A test that can check your immunity to Covid and other diseases? Check!
A test that can check your immunity to Covid and other diseases? Check!
The Mars rover Perseverance has successfully conducted its first test drive on the Red Planet, the US space agency NASA said Friday.
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.
As of 4 March, more than 350,000 Singapore residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
China has hit out at Lithuania’s plans to set up a representative trade office in Taiwan, after it emerged that the Baltic nation was exploring broader ties with Taipei. At a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged Vilnius to “refuse to be taken advantage of by Taiwan separatist forces, and avoid doing anything detrimental to bilateral political mutual trust”. “We are firmly against the mutual establishment of official agencies and official exchanges in all forms between the Taiwan region and countries having diplomatic relations with China including Lithuania,” Wang said, after authorities in Lithuania confirmed a plan to establish an office by the end of the year.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Lithuania’s foreign ministry this week confirmed that it hoped to have an “enterprise office” established in Taiwan this year. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis also intimated that the country was edging closer to leaving the “17+1”, an informal trade group of China and 17 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries founded in 2012. He told local news outlet LRT.lt that Lithuania gets “almost no benefits” from the group and that it served to “divide” Europe. Wang said China had “taken note of the news”, adding that China has “every confidence in its prospects”. The group ran into trouble last month, after six members failed to send top-level representation for an online summit involving Chinese President Xi Jinping. Lithuania to open Taiwan office, in sign of ‘17+1’ discontent with China Taiwan’s foreign ministry welcomed Lithuania’s plans to open a branch in Taipei. “We have noticed the reports about this and we welcome any move or plan that would deepen our friendly relations with Lithuania,” said Joanne Ou, the ministry’s spokeswoman. “Regarding Lithuania’s reported plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, we do not have additional information at the moment.” Lithuania has been steadily improving ties with Taiwan over the past couple of years, including lending support to the island’s bid to be an observer at the World Health Organization, a move rejected by China. Taiwan’s former highest representative to the Balkans, Andy Chin, was invited to address the country’s parliament on the same day as President Gitanas Nausėda’s state-of-the-nation speech. Chin told the South China Morning Post that he “was very happy to learn that Lithuania is interested in setting up trade office in Taipei”, adding that it would “greatly enhance and advance bilateral ties”. Analysts thought Lithuania’s overtures could encourage Taiwan to “to step up efforts to woo CEE countries to its side”. “Probably beginning with the recalcitrant Baltic states, perhaps by offering some financial incentives to cooperation,” said Jeremy Garlick, director at the Jan Masaryk Centre for International Studies in Prague. Chinese military in South China Sea landing drill as Taiwan tension persists “Beijing will therefore need to demonstrate that it is offering more to CEE countries than empty words and a moribund ‘cooperation platform’ which produces little to no results in terms of Chinese investment and exports of CEE goods to China,” he added. Łukasz Kobierski, chief executive of the Polish think tank Institute of New Europe, said that the arrival of the Joe Biden administration in Washington may also have played into Vilnius’ thinking. “Because they are not seeing a future in cooperation with China, Lithuania decided to cooperate with Taiwan, which is an ally of the United States, and similarly to Lithuania, is counting on an American security umbrella,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:Lithuania to open Taiwan trade office, the latest sign of discontent with China by a ‘17+1’ memberHundreds of US troops arrive in Lithuania as Belarus tensions mountEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania ban Belarusian President Lukashenko amid crackdown on oppositionCoronavirus: China’s Huawei helps provide face masks to Lithuania, where it’s eyed 5GThis article China slams Lithuania’s plan to set up a representative trade office in Taiwan 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 has confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (5 March), taking the country's total case count to 60,007.
Spain's Garbine Muguruza defeated Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Qatar Open where she will face former fellow world number one and two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka.
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.
Singaporeans in Myanmar are advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to consider leaving as soon as possible.
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