World

Canada to review $6.8 mn worth security equipment purchased from China
China, World

Canada to review $6.8 mn worth security equipment purchased from China

In yet another fallout for China, Canada has sought to review $6.8 million worth of security equipment purchased from a Beijing-based company that has been found to have connections with the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.According to media reports, Canada posted details that Beijing-based Nuctech, a company owned by the Chinese government and founded by the son of former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Jintao, has been awarded a deal by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to install X-ray scanning equipment and software systems to provide security for 170 Canadian embassies, consulates and high commissions worldwide.Foreign Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne has promised to review "any possible issue relative to security or safety ... all appropriate actions ...
Hong Kong’s competitive edge blunted by US-China storm
China, Market, World

Hong Kong’s competitive edge blunted by US-China storm

HONG KONG: Beijing's tough new security law and President Donald Trump's order to rescind special trading privileges have blunted Hong Kong's competitive edge and risk turning the finance hub into just another Chinese city, analysts warn. Once lauded as an oasis of predictability in Asia, Hong Kong has been plunged into crisis over the past year, threatening its status as a reliable world-class business centre. As 2019 came to a close, the city was already deep in recession because of spiralling US-China trade tensions and months of huge, often violent protests. And the jolts to business sentiment have not let up. Late last month Beijing blanketed the city in a game-changing anti-subversion law aimed at ending protests against its increasingly authoritarian rule. Then on Tuesd...
Individual investors are a ‘big part’ of the market over last few months, NYSE president says
Market, World

Individual investors are a ‘big part’ of the market over last few months, NYSE president says

NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said Friday that individual investors have participated in a big way during the market's record rally that's seen the S&P 500 jump 48% from its March 23 low. "The retail investor has been a big part of the market over the past several months for a variety of reasons," Cunningham said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." She pointed to several reasons for the spike, including zero-commission trading platforms, as well as consumers having more time on their hands amid stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic. "They're engaging in this tremendous rebound from the market," she said. Her comments come after e-brokers TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers reported record retail trading volumes in the second quarter. Some, including Social Capital's Chamath Palih...
POFMA Office instructed to issue correction directions to Facebook pages of State News Singapore, Alex Tan
Singapore, World

POFMA Office instructed to issue correction directions to Facebook pages of State News Singapore, Alex Tan

SINGAPORE: The alternate authority for the Minister for Foreign Affairs has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue a correction direction each to the Facebook pages belonging to State News Singapore and Mr Alex Tan. The alternate authority, who in this case is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong, also issued Facebook a targeted correction direction, the Office said in a media release on Monday (Jun 29). This is the first instance of an alternate authority issuing correction directions under POFMA. The Act states that ministers may appoint public officers to issue orders under POFMA during an election period, which is defined as the period between the day a writ of election is issued and the close ...
Tennis: Djokovic donates US$45,000 to Serbian town hit hard by coronavirus
USA, World

Tennis: Djokovic donates US$45,000 to Serbian town hit hard by coronavirus

BELGRE: Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, who last week tested positive for coronavirus, donated more than 40,000 euros (US$45,000) to a Serbian town badly affected by the pandemic, local media reported on Wednesday (Jul 1). The 33-year-old Djokovic donated the money to Novi Pazar, in Serbia's southwest, to help it fight a growing outbreak of the disease, the SportKlub TV sports channel reported. The town declared a state of emergency in late June due to the spread of the respiratory disease. After restricting the first outbreak of COVID-19 in early May, Serbia is now reporting a fresh surge, logging more than 200 cases daily recently compared to around 50 a month ago. The Balkan nation was recently in the spotlight for allowing Djokovic to host a regional tournament that sta...
Iran says misaligned radar led to Ukrainian jet downing
World

Iran says misaligned radar led to Ukrainian jet downing

TEHRAN: Iran said that the misalignment of an air defence unit's radar system was the key "human error" that led to the accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January. "A failure occurred due to a human error in following the procedure" for aligning the radar, causing a "107-degree error" in the system, the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) said in a report late Saturday (Jul 11). This error "initiated a hazard chain" that saw further errors committed in the minutes before the plane was shot down, said the CAO document, presented as a "factual report" and not as the final report on the accident investigation. Flight 752, a Ukraine International Airlines jetliner, was struck by two missiles and crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's main airport on Jan 8...
Always rocky, China-U.S. relations appear at a turning point
World

Always rocky, China-U.S. relations appear at a turning point

Four decades after the U.S. established diplomatic ties with communist China, the relationship between the two may have reached a turning point. Tensions have reached new heights on what has always been a rocky road, as the ambitions of a rising superpower increasingly clash with those of the established one. China ordered the closing of the U.S. Consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Friday, in rapid retaliation for the closing of its consulate in Houston. Two weeks ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked aloud if relations could stay on track. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an answer: The time has come to change course. "The old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done," he said in a speech at the Richard Nixon Presiden...
Commentary: What next for Hong Kong and its people?
Singapore, World

Commentary: What next for Hong Kong and its people?

The new national security law gives China a tighter grip over Hong Kong, says Dr Lim Tai Wei. SINGAPORE: Through a vote in the Chinese parliament, Beijing pushed through the national security law for Hong Kong (HK) on Jun 30. Critics like the HK Bar Association lamented that the procedure for enacting the national security law through the Chinese parliament bypassed the HK legislature. But, the HK government’s failure to pass Article 23 in the first place is cited as a major reason by many for Beijing stepping in and taking over the role. Moreover, even the experts who disagreed with the procedure for the bill’s enactment acknowledge that it is difficult to reverse Beijing’s determination to implement the national security law. Veteran contemporary China expert Jean-Pierre Cabestan...
Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to virus outbreak
World

Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to virus outbreak

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020. Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from Danang for 15 days after at least 14 cases of the novel coronavirus had been detected in the city, the government said on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed the first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in or around Danang. A further 11 cases linked to a Danang hospital were reported late on Monday. All bus and train services to and from Danang have also been suspended from Tuesday, the statement said. The city, a tourism hot spot, had reintroduced social distancing me...
White House seeks to block funds for coronavirus testing and tracing in relief bill
World

White House seeks to block funds for coronavirus testing and tracing in relief bill

US President Donald Trump holds up swabs as he speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 19, 2020. The White House is trying to block billions of dollars for coronavirus testing and contact tracing in the upcoming stimulus relief bill, two Republican sources told NBC News, even as infections surge across the country and Americans face long wait times to receive test results amid high demand. Senate GOP lawmakers, in a break with the administration, are pushing back and trying to keep the money for testing and tracing in the bill, the sources told NBC News. Some White House officials reportedly believe new money shouldn't be allocated for testing because previous funds remain unspent. The White House declined CNBC's request for c...