Hundreds of supporters chanted slogans and cried as the Hong Kong tabloid prepared its last run.
Pro-democracy paper Apple Daily published its final edition amid moving support from locals.
A newspaper unafraid to criticise the Chinese state has announced its closure after 26 years.
Ros Atkins looks at the events that led to the closure of Hong Kong's pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.
The International Olympic Committee launched its “Stronger Together” campaign on Tuesday to celebrate Olympic Day with a film featuring renowned Olympians including Usain Bolt and Naomi Osaka. The IOC says the story emphasizes the organization’s message of solidarity and the belief that the world moves forward only when it moves together, and the irresistible power of the Olympics to unite people, communities and societies.
Taiwan will extend its level-3 COVID-19 alert by two more weeks until July 12 in response to the continued risk posed by local transmission of cases, the island’s disease monitoring agency said yesterday.The level-3 alert, the second-highest in Taiwan’s four-tier COVID-19 alert scale, was first issued in Taipei and New Taipei on May 15.It was implemented across Taiwan on May 19 and initially scheduled to end on May 28, but was subsequently extended twice through June 14 and then June 28.Taiwan is struggling to contain its worst COVID-19 outbreak amid a lack of vaccines and strained medical resources.On the same day, Taiwan reported 104 new confirmed local COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths from the disease. The total number of cases on the island has risen to 14,260.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with the three astronauts stationed in the country’s space station core module Tianhe yesterday, expecting the station to make pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of space by humanity.
Xi held the conversation at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center with Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, who were sent into space by the Shenzhou-12 spaceship on June 17.
“You are the first astronauts stationed in the core module Tianhe and will stay in space for three months,” Xi said during the video call.
“We all care about you very much.”
In response to Xi’s inquiries about their health, living conditions and work, Nie, commander of the crew, said they were in good health and their work was going well.
“Later we will carry out a series of technological verification experiments, including two extravehicular activities and robotic arm operations. We will carry out the operations carefully to ensure the success of all tests,” said Liu.
Tang, who is on his first space mission, told Xi he had adapted to the weightless environment.
“I eat, live and work well, and I can make video calls with my family. Our home in space is very cozy and comfortable, and we have full confidence in completing the upcoming tasks,” said Tang.
Calling the construction of the space station a milestone in China’s space endeavor, Xi noted that the three astronauts are the representatives of those who are striving and climbing in China’s space industry in the new era.
He asked the astronauts to work closely with each other and complete the upcoming tasks.
The Shenzhou-12 mission will help test technologies related to long-term astronaut stays and health care, the recycling and life support system, the supply of space materials, extravehicular activities and operations, and in-orbit maintenance.
These technologies are essential for the construction of the space station and will lay an important foundation for the human exploration of deeper space in the future.
Xi noted that progress in space science and technology will benefit people around the world and China wants to use space exploration achievements to create a better future for mankind.
Based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful utilization and win-win situation, China has actively cooperated with the world in lunar exploration, Mars exploration, satellite projects and launch services to promote the common progress and long-term sustainable development of the space industry.
As for the space station, China has pledged to make it an open platform for international cooperation.
According to the China Manned Space Agency, extensive cooperation will be carried out concerning the functional expansion of the space station, space science and applications, joint flights of Chinese and foreign astronauts, and the transformation of technological achievements.
A total of 17 countries will participate in the experiments aboard China’s space station, covering aerospace medicine, life sciences and biotechnology, microgravity physics and combustion science, and astronomy.
China’s carbon neutrality shares surged yesterday after the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange listed trading regulations of the upcoming carbon emissions trading market in a notice on Tuesday.
China Three Gorges Renewables (Group) Co, surged to the trading limit of 10 percent shortly after the stock trading opened. The company’s shares had been touching trading limit for five consecutive trading days.
More than 40 carbon-related shares edged up. The sector had risen by 37 percent in share price in the past year, and up more than 3 percent in the past month.
The carbon neutrality shares surged one day after China announced details of how to trade on the upcoming carbon emissions trade market, which is believed to open around the end of June.
The exchange’s national carbon emissions trading platform, China’s first such platform, will operate almost like the city’s stock market, with the same trading hours and daily trading limits, it said in a notice on Tuesday.
Trading in carbon emissions will take place from 9:30am until 11:30am and then between 1pm and 3pm from Monday to Friday.
According to the notice, up to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent can be traded in a single deal. The authorities also imposed a 10 percent price fluctuation limit on the carbon trade.
The exchange will handle account openings for traders and the operations of the new trading platform until a formal national carbon emissions quota trading operator is set up at a later stage, it said.
Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange will eventually take over all transactions in eight regional pilot exchanges, which have been up and running since early 2013.
The platform will allow Chinese mainland companies to trade carbon credits.
Hong Kong’s tabloid Apple Daily will stop publishing from today, following last week’s arrest of five editors and executives and the freezing of US$2.3 million in assets under the city’s year-old national security law.
The board of directors of parent company Next Media said in a statement yesterday that the print edition and online edition will cease due to “the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.” The paper later said today’s edition will be its last.
The Apple Daily announcement coincided with the start of the city’s first trial under the national security law.
The widely expected move to close Apple Daily followed last week’s raid of its newsroom and arrests of the five editors and executives, who were detained on suspicion of colluding with foreigners to endanger national security. Police cited more than 30 articles published by the paper as evidence of an alleged conspiracy to encourage foreign nations to impose sanctions on China.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the recent enforcement actions had nothing to do with normal news work but were aimed at suspected acts endangering national security. One could not say that it was a blow to press freedom because news organizations or their responsible persons got involved.
The heads of news organizations could not use news organizations as a protective shield for not abiding by the law, she added.
Police also arrested a 55-year-old man yesterday on suspicion of foreign collusion to endanger national security. According to Apple Daily, which cited unidentified sources, the man writes editorials for the newspaper under the pseudonym Li Ping.
The paper’s founder, media tycoon Jimmy Lai, is facing charges under the national security law for foreign collusion and is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in unauthorized assemblies in 2019.
The national security law imposed last year criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign collusion. So far, more than 100 people have been arrested under the security law.
China’s herd of 14 wandering wild Asian elephants has traveled south, re-entering Eshan County, in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, authorities said yesterday.The herd headed 11.2 kilometers south in 24 hours from 6pm on Monday.The herd is at a location of a relatively high altitude, where telecommunications signals are poor, which has added to the difficulty of monitoring, according to the office in charge of monitoring the elephants.A male elephant, which strayed 17 days ago, is now 30 kilometers away in Jinning District in Kunming, the provincial capital.Five new experts have joined the expert team at the headquarters to help work on plans to guide the elephants’ migration. On Tuesday, a total of 210 people were mobilized for the work, and 4,774 residents were evacuated.The animals have traveled about 500 kilometers north from their forest home in the southern Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, reaching Kunming on June 2. For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd.
Participation in snow and ice sports is growing in China, putting the country on track to meet a key goal included in its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a prominent International Olympic Committee member said yesterday.IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, who oversees preparations for the Beijing Games, said more than 200 million Chinese have engaged in ice and snow activities in the five years since the Chinese capital became the first city to win the rights to host both the summer and winter Olympic games.“We welcome these news,” Samaranch said at an online news conference. It means Beijing 2022 is approaching its objective of engaging 300 million Chinese people in winter sports.”Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008 and won its bid to host the 2022 winter games, despite the relative unfamiliarity of most Chinese with skiing, skating and ice hockey.A lack of mountain slopes and natural snow require sledding and sliding events be held far from the city, connected by new high-speed rail links.China plans to compete in every event.“A few years ago, we had almost no history in about one-third of the Winter Olympic sports,” Chinese Olympic Committee vice president Ni Huizhong said.
Tong Ying-kit could get life in prison if convicted in the controversial trial without jury.
Three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang has had an eight-year doping ban reduced to four years and three months by Cas and will miss this year's Olympics in Tokyo.
CHINA’S longest-serving ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, said yesterday he will be leaving his post after eight years.
Making his departure public in a farewell letter posted on the embassy’s website, Ambassador Cui, who is 68 and past the retirement age of 65 for senior Chinese diplomats, wrote: “I will forever treasure the deep friendship forged with the Chinese nationals here during my posting in the United States.”
The ambassador also hailed the achievements China has made over the years, urging stronger unity for the Chinese at home and abroad.
Cui said the China-US relationship is at a “key crossroad” that will have to choose between dialogues and conflicts, and called on the Chinese living in the US now to shoulder more responsibilities in promoting world peace and stability.
China’s foreign ministry declined to comment yesterday on who would succeed Cui.
Nine people were killed and seven others injured after a brick wall fell from the roof of a residential building in a village in southeast China’s Fujian Province yesterday.The accident occurred around 11:40am when villagers in Nanyang Village were having a banquet in the aisle between two residential buildings.
China’s judicial and law enforcement agencies yesterday jointly issued a blueprint to stop telecom fraud “on every link and dimension.”The 17-point document, jointly issued by the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security, clarifies significant issues such as how to define the severity of an offense and an accomplice in a telecom fraud case.China still has a high rate of telecom fraud and faces several new obstacles in containing them, said Li Ruiyi, a senior judge with the SPC.For instance, said Li, many telecom fraud rings have moved their operations abroad and can still easily obtain mobile phone SIM cards and credit cards in China, two essential tools for these crimes.The document pays particular attention to illegal transactions of SIM cards and payment accounts.People who buy, sell, or lease credit cards, bank accounts, and SIM cards for or to telecom fraud rings will be considered accomplices.“When offered such deals, one should be aware of the serious legal consequences and not surrender to petty profit,” Li said.Those who open mobile phone accounts, credit cards, bank accounts, and accounts of other payment platforms by fake or stolen IDs will be subject to criminal prosecution.The severity of an offense usually depends on the amount of money. Sometimes, however, it is difficult for prosecutors to identify the amount.The document says a suspect who pays multiple visits to telecom fraud dens abroad or stays there for more than 30 days in a year will be considered as a serious offender.Telecom fraud caused an economic loss of 35.37 billion yuan (US$5.47 billion) across China in 2020, Li said.
A TOTAL of 15 people have been detained by local police and another five removed or suspended from their posts after an iron ore mine accident killed 13 in north China’s Shanxi province.The accident happened in Daixian County on June 10 when a well of the iron mine flooded.Investigations are continuing.
Q19: How long is the preparatory period?A: One year. It generally starts from the day when the grassroots Party branch approves the person as a probationary Party member.Q20: What is the difference between a probationary Party member and an official Party member?A: An official Party member has the right to vote, elect and be elected while a probationary Party member does not. In terms of responsibilities and other rights, they are the same.Q21:What is the difference between Party members and the ordinary public in daily life?A: Party members are expected to do more and better.Q22: Must a Party member join a Party branch?A: Yes. Party members are not allowed to be independent. If a Party member does not take part in any organized Party activities for a year, he or she is deemed to quit the Party automatically.Q23: What composes the Party organization?A: Party unit, Party branch, Party general branch and Party committee.Q24:What are the requirements for setting up a Party branch?A: A Party branch can be established in a grassroots organization when there are more than three but less than 50 official Party members.Q25: Who comprises a Party branch?A: There should be Party branch secretary, deputy secretary and committee members in charge of various aspects such as organizing activities, publicity and discipline.Q26: Does every organization in China have a Party branch?A: Not necessarily. Some privately own enterprises and foreign companies don’t have Party branch.Q27: Can Party members set up Party branches overseas?A: When the CPC was just founded, there were Party organizations in Europe and Japan. Nowadays, Chinese embassies and related institutions abroad have Party branches.Q28: Does the Communist Party of China have an official song?A: The Communist Party of China doesn’t have an official song, but sometimes in some Party events “L’Internationale” is played.Q29: Do Party members have to recite the Party constitution?A: Not necessarily, but they must master the spirit of the constitution.Q30: Do Party members have to wear the emblem pin all the time?A: In some Party activities, members need to wear the emblem pin. Party branches at different levels have different requirements for wearing the emblem pin.Q31: What does Party training include?A: Taking training course and doing social practice (such as volunteer activities).Q32: What comprises the Party training course?A: It includes Party constitution, Party history and current affairs.Q33: Is there any connection between Party members and Communist Youth League members?A: The Communist Youth League members are the reserve team of the Party. The local organizations of the Youth League at all levels are under the leadership of the Party committee at the same level.Q34: Were there foreigners involved in founding the CPC?A: When the Communist Party of China was just founded, the Communist International sent members here to help China. Q35: Did they join CPC later?A: No.Q36: In CPC’s history, were there any foreign members?A: Yes. There were scholar Sidney Rittenberg and public health official Shafick George Hatem from the United States, and doctor Jakob Rosenfeld from Austria, among others.
The restoration of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) murals in Yongle Palace in Ruicheng County in the city of Yuncheng in north China’s Shanxi Province and the largest Taoist temple in China has begun.The Yongle Palace mural art museum said the restoration works will focus on the murals in the Dragon and Tiger (longhu) Hall and the Double Ninth (chongyang) Hall , comprising damaged areas of 195 square meters and 353 square metersThe restoration of the murals in the two halls is expected to take two years, according to Xi Jiulong, head of the Yongle Palace mural preservation research institute.The total area of murals preserved there is more than 1,005 square meters.
China yesterday launched a level III emergency response for flood control as the country monitored its first major river flood of 2021, said the Ministry of Water Resources.The water inflow of the Nierji Reservoir, on the main stream of the Nenjiang River in northeast China, reached 4,160 cubic meters per second at 2pm yesterday.The water levels on the middle and lower reaches of the Nenjiang River may exceed the warning levels, said the MWR.The ministry has dispatched three work teams to the provinces of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia to guide local flood-control work, and urged efforts to strengthen the monitoring of weather as well as dike inspection and reinforcement.
Though tea gardens in Jingshan Township in east China’s Zhejiang Province have turned quiet after the end of a busy spring harvest, locals continue to live bustling lives welcoming tourists.Getting up early in the morning, Sheng Wen and her husband prepare rice cakes, sticky rice dumplings, bamboo shoot porridge and, most importantly, Jingshan green tea, for guests at their Airbnb.“I was born in the township’s Jingshan Village and worked in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, after graduating from university,” said Sheng. “As my family gradually moved to the city, the old house in the village stood idle and empty. In recent years, the flourishing tourism industry in Jingshan has encouraged more homestays, and I jumped on the bandwagon in 2018, turning the old house into an Airbnb.”Though his house has only been open for a year, chatting with guests from different places about the scenery and life in the mountains has become Sheng’s favorite activity.“The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to our business but now we manage a monthly turnover of around 5,000 yuan (US$775). The upcoming summer vacation is expected to be a peak period,” said Sheng.Over the years, green tea cultivation and other relevant industries have brought good fortune to the locals in the Jingshan township.In March 2019, Xiaogucheng established a village-level tourism company and hired professional managers. During the first three days of this year’s May Day holiday, the ticket income of all scenic spots in the village reached 150,000 yuan.“We are working to build a ‘community of common prosperity’ with nearby villages. If every village works hard and every villager makes an effort, we will not be far from that goal,” said Lin Guorong, Party secretary of Xiaogucheng Village. “After all, it cannot be regarded as common prosperity if there’s only one prosperous village.”As one of China’s most developed provinces, Zhejiang has laid a solid foundation for the pursuit of common prosperity.As a key indicator of balanced development, the income ratio between urban and rural residents in Zhejiang fell to 1.96:1 last year, much lower than the national level.Central authorities issued a guideline on June 10 on building the coastal Zhejiang Province into a demonstration zone for achieving common prosperity.“Common prosperity is not only a concept of social development but also of social change marked by narrowing the gap between regions, urban and rural areas and in people’s incomes,” said Yuan Jiajun, Party secretary of Zhejiang.Zhejiang could set an example in reducing the gap between urban and rural areas, noted Lebanon’s Ambassador to China Milia Jabbour who visited the province this month.
HONG Kong will partially loosen its social distancing measures to allow daily activities further back to normal as there have been no new local cases of COVID-19 reported over the past 14 days.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam announced the decision yesterday at a press conference.
Elaborating on the loosening, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the new measures will be effective for initially 14 days from Thursday, including that eateries that meet vaccination requirements will be able to resume 75 percent of or full operation capacity.
Bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges and swimming pools will also see eased capacity limits, with some on the condition of staff and customers getting the vaccine.
Religious gatherings, weddings and local group tours will also enjoy similar relaxation of control measures.
Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said there were three new imported cases yesterday, all carrying the same type of mutant strain, taking the COVID-19 tally of the financial hub to 11,889.
The vaccine rollout is also making progress. Some 1.94 million residents have taken at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Sunday, accounting for 28.5 percent of eligible groups in Hong Kong, with nearly 1.28 million people fully vaccinated.
Lam said the vaccination rate is still unsatisfactory and called on residents to more actively get the vaccine, stressing the significance of the vaccination against COVID-19 to controlling the risk of the virus spread.
Hong Kong will also shorten the quarantine time from two weeks to seven days for travelers from abroad, who need to have been fully immunized, test negative for coronavirus and have antibodies in blood tests.
The manufacturing hub of Dongguan in China’s most populous province Guangdong launched mass coronavirus testing yesterday and cordoned off communities, after the city detected its first infections of a flare-up in the province.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has dominated infections in the provincial upsurge, the first time it has hit China. Said to be highly transmissible, the variant was first identified in India.
Dongguan, with a population of over 10 million, launched its citywide testing program following two cases reported since Friday.
City authorities told residents not to leave the city, except for essential reasons. Those leaving must show negative test results within 48 hours of departure.
A few entrances on highways to other cities were closed, while all shuttle buses linking airports in other cities and check-in terminals in Dongguan were halted. Some museums and libraries in the city also closed to visitors. Its factories are still running, however.
“(Workers) need to do COVID tests, but it’s not a prerequisite for them to be able to enter factories,” said King Lau, who helps manage a metal coating factory.
“My staff will do (their COVID tests) after work, although there will be long queues.”
Guangdong has reported 168 confirmed infections since May 21, with nearly 90 percent of them in its capital, Guangzhou.
The cases are few compared with the rest of the world and previous outbreaks in China. But Guangdong, a key entry point for travelers and cargo, is not taking any chances. Although its capital has reported no cases for two successive days, the province as a whole is still detecting new infections.
Chinese experts said Guangzhou’s fight against the Delta variant served as a warning to other cities against complacency.
China’s mainland reported 17 new confirmed infections on June 20, down from 23 a day earlier, its health authority said yesterday, adding that one of the new cases was a local infection in Dongguan, while the rest were imported.
“All our workers were asked to complete their testing yesterday, and the results were all fine,” said the owner of an electronics plant in Dongguan.
The province has sped up its vaccination effort since the outbreak. By May 19, before any local cases were reported, the province of 126 million people had administered 39.15 million doses. By June 20, the figure was 101.12 million, meaning more than 60 percent of its doses were injected over one month.
It comes after 500 officers raided the paper and froze HK$18m worth of assets linked to the company.
A YOUNG wild boar in Hong Kong has sparked delight by hopping onto a Hong Kong subway train and leading staff on a merry cross-harbor chase that included boarding two separate trains.The plucky piglet slipped under the ticket barriers of Quarry Bay station on Hong Kong Island on Friday afternoon and somehow managed to board a passing train.Video of the incident showed the juvenile trotting down a carriage half-filled with bemused commuters as a hapless staff member tried — and failed — to catch him with a blue tarpaulin.Officials said the pig alighted a few stops later and then boarded a second train that headed under Victoria Harbour.The train was eventually diverted to a depot where officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department were able to safely capture the animal and release him back into the wild.Best known for its densely packed skyscrapers, Hong Kong also boasts large tracts of subtropical mountains and parkland that host a thriving number of Eurasian wild pigs.
China’s famous herd of wandering elephants has shown a trend of returning south after their northward trek of 500 kilometers in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, an expert said. Shen Qingzhong, an expert at their home reserve, said despite a preliminary study suggesting a returning trend, the herd’s specific routes are still to be determined.
Continuous downpours have flooded several rivers and disrupted traffic in the Greater Khingan Range in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, the provincial center for hydrology and water resources said on Saturday.As of 8am Saturday, the water level of Mohe station in the main stream of Heilong River exceeded the warning level by 0.55 meters, and the water levels of all stations in the main stream of the Heilong River showed an upward trend.The center at 11am on Saturday issued a red alert for floods for the Guqigu section of Huma River. The water level is still on the rise.The incessant rain has destroyed bridges on several highways, disrupted traffic and flooded houses, according to the department in charge of traffic control in the region.Tahe County, one of the worst-hit areas, has dispatched 1,161 personnel to take part in flood control and emergency rescue operation and help transfer local residents to safety.The Greater Khingan Range is China’s largest state-owned forest farm, dotted with forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
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New changes in RTHK have signalled that its fate as an independent public service may be under threat.
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