This just goes to show how important cyber-security is... Especially when one of your "customers" is Elon Musk.
Hopes for a virus vaccine helped push Asian equities higher Tuesday after promising results from two clinical trials, while traders were also cheered by news that EU leaders have finally hammered out a stimulus package for the bloc. The new cases have forced authorities to reimpose containment measures, fanning concerns about an economic recovery that has been supported by trillions of dollars in government and central bank stimulus measures. The positive news from the trials could be a major step towards the Holy Grail that analysts say will likely send markets soaring.
Volkswagen and Ford said a U.S. legal row between South Korean battery makers could disrupt supplies of the key electric vehicle parts and cost U.S. jobs during the Covid-19 outbreak, according to documents submitted to a U.S. trade panel. The two automakers asked the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to allow SK Innovation <096770.KS> to manufacture batteries at its proposed U.S. factory in Georgia for use in Ford’s fully electric F-150 and other electric cars, the statements seen by Reuters showed. Last year, South Korean battery maker LG Chem <051910.KS> sued small rival SK Innovation over alleged trade secret theft in the United States, seeking to bar SK from producing battery cells in the U.S. and importing the components necessary to make the cells.
The University of Oxford's possible COVID-19 vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year but there is no certainty that will happen, the lead developer of the vaccine said on Tuesday. The experimental vaccine, which has been licensed to AstraZeneca, produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, preserving hopes it could be in use by the end of the year. "The end of the year target for getting vaccine rollout, it's a possibility but there's absolutely no certainty about that because we need three things to happen," Sarah Gilbert told BBC Radio.
Figuring out what to do with an old mobile phone just got easier in France, where people can now send them free in the mail to have them recycled or refurbished for sale by a charity group. The phones are sent to a processing centre where all data is erased before the phone is either refurbished for sale at Emmaus charity shops, or in the majority of cases (83 percent) broken down for recyling and the removal of the most polluting components. Ecosystem said Monday that it plans to distribute 100 reconditioned phones from the scheme during each of the 35 stages of this year's Tour de France cycling race that begins on August 29.
European leaders on Tuesday agreed on a massive aid package for their pandemic-ravaged economies, as President Donald Trump changed his tune in favour of face masks as a tool against the coronavirus in the United States. The virus has infected more than 14.6 million people and killed over 600,000 of them since it first emerged in China, with fresh alarm being sounded over its accelerating spread in Africa. The pandemic has devastated the global economy, and after a fractious summit, European leaders agreed on a rescue package of 750 billion euros ($858 billion) to try and pull their bloc out of a deep recession.
Hundreds of former students have come to the support of a law professor fired from an elite Chinese university for his outspoken criticism of President Xi Jinping, raising more than 100,000 yuan ($14,300) in donations. Xu Zhangrun, who taught at Tsinghua University for over 20 years, wrote an open letter to thank almost 600 alumni of the Beijing institution for their backing. "I'm nearing 60 years of age, and although my eyesight is dim, my body remains in good health and I can work to earn money for food," Xu said.
European leaders for the first time on Tuesday agreed to link payment of EU funds to a member state with respect for the bloc's legal norms -- although Poland and Hungary insisted they had blocked tougher planned measures. A hard-fought deal on a 750-billion-euro coronavirus recovery package and the EU's seven-year budget includes powers to cut funding from countries that breach so-called "rule of law" standards. "It is the first time that the respect for rule of law is a decisive criteria for budget spending," EU Council President Charles Michel, who chaired the marathon summit, told reporters.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday that France would not ban China's Huawei from investing in the country, in contrast to Britain which has decided to purge the firm's equipment from its 5G network by 2027. Le Maire told France Info radio there was "no blanket ban" on Huawei in France, but that sensitive locations would be protected.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss ways to tackle the growing might of China when he meets Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, just a week after London ordered a purge of Huawei gear from the 5G network. President Donald Trump lauded Johnson's ban on Huawei, though he also claimed he had forced London's hand due to concern over China, which he considers to be the United States' main geopolitical rival of the 21st century.
A German man goes on trial on Tuesday for a deadly shooting targeting Jews in the eastern city of Halle last year, one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in Germany's postwar history. Stephan Balliet, 28, is accused of shooting dead two people in October after he tried and failed to storm a synagogue. Prosecutors say Balliet used explosives and firearms to try to gain access to the synagogue, where 52 worshippers were celebrating Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
Australia will extend record stimulus spending into next year, the government announced Tuesday, outlining multibillion-dollar measures to shield the labour market from the ravages of the rolling coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that supplements to the unemployed and businesses struggling to retain staff would continue until at least the end of the year, and likely beyond. With Australia poised to fall into its first recession in almost 30 years and struggling to tame now double-digit unemployment, the government will increase stimulus spending on two income support programmes to around Aus$86 billion (US$60 billion).
British broadband operator TalkTalk upgraded its guidance for full-year earnings on Tuesday after seeing trading recover in June and July. The company said it expected headline core earnings for its 2021 financial year to be stable or to grow, an improvement on its previous forecast for a flat performance. CEO Tristia Harrison said TalkTalk was strengthening its outlook based on the recovery it was seeing in trading and costs.
The Hong Kong government has fired back at Britain’s decision to suspend their extradition agreement, accusing the former colonial ruler of double standards, gross interference in China’s internal affairs and violating international law.The strongly worded pushback came after UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab formally announced on Monday the cut in ties he had signalled over the weekend, along with restrictions on arms sales and reviews of exchange programmes for judges and police officers.The United Kingdom joined Five Eye alliance partners Canada and Australia in suggesting that human rights concerns prompted by the national security law Beijing imposed in Hong Kong on June 30 had opened the door for potential misuse of the extradition agreement.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.In strongly opposing the suspension, a Hong Kong government spokesman on Tuesday said every country “has laws and the duty to safeguard its national security and sovereignty”, citing the UK’s own Treason Felony Act, Official Secrets Act, Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, and Security Service Act. Hong Kong national security law: read the full text“The UK’s unilateral suspension of the agreement on surrender of fugitive offenders with Hong Kong for political purposes, using China’s enactment of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR as an excuse, is absolutely a political manipulation of double standards,” he said.“It is also a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and a grave violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations, thereby knowingly allowing criminals to evade justice,” the spokesman added.He said the UK would be “answerable to the rule of law and the international community” because the country might become a legal loophole for fugitives wanted by Hong Kong.Separately, a spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in the UK urged London to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs”.“The UK will bear the consequences if it insists on going down the wrong road,” he said.Ahead of Monday’s announcement, senior government advisers and officials had already suggested the suspension could turn the UK into a “haven” for fugitives involved in the anti-government protests of the past year. Immigration firms report rush of Hong Kong BN(O) renewal interestEarlier, the UK announced it was also poised to grant wider residence rights to the city’s BN (O) passport holders, which could pave the way for citizenship. The details of that plan would be revealed before its parliamentary summer recess, Raab said on Monday.Raab, however, stopped short of imposing sanctions on Chinese or Hong Kong officials involved in introducing the national security law, and noted the importance of continued engagement with China in future.“It’s very important that these targeted sanctions are done right, not quick,” Raab said. “If you do them too quickly, they will be legally challenged.”Since July, two anti-government protesters wanted for assaulting police officers have been stopped at Hong Kong International Airport while attempting to hop on a London-bound flight.One was accused of jumping bail for assaulting a police officer in a mall in September. The other allegedly stabbed a police officer on July 1 during a protest against the national security law.According to Security Bureau figures, Hong Kong sent eight fugitives to Britain between 1997, the year the former colony was returned to Chinese sovereignty, and 2018. Over the same period, the UK sent back 10.Among those, the government spokesman said, only three were handed to the UK between 2010 and now, while the UK has surrendered no fugitives over the past decade.After announcing the suspension would be “immediate and indefinite”, Raab said: “We would not consider reactivating those arrangements, unless, and until [there are] clear and robust safeguards which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the national security legislation.”Hong Kong opposition activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who moved to the UK after quitting his political group Demosisto following the adoption of the national security law, said Monday’s move marked a tougher stance from the West against China.He said in a Facebook post that he had recently met with shadow ministers in the UK to urge for Magnitsky Act-style sanctions on Hong Kong officials and police officers. The 2012 legislation gave the United States government the authority to sanction perceived human rights offenders.London and Beijing also crossed swords on Monday before the extradition announcement. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would adopt a calibrated response to China, and was going “to be tough on some things, but also going to continue to engage”. Hong Kong extradition treaty partners wait to see how national security law plays outChinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, meanwhile, accused the UK of serious interference in China’s domestic affairs. “We call on the UK [United Kingdom] not to go further down the wrong path to avoid further damage to Sino-UK relations. China will take resolute countermeasures for moves that interfere in its domestic affairs,” he said.Canada and Australia suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month, citing a fear of political persecution. The US was said to be preparing a similar move last week, while New Zealand, the other Five Eyes member, was reassessing the legal instrument as part of a “deliberate, considered review” of its relations with Hong Kong.Rebel City: Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire is a new book of essays that chronicles the political confrontation that has gripped the city since June 2019. Edited by the South China Morning Post's Zuraidah Ibrahim and Jeffie Lam, the book draws on work from the Post's newsrooms across Hong Kong, Beijing, Washington and Singapore, with unmatched insights into all sides of the conflict. Buy directly from SCMP today and get a 15% discount (regular price HKD$198). It is available at major bookshops worldwide or online through Amazon, Kobo, Google Books, and eBooks.com.More from South China Morning Post: * Britain suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty over national security law * Hong Kong extradition treaty partners wait to see how national security law plays outThis article National security law: Hong Kong government slams ‘double standards’, ‘interference’ as Britain suspends extradition deal first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
European Union leaders agreed on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies at a pre-dawn meeting on Tuesday after a fractious summit that lasted almost five days. Key to the deal is a new element in EU policymaking: the European Commission will borrow massively on the market and then grant much of the cash, rather than lend it, to countries most in need of economic stimulus. The plans also have to make economies greener and more digital and be in line with the Commission's annual recommendations.
EU leaders emerged from a marathon four-day and four-night summit Tuesday to celebrate what they boasted was a historic rescue plan for economies left shattered by the coronavirus epidemic. The 750-billion-euro ($858-billion) deal was sealed after intense negotiation that saw a threats of a French walkout and a Hungarian veto -- and fierce opposition from the Netherlands and Austria to too generous a package. "These were of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans," EU Council Chief Charles Michel, whose job was to guide the tortuous talks over more than 90 hours.
Hong Kong recorded another two Covid-19 fatalities and at least 70 more confirmed infections on Tuesday, according to a medical source, as the Hospital Authority warned the city might run out of first-tier isolation beds this week.Describing the capacity situation as critical, the authority said it had already transferred about a dozen confirmed patients in a stable condition to second-tier isolation wards to create room for those newly infected, as it scrambles to open new facilities in the community to cope with the worsening coronavirus crisis. Hong Kong lockdown warning as Covid-19 cases spike, with 73 new infectionsThe first of the deaths revealed on Tuesday involved a 77-year-old patient living in Tsz Wan Shan, where clusters of outbreaks have been reported.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam on July 14 with fever. His situation worsened on July 16 and he passed away this morning, according to the Hospital Authority.An 87-year-old from the Kong Tai Care for the Age Centre Limited at Tsz Wan Shan became the third resident there to die after contracting the coronavirus. He had been admitted to the hospital on July 9 with fever.Those deaths pushed the number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the city to 14, after the infected tally hit 1,958 on Monday, a sharp increase of more than 600 cases over two weeks.A medical source said that at least 70 confirmed cases were recorded on Tuesday.Isolation beds in public hospitals are becoming limited and the situation is critical.Ian CheungWhile after the official cut-off time at Monday midnight, a preliminary positive case was recorded at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. That patient had stayed in the same surgical ward as an earlier confirmed case on Monday and been classified as a close contact.The surge of new cases continued on Tuesday after the Hospital Authority issued a dire warning over the impact of Hong Kong’s third wave of infections on the city’s health care system.“Isolation beds in public hospitals are becoming limited and the situation is critical,” said Ian Cheung Tsz-fung, the Hospital Authority’s chief manager of cluster performances.“As there are more elderly patients in this wave, we might use up our isolation beds much sooner than we did in March. This week is the key.”First-tier isolation wards offer higher levels of infection control than second-tier ones, with the former prioritised for those most seriously ill.Up to 77 per cent of the first-tier beds are currently in use, just short of the maximum capacity for Covid-19 patients of around 80 per cent.Cheung said on a radio programme on Tuesday the remaining isolation rooms were reserved for coronavirus testing and critical patients with other illnesses.As a contingency measure, services at specialist outpatient clinics and surgeries will be reduced, so that more general wards can be turned into second-tier isolation facilities. How did Hong Kong’s third wave of Covid-19 infections start?So far, all patients confirmed with the coronavirus have been treated in public hospitals, where there are 1,200 first-tier and 500 second-tier beds.The Post is asking private hospitals what extra help they could offer amid the new wave of infections.The authority earlier announced that some community facilities would be used to treat those coronavirus patients who were in a stable condition.Cheung added that such facilities might have to start operations as early as this week to ease the burden on overstretched public hospitals.The first facility to be deployed for that purpose, Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village in Chai Wan, is one of four quarantine centres currently in use for close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases and people arriving from high-risk areas.Speaking on the same programme, Dr Arisina Ma Chung-yee, president of the Hong Kong Public Doctors’ Association, said the sudden surge of cases not only created pressure for facilities but also for health care workers, including staff in testing laboratories.She repeated warnings that the public and private companies should not rush for coronavirus tests if they were not close contacts or were without symptoms.“I heard that some private companies require staff who live in some buildings with some other infected patients to do the tests before they can go to work. I would appeal to these companies to allow staff to work from home instead,” she said, adding that many of the labs had reached their testing capacity as well.The Centre for Health Protection’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan made a similar appeal on Monday amid a recent surge in the number of Hongkongers seeking virus tests at public or private hospitals“I urge those who do not have symptoms and are not linked to infected persons … do not rush to go take a test, as they will rob other urgent patients of the ability to get screenings,” she said.The Hospital Authority said more than 4,000 Hongkongers visited emergency departments and general clinics in public hospitals seeking tests over the past week, despite the authority not providing certificates of health for asymptomatic individuals.Queues were also seen at some private hospitals, including St Teresa's Hospital near Kowloon City, while some others have already announced their testing quotas were full for the day.Purchase the 120+ page China Internet Report 2020 Pro Edition, brought to you by SCMP Research, and enjoy a 30% discount (original price US$400). The report includes deep-dive analysis, trends, and case studies on the 10 most important internet sectors. Now in its 3rd year, this go-to source for understanding China tech also comes with exclusive access to 6+ webinars with C-level executives, including Charles Li, CEO of HKEX, James Peng, CEO/founder of Pony.ai, and senior executives from Alibaba, Huawei, Kuaishou, Pinduoduo, and more. Offer valid until 31 August 2020. To purchase, please click here.More from South China Morning Post: * Hong Kong third wave: authorities weigh lockdown after 73 new Covid-19 cases reported * Hong Kong third wave: how did city’s scariest surge in Covid-19 cases start, and what did authorities miss?This article Hong Kong third wave: two more Covid-19 deaths, at least 70 new confirmed infections, source says, as Hospital Authority warns of ‘critical’ isolation ward situation first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
European Union leaders had hoped the relief of seeing each other face-to-face after five months apart under coronavirus lockdown would ease their fraught debate. It did not turn out that way -- despite beginning with cheerful elbow bumps and birthday gifts for 66-year-old Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor and a veteran of Brussels' conference rooms. When the 27 leaders emerged into the dawn light on Belgium's national day on Tuesday to unveil their post-virus recovery plan, they had been locked in a formal summit for four days and nights -- more than 90 hours of horsetrading.
The Philippines said on Tuesday it would ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus amid a sharp rise in infections and deaths since a lockdown was eased in June, while President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to arrest anyone not wearing a mask. The government aimed to test 32,000 to 40,000 people a day compared with the current 20,000 to 23,000, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a televised meeeting with Duterte. The Philippines has tested nearly 1.1 million people so far, but Duque said the aim was for 10 million people - or nearly a tenth of the population - to be tested by the second quarter of next year.
European Union leaders reached a deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies at a pre-dawn meeting on Tuesday after a fractious summit that went through the night and into its fifth day. Summit chairman Charles Michel tweeted "Deal" shortly after the 27 leaders reached agreement at a 5.15 a.m. (0315 GMT) plenary session. Officials said the deal, which came after Michel presented compromises on a 750 billion euro recovery fund, is critical to dispel doubts about the bloc's very future.
Berlin museums might house the iconic Nefertiti bust, the Ishtar gate of ancient Babylon or Rembrandt masterpieces, but they still trail global counterparts in popularity -- and the coronavirus is making things worse. Millions of euros have been poured into the institutions, yet the 19 museums managed by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) attracted just 4.2 million visitors last year, while the Louvre alone drew 9.6 million. Alarmed by lacklustre public interest, Germany is planning a major shake-up after a report commissioned by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government slammed the foundation as dysfunctional, outdated and out of touch.