After years of proxy warfare, Saudi Arabia's secret talks with arch-rival Iran signal a high-wire diplomatic act as it scrambles to rein in Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels, although prospects of a breakthrough look remote.
Imagine never having to call to waive your credit card annual fee… ever. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Here are four ways to enjoy no annual fees for life. Most credit cards in Singapore come with no annual fee for only the first year or […] The post 4 Types Of Credit Cards With Lifetime Annual Fee Waivers appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
The largest real-world study yet of the Pfizer/BioNTec vaccine on Thursday confirmed that the jab provided more than 95 percent protection against Covid-19, but found that the level dropped significantly when people received just one of the two prescribed doses.
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.
268,000 people from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will receive their AstraZeneca jabs from today. #CucukMyAZ This article, Thousands turn up for first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in Malaysia, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
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.
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.
SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts.
Police are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out in a Hong Kong residential block on Wednesday, sending a woman to hospital and forcing more than 30 to flee from their homes. Emergency personnel were sent to the six-storey building on Canton Road in Mong Kok at 12.08am when a first-floor flat burst into flames. No one was inside the flat at the time, according to police. Dense smoke billowed out from the burning flat, spreading to the staircases and forcing 32 tenants to flee the building.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. According to the Fire Services Department, 12 fire engines and two ambulances were deployed to the scene. “Firefighters had to break through the door to enter the flat and fight the blaze with two water jets,” its spokeswoman said. Four family members, including 2-year-old girl, killed in blaze She said the flat was packed with piles of sundry items and firefighters spent more than two hours battling the flames. A search was also carried out inside the flat to ensure no one was trapped. Two female tenants inhaled smoke while fleeing from the building and complained of feeling unwell. One of them, aged 40, was sent conscious to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment. The other one was treated at the scene. The spokeswoman said initial investigation found nothing suspicious about the cause of the fire, and the case had been handed over to police. A police spokesman said some accelerant substances were found at the scene and officers were investigating the cause of the blaze. There were two cases of deadly fire in the city over a stretch of four days last month. On April 16, a 47-year-old woman, her two daughters and granddaughter were killed in a fire at their flat in Kwun Tong. The woman’s husband was also critically injured. Fatal fire at Hong Kong housing estate leaves one dead, one injured Police said a lithium battery in an electric massage chair in the flat was suspected to have overheated, causing the piece of furniture to burst into flames. The fire department said a task force had been set up to investigate the cause of the blaze. On April 19, a 70-year-old man suffered serious burns while trying to put out a fire that broke out in his Sham Shui Po flat. He died in hospital the next day.More from South China Morning Post:Fatal fire at Hong Kong housing estate leaves one dead, one injuredFour family members, including 2-year-old girl, killed in Hong Kong housing estate blaze after massage chair catches fireThis article Police investigating cause of midnight blaze in Hong Kong residential block first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The United States should prepare for the possibility that its strategy to rally allies to confront China may not succeed in pressuring Beijing to alter its behaviour, the White House’s top Asia official said on Tuesday. One abiding belief held by China analysts was that the Chinese government would alter course if it faced opposition from a front of other countries, said Kurt Campbell, who serves as the Indo-Pacific coordinator on the Biden administration’s National Security Council. “I believe that there is some hope for that, but at the same time I do believe that Chinese foreign policy is in the midst of a substantial evolution,” Campbell said during a discussion event hosted by the Financial Times.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. “It’s entirely possible that in some circumstances they will simply double down and that they will not backtrack,” he said. “And I think we have to recognise that some elements of our playbook may require revision.” As the Biden administration has formulated its nascent China policy, senior officials have repeatedly highlighted the need to bolster partnerships with allies to confront Beijing, distancing themselves from the go-it-alone approach of the previous administration. In the new administration’s first three months, the push for multilateralism has brought coordinated sanctions with allies against Beijing over its treatment of ethnic minority groups in China’s far west; a rare joint statement from Tokyo and Washington regarding the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait; and a G7 session this week dedicated entirely to the challenges posed by Beijing. Yet Chinese officials have shown little sign of bowing to the mounting pressure, instead issuing their own retaliatory sanctions, dismissing criticism as interference in China’s internal affairs, and using a bilateral meeting in Alaska to chastise US diplomats in front of the cameras over their claims to occupy a “position of strength”. Speaking on Tuesday, Campbell did not suggest that a refusal by Beijing to change course in the face of an international front meant the policy was not worth pursuing. Rather, he said, a coordinated approach would help the US and allies to better defend their interests should China continue to rebuff their grievances. “The reason that we work together with other countries is not simply about the hope that China will change course, but [is also] for the goal of working with other countries in and of itself,” Campbell said. “It leads to greater resiliency: we may need to work more closely together if we face, in some circumstances, an implacable set of circumstances with regard to China.” Campbell’s remarks come as the Biden administration wades through an inter-agency review of its China policy, touching on matters ranging from defence to the suite of tariffs on Chinese imports – a legacy of the Trump administration. What is going on in Xinjiang and who are the Uygur people? Top US officials have publicly expressed the belief that the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping is pursuing an increasingly authoritarian agenda, be that domestically, in the Indo-Pacific region or in multilateral forums such as the United Nations. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent CBS interview that Beijing was “acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad”, while US President Joe Biden last week described Xi as an autocrat who was “deadly earnest about [China] becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world”. The prospect of a Chinese government increasingly defiant of international pressure came as Xi chose to surround himself with a smaller number of loyalists, said Campbell, a long-time China expert who previously served as Barack Obama’s top diplomat overseeing East Asian and Pacific affairs. Xi had moved China’s governance away from a model of collective leadership towards a scenario in which he would listen to the counsel of three to seven advisers, according to Campbell, who said: “He is a person who likes to be reaffirmed in his views.” Asked about any plans for Biden to convene a face-to-face meeting with Xi, Campbell suggested that such an event was a way off. “We want to make sure that the set of circumstances domestically in the United States are appropriate before we undertake some of the things that we’re contemplating [regarding China] as we go forward,” he said. The Biden administration’s early approach to handling relations with Beijing – keeping in place many of the Trump administration’s unilateral policies while fortifying partnerships with like-minded nations – represented “the worst of all worlds” for Beijing, said Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Despite the double-pronged approach, it would be “very difficult” to get China to change course on issues surrounding Hong Kong and Xinjiang, said Economy, speaking alongside Campbell at the Financial Times event. But that could change if an increasing number of countries in the Middle East and Africa began to join the international outcry over China’s actions in Xinjiang, according to Economy. “It’s easiest for China to push back against this when it’s just the United States or even just the United States and sort of the advanced democracies” because Beijing can frame such opposition as “an effort by the US to contain China in some way”, she said. Additional reporting by Robert DelaneyThis article US efforts to rally allies may not sway China, says Joe Biden’s top Asia official first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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.
Cao Daweng, the Chinese billionaire founder of Fuyao Glass Industry Group made famous by the Oscar-winning 2019 documentary American Factory, is planning to invest 10 billion yuan (US$1.54 billion) to build a technology university in China, as the country pushes for self-reliance amid a protracted tech war with the US. “Fuyao University of Science and Technology is being established to cultivate applied and technical talent for the country’s economy and advanced manufacturing industry,” said Cao-founded Heren Charity Foundation, which will lead the project, in a statement on Sunday. Located in Fuzhou, the capital city of China’s southeastern Fujian province and home to Fuyao’s headquarters, the new university plans to enrol 3,000 to 5,000 students from across the country, focusing on bridging the skills gap between the laboratory and the real world, according to local media Fuzhou News.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. Billing itself as a “cradle of engineers”, Fuyao University of Science and Technology intends to adopt educational best practices from Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea, and will seek to cooperate with top-tier global universities. The Chinese government has repeatedly stressed the importance of technological self-reliance, as the US and China, the world’s two largest economies, battle to lay claim on the key technologies of the future. “The tech war is likely to evolve into one that controls technology categories more than particular companies,” wrote Dan Wang, technology analyst at consultancy Gavekal Dragonomics, in a report published on Tuesday. During China’s key annual political meetings in March, known as the “two sessions”, the national legislature said it would increase spending on basic research by 10.6 per cent this year. Investment in research and development would grow at an annual rate of at least 7 per cent over the next five years, according to Beijing’s policy blueprint. Calls for self-sufficiency have become increasingly urgent after more Chinese tech companies came under US sanctions, including telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co, world-leading drone maker DJI, home-grown chip champion Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, as well as artificial intelligence start-ups SenseTime and Megvii. Fuyao’s business has also been adversely affected by the US-China trade war. The Hong Kong-listed car window manufacturer had paid more than US$11 million in extra duties after the US imposed punitive tariffs on vehicle parts, according to the company’s 2019 annual report.More from South China Morning Post:US-China tech war: software maker Kingdee sees opportunity in shift to domestic cloud services marketUS legislation for US$112 billion tech research funding to counter China will be delayed, lawmakers sayChina encourages its universities to take initiative in international science and techUS-China tech war: Beijing’s main policy lender pledges US$62 billion to fund tech innovationUS-China tech war: US chip innovation is hurt by Beijing’s ‘mercantilist’ strategies, Washington think tank saysThis article US-China tech war: Fuyao Glass owner Cao Dewang of American Factory fame to build a science and technology university first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
A Malian woman who gave birth to nonuplets in Morocco is "doing well" and her nine babies are being treated in incubators because of their weight, the Moroccan clinic where she delivered said Wednesday.
An Italian court convicted two young Americans Wednesday for the murder of a police officer while they were on a summer holiday in Rome, with both handed life sentences.
An information war over the Indo-Pacific region is expected to intensify with the US military’s decision to set up a task force aimed at stifling China’s influence and information operations. Military and security analysts said the creation of the task force meant the United States was integrating military and non-military instruments of warfare to counter China. The creation of the task force in the Pacific region was revealed by General Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, in a House Armed Services Committee meeting in March when he said the US needed to tamp down disinformation by China.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 task force would work with “like-minded partners” in the region, he said. “By working closely with those partners to ensure that our adversaries, our competitors are not getting that free pass and to recognise what is truth from fiction and continue to highlight that, to using our intel communities, is critical,” Clarke was quoted by US-based military website C4ISRNET as saying. At an earlier committee meeting that month, Christopher Maier, acting assistant secretary of defence for special operations/low-intensity conflict, said the US military would step up countering propaganda, disinformation and deception, force protection and disrupting adversarial influence capabilities. “Adversary use of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda poses one of today’s greatest challenges to the United States, not just to the Department of Defence,” he said. “With first-mover advantage and by flooding the information environment with deliberated and manipulated information that is mostly truthful with carefully crafted deceptive elements, these actors can gain leverage to threaten our interest.” Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor and Hong Kong-based military affairs commentator, said the new task force would also be aimed at gaining military intelligence about the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army. “The US is looking to know more about the PLA, including the PLA’s ability to engage in combat and the development of Chinese military industry,” he said. “So from China’s perspective, it is necessary to strengthen the security of various military installations and prevent infiltration.” Song also said the task force could spread disinformation about China’s military, stirring up trouble for Beijing. Everything you need to know about the US-China tech war Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the setting up of the special task force reflected US concerns over Chinese media and information operations in relation to public opinion. “Information war will intensify as part of China’s efforts to weaken US and allied resolve, particularly over Taiwan and in the South China Sea. For the US not to respond would be to hand the operational initiative to China, putting it in a much stronger position to shape the battle space before the use of kinetic force,” Davis said. He said the US would highlight Chinese operations, both in traditional media and social media, promoting an alternative perception of events from that being disseminated by Beijing. “So this is part intelligence gathering, and part media operations on the US side, identifying where China’s information strategy is focused, and developing counter responses to blunt its effectiveness,” Davis said. The US has deemed China its rival. Former commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command Phil Davidson said last month that China was using regular media and social media to undermine American and other democratic systems, dividing Washington and its Asian allies. US lawmakers are also scrutinising a bill laying out an approach towards competing with Beijing, covering facets from diplomatic strategy, military deployment and competing values, to curbing China’s “predatory international economic behaviour”. Kissinger warns China and US against escalating to all-out AI conflict Michael Raska, an assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said the US decision to set up the task force came as China was projecting its power and influence in areas such as Taiwan. The US is rethinking the integration of military and non-military instruments of warfare – including cyber and information operations in multiple domains – to influence an opponent’s strategic choices and options, he said. “The use of cyber means as political instruments of warfare is increasingly reflected in Taiwan as well as the ongoing territorial disputes over the South China Sea,” he said. “Potential conflict zones in East Asia therefore reflect greater complexity through the strategic interactions and interdependencies between the cyber, information, cognitive and physical domains of warfare, which present new challenges for both US and China’s traditional conceptions of deterrence and defence.”More from South China Morning Post:US welcomes China’s peacekeepers in Africa but wary of Beijing’s military inroadsA more accessible Arctic becomes proving ground for US-China military jockeyingThis article US-China infowar escalates as America deploys task force in battle for power and influence 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.
Rafael Nadal began his bid for a sixth Madrid Open title in simple fashion on Wednesday, easing past youngster Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 to reach the last 16.
An SMRT train captain who videoed himself sleeping inside what appears to be a moving MRT cockpit has been disciplined and is no longer working at the company, said the head of the train operator on Tuesday (4 May).
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.