23 October 2017


  • Netizens are paying tribute to Chen Guanming, who became famous for touring the world on his tricycle to promote the Olympic spirit, after he died in a road accident in Argentina. Photo: Xinhua

    China’s ‘Olympic madman’ killed in Argentina road accident

    Oct 23, 2017 3:03pm
    Chen Guanming, the Chinese farmer who earned fame by traveling the world on his rickshaw to promote the Olympic spirit, was killed last week in Argentina after being hit by a truck. Chen was on his way to the...
  • 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics' has crossed the threshold into a new era, Xi Jinping said in a major speech last week. Photo: Bloomberg

    Will China’s ‘new era’ lead to reform as Xi consolidates power?

    - Oct 23, 2017 12:27pm
    The speech delivered by Xi Jinping at the opening of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th congress last week makes it clear that China is preparing itself for a much bigger role on the world stage, and...
  • Lombardy President Roberto Maroni said the region will discuss tax proceeds with Rome, which he considers the first step in the path towards big reforms. Photo: Reuters

    Two Italian regions vote for greater autonomy

    Oct 23, 2017 12:19pm
    Two wealthy regions of northern Italy voted overwhelmingly for greater autonomy in referendums that could fan regional tensions in Europe at a time when Spain is striving to prevent Catalonia from breaking away. Millions of people...
  • Champagne Beach in Vanuatu. Many people in Hong Kong may have heard of Vanuatu through a TV commercial (inset) promoting immigration to the country by investment. Photos: Wikimedia Commons/YouTube

    The ‘bitcoin revolution’ of Vanuatu

    - Oct 23, 2017 11:41am
    Last week I discussed how the tiny Baltic state of Estonia has become the world’s pioneer in promoting “virtual residency” and a state-sponsored cryptocurrency known as the “Estcoin”. The “e-Residency” program and the “Estcoin” launched by...
  • The World Health Organization has rescinded the appointment of Robert Mugabe as goodwill envoy following a wave of criticism. Photo: Reuters

    Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill envoy after outcry

    Oct 23, 2017 9:01am
    Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has been removed as a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization (WHO) after Western donors and rights groups expressed outrage at his appointment, Reuters reports. Last Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus...
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, smiles during a news conference after Japan’s lower house election, at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

    Abe to push constitutional reform after election victory

    Oct 23, 2017 8:17am
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc scored a big win in Sunday’s election, bolstering his chance of becoming the nation’s longest-serving premier and re-energizing his push to revise the pacifist constitution, Reuters reports. Abe’s Liberal...
  • Many Sardinians felt they were being neglected and given low priority by the government in Rome. Photo:

    The forgotten separatist movement in Sardinia

    - Oct 20, 2017 12:48pm
    While the separatist movement in Catalonia has remained the focus of international attention in recent months, secessionist movements in other parts of Europe have largely gone under the radar of the international community. Among them is...
  • Following the Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault scandal, Hollywood is struggling to explain how one of its most visible figures could have gotten away with such behavior for so long. Photo: Reuters

    The psychology of superstar sex predators

    - Oct 20, 2017 9:10am
    The Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal shows no sign of winding down. Just the opposite: police in the United Kingdom are now investigating several allegations involving the Oscar-winning film producer. While Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” allegations...
  • Xi Jinping's speech at the Communist Party congress received several hundred million 'claps' from Chinese mobile phone game users. Photos: Tencent

    Tencent scores with mobile game on Xi speech

    - Oct 19, 2017 4:32pm
    A mobile game that encourages people to applaud the speech that Chinese leader Xi Jinping gave at the opening session of the Communist Party congress has proved to be a huge hit in China. The game,...
  • Apple's usual practice is to launch the new iPhones in September, start mass production in the fourth quarter and cut production in the first two quarters of the following year. Photo: Reuters

    Apple slashes iPhone 8 supplier orders by 50 percent: Report

    - Oct 19, 2017 4:27pm
    Apple has recently slashed orders for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus by about 50 percent for November and December, Taipei-based Economic Daily News reports, citing sources in Apple’s supply chain. This year is “quite rare”...
  • Li Rui (inset), Mao Zedong's former personal secretary, praised President Xi Jinping (center) for his efforts to 
achieve the 'Chinese Dream'. Photo: Xinhua/RTHK

    Mao’s former secretary absent from party congress

    Oct 19, 2017 2:04pm
    Li Rui, who was once Mao Zedong’s personal secretary, was absent at the opening of the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Radio France Internationale reports on its website. The absence of...
  • Sidewalk Labs won the contract to develop a 12-acre (522,720 square feet) site in Toronto into a digital city. Photo: Waterfront Toronto

    Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to turn Toronto area into a smart city

    - Oct 19, 2017 12:32pm
    Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent Alphabet, is to build a digital city in Toronto. Alphabet won the contract to develop a 12-acre (522,720 square feet) site named Quayside on the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The...
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping bows before delivering his speech at the opening of the 19th national congress of the Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    China’s leader signals end to One Country, Two Systems

    - Oct 19, 2017 12:12pm
    While proclaiming the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle in Hong Kong, and promising to uphold the “high degree of autonomy” in the administrative region, President Xi Jinping made it clear the the...
  • Some free WiFi available in cities don’t have any cryptographic measures, which make them particularly vulnerable to cyber-attack. Photo: AFS

    WiFi networks seen vulnerable to hacking due to WAP2 flaw

    - Oct 19, 2017 10:37am
    WiFi Protected Access 2 (WAP2), the current industry standard that encrypts traffic on Wi-Fi networks, is vulnerable to hackers due to a flaw in the cryptographic protocols, according to new research from security expert Mathy Vanhoef of KU...
  • Despite the slower growth trend this year, China will still add about US$1 trillion or more to its nominal GDP, giving it a US$12 trillion economy by the end of this year. Photo:  Reuters

    What’s really at stake at the CCP Congress?

    - Oct 19, 2017 9:25am
    This month, international media are understandably focused on the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress, a carefully choreographed event that will reveal who’s “in” and who’s “out” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But while it is...
  • President Xi Jinping says the 'one country, two systems' principle in Hong Kong and Macau has been an astounding success that has amazed the world. Photo: Xinhua

    Beijing keeping tight grip on Hong Kong and Macau: Xi Jinping

    Oct 18, 2017 5:27pm
    President Xi Jinping says Beijing is maintaining a “firm grasp” on the full powers of governance the Basic Law and national legislation have given the central government over Hong Kong In a speech at the Communist...
  • Kobe Steel's top executives apologize to government officials for manipulating product quality data. Photo: Asahi Chinese

    Kobe Steel scandal tarnishes Japan’s world image

    - Oct 18, 2017 5:25pm
    Splendorous Clan is a Japanese drama set in the 1960s. The leading character, played by Japanese actor Takuya Kimura, has united all employees and succeeded in turning around the struggling Hanshin Steelworks, a fictional version of...
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, as general secretary of the Communist Party, spent 3.5 hours delivering his report at the opening of its key, twice-a-decade congress in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

    Xi vows to deepen reforms, make China a ‘leading global power’

    Oct 18, 2017 5:16pm
    President XI Jinping pledged to deepen reforms to make China a “leading global power” by 2050, but warned of severe challenges ahead. “Right now, both China and the world are in the midst of profound and...
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

    Xi lays out vision for new era led by ‘still stronger’ party

    Oct 18, 2017 4:31pm
    Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to build a “modern socialist country” for a “new era” that will be proudly Chinese, steadfastly ruled by the party but...
  • Ridesharing services have posed a challenge for city planners as there is little data on how the services affect transportation decisions and travel patterns. Photo:

    Ridesharing leads to less use of public transit, study shows

    - Oct 18, 2017 10:40am
    It’s widely believed that the use of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft would prompt people to drive less. However, a recent study suggests that such services may actually lead to more miles on the road...

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