If the past is a foreign country

If the past is a foreign country, then the future for China’s Communist Party is the city of Shenzhen. Hailed by President Xi during a visit this week as a model for the rest of the nation to aspire to, what was a sleepy fishing village only two generations ago is now a high-tech metropolis whose rise over its troublesome neighbour Hong Kong has been blessed at the highest level. It revealed Belgium had the worst mortality rate (86.8), followed by Spain (65), the UK (62.6) and the US (60.3). For comparison, South Korea’s stood at just 0.7 – 85 … Continue reading If the past is a foreign country

A Hong Kong media billionaire and pro-democracy activist

A Hong Kong media billionaire and pro-democracy activist who was arrested under the new national security law is a traitor who should receive an exemplary punishment to deter further unrest in the city, Beijing has said. Jimmy Lai, 71, who owns the Apple Daily newspaper, conspired with foreign agents and posed a danger to national security, according to the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, part of China’s state council, or cabinet. One scientist blasted Putin’s move as ‘unethical’ because an ‘improperly tested vaccine’ could have ‘disastrous’ effects on public health, while others warned that there is ‘no data’ to … Continue reading A Hong Kong media billionaire and pro-democracy activist

Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning

Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning as authorities postponed local elections for a year, capping a month of political disqualifications, arrests for social media posts and activists fleeing overseas. “Today I announce the most difficult decision in the last seven months . . . to postpone the Legislative Council election,” said Carrie Lam, the chief executive. She said a spike in coronavirus cases in the territory had forced the decision. One dog, who was recovering from a car accident, had a nail pushed into its eye during the night of torture. Italian-born Tiziana encouraged stray dogs … Continue reading Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning

A British air hostess locked up in a Dubai jail

A British air hostess locked up in a Dubai jail has been living off bread and water after being forced into a fake confession, her family claim. Derrin Crawford was arrested last Thursday after police raided her date’s apartment and found two cannabis joints. Beijing has threatened to jail anyone who dissents, expresses pro-independence sentiments or undermines the Chinese state in the former British colony or elsewhere. In response Britain extended an offer of residency and a pathway to citizenship to up to three million Hong Kong residents and their dependants with British National (Overseas) status. Scott Morrison, the Australian … Continue reading A British air hostess locked up in a Dubai jail

They had planned lives, families and careers in Hong Kong

They had planned lives, families and careers in Hong Kong. Now at a gathering of young professionals, one topic dominated conversation — to stay or to flee. All but one was considering quitting the territory as China imposed sweeping new national security legislation on their homeland. The clampdown, proclaimed without consultation on Tuesday night, was even more draconian than feared. Secret courts, unaccountable police units, worldwide reach and penalties of up to life in prison were among the provisions. ‘We can confirm that The Little Mermaid has been vandalised some time before 9:00 am this morning,’ Copenhagen police said in … Continue reading They had planned lives, families and careers in Hong Kong

The government is preparing to award coronavirus testing

The government is preparing to award coronavirus testing contracts worth an estimated £5bn to commercial bidders, in what critics fear is a “backdoor” subsidy to the private sector. The vast new budget, which works out at £2.5bn per year and will be managed by Public  Health England (PHE), is equal to the entire annual spend on English NHS laboratories. It came as the US Senate approved a bill imposing sanctions on Chinese officials and any Hong Kong police units clashing with protesters. China’s foreign ministry warned of “strong countermeasures” against the US if the bill becomes law. China has said … Continue reading The government is preparing to award coronavirus testing

Hong Kong democracy activists yesterday made frantic plans to cover their tracks amid fears

Hong Kong democracy activists yesterday made frantic plans to cover their tracks amid fears of a brutal crackdown by the world’s most powerful surveillance state. Many deleted politically sensitive online postings, wiped social media accounts and turned to proxy servers that mask their identities after China announced sweeping national security laws for the territory. Some confided in friends that they intended to destroy their electronic devices. A medic who treated protesters injured in police clashes at underground clinics said colleagues involved in the opposition planned to move overseas. At least two people aboard survived, according to the country’s health department, … Continue reading Hong Kong democracy activists yesterday made frantic plans to cover their tracks amid fears

Donald Trump ignored pleas from Michigan’s governor and attorney general that he wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Company facility

Donald Trump ignored pleas from Michigan’s governor and attorney general that he wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Company facility that is producing ventilators to combat coronavirus, saying he did not want to give media members the “pleasure” of seeing him in it as he claimed to have worn on in a “back area” of the factory. The president’s latest defiant act came after the state’s Democratic attorney general, Dan Nessel, urged the president to wear a protective face covering. In the Indian mega-city of Kolkata, which has a population of more than 14 million, roads were flooded … Continue reading Donald Trump ignored pleas from Michigan’s governor and attorney general that he wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Company facility

The coronavirus epidemic could spread to about two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled

The coronavirus epidemic could spread to about two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled, according to Hong Kong’s leading public health epidemiologist. His warning came after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said recent cases of coronavirus patients who had never visited China could be the “tip of the iceberg”. Right on cue, a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos forecasts the president losing the 2020 battle to Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden and drawing with Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren. The president unveiled a a $4.8trn (£3.7trn) budget proposal on Monday that reneges on … Continue reading The coronavirus epidemic could spread to about two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled