May.28 -- Renee DiResta, technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, discusses a possible executive order U.S. President Trump is proposing after his tweets were fact-checked. She speaks with Bloomberg's Emily Chang.
May.28 -- Renee DiResta, technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, discusses a possible executive order U.S. President Trump is proposing after his tweets were fact-checked. She speaks with Bloomberg's Emily Chang.
The backlash continues full throttle.Two days after popular Chinese actress Zheng Shuang was accused by her former partner, producer Zhang Heng, of abandoning their two children born to US-based surrogate mothers, Chinese authorities and a host of commercial brands linked to Zheng have reacted to the controversy.Zheng’s surrogacy used a legal loophole and was “definitely not innocent”, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China said on Wednesday.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“Surrogacy is banned in China as it uses women’s uteruses as a tool and sells life as a commercial product,” the commission’s post on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, said. “As a Chinese citizen, the act of travelling to the US on a legal loophole is not abiding the law.”China’s state broadcaster CCTV also commented on Weibo that “surrogacy is banned in China because it overlooks life”, before going on to call the practice “trampling the bottom line [of human morality]”.Fashion brand Prada, who had signed a contract with Zheng just eight days before the news broke, announced it would drop her as its ambassador. Magazines that Zheng had cooperated with, including Modern Weekly and the Chinese version of Harper’s Bazaar, deleted previous social media posts that promoted her.Other brands, including Chinese cosmetics brand Chioture, London-based jewellery brand Lola Rose and hair care brand Aussie, have distanced themselves from Zheng, announcing on Weibo that their contracts with her have already ended and they are not working with her at present.The Huading Awards – China’s equivalent to America’s People’s Choice Awards – announced it will renounce Zheng’s “best actress in a modern TV series” award from 2016 and “top 10 favorite TV stars” award from 2014. Netizens also demanded online that reality shows she currently features in, and films she is scheduled to appear in, drop the actress.Other celebrities and organisations that had previous associations with surrogacy have also come under intense public scrutiny.Blued, a Chinese gay social app, promptly took offline a section that helped users set up services with surrogacy firms overseas, according to Lanjinger, a finance news platform.Netizens also condemned movie star Xu Jinglei after a previous video interview was reposted in which she said she was prepared to use surrogacy when she’s ready to have a child.“It’s quite normal, lots of people around me do it … I’ve introduced many friends to hospitals,” she said in the video.On Monday, Zhang accused Zheng of abandoning their two children born to US-based surrogate mothers after the couple’s relationship ended before the children were born over a year ago. In a voice recording provided by one of Zhang’s friends to Chinese platform NetEase Entertainment, in which Zheng, Zhang and their parents allegedly discussed what to do with the then-unborn children, Zheng’s father suggested that they abandon the children at the hospital, while Zheng expressed annoyance that they could not be aborted as they had been in the womb for seven months.The scandal reignited debates over surrogacy laws in China.A ban of the practice is not technically written in legal codes, but the Ministry of Health has prohibited surrogacy in the country and other government ministries previously launched crackdowns against the practice.Underground businesses still exist, however, where agents set clients up with black-market surrogates in China as well as help them travel overseas to where surrogacy is legal, including some states in the US.There is now a public debate on whether there needs to be an overall ban and even on making the practice a criminal offence.More from South China Morning Post: * Zhang Ziyi follows Jackie Chan, Tom Cruise in playing a character much younger than she is, but fans and critics are not impressed * Chinese viewers divided over film about surrogacy, illegal in China but which thrives via underground networksThis article Backlash to Chinese actress Zheng Shuang’s surrogacy scandal: ‘definitely not innocent’, authorities say, while brands distance themselves first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 40 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Wednesday (20 January), taking the country’s total case count to 59,197.
The school in the case of the transgender student, which has gone viral online, has allegedly barred the student from attending classes again.
A Chinese diplomat in Brazil has mocked Mike Pompeo on Twitter, calling him the best US secretary of state ever, as he prepares to leave office.“You made great contributions in dividing US people and uniting Chinese people, destroying US image and making China greater!” Li Yang, the Chinese consul general in Rio de Janeiro, tweeted on Tuesday, adding that he hated to say goodbye to him.Zhao Lijian, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman and an outspoken Wolf Warrior diplomat, liked the tweet.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.> Mike, You are the best secretary of state ever in the US history. You made great contributions in dividing US people and uniting Chinese people, destroying US image and making China greater! I hate to say goodbye to you! @SecPompeo, @mikepompeo> > — Li Yang (@CGChinaLiYang) January 19, 2021Li, who has 1,900 followers, has begun the year with a barrage of tweets attacking the United States and occasionally Britain, including gloating about the failures of both nations’ coronavirus containment efforts.Two days before his Pompeo tweet, he wrote of US President Donald Trump: “Donald, look at your graduation results: trade war: failed; economy recovery, failed; fighting against coronavirus: failed; re-election campaign: failed; MAGA: question mark!”Joe Biden will replace Trump when he is inaugurated as the 46th president of the US on Wednesday.Li’s tweets continued the harder line adopted by Chinese diplomats towards the US with ties between the nations at their lowest point in decades, for which they have been described as Wolf Warriors. Wolf Warriors in the West: how China’s diplomats are taking to TwitterAhead of the change of president, Biden’s secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken said Trump had been right to take a tougher approach to China.Blinken’s comments came hours after Pompeo on Tuesday announced the Trump administration’s new assessment that China was committing crimes against humanity and genocide against Uygurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups in China’s far-western Xinjiang region.The secretary of state had himself posted a barrage of tweets over the weekend lambasting China’s ruling Communist Party for matters including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and the initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak.Nationalistic Chinese tabloid Global Times hit back at Pompeo on Sunday, branding him a “lunatic”, after Chinese state media previously called him evil and insane for repeating the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported.Li, the diplomat in Brazil, had previously made headlines for writing an article making an unsubstantiated accusation that the Covid-19 outbreak in the US could be linked to a military lab in Maryland.Liu Weidong, a US affairs expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the war of words may be toned down in the early days of the Biden administration.“China won’t anger the Biden administration at a time when bilateral relations might be adjusted for better,” Liu said. “And without Pompeo, the Biden administration would not be that aggressive towards China, even though containing Chinese influence is still their primary goal.”More from South China Morning Post: * US declares China has committed genocide in its treatment of Uygurs in Xinjiang * US sanctions Chinese officials, executives over ‘coercive behaviour’ in South China Sea * Want to be a Chinese diplomat? Developers have a program that emulates China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ rhetoricThis article ‘Mike Pompeo was the best ever’: China’s Wolf Warriors are tweeting again first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Zinedine Zidane insisted his players still believe in him after Real Madrid suffered an embarrassing defeat by third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
Luxury fashion house Prada has cut ties with a popular Chinese actress amid claims that she abandoned her children born to surrogates abroad after breaking up with her boyfriend.
The man molested the woman, pressing his body to her and rubbed her belly several times after she told him she was pregnant.
Indulge in leisurely high tea buffets in Singapore with these credit card deals that make time with loved ones — or yourself — even sweeter. We’re now in 2021, and it’s an understatement to say that we’ve been through a year of challenges. It’s time to […] The post High Tea Promotions In Singapore (2021) appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
When the quest for a coronavirus vaccine began, China invested big in what it saw as the safest bet – inactivated vaccines.State-owned Sinopharm and private company Sinovac worked with government-affiliated labs to work around the clock to design inactivated viruses while construction started on biosecure facilities to meet anticipated demand.But then came the results from developers of an alternative technology called mRNA.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The stellar efficacy data from clinical trials by mRNA vaccine pioneers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna sent shock waves through the industry, prompting a reassessment of the approach.A top Chinese health official has since urged companies to look again at the new technology while other domestic players are already making the pivot to embrace what they say is a new vaccine era. What are the coronavirus mRNA vaccines and how do they work?In November, soon after Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna announced an interim efficacy rate of more than 90 per cent for their candidates, the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention told the country’s vaccine executives that mRNA technology could revolutionise the industry and they should be ready.Addressing the 4,000 people at the China Biological Products Annual Conference in Zhuhai in southern China, George Gao Fu said it was highly likely that mRNA vaccines would have the ultimate power to fight the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.“The technology is fast, potent and induces longer immunity, from cellular to humoral immunity,” Gao said, referring to anitbody-mediated immunity.“You are the heavyweights of the industry. I hope you will give thought tonight about whether your company should make a transition and whether you should start to make arrangements to work on mRNA vaccines.”Until the United States approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use last month, the shots used on people were mostly a safely weakened version of the virus, which triggered the human body to make antibodies to fight the disease proper.More advanced vaccines revolved around injecting part of the pathogen, such as a protein or sugar, to induce an immune response.The mRNA vaccines take a different approach altogether – delivering instructions to cells to make useful proteins.These formulas rely human cells decoding genetic material from the virus and making proteins to fight it. The material, synthetic mRNA, is wrapped in an oily bubble coating made of lipid nanoparticles to be delivered into the human body.Once in the body, the material fuses to cells and the cell’s molecules decode the genome sequence to build spike proteins, which train the human body to launch an immune response. The mRNA from the vaccines degrades in about 72 hours so it will not combine with human DNA. We can’t rule out risks with Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, top Chinese health official saysThe idea of using mRNA has been around for decades, but had got little beyond early stage human trials for cancer treatment or vaccines for the flu, Zika and rabies.Then Covid-19 happened and developers looked to unlock the power of mRNA.Xiang Zuoyun, chief strategy officer with Chinese vaccine developer Walvax Biotechnology, said this was the start of something new.“[mRNA] is excellent technology for developing viral vaccines in the future and it is very likely that, in 20 or 30 years, all vaccines will use it. The trend is quite obvious,” Xiang said. “I feel we are witnessing the beginning of a new vaccine era.”Xiang said biological companies should either acquire or foster the technical ability to seize the business opportunities presented by mRNA technology.One of the big advantages of synthetic mRNA is that it is much easier and quicker to produce in the lab than it is to inactivate or attenuate a virus. Moderna took only two months to design an mRNA vaccine and launch trials after Chinese scientists released the genome sequence of the coronavirus. And, in theory, mRNA can be directed to produce any protein, opening the door to make all kinds of vaccines for infectious diseases or even cancer.China has a handful of biotech start-ups specialising in mRNA vaccines and drugs, most of which were founded by scientists who gained their expertise overseas.One start-up is Stemirna Therapeutics, which has been given the green light for Covid-19 vaccine trials.Two other mRNA candidates jointly designed by Jiaotong and Fudan universities in Shanghai are in preclinical studies.Walvax is working on its ARCoVax vaccine with the Academy of Military Science and Suzhou Abogen Biosciences. Its candidate entered a phase 1B clinical trial in October and construction started on a factory for it in Yuxi, Yunnan province, last month. The goal is to be in production within eight months with an initial capacity of 120 million doses.Walvax has tried to shift more of its resources to mRNA vaccines by selling off some stakes in a company in the process of registering its HPV vaccine but this has been blocked by shareholders keen to reap the rewards of the earlier investment.Other companies are also trying to forge ahead. Last month Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products bought 10 per cent of Shenzhen Shenxin Biotechnology, one of China’s few start-ups developing mRNA vaccines for rare diseases, to increase its core competitiveness.Zhang Linqi, professor of medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said mRNA was pushed to the forefront for the first time when clinical trials proved it to be safe and effective.“It has the advantage of being safe, quick to respond and precise in targeting the pathogen,” Zhang said. “If there is a future disease X, the mRNA technology will have a big advantage on the front line in fighting it.”However, mRNA developers still need to find ways to scale up production, reduce side effects and stablise the mRNA molecules, which can fall apart at room temperature and have to be transported under very cold conditions, according to Zhang.Heavyweights like Moderna and BioNTech have a head start in this area. Moderna established an mRNA-based pipeline for various infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and rare genetic diseases before the Covid-19 pandemic. It announced earlier this month that the company would start evaluating three candidates for seasonal flu vaccines and two candidates for HIV vaccines, and another as a vaccine against the Nipah virus. BioNTech also has a research pipeline of about 21 cancer drugs. Coronavirus: China breaks ground on mRNA vaccine plantPeng Yucai, founder of Zhuhai Lifanda Biotechnology, a biotech start-up specialising in mRNA vaccines and drugs, said good data from large trials of mRNA vaccines in other countries would have a positive influence on drug regulators in China, raising confidence in the new technology and increasing the prospects for such vaccines to be approved in the future.But the industry needs the government’s help to overcome a possible production bottleneck.“It’s a burgeoning industry, from the supply of raw materials to the supply of production equipment and it’s the case not only in China but also for the whole world,” Peng said. “The production chain will improve if the government is keen to develop the industry. It’s achievable.”More from South China Morning Post: * China’s coronavirus success shows it has caught up with West in some areas of innovation, Nobel laureate Paul Romer says * Coronavirus: Norway raises concern over Pfizer vaccine jabs for elderly as Australia seeks information * Coronavirus: experts say no reason for alarm over reports elderly people died after being given vaccine * US coronavirus deaths top 400,000 as Donald Trump leaves office * Chinese scientist’s spike protein research paves way for Covid-19 vaccineThis article Coronavirus: is China ready for the mRNA vaccine revolution? first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
US President Donald Trump left the White House for the final time on Wednesday, heading by helicopter to a nearby military base where he will fly to Florida, skipping the inauguration of successor Joe Biden in an extraordinary break with tradition.
Shanghai authorities began evacuating a residential neighbourhood near the historic Bund riverfront after Chinese officials discovered at least three new coronavirus cases on Thursday.
The family of a French-Irish teenager will challenge an inquest ruling that she died by misadventure after vanishing in the Malaysian jungle while on holiday, their lawyer said Thursday.
Two separate tuberculosis clusters involving 18 people who had prolonged exposure at the Singapore Pools Bedok Betting Centre have been identified.
Brazil could soon face shortages of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine due to delays in the export of key ingredients, and local politicians are concerned that strained ties with Beijing may be a factor holding up shipments.CoronaVac, produced by Sinovac Biotech Ltd, won approval for emergency use from Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa on Sunday. The first health professionals were vaccinated on Monday in the state of São Paulo, making CoronaVac the first and for now only vaccine available in the country.The São Paulo government has ordered 46 million doses of the vaccine, with 6 million doses made available after the regulator’s approval. However, this batch will run out in a few weeks and Beijing has not yet approved shipment of ingredients needed to make more.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Explainer | What do the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine efficacy results mean?Dimas Covas, head of the Butantan Institute in São Paulo that conducted CoronaVac’s largest phase 3 clinical trials, said in a news conference on Monday that the delay was a bureaucratic issue.The next day he asked Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to intervene, though the president has previously criticised CoronaVac, calling it the vaccine of “death and disablement”, and attacked China over the cause of the pandemic.“If the vaccine [CoronaVac] is now Brazil’s, may our president have the dignity to defend it and solicit the support of his foreign ministry in discussions with the Chinese government,” Covas said.Brazilian politicians are concerned the attacks on China by Bolsonaro and his allies will discourage Beijing’s cooperation.Rodrigo Maia, president of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, a federal legislative body, said on Tuesday he would meet Chinese ambassador Yang Wanming to discuss the shipment delays, but noted the lack of goodwill between the two sides.“The Brazilian government has stymied a relationship with China. We need to at least know what is happening, what is the reason for the active ingredients not reaching Brazil,” he said.An estimated 8.5 million of Brazil’s 210 million people have been infected with the coronavirus, and the country has the world’s second-highest death toll with more than 211,000.In April, Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, retweeted a reference to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus”, a term that angered Beijing when used by US President Donald Trump in reference to the first outbreak of the disease in the central China city of Wuhan.In response, China’s consul general in Rio de Janeiro, Li Yang, wrote an editorial in O Globo newspaper defending Beijing’s handling of the outbreak. He asked the president’s son: “Have you been brainwashed by the United States and are now following them like cattle in opposing China?”The vaccine has become a factor in Brazil’s presidential election next year, with São Paulo governor João Doria one of Bolsonaro’s main challengers. In October, Bolsonaro vetoed a deal between the health ministry and Doria’s São Paulo state government to purchase CoronaVac doses.Separately, Bolsonaro issued a decree in August to set aside US$356 million to buy and eventually produce 100 million doses of another vaccine jointly developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.That product has also received emergency use approval from Brazil’s health regulator, but a plan to import 2 million doses fell through due to a lack of export approvals from India, where it is manufactured.Besides the problems in India, AstraZeneca’s Brazilian partner Fiocruz said in a note to Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry on Tuesday there was also a shortage of active ingredients due to export delays in China, which could affect the planned early February delivery date.This means Brazil must rely on CoronaVac for its immediate nationwide immunisation programme, confirming fears the country has not secured enough doses of different vaccines.São Paulo has about 1.5 million doses of the Chinese-made vaccine while a portion of the other 4.5 million are being distributed to 10 other states by the federal government.Butantan head Dimas Covas criticised Bolsonaro for his opposition to CoronaVac on Tuesday at an inoculation site in São Paulo.“Until Sunday the vaccine was our president’s number one enemy,” he said. “The vaccine was worthless because it was from China; just nonsense from someone who had not the slightest idea.”More from South China Morning Post: * China’s Sinovac defends Brazil results but regulators to look hard at data * What do the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine efficacy results mean? * Coronavirus: Brazil finds China’s Sinovac vaccine to be less effective than previous data showsThis article Brazil may face shortages of China’s Covid-19 vaccine amid strained ties first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The European Union's top officials expressed relief on Wednesday that they would again have a friend in the White House as Joe Biden replaces Donald Trump.
Many Singaporeans think that buying commercial and/or industrial property is the best way to avoid ABSD. However, is this necessarily true?
Paul Pogba produced a moment of magic as Manchester United came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 and reclaim the Premier League lead on Wednesday, ending Manchester City's short stay at the top.
An Israeli non-governmental organisation has accused the Jewish state of "apartheid" in its treatment of Palestinians -- a taboo-breaking move that has seen its representatives banned from speaking in schools.
China’s top epidemiologist has likened a coronavirus outbreak in a northern city to a “mini Wuhan”, warning that community transmission could worsen.In an interview with China Newsweek magazine, George Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the outbreak in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, was the first to start in a rural area and had a “fierce momentum” resembling the initial stages of the Wuhan spread.“[It is] not so large as in Wuhan ... but still has local outbreaks,” Gao was quoted as saying. “I am cautiously optimistic, but I must not take the epidemic lightly.”Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Hebei has reported more than 1,000 infections since the first case in months in the province was confirmed on January 2.The province has become the centre of the biggest outbreak since China contained the first wave in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province in spring.In addition, more than 350 cases have been reported in the north in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces and Beijing.Gao said the outbreaks were expected because the coronavirus had seasonal characteristics like flu, which becomes more common after autumn, according to the report.Frozen food could play a role in transmitting the virus and outbreaks in some areas were “normal” given that China and even the northern hemisphere was a “giant cold chain”.Gao said the CDC was still assessing transmission at the community level. It was under control, but a more serious epidemic was not impossible.“The weather is particularly suitable for the virus to survive ... There is a possibility of a sudden epidemic caused by a superspreader,” he said.Gao warned people to remain as vigilant as they were early last year during the Wuhan epidemic.“We must not be careless and believe China has controlled the epidemic well. China is part of the global pandemic. Whatever happens in the world happens here,” he said.“We must look ahead in epidemic prevention and control and be ready for a crisis, like we were when we faced the epidemic in Wuhan.” As Chinese cities face new Covid-19 lockdowns, have lessons of 2020 been learned?By early January, Wuhan had reported only a few dozen cases of the disease but the city’s hospitals were already crowded with patients with undiagnosed pneumonia. Wuhan eventually went into strict lockdown on January 23 as community transmission rampaged.A year later, when the first case was detected in a village in Shijiazhuang, the case number soon spiked, mostly among middle-aged and elderly people from rural areas, and later spread to neighbouring counties and districts in central Shijiazhuang.Gao said this suggested the pathogen had been spreading in the communities for some time.Gao, who has been in Shijiazhuang since January 5, said it was difficult to investigate the source of epidemic even though the genome sequencing showed the outbreaks in Xingtai, another city in Hebei, were linked to the one in Shijiazhuang and were both triggered by virus strains from overseas.“The sourcing of the epidemic in Hebei is the most challenging [of the recent outbreaks],” Gao told Shijiazhuang police, according to a statement on the CDC website on Monday.Gao said the decision to lock down Shijiazhuang and Xingtai while citywide tests were carried out was correct because it was necessary to identify all the infections.It was also important to move thousands of villagers into quarantine because there was no guarantee otherwise that people could be isolated within their rural homes, he said.“We haven’t identified all the infections in the three villages where most cases came from. The report of confirmed cases has not passed two incubation periods. We can only say the epidemic is controlled when no new cases pop up,” Gao said, adding it could be after Lunar New Year, which starts on February 12.He said the ultimate tool to contain the disease was vaccination, which required 70 per cent of the population to be inoculated to build an immunity barrier.So far 15 million people have been vaccinated throughout the county, according to the National Health Commission.More from South China Morning Post: * Coronavirus pandemic review panel critical of delays by China and WHO, seeking ‘global reset’ * China’s rural Covid-19 clusters challenge country’s strategy to stop disease spreading * Coronavirus: what’s life like for the 20 million Chinese back in lockdown? * China reports first Covid-19 death in 8 months as thousands of Hebei residents are evacuatedThis article Coronavirus: China grapples with ‘mini Wuhan’ as cases rise in the north first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The cast and crew of a popular streaming series starring Bollywood megastar Saif Ali Khan have agreed to "implement changes" to the show after ruling party politicians accused it of insulting Hindu gods.