The lagoons of Mexico's Baja California are one of the best places in the world to see gray whales
The lagoons of Mexico's Baja California are one of the best places in the world to see gray whales
A Mrs World winner facing criminal charges after an on-stage fracas at a Sri Lankan beauty pageant has relinquished her title, organisers said Wednesday.
Tesla said sorry and back-pedalled on its “no compromise” attitude towards what it called “unreasonable” customer grievance, as it succumbed to pressure on social media by some of its most important buyers and local authorities in the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. The apology, issued late on Tuesday night, came a day after a protest at the Shanghai Auto Show, where a woman wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “brake malfunction” and a Tesla logo jumped on top of the carmaker’s vehicle. She was eventually dragged away by security guards. “We are deeply sorry for the delay in resolving the owner’s issue,” Tesla said on its official account on the Weibo microblog site. “We always try our best to actively communicate with our [customers], look for solutions and we will fulfil our responsibility.”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 about-turn in Tesla’s public relations management underscores the importance of China’s market to the carmaker’s sales, and its stock price. Tesla delivered a record 184,800 vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, buoyed by rising demand in China, where the carmaker sold 68,982 vehicles, or 37.3 per cent of global deliveries in the same period. “Users’ complaints about the quality of its Chinese-made cars are sounding an alarm at Tesla,” said Eric Han, a senior manager with the business advisory firm Shanghai Suolei. “It is not enough to knock down Tesla’s sales, but it does damage its image.” For now, Tesla remains the runaway winner in delivering premium electric vehicles in China, priced more than 300,000 yuan (US$46,160) in the mainland’s premium EV segment. Gigafactory 3 delivered 35,478 vehicles in March, more than double the 17,259 electric cars delivered by Tesla’s three New York-listed Chinese competitors NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto. Monday’s protest at the premier trade show of the world’s largest vehicle market was not Tesla’s first run-in against Chinese public opinion. The carmaker was named last December by the online technology media PingWest, which cited unnamed former and current employees in describing its US$2 billion factory a “Giga-sweatshop,” along with claims that Tesla had used substandard components in its locally assembled Model 3 vehicles. Tesla denied the accusations and said it would sue PingWest. Tesla’s executives were hauled before five ministry-level authorities in February, and grilled about the quality of its Shanghai-made Model 3s. The carmaker, which delivered 140,000 Model 3s last year, pledged to “make rectifications,” according to media reports. In the same month, Tesla apologised to China’s State Grid – the state-owned utility – for “misleading consumers” in a war of words over what damaged the inverters on a batch of Model 3 vehicles. Another Chinese Tesla challenger? Geely launches its first electric car Monday’s protest stunt at the Shanghai Auto Show quickly snowballed, as video clips of the yelling woman on the roof of a Model 3 quickly went viral. It did not take long for China’s state media to weigh in on Tesla, after the carmaker maintained on Monday that it would “not compromise” on “unreasonable” customer complaints. “Who gave Tesla the courage to not compromise?” asked a headline on an article published on Tuesday morning by Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government’s mouthpiece media. Changanjian, the social media account operated by China’s top law enforcement agency, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, beseeched Tesla to “respect Chinese consumers and comply with local laws and regulations.” “Where is Tesla’s responsibility, if the pioneering carmaker cannot provide safe products and cannot provide solutions to users when issues emerge?” according to the blog. Tesla Shanghai’s vice-president Tao Lin, who heads the carmaker’s communications and government affairs, was absent at an April 21 panel discussion about supply chains at the 2021 Boao Forum for Asia conference in Hainan, in which she was originally scheduled to speak. In its response, Tesla said it “respects and firmly complies with decisions of the relevant government departments, respects consumers, abides by laws and regulations, and actively cooperates with all investigations by government authorities,” according to the carmaker’s statement. “Tesla, as always, is grateful for the trust and tolerance given by our consumers, netizens and media friends, and listens attentively to suggestions as well as criticisms.” Additional reporting from Orange Wang at the 2021 Boao Forum for Asia in HainanMore from South China Morning Post:Tesla protest at Shanghai Auto Show 2021 ends with woman dragged off by security after climbing onto car and shoutingTesla drops lawsuit against former engineer, ending theft allegations that dragged in Chinese competitor XpengChinese Tesla rival NIO targets Europe with its smart EVs as it takes a first step towards going globalTesla, recharge: can China’s EV brands dethrone Elon Musk? Start-ups Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng are going global with cheaper electric cars for allTesla’s Chinese rival Xpeng ups the self-driving game with world’s first mass-produced LiDAR in P5 sedan, defying Elon MuskThis article Tesla says sorry to Chinese buyers in U-turn to its ‘no compromise’ on ‘unreasonable’ customer grievances as pressure mounts on social media and state press first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Kwa Kim Li, a cousin of PM Lee, faces complaints on her conduct in the preparation of the late Lee Kuan Yew's will.
Some applauded her friend for censoring bum and exposed skin. This article, Beauty influencer sorry for ‘dragging’ Islamic evangelist in sexy photo-op, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to meet in war-torn eastern Ukraine, stressing that millions of lives were at stake from fresh fighting the separatist conflict.
Taiwan’s High Court has sentenced three men to longer jail terms of six to eight months for attacking Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee with red paint a year ago. Cheng Chi-lung, 52, and brothers Tseng Shih-cheng, 34, and Tseng Shih-feng, 28, all from the southern city of Kaohsiung, were found guilty of assaulting and insulting Lam and damaging his belongings by throwing paint at him in the Taipei attack. On Tuesday, they were sentenced to eight, six and seven months’ jail, respectively. 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. Lam, 65, had appealed jail terms of three to four months that could be converted to fines, handed down by the Taipei District Court in November, saying the sentences were too lenient and would not deter others from carrying out similar attacks on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. Lam was one of five Hong Kong booksellers detained in 2015 for selling books about China’s leaders that had been banned on the mainland, and later said he had been abducted by Chinese agents. He moved to Taiwan in April 2019, soon after legislation was proposed in Hong Kong that would have allowed extradition to mainland China – a bill that sparked mass protests in the city and was later withdrawn. He was preparing to open a new bookshop in Taipei when the attack took place nearby on April 21 last year. “Cheng was unhappy with Lam, who used to manage Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong, over his advocacy of Hong Kong democracy and human rights,” Judge Liu Fang-tzu told the court on Tuesday. After hearing that Lam planned to open a new bookshop in Taipei with the same name to promote that cause, Cheng had asked the Tseng brothers to join him in Taipei on April 20 to carry out the attack the next day, the judge said. When they saw Lam on the terrace of a coffee shop near his new bookshop the next morning, Cheng directed Tseng Shih-feng to throw paint at him while Tseng Shih-cheng took photos of the incident, she said. The three men returned to Kaohsiung where they were arrested the next day. Speaking after the verdict on Tuesday, Lam said he was satisfied with the heavier sentences and that the jail terms would “discourage others from doing similar things to hurt people with different opinions”. Lam said he believed he was a target for pro-Beijing activists in Taiwan, and that even after a year he feared being attacked again because of his pro-democracy views.More from South China Morning Post:How documentaries portray the 2019 Hong Kong protests, with echoes of The Hunger Games and V for VendettaBeijing hits back at Western criticism of Hong Kong court’s hefty sentences for Jimmy Lai, opposition figuresDetained Hong Kong bookseller gets back to business in TaiwanThis article Taiwanese men who attacked Hong Kong bookseller get longer jail terms after appeal first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
SpaceX is preparing to carry four astronauts to a crowded International Space Station on Thursday, in the second routine mission since the United States resumed crewed space flight, and the first with a European.
China is not likely to shy away from retaliating against Japan over the Taiwan issue but it is expected to take security rather than economic measures, according to analysts. Tensions have escalated after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga discussed China-related issues with US President Joe Biden on Friday during talks at the White House. The two leaders called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, the first reference to Taiwan – which Beijing claims as its territory – in a joint statement in over 50 years. They also said they would counter China’s “intimidation” in the Asia-Pacific region. After accusing Japan and the US of sowing division over the weekend, Beijing on Monday said the two countries were inciting “group confrontation”.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 and Japan advertise freedom and openness on the surface, but in fact they gang up to form small groups and incite group confrontation, which is the real threat to regional peace and stability,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “China demands that the US and Japan stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” he said, adding that it would “take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests”. Li Jiacheng, a research fellow with the Charhar Institute, a foreign policy think tank in Hebei, said any Chinese measures targeting Japan were likely to be in the area of security. “For instance, China could send military aircraft into Japan’s air defence identification zone, or send public service vessels to the Diaoyu Islands … in a bid to exert deterrent pressure on Japan,” Li said. “China may also strengthen its military deployment around Taiwan.” Relations between Beijing and Tokyo were already strained over the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, which Japan controls and calls the Senkakus. Li also said Tokyo could have taken the position on Taiwan to get a security commitment from the US on the Diaoyus. “China is unlikely to take major economic action against Japan at present as China is pushing for the RCEP to come into force – a regional trade agreement that excludes the US,” Li said. “Japan is a RCEP signatory, plus China still wants to join the CPTTP trade agreement led by Japan.” The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed in November but still needs to be ratified by at least six Association of Southeast Asian Nations and three non-Asean members to take effect. China is Japan’s largest trading partner, accounting for 22 per cent of Japanese exports and 26 per cent of its imports last year, compared to the United States at 18 per cent of exports and 11 per cent of imports, respectively. Trade data from Japan’s finance ministry shows its overall exports jumped 16.1 per cent in March, thanks to a surge in exports to China worth 1.63 trillion yen (US$15 billion), the highest level since trade records began in 1979. Professor Chen Youjun, head of the regional economics department at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said it was not unusual for Japan and the US to make a joint statement. “The key is whether there will be any substantial follow-up action,” Chen said. Song Luzheng, an international relations researcher at Fudan University in Shanghai, said Japan would only be following the US “on the surface”. “I doubt whether it inwardly wants to confront China with the US, given that China will always be in Asia, but the US presence may not. Japan has neither the guts nor the strength to confront China,” Song said. “But if Japan makes substantive moves, China will definitely take countermeasures and fight back hard.” Li said the strengthening US-Japan alliance signalled the urgency for China to unite with neighbouring countries such as Russia, South Korea and North Korea to put pressure on Japan, while Song held that China still needed to maintain good relations with Japan. Additional reporting by Catherine Wong and Sarah ZhengMore from South China Morning Post:China trade: imports help Japan’s exports post largest monthly gain since late 2017China accuses US and Japan of sowing division after Biden and Suga vow to counter ‘intimidation’Biden, Suga call for ‘peace and stability across Taiwan Strait’This article China may hit back against Japan over Taiwan issue but economic action unlikely, analysts say first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Joe Biden's emotional voice on the call to George Floyd's family told the story of his presidency: "I wish I were there just to put my arms around you."
Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday thanked well-wishers for their messages of support after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, as she turned 95 and spent her first birthday without him in more than seven decades.
A Hong Kong court has passed sentence for a breach of the city’s colonial-era sedition law for the first time in more than two decades, jailing a 26-year-old waitress for three years over a doxxing campaign against police and officials during the 2019 protests. Hui Pui-yee’s last-minute bid to be given a hospital order rather than jail time was rejected in the District Court on Tuesday, with the judge saying the gravity of offences warranted immediate imprisonment despite evidence she had been suffering from depression. Hui earlier admitted liability for some 9,400 offensive messages posted from a Telegram account she managed during the anti-government unrest.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. She pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit a seditious act, whereby she admitted spreading hate speech and encouraging doxxing and assault against people supporting the government and police on Telegram, a messaging app popular with protesters. She also confessed to conspiracy to incite others to commit arson by disseminating information about the making of petrol bombs and other weapons on the networking platform in a bid to provoke other users to damage properties by fire. The offences were said to have taken place between August 12 and November 28 in 2019, when Hui and two other unknown Telegram users co-managed a channel called “Boy finds dad and mum”. The court heard the channel, which had 60,068 subscribers and at least 9,407 posts on November 28 that year, had published the personal information of 1,574 people, including mainland Chinese and local government officials, lawmakers and police officers. The group continued the illegal activity despite two injunction orders imposed by the High Court outlawing the doxxing of police officers and incitement of violence on the internet. Former hospital employee arrested for allegedly obtaining patients’ data illegally After her arrest, Hui admitted posting the personal information about government supporters on the platform, as well as calling for people to harass the victims. Further investigation revealed the defendant had discussed spreading information concerning the methods of producing firebombs with the other two administrators. In Tuesday’s mitigation hearing, defence counsel Anthony Lai Ka-kit said his client came from a broken family and, similar to her mother who had left her, had suffered from recurring mental episodes over her adolescence. She was diagnosed with severe depression and mood disorder after her arrest. Lai said Hui’s mental issues had contributed to her poor decision-making and a desire for peers recognition, which she had sought through co-administering the Telegram channel. He asked Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che to consider a lesser sentence – such as a hospital order, under which an offender would be locked up in a psychiatric facility for an indefinite period – saying Hui’s involvement was minor compared to the other two unknown administrators. “The defendant’s role was relatively passive. It can be said she was somewhat an ‘extra’ in the group,” Lai said. But Yiu said the defendant’s acts could have resulted in dire consequences had any attacks materialised as a result of the incitement. “The seriousness of the present offence lies in the fact the defendant made use of open messages on the internet which enabled her to incite more people in a shorter period of time,” the judge noted. Beijing hits back at Western criticism of hefty sentences for opposition figures He set a sentence starting point of four years’ imprisonment for the arson charge and 20 months for the sedition offence, before reducing each by one-fourth to reflect the defendant’s guilty plea. He ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, making a total jail term of three years. The maximum sentence for sedition is two years’ jail and a HK$5,000 fine, while arson draws a prison term of up to seven years when the case is heard at the District Court. Hui is the first person to be found guilty of violating the colonial-era sedition law since Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997. Prosecutors have also invoked the law to prosecute an opposition activist and another for openly calling for the city’s liberation before the commencement of the national security law. Chief Inspector Tai Tze-bun, of the cyber security and technology crime bureau, said the force respected free speech but would not tolerate acts of spreading hatred on the internet.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vows to introduce amendments combating doxxing, fake news and hate speech at Legco meetingBan on doxxing Hong Kong judicial officers, families extended, as High Court judge says ‘prompt and firm’ response neededThis article Hong Kong protests: woman in doxxing case jailed for three years, becomes first person in two decades sentenced using colonial-era sedition law first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Arab League, United Nations, European Union and the African Union on Tuesday demanded an immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya.
The People’s Liberation Army has deployed an advanced long-range rocket launcher to the Himalayas, in a move aimed at reinforcing China’s border defence and acting as a deterrent to India, according to a military mouthpiece and analysts. It is the first time that the PLA has confirmed the deployment of long-range rocket systems to the border with India, after the neighbours last week failed to reach agreement in their latest round of corps commander-level talks over full disengagement along the disputed frontier. An artillery brigade stationed 5,200 metres (17,000 feet) above sea level in Xinjiang military district has intensified its drills using a rocket system during full-wing combat-ready training, a report on the front page of PLA Daily said on Monday.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 report did not give the type or firing range of the weapon, but said it was a system with a long-range rocket with precision strike capability, and had entered service in 2019. Last July, reports from Indian media outlets said China had deployed advanced weapons systems to border areas in the high-altitude desert in its northwest, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in its southwest, including the Type PHL-03 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), which has a firing range of 70 to 130km, and PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzers. But experts said the PHL-03 and PCL-181 were not new advanced weapons, with their ranges being too short to pose a threat. “The new weapon system should be a long-range rocket launcher that can carry multiple 300mm [12-inch] or even bigger rockets with more than 100km of firing range,” said military commentator Song Zhongping, a former instructor in the PLA’s Artillery Corps, the predecessor of Rocket Force. “Only a long-range MLRS is powerful enough to act as a deterrent to India, as the Indian troops are also stepping up military deployment along the borders.” The China-India border dispute: its origins and impact Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong said the long-range MLRS mentioned by PLA Daily was likely to be the most advanced PHL-16, or the Type PCL-191. “The 42-tonne PHL-03 is too bulky for the high altitude … while earlier reports implied that the new PCL-191 would become the military’s main battle rocket system,” he said. The mysterious Type PCL-191 was debuted in the National Day Parade in 2019, but with its name concealed. The name was disclosed a few months later by Chinese military magazine Modern Ships. The modular rocket system of the PCL-191 is able to carry eight 370mm rockets, each with a range of 350km (220 miles), or two 750mm Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missiles, each capable of flying up to 500km, according to Modern Ships. It is not known how many PCL-191 units China has built, but according to a military source an artillery brigade equipped with the cutting-edge weapon system was in December 2019 deployed to Zhejiang province under the Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees the Taiwan Strait. “All new advanced weapon systems need to be tested and deployed to different areas to make sure functions still work under extreme weather,” Song said.More from South China Morning Post:India and China hold fresh round of border talks after ‘smooth completion’ of pullback from Pangong TsoChina tests drones, new rocket launcher near disputed India border areaWhy did the US conduct a freedom of navigation operation against India, and what will the fallout be?This article China deploys long-range rocket launcher ‘as deterrent to India’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Blackstone Group is seeking to invest in more properties in Singapore after buying the Sandcrawler for S$176 million from Lucas Real Estate.
A trader linked to a fraud involving about $1 billion was handed five additional charges related to cheating on Tuesday (20 April).
At least 53 passengers on a flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday, as the Chinese financial hub introduced an emergency ban on arrivals from India over a new wave of cases.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had hoped a fight over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed would result in an easy win -- placating the ultra-conservative quarters at home while being hailed as a defender of Islam abroad.
“The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” has almost reached its halfway mark, and we’ve seen some of the world’s brightest athletes test the physical and mental skills of the global candidates. Those guest athletes have included ONE Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, “Super” Sage Northcutt, and ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Next, … Continue reading "Former ONE World Champ Ben Askren To Make ‘Apprentice’ Guest Appearance"
China will work with Indonesia to try to close the “vaccination divide” as the Southeast Asian country grapples with delays in shipments of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. During a phone call on Tuesday with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would help Indonesia to build a regional vaccine production centre while also continuing to vaccinate its own citizens. “China and Indonesia both highly prioritise public safety and health, and reject ‘vaccine nationalism’,” a Chinese foreign ministry statement quoted Xi as saying.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. Widodo has described vaccine access as a test of international cooperation. Indonesia has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia and turned to China and the United States after a surge in cases in India resulted in delays in Indian-made AstraZeneca jabs distributed through the WHO-led Covax facility. China has shipped Indonesia enough raw materials to make 47 million doses of the Chinese-developed Sinovac vaccine. Indonesia also expects to receive more than 20.2 million doses from Chinese state firm Sinopharm and US company Moderna in the coming months. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said over the weekend that 22 million doses had been distributed so far in the country, the most populous in the region. Also on Tuesday, Xi and Widodo called for more progress on infrastructure projects under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, including on the US$6 billion Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway extension on the Indonesian island of Java. The China-financed railway was expected to be operational by early next year, but has reportedly been delayed by two years, in part because of the pandemic. Indonesian companies building the railway asked for a bigger stake in the project, after costs were set to increase by 20 per cent, Reuters reported. Belt and road projects have come under intense scrutiny, with critics saying the huge sums involved risk snaring developing countries in a “debt trap”, charges that China rejects. China’s leading planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, has also warned of major threats to belt and road projects amid the fallout from Covid-19, rising political risk in member countries and the China-US rivalryMore from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: India to fast track vaccine approvals; Indonesia satisfied with SinovacIndonesia deploys helicopters in search for survivors after cyclone Seroja wreaks havocCoronavirus: Indonesia approves AstraZeneca vaccine; Mumbai sees record daily casesThis article China to help coronavirus-hit Indonesia close vaccine divide first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Singapore prosecutors on Tuesday filed five additional charges against businessman Ng Yu Zhi in relation to a scheme that allegedly raised at least S$1 billion ($746 million) from investors to fund bogus nickel trades. The alleged fraud, which would be one of the city-state's biggest, follows a string of scandals involving Singapore trading firms that have shaken investor and banker confidence in the sector over the last year when some commodities, including nickel, have rallied strongly. The new charges of cheating against Ng were read out in Singapore's State Court.