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Japan says coronavirus adds to security threat by China

Japan’s government says China is pushing harder to make territorial claims in the regional seas and even using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence and take strategic superiority

Source: World | 15 Jul 2020 | 4:11 am(NZT)

US rejects nearly all Chinese claims in South China Sea

The Trump administration is escalating its actions against China by stepping squarely into one of the most sensitive regional issues dividing them and outright rejecting nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea

Source: World | 15 Jul 2020 | 4:06 am(NZT)

Trump’s two main foreign foes plan a major pact

New details have emerged of a possible 25-year-long strategic pact between Iran and China.

Source: World | 15 Jul 2020 | 4:00 am(NZT)

Not just a leadership spill: Why Ardern's opponent quit after 53 days

Early this morning the National Party caucus awoke to a nightmare. But this is not just another leadership spill, coup or change. In fact, nothing about this is routine, writes Richard Shaw.

Source: ABC News | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:23 pm(NZT)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Why Judith Collins should take over as National leader

COMMENT: I guess the question of the day is: Who should take over as National leader?The names in the mix are Judith Collins, Mark Mitchell, Nikki Kaye and Simon Bridges.Of course you know I think the answer is Judith Collins....

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:03 pm(NZT)

Your weather: Upper North Island in for a soaking, heavy rain warning issued

The upper North Island is in for a soaking as a major low arrives from the north Tasman Sea, spoiling any outdoor fun planned for the final week of school holidays. Northland looks set to bear the brunt of the moist easterly flow,...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 3:37 pm(NZT)

How this 170yo dogleg in the SA-NSW-Victoria border is causing headaches amid coronavirus

Victoria's worsening coronavirus situation has caused a public health crisis — but it has also reignited an historic dispute over the boundary between SA and two of its eastern neighbours.

Source: ABC News | 14 Jul 2020 | 3:28 pm(NZT)

ME Bank boss Jamie McPhee resigns following mortgage redraw backlash

The industry super-owned bank will search for a new CEO, with Jamie McPhee set to leave at the end of the month. ME Bank faced backlash in May over reductions to some mortgage redraw limits.

Source: ABC News | 14 Jul 2020 | 3:18 pm(NZT)

Trial date set for Auckland man accused of sending threatening emails to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

An Auckland man accused of sending threatening emails to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will go on trial next year. Police accuse Michael Christopher Cruickshank of "sending three emails having already sent 89 emails" between October...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 3:17 pm(NZT)

Herald afternoon quiz: July 14

Test your brains with the Herald's afternoon quiz. Be sure to check back on nzherald.co.nz for the morning quiz tomorrow. To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 3:00 pm(NZT)

One person dead after being hit by own van in Tauranga

A person has died after being hit by their own van outside a Salvation Army store in Tauranga.A police spokeswoman confirmed the death after the single-vehicle incident at the intersection of Cameron Rd and Arundel St, Tauranga....

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 2:45 pm(NZT)

'He was fast and fierce on the track but a dedicated father first': Tributes pour in for Rotorua crash victim

An Auckland man who died in a crash after his car plunged into a Rotorua lake had dedicated his life to his two daughters.And although David "Dave" Jarden was known as being fierce on the sidecar speedway race track, his friends...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 2:40 pm(NZT)

Covid 19 Coronavirus: NZ aid agencies urge Kiwis to help millions of starving children hit by pandemic

Thirteen New Zealand aid organisations have banded together to issue a stark warning today over the millions of children plunged into hunger by the global coronavirus pandemic. The major aid agencies - Adra, Caritas, CBM, Child...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 2:32 pm(NZT)

Todd Muller quits as National leader: Party's nightmare and a sign of a toxic political culture

ANALYSIS: By Richard Shaw for The Conversation And then there was none.Early this morning the National Party caucus awoke to a nightmare. Todd Muller, their newly minted leader of some 53 days, had resigned his position.This...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:55 pm(NZT)

Covid 19 coronavirus: Australian deportees arrive at their 'boutique-style' Auckland isolation facility

Four vanloads of Kiwis controversially deported from Australia have arrived at their downtown boutique hotel in Auckland today.The Herald understands New Zealanders deported from Australia will be in managed isolation at the Ramada...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:31 pm(NZT)

Covid 19 coronavirus: Covid test results botch-up in managed isolation

A second person expecting to leave managed isolation is at the centre of a test botch-up with health staff uncertain they have matched the correct results with the right person. Health Minister Chris Hipkins today confirmed a man...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:28 pm(NZT)

Choppers sent in as massive landslip closes road in Cromwell Gorge

Helicopters are on their way with monsoon buckets to a landslip which has closed a southbound lane on the Cromwell-Clyde Road on SH8, and the highway may be closed overnight.If SH8 to Alexandra is to be closed, the New Zealand Transport...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:25 pm(NZT)

Christchurch Police appeal for witnesses following hit-and-run

Police are hunting a vehicle damaged after a hit-and-run in Christchurch on Saturday night which left a pedestrian in a serious condition. The man was walking across Marlborough St in the suburb of Phillipstown at about 7.14pm on...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:22 pm(NZT)

Covid 19 coronavirus: One new case today - a woman in her 60s who travelled from Pakistan

New Zealand has one new case of Covid-19 - a woman in her 60s who arrived in NZ on June 30 from Pakistan via Doha and Sydney.She has been in managed isolation at the Novotel in Christchurch and tested positive on her day 12 test.Health...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 12:45 pm(NZT)

Todd Muller quits as National leader: MPs arrive ahead of tonight's crisis meeting

Shell-shocked National MPs have made their way to Wellington today for an emergency caucus meeting tonight to begin the process of replacing Todd Muller as leader.Muller, the Bay of Plenty MP, had been in the job for just 53 days...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 11:59 am(NZT)

Meng Foon speaks out about stereotyping after Amy Adams' mistake

By RNZ The Race Relations Commissioner says people must not assume someone's race by lumping them into one ethnicity group.It follows National MP Amy Adams' apology to Catherine Chu, the party's Banks Peninsula candidate, for...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 11:56 am(NZT)

Police to introduce more unmarked vehicles to help put a stop to risky driving

Police are introducing 24 unmarked vehicles nationwide in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the road.Acting road policing national manager Inspector Peter McKennie said "a new fleet of unmarked vehicles will...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 11:31 am(NZT)

Tahr Foundation apologises for They Are Us slogan in lobby video

By Katie Todd of RNZ The Tahr Foundation has apologised for any offence taken after adopting the slogan They Are Us.The Department of Conservation plans to cull the introduced species at three times the level it has in past years...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 10:50 am(NZT)

Woman told rats gnawing through pipes in state house 'not a health risk'

By Charlotte Cook for RNZ An Auckland woman says rats in her state house chewed through water pipes for more than a week and caused so much damage the ceiling collapsed.After days of call-outs to the property, the landlord,...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 10:40 am(NZT)

New Zealand fire stations get $57 million funding boost for rebuilds and upgrades

New Zealand's fire stations, including some of Canterbury's worst quake-hit sites, are set for a much-needed $57.5 million funding boost for rebuilds and upgrades, the Government announced this morning. Improvements to 26 fire stations...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 10:30 am(NZT)

Man sentenced for 'unprecedented' non-reporting of 11 tonnes of crayfish and pāua

A man has been sentenced for what could be New Zealand's largest case of under-reporting shellfish catches.Kevin Huia Clarke, 73, appeared in the Wellington District Court this morning for the offending, which involved 11 tonnes...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 14 Jul 2020 | 10:27 am(NZT)

7,000 soldiers deployed as water levels in rivers rise

CHINA is stepping up disaster relief efforts as the country continues to see more floods and unusually heavy downpours this summer, officials said yesterday. Floods that triggered alerts have been observed in 433 rivers nationwide since June. Of these rivers, 33 beat previous water level records, Ye Jianchun, vice minister of Water Resources, said. The number of rivers in spate has seen a dramatic rise from 271 that saw floods above warning levels by the end of June. Zheng Guoguang, vice minister of Emergency Management, attributed the severe flooding to the extra rainfall in the season mostly in the southern parts of the country. The average rainfall in regions along the Yangtze River this year has been the highest since 1961 — 51 percent more than the amount in other years, Zheng said. Due to the disastrous flooding, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters raised the emergency response to Level II on Sunday. As of 7am yesterday, floods in 27 provincial regions had affected a population of 38.73 million, leaving 141 people dead or missing, and more than 2.24 million emergency relocations. Around 29,000 homes were destroyed, and direct economic losses reached 86.16 billion yuan (US$12.31 billion). Zheng noted that as China’s capability in flood control and disaster relief improves, despite the severity of the flooding, the loss of lives and property has significantly decreased compared to the same period in the past five years. Ye warned that while water levels are likely to remain high in the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake, as the rain belt is expected to move northward, areas along the Yellow River and the Haihe River should brace for possible floods. Zheng said apart from further efforts at flood defense in the south, measures should be taken to guard against downpour-triggered disasters such as heavy floods and landslides, as well as possible typhoons, and high tides that could worsen the damage. Over 7,000 army soldiers have been deployed to the eastern part of China for flood control and emergency rescue operations, according to the Chinese military. Among them, over 3,800 soldiers were sent to Jiujiang City and Poyang County in Jiangxi Province, where they were tasked with patrolling, reinforcing embankments and transferring residents affected by floods, among others. In the flood-stricken Tongling City in Anhui Province, over 1,000 army soldiers have been working around the clock to strengthen dikes and help evacuate affected residents to safety.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Social distancing is back in HK amid virus spike

HONG Kong reimposed social distancing measures yesterday to combat a sudden spike in coronavirus infections, banning more than four people from gathering in public, shuttering some businesses and restricting restaurants from catering to evening diners. The city has had impressive success in tackling the disease with just over 1,400 infections and eight deaths. In the last two months, local transmissions had all but ended. However, in the last two weeks a cluster of local infections has emerged and officials believe the disease is spreading undetected in the densely populated city of 7.5 million. The Center for Health Protection reported 41 new local infections, a new high since the COVID-19 outbreak. City leader Carrie Lam announced fresh anti-virus measures yesterday. Alongside a ban on more than four people gathering in public, restaurants will only be able to serve takeaway food from 6pm to 5am. Twelve types of businesses including gyms, beauty salons, nightclubs and karaoke venues must close. Hong Kong people have widely adopted face masks to deal with the pandemic but yesterday authorities made wearing face coverings on public transport mandatory for the first time. Border control will also become stricter to prevent imported cases, as inbound visitors, who have traveled to high-risk areas during the past 14 days, should have tested negative for the new coronavirus before boarding flights to Hong Kong. The new measures will be looked at again in seven days, Lam said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Navarro’s comments ‘ridiculous, narrow-minded’

CHINA yesterday dismissed comments by a top White House official on Chinese social media apps as “ridiculous and narrow-minded,” and slammed the United States as “the world’s real hacker empire.” White House adviser Peter Navarro said on Fox News on Sunday that he expects US President Donald Trump to take “strong action” against Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat over what he alleged were national information security concerns. “For a long time now, (the US) has carried out indiscriminate and illegal cyber attacks, surveillance and theft of secrets on a global scale,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. Navarro argued in the interview that “what the American people have to understand is all of the data that goes into those mobile apps that kids have so much fun with... goes right to servers in China, right to the Chinese military, the Chinese Communist Party.” He claimed that the apps can be used to steal intellectual property. “So expect strong actions on that” by Trump, Navarro warned. In response, Hua said she “doesn’t know where the evidence is,” adding that if Navarro was not able to show proof to the public, then he would have added another falsehood to his “shameful list of lies.” “The US continues to have strong values, but why is it so scared of a fun video-sharing social media network loved by young people?” Hua asked.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

China sanctions US individuals, institution

CHINA has decided to impose corresponding sanctions on an institution and four individuals of the United States with immediate effect for “acting viciously” on issues related to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. China’s move comes as relations between the world’s two biggest economic powerhouses have slumped over disagreements on issues including the coronavirus pandemic, trade, Huawei and a national security law imposed on Hong Kong. Rubio and Cruz have both sponsored legislation that intervenes with China’s actions in Xinjiang. Smith has also been a vocal critic of China on issues ranging from Xinjiang to Hong Kong and the coronavirus. “China will make further responses based on how the situation develops.” Washington’s measures against Chinese officials, including the Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang, involve freezing US assets, US travel bans and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Tracking ship sails on mission

CHINA’S space tracking ship Yuanwang-6 departed from a port in Jiangsu Province yesterday for multiple spacecraft monitoring missions. Yuanwang-6, the third-generation Yuanwang space tracking ship, will carry out missions in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. It will complete a one-way voyage of more than 10,000 nautical miles and operate at sea for 100 days. This is the first time for a Yuanwang ship to perform missions in the three oceans during a single voyage. Yang Bianjiao, captain of Yuanwang-6, said crew members had conducted drills, devised action plans and inspected facilities ahead of the trip. The ship has completed an overhaul, maritime calibration tests, equipment precision appraisals and two satellite maritime monitoring missions this year.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

More downpours

AREAS along the Yangtze River will see downpours from today until Thursday after a temporary respite. Parts of Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Hubei, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang are forecast to receive rainfall of 100 to 180mm over the next three days, according to a statement on the website of the National Meteorological Center. Average rainfall reached 403mm in the areas along the Yangtze River from June 1 to July 12, the highest level since 1961.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

NHC calls for old-age care focus

CHINA’S community-level medical institutions were asked to improve inpatient wards and provide more beds for the elderly, according to a circular released by the National Health Commission yesterday. Hospital beds in community-level medical institutions should be mainly used for elderly patients, rehabilitation, nursing care and palliative care, the circular said. By the end of 2018, China had about 250 million citizens aged 60 and above, accounting for 17.9 percent of the population. Nearly 180 million elderly in the country have chronic diseases. Wang Jianjun, director of the China National Committee on Ageing, had earlier stressed that communities are a primary part of old-age care, noting that communities will enjoy more policy and financial support. The circular laid out other measures to promote the development of community-level medical institutions, including enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases. The medical institutions were urged to set up targeted departments, including psychological clinics.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Seoul mayor who killed himself accused of sexual harassment by former secretary

A lawyer for the alleged victim said she filed a complaint against Mayor Park Won-soon last week.

Source: World | 14 Jul 2020 | 2:36 am(NZT)

Brazil sacks official after soaring June deforestation data

Brazil’s government has fired an official at the national space agency Inpe whose department is responsible for satellite monitoring of the Amazon rainforest, just three days after the release of June deforestation data reflected a continued increase in degradation

Source: World | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:54 am(NZT)

The trouble with making Hagia Sophia a mosque again

"Its conversion into a mosque is an all too appropriate symbol for the rise of right-wing nationalism and religious chauvinism around the world today.”

Source: World | 14 Jul 2020 | 1:09 am(NZT)

Bahrain’s highest court upholds death sentences despite evidence of torture

The decision marked an abrupt reversal after the same court had earlier overturned the death sentences for the two Shiite Muslims who had participated in pro-democracy protests.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 11:10 pm(NZT)

Disappearances in Mexico rose during López Obrador’s first year, now top 73,000

The official toll of people who have vanished during a 14-year epidemic of criminal violence includes hundreds of Americans.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 10:20 pm(NZT)

Rivals Dubai and Abu Dhabi tackle coronavirus in very different ways

With an economy based on globalization, Dubai has been hit in a way that oil-rich Abu Dhabi has not.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 10:00 pm(NZT)

U.S. declares many of China’s maritime claims ‘unlawful’

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came hours after China imposed sanctions on four U.S. officials, including Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for “interfering in China’s internal affairs.”

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 9:41 pm(NZT)

Brazil sacks official after soaring June deforestation data

Brazil’s government has fired an official at the national space agency Inpe whose department is responsible for satellite monitoring of the Amazon rainforest, just three days after the release of June deforestation data reflected a continued increase in degradation

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 9:31 pm(NZT)

Suriname gets new president, faces economic crisis

Suriname’s newly elected parliament has chosen a former police chief as the country’s president to replace Desiree “Desi” Bouterse, who faces a murder conviction at home and a drug smuggling sentence abroad

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 9:02 pm(NZT)

Trump administration’s move on visas is ‘dream-crashing’ for Indian students and families

Indians are the second-largest group of international students in the United States.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 9:00 pm(NZT)

Polish president Duda wins second term, says electoral commission

Andrzej Duda, an ally of U.S. President Trump, won 51.2 percent of the vote.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 8:08 pm(NZT)

5 killed in road crash

Five people were killed and another five injured in a road accident in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the public security bureau of Nanning, the region’s capital.The accident occurred about 7:40am yesterday in Qingquan Village in the city, when a bus collided with a heavy semi-trailer tractor. The injured have been sent to a hospital.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Sewage blast hurts 17

Seventeen people were slightly injured in an explosion ton Saturday in a sewage treatment plant in Fuxin City in northeast China’s Liaoning Province. No deaths were reported, local official sources said yesterday.The explosion happened around 8:40pm on Saturday, with windows at the plant, its surrounding workshops and residential houses shattered. All the injured were sent to hospital. The cause is under investigation.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Earthquake jolts Hebei, tremors felt in Beijing

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Guye District of Tangshan City in north China’s Hebei Province at 6:38am yesterday according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.The epicenter was 39.78 degrees north and 118.44 degrees east at depth of 10 kilometers, the CENC said. Strong tremors were felt in nearby regions including Beijing.A 2.2-magnitude quake and a 2.0-magnitude quake hit the district again at 7:02am and 7:26am yesterday.No casualties have been reported so far. Some old houses saw cracks. The emergency response is being carried out in an orderly manner, according to the city government.The province has launched a level III emergency response, the second lowest in China’s four-tier emergency response system, for earthquakes.The railway department launched an emergency plan to suspend passenger trains through the area, and is organizing a comprehensive inspection.About 750,000 people live within 20km of the epicenter, which is 391km from the city of Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, and 180km from downtown Beijing.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Beating poverty in Three Gorges

This year, people living in regions of the Three Gorges Project, the world’s largest hydropower project, witnessed an historic achievement in bidding farewell to poverty.Covering about 10,000 square kilometers, the regions involved in the project are in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway. With a population of about 30 million, they had been plagued by poverty long before the project was launched.All of the 19 local districts and counties had shaken off poverty by May thanks to a series of supportive policies and local government efforts.Song Qinggui, a 47-year-old villager in Qingshi Village in Wushan County in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, is busy running his agritainment business.Song and his family moved to the village in 2002 because of the project. Living by the Yangtze River, the family previously managed to eke out a living by farming.“I was worried about our future life when we moved to the village in the mountains,” he said. “We could barely feed ourselves by farming on fertile land before. What were we going to do with the poor soil that was full of stones in the mountains?”However, his worries were soon alleviated. Now Song can earn more than 200,000 yuan (US$28,500) each year by running his agritainment business, a marked improvement from the 30,000 yuan he previously earned. Boasting a number of tourist attractions with beautiful natural landscapes, the regions have made tourism as one of their pillar industries.After years of struggle, Song has continued to expand his business that now covers 1,000 square meters, becoming one of the most successful in the village.“I never thought business would be so good,” he said. “The rooms and dining hall are often fully booked especially in autumn and winter, which are the best seasons to see red leaves in the mountains, a famous attraction in the county.”Counting the moneyWushan County has built a 5A-level scenic area, China’s highest level for tourist sites, three 4A-level areas and a 3A-level area. In 2018, the county received about 16 million tourists from home and abroad and raked in a comprehensive tourism income of 6.4 billion yuan, up 17.45 percent and 35.72 percent year on year, respectively.Local governments also adopted a series of supportive policies to build other pillar industries that can capitalize on the regions’ many strengths.Considering the climate and terrain, Fengjie County promoted farming navel oranges, helping more than 7,000 poverty-stricken households shake off poverty with over 23,000 hectares of orange trees.“My family has planted more than 200 navel orange trees, which can produce nearly 10,000 kg of oranges and help us earn over 40,000 yuan each year,” said Li Shengmei, a 48-year-old villager in the county’s Santuo Village.Wanzhou District, under the administration of Chongqing, brought in investment and built a fruit planting base covering 100 hectares in its Xiazhong Village.“I can earn more than 10,000 yuan by working at the base combined with other income. My husband works at a construction site in the district and can earn 50,000 yuan each year,” said villager Deng Xiuying.Local governments also adopted other policies including reducing medical bills and other expenses for poverty-stricken households.Seeing shaking off poverty as a new starting point, people in the regions are looking forward to better lives.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Working women face tough time in 30s

a RECENT survey by the China Youth Daily found more than 86 percent of those polled feel that career opportunities languish for women in their thirties.Men accounted for 37.3 percent of the 1,973 respondents.The glass ceiling, exclusion from major projects, and removal from positions or salary cuts during maternity leave are among difficulties that women in this age group have frequently encountered at the workplace, according to the survey.Nearly 63 percent of respondents believe it is difficult for women in their 30s to climb higher up the ranks, while almost 60 percent say this age group has been cut off from major tasks or candidate pools in the workplace.Cheng Jing (pseudonym), a 35-year-old employee with a foreign company in Shanghai, linked this to her pregnancy and childbirth. She feels she has continued to lose opportunities ever since she got pregnant.“The early stage of my pregnancy coincided with a team assembling for a major project. As a veteran in the field, I should have been considered more competent,” said Cheng.“But I was eliminated from the very beginning because the expected date of delivery fell within the project’s execution.”After the baby was born, she had to spend significant time on childcare, which came at the expense of her job performance, said the mother of a two-year-old. Now she works in an auxiliary position.Cheng is not the only one who decided to have a child in her 30s according to Wen Chenjing, a barrister who specializes in employment disputes and also sits on the Shanghai municipal bar association. The age from 30 to 39 is considered the reproductive peak for Chinese female professionals, said Wen, which has seen a notable divergence in their life trajectories in this period.“We found that a large number of women temporarily left the workplace to bear and raise children in this period, while a similar number of them delayed childbirth for the sake of career development.”Despite facing tougher odds after childbirth, women in their 30s have shown strong assertiveness in the survey.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Bus driver blamed for crash in Guizhou

A bus driver deliberately drove his vehicle off the road into a reservoir in southwestern China last week, killing 21 people, in an act of revenge against society over the demolition of his former home, police said yesterday. Police in Anshun, Guizhou Province, said in a statement an autopsy of the driver showed the presence of alcohol in the stomach, blood and urine. On July 7, at about 8:30am, the driver, identified as Zhang, discovered that his former home was being pulled down. He made a call to the government affairs hotline and complained about the demolition. At 8:50am, Zhang called another bus driver to exchange shifts. Zhang bought alcohol from a grocery shop at 9:04am, mixed them with soft drinks and went to work. He sent a WeChat message to his girlfriend and expressed “cynicism and pessimism,” at 11:39am before getting behind the wheel of the bus at 11:47am. As the bus passed the Hongshan Reservoir, surveillance cameras showed the vehicle slowing down and then veering to the opposite side of the road, crashing through a guardrail and plunging into the waters. The bus had no mechanical problem, and had been in use since October last year, the statement said. Among the 21 who died, 12 were students and five died in the crash. Zhang also died. As a former employee of Xixiu District Diesel Engine Plant, Zhang owned a lease to the demolished home. In 2016, the house was earmarked for renovation, and Zhang had signed an agreement with the district’s housing and construction bureau after agreeing to compensation of 72,542.94 yuan (US$10,360). Anshun police concluded that Zhang was responsible for the incident and had endangered public security.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Emergency response upgraded as floods cause havoc in China

CHINA has swung into top gear to strengthen its flood-defense network as incessant downpours continue to wreak havoc across vast stretches of the country, with unusually high precipitation causing alarm. The Ministry of Water Resources yesterday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest, as heavy downpours continued to lash vast stretches of the country. Since July 4, floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, according to the ministry. China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II yesterday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III last Tuesday. China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with Level I representing the most severe. The announcement came after Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake located in the eastern province of Jiangxi, has seen its water level rise to a record high yesterday, according to the provincial department of water resources. The water level at the lake’s Xingzi hydrological station rose to 22.53 meters, 0.01 meters higher than the record in 1998, and continued going up, said the department. A recent round of rainfall and upstream inflows have led to a sharp rise in the river water level in Jiangxi. The incessant downpours have also pushed the lake water to exceed warning levels since July 5. So far, 34 hydrological stations in the province have seen water currents exceed warning levels. Xu Weiming, secretary-general with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters, said the lake area had seen significant improvement in the embankment and flood-resistant equipment compared with 1998 when a devastating flood occurred along the Yangtze River. “We will put the safety of people’s lives in priority and make every effort to battle against the historic floods,” he added. The Changjiang Water Resources Commission issued a red alert for floods in the Poyang Lake area on July 10, and a day later, Jiangxi Province raised its flood-control response from level II to level I, the top level of China’s four-tier emergency response for floods. Floods since July 6 have affected over 5.2 million people in the province, with 432,000 people evacuated from flood-prone areas. A total of 167,000 people are in urgent need of living assistance, according to the local flood control and drought relief headquarters. The floods have damaged over 455,700 hectares of crops and caused a direct economic loss of 6.49 billion yuan (US$ 930 million). On Saturday, more than 53,300 people were mobilized in fighting the floods in Jiangxi, aided by 1,545 sets of mechanical equipment. The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has also risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days. Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration yesterday allocated disaster-relief supplies like tents, blankets, and fold-up beds to the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou. Meanwhile, China has allocated a total of 309 million yuan for disaster relief in flood-hit regions of the country, the National Development and Reform Commission. The funds were channeled to areas hit hard by floods, including Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Chongqing, in support of the construction and repair of local infrastructure and public facilities. Floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year. Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion). Experts noted that the work of flood control is at a crucial stage, as the dual challenges of floods and COVID-19 have put China’s disaster relief and emergency management systems to the test. “Frequent floods are expected in China’s rivers in July and August due to heavy rainfall,” said Wang Zhangli, an official with the Ministry of Water Resources, requiring a high level of vigilance. This year’s flood season comes as China is striving to resume normal business operations after securing major strategic achievements in combating COVID-19, said Zhang Jiatuan, an official with the Ministry of Emergency Management, calling for multi-pronged measures to overcome the dual challenges.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Xi calls for efforts on rescue and relief work

CHINESE President Xi Jinping has called for the greatest efforts to brave challenges and go to the frontline of flood prevention and rescue and relief work to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property. Noting the waters in rivers such as the Yangtze River, Huaihe River, as well as lakes such as the Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake and Taihu Lake have exceeded warning levels and regions including Chongqing, Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have seen severe floods, causing casualties and property losses, Xi said the flood prevention situation is grim. China has entered a crucial period of flood control, Xi said, calling for Party committees and governments at all levels to take responsibilities and go into the frontline to guide flood control work. Authorities should take more effective flood control measures and do solid work in monitoring and early warning, safety hazards checking at dikes and reservoirs, emergency response and resettlement of the affected people, Xi said. The flood control, emergency response and water resource authorities should strengthen coordination and allocate the rescue personnel and supplies in a more scientific way, Xi said. The PLA and armed police troops stationed in flood-hit regions should actively participate in the rescue and relief work, he said. While making effective flood control and disaster relief efforts, local authorities should at the same time carefully plan the reconstruction to restore production and help people return to their normal life as soon as possible, Xi said. Serious efforts must be made to assist the flood-affected poor residents, he said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Jul 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

Polish President Duda and challenger Trzaskowski in tight race amid high turnout

If reelected, Duda could help Poland’s right-wing ruling party to continue its hard-line policies.

Source: World | 13 Jul 2020 | 2:44 am(NZT)

‘On our own’: Kenyan activists feel alone in the fight against police brutality

Pandemic clampdowns hobble protests seeking greater police accountability.

Source: World | 12 Jul 2020 | 11:00 pm(NZT)

Lockdowns make the heart grow fonder in Japan as online matchmaking surges

Before covid, Japan’s matchmakers arranged events and meetings for mate seekers. It’s now video chat windows.

Source: World | 12 Jul 2020 | 10:00 pm(NZT)

Within the Taliban, clashing views of Afghanistan’s future

Taliban commanders and fighters in eastern Afghanistan speak not of peace but of toppling the Afghan government in Kabul, and they boast of a hard-fought “military victory” over American forces in the country.

Source: World | 12 Jul 2020 | 7:30 pm(NZT)

Misaligned radar responsible for downing of Ukrainian passenger jet, Iran says

176 people, many of them students, were killed in the January missile strike on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Iran initially denied any role.

Source: World | 12 Jul 2020 | 6:49 pm(NZT)

Video and photos show Brazil’s Bolsonaro defied health guidelines before testing positive for the coronavirus — and after

The Washington Post analyzed hundreds of videos and photos of the Brazilian president to retrace his steps in the two weeks before he first reported symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

Source: World | 12 Jul 2020 | 4:12 am(NZT)

6 hurt in fireworks factory blasts

Powerful explosions rocked a fireworks factory in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Wednesday night, leaving at least six people injured, authorities said.A billowing yellow cloud rose over the factory in Guanghan City after the first blast and then thick, black smoke poured from the plant, according to images broadcast by state channel CCTV.This was followed by a second explosion.Six people were injured, including two with serious wounds, the Guanghan City government said in a statement on social media.The fire was spotted by two guards of the factory at around 9:10pm on Wednesday. They called the police and there was a violent explosion during the evacuation at about 10:25pm, causing injuries to the people.The fire was brought under control by 3am yesterday and the cause of the incident is under investigation, the government said.Zhang Junyi, Party chief of Guanghan City, said that the fire broke out in the Nanfeng production area of Jinyan fireworks factory, which was shut down during the period.Crews from 10 fire stations raced to the factory but for security reasons were kept 500 meters from it, CCTV said.The first batch of firefighters arrived at the scene at 9:34pm on Wednesday. Due to continuous explosions, emergency services were ordered to retreat to a safe distance, 500 meters from the factory.It is understood the firecracker factory is a single-layer brick-concrete structure, covering an area of about 270 square meters, mainly storing fireworks.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 10 Jul 2020 | 4:16 am(NZT)

Invention patents see stable trend

China witnessed a stable trend in intellectual property development in the first half of this year.More than 683,000 invention patent applications were filed in China, and a total of 217,000 invention patents were authorized in the first half, the National Intellectual Property Administration revealed at an online press conference yesterday.Huawei Technologies Co had 2,772 invention patents authorized last year, ranking first on the Chinese mainland.By the end of June, the number of valid invention patents held on the Chinese mainland had reached 1.996 million. The average ownership of invention patents had also reached 14.3 patents per 10,000 people.There were a total of 27.414 million valid trademarks. China also saw more enterprises applying for patents in H1, said Hu Wenhui, spokesperson for the administration.About 229,000 Chinese companies applied for patents in the first half of 2020, an increase of 32,000 compared with the same period last year. They submitted a total of 404,000 invention patent applications, up by 12 percent year on year.The scale of using geographical indications has gradually expanded. In the January-June period, 322 companies were given approval to use geographical indications, a significant increase from 116 approved in the same period last year.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 10 Jul 2020 | 4:16 am(NZT)

China renews orange alert

China’s national observatory yesterday renewed its orange alert for rainstorms, as incessant downpours continue to wreak havoc across vast stretches of the country. From yesterday afternoon to today afternoon, heavy rain and rainstorms are expected in Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hunan and Guizhou, among other regions, the National Meteorological Center said, warning that some areas will experience downpours with up to 280 millimeters. Some of the regions will see over 70mm of hourly precipitation, accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds, the center said. China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue. The center advised local authorities to remain alert for possible flooding, landslides and mudslides, and halt outdoor operations.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 10 Jul 2020 | 4:16 am(NZT)

108 held over gambling

Police in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have arrested 108 suspects for organizing cross-border online gambling involving about 350 million yuan (US$50.1 million).Police in the city of Baise received a tip-off in January that an app named “Zhengshiyule” with over 18,000 registered users is being used for gambling. After investigation, police found that two suspects, surnamed Huang and Xin, had been running the gambling platform from a rented room in the Vietnamese city of Mong Cai since April 2019. In April, police conducted raids in Baise and the border city of Dongxing, apprehending Huang and Xin. Eight suspects nabbed in Mong Cai by local police have been escorted back to China.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 10 Jul 2020 | 4:16 am(NZT)

New COVID-19 bonds

China will issue the fourth batch of special government bonds for COVID-19 control amid efforts to balance epidemic control with economic and social development, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The 10-year fixed-rate bonds, worth 70 billion yuan, will be available for tenders on July 15 and become tradable on July 20, according to a ministry statement. In June, the ministry announced the issuance of the first three batches of special government COVID-19 bonds, — 70 billion yuan of 10-year, 50 billion yuan of 7-year and 50 billion yuan of 5-year bonds. China plans to issue 1 trillion yuan of government bonds for COVID-19 control this year.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 10 Jul 2020 | 4:16 am(NZT)


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