This is the dessert you can't miss if you have a sweet tooth. India is taking their ice cream, so called Kulfi, to a whole new level.
This is the dessert you can't miss if you have a sweet tooth. India is taking their ice cream, so called Kulfi, to a whole new level.
The Canadian Mountie cut an eye-catching figure, his red serge tunic standing out among the ranks of white tombstones at Hong Kong’s Sai Wan War Cemetery.The annual ceremony to remember the sacrifices made by Canadian troops in the 1941 battle of Hong Kong is a solemn affair. But the Chinese Canadian officer who stood with his head bowed before the cenotaph at the service on December 3, 2017, was a popular presence, mingling afterward with guests who included Kathleen Wynne, then the premier of Ontario, and posing for photographs with veterans and their families.The man in scarlet was Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sergeant Ben Chang.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.He is once again the centre of attention – but for very different reasons.Chang has been cast as a key figure in the Canadian extradition case of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, and central to her lawyers’ claim that she is the victim of covert evidence-gathering orchestrated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tuesday marks the second anniversary of Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport that threw China’s relations with Canada into turmoil.Notes taken by a police colleague suggest that Chang sent information about Meng’s cellphones and electronic devices to the FBI, although the Canadian government lawyers representing the US deny this. In a sworn affidavit, Chang also denies the handover. Canada feared for safety of Meng witness in Macau who refuses to testifyAlthough a series of witnesses have appeared in the Supreme Court of British Columbia over the past fortnight to describe their interactions with Chang, he is refusing to testify himself, having retired from the RCMP to live in the Chinese territory of Macau.Canada’s Department of Justice said in a court filing in June that it had fears for Chang’s safety; following Meng’s arrest, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by China and accused of espionage, in what Ottawa has described as hostage diplomacy.Chang’s path to Macau has been unclear.But the South China Morning Post has learned that Chang served as the RCMP’s liaison officer in Hong Kong, from 2014 to 2018. The posting put him among an elite group of RCMP officers scattered in 26 countries and territories around the world.Chang’s Hong Kong posting helps explain how he ended up working in the nearby Chinese gambling mecca as the assistant vice-president for security at the Galaxy casino. Former police officers are a common presence on the security staff of Macau casinos, and Chang’s fellow executives at Galaxy include at least one former member of the Hong Kong police tactical unit.Andrew Work, president of the Canadian Club of Hong Kong, said he was familiar with Chang from his presence at the cemetery and Canada Day events. “You very rarely see those liaison guys … but he [Chang] was very friendly at these events,” said Work.Work said that Chang worked out of the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong. Canadian police officer refuses to testify in Meng Wanzhou extradition caseWork likened the public role of an RCMP liaison officer in Hong Kong to that of a “mascot”, posing for pictures in their iconic dress uniform.Photos of Chang taking part in the war cemetery service, taken for Canada’s Hong Kong consulate, were obtained by the South China Morning Post. The man in the photos matches a profile picture on a recruitment profile in Chang’s name.A deleted posting on a website for the 1st Hong Kong Canadian Scout Group, still visible in cached form, said that Chang visited the troupe in 2015 “to give us a talk about his work and the responsibilities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and how Canada carried its peacekeeping role in different parts of the world”.But there is a more serious side to the duties of RCMP foreign liaison officers. While they have no jurisdiction abroad, they serve as a link between foreign police and Canadian officers in international investigations, ranging from terrorism and money laundering to sex-trafficking cases and conducting intelligence checks.Nothing is known of Chang’s part in any investigations in Hong Kong, but a 2014 auditor general’s report on liaison officers’ duties suggested that his predecessor in Hong Kong, Rico Wong, was involved in a global investigation into a 2013 terrorist attack in Algeria.In the year he was posted to Hong Kong, Chang was one of just 42 RCMP liaison officers around the world, each costing on average C$500,000 (US$385,000) a year to maintain, the audit report said.The RCMP did not respond to the Post’s request for details about Chang’s current circumstances or career.But he was posted to Hong Kong in mid-2014, a source who requested anonymity said. Before that, news reports indicate that he worked for a drug unit in British Columbia. Safety fears and a swirl of evidenceChang left Hong Kong in 2018, and by the end of the year he was in charge of the RCMP’s financial integrity unit, where he was drawn into the arrest of Meng and the controversy over her electronic devices.The devices were seized by Canadian border officers during an immigration examination, then handed over to the RCMP when she was arrested hours later.The handling of the devices and their information may be crucial to Meng. Her lawyers say their seizure violated her rights, because it occurred before Meng was told she was about to be arrested and offered the opportunity to seek legal counsel.They claim the alleged violation was exacerbated because it occurred at the orchestration by the FBI.The Americans had asked for the devices to be place in special Mylar bags designed to prevent the electronics being remotely wiped, a fact the Canadian government’s lawyers do not dispute. But they say that neither the devices nor data from or about them were ever actually sent to the FBI.US authorities want Meng extradited to New York to face trial for fraud, accusing her of lying to a HSBC official about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, and thus putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the Middle East country. She denies the charges.In a December 4, 2018, email Chang wrote to one of the RCMP officers directly involved in Meng’s arrest, Constable Gurvinder Dhaliwal, asking him to secure her device data for an FBI official. Canadian officer denies ‘cover up’ about Meng’s Wanzhou’s phones and FBI“I just spoke with [FBI] Legat John Sgroi. They are requesting the descriptions and lists of the devices (with ESN make model) we seized from MENG. Can you please go through your exhibits and acquire those for me.” ESN refers to a device’s electronic serial number.Dhaliwal would forward the information to Chang as requested. It is Chang’s handling of the information after that which Meng’s lawyers have put under the spotlight.December 12, 2018, notes by RCMP Sergeant Janice Vander Graaf say she was told by Dhaliwal that Chang had sent the information to the FBI. Yet in an affidavit, dated October 2019, Chang denies this ever took place.“I did not share with the FBI or other US authorities any information (including identifying details) obtained from the electronic devices seized from Ms Meng,” he swore. Not only that, Chang said he was “never asked for the identifying information by Mr Sgroi … or any other member of the FBI”.The apparent contradiction between that statement and the December 4 email has not been explained.Dahiliwal testified he had no independent recollection of the conversation described in Vander Graaf’s notes; Vander Graaf said she was concerned by the conversation but after reviewing emails became satisfied that Dhaliwal must have been mistaken.She denied claims by Meng’s lawyer Scott Fenton that she was engaging in a cover-up and tailoring her evidence to protect the RCMP.As for Chang, he remains an enigmatic figure, amid the swirl of evidence surrounding him.His refusal to appear as a witness, announced by Meng’s lead lawyer Richard Peck on the first day of the recent hearings, was a stunning moment in the case. “There may be any number of consequences from his refusal to testify,” Peck said on November 16.No explanation for Chang’s absence was given in court.But a June court filing by Canada’s Department of Justice revealed that “witness safety” fears were held for Macau-based Chang. His employment at the Galaxy casino was then reported by The Globe and Mail newspaper.Unlike serving officers involved in Meng’s extradition case, who are being represented by lawyers from Canada’s Department of Justice, Chang has opted to retain outside counsel, Vancouver lawyer Joseph Saulnier.Saulnier said he would forward questions from the Post to his client. But he added: “I anticipate we won’t have any comment for now.”Meng’s extradition hearings resume on December 7.More from South China Morning Post: * Two years on, Huawei still fighting for survival as CFO extradition case ongoing * Meng Wanzhou case: arresting Huawei exec on plane would have been too risky, Canadian officer tells court * Meng Wanzhou: Canadian officer denies ‘cover-up’ and tailoring testimony about Meng’s phone information allegedly going to FBI * Canada feared for safety of Macau-based witness who refuses to testify in Meng Wanzhou extradition case * Retired Canadian police officer refuses to testify at Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearingThis article Canadian Mountie at centre of Meng Wanzhou extradition storm was elite officer in Hong Kong first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Despite high legal costs and a Singapore court ruling against her in a defamation suit filed by a surgeon, Serene Tiong has no intention of giving up the fight.
Beijing on Tuesday welcomed home a 160-year-old bronze horse head statue to the Old Summer Palace from which it was stolen, a donation from Macau’s late casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun.It is one of 12 bronze animal head sculptures representing the Chinese zodiac that were part of a fountain at the palace known as the Yuanmingyuan.The pieces were stolen from Beijing in 1860 when Anglo-French troops invaded China during the Second Opium War and left the site burned and reduced largely to rubble.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The Chinese state’s watchdog for cultural relics, the National Cultural Heritage Administration, said the horse head marked the first important piece of Yuanmingyuan’s missing relic to return to its home, according to state media. Six other pieces previously brought back to China are being exhibited in museums.Ho, the patriarch of Asia’s largest casino empire for half a century, bought the artefact for US$8.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong in 2007, displaying the horse head in the city and neighbouring Macau for more than a decade.Ho later donated the 160-year-old sculpture to the Chinese government in 2019, before the “King of Gambling” passed away on May 26 this year.The Chinese Communist Party has portrayed the stolen animal heads as symbols of the nation’s “century of humiliation,” which started in the mid-19th century and ended when the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. Over that period, China was invaded by numerous colonial powers.On Tuesday, the National Cultural Heritage Administration and Beijing People‘s Government hosted a ceremony to celebrate the return of the looted artefact under the care of the Yuanmingyuan administration.Liu Yuzhu, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, was quoted by state media as saying the repatriation of the horse head represented “a successful example of the return of lost cultural relics in the new era.”Over the past two decades, wealthy collectors have been buying the looted antiques at art auctions and returned them. To date, including the bronze horse figure, seven of the 12 animal head sculptures had been returned to China.Ho also paid HK$6 million for the collection’s pig head in 2003, donating it to the Poly Art Museum in Beijing.The statues representing the Chinese zodiac signs of the dog, rooster, dragon, sheep and snake remain missing.The Post contacted the Ho family for comment.This article Bronze horse head, donated by late Stanley Ho, becomes first of zodiac collection returned to Beijing’s Old Summer Palace after theft in 1860s first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
ION Orchard and Marina Bay Sands Casino were among the new locations added to public places visited by COVID-19 cases recently.
A top professor of National University of Singapore was dismissed on Tuesday (1 December) for sexual misconduct against a student.
Fulham climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone on Monday after finally solving their penalty woes in a shock 2-1 win at Leicester, while West Ham rode their luck to move into fifth place with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Aston Villa.
A Turkish research ship at the centre of a row with Greece over potential gas riches in the eastern Mediterranean has returned to port, Turkey's energy ministry said Monday.
Cooperation between the United States and European Union is “all the more important” in the Indo-Pacific and Africa to counter growing Chinese influence in those areas, according to a new report by the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.This comes as the EU is reportedly planning to ask US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration to seize a “once in a generation” opportunity to forge a new global alliance to meet the “strategic challenge” posed by China.Calls for a transatlantic alliance are on the rise in the US and Europe after Biden’s victory over Donald Trump, who has adopted a hostile attitude toward the EU and insisted on tackling China by Washington’s own means.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.A recently published report by Senator Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho, says the US should work with the EU to foster private-sector investments in the Indo-Pacific area, especially in infrastructure projects, and to ensure maritime security in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.The report said the next steps “are to build upon the existing political will to cooperate in the region and to decide where to focus and what cooperation means in practice”.US-EU coordination has been much weaker in the Indo-Pacific than in Africa, according to the report.“The degree to which China can dominate the Indo- Pacific will have a direct impact on its ability to project power globally,” it said.“As both the United States and Europe increasingly prioritise the Indo-Pacific, transatlantic cooperation is forming in the region, though much more nascent than in Africa,” it added. Nato must focus harder on China’s military rise, urges reportMost Indo-Pacific countries are generally seen as a close security partner for the US, while Africa is considered by the EU as a “neighbour” because of the close geographical and security links.Beijing has made vast investments in Africa through the Belt and Road Initiative, while it recently signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal with most Asia-Pacific economies, creating the world’s largest free trade bloc.In another development, the Financial Times reported on Sunday that the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, is preparing a detailed proposal to the US to form a new global alliance to meet the strategic challenges posed by China.The draft policy, titled “A New EU-US Agenda for Global Change”, proposes joining forces to shape the digital regulatory environment, including by adopting common approaches to antitrust enforcement and data protection, cooperating on screening of sensitive foreign investments, and working together to fight threats such as cyber-hacking, the British media reported.“As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness, even if we do not always agree on the best way to address this,” it added.An EU spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.The paper, produced jointly by the commission and the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, is expected to be submitted for endorsement by national leaders at a meeting on December 10-11, according to the report. It suggests an EU-US summit in the first half of 2021 as the moment to launch the new transatlantic agenda.More from South China Morning Post: * China should be prepared in case relations with US get worse under Joe Biden, government adviser warns * Joe Biden’s foreign policy team to reject Trump’s ‘America First’ mantra * US-China relations: Trump fury is gone but Joe Biden more than capable of talking tough * ‘We’re a Pacific power’: Joe Biden faces pressure to hold hard line of defence against ChinaThis article US and EU should join forces to check China’s influence in Africa, Indo-Pacific, Republican senator proposes first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Prodding her cows forward with a long stick, Asya Petrosyan drives the herd along the snow-covered Lachin corridor, the last road out of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed another five COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of noon on Monday (30 November), taking the total to 58,218.
We sift out five companies with dividend yields that beat inflation.The post 5 Companies with Dividend Yields Above 5% appeared first on The Smart Investor.
PM Lee Hsien Loong said this on the first day of his defamation suit against The Online Citizen’s chief editor Terry Xu on Monday (30 November).
A war of words between Australia and China has intensified, with the Chinese foreign ministry refusing to remove a tweet featuring a meme-like illustration of an Australian soldier appearing to murder a child.The image was posted on Twitter on Monday morning by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, accompanied by the text: “Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, & call for holding them accountable.”Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she stood by her subordinate Zhao over the post, which drew an immediate and furious response from Canberra. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also demanded the removal of the tweet.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“Australia has already confirmed that their soldiers have committed serious war crimes in Afghanistan ... The details are shocking and their brutal behaviour has been strongly condemned by the international community,” Hua said.“Australia has shown a strong response to my colleague ... and said the Chinese government should feel ashamed. Shouldn’t Australia feel ashamed for sending their soldiers to commit such atrocities and killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan?” War crimes: Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghans, report findsAsked whether the tweet should be deleted, Hua said it was between Twitter and Australia. She also asked for China’s comments not to be perceived as a result of the downward spiral in Sino-Australian relations.Twitter has not responded to an email inquiry from the South China Morning Post. The tweet has been pinned to the top of Zhao’s tweets.The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, has been summoned for a meeting with Australian officials, while Morrison also said Canberra’s embassy in China would make representations.In a press conference shortly after the tweet was posted, Morrison described the tweet as “falsified”, “repugnant” and “utterly outrageous”.Zhao’s tweet was referring to a war crimes inquiry finding earlier this month that Australian troops had killed civilians in Afghanistan. China and Russia have condemned Canberra over the Brereton report and called the Australian government hypocritical.The report found evidence Australian special forces committed at least 39 unlawful killings during the Afghanistan war in 2009-2013.Morrison said his government had reached out to Beijing and contacted Twitter to have the post removed. “Australia is seeking an apology from the Chinese government for this outrageous post,” he said. “We’re also seeking its removal immediately.”Morrison said the tweet could not be justified “on any basis whatsoever” and said the Chinese government should be “totally ashamed” of the post. China-Australia trade at ‘freezing point’ as 200 per cent wine duty looms“There are undoubtedly tensions that exist between China and Australia, but this is not how you deal with them,” he added.Sino-Australia relations have been in an intense downward spiral. Trade has been the most serious focus lately, with China taking a range of informal actions on a series of Australian products, including coal, timber, cotton, beef and wine.Zhao has become known for heated confrontations on Twitter with China’s critics. He earlier insinuated the US military may be responsible for the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first cases were reported.This article China strikes back at Australian fury over war crime tweet first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Azerbaijan on Tuesday completed reclaiming territory held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century after a peace deal ended six weeks of fierce fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hailed the restoration of control over the areas as a “historic victory” and a demonstration of his nation's “unbending spirit.” “We all lived with one dream, and now we fulfilled it," Aliyev said in an address to the nation.
Superstar Cher welcomed "the world's loneliest elephant" to Cambodia Monday to begin a new life at a specialised sanctuary after the creature was rescued from grim conditions in a Pakistani zoo.
A resurgence in Covid-19 cases in the UK in recent months has stemmed the flow of Hongkongers looking to buy property and relocate there. This may just be a lull before a special visa process kicks off in January for British National (Overseas) passport holders.The British government imposed a second national lockdown in early November after a sharp uptick in Covid-19 infections. It will transition to more flexible restrictions starting December 2 at a time when it’s liberalising immigration policy for Hongkongers in reaction to China imposing a national security law on Hong Kong in June.The government will accept applications from January 31 from BN (O) passport holders and their immediate family members for a special class of visa that puts them on the path to UK citizenship. Hongkongers were the second busiest foreign buyers of UK property from January to September this year, according to Astons.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“At the moment, it’s a trickle because of Covid-19,” said Kevin Bowers, a Hong Kong-based lawyer at Bowers Law. “I expect the flood to start again and anticipate thousands of applications for us” which may inundate the immigration services by then, he added.Bowers is organising a consortium of companies to deliver “the whole package” to those considering uprooting themselves from the city, including education, property, cultural assimilation, and even pet relocation services.Hongkongers bought £305.6 million (US$405 million) of prime London houses in the first nine months of the year, making them the busiest foreign investors after the French, investment immigration adviser Astons said last month.One of the beneficiaries is Battersea Power Station, a staple of central London that is undergoing a £9 billion redevelopment with thousands of new flats. The project has seen a 150 per cent jump in enquiries from Hong Kong, helping the developer more than double its year-on-year sales since March.“Part of that is no doubt driven by the BN (O),” said Philip Mason, Battersea Power Station’s International Director. “But London has always been considered a safe haven for people to invest, and the low value of the pound also certainly helps as well.”The British pound has gained only 0.8 per cent against the US dollar this year, making UK assets relatively stable for Hong Kong investors, while other major currencies has appreciated by 4 to 10 per cent.The new visa policy for BN (O) passport holders is the UK response to Beijing’s security law for Hong Kong in late June, which the Boris Johnson government said has eroded the freedoms under the “one country, two systems” framework agreed before the city’s handover to China’s sovereignty in 1997.Hong Kong’s uncertain political future, paired with a confluence of economic factors including the UK’s extension of a holiday on property stamp duties, has sparked demand for UK assets.AWS Prime, a London-based firm that connects wealthy clients with off-market high-end properties, saw a 50 per cent increase in enquiries from Hong Kong this year. Hongkongers make up one-third of its clients in Asia with at least £1 million to spend versus one-tenth from China.To prepare for the expected flood of applications, AWS Prime will open a satellite office in Hong Kong sometime next year, as well as one in Singapore, director Alexander Leighton-Smith said.Bowers said his own property agents in the UK are in the process of relocating to Hong Kong “because they are so confident this is happening.” He likens the current situation in Hong Kong to pre-1997 handover.“The only time comparable to today is before the handover,” Bowers added. “Everyone said ‘Oh, everyone is gonna leave’ and then not so many people did. But this is different. This is a line in the sand.”More from South China Morning Post: * As Hongkongers rush for UK property, beware of this 40 per cent inheritance tax pain * Hongkongers emerge as some of the busiest buyers of UK homes, as they snap up property ahead of exodus by BN(O) passport holders * China takes issue with British visa policy for Hongkongers, threatens to stop recognising BN(O) passportsThis article Covid-19 lockdown tempers interest in UK property from Hongkongers in lull before January visa floodgate first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian nuclear scientist whose assassination the Islamic republic has blamed on Israel, was little known before his death, but one thing is certain: he was important.
US President Donald Trump's administration wages its last major policy fight before the Supreme Court Monday as it seeks to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population count used to determine states' representation in Congress.
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on a major Chinese electronics and engineering company for assisting Venezuela in curbing dissent on the internet.
The series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. This week: presenter Jade Seah.