As the Kushner family moved to Florida, following in Trump’s footsteps, their previously rented property is going back the rental market for 18k$ a month.
As the Kushner family moved to Florida, following in Trump’s footsteps, their previously rented property is going back the rental market for 18k$ a month.
Thousands of minors without papers are arriving at the US border with Mexico, presenting President Joe Biden with a potentially major crisis in one of America's most politically sensitive regions.
Other methods that can also reduce risk of transmission must instead be used, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Santhara entered New Zealand while the country’s citizens were having trouble getting home. This article, How did Malaysian MP Edmund Santhara get into New Zealand? NZ’s COVID-19 rep wants to know, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle headed to California in search of a sunny and glamorous new life, they probably didn't expect so much of their first year would be spent stuck at home.
Hong Kong’s financial chief has hit out at a Washington-based think tank for removing the city from an annual league table ranking the world’s freest economies, saying the decision was “clouded by political bias”. The city drops off the Heritage Foundation list published on Thursday, a year after losing the No 1 position it held for decades to Singapore. Hong Kong and Macau were quietly removed from appearing under their own names and instead listed with China. The compilers said classifying the economy under China was a reflection of Beijing’s “ultimate control” over the city.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Hong Kong no longer ranked world’s freest economy Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the move was unjustified during the latest webinar in the Redefining Hong Kong series organised by the South China Morning Post. “I do not agree that our economic policy has been taken over by the central government,” he said. “It seems to me when they arrived at that decision, it must have been clouded by their ideological inclination and political bias.” He insisted the city still enjoyed its economic competitiveness with the free flow of capital continuing under “one country, two systems”, the governing principle for Hong Kong. The rule of law is respected in the city, Chan added. Earlier, the conservative think tank wrote: “The index this year measures economic freedom only in independent countries where governments exercise sovereign control of economic policies.” It went on to say that while Hong Kong and Macau residents benefited from policies offering greater economic freedom than in mainland China, “developments in recent years have demonstrated unambiguously that those policies are ultimately controlled from Beijing”. The foundation, which is nearly 50 years old, is an influential right-wing think tank, which had strong ties to the Trump Administration. It takes a conservative position on issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, but promotes free market economics and deregulation. On its website, the organisation says its mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”. When Hong Kong last topped the index in 2019, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor met with the Founder of the foundation Dr Edwin Feulner at the Government House, where she received a copy of the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. Lam expressed “her gratitude to the Heritage Foundation for affirming Hong Kong’s commitment in upholding the free market principles over the years,” according to a government press release in 2019. Two years later, the city was removed from the list by the foundation. Hong Kong repeatedly led the list before it was toppled in 2020 by Singapore for the first time in 25 years, as the financial hub grappled with months of anti-government demonstrations in 2019. In response, Beijing imposed a national security law on the city, which prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. China comes 107th place in the list, after Uganda, and sits among economies rated as “mostly unfree”. Hong Kong’s index score for this year is described as “not available”. Singapore took the top spot for the second year in a row with a score of 89.7. Rounding off the top five were New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and Ireland. Researchers examined 184 economies across 12 areas: property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness, government spending, tax burden, fiscal health, freedom in business and labour, as well as monetary policy, trade, investment and financial freedom.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong is not independent like Singapore and those who challenge Beijing’s authority are separatists, says CY LeungSenior state official Xia Baolong joins Shenzhen seminar to hear views on Hong Kong electoral reforms as part of push for ‘patriots governing city’This article Hong Kong minister blasts city’s disappearance from ‘world’s freest economies’ rankings, as compilers list the financial hub under China for first time first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
As of 4 March, more than 350,000 Singapore residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Mars rover Perseverance has successfully conducted its first test drive on the Red Planet, the US space agency NASA said Friday.
Myanmar's newly-appointed ambassador to the United Nations has resigned, saying that his predecessor -- who was fired by the military junta -- continues to represent the country, a UN spokesman said Thursday, the latest twist in a diplomatic row.
Philippine authorities have seized illegally harvested giant clam shells worth $3.3 million as smugglers turn to the endangered creatures as a substitute for the illicit ivory trade.
The Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats were hoping for Senate approval of the package before next week, in time for the House to sign off and get the measure to Biden quickly. Democratic leaders made over a dozen late additions to their package, reflecting their need to cement unanimous support from all their senators — plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — to succeed in the 50-50 chamber.
A Singapore permanent resident who allegedly met his wife while serving his Stay-Home Notice, and spent hours in the car with her, was charged in the State Courts.
A Canadian prosecutor on Thursday urged lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to "leave the politics to the politicians," after they cited statements by former US president Donald Trump in fighting her extradition to the United States.
Queen Elizabeth II's 99-year-old husband Prince Philip has undergone a successful heart procedure, Buckingham Palace said Thursday, raising hopes for his recovery after a lengthy stay in hospital.
A top Hong Kong microbiologist has advised that elderly and chronically ill residents take the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine following the death of a Sinovac recipient, though a key government expert has said there is little evidence to suggest the mainland-produced jabs should be restricted by age. The debate emerged as the city recorded 11 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, taking the overall tally to 11,066, with 201 related deaths. Four of the cases were from untraceable sources, while three were imported. University of Hong Kong microbiology expert Ho Pak-leung said while it was clear the February 28 death of a man suffering from chronic illnesses was unrelated to the mainland-produced jab, publicly available information on the vaccines was not yet sufficient.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Ho said published third-phase data on Sinovac clinical trials involving the chronically ill and those aged 60 and above remained insufficient, noting that mainland authorities had recommended residents in those two groups not receive the shot yet. Asked on a radio show whether elderly people and such patients should pick BioNTech, he said: “If you strictly follow the data available and the drug label, that would be ideal.” He said more than 10 million people had already taken the BioNTech jab in the United States, Britain and Israel, making a mass amount of data available for the vaccine, which was jointly developed by German and US firms. “Overall, it’s very safe,” he said. “So if we work in accordance with the data available, then give clear advice about the two vaccines should be diverted [among various groups] there will not be information confusion,” he said. But Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at Chinese University and government pandemic adviser, noted the clinical study of Sinovac – which analysed more than 400 people aged above 60 years old – had determined its efficacy rate could still hit 51.1 per cent for the age group if the second shot was injected within 14 days. “Although the number of participants is small, there are signals that its efficacy rate is 51.1 per cent. So it’s hard to restrict them based on their ages,” said Hui, who is also a member of the expert advisory group on vaccines. “If there had been a need to direct residents to take specific shots, the advisory group would have suggested it.” He added that a phase-two clinical study of 350 people aged above 60 indicated that antibodies were developed at a reasonable level after two doses, too. Hong Kong’s vaccination scheme, under way since last Friday, currently provides only Sinovac shots, with the BioNTech version becoming available from next week. On Tuesday night, health authorities revealed the death of the 63-year-old, who had suffered shortness of breath two days after being vaccinated in late February, sparking concerns over the safety of the drugs. Vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new cases An expert committee monitoring the side effects of vaccines made a preliminary conclusion his fatality was not related to the Chinese-produced jab. In February, Director of Health Dr Constance Chan Hon-yee said two scientific committees under her department had reviewed trial data and decided those aged above 85 years, those who are bedridden or otherwise physically frail, and those with a fever would be advised not to get a BioNTech jab. A fact sheet on Sinovac from Hong Kong’s health department states that only 5.1 per cent of participants in the phase-three clinical trial conducted outside China were 60 years old or above, so the efficacy data for this group was insufficient. For this age category, health status and exposure risks should be considered before taking the jab, it said. But Ho said different doctors could have varying views as to the suitability of those aged 85 and above for vaccination, as the government’s explanation was not clear enough. He said a small number of people would need to seek advice from their doctors before inoculation, and suggested the government arrange consultations for them. “Most of the elderly and those living on a low income cannot afford [the fees for consultation]. So if the government doesn’t follow the Sinovac drug label for elderly people and chronically ill patients, it should arrange for some clinics to provide free consultation for these residents,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new Covid-19 casesCovid-19: China will have enough vaccine doses – convincing the public is the issue, experts sayThis article Coronavirus: top microbiologist recommends BioNTech vaccine for Hong Kong’s elderly, chronically ill; 11 new cases logged first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Covid-19 vaccines are not just coveted as protection from the deadly virus, they are also a currency in the battle for global influence, experts say, especially between China and Russia.
Your favourite international buffet haunts may be closed during Phase 3 of post-Circuit Breaker, but a la carte buffet restaurants have reopened (yay!). Like most self-professed foodies in Singapore, the one thing that made everything feel better during Circuit Breaker was the fact that you […] The post 7 A La Carte Buffets To Enjoy During Phase 3 appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial for fraud would be “a triumph for the rule of law”, a Canadian government lawyer said at an extradition hearing for the Huawei Technologies Co. executive on Thursday in Vancouver, as he rejected claims that former US president Donald Trump and other politicians had irreparably tainted her legal proceedings. Meng’s defence team has depicted her as a pawn in a new cold war between the US and China, battling for supremacy over the field of 5G technology, in which Huawei is a key player. They say that the US bid to have her extradited from Canada to face trial in New York is poisoned and should be stayed, and that the case against her has been politicised, citing Trump’s 2018 claim that he would intervene to help strike a trade deal with China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. But government lawyer Robert Frater, representing US interests in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, ridiculed the argument. He told the Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that the defence characterisation of Trump’s remarks as “shocking, egregious, corrosive, poisonous” were “adjectives in search of facts to support”. He said that Trump’s remarks matched neither a dictionary nor case-law definition of what constituted a “threat”, and that if a case was to be made that the US prosecution was political, this was not for a judge to decide. Instead, that argument should be made to Canada’s minister of justice in the event that Holmes recommended that the extradition request be granted. The minister has the final say in whether to allow extraditions to proceed. Frater also said the argument about political interference is moot because Trump is no longer president. “Having these charges heard on their merits would be a triumph for the rule of law,” said Frater. Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians Government lawyer Robert Frater Meng’s lawyers have invested much time pointing out supposed weaknesses in the US case, he said, “but be that as it may, if she goes to trial and whether she is convicted or acquitted, justice is served.” Meng is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the country. On December 11, 2018, 10 days after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport, Trump was asked by the Reuters news agency if he would intervene in her case. He responded: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” Meng’s lawyers say HSBC ‘fully knew’ about Huawei’s Iran business Meng’s lawyers also cited comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 19, 2019, when he said, “The United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians” – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested by China days after Meng was detained. China has charged Kovrig and Spavor with espionage, but Canada says they are hostages. On Wednesday, Meng’s lawyer Richard Peck said Trump had “co-opted the extradition process in an attempt to leverage Ms Meng and her extradition status” to aid his trade war with China. He called the remarks “abhorrent” and an abuse of process. But Frater said Trump’s statements were insubstantial and “anodyne”, and US and Canadian political figures had since disavowed them. ‘Abhorrent’ Trump remarks take centre stage at Meng extradition hearing Meng’s application to stay proceedings because of the remarks “was based on the thinnest of evidence. That evidence only got worse over time … and our position is that the basis never existed,” Frater said. He added that “no pristine separation” could be made between politics and a prosecution, but it was Holmes’ job to ensure that politics did not intrude on the case. “Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … with respect, we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians,” said Frater. Another of Meng’s lawyers, Eric Gottardi, said afterwards that the defence had been “careful not to say … that the charges were politically motivated”. Instead, they argued that there had been an “inappropriate co-opting” of Meng’s prosecution by Trump. Arguing for the admission of an affidavit by an expert witness on US law, Michael Gottlieb, Gottardi said the testimony showed that Trump had displayed a “pattern of conduct” that amounted to inappropriate interference in prosecutions. Gottardi said Frater had tried to normalise Trump’s remarks about Meng’s case. But if the remarks were normal, “how does he explain the immediate reaction to those comments, from both side of the border,” said Gottardi, citing remarks by former Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and US officials. “Why, if they are not to be worried about, if they are anodyne?” Gottardi asked. Trudeau’s 2019 statement linking Meng’s case to a US trade deal, meanwhile, was not mitigated by others in which Canadian officials sought to separate the case from political considerations, Gottardi contended. “It’s a very troubling statement … my friend [Frater] says ‘you took one statement, and the rest of them are good, and one is bad’. Respectfully, this is really bad. And there’s no undoing the statement,” he said. In closing, Gottardi added: “This is [the] clearest of cases. And this court, in my submission, should dissociate itself and our entire system from what the [US] president proposed happen and our prime minister agreed [should happen].” The hearing was adjourned until March 15. Further hearings in the extradition case are expected to continue until mid-May. Appeals could continue for years. Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been living under partial house arrest in a C$13 million (US$10.3 million) Vancouver home while she fights extradition.This article Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial would be ‘triumph for rule of law’, Canadian government lawyer says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Italy said Thursday it has blocked a shipment to Australia of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in the first such export ban under an EU vaccine monitoring scheme.
China’s Mars orbiter has beamed back high-resolution images, revealing geographic features of the red planet in detail. The photos taken by Tianwen-1 come a week after the United States released a panorama of the Martian surface snapped by the rover Perseverance. They also come as China prepares to unveil a new five-year plan centred on science and hi-tech innovation, with aerospace technology expected to be a priority programme.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Chinese mission spokesman Liu Tongjie told state television that two of the orbiter’s images were snapped at an altitude of about 330km (205 miles) and had a resolution down to 70cm (27 inches), revealing fine details of the Martian landscape. “These two pictures clearly show craters, mountain ridges and dunes,” said Liu, from the China National Space Administration. “One image shows a crater with a diameter of about 620 metres and clearly displays the lines at the bottom of the crater.” A colour photo was taken of the northern polar region at an altitude of 5,000km. Li Chunlai, a deputy chief designer of the Mars mission, told state television the observations would help scientists understand and monitor how sandstorms formed on the planet. China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates each launched Mars missions in July last year and all three arrived successfully last month. Tianwen-1 entered its parking orbit on February 24 and has started doing scientific surveys using cameras and a spectrometer. The landing module and rover will begin their descent in May or June, according to state media. The Chinese rover, which is yet to be named, is expected to operate for 90 days after touchdown. Perseverance, which landed at the Jezero Crater on February 18, has since sent images on the ground back to Nasa. Last week, Nasa released a 360-degree panorama from the rover created by stitching together 142 individual images taken by its Mastcam-Z camera system. Nasa is expected to provide updates on Perseverance on Friday. Meanwhile, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said on Thursday that it would launch several missions this year to build China’s space station, which is expected to be completed around 2022 and include an on-board laboratory. The office said the core module of the space station and its carrier Long March 5B (Y2) heavy-lift rocket were scheduled to launch in the first half of this year from Wenchang, Hainan province, according to military and state media. There would be four manned space station construction missions and all mission crew members were undergoing training. It said China was committed to making the space station an open platform for international science and technological exchange. A first batch of experiments to be conducted at the station had already been shortlisted jointly with the United Nations.More from South China Morning Post:China space programme: Tianwen-1 enters Mars’ parking orbit ahead of touchdown in MayNasa set to land Perseverance rover and helicopter on MarsFirst photo of Mars from UAE’s ‘Hope’ space probeThis article China’s Tianwen-1 zooms in on Mars surface on cusp of new tech era first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The last man facing a non-capital charge in the fatal 2019 Orchard Towers brawl was jailed four years and nine months and given 12 strokes of the cane