September 2021

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou hailed as hero upon return to China

Meng, who was wanted by US federal prosecutors for fraud charges related to alleged Iran sanction violations, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018. Beijing has called it a political arrest by the former Trump administration, and repeatedly demanded she be released. Her legal battle strained relations between China, the United States and Canada, especially after Beijing detained two Canadians following Meng’s arrest — a move widely interpreted as political retaliation. On Friday, Meng was allowed to go home after reaching an agreement with the US Department of Justice to defer her prosecution until late 2022, after which point her…


Climate change: Australia’s Scott Morrison may dodge COP26 climate talks

More than 100 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have confirmed their attendance at the talks hosted by the United Kingdom, a close ally of Australia. Leaders of the G20, which includes Australia, will be convening in Rome a day ahead of the climate talks. While it is not yet confirmed if Morrison will be at that summit, many G20 leaders are likely to take the short flight from the Italian capital to COP26 in Scotland. Morrison said he needed to focus on the country’s reopening after an extended lockdown. His government is aiming to relax its hardline border…


Petrol shortage: UK could ask soldiers to deliver fuel as service stations run dry

With thousands of service stations running dry, the government announced a series of emergency measures over the weekend to address the fuel crisis, including issuing temporary work visas for up to 5,500 foreign truck drivers and suspending competition law to allow suppliers to deliver fuel to rival operators. UK media reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would consider calling in the army on Monday if the situation shows no sign of improving. “We have no plans at the moment to bring in the army to actually do driving but we always have a civil contingencies section within the army that’s…


HNA Group chairman and CEO Chen Feng and Tan Xiangdong taken by police in China

In a brief statement on Friday, the embattled conglomerate said that the two executives had been “placed under compulsory measures” by Hainan provincial police for suspected criminal offenses. It did not specify which laws were suspected to have been broken. In China’s legal system, “compulsory measures” by the police usually precede formal arrests. HNA Group is one of China’s most prominent companies, previously known for its aggressive deal-making. In the statement posted on social media Friday, it said that the firm and its subsidiaries were “operating in a stable and orderly manner, with restructuring work moving forward in accordance with…


China says will reduce abortions for ‘non-medical purposes’

China has already enacted strict measures aimed at preventing sex-selective abortions, and health authorities also warned in 2018 that the use of abortion to end unwanted pregnancies was harmful to women’s bodies and risks causing infertility. The State Council said the new guidelines would also aim to improve women’s overall access to pre-pregnancy health care services. National Health Commission data showed that between 2014 and 2018, there had been an average of 9.7 million abortions per year, rising about 51% from the 2009-2013 average despite a relaxation of family planning policies in 2015. The data didn’t specify how many abortions…


Ultraman Tiga ban: Cartoons and children’s shows are on the chopping block in China’s entertainment crackdown

The National Radio and Television Administration, the country’s broadcasting authority, announced late Friday that it would ban cartoons and other TV shows primarily produced for children that contain any mention of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography. TV channels must “resolutely resist bad plots,” and instead only broadcast “excellent cartoons with healthy content and promote truth, goodness and beauty,” said the authority in a statement on its website. “Children and adolescents are the main audience groups of cartoons,” the authority said, adding that broadcast organizations should set up special TV channels for children that create a good environment for “the healthy…


At Roberto Cavalli, Fausto Puglisi is re-interpreting sexy for today

Written by Nick Remsen, CNNMilan If you’re a millennial who grew up on a diet of BlackBerry Messenger, tabloid celebrity news (never forget Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan crammed into Hilton’s Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren), and style icons who donned Von Dutch trucker hats and Alexander McQueen skull scarves, you may also remember Roberto Cavalli. During the aughts, the Italian fashion designer was a red carpet mainstay, dressing everyone from newly solo Beyoncé and “Dirrty”-era Christina Aguilera to Kate Moss and Jennifer Lopez in eye-catching, figure-hugging ensembles that epitomized the decade’s look-at-me excess. From the time he founded his…


North Korea says hope is alive for peace summit with South Korea

South Korea welcomed the prospect on Sunday, with the Unification Ministry saying it expected to swiftly engage in talks with Pyongyang, while urging the need to restore a hotline link between the two. Kim’s comment came after the North urged the United States and South Korea last week to abandon what it called their hostile policy and double standards towards it, if formal talks are to be held on ending the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has complicated the question of a formal end to the war, which halted with an armistice, rather than a peace…


Vanuatu will seek International Court of Justice opinion on climate protection

During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Bob Loughman called on the international community to urgently scale up efforts to address the climate crisis, and warned that its effects “are increasingly eluding the control of individual national governments.” “For us and other small island developing states especially, our biggest threats are global — most notably climate change, the management of our oceans and of course the Covid-19 pandemic,” Loughman said. The island chain of Vanuatu is home to nearly 250,000 residents, according to the UN. Loughman’s comments followed a Vanuatu government statement announcing…


Iceland will have a male-majority parliament after all, election recount shows

Thirty women were elected to the 63-seat parliament in Saturday’s election, up from 24 in the previous vote. Earlier results before the recount late on Sunday had shown 33 women were elected. The National Electoral Commission has not published the results on its website and could not immediately be reached for comment. Only three countries – Rwanda, Cuba and Nicaragua – have more women than men in parliament, while Mexico and the United Arab Emirates have a 50/50 split, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In Europe, Sweden and Finland have 47% and 46% women’s representation in parliament, respectively….


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