North Koreans lay flowers in front of statue of the country's founder Kim Il Sung on the anniversary of his birth. Kim, the North's founder, is the country's Eternal President despite dying in 1994.
North Koreans lay flowers in front of statue of the country's founder Kim Il Sung on the anniversary of his birth. Kim, the North's founder, is the country's Eternal President despite dying in 1994.
US President Joe Biden is expected to announce his strategy toward China soon, and calls are growing for him to make a clear public commitment to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of Chinese aggression.
Blue Aqua International will partner dnata, an air and travel services provider, to convert organic waste from its catering and ground handling operations at Singapore’s Changi Airport into insect protein for aquacultural use.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday dismissed an advisory panel of doctors' ranking of Covid vaccines according to safety, saying Canadians should take whichever jab is offered to them first.
A group seeking election to the student union of Hong Kong’s oldest university has revealed it plans to adopt a more discreet approach to political issues under the shadow of the national security law, striking a balance between staying true to its values and avoiding the legislation’s pitfalls. “Defiance”, the sole contenders to run the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) student union, also pledged on Tuesday to be more cooperative following management’s decision last week to cut off services to the body, which came two weeks after Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily described it as a “malignant tumour”. HKU on Friday said the intervention was necessary as it accused the student union in recent years of using the campus to spread “propaganda” and make “inflammatory and potentially unlawful public statements and unfounded allegations against the university”.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. The university’s sidelining of the union – which is independently registered under the Societies Ordinance – includes reasserting control over the body’s facilities, cutting off its access to financial services and stopping the collection of dues on its behalf. The management’s approach sparked fury among some students and alumni, who organised petitions against the decision. Grilled by fellow students on Tuesday ahead of the by-election being held between May 24 and 28, the proposed student cabinet Defiance said it wanted to “strike a balance between freedom of speech and legal risks”. The four-member group was asked about its stance on HKU management’s moves last week, as well as its take on sensitive political issues. They earlier described the HKU intervention as “drawing a clear line of demarcation with the [student] union”, but told the consultation session they hoped at this stage to show “goodwill” to the administration. University of Hong Kong cuts off services to student union over ‘propaganda’ “That does not mean we are backing down on our values,” said presidential hopeful Kwok Wing-ho, adding it would still “exhaust every way to protect [and ensure] that the student union can still manage the [facilities it previously controlled]”. The union’s 68-page campaign booklet referred to “dwindling freedom of speech and imminent suppression” faced by HKU’s student union. The manifesto added the risks surrounding students taking part in union activities were unprecedented, with the body “facing the grimmest challenges it has ever seen”. The candidates also said they planned to handle political issues more discreetly, although they pledged to “speak out against injustice” in their campaign booklet. “We will [for instance] issue statements on important issues,” Kwok said. As examples, he pointed to HKU severing ties with the union last week and Beijing’s sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, which include cutting the number of directly elected seats in the legislature. One student asked the group if it would arrange a screening of Inside the Red Brick Wall – a documentary featuring a 13-day stand-off between protesters and police at Polytechnic University at the height of the 2019 anti-government protests – even if HKU management disapproved of such an event. The aspirant cabinet said would consider doing so in venues outside the university, but would also consider the legal risks. “We will not actively hold [activities] that would risk breaching the law. We would also seek legal advice,” he said. “We have to strike a balance between legal risks and freedom of speech, such that students’ safety [as participants] can be eventually protected.” Kwok added: “We are neither lawyers, judges nor national security officers, so we cannot know for sure what may or may not break the law. But we have to resign [to the fact] that authorities have already declared certain phrases and slogans as unlawful.” Most of Hong Kong’s eight public universities have been left without popularly elected student unions this year, with some young people deterred from putting themselves forward for election for fear of falling foul of the national security law. Only PolyU’s student union is still operating after being elected by their peers in February. In March, Chinese University’s popularly elected student union cabinet resigned on the same day as taking office, shortly after school management severed ties with the student body over concerns its pre-election manifesto could be in violation of the national security law, which was imposed last June and bans acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. University management also accused the union of “exploiting” the campus for their political agenda.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong protests: Civil Human Rights Front refuses to cooperate with police investigation into its activitiesHong Kong protests: students say lifetime ban on teacher over ‘biased’ materials unfair and disproportionateThis article National security law: University of Hong Kong student union hopefuls plan cautious approach to avoid flouting Beijing-decreed legislation first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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.
Thousands of Shiite Muslim devotees –- many not wearing masks -- gathered in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore for a religious procession on Tuesday, fanning fears about the spread of the coronavirus after similar crowds were blamed in neighbouring India for its own surge.
At least 10 COVID-19 cases of the Indian variants have been detected in Singapore's community, with half linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, including the 46-year-old Filipino nurse who is fully-vaccinated.
Malaysia’s Disney+ will cost RM54.90 every three months. This article, Disney to launch ‘Hotstar’ streaming service in Malaysia in June, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
The Group of Seven wealthy democracies on Tuesday discussed how to form a common front towards an increasingly assertive China in the foreign ministers' first in-person talks in two years.
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.
FYI: Non-practicing Muslims exist in Malaysia This article, The woes of four non-practicing Muslims in Malaysia during Ramadan, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 4 May 2021 - UK government projections for its British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa scheme to attract 150,000 applicants in the first 12 months and 300,000 within five years are firmly on track. In mid-April, just ten weeks post launch, 35,000 Hongkongers had applied for the visa. The scheme is open to 5.4 million Hong Kong residents in total. The scheme's popularity is consistent with the 2020 research findings of UK Holmes, a London property search agent, on the subject of UK property investment. Of the 1,000 survey respondents, 80% indicated that they intended to apply for the BNO visa. Critically, these are people in the prime of their working lives:70% are aged between 30-49 35% earn HKD1m plus and 9% have an annual income in excess of HKD2m40% are employed in the finance and technology sectors. London's strong financial and tech job markets One of the major motivations to move to London was more diversified and professional job opportunities, with 58% of respondents affirmative on this point. Whilst both Brexit and the global pandemic have cast a pall on much of the UK economy, the outlook is considerably brighter for both finance and technology markets. The City of London is second only to New York City in global financial rankings and is home to 402,000 finance sector employees. In defiance of gloomy predictions of job losses post Brexit, a 2020 Financial Times survey of 24 large international banks and asset managers found that the majority had increased their London headcount over the past five years. According to the UK's Tech Nation Report 2021, London achieved stellar growth of 87% in tech investment from USD5.6bn in 2018 to USD10.6bn in 2020. But finding local talent is problematic. In March the BBC reported that a leading think tank, The Learning and Work Institute, identified that over the past six years there has been a 40% drop in students taking IT subjects at GCSE level. Accenture says that demand for AI, cloud and robotic skills is soaring. Emigrants focus on schools and security Looking at other motivational factors for the move to the UK, the report from UK Holmes found that 36% of respondents were focused on financial benefits. Significant areas of concern were access to good quality schools (36%) and neighborhood security (22%), indicative of the fact that a high proportion of these Hongkongers looking to start a new life in the UK are young families. UK government steps up support for BNO visa holders On April 8, the UK government announced a £43m support package for BNO visa holders arriving into the UK, of which £30.7m will go to councils across England to assist with English language training and housing support. A further £5m will be used to establish 12 "virtual" welcome hubs across the country that will provide local helplines advising on school admissions, registering with a doctor and even starting a business. Hongkongers' mature outlook on London housing On the subject of housing, Hongkongers have been prominent investors in London's new-build property developments in Prime Central London (PCL) over recent years. Yet the UK Holmes report identified that 75% of respondents are interested in looking at established properties. This apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that only 17% of respondents were 'pure' investors. A total of 42% were intending to initially buy a UK home for investment purposes before occupying within the first two years whilst 34% were intending to occupy their new home immediately. In a sign of growing market maturity 65% of respondents stated a preference for employing a UK-based property search agent to assist with their home purchase, double the 32% who were inclined to use a Hong Kong based equivalent. Contrary to all expectations the London residential market experienced strong growth in 2020, posting average gains approaching 9%. London market offers shrewd investors excellent opportunities Reflecting on this, Terry Stephens, founder of UK Holmes, commented: "The London property market in 2020 produced some unexpected winners and losers. But the first point to acknowledge is that the government's economic rescue packages, both the furlough scheme and stamp duty holiday, underpinned the frenzy of sales activity and surging prices." "Equally compelling was the reaction of London residents to lockdown as housing transformed into remote offices, gyms and education centers. This created a desire for increased space, both indoors and outdoors, and an exodus from inner London to its leafier outer suburbs. The winners were vendors selling semi-detached and detached houses. The luxury home market was also a significant beneficiary of the £15,000 stamp duty saving on properties valued at £500,000 or above." "The losers were those selling flats, particularly those in Inner London, which experienced blowouts in time on the market and price drops. Aside from the change in buyer preferences, the market was also negatively impacted by a mass emigration of European immigrants due to Brexit and the trading embargo on high street hospitality and retail markets." "But the story is more complex than that and, to the untrained eye, the uneven price performance of neighboring London boroughs looks bewildering. The bottom line is that the London market is actually a complex ecosystem of individual markets that are being distorted by a variety of forces, not all of which will prevail in the longer term. There are excellent buying opportunities in London in 2021 but this isn't a market for the faint-hearted. Before buyers take the plunge, they need to do their homework very well."About UK HolmesUK Holmes is a London-based residential property buying agent providing turnkey solutions for offshore buyers. UK Holmes employs London's House Detective, a property professional with 12 years' experience. His in-depth knowledge of how to successfully navigate the complexities and pitfalls of the London market to find customers their ideal home provides true peace of mind. To learn more, please visit www.ukholmes.com.#UKHolmes
An administrator of a Telegram chat group which shared pornographic images pleaded guilty on Tuesday (4 May) to his charge of circulating obscene images in order to keep his account active.
The fate of the European Union’s investment deal with China fell further into doubt after an EU spokeswoman was forced to deny a report on Tuesday saying it had suspended the treaty’s passage to ratification. The French news agency AFP quoted EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis as saying in an interview: “We have … for the moment suspended some efforts to raise political awareness on the part of the Commission because it is clear that in the current situation, with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions, including against members of the European Parliament, the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement.” AFP’s Twitter feed used the headline “#BREAKING EU suspends efforts to ratify China investment deal: commissioner”, sparking debate among EU-China watchers, trade analysts and others on the social media network.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. But an EU spokeswoman said Dombrovskis’s comments had been taken out of context. In a written statement, the EU said: “The agreement needs to be now legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process of the [deal] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship.” It continued: “In this context, Chinese retaliatory sanctions targeting members of the European Parliament, and an entire parliamentary committee, are unacceptable and regrettable. The prospects for … ratification will depend on how the situation evolves.” The deal needs to be approved by the parliament but also the EU Council, which is made up of all 27 heads of state, before it can becomes law. Chinese sanctions leave investment deal with EU on the rocks With dozens of members of the European Parliament being sanctioned by China in March in response to low-level EU sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it seems unlikely to get the votes required in 2022. Nonetheless, the depth of the opposition to the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) could be seen in the reaction to the suggestion that the EU was ready to kill it before it reached the parliament. “Considering the frenzied lobbying of multinationals and the German government for the CAI, it’s a huge victory!” tweeted Raphael Glucksmann, a French MEP sanctioned by China in March. Hannah Neumann – a German MEP and a vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, the entire membership of which was sanctioned – said that regardless of whether Dombrovskis had spoken out of context, the parliament would vote to take the decision out of the commission’s hands in a motion that would see all debate on the CAI frozen until sanctions are lifted. “There will be a resolution in parliament in the May session. Given the debate we had in plenary and earlier, in the human rights committee, I see a majority to put the CAI ‘in the freezer’, meaning not to deal with it, as long as China upholds its sanctions against elected members of parliament as well as the human rights committee,” Neumann told the South China Morning Post. China, meanwhile, has been urging EU leaders to make faster progress on the treaty. EU lawmakers vow to kill China investment deal over Beijing’s sanctions In a readout of a call between President Xi Jinping and German and French counterparts, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Chancellor Angela Merkel had remarked that “she hopes that with joint efforts from both sides, the EU-China investment agreement will take effect at an early date”. These or similar words were absent from the German readout. Antoine Bondaz, a China analyst with the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, said that China’s sanctioning of MEPs had sealed the deal for the investment deal, which he believed would not pass. “China brilliantly succeeded in doing what it feared the most: to make China an object of an European political debate and above all to unite the different political sensitivities among themselves,” Bondaz said.More from South China Morning Post:China tops agenda as G7 foreign ministers meet in LondonEU aims to cut reliance on China for chips and pharmaceutical materialsChina-EU relations: why Beijing may not want to let Xinjiang sanctions undermine investment dealThis article EU denies it has suspended efforts to ratify China investment deal first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Upset that a police officer who was supposedly shouting at him for being near a police operation, a lawyer shouted back, claiming that he was an officer of the Supreme court and that he was "bigger" than the police officer.
The United States, South Korea and Japan pledged Wednesday to cooperate on North Korea as their top diplomats met in London, coming together despite renewed tensions between the Asian nations.
The authorities are not ruling out the possibility of a second Circuit Breaker, even as it announced tighter restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 amid a rise in the number of community cases.
World number three Simona Halep was dumped out of the Madrid Open on Tuesday, losing 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the last 16 to Belgian Elise Mertens, while Dominic Thiem claimed a straightforward win in his first match since March.
A shadow government of ousted Myanmar lawmakers said Wednesday it has set up a "people's defence force" to protect civilians, as the police and military deploy deadly arms against anti-coup protesters.
Last year, as China’s economy started to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, Ding Yi saw export orders take off. Ding, who runs a factory making stainless steel strips in the city of Wuxi in eastern Jiangsu Province, even invested in new equipment while demand was good. But with commodity prices now above pre-pandemic levels, the businessman is starting to feel anxious again.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We tried to find new suppliers, but every supplier was raising prices,” he said. “Then we raised the prices of our products instead, but our downstream suppliers could not accept it. “Now we are stuck in a stalemate.” Profits at China’s industrial firms nearly doubled in March from a year ago as both foreign and domestic demand surged along with the economic recovery. But the sharp rise in demand from China and developing countries has had the knock on effect of boosting demand for raw materials, eating into those profits. Small private-sector manufacturers like Ding, whose profit margins were thin to begin with, are left with no choice but to try to pass the spike in raw material costs on to consumers. China’s home appliance industry, where analysts say raw materials can account for more than 60 per cent of costs, announced late last year it would increase prices, with a number of leading brands jacking up prices again in the first quarter of this year. In its semi-annual Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank forecast energy prices to be on average more than one-third higher this year than in 2020, with oil around $56 a barrel. Metal prices are expected to increase 30 per cent and agricultural prices to rise almost 14 per cent. “Global growth has been stronger than expected so far and vaccination campaigns are under way, and these trends have buoyed commodity prices. However, the durability of the recovery is highly uncertain,” said Ayhan Kose, World Bank group acting vice-president for equitable growth, finance and institutions, and director of the prospects group. “Emerging market and developing economies, both commodity exporters and importers, should strengthen their short-term resilience and prepare for the possibility of growth losing momentum.” In China, economic activity is still robust and is likely to remain so in the near-term, with both the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices in April above 50, the level that separates growth from contraction. But analysts say growth has likely peaked or is close to doing so after expanding at 18.3 per cent year on year in the first three months. Ding invested 100 million yuan (US$15.4 million) in new equipment and projects last year as orders increased, even though he knew demand would slow as the vaccination roll-out gathered pace in the West. “I know what we are doing, but I also sensed that a lot of our counterparts who massively increased investment last year did not realise this order surge would not last,” Ding said. He added supply, supported by the new capacity, would outweigh demand in the second half of the year, when there will be “wailing wind and weeping rain” for many firms. The price of some raw materials like iron ore and copper have surged to all time highs this year amid a post-coronavirus recovery in many countries around the world, said Tony Sycamore, APAC market analyst at City Index. China’s Politburo targets economic risks to ensure post-pandemic recovery “In China, a lot of fiscal stimulus projects are centred around infrastructure, which requires a lot of steel,” he said. “The key inputs for steelmaking is iron ore and coking coal.” In the first quarter, China imported 283 million tonnes of iron ore – about 60 per cent of which was from Australia – to record an increase of 8 per cent year on year. The import price for iron ore averaged US$150.79 per tonne, up 64.51 per cent from a year earlier, according to China Iron and Steel Association. Surging iron ore prices have pushed up domestic steel prices, too. In the final week of April, the steel price index rose to 148.88 points, up 24.36 points from the end of last year. We now hope the government will increase investment in infrastructure construction to spur consumption Ding Yi China started to scrap import tariffs on certain steel products and raw materials from May 1 to secure more steel resources and curb iron ore consumption amid skyrocketing prices. It also temporarily exempted some primary steel products from import tariffs and hiked export tariffs for ferroalloys and high-purity pig iron to reduce exports and increase domestic supply. Authorities also cancelled export tax rebates for 146 steel products at the beginning of the month in another blow to exporters. “Our annual revenue is expected to be slashed by millions of yuan at least after the export tax rebate is cancelled,” Ding said. “We now hope the government will increase investment in infrastructure construction to spur consumption, so manufacturers can get through this difficult time.”More from South China Morning Post:China’s economic growth may have ‘peaked’, will ‘wane’ for rest of 2021 after April sentiment slowdownChina population: coronavirus pandemic fuels decline in migrant labourers amid fears about ageing workforceChina digital currency: could backing bitcoin as an investment help promote its sovereign digital currency?China unlikely to certify Boeing 737 MAX to fly again any time soon, analysts sayAsia’s finance chiefs in united call to help Covid-hit economiesThis article China’s small manufacturers endure ‘difficult time’ as surging raw material prices drive up costs first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.