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'The perfection of imperfection': Ancient Jewish values come to life in Bondi

Thousands of years of Jewish practice meet high-end architecture in Succah by the Sea — a public art event in Bondi.

Source: ABC News | 20 Oct 2019 | 9:00 am(NZT)

Markets take 'possible' fixes as a reason to buy risk, but should they be so confident?

The US-China trade relations have improved, Brexit may be reaching a less messy end and the Fed is still pumping, so it's all good then? Not exactly, writes Stephen Letts.

Source: ABC News | 20 Oct 2019 | 8:55 am(NZT)

Eleven members of this Australian aid worker's family ended up in Syria. Seven have died there

An ABC investigation reveals how one Australian aid worker and 11 of his family members ended up dead or being detained in Syria. Mohammed Ahmad says he does not pose a threat but his chances of returning to his home country appear slim.

Source: ABC News | 20 Oct 2019 | 8:54 am(NZT)

Disappeared in El Salvador: Amid the return of a Cold War nightmare, one body and three grieving families

The Central American nation is now a democracy. Why are disappearances soaring? 

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:58 am(NZT)

Parliament votes to withhold approval of Brexit deal, postponing Boris Johnson’s moment of reckoning

Leaving the European Union has been an agonizing process that has consumed and divided the country.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:57 am(NZT)

Israelis rally in support of woman imprisoned in Russia

About 200 Israelis are demonstrating in Tel Aviv in solidarity with an Israeli woman imprisoned in Russia on drug charges

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:55 am(NZT)

Why the Irish border is a perpetual Brexit snag

Decades after a peace agreement in Northern Ireland, there are still concerns about changing the border.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:55 am(NZT)

Hondurans call for president to step down after drug verdict

Thousands of Hondurans have protested into the early hours of the morning to demand that President Juan Orlando Hernández be removed from office after his younger brother was convicted of drug trafficking in a New York court

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:48 am(NZT)

Thousands in Germany, France protest Turkish push into Syria

Thousands in Germany, France protest Turkish offensive in northern Syria

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:30 am(NZT)

The Latest: Official: Turkey wants Syrian forces moved back

The spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey wants Syrian government forces to move away from a border area so it can resettle up to 2 million refugees

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:24 am(NZT)

Person fighting for their life after early-morning fall in Mangere town square

A person has been critically hurt after falling in an Auckland suburban town square.St John sent an ambulance to the scene near Mangere town square at 3.40am this morning and transported the person to Auckland City Hospital.A...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:21 am(NZT)

In many parts of Mexico, government ceded battle to cartels

A massive gunbattle in the Mexican city of Culiacan was shocking for the openness of government capitulation as it forced the release of a drug kingpin’s son, and the brazenness of gunmen in machine-gun mounted armored trucks

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:18 am(NZT)

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 7:10 am(NZT)

Herald morning quiz: October 20

Test your brains with the Herald 's morning quiz. Be sure to check on nzherald.co.nz this afternoon for another trivia fix. Android users please click here ‌ To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK H...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Oct 2019 | 6:00 am(NZT)

'They thought we were a scam': Cookie maker which employs only disabled people among Attitude Award nominations

A part-time checkout operator who took on the Government over unfair entitlements and won. A cookie company which only employs disabled people and is on track to break a profit barely two years after opening. And athletes who...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Oct 2019 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Afghan presidential election outcome remains in limbo as results are delayed

The election commission said more time is needed to deal with potentially flawed ballots from last month’s voting.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 4:02 am(NZT)

Afghan presidential election outcome remains in limbo as results are delayed

The election commission said more time is needed to deal with potentially flawed ballots from last month’s vote.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 4:02 am(NZT)

Fact-checking Trump on the Kurds: Yes, they are more unsafe now. No, they aren’t more threatening than ISIS.

Trump’s recent statements on the matter have been, to quote the office of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, “highly unusual.” Other comments have been downright wrong or misleading.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 1:00 am(NZT)

Former sensation Justin Trudeau fighting for his political life in Canada’s election

Trudeau’s Liberals are locked in a tight race with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives as Canadians head to the polls Monday.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 12:00 am(NZT)

Former sensation Justin Trudeau fighting for his political life in Canada’s election

Trudeau’s Liberals are locked in a tight race with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives as Canadians head to the polls Monday.

Source: World | 20 Oct 2019 | 12:00 am(NZT)

New Zealand resident extradited to Australia following humanitarian disaster, to face trial over deaths of 350

A New Zealand resident has been extradited to Australia to face trial over the deaths of more than 350 people in 2001.Maythem Kamil Radhi was allegedly involved in the smuggling of a boatload of people from Indonesia before it sank,...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 7:55 pm(NZT)

Winston Peters starts election run-up with scattergun attack, MediaWorks jab

Winston Peters has begun his run to the election swinging in all directions. The New Zealand First leader's opening speech at his party's annual convention on Saturday was a call to action for 2020, but it was laden with attacks...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 7:48 pm(NZT)

Thousands of cancer patients missing out on life-saving radiation therapy

Many cancer patients in New Zealand and Australia are missing out on radiation therapy which could help in their treatment. Data presented to a radiology conference held in Auckland today shows fewer than a third of New Zealand...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 7:19 pm(NZT)

Eerily similar: How to spot a new IRD email scam

Hundreds of Kiwis have been sent an intricate email scam claiming to be from the tax department alleging a refund is owed.And although the IRD does not track how much money is lost through scams, it does keep track of them.The...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 6:00 pm(NZT)

Three people transported to hospital following serious head-on collision in north Auckland

A young man has been taken to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition following a head-on collision in Redvale, North Auckland this afternoon.The incident took place around 4.20pm on East Coast Rd and emergency services were...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 5:51 pm(NZT)

Childhood friends from Christchurch Michael James Pratt and Matthew Isaac Wolfe face FBI sex trafficking charges over GirlsDoPorn website

Mike Pratt and Matt Wolfe were best mates growing up.Born a few months apart in 1982, the duo started primary school in Christchurch together but went to different schools in their teenage years.Wolfe was at Burnside, one of the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 5:04 pm(NZT)

Compulsory community service for teens? NZ First members say yes

New Zealand First's members have voted for the party to look into giving 100 hours of compulsory community service to all teenagers.The party's membership is this weekend meeting for its annual convention, which includes a public...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 4:54 pm(NZT)

Herald afternoon quiz: October 19

Test your brains with the Herald's afternoon quiz. Be sure to check on nzherald.co.nz tomorrow for another trivia fix. Android users please click here ‌ To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 4:00 pm(NZT)

Local Focus: Race Relations Commissioner supports local Māori push for councillor Andrew Hollis to resign over comments

New Tauranga City Councillor Andrew Hollis has stirred up controversy within a week of being elected.Hollis has been accused of racism after comments on social media supporting burning the Treaty of Waitangi, calling it a joke and...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 3:36 pm(NZT)

Air NZ flight from Auckland to San Francisco diverted to Hawaii with 'engineering issue'

An Air NZ flight from Auckland to San Francisco was rerouted to Hawaii this morning due to engineering fault. Flight NZ 8 departed from Auckland airport at 7:51 Friday, but was rerouted to Honolulu mid flight.Air NZ said the engineering...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 3:26 pm(NZT)

Landslip closes section of West Coast highway near Greymouth

By RNZ There has been a large landslide at Omoto, east of Greymouth, closing a section of the highway until at least Tuesday.Continuous heavy rain and high river levels have contributed to the 2.5 metre landslide drop overnight...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 1:42 pm(NZT)

Police confirm body found in Waitaki River jet-boat search

Searchers looking for a man who fell from a boat that overturned on the Waitaki River in North Otago have recovered a body, police have confirmed.The search was launched in the Waitaki district yesterday after a man fell from the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 1:41 pm(NZT)

Smashed car windscreen, man fights for his life in South Auckland

Police are focusing their attention on a house with a smashed car outside as a man fights for his life in hospital.Neighbours say gun shots rang out through the night on Naylors Drive in Mangere and a man is in a critical condition.But...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 1:16 pm(NZT)

Search for missing former league coach Mike McClennan enters fourth day

Police have set up a mobile truck at Waiwera and are asking for information from the public as the search for missing former league coach Mike McClennan enters its fourth day.An officer at the site said dozens of members of the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 1:14 pm(NZT)

Fighting continues in Syrian border town despite Turkish agreement to halt offensive

Witnesses report shelling and gunfire, although President Trump has hailed the U.S.-brokered cease-fire deal as a victory for all parties.

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 12:25 pm(NZT)

New Zealand weather: Settled weekend following by cool change midweek

A nice day is on the way, but enjoy it while it lasts, New Zealand.Persistent showery and blowy weather this month has stretched the patience of many New Zealanders eagerly anticipating summer. READ MORE: • Weather: Rain...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 11:10 am(NZT)

'Good riddance': Winston Peters lets loose on MediaWorks

Winston Peters has twisted the knife over MediaWorks' sale of its television division, as he railed against the media in front of party members.The New Zealand First party's members are meeting in Christchurch this weekend for their...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 11:02 am(NZT)

Winston Peters faces questions from angry gun owners at NZ First conference

NZ First leader Winston Peters has met angry gun-owning protesters outside his party's annual convention, but has avoided making any promises. NZ First had staunchly opposed the tightening of gun laws over previous decades, but...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 19 Oct 2019 | 11:00 am(NZT)

The failed arrest of El Chapo’s son turned a Mexican city into an urban war zone 

One of Mexico’s most infamous drug traffickers was arrested and then released as the cartel overpowered government security forces. 

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 10:06 am(NZT)

After anti-corruption protests, Lebanese prime minister sets 72-hour deadline for reforms

Speaking to an enraged country, Saad Hariri said he has set a three-day deadline for political parties to remove obstacles toward changes but did not offer solutions of his own.

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 6:36 am(NZT)

How Boris Johnson could pass his Brexit deal on ‘Super Saturday’ — and who could stand in the way 

The math looks tight. But the British leader has a chance of getting the agreement passed.

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 6:31 am(NZT)

After dodging a Taliban assault, northeast Afghanistan braces for resurgence

Local leaders caution the militant group could reemerge once troops depart. 

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 6:30 am(NZT)

62 killed in mosque bombing in eastern Afghanistan

The attack comes as civilian casualties in the country have reached record-high levels.

Source: World | 19 Oct 2019 | 5:53 am(NZT)

Home of laughter for young and old

Waves of laughter, giggles and cheers — sounds many would not expect in nursing homes — echo in the halls of a home for the elderly in the city of Yinchuan, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.The Jinseyangguang (Golden Sunshine) Nursing Home is not a typical senior care center as it pairs the very old with the very young, with its kindergarten inside the nursing home.At 3:20pm, Monday to Friday, children and residents come together in a variety of planned activities and “Plants vs Zombies” is the most popular one these days, according to Hao Qianshuai, head of the care center’s nursing department.“Young staff wearing plastic buckets take the role of zombies while kids have peashooters with ping-pong balls as their ‘bullets,’” Hao said.More than 20 older adults aged between 79 and 100 sit in the spacious bright hall to share the happiness of the interesting game, he added.Competitive activities are also well-received among the elderly, such as catching ping-pong balls with chopsticks and singing contests, with applauses and cheers falling on the winners.“Elderly people are like children who want to be praised. It’s not enough to focus on their food and living facilities; their spiritual needs should also be properly addressed,” Hao said.The nursing home was opened in March by Hao Baozheng, who had been engaged in preschool education for more than 10 years. To make the sanatorium more lively, Hao took kids from his kindergarten to the nursing home and has designed a range of weekly activities that can meet the needs of both the young and the old.It was a rough start, Hao said. Some kids were noisy and some were not very close to the elderly. “But as they get more familiar with each other, everything gets along better and things run more smoothly.”“It’s fun and interesting to get up every morning and see the kids doing exercises downstairs and hear the pitter-patter of their little feet,” said 79-year-old Han Shufen.According to Hao, parents of the kindergartners are very supportive of such activities. “Many parents have even come to participate themselves,” Hao said.In recent years, China’s elderly population has continued to rise, with about 249.5 million now aged 60 or above by the end of last year, representing 17.9 percent of the total population, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.To ensure more senior citizens spend their twilight years in comfort, China has issued a series of policies and measures to expand the supply of elderly care services, develop community-based and home-based elderly care and encourage integrated care with medical services.“The old can learn new things from the kindergarteners and the kids can listen to interesting stories from the elderly,” Hao said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Spring Bud helping poor girls blossom

Thanks to the Spring Bud project, Lan Zhilin became the first female doctor in her hometown, something that would have been unthinkable a few years back.She was among the first group of 49 girls to go to school in Rongshui, southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. For centuries, the local Red Yao ethnic people there believed it was unnecessary for girls to receive education.About 100 kilometers north of Rongshui sits Baiyun Township, where Lan was born. Tucked away deep in the mountains, Baiyun was one of the poorest areas in China. Food was scarce, and life was hard. Girls were usually married before 16. So the consensus was why bother sending them to school?To eradicate poverty and modernize people’s lives, the local government earmarked funds despite a tight budget to open a class for girls in 1988.But bigger challenges were in store. Teachers had to pay home visits again and again to persuade parents. Over half of the students skipped school in the first year.“I see them as my own children. I hope to change their minds with my love and patience,” said Wu Ruiping, a teacher.In 1992, Spring Bud included the Red Yao girls’ classes into its first batch of projects and 10 classes have since graduated.Spring Bud was launched in 1989 by the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund under the leadership of the All-China Women’s Federation, to boost education attendance in rural areas where gender bias runs deep.Unlike her mother, who married at a very young age, Lan took a completely different life path. In 1997, she was admitted to a medical school in the regional capital of Nanning. Using the skills she gained in school, she delivered a healthy baby girl. Two years later, she became a gynecologist and obstetrician at the hospital in her hometown and has since delivered more than 2,000 babies.According to the statistics, Spring Bud has helped 3.69 million financially strapped girls go to school, funded 1,811 rural schools and circulated millions of pamphlets helping young girls identify and evade sexual harassment.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Preparing for China’s homegrown space station

China is preparing for upcoming frequent space missions to construct China’s space station and the Long March-5B carrier rocket, set to launch capsules for the space station, is expected to make its maiden flight in 2020.Zhou Jianping, an academic of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has been appointed chief designer of China’s manned space program, and Gu Yidong, an academic of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been appointed chief space scientist of the program, according to the China Manned Space Agency.China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei and seven other experts in fields such as spacecraft, carrier rockets, space technology application, monitoring and communications systems have been appointed deputy chief designers.China aims to complete the construction of the space station around 2022. AT 66 tons, the Tiangong space station will be T-shaped with the Tianhe core module at the center and the Wentian and Mengtian experiment capsules on each side.The station, which will orbit 340 to 450 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, could be expanded to 180 tons if required and accommodate three to six astronauts. It is designed to last at least 10 years and could be prolonged through in-orbit maintenance, according to Zhou.Sixteen experiment racks will be installed on the space station to support hundreds of space research projects.China is selecting new astronauts for space station missions. After the station is completed, it will also welcome overseas astronauts to work with Chinese astronauts on the station.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Students get phones, but need guidance

A RECENT survey shows that more than 93 percent of Chinese parents have given their children mobile phones for daily uses, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday.Phone ownership ratio is highest among children in junior middle school with the figure exceeding 97 percent, according to the newspaper, noting that primary school students from grades one to three reported the lowest rate.By city, the ownership ratio is highest among children living in second-tier cities and the lowest among rural students.The survey was based on answers from 1,939 parents of primary and middle school students.The students use their phones mainly for homework and social media, it reported.However, more than 30 percent of parents surveyed said that they failed to guide their children to rationally use the gadgets, according to the newspaper.Sun Hongyan, a researcher with the China Youth and Children Research Center, suggested that parents should set an example first and not get addicted to their own phones.Parents should involve their children in setting rules for phone use, teach them how to identify healthy content and learn from them about new media technology, Sun said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Xi demands more efforts to win war on poverty

XI Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has underscored continuous efforts to win the battle against poverty. China must stick to its poverty relief target, make unremitting efforts, and ensure high-quality outcomes in the battle, Xi, who is also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed while marking the sixth National Poverty Relief Day yesterday. Hailing the progress made in poverty relief under the leadership of the CPC, Xi said the country’s battle against poverty has reached a crucial stage of securing a decisive and complete victory. All regions and departments must stick to poverty relief goals and make continuous efforts to tackle extreme poverty, improve weak links in compulsory education, basic medical care, housing and drinking water safety for the impoverished population, and ensure that all rural poor can be lifted out of poverty and step into a moderately prosperous society by next year, Xi said yesterday. Effective measures should be taken to build on existing poverty relief results and ensure the battle to be won in a high-quality way, he said. Xi’s instructions were conveyed at a commendation meeting on poverty alleviation held yesterday in Beijing, where individuals and institutions were honored for their efforts in reducing poverty. Instructions by Premier Li Keqiang were also conveyed at the meeting yesterday. Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, urged efforts on industrial development and employment assistance for poverty relief as well as follow-up support for relocation programs to prevent people from slipping back into poverty. The country will encourage endeavors from all sides to meet the goal of lifting over 10 million people out of poverty this year, said Li. Hu Chunhua, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chief of the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, attended the commendation meeting. The country should give full play to the exemplary role of the models and make relentless efforts to implement poverty relief measures, Hu said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

2 detained Americans out on bail

CHINA said yesterday that two US citizens who were placed under criminal detention in late September have been released on bail and are awaiting trial on charges of illegally moving people across the country’s borders. Alyssa Peterson and Jacob Harlan, who worked for US-based education company China Horizons, were detained in eastern China late last month and have been in contact with US officials, said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. Geng said public security officials had detained the pair according to the law and that it had notified the US side in a timely manner. The US embassy in Beijing said it was aware of the detention of two citizens in China.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Facts, figures attest to strides China has made

CHINA slashed the rural population living under poverty from 770 million at the dawn of the reform and opening-up to 1.66 million by the end of 2018. The six years between 2013 to 2018 saw more than 80 million people lifted out of poverty. Around 95 percent of China’s poor population will shake off poverty, and over 90 percent of poor counties will be taken off the poverty list by the end of this year, with absolute poverty set to be wiped out by 2020. For rural residents in areas under the poverty line, per capita disposable income in the first half of 2019 grew 8.4 percent year on year in inflation-adjusted terms, 1.8 percentage points higher than that for rural population nationwide. China’s poverty relief has a lasting effect on its people, with cases of relapse down to within 100,000 from around 600,000 in 2016, and newly reported cases of poverty down to within 100,000 from 1 million. China has been pushing ahead with targeted poverty relief, which entails identifying and setting up files for every single household in poverty to form a nationwide database that enables the government to devise individual poverty relief plans and trace results. China has mobilized resources from both the public and private sectors in developing diversified fronts of poverty relief work, including through industrial development, employment, education, relocation, financial services and the digital economy. Industrial development is one of China’s most powerful tools with about 70 percent lifted out of poverty because of industrial development.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Shanghai, Tibet team up on energy projects

SHANGHAI and Tibet are cooperating on new energy projects, according to the fourth Sunshine Forum in Shanghai. Shanghai researchers have supported the construction and renovation of four photovoltaic power stations that can convert sunlight into electricity in the Ngari Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region. They are also taking part in a pioneering energy project in Tibet’s Nagqu, where the average altitude is about 4,450 meters above sea level. The project, which mainly uses wind and solar power, will be completed soon to improve the local electricity supply. Shanghai researchers have also finished basic research into the possibility of hydrogen energy in Tibet. The Sunshine Forum was initiated by science and technology authorities in Shanghai and Tibet in 2016 to promote cooperation in energy projects. Shanghai has advanced technologies and a pool of talent, which can help Tibet improve local infrastructure and people’s livelihoods, while Tibet has rich natural resources and great potential to develop new energy, which gives Shanghai researchers a place to launch pioneering projects. Liu Chunhua, deputy director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission’s social development department, said Shanghai and Tibet hope to share resources and harness their complementary advantages.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Oct 2019 | 5:05 am(NZT)

Restrictions eased for foreign investors

CHINA will remove business restrictions on foreign banks, brokerages and fund management firms, a Cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday. China has stepped up efforts to open its financial sector amid a trade dispute with the United States, with increased access to its financial sector among a host of demands from Washington. Last week, China announced a firm timetable for opening its futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors fully to foreign investors next year, the latest step to deregulate the country’s trillions of dollars worth of financial industry. The Cabinet did not elaborate on what effect the removal of the curbs would have. China will also support local governments’ efforts to attract more foreign investment and give foreign investors more leeway in overseas borrowing, the Cabinet said. China will not allow forced technology transfers by foreign firms, it said. Stabilizing foreign investment is part of China’s policies to support the economy. The government has been leaning heavily on fiscal stimulus to support the economy, including big tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure investment. Tax and fee cuts amounted to 1.5 trillion yuan (US$211.32 billion) in the first eight months, which has helped ease burdens on firms, boost incomes and employment, with the full-year reductions set to exceed 2 trillion yuan, the Cabinet said. The policies of cutting tax and fees should be implemented carefully, and efforts should be made to solve difficulties for enterprises, to ensure that tax on manufacturing industry and other major industries will drop significantly, according to a statement issued after the meeting. The government will also support local governments facing fiscal difficulties to ensure wage payments, the Cabinet said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

DPP criticized for seeking political gain

A mainland spokesperson yesterday warned that Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has tried to gain politically from undermining the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. “Such attempts are doomed to fail,” said Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, in response to a question about the DPP’s attack on the anti-mask law in Hong Kong despite the fact that the island has similar rules itself. It is lawful and necessary for the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to enact the anti-mask law, which will contribute to fighting and containing violent crimes, as well as restoring social order, Ma said. Commenting on Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen’s remarks on Hong Kong, Ma said that agitating for “Hong Kong independence” and supporting violence has nothing to do with “democracy” and “freedom” but is a flagrant sabotage of the rule of law in Hong Kong and only aims to gain leverage for elections. The spokesman also said that the DPP had been the cause behind a sharp decrease in the number of mainland tourists to the island. Mainland tourists to Taiwan during the National Day holiday dropped by around two-thirds compared with previous years, hitting an 11-year record low, according to data from the island’s immigration authority. The reason for the tourists number drop is known to all, said Ma. A sound cross-Strait relationship is for the good of Taiwan, Ma said, noting that the kinship between people across the strait is the driving force for mainland tourists to visit Taiwan.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Protesters trying to bring down govt

HONG Kong protesters demanding universal suffrage and an amnesty for those charged with rioting are trying to humiliate and bring down the city’s government, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said. In the strongest remarks yet by the Southeast Asian country, Lee said the demands did not provide a way out of often-violent unrest which has gripped Hong Kong for months. “The demonstrators say they have five major demands and not one can be compromised but those are not demands which are meant to be a program to solve Hong Kong’s problems. Those are demands which are intended to humiliate and bring down the government,” Lee said at a business conference in Singapore. “There is no simple solution ... to say we want universal suffrage, but Hong Kong is not a country, it is a special administrative region,” Lee added. Lee said there could be some legislative reform or social policies that could help restore order but that it would not be easy. He said the unrest was causing ructions across the region. “When Hong Kong is troubled, when there are demonstrations or worse riots... I think that is very sad for Hong Kong and bad for the region,” Lee said. “We look on with concern.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

China vows to take strong measures after US House passes bill on HK

CHINA will take forceful countermeasures against the US for its wrong decision in passing the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 in order to firmly safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday. In Washington on Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed the bill that requests that various government departments consider whether recent political developments in Hong Kong require the US to change the region’s special trading status. What Hong Kong faces at present is not the so-called human rights and democracy issues, but the issue of ending violence and chaos, restoring order and upholding the rule of law as soon as possible, spokesperson Geng Shuang said in the statement. By neglecting the truth and turning white to black, the US House of Representatives called arson, smashing of shops, and violently assaulting police officers as human rights and freedom, which is a stark double standard that fully exposes some Americans’ extreme hypocrisy on human rights and democracy and their malicious intentions to damage the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and contain China’s development, Geng said. “Should the act eventually come into law, it will not only harm the interests of China and the China-US relations, but also severely undermine the interests of the United States,” Geng said. China will definitely take forceful countermeasures against the wrong decision of the US side in order to firmly safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, the spokesperson said. “Hong Kong belongs to China and its affairs are purely China’s domestic affairs that brook no foreign interference,” he reiterated. “We advise the US side to get a clear understanding of the situation, rein in on the brink of the precipice immediately, and cease to promote the subsequent deliberation of the act and interfere in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs immediately,” Geng said. The Hong Kong government yesterday expressed regret over the bill. A spokesman of the HKSAR government said as the best arrangement for maintaining Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability and for making Hong Kong a favorable place to live and work in, the “one country, two systems” principle has been fully and successfully implemented in Hong Kong since its return to the motherland. The HKSAR has been exercising “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People’s Republic of China, the spokesman said in a statement. Human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation, in addition to the Basic Law, the spokesman said, stressing the HKSAR government attaches great importance to human rights and freedoms and is determined to safeguard them because it’s a constitutional duty of the HKSAR government. Article 4 of the Basic Law stipulates that the HKSAR shall safeguard the rights and freedoms of the residents of the HKSAR and of other persons in the HKSAR in accordance with the law. Also, the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force. Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam announced on September 4 that the HKSAR government would formally withdraw the amendments concerning the transfer of fugitive offenders, the spokesman said. Over the past few months, violent protests and illegal incidents have caused damage to district and community facilities as well as injury to members of the public, according to the spokesman. In response, the Hong Kong police have been exercising restraint and carrying out enforcement actions in strict accordance with the law to protect the life and property of the general public, bring offenders to justice and restore public order as soon as possible, the spokesman said. The Independent Police Complaints Council is conducting a fact-finding study on the handling of large-scale public order events since June, including corresponding actions by the police, to ascertain the facts and will prepare a report that will be made public, the spokesman said. Concerning constitutional development and universal suffrage, the community needs to engage in dialogues.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Drunk drivers

Chinese police have handled a total of 247,000 cases of drunk driving so far this year, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday. Over 1 million cases of the lesser offence of driving under the influence of alcohol were handled, the ministry said. There were 20.7 percent fewer accidents associated with driving under the influence during the first half of this year.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Action plan sets strategy on air pollution

Chinese authorities yesterday released an action plan for air pollution control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas, setting specific targets for the autumn and winter seasons.The average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that causes smog, should drop 4 percent year on year from October 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, according to the plan jointly released by several government agencies including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.The number of days with severe pollution should fall by 6 percent, said the plan.Despite the improvement in air quality, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas still face a grim situation in autumn and winter, during which the PM2.5 density is usually double that in other seasons, according to the plan.Due to the El Nino effect, weather conditions this year require stronger measures to offset the negative impacts, as 2020 is a crucial year for China to win the battle for blue skies, the plan stressed.Among the mandatory targets listed for local regions, Hebei Province is required to cut 14 million tons of steel capacity, 3 million tons of coke capacity and 1 million tons of cement capacity.The plan also called for accelerated adjustment of the energy structure by pushing clean heating and controlling coal consumption.More effort should be made to improve emergency plans to cope with air pollution, step up monitoring and increase financing and policy support.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Taiwan ‘is ineligible to join Interpol’

Taiwan is not eligible to join Interpol because the latter is an inter-governmental international organization, a Chinese mainland spokesperson said yesterday.Taiwan’s participation in activities of international organizations must be based on the one-China principle and rules of international organizations, said Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.It must be handled through consultation between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, said Ma.“Our stance has been clear and consistent,” he added.On Taiwan’s participation in activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, Ma said it must comply with the one-China principle and relevant stipulations in APEC’s memorandum of understanding.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Antarctic power

China’s domestically made unattended power supply system will provide power for the first time to Taishan station in the Antarctic inland ice sheet, its developer said.Developed by Southeast University, the giant “power bank” left Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on Tuesday. It can provide uninterrupted power for a year. The system is formed by two containers: one for instruments and another for power generation.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Lam addresses problems of land supply for housing

HONG Kong will increase land supply for housing development persistently to meet the public’s housing demands, Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam said in her third policy address yesterday. Lam called land supply a “thorny problem” and noted the governing team must make bolder decisions and overcome all difficulties with determination and resolve to restore public confidence, including a multi-pronged strategy recommended by the Task Force on Land Supply last year. Land supply was one of the main themes Lam elaborated in her policy address, which was delivered through video after it was repeatedly disrupted by the heckling of opposition legislators at the Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting. “The HKSAR government is using its full strength to develop land in the short, medium and long term for our people,” Lam said. Apart from projects regarding the development of existing land, Lam said the over 1,200 hectares of new reclaimed land plus a total of around 950 hectares of planned new development areas, as well as over 80 sites that are in the progress of or pending rezoning to housing uses are all important sources of land supply. Of Hong Kong’s total 1,100 square kilometers of land area, only 24.3 percent has been developed, with land for residential use accounting for a mere 6.9 percent, according to data from the HKSAR government. “We are determined to create home ownership opportunities for people of different income groups such that they will happily make Hong Kong their home,” Lam said, adding the HKSAR government will strive to reduce the average waiting time for public rental housing for families and elderly singletons to meet the three-year target of flat allocation. The HKSAR government will expedite its planning work and resume three types of private land wholly for public housing, the “Starter Homes” pilot project and related infrastructure development. The Planning Department will accord priority to the study of 160 hectares out of 450 hectares of brownfield sites that are closer to existing infrastructure in the New Territories and assess their suitability for public housing development. Under the Lands Resumption Ordinance, about 700 hectares of private land will be resumed, of which some 400 hectares is expected to be resumed in the next five years, significantly more than the 20 hectares resumed in the past five years. The HKSAR government will facilitate infrastructural enhancement to allow higher development intensity and prescribe that at least 70 percent of the additional gross floor area gained should be allocated for public housing or the “Starter Homes” scheme. Lam also vowed to improve people’s livelihood through measures in various areas including children’s development, public health and burden relief yesterday.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Head of all gods

“Legend of Deification,” a new animated film by the same studio that produced this year’s hit “Ne Zha,” is set for release during the upcoming Chinese New Year. An adaptation of the protagonist’s classic image as head of all gods in Chinese literature, it deals with the struggles of the heavenly figure Jiang Ziya as a regular human. Jiang is a mythological sage based on a real man who helped Zhou kings overthrow the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC).

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Turning farming around in just 70 years

In his childhood, Zhao Guochun never expected that one day he would need to eat coarse grains to balance his diet because of overnutrition.Zhao, a 68-year-old from northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, suffered from hunger in his early years. He later lived on a diet of coarse grains, and wheat-flour was a treat to be enjoyed only during the Lunar New Year holiday.Zhao is just one of the hundreds of millions of Chinese people whose fates have been changed by the country’s great increases in food production over the past decades.More high-quality farmland, irrigation facilities, technology support and government policies are among the factors behind bumper harvests over recent years.Zhang Jinghui, who grew 23 hectares of rice at a Qixing farm in Heilongjiang this year, reaped a harvest despite a summer flood. “With flood control measures, we embraced a harvest with the yield reaching 7.5 tons a hectare,” he said.Zhang, who has worked on the farm for over 30 years, has seen the farmland turn into a high-yield field from a low-lying plot prone to flooding, with the annual yield more than doubling in peak harvest years.Last year, the Qixing farm, with over 80,000 hectares of farmland, reaped 700,000 tons of grain, mostly rice, of which 98 percent went to the market.Farmers in Heilongjiang, China’s largest grain-producing region since 2011, now use more large machinery, including self-driving seeders and harvesters and unmanned pesticide-spraying aircraft, to increase efficiency.Heilongjiang’s grain output surged to 75 million tons last year from 5 million tons in the early years of the People’s Republic of China.Between 1949 and 2018, China’s annual grain output rose by nearly five times from 113 million tons to 658 million tons, while per capita output more than doubled from 209 kilograms to 472 kilograms.China’s food supply has reached basic self-sufficiency from widespread shortages decades ago. With a population of 1.4 billion, the country has seen the self-sufficiency rates of its major grains of rice, wheat and corn remain above 95 percent.In the PRC’s early years, many Western countries were skeptical about China’s ability to ensure food security but the Chinese people have managed to firmly hold the “rice bowl” in their own hands, said Li Guoxiang, a researcher from the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.China now feeds around 20 percent of the world’s population with less than 9 percent of the world’s arable land.China has long been a positive force in ensuring the world’s food security, said Li. “China’s eradication of hunger is a huge contribution to global food security,” said Li. China mainly relies on itself for food supply, but it has actively taken part in global cooperation by offering the world its own solutions and experiences.“A great departure from a grain recipient in the PRC’s early years, China has become a main provider of technological aid and other grain solutions for many countries in the Global South,” said Li.In May, the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center opened its African research branch in Madagascar to select hybrid rice varieties based on the island nation’s diverse ecological environment, in a bid to find more productive crops for a continent long troubled by insufficient grain output.Georges Ranaivomanana, a 55-year-old Madagascan farmer, has benefited from planting Chinese hybrid rice in his town of Mahitsy. “We’re no longer suffering from hunger,” he said, adding that he hoped his compatriots would use these seeds to raise their living standards and his country might even be able to export rice someday.Last year, China pledged to support Africa in achieving general food security by 2030. China aims to share its experience in agricultural development with Africa and transfer readily applicable technologies, said Peter Smerdon, spokesperson of the World Food Program Regional Bureau in Nairobi, Kenya.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 17 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Namaste, Chinese tourists are flocking to India

The number of visits made by Chinese to India registered robust growth during the first three quarters of this year, making India a trendy desti­nation for Chinese tourists, according to a report published by China’s online travel agency Ctrip. Data from Ctrip showed that the number of visits made by Chinese to India surged by over 70 percent during the January-September period, with over 60 percent of the travelers in their 30s or 40s. Compared with other tra­ditional overseas travel destinations, India remained a niche for most Chinese, a Ctrip product manager said, adding that as Chinese people learn more about India, reservations for package tours have seen an increase of over 40 percent. Indian tourism products continued to increase, as tour operators rolled out diver­sified traveling routes and products, allowing travelers to make Buddhist pilgrimages, celebrate the Hindu spring festival and visit shooting locations of Chinese movies. According to the Embassy of India in Beijing, electronic visa policies for Chinese citizens were relaxed from this month, including lower visa fees and extended validity. The new policies will benefit hundreds of thousands of people, further stimulating Chinese travelers’ enthusiasm to visit India. Under the new policy, Chinese citizens only need to pay US$80 for a multiple-entry electronic visa valid for five years and US$25 for a single-entry visa valid for 30 days. In the first three quarters, Chinese travelers spent an av­erage of 649 yuan (US$91.80) on visas to India.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 16 Oct 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)


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