AFP

New York officials worry over neighborhood hotbeds

Coronavirus infection rates have increased at “an alarming rate” in several New York neighborhoods, particularly among the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, city health authorities warned Sunday, threatening to sanction certain schools if they fail to comply with anti-virus regulations. Although the Big Apple has…

China’s SMIC shares fall after US export controls

Shares in China’s biggest chip maker plunged on Monday following weekend media reports that Washington has imposed export controls on the company, the latest salvo in the battle for technological dominance over Beijing. In a major blow for China’s advanced tech ambitions, the US Commerce…

New York Times reveals Trump’s tax filings

US President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the election, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing tax return data extending more than 20 years. It added that he also paid only $750 in his first…

Hong Kongers, Don’t Idolize the U.K.

During this uncertain and unstable year, I’ve learned not to take Hong Kong’s freedom for granted. Prodemocracy protests consumed the city for months starting in early 2019, but the political climate changed abruptly in the spring, when Beijing passed a wide-ranging security law that many…

Report sends shares in China developer tumbling

China’s second-biggest property developer Evergrande saw its shares tumble Friday following reports claiming it was seeking government help to avoid a cash crunch, despite the firm dismissing the claims as “pure defamation.” China Evergrande Group’s shares fell 9.46% in Hong Kong, closing at HK$13.78 (US$1.78),…

Thousands of mosques in Xinjiang demolished: report

Chinese authorities have demolished thousands of mosques in Xinjiang, an Australian think tank said Friday, in the latest report of widespread human rights abuses in the restive region. Rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated…

Record cases in France as restrictions renewed

France reported a record for daily coronavirus infections on Thursday, one day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities which have provoked an outcry from local politicians and business owners. Figures from Public Health France showed that 16,096 people…

‘Enough is enough’: China attacks US at UN

China on Thursday lashed out at the United States at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the coronavirus, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough!” Two days after President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record,…

Rio postpones world-famous carnival over Covid-19

Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous carnival parades became the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic Thursday as officials announced they were indefinitely postponing the February 2021 edition, with Brazil still reeling from Covid-19. “We came to the conclusion that the event had to be postponed,” said…

Second German minister goes into quarantine

A second German cabinet minister has gone into quarantine after being exposed to a person infected with the coronavirus, amid a rise in cases in the country.  Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, who hosted a gathering of EU trade ministers on Monday, tweeted that “an employee…

All Blacks’ quarantine puts New Zealanders offside

New Zealand Rugby on Thursday refused to rule out boycotting the end of this year’s Rugby Championship in Australia after organizers unveiled a schedule that would leave the All Blacks stranded in quarantine at Christmas. The row overshadowed plans for a tournament that host Australia…

HK’s Joshua Wong arrested over 2019 protest

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was arrested on Thursday in relation to a protest at the height of the city’s pro-democracy unrest last year, his lawyer said. The detention of the city’s most high-profile dissident is the latest in a string of arrests of government…

China has 380 Xinjiang detention centers: report

China’s network of detention centers in the northwest Xinjiang region is much bigger than previously thought and has been expanded in recent years, according to research presented by an Australian think tank Thursday. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said it had identified more than 380…

Alibaba fintech arm aims for a record IPO

The financial arm of Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba is planning the biggest IPO in history, raising as much as US$35 billion in a joint listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a report said Thursday. And in a sign of Ant Group’s confidence in the share…

Call to penalize banks laundering dirty money

Financial regulators must impose more heavy penalties to combat money laundering, experts argue, after an international journalism investigation alleged that astronomical amounts of dirty cash has been flowing for years through some top global banks. A probe by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of…

Britain finally launches its virus app

The British government on Thursday finally launches its troubled smartphone app to help track the coronavirus in England and Wales – four months behind schedule and with cases once again surging. The revamped app, which had first been planned for late May, uses Bluetooth technology…

Westpac gets record fine for money-laundering

Australia’s Westpac bank has agreed to pay a record A$1.3 billion (US$923 million) fine for more than 23 million breaches of money-laundering laws, the bank and regulators announced Thursday. Australia’s financial intelligence watchdog, AUSTRAC, said the wrongdoing included Westpac failures to monitor international payments suspected…

World’s workers lost $3.5 trillion in pandemic: UN

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a heavier toll on jobs than previously feared, the UN said Wednesday, with hundreds of millions of jobs lost and workers suffering a “massive” drop in earnings. In a fresh study, the International Labour Organization (ILO) found that by the…

China decries US ‘lie’ over Xinjiang imports ban

Beijing hit back Wednesday at a US move to ban imports from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region over claims of forced labor, bemoaning a “fabricated lie” it says is intended to hurt Chinese business. The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of…

Tech giants strike a deal over hate speech

Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform. The agreement – which also included Twitter and YouTube – laid out…

Virus spreads at record rate, but deaths are fewer

The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost two million, even as new deaths decreased, WHO statistics showed. In a fresh global update, the World Health Organization said late Monday that during…

Banking shares plummet on laundering allegations

Shares in major banks including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase were hammered Monday following allegations they had handled huge sums of dirty money for almost 20 years. An investigation by Buzzfeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) alleges that potentially dubious…

Chinese tycoon and Xi critic jailed for 18 years

A Chinese real estate tycoon and outspoken critic of President Xi Jinping was jailed for 18 years on Tuesday for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds, a court statement said. Ren Zhiqiang – once among the ruling Communist Party’s inner circle – disappeared from…

Trump vows to not let China keep control of TikTok

A deal to restructure ownership of the popular video app TikTok was thrown into doubt Monday when President Donald Trump vowed to block any deal that allows its Chinese parent firm to retain any control. The comments raised fresh concerns over a weekend deal that…

UK public warned as Covid toll set to surge

England is on track for about 50,000 coronavirus cases a day by mid-October and a surging death toll unless the public gets serious about preventive action, top UK advisors warned on Monday. Rates of infection in England are replicating the strong resurgence of Covid-19 seen…

Taj Mahal reopens as India’s virus cases soar

India’s famed Taj Mahal and some schools reopened on Monday as authorities pressed ahead with kickstarting the nation’s coronavirus-battered economy despite soaring infection numbers. India, home to 1.3 billion people and some of the world’s most crowded cities, has recorded more than 5.4 million Covid-19…

US Senate ‘to hold vote on Ginsburg replacement’

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell vowed Friday to hold a vote on a nominee that President Donald Trump names to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg, despite the looming November election. The feminist icon’s death on Friday after a battle with pancreatic…

The Books Briefing: How to Remake America

The Constitution denied Danielle Allen’s enslaved ancestors the right to full citizenship—but she still believes in its ability to shape America for the better. Revisiting documents and moments from this country’s founding to parse how they can guide our future is the the central idea…

Rich nations corner half of vaccine supply: Oxfam

A group of wealthy nations representing 13% of the global population have already bought up more than half of the promised doses of future Covid-19 vaccines, according to a report by Oxfam on Wednesday. The non-governmental organization analyzed deals struck by pharmaceuticals and vaccine producers…

New Zealand in recession as economy shrinks

New Zealand’s economy plunged into recession for the first time in a decade on Thursday, posting a record contraction in the June quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern heads into next month’s general election. “The 12.2% fall in quarterly GDP…

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