 minutes after several attempts by the Philippine Coast Guard to make them leave. In addition, Manila said more than 200 Chinese fishing boats were spotted in the waters near Whitsun Reef, also in the disputed Spratlys, in late March. Manila has filed several protests to Beijing over the massing of the Chinese fishing boats, though Beijing claimed at that time that the Chinese vessels were taking shelter from bad weather. In a tweet on Monday, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin demanded China “get the f***” out of Philippine waters, but he apologised publicly on Tuesday to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, saying he was sorry for hurting his feelings. The protests come as Beijing imposes its annual 3½-month summer fishing ban over the waters of the South China Sea north of the 12th parallel. The ban came into effect on Saturday and China has repeatedly said it is part of an effort to “preserve fishery resources” in the world’s richest fishing grounds. But critics say the ban is part of China’s efforts to assert its territorial claims in the waterway, claims that are contested by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. South China Sea: Vietnam building up its maritime militia, magazine says In the statement, Esperon, a retired Philippine Army general and the former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the Philippines opposed the bans and Philippine fishermen were “encouraged to go out and fish” in the waters. Fishing rights are often at the centre of the disputes in the South China Sea, now a military flashpoint between the rival claimants of the vast and resource-rich waterway. Vietnam, an outspoken claimant, rejected Beijing’s fishing ban, particularly in relation to the Gulf of Tonkin and the Paracel Islands. Vietnamese foreign ministry deputy spokesman Doan Khac Viet said on Thursday the ban was a “unilateral decision” that had violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and international law.More from South China Morning Post:‘We do not want war’: Philippines’ Duterte refuses to end South China Sea patrols, despite Beijing’s call for them to stopSouth China Sea heats up as Philippines drops the F-bomb over Chinese boats‘It will be bloody’: Philippines’ Duterte threatens to ‘stake a claim’ over South China Sea energy resources using military shipsSouth China Sea: Philippines protests against China’s confiscation of fishing equipmentThis article South China Sea: Philippines accuses China of ‘dangerous challenges’ near Scarborough Shoal first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
China criticised New Zealand Thursday over "groundless" allegations about the ill treatment of Uyghurs, underlining Wellington's struggle to find a middle ground between its largest trading partner and its traditional Western allies.
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.
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.
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.
In Jane Austen’s novel, Golding’s character is described as ‘charming’ but ‘cold.’ This article, Henry Golding to star alongside Dakota Johnson in Netflix film ‘Persuasion’, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
After years of proxy warfare, Saudi Arabia's secret talks with arch-rival Iran signal a high-wire diplomatic act as it scrambles to rein in Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels, although prospects of a breakthrough look remote.
Standing on the proposed new home in Budapest of a top Chinese university, the local district mayor Krisztina Baranyi is squaring up for a stand-off with powerful Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.
A Malaysian woman who entered Singapore to carry out illegal cosmetic procedures pleaded guilty to her charges on Thursday (6 May).
Beijing is expected to loosen capital controls further to give mainland investors a new outbound channel to buy bonds in Hong Kong, providing investment alternatives for Chinese households and companies while boosting liquidity in the city and cementing its status as a global financial hub, analysts said. The so-called southbound link of China’s Bond Connect scheme is likely to be implemented in the second half of the year, Hong Kong’s financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Monday. Details of the bond investment framework are expected this month, with trading beginning as early as July 2, a gift from Beijing to Hong Kong to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule, the report said.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. “Currently onshore investors can invest into the offshore bond market via qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) quotas but the southbound link would offer them a more convenient channel,” said Angus To, a fixed income analyst at ICBC International. China’s closer ties with Hong Kong’s bond market to create ‘enormous opportunities’ for city “The opening of the southbound link will allow onshore capital to flow into the offshore bond market, and would also provide additional capital to Hong Kong and strengthen its role as a key platform in bond finance.” David Yim, head of capital markets for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered, said demand for overseas financial products from Chinese investors has been growing in recent years. Investors are looking to diversify their portfolios and enjoy higher returns from the wider range of financial products available in Hong Kong compared to the mainland. But southbound market access might initially be much more constrained than the northbound Bond Connect, which was launched in 2017 and has few restrictions on foreign investors in the mainland market, Yim said. So far, 640 investors have been approved to use the northbound Bond Connect to access China’s US$13.9 trillion bond market. Foreign holdings of yuan-denominated bonds via northbound investment surged 57 per cent from a year earlier to reach a peak of 3.57 trillion yuan (US$55 billion) in February, before slipping to 3.56 trillion yuan in March, driven by index inclusions and the appeal of higher yields on Chinese bonds compared to those in the US and Europe. Beijing may be comfortable now opening up its capital account to allow bigger outflows out of the country given signs of stability in the demand for the yuan Frances Cheung China is among the world’s least financially open economies because it imposes stringent capital controls to limit the flow of foreign funds into and out of the country, fearing an exodus of money in a crisis could spark a stampede out of the yuan exchange rate. But to boost international use of its currency, the People’s Bank of China is increasing capital mobility in a controlled way through market access programmes such as the Bond Connect, Stock Connect and Wealth Management Connect. It is also expanding the quota for the QDII and Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership programme. “As long as northbound flows remain sustainable, the impact from opening up the southbound channel to China’s onshore market will be small,” said Frances Cheung, global treasury research and rates strategist at OCBC Bank. “Beijing may be comfortable now opening up its capital account to allow bigger outflows out of the country given signs of stability in the demand for the yuan.” The yuan’s exchange rate hit its highest level in three years at 6.46 per US dollar earlier this year before stabilising in a narrow range between 6.48 and 6.60 per dollar. The lower the exchange rate, the stronger the yuan, given it takes fewer yuan to buy one dollar. Still, authorities would likely take a calibrated approach to approving the number of investors who can use the programme. The scope of investment products would likely begin with “dim sum bonds”, yuan-denominated bonds issued in Hong Kong, said Freddy Wong, head of Asia-Pacific for Invesco Fixed Income. To ensure the smooth and transparent settlement of transactions, Chinese investors may be limited to bonds held with the Central Moneymarkets Unit – the computerised clearing system operated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, or to those listed on the Hong Kong exchange, Wong said. At the same time, US dollar bonds issued by Chinese firms will be high on the southbound wish list of Chinese investors, because of familiarity with these issuers that pay higher returns compared to yuan-denominated bonds sold in the onshore market, Wong said. “It is unclear if the Chinese [US dollar-denominated] property bonds would be included in the scope of the southbound link but opening them up to onshore investors would be very significant and can provide liquidity to these issuers,” Wong said. So far this year, issuance of dollar bonds by Chinese firms has remained resilient, growing 19 per cent, with a sizeable amount coming from property developers amid a post-pandemic boom in the mainland real estate market, according to France’s Natixis Bank. The further integration of Chinese and international financial markets could also help the growth of foreign financial firms on the mainland. Chinese clients, who have borrowed trillions of US dollars and hold large US dollar foreign deposits, will increasingly need a full suite of trading services, from futures, options, cash and over-the-counter products to manage their international trade and hedge investment risks, said Christopher Fix, managing director and head of Asia-Pacific at the CME Group, the Chicago-based financial exchange company. As the Bond Connect opens its southbound link, CME Group’s EBS CNH benchmark – the offshore yuan daily reference rate that supports benchmarking in the global derivatives and currency markets – saw its volume rise 9 per cent in January, the biggest increase since July 2018, amid sizeable flows into China, Fix said. “There are onshore clients who need to have the exposure to the offshore bonds who aren’t getting what they need from the internal bond market,” Fix said. “We think that’s going to be a real future growth story for us to have the cash and the futures alongside each other.”More from South China Morning Post:China’s closer ties with Hong Kong’s bond market to create ‘enormous opportunities’ for cityHong Kong opening up bond market to Chinese investors, finance minister says, as he calls move ‘exciting development’China’s Hainan tries to put aside past failures as it forges ahead with new free-trade port planChina’s growing importance within WTO highlighted by appointment, trade professor saysGrab opportunities offered by China’s development blueprint or be left behind, former Hong Kong leader CY Leung warnsThis article China’s opening of Hong Kong bond market for mainlanders signals Beijing hastening efforts to open capital account first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Philippines’ coronavirus inoculation drive could leap this month, with the possibility of increasing vaccine supplies to about seven million shots from four million.
Israel carried out air strikes overnight in the southern Syrian province of Quneitra, Syrian state media and a war monitor said Thursday, though there were no reports of casualties.
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.