BKNG earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2020.
Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised as part of Azerbaijan. Hostilities this year have been the worst since 2016, when intense fighting killed dozens and threatened to escalate into all-out war.
Belarusian security forces began detaining people on Sunday as tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Minsk for the seventh straight weekend calling on veteran President Alexander Lukashenko to step down. Riot police pulled people out of crowds and hauled them away into vans, a Reuters witness said. Belarus plunged into turmoil after Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in the Aug 9 election that his opponents say was blatantly rigged.
The Swiss have rejected a bid to dramatically reduce immigration from the EU, but have embraced offering paid paternity leave for the first time, projections from several votes in the country Sunday showed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said levels of happiness among all ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang are rising and that China plans to keep teaching its residents a "correct" outlook on China, Xinhua news agency reported late on Saturday. China has come under scrutiny over its treatment of Uighur Muslims and claims of alleged forced-labour abuses in Xinjiang, where the United Nations cites credible reports as saying one million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.
The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said he was working to build on the prisoner exchange agreement announced on Sunday to pave the way for a national ceasefire to be followed by a political solution. Griffiths, in an interview with Reuters after announcing the deal between the internationally-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned Houthi movement, said: "Now what we need to do is to make sure the sequences of releases and the timing is agreed promptly here today and tomorrow so that we can then proceed with the logistics."
Lebanon's top Christian cleric said on Sunday the nation faced "multiple dangers" that would be hard to weather without a government, speaking after the prime minister-designate quit and dealt a blow to France's bid to lift the country out of crisis. Muslim religious figures also said Lebanese needed to unite following Mustapha Adib's decision to step down on Saturday after his efforts to form a cabinet hit a roadblock over ministerial appointments in the sectarian system. It leaves Lebanon, with its arrangement of sharing power between Muslims and Christians, rudderless as it faces its deepest crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Belarus police on Sunday arrested several people before an opposition march in support of protest figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya days after the country's leader was secretly sworn in despite historic protests.
Baku and Yerevan put themselves on a war footing after heavy fighting erupted Sunday between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists, claiming military and civilian casualties on both sides, including at least one child.
Pope Francis appealed to Armenia and Azerbaijan on Sunday to resolve their differences through negotiations following clashes over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Francis, who was speaking at his Sunday noon blessing in St. Peter's Square, visited both countries in 2016.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday called on Armenia's people to take hold of their future against "leadership that is dragging them to catastrophe and those using it like puppets", following clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia on Sunday declared martial law and mobilised its male population after the clashes. Turkey has condemned Armenia for what it said were provocations against Azerbaijan.
An issue with England's COVID-19 smartphone app, launched to curb the spread of the virus, which meant it could not accept around a third of test results has been resolved, the government said on Sunday. The app's official account had said on Saturday it could not link to test results taken in Public Health England laboratories, via the National Health Service or as part of a survey run by the Office for National Statistics.
Leading Lebanese politician Gebran Bassil has been infected with a "mild" case of the coronavirus, his party said, as cases surge throughout the country. Bassil, the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and a former foreign minister who heads the country's largest Christian political bloc, discovered he was infected on Saturday after several tests, a statement released by his party said. "Bassil wanted to issue this statement to inform all those he was recently in contact with, as they could not all be contacted individually, and to apologize for not knowing in advance about the matter," the Free Patriotic Movement said in the statement.
China’s top anti-corruption body has said it will step up its efforts to target funds sent overseas by corrupt officials days after the Canada-based singer Wanting Qu demanded justice for her mother, who has been detained for six years on bribery charges.In a Sunday morning post titled Overseas Is No Haven for Transferring Assets, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection promised to punish money laundering and collect all assets acquired corruptly.The commentary was issued days after Qu called for justice for her mother Zhang Mingjie, former deputy director of the development and reform bureau in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Zhang was detained in September 2014 and stood trial in 2016 and 2019 on charges of corruption, taking bribes and embezzling funds. Zhang pleaded not guilty and a verdict has yet to be handed down in the case, which could carry the death penalty. Canada-based pop star Wanting Qu pleads for mother in Harbin death-penalty corruption case – but China’s netizens are unimpressed“It’s the sixth anniversary and still there is no result,” Qu wrote on the Chinese social media platform Weibo on Tuesday. “[I] continue to try to keep faith in justice and believe there is justice, law and blue sky.”The posting caused an uproar on Chinese social media, with many criticising Qu for overlooking how her mother’s alleged crime caused hundreds of employees from a state-owned enterprise to be laid off without proper compensation.Zhang was accused of selling a state-owned farm worth 2.3 billion yuan (US$468,000) for only 61.6 million yuan in a restructuring process.A company that Zhang owned a half stake in via her live-in partner is also alleged to have fraudulently obtained 350 million yuan in compensation during the process, and she accused of taking bribes worth 5 million yuan in person and 93 million with her partner. Pop star Wanting Qu issues update on mother’s death-penalty case, declaring Chinese law ‘perfect and righteous’The CCDI’s statement cited a post by an unidentified internet user and said: “You haven’t returned to China for six years while your mother is in custody. Instead you live an easy life abroad with the stolen money. Is this filial piety?”.The CCDI also said Qu’s posting went viral because people hate the way that corrupt officials harm the interests of the country and the people while their own families benefit from their ill-gotten gains.The commentary said various party documents required officials to report their foreign assets and whether their spouses or children are based overseas.Public servants can also be jailed for up to two years for not reporting savings held overseas.Two years ago, Wu Jianrong, former chairman of the Shanghai Airport Authority, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for taking bribes of more than 20 million yuan and failing to report more than HK$3 million (US$387,000) his wife had in a bank account in Hong Kong.The commentary said that the Chinese authorities have already extradited 7,831 fugitives from 120 different countries and recovered 19.6 billion yuan. Wanting Qu, pop star girlfriend of Vancouver’s mayor, ‘confident’ of justice in mother’s Chinese death penalty case“The crime of concealing overseas savings is a clear red line for public officials … They commit another crime if they deliberately transfer the illicit money overseas,” the commentary read.The commentary also cited unidentified experts suggesting stronger supervision of officials remitting funds overseas.The monitoring and reporting mechanism for officials’ large remittances overseas can be extended to their spouses, children and other close relatives and reported to the discipline inspection and supervision body in a timely manner, the commentary said.This article China’s anti-corruption watchdog promises to target overseas funds days after singer Wanting Qu pleads for justice for mother first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
- 1960: The first televised debate pitted Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy against Republican Vice President Richard Nixon, who was recovering from a hospital visit and had a 5 o'clock shadow, having refused makeup. Kennedy won the election. - 1976: In the first TV debate in 16 years, Democrat Jimmy Carter faced unelected incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford.
U.S. Senate Republicans on Sunday prepared a concerted push toward quickly confirming President Donald Trump's third Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, despite strenuous objections by Democrats who appear powerless to stop them. In a White House Rose Garden ceremony on Saturday, Trump announced Barrett, 48, as his selection to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18 at age 87. Barrett said she would be a justice in the mold of the late staunch conservative Antonin Scalia.
Democrats are urging U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from any election-related cases because of President Donald Trump's comments that he expects the justices to potentially decide the outcome, but there is no way to force her to do so. Trump on Saturday nominated Barrett to the vacancy created by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18. If confirmed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, Barrett would give the court a 6-3 conservative majority.
China held a high-profile ceremony on Sunday to receive the remains of more than 100 soldiers killed in the Korean war, as Beijing continues to push its nationalist campaign amid deteriorating relations with the United States.A PLA Air Force Y-20 transport aircraft carrying the remains of 117 service personnel arrived at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport in the capital of northeast China’s Liaoning province about 11.20am after leaving Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea earlier in the day. A delegation from the People’s Liberation Army and veterans of the war were at the airport to meet the plane, and after being unloaded, the wooden coffins containing the remains – each of which was draped with a national flag – were driven to a local cemetery escorted 45 by police motorcycle outriders.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.According to state broadcaster CGTN, which provided live coverage of the handover ceremonies in Incheon and Shenyang, two Chinese J-11B fighters were sent to escort the Y-20 after it entered Chinese airspace.Li Jingxian, a deputy director at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, told CGTN it was the first time China had used a home-grown Y-20 aircraft to repatriate the remains of its soldiers from South Korea, saying that doing so “better reflected the national image”.The repatriation of remains from South Korea was the seventh since 2014. Beijing says that 360,000 members of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army were either killed or wounded in the war, though unofficial sources say the actual figure is probably much higher.The Korean war, which ran from 1950-53 and led to the division of the Korean peninsula, is one of the deadliest in history, with 5 million people killed, more than half of them civilians.According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the remains of 103 Chinese soldiers were excavated last year from Arrowhead Ridge, a battleground inside the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. Other remains have been found across South Korea.Sunday’s repatriation ceremony came as Beijing is stepping up its efforts to boost nationalism amid escalating tensions with the US on multiple fronts, including trade, technology, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan.Beijing has announced a series of high-profile events to mark the 70th anniversary of the PLA entering the “war to resist US aggression and aid Korea” as it is known in China and which is the only time the two countries have come face to face on the battlefield.Last week, the Memorial Hall of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea reopened in Dandong, a northeast China city on the border with North Korea, after a hiatus of six years, and a set of commemorative postage stamps will be issued next month.Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend a gathering in Beijing on October 25 to mark the date on which the nation’s soldiers launched their first attack against the US-led United Nations coalition forces.A film, Jin Gang Chuan, which tells the story of Chinese combat engineers building bridges during the Korean war is set for cinema release the same day.More from South China Morning Post: * The Korean war: China’s reminder of strength against the US * Korean war 70th anniversary sees calls for peace, disarmament * Korean war lessons: China and US can be friends ‘if China is a rival they cannot beat’This article China stages solemn ceremony to welcome home remains of 117 soldiers killed in Korean war first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Sixteen workers died and one is in a critical condition after being trapped underground in a coal mine in southwest China on Sunday, reported state broadcaster CCTV.
Sri Lanka has shipped back to Britain container-loads of waste that the government said was brought into the island in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material.
Police clashed with anti-racism protesters and pushed back members of the press in downtown Portland, Oregon into early Sunday morning, making more than 20 arrests. The violence followed a relatively peaceful rally by the right-wing Proud Boys group and counter protests by anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter activists on Saturday. Videos published online showed police pushing protesters and photographers to the ground and jabbing them with batons as officers drove them out of an area near Portland's federal courthouse.
Raising the minimum wage would be inappropriate in a struggling economy, a Hong Kong business leader said on Sunday, despite other places increasing what the lowest paid make per hour.Federation of Hong Kong Industries honorary president Jimmy Kwok Chun-wah defended the sector’s suggestion the benchmark remain at HK$37.50 (US$4.80), and warned more workers could be forced to take unpaid leave, especially now that the government had decided not to extend the wage subsidy scheme.In contrast to Hong Kong, the hourly minimum wage in New York is US$15, and in Britain, the national minimum wage for adults over the age of 21 has been £6.50 (HK$64) an hour since 2014.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“Some workers already had to go on unpaid leave, while others had their wages cut. It seems inappropriate for the minimum wage level to go up now,” Kwok said on a television programme.Sources said earlier this week that members of the Minimum Wage Commission had failed to reach a consensus on a new level for the index since it was introduced in 2011.The lack of an agreement meant the ball was now in the government’s court on whether the amount should go up at all.While commission members from the labour sector called for an increment to at least HK$39, business sector representatives insisted it stay at HK$37.50 or be raised to just HK$38, saying the coronavirus outbreak had battered the economy.Carol Ng Man-yee, chairwoman of the Confederation of Trade Unions, did not believe more Hong Kong workers would be forced to take unpaid leave, as only about 20,000 out of the city’s 3.5 million-strong workforce – not including domestic helpers – were making the absolute minimum. Employers push for minimum wage freeze amid economy battered by Covid-19She accused Kwok of making excuses in pushing for a freeze in the minimum wage.“Employers are not going to ask their workers to take more no-pay leave just because the hourly minimum wage is going up by HK$1 or so,” she said.A source with knowledge of the commission’s closed-door meeting said it was only appropriate for the level to go up, as only about 0.7 per cent of the city’s workforce was earning the minimum wage.“But it was difficult to predict the government’s decision,” the source said.The commission is expected to submit a report to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor by the end of next month. But instead of indicating a new level agreed upon by all 12 members of the commission, as was the practice over the years, sources said the report would just spell out members’ views and other findings. Minimum wage to jump to HK$37.50, in biggest rise since it was introducedEarlier this month, Taiwan’s government decided to increase the monthly minimum wage slightly from NT$23,800 to NT$24,000 (HK$6,356), or NT$158 to NT$160 (HK$42) if wages are calculated on an hourly basis.Taiwan’s minimum wage is higher than in Hong Kong even though the cost of living there is much lower. The provincial general minimum wage in Ontario, Canada, will also be raised from C$14 per hour to C$14.5 (HK$84) from next month.While Kwok suggested a minimum wage freeze, he said the level could be raised once the economy recovered from the effects of the pandemic.Earlier this year, the government rolled out its HK$81 billion Employment Support Scheme to pay up to 50 per cent of employees’ salaries, with the monthly subsidy for each worker capped at HK$9,000. But authorities have no plans to extend this measure.Kwok said some operators in the city had already changed their business models during the outbreak and were able to survive. But for those still struggling, Kwok said some might have to shut down since the government had decided against extending the wage subsidy programme.Retail and restaurant businesses had been the hardest hit, he added.“If the outbreak does not ease, I believe … some firms may ask their employees to take more unpaid leave,” Kwok said.This article Improper to raise minimum wage in battered economy, Hong Kong business leader says, warning more unpaid leave could follow move first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
An overnight curfew in Australia's second-largest city will be lifted this week, officials said Sunday, even as the global coronavirus toll inched towards one million dead.
The bodies of two Palestinian fishermen who Palestinian officials say were shot dead by Egyptian naval forces were returned to Gaza on Saturday, the territory's ruling Islamist group Hamas said. The fishermen, who were brothers, were shot on Friday off the coast near the southern border town of Rafah. A third brother was wounded and was undergoing treatment in Egypt.
Chinese investors have begun booking their bit of Ant Group’s mega initial public offering, snapping up new mutual funds picked by the digital payments juggernaut as strategic buyers, even before the flotation has kicked off.About 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) worth of five mutual funds that have been allocated shares from Ant’s mainland tranche were sold within an hour of going on sale on Friday morning. Two of the funds will not be accepting public subscriptions any more, after their caps for the IPO were reached on Saturday, according to mainland Chinese media.The funds, which will be managed by five different money managers, including China Asset Management and China Universal Asset Management, have been capped at 12 billion yuan each. As much as 10 per cent of their assets will take part in the IPO and will be subject to an 18-month lock-up period.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Ant, which is launching dual listings in Shanghai and Hong Kong, is seeking to raise about 48 billion yuan from the mainland tranche of its offering, a placeholder amount which may deviate from the actual amount after the company’s presentation to investors. The combined size of the flotation might exceed the US$25.6 billion Saudi Aramco raised last year in what was the world’s most valuable IPO yet.The mutual funds give China’s 148 million individual investors indirect access to the country’s biggest unicorn and its IPO, which will probably become the world’s biggest-ever listing. Most of the country’s small investors are not qualified to trade on Shanghai’s technology-heavy Star Market, where Ant Group is set to be listed, because of asset thresholds. Ant’s blockbuster Shanghai share sale gathers momentum, as overseas investors clamour for China exposureWhile buying shares on the Star Market requires a minimum of 500,000 yuan in assets in stock accounts, subscription to the funds that will invest in Ant Group can start from 1 yuan through Alipay, Ant’s flagship digital payments app. And even for qualified individual Star Market investors, the chances of successfully subscribing to the IPO shares are low, as the oversubscription rate for new shares is often more than 1,000 times.And while Ant is China’s largest digital payments provider, accounting for 50 per cent of market share, investors will count on its financial technology businesses, including microlending and the online sales of wealth management and insurance products, as the main drivers of growth.“The digital payments business has entered a period of stable growth, and there’s more potential for the marketing of wealth management and insurance products on its digital platforms,” said Wang Jian, an analyst at Guosen Securities. “The combination of its large customer base and room for expansion for the industry will bring growth potential to the company.”Ant had 710 million active users by June. It might trade at a price-to-earnings ratio of as much as 60 times, valuing the company at about 2.5 trillion yuan on its Star Market debut, according to Zhongtai Securities. Its net income will probably surge 145 per cent from a year earlier in 2020 and rise 26 per cent in 2021, the brokerage said.The valuation multiple for Star Market is 90 times, six times as expensive as that of companies listed on the Shanghai exchange’s main board, according to bourse data. Star Market currently has 179 listings.Ant Group is only a step away from trading on the mainland exchange, with just registration with the stock-market regulator pending after the listing was approved by the Shanghai exchange last week. The offering and listing dates have not been decided yet. Hong Kong to vet Ant’s IPO application early next week, as it plays catch-up with ShanghaiIn its latest prospectus posted on the website of the Shanghai exchange, the digital payments behemoth estimated that its gross profit for the first nine months this year could increase by as much as 73 per cent from a year earlier, because of a boom in China’s digital economy and a decrease in costs.China’s 2.6 trillion yuan National Social Security Fund is expected to become a cornerstone investor in Ant Group by buying the mainland leg of the stocks that it will offer. More from South China Morning Post: * Ant Group gets the green light for mega IPO in Shanghai’s Star Market as China pulls out all stops to help tech champions raise funds * Ant Group IPO set for Star Market review in Shanghai on September 18This article Chinese investors snap up mutual funds with Ant Group share allocations even before mega listing has kicked off first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
The dispute over international organisations referring to Taiwan as Chinese has moved from wild bird conservation to climate change, after a global alliance of mayors began listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its website. China has ramped up pressure on international groups and companies to refer to democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as being part of China, to the anger of Taiwan's government and many of its people. This month a Taiwan bird conservation body said it had been expelled from a partnership with a British-based wildlife charity after it demanded the Taiwan group change its name and sign documents stating it did not support Taiwan's independence.