Vietnam deployed soldiers on Thursday to search for survivors after landslides triggered by torrential rains from one of the strongest typhoons in the region in decades.Rescue hampered by weather »
All Blacks centre Jack Goodhue says old ties will count for nothing this weekend as he attempts to ruin former high-school teammate Irae Simone's Test debut for the Wallabies in Sydney.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun can still save the Budget 2021 Bill if he allows the tabling of a no-confidence motion in the coming Parliament session, former...
By the time they were wiped out alongside their dinosaur cousins, most winged pterosaurs had evolved from awkwardly airborne to lords of the primeval skies, according to new research published Wednesday.
The remains of 59 bodies have been discovered in clandestine graves in a region of central Mexico that has suffered some of the highest levels of drug violence in recent years, national authorities said on Wednesday. The grim discovery was made in the Salvatierra municipality of Guanajuato state, where the homicide rate has surged amid a raging turf war between rival drug cartels. At least 10 of the corpses were women and most of the bodies belonged to very young people, even teenagers, according to Karla Quintana, head of Mexico's National Search Commission.
The former leader of a pro-independence group in Hong Kong has been denied bail after he became the second person to be charged with secession under the national security law.Tony Chung Hon-lam, who was arrested at a Pacific Coffee outlet opposite the US consulate on Tuesday morning, also faced allegations of laundering close to HK$700,000 and publishing seditious articles when he appeared at West Kowloon Court on Thursday.The prosecution filing accused the 19-year-old former convenor of the now-defunct Studentlocalism group of separating Hong Kong from mainland China, or altering the city’s legal status unlawfully.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Just hours after his arrest, four local activists entered the US consulate in a dramatic bid for asylum, which was later rejected.On Thursday, prosecutors also accused Chung of conspiring to publish seditious articles between November 30, 2018 and June 9 this year – before the national security law took effect on June 30 – by invoking a colonial-era law for the second time since the city’s handover in 1997.The sedition allegation, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a HK$5,000 fine for a first offence, said Chung conspired with others to “excite inhabitants of Hong Kong to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in Hong Kong as by law established”.Prosecutors previously laid similar charges against activist Tam Tak-chi, accusing him of chanting anti-police slogans and common protest phrases such as, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” and “Five demands, not one less” on at least seven occasions. Hong Kong ‘retaining its degree of autonomy’ in handling national security casesThe acts of secession and sedition of which Chung is accused were not detailed in court on Thursday.Two other money-laundering charges, punishable by 14 years in prison and a HK$5 million fine, accuse Chung of handling HK$697,735.88 through a PayPal account, and bank account, between January 19, 2018, and July 29, 2020.Anthony Chau Tin-hang, senior assistant director of public prosecutions, asked no plea be taken on the four charges, as police needed extra time to examine Chung’s mobile phone and computer, bank statements and messages he was said to have posted online.Officers would also need time to further investigate three to four other accomplices, he added.Chung’s bail application was turned down by Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, one of six magistrates hand-picked by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to adjudicate national security proceedings.The magistrate said the decision was made in accordance with the requirement for granting bail under Article 42 of the new law – which states that the court should bar the temporary release of defendants unless it is convinced the accused will not continue to endanger national security – as well as the Criminal Procedure Ordinance.Chung’s case will be heard again at the same court on January 7.The national security law prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Sentences under the legislation run up to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 10 years applied in severe cases.The first charges under the law came just three days after its commencement, with 23-year-old Tong Ying-kit accused of inciting secession and engaging in terrorism.Prosecutors alleged he drove his motorcycle into a group of police officers at a July 1 demonstration, while carrying a flag calling for the city’s liberation.Tong will remain in custody until his trial at the High Court, where sentencing is not subject to any restrictions.More from South China Morning Post: * Hong Kong police to launch national security hotline for public to help specialist officers enforce Beijing-imposed law * Hong Kong lawmakers back appointment of leading British judge to city’s top courtThis article Teenager arrested outside US consulate in Hong Kong denied bail after being charged under national security law first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
New Zealand haven't had to wrap up the Bledisloe Cup on Australian soil in 11 years and for coach Ian Foster that's a massive motivation to snuff out Wallaby hopes of keeping the series alive when the two sides meet Saturday in Sydney.
Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is a major prize in next Tuesday’s election and a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Trump and Biden running neck and neck in the state. With COVID-19 cases raging across the country, Trump will stage an outdoor rally in Tampa.
World Cup-winning former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has agreed to act as a consultant for struggling Australian rugby league side Canterbury Bulldogs in what the club called "an amazing coup".
The handful of drugmakers dominating the global coronavirus vaccine race are pushing the boundaries of vaccine technology. The world will need several different vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, given the sheer size of global need, variations in effects on different populations, and possible limits of effectiveness in the first crop. Many leading candidates now in final-stage testing are based on new, largely unproven technology platforms designed to produce vaccines at speed.
A former leader of Hong Kong pro-independence group Studentlocalism was charged on Thursday with secession, money laundering and conspiracy to publish seditious material, the latest person to be targeted under a new national security law. Tony Chung, 19, who was denied bail, was arrested on Tuesday under the contentious legislation that punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, sedition, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail. Like other anti-government organisations, Studentlocalism disbanded before Beijing imposed the national security law on China's most free city on June 30.
Standard Chartered, one of Hong Kong’s three big currency-issuing banks, said on Thursday it could begin returning capital to shareholders, including potential dividends, next year as it reported better-than-expected profit in the third quarter.Following similar guidance by its larger Hong Kong rival HSBC this week, Standard Chartered said it was encouraged by the lender’s recent performance and would consider resuming ‘“shareholder returns” after it reports its full-year results in February. Any decision on dividends or share buy-backs would be subject to discussions with its regulators, the bank said.“Our transformation is allowing us to weather the macroeconomic storm in good shape,” Bill Winters, the Standard Chartered chief executive, said in a statement. “Lower interest rates continue to impact income but we remain well-positioned to meet our financial targets, albeit with some delay. We are further streamlining our organisation to sharpen focus on our retail business, more effectively leverage our unique network, and drive efficiencies.”Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.In April, Standard Chartered and HSBC both cancelled their final dividends for 2019, suspended dividend payments this year and tabled share buy-backs at the request of their chief regulator in the United Kingdom.Standard Chartered, which is based in London, but generates much of its revenue in Asia, reported an underlying pre-tax profit of US$745 million, above a consensus estimate of US$502 million by 16 analysts polled by the bank. The bank’s underlying pre-tax profit, which excludes certain items, fell 40 per cent from US$1.24 billion a year earlier.On a net basis, profit fell 83 per cent to US$123 million in the third quarter, compared with US$725 million a year ago.Operating income, which is similar to revenue in the United States, declined 11 per cent to US$3.51 billion in the third quarter, while net interest income fell 16 per cent to US$1.62 billion.Shares of the emerging-markets focused lender rose 0.4 per cent to HK$38.35 in the morning trading session in Hong Kong on Thursday.More from South China Morning Post: * Coronavirus: HSBC and Standard Chartered among Hong Kong banks to waive fees, cut loan repayments for small businesses, individuals struggling amid outbreak * HSBC and Standard Chartered shares plunge after cancelling dividends, suspending buy-backs as coronavirus pandemic batters economiesThis article Standard Chartered may restart ‘shareholder returns’ next year as third-quarter profit beats estimates first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
A teenage Hong Kong democracy activist was charged on Thursday with secession, the first public political figure to be prosecuted under a sweeping new national security law Beijing imposed on the city.
Instead of a slow slog on snowshoes, a giant bus sweeps passengers at up to 60 kilometres an hour across Iceland's second largest glacier, which scientists predict will likely be nearly gone by the end of the century.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said Washington would find new ways to cooperate with Indonesia in the South China Sea and respected Jakarta's efforts to safeguard its own waters while rejecting China's "unlawful" claims in the area. Pompeo's visit to Indonesia comes amid a five-nation swing through Asia where he has sought to strengthen strategic and economic ties amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China. In a joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, he hailed Jakarta's "decisive action" to protect its sovereignty in the waters near the Natuna Islands, which China also claims as its territory.
Australia's COVID-19 hotspot state Victoria reported only one new infection on Thursday, a day after it lifted a four month lockdown in the city of Melbourne. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said that while there were three positive cases of COVID-19 detected in the past 24 hours, two may be old infections. "This is another good day," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
Vietnam deployed hundreds of soldiers and heavy machinery on Thursday to search for survivors after landslides triggered by torrential rains from Typhoon Molave, one of the strongest typhoons in the region in decades. The landslides, which hit remote areas in the central province of Quang Nam late on Wednesday, killed 13 with 40 missing as rescue efforts were hampered by bad weather at the tail end of the storm, the government said. "We can forecast the storm path or the amount of rain, but can't predict when landslides happen," Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said in a statement.
Going to Cambridge had always been a dream for Matthew Omoefe Offeh, one of a growing number of black students who are slowly reshaping the elite university's racial mix, helped in part by rapper Stormzy.
The spread of the coronavirus continues to increase across all parts of England with cases doubling every nine days, according to a new study by Imperial College, putting pressure on the government to introduce more drastic lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's strategy of local lockdowns to try to contain a second wave is failing to stem the number of infections. The infection rate is rising in all age groups with the highest spread of the disease in the northwest of England and Yorkshire and the Humber region, Imperial found.
"It might sound strange but when I came here for the first time... I fell in love with this place," says Jennifer Kickert, spokeswoman for an association striving to clean up a long-neglected Jewish cemetery in Vienna's north-eastern suburbs.
Around 1,000 Hong Kong travel industry workers could be asked to take unpaid leave in the next few days, a trade union leader said, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to batter the struggling tourism sector.Tong Kim-sang, general secretary of the Hong Kong Travel Industry (Outbound) Tour Escort and Tour Guide Union, told a local radio programme that up to three large travel agencies were expected to make the announcement soon.The grim forecast comes after Sunflower Travel, a prominent local travel agency, asked almost 300 employees to take unpaid leave from December. Staff have until noon on Thursday to respond to Tuesday’s request.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Tong said the company’s decision was expected, as most tour guides had been on unpaid leave since the Lunar New Year in late January.“If there are no additional conditions, I believe most employees will sign the consent form for unpaid leave,” he said.Sunflower Travel received HK$6.6 million in government wage subsidies for keeping its 297 workers through the second round of Covid-19 relief funding.Under the HK$81 billion Employment Subsidy Scheme, the government, via employers, paid up to 50 per cent of workers’ salaries between June and November, with the monthly subsidy for each worker capped at HK$9,000.A requirement of the scheme was that employers were banned from laying anyone off during the six-month period.On Monday, travel agents warned the industry would see between 6,000 and 8,000 employees let go in December if the government did not provide further financial support beyond next month.With all but three of the city’s border checkpoints remaining closed since February, Hong Kong tourist arrivals plunged 92.4 per cent, to 3.55 million, in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year. Cathay ticket move ‘shabby thanks’ for taxpayer cash, say Hong Kong travel agentsAlice Chan Cheung Lok-yee, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, which issues licences to agents, said there were 1,727 travel agents as of October 21, compared with 1,900 at the start of this year – a 9.1 per cent decrease.“Most agents will try to keep their licences as they wait for travel business to resume,” she told the Post. “However, without further assistance from the government, they can no longer afford to keep their staff, and more travel agents are expected to ask staff to take prolonged unpaid leave or even lay off staff.”She added that the potential loss of skilled and experienced staff would deal another blow to travel agents.Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific cabin crew are in talks with management over new contracts that would cut wages by up to 40 per cent.Last week, Cathay slashed a record 5,300 jobs in the city and scrapped its Cathay Dragon brand in a desperate restructuring attempt to survive the pandemic. The job losses comprised 4,000 cabin crew, 600 pilots, and 700 ground staff and office workers.Cathay set November 4 as the deadline for the remaining 8,000 flight attendants to sign the new contracts, but sought to encourage earlier sign-ups by offering a one-off payment to those accepting the offer by Wednesday.The airline’s pilots union was also grappling with a contentious new deal that would see experienced pilots take pay cuts of up to 60 per cent.Both groups have been told employees would be terminated, not made redundant, if they failed to accept the new contracts by Wednesday next week.Opposition lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a former Cathay pilot, saw this as a threat. Travel agencies diversify to survive coronavirus pandemic“There is a difference between being laid off and terminated,” he said. “If you are entitled to benefits … you will lose them. Termination is usually due to issues of misconduct. But now staff are being terminated just because they don’t accept the terms of the new contract. Why are they being penalised?”Zuki Wong Sze-man, chairwoman of the Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union, said the situation at the airline would set a precedent for others who would also soon face losing their jobs.“This not only affects our company,” she told the same radio show. “The government wage subsidies will only cover the next month. In December, companies can start to cut jobs, change contracts, slash wages … the same situation as us. We will keep fighting.”Additional reporting by Denise TsangThis article Hundreds of workers in Hong Kong travel industry to be put on unpaid leave, union chief predicts, as wage subsidy scheme nears end first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Argentina's COVID-19 fatalities rose above 30,000 on Wednesday, another grim milestone for a country once considered a role model in Latin America for countering the pandemic, but which is now battling one of the world's highest daily death tolls. Argentina initiated a strict lockdown in March, which is still partially in place, but has seen confirmed coronavirus cases soar to 1.13 million with 30,071 deaths, according to the latest official data. The current seven-day rolling average daily death toll of 376 is the fifth highest in the world, behind only the United States, India, Brazil and Mexico, Reuters data shows.
India crossed a grim milestone of 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, with a daily rise of 49,881 infections, health ministry data showed. The world's second most populous nation also has the second highest tally of infections after the United States, which has recorded 8.8 million. Cases in India have dipped sharply from September's peak, but experts warn the current festival season could bring another spike.
EU leaders aim to make progress on common testing and vaccination strategies at a video conference on Thursday and step up coordination in fighting the fast-expanding COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. The late-afternoon e-meeting is the first of a planned series of video conferences leaders will dedicate in the coming weeks to the health crisis, with one official saying two more may take place before an EU summit scheduled for mid-December. Leaders also want to avoid divisions which dogged the 27-nation bloc at the beginning of the pandemic, when countries vied with each other to buy scarce medical equipment.
Three species of black coral have been discovered on the seabed of the northern Pacific Ocean, an area where several countries have contracts to explore for metals including cobalt and nickel as they race to find new supplies of the key battery elements. Authors Dennis Opresko of the Smithsonian Institute and Daniel Wagner of Conservation International said they aimed to identify deep-sea habitats in the zone which holds the highest concentrations on Earth of cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts. Environmentalists have called for a ban on deep-sea mining which would extract prized resources including cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese from seabed nodules and crusts.
The European Central Bank on Thursday faces mounting pressure to signal further monetary stimulus as spiking coronavirus cases and new restrictions darken the eurozone's economic outlook.