A charity in the French city of Lyon is collecting used bars of soap from hotels in the area and, instead of throwing them away, recycles them through the Unisoap company to then offer them to people in need.
A charity in the French city of Lyon is collecting used bars of soap from hotels in the area and, instead of throwing them away, recycles them through the Unisoap company to then offer them to people in need.
Kwa Kim Li, a cousin of PM Lee, faces complaints on her conduct in the preparation of the late Lee Kuan Yew's will.
A police manhunt is under way for a gang of attackers who assaulted two men with bamboo poles on a Hong Kong street in the early hours of Wednesday. A video circulating online shows several assailants beating the two victims with one- to two-metre-long poles as they lay in the road, trying to shield themselves from the blows with their arms. The footage also captured the aftermath of the attack, showing one of the victims lying on the ground with his face covered in blood when police arrived.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. Five students among 22 arrested following illegal drugs and liquor seizure Officers were called to Yee Kuk Street in Sham Shui Po after receiving a report of fighting from a passer-by at 1.41am. One of the victims, a 37-year-old man, suffered injuries to his forehead, right forearm and right knee. According to police, the other man, aged 36, was his colleague, and was experiencing pain all over his body after the attack. The pair were taken to Caritas Medical Centre in the same district for treatment. Officers combed the area, but no arrests were made. Police are searching for eight to 10 men in connection with the attack, according to the force. Elderly man dies in hospital after being rescued from burning flat in Sham Shui Po A police source said the two victims had been heading home after a night of heavy drinking at the time of the attack. “We believe they had had a dispute with the others while on the way home, and then they were assaulted,” the source said. The bamboo poles used in the attack were recovered at the scene, and officers have checked surveillance camera footage from the area to gather evidence. Detectives from the Sham Shui Po criminal investigation unit are handling the case. In 2020, police dealt with 3,514 reports of serious assault across the city. There were 3,902 cases the previous year. This article Hong Kong police seek gang of assailants who attacked pair with bamboo poles in Sham Shui Po first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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.
Queen Elizabeth II turned 95 on Wednesday, just days after burying her late husband Prince Philip, in what will be her first birthday without him in more than seven decades.
Blackstone Group is seeking to invest in more properties in Singapore after buying the Sandcrawler for S$176 million from Lucas Real Estate.
The European Union does not want to see the strategic rivalry between China and the United States develop into a cold war and will seek to cooperate with all parties in the Indo-Pacific region, a senior Brussels official said on Tuesday. On Monday the EU adopted its first joint strategy for the Indo-Pacific, which said that while it was committed to closer cooperation with the US, it also acknowledged the need to engage and work with China on many matters of common interests.Gunnar Wiegand, the managing director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic and defence department, told an online conference that the bloc was adopting a “European approach” to the region and was looking after its own interests.He said Europe had learned many lessons from the Cold War – where many of its members found themselves on different sides of the Iron Curtain – and said: “We certainly have no interest as Europeans to see the world falling back into anything like a cold war [or] a hot war. So we will always promote cooperation over confrontation.” Life after Merkel: Germany’s ties with China head into the unknown He also said many others in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Association of Southeast Asian States, also want to avoid having to take sides.The EU recently introduced sanctions on Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang – prompting retaliatory measures from Beijing and increasing the uncertainty about whether the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment would be approved by the European Council and Parliament.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 Wiegand said this issue was separate from the EU’s Indo-Pacific policy, adding that the deal was in the interests of European companies with interests in China and would leave them better placed to compete with US and Chinese businesses. “I’m not optimistic. I’m not pessimistic. When the right time comes, everybody will have to take their own decisions and responsibility,” he said. Wiegand identified climate change as the key area where the EU wanted to cooperate with China, citing its role as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and in tackling plastic waste. He added that Europe hoped for broad-based cooperation with partners in the region on other policy areas, including health and research. EU drops plans to punish China over Hong Kong electoral reform The EU document also implied there would be a greater European naval presence in the region, including the disputed South China Sea, with France, Germany and the Netherlands planning to send or considering sending warships there. Wiegand said the security of maritime supply routes was a vital strategic interest for Europe.More from South China Morning Post:China’s defence minister on Europe mission as US tries to rally NatoWhy US and China’s push to set up rival power blocs are likely to failPhilippine defence officials deny threat to withdraw support from Rodrigo Duterte over South China Sea row with BeijingMerkel backs Xi on need to avoid new cold war, but presses China on human rights, transparencyChina likely to respond in kind to EU sanctions on Xinjiang, observers sayThis article Europe ‘doesn’t want to see a new cold war between China and US’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
A 90-year-old Hong Kong woman has been conned out of US$32million by fraudsters posing as Chinese officials, police said, in the city's biggest recorded phone scam.
Moscow's military build-up on the border with Ukraine is even bigger than in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, describing the deployment as "very seriously concerning."
From choosing a BTO unit to purchasing a flat in the resale market. Here’s how you can own your own HDB flat if you’re 35, single, and Singaporean. What is HDB? A statutory board under the Ministry of National Development (MND), the Housing & Development […] The post What Type Of HDB Flats Can Single Singaporeans Buy? appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
The South African COVID-19 variant has been detected in Singapore based on unofficial sources but the information has yet to be verified by authorities here, according to the WHO.
The United States should rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (CPTPP) and work with China to merge the agreement with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to create a huge free-trade area that would include the two largest economies in the world, according to China’s former chief trade negotiator, Long Yongtu. The CPTPP is an ambitious trade agreement that was created after the US withdrew from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership during the administration of former US president Donald Trump. Merging the RCEP with the CPTPP would create the largest free-trade pact in the world. With China already a member of the RCEP, and Beijing having already shown its willingness to join the CPTPP, Washington’s stance is key to economic integration in the region, said Long, the former Chinese vice-minister of international trade and the point man during the country’s years-long talks to gain access to the World Trade Organization in 2001.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 participation of the US would definitely be good news for the Asian regional economic integration. We need to convey such a message to the US president Long Yongtu “We hope that the Biden administration can adopt a more positive attitude towards multilateralism, starting with [rejoining] the TPP, so that the entire Asia-Pacific region will be very happy,” he said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Monday. “The participation of the US would definitely be good news for the Asian regional economic integration. We need to convey such a message to the US president.” Long also said that the conditions for integrating the RCEP with the CPTPP are already very mature, given that the two free-trade agreements have several common member states – Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China is “actively considering” joining the CPTPP. His comments came as political tensions remain heated between the world’s two largest economies, which have clashed on issues ranging from Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang to Hong Kong and Taiwan, leading to calls for economic decoupling. China ‘needs’ trade pact like CPTPP to force it into domestic reform “If the US cannot become a part of the Asia-Pacific trade agreement, it will be a heavy blow to the unity and cooperation of the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Long said. US President Joe Biden has sought to present a united front with Japan to counter China in the Asia-Pacific region. “The ball is in the US’ court,” Long said. “If the US adopts a positive attitude towards regional cooperation in the entire Asia-Pacific region, the prospect of merging the RCEP and TPP will be a matter of course.” Long said that the signing of the RCEP symbolised that the weight of the global economy has already shifted to the Asia-Pacific region, but he added that there was still work to be done in terms of cultivating “regional cooperation and regional trade liberalisation”. China signed the RCEP in November with 14 other Asia-Pacific nations after eight years of negotiations, while India pulled out of the deal at the last minute. The trade agreement, initiated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2012, covers nearly one-third of the world’s population and gross domestic product. Others who spoke at the Boao Forum said that the rising confrontation between China and the US was one of the biggest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region. “South Korea is extremely concerned” about the adversarial nature of the US-China rivalry, said Chung-in Moon, chairman of the Sejong Institute and a distinguished professor at Yonsei University. If the United States wants to compete with China in Asia, it has quite an opening, because so many of these other Asian countries are feeling so wary of Beijing Susan Shirk And Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Centre at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, pointed to China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy”. “The people in the United States and people in Asia are concerned because Beijing appears to be picking fights with many of its neighbours – with Australia, with Japan, with India, with the Philippines,” she said. “We wonder what happened to the smart, sophisticated regional strategy.” “I have to say that, regrettably, many of China’s actions are creating a backlash, not just in Asia, but in the US and other parts of the world as well. So, if the United States wants to compete with China in Asia, it has quite an opening, because so many of these other Asian countries are feeling so wary of Beijing.”More from South China Morning Post:China-Australia relations: on first anniversary of trade conflict, hay-import licences bedevil Australian exportersWhat’s China’s beef now? South American meat producers stake claim in Chinese market amid trade disruptions with AustraliaChina ratifies RCEP trade deal three months ahead of schedule, urges other members to follow suitChina’s imports from US set record in first quarter, but their trade imbalance grows on strong Chinese exportsChina trade: B2B e-commerce booms as world looks to get back outside and resume ‘normal life’This article US urged to join mega APAC trade deal by China’s former chief trade negotiator 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.
Two witnesses giving evidence against an ex-opposition lawmaker on trial for breaking pandemic social-distancing rules lied about what they saw the defendant do outside a bar in Hong Kong last year, a court heard on Monday. The lawyer for former Civic Party member Tanya Chan also further questioned the credibility of the two witnesses, a man and a woman, by saying that far from meeting Chan by chance that night, they had worked with two others to film the defendant and fabricate evidence against her. Chan was charged alongside former party colleague Gordon Lam Sui-wa with taking part in an illegal group gathering at the HANDS bar on Tai Nan Street in Sham Shui Po on April 2.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. Bar manager Chan Wai-choi faces one summons of knowingly allowing a group gathering prohibited under coronavirus social-distancing measures and another of failing to comply with regulations in relation to a catering business. Who is Tanya Chan? Hong Kong opposition lawmaker’s curtain call on career shifts spotlight to her past The defendants have denied all charges before Magistrate Andy Cheng Lim-chi at Kowloon City Court. According to the prosecution, the manager had served about 40 guests, including Tanya Chan and Lam, at his bar at around 11pm despite a ban on public gatherings of more than four people. The gathering was said to have continued into the early hours of the next day, when a separate directive calling for the closure of all pubs and bars in the city took effect. The prosecution initially relied on the evidence of four witnesses, but police had failed to contact one of them, while another, surnamed Ng, refused to testify, prompting the magistrate to order Ng’s arrest. The court heard the four were friends who met up for a chat on the night in question. But they later decided to split up into two groups, with one eating at the bar and the other having dessert at a shop on the opposite side of the road. Amy Poon Mey-mey, who went for dessert, testified she noticed a large number of people entering the bar and people smoking outside. She said she was “astonished” by people “acting in complete disregard of the law”. Poon then saw Tanya Chan enter the bar but did not see what she did during her 20-minute stay. Former Hong Kong lawmaker Tanya Chan and two others charged over bar gathering prosecutors say broke social-distancing rules Lui Ho-lam, who was with Poon, said he later saw a drunken Chan walk out while being carried by two men, as she “swayed from side to side”. She later got into a taxi and left. But defence lawyer Franco Kuan Bak-on cast doubt on that claim by referring to the 10 photographs Poon took at the scene, some of which showed Chan leaving the bar alone, and which were later published by various media outlets. Kuan further questioned why Poon and Lui would decide against entering the bar with their friends if they had really had intended to meet up for a chat. The lawyer told Lui: “You and Amy were not there to chat. You were there to stalk the defendants, and you have exaggerated your evidence against them.” Lui denied the allegations. The trial continues on Tuesday.This article Prosecution witnesses lied about former lawmaker’s behaviour on night of alleged social-distancing violation, Hong Kong court hears first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Chinese researchers are conducting a trial to see if mixing Covid-19 vaccines that use different technologies is safe and whether it could boost immunity. A trial began earlier this month to give a first dose of the adenovirus-vectored vaccine made by CanSino Biologics, followed by a protein subunit vaccine produced by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical, according to a clinical trials registration site run by a department under the US National Institutes of Health. The Jiangsu Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting the trial, with 120 people taking part in the eastern province, and they expect preliminary results in mid-June.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. Similar trials are being carried out in Britain and Russia, and one is planned for Italy, to test whether it is possible to mix vaccines as a way to provide lasting immunity and more flexibility. For now, Chinese health authorities do not recommend mixing vaccines that use different technologies, or sequential immunisation, but the guidelines state that people can be given different brands that use the same technology. Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, sparked controversy when he told a conference earlier this month that authorities were considering allowing mixing to see if it improved the efficacy rates of vaccines. Gao, also a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was involved in developing the protein subunit vaccine with Anhui Zhifei Longcom. He later backtracked, telling state tabloid Global Times that he was speaking generally about a strategy to boost immunity and his remarks should not be taken as a suggestion that Chinese vaccines had low efficacy rates. China has cheaper vaccine technologies joining the race to beat the pandemic The reported efficacy rates of Chinese inactivated vaccines are lower than for some Western jabs. A Sinopharm unit reported a 79 per cent efficacy rate for one vaccine, while another it developed was 72 per cent. A study in Chile showed a third vaccine made by Sinovac was 67 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and reduced fatalities from the disease by 80 per cent. That compares to the 94 per cent efficacy reported for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both of which use mRNA technology. Wallace Lau Chak-sing, chair of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Hong Kong, said it was important to carry out trials to determine whether and how vaccines could be mixed, and he cautioned against direct comparisons of efficacy rates. “Various vaccine trials have been conducted in countries with a different Covid-19 status, at different times and on different study groups,” Lau said. “Different trials use different outcome measures for vaccine efficacy, so the safety and efficacy of various vaccines should not be casually linked.” Virologist Jin Dong-yan, from the same university’s medical school, supported research to see if mixing vaccines could improve efficacy and potentially “help to build up stronger herd immunity”. In addition to combining two vaccines, further research could include using a higher dosage of the inactivated vaccines, or giving a third dose, Jin said. China’s first mRNA vaccine ready for final stage trials overseas The Anhui Zhifei Longcom vaccine is a subunit protein vaccine, meaning it uses purified pieces of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 to trigger an immune response and booster shots are required. The authorities have said three jabs are needed for the Anhui Zhifei Longcom vaccine within six months of the first dose. It is still in phase 3 trials in Pakistan, Indonesia, Ecuador and Uzbekistan but has been authorised for emergency use in China and Uzbekistan. Anhui Zhifei Longcom has yet to report an efficacy rate or any phase 3 trial data. CanSino’s single-shot vaccine uses an adenoviral vector to deliver a virus antigen and trigger an immune response. It had an efficacy rate of 65.7 per cent for preventing symptomatic cases in its interim phase 3 results. It has been approved for emergency use in Pakistan, Chile and Hungary and for conditional launch in China. The CanSino-Anhui Zhifei Longcom trial will test the safety and immunity of healthy participants who are over 18 and have already had a CanSino shot. They will receive the Anhui Zhifei Longcom vaccine 28 or 56 days after the CanSino dose, while a placebo group will be given an influenza vaccine. Of the other trials under way, Russian researchers are mixing two vaccines using adenoviral vectors – Sputnik V, made by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine. In February, the University of Oxford began testing a combination of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech shot and the trial was recently expanded, with people given the first dose to randomly receive a shot of the same vaccine, the one made by Moderna, a mRNA vaccine, or by Novavax, a subunit protein vaccine which is awaiting approval. Meanwhile, Italian researchers are waiting for regulatory approval to begin a trial to give people who have had the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine a different second shot – either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Sputnik V vaccines. Additional reporting by Simone McCarthyMore from South China Morning Post:China seeks to become major global vaccine player in wake of Covid-19 pandemicChile says China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine 67 per cent effective against symptomatic infectionCoronavirus vaccines: China’s CanSino distances itself from blood clot fearsThis article Chinese trial mixes Covid-19 vaccines using different technologies first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
DBS Group has agreed to buy a 13% stake in privately-owned Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Corp (SZRCB) for 5.29 billion yuan ($814.3 million), marking the Southeast Asian lender's biggest acquisition in China. DBS said in a statement on Tuesday that it had received approvals from China's banking and insurance regulator and Singapore's central bank for the investment, part of its plan to accelerate its expansion in China's Greater Bay Area.
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.
Five Hong Kong students were among 22 people rounded up following the seizure of HK$34,000 (US$4,376) worth of illegal drugs and liquor in an anti-narcotics operation over the past three days, according to police. The five suspects were believed to be customers in a mini-storage centre that was converted into an unlicensed pub and karaoke lounge on Ng Fong Street in San Po Kong. Detectives from the New Territories North regional crime unit picked up the students and 11 others when they raided the premises on Saturday night.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 venue was allegedly used to store and tout illegal narcotics and for abusers to take drugs,” a police spokesman said. Police arrest garage worker in HK$12 million drugs raid in Hung Hom Inside the venue, officers seized HK$17,000 worth of illegal drugs, including cannabis buds and some tablets of Ecstasy, along with HK$12,000 worth of liquor. One of the 16 suspects, a 22-year-old man believed to be in charge of the premises, was held on suspicion of trafficking in a dangerous drug, operating an unlicensed karaoke establishment, selling alcoholic beverages without a liquor licence and violating pandemic-related social-distancing rules banning public gatherings of more than four people. The other 15 suspects, aged 16 to 26, were arrested for possession of illegal drugs, drinking in an establishment without a liquor licence and violating social-distancing rules. On Monday, police arrested another six men aged between 19 and 26 on suspicion of selling cannabis on the internet. Officers seized HK$5,600 worth of cannabis during raids. “The force will continue to crack down on lawbreakers and criminal syndicates who use online platforms to tout illegal drugs,” police said in a statement. In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine, according to police. Last month, customs officers arrested two daughters of veteran comedian Richard Ng Yiu-hon and seized marijuana plants and products worth more than HK$1 million in two separate raids on their homes in Sai Kung on March 23 and 26. In 2020, local authorities seized 1,071kg of marijuana in the city, a 186.4 per cent jump from 374kg confiscated in 2019.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong police arrest garage worker in HK$12 million drugs raid at industrial building in Hung HomHong Kong police arrest man in HK$1.4 million drugs seizure in Tsim Sha Tsui hotel roomThis article Five students among 22 Hongkongers arrested following seizure of HK$34,000 worth of illegal drugs, liquor over three days first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Hong Kong authorities have confiscated HK$358 million (US$46 million) worth of contraband cigarettes so far this year – up 137 per cent from what was seized in the whole of 2019. Nearly 133 million black-market cigarettes were seized between January 1 and April 15 this year. The goods, if legally imported, would have helped the government generate more than HK$250 million in taxes. The haul was about 65 per cent of the 205 million illicit cigarettes confiscated last year. About 56 million contraband cigarettes worth HK$151 million were seized in 2019.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. Customs seized contraband cigarettes worth more than HK$560 million this year, up 270 per cent from 2019 A law enforcement source attributed the sharp increase in the seizure volume to enhanced enforcement actions. “We struck whenever intelligence indicated contraband cigarettes were being smuggled into the city or illegal tobacco products were being stored,” he said. He also said seizure numbers rose because illegal tobacco traders had used sea routes to smuggle cigarettes into the city due to the closure of major border checkpoints amid the coronavirus pandemic, and shipping containers could carry larger volumes of the contraband item. The source added that smugglers were using circuitous routes to avoid detection. “Black-market cigarettes are being shipped through various ports in Asian countries before being illegally smuggled to the final destination,” he said, adding that one such shipment might take several months to arrive. He said countries of origin included the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and mainland China. After the Easter break, Hong Kong police and customs officers confiscated about 33 million contraband cigarettes worth HK$88 million from warehouses in the New Territories in three raids between April 10 and 12. Another source said the operations were carried out when illegal tobacco traders resumed underground business after the holiday period. “Intelligence indicates that contraband cigarettes are often stored in tin-sheeted warehouses in secluded areas in the New Territories before being circulated in the city,” he said. In the past, the items were usually stored in industrial complexes in the city’s urban and rural areas. Hong Kong authorities seize HK$46 million worth of illicit cigarettes, arrest five in New Territories raid “We will continue to monitor the trend and take appropriate enforcement actions to combat the illegal trade,” he said. Officers will continue to intercept the entry of such items at source, as well as target the storage, distribution and peddling of illicit cigarettes, according to the Customs and Excise Department. In Hong Kong, importing or exporting unmanifested cargo carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a HK$2 million fine. Dealing in or possessing illicit cigarettes is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and a HK$1 million fine. Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activity on the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.This article HK$358 million worth of contraband cigarettes seized in Hong Kong so far this year – up 137 per cent from whole of 2019 first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has published a personal reminiscence about his late mother, saying she taught him to live an honest, thrifty life. Whereas personal memoirs are commonplace among Western politicians, it is unusual for a retired Chinese leader to publish such a personal account because the state maintains rigid controls over all narratives relating to state affairs. In an article originally published in a newspaper in Macau, Wen presented both his mother and himself as people tested by hardship and uncorrupted by power.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. Wen, 78, wrote that his mother, Yang Zhiyun, who passed away in her late 90s at the end of last year, had suffered tumultuous days of war and political purges but maintained high moral standards throughout. He said that even after he was promoted to a central government post in 1985, his mother “never asked for anything from the [Communist Party] organisation” and never used his name to seek favours for the family. Wen, whose parents were both primary schoolteachers in the northern city of Tianjin, wrote: “My mother and father dedicated their lives to the revered course of education and always lived on meagre salaries. They left no property or savings behind.” Wen, who was the head of the government between 2003 and 2013, wrote that his mother had been extremely strict and instilled a strong sense of integrity. “One day I found a one cent coin and put it in my pocket, and it was found by mother,” Wen recalled. “She started to beat me and asked where I got the cent, and she beat me so hard that the broom broke. From that moment on, I knew that I can’t take what isn’t mine, not even a cent. Her teaching during my childhood has benefited me throughout my whole life.” The article was originally published in four parts over the past month in the Macau Herald, a weekly Chinese newspaper in the Chinese special administrative region and former Portuguese colony. The full article was republished by a number of accounts on the social media platform WeChat in mainland China on Saturday night. Users have been banned from sharing the article, with the platform’s owner Tencent citing unspecified violations of the site’s rules, but it can still be read. Chinese state media outlets, including the official Xinhua news agency, People’s Daily and Chinese Central Television, did not republish or report on the article. Macau journalists brace for restrictions on press freedom Wen also mentioned an incident when a man hurled a shoe at him during a speech at Britain’s Cambridge University in 2009. He wrote that his mother, then 88, suffered a cerebral embolism while watching the incident live on television and from that time on had problems with her eyesight, speech and mobility. Wen said he had spent most of the time since his retirement in 2013 with his mother. “I retired after I worked in the Zhongnanhai compound for 28 years, including 10 years as premier,” Wen wrote, referring to the place where Chinese state leaders live and work. “For people like me [from a humble background], it is by accident that I became a senior official. I obeyed orders with the utmost prudence and caution as I walked on thin ice or stood on the edge of a cliff.” At the end of the article, Wen made a brief political statement about the country. “China, in my vision, should be a country of justice and fairness. There’s eternal respect for human hearts, human morality and humanity, and there’s always an air of youth, freedom and hard work. I cried over it and I fought for it,” Wen wrote. “This is the truth I learned from my life, and this is also the gift given by my mother.” Wen also described how his father had suffered during the Cultural Revolution, writing: “My father was detained at his school and frequently suffered from brutal interrogations, verbal insults and physical beating. Cultural Revolution was wrong: party mouthpiece breaks Chinese media silence “At one time, a Red Guard punched my father’s face and my father’s face was so swollen that he could barely open his eyes to see things. My father couldn’t withstand any more and shouted back while pointing to his own chest, ‘Lad, you can punch me here!’” Wen recalled how his mother had also suffered during the massive social upheaval during that time, sending a share of her meagre salary to the school where his father was being held to pay for his food. “She always worried that the money wouldn’t reach my father and insisted the guards give receipts as evidence,” he wrote.More from South China Morning Post:Ex China premier Wen Jiabao states innocence in letter to Hong Kong columnistWen family hits back at 'lies' on hidden fortunePremier Wen chides ChongqingThis article Former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao pays tribute to late mother who ‘taught me not to take what isn’t mine’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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