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City of stairs: the interconnecting walkways of Hong Kong

Hans Leo Maes captures the bridges and stairways that link up the hilly, population-dense cityHong Kong is known for its flashing lights, neon signs and high-rise skylines. But the architect and photographer Hans Leo Maes documents an alternative side – the city’s interconnecting staircases and bridges.“The extreme population density in Hong Kong means [structures] are stacked and linked by stairs, often external and very visible,” Maes says. Continue reading...
Tags: Hong Kong, Photography, World news, Cities, Asia Pacific, Art and design, Maes, cityHong Kong, Hans Leo Maes


Daughter of Mao Zedong’s personal secretary boycotts funeral

Nanyang Li says Communist party ceremony is taking place against wishes of her father Li RuiThe daughter of Mao Zedong’s personal secretary is boycotting her father’s funeral, which she says is taking place against his wishes in a cemetery reserved for high-ranking revolutionary figures.According to Nanyang Li, her father Li Rui will be interred in the Babaoshan cemetery on Wednesday in an official ceremony at which the Chinese flag will be draped over his casket. Continue reading...
Tags: China, World news, Asia Pacific, Mao Zedong, Li Rui, Daughter of Mao Zedong, Nanyang Li, Li RuiThe daughter of Mao Zedong, Babaoshan


Japan almost cancelled Brexit talks due to 'high-handed' letter – report

Trade talks will go ahead despite reported dismay at language used by Liam Fox and Jeremy Hunt Japanese officials have reportedly accused Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox of taking a “high-handed” approach towards a post-Brexit free trade deal, and briefly considered cancelling bilateral talks due to take place this week.The Financial Times cited unnamed officials in Tokyo who reacted with dismay to a letter sent on 8 February in which Hunt, the foreign secretary, and Fox, the international trade secret...
Tags: Japan, Politics, UK News, World news, Fox, Asia Pacific, Foreign Policy, Tokyo, Jeremy Hunt, Liam Fox, Brexit, Hunt, The Financial Times


Human error and outdated IT led to Hakeem al-Araibi's detention, says border force official

Australian Border Force boss Michael Outram admits it was within his own organisation ‘where the process broke down’An individual border force officer forgetting to send an email likely led to the refugee Hakeem al-Araibi spending almost three months in a Thai prison fighting off Bahraini attempts to have him extradited.The head of the Australian Border Force, Michael Outram, told Senate estimates it was within his own organisation “where the process broke down” and al-Araibi was allowed to boar...
Tags: Senate, Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Thailand, Asia Pacific, Australian politics, Refugees, Bahrain, Border Force, Australian Border Force, Michael Outram, Hakeem al-Araibi, Al Araibi


Home affairs denies it was 'desperate' when $423m Manus Island contract awarded

Mike Pezzullo admits department faced ‘urgent’ circumstances when deal done with little known firm PaladinThe head of the department of home affairs concedes bureaucrats awarded a controversial $423m contract to Paladin to provide services on Manus Island because of an “urgent” set of circumstances, but Mike Pezzullo denies he was “desperate”.Officials from the home affairs department told estimates on Monday they were, in essence, forced to conduct a closed tender process for the contract becau...
Tags: Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Asia Pacific, Australian politics, Peter Dutton, Papua New Guinea, Manus Island, Paladin, Mike Pezzullo


Jacinda Ardern disputes reports of diplomatic tensions with China

New Zealand prime minister opens weekly media briefing with fact-check of reports on relations with BeijingNew Zealand’s prime minister has taken the unusual step of fact-checking reports about her country’s relationship with China, following months of growing tension between the two nations.Jacinda Ardern opened her weekly media briefing with a statement on China, using it to explain the context of the relationship “and also to correct some of the inaccuracies that I have heard”. Continue readi...
Tags: China, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, BeijingNew Zealand


'I believe Putin': Trump dismissed US advice on North Korea threat, says McCabe

Former FBI chief says president believed Russian leader over US security agencies and ‘a crime may have been committed’ over Comey firingA former FBI acting director has alleged Donald Trump dismissed advice from his own security agencies on the threat posed by North Korea’s missiles, saying “I don’t care. I believe Putin.”Andrew McCabe made the claims in an interview with 60 Minutes, in which he discussed his tenure at the FBI after James Comey was fired by the president in 2017. Continue readi...
Tags: Europe, Putin, Vladimir Putin, North Korea, Russia, US, Fbi, Asia Pacific, Nuclear Weapons, Donald Trump, James Comey, Trump, McCabe, Comey, Andrew McCabe


US asked Japan to nominate Trump for Nobel peace prize – report

US government said to have sounded out PM Shinzo Abe after Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un last yearJapanese prime minister Shinzo Abe nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel peace prize late last year only after receiving a request from the US government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.The report follows Trump’s claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the coveted prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea. Continue reading...
Tags: Japan, North Korea, US, US news, Asia Pacific, Shinzo Abe, Donald Trump, Nobel Peace Prize, Trump, Kim Jong, Abe, Asahi


The Guardian view on Thailand’s election: staving off the real reckoning | Editorial

The political soap opera around a princess’s brief candidacy has further exposed the dangerous rifts within the country. Until they are addressed, the cycle of elections, unrest and coups is likely to continueThailand is due to go to the polls next month, but after a short-lived political earthquake it looks likelier than ever that the military will entrench its hold. The country has been waiting for this election since general Prayuth Chan-ocha took power five years ago, via the 13th successful...
Tags: World news, Thailand, Asia Pacific, Thaksin Shinawatra, Prayuth Chan ocha, Ubolratana Mahidol


Neighbourhood bully: Australia views Asia through the wrong end of the telescope | George Megalogenis

Will rookie PMs and our domestic political circus cause Australia lasting damage in the Asian century?“We do not claim to be Asian.” This provocative statement defined John Howard’s first overseas trip as prime minister in September 1996. He meant no offence to his host, Indonesian president Suharto, and none was taken. In fact, the comment generated little discussion at the time because it was self-evidently true. Australia’s ethnic face was Anglo-European. Barely 5% of our population was born ...
Tags: Asia, Indonesia, Australia, Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Asia Pacific, Migration, Coalition, Tony Abbott, Australian politics, Labor party, Julia Gillard, Liberal party, Scott Morrison, John Howard, Kevin Rudd


Labor issues please explain over Paladin’s $420m Manus contract

Penny Wong says it’s ‘deeply concerning’ a company with ‘such a poor track record’ was awarded a lucrative sum through closed tenderPenny Wong has indicated Labor will target the Paladin offshore detention security contract in Senate estimates this week, accusing the government of failing to explain why the company was awarded $420m in contracts through closed tender.The Australian Financial Review has reported that Paladin Group’s $420m of contracts to provide security to refugees on Manus Isla...
Tags: Labor, Senate, Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Asia Pacific, Coalition, Australian politics, Australian Security And Counter-terrorism, Labor party, Nauru, Liberal party, South Australia, Peter Dutton, Papua New Guinea, Manus Island, Penny Wong


Coalition argues future Labor government could 'soften' rules on medevac

Comments come as Scott Morrison releases video he says is aimed at discouraging asylum seekersThe prospect of a Labor government applying new rules for medical transfers to asylum seekers who arrive in future is “no less real” than the medevac bill which passed parliament over government objections, the Coalition has argued.The attorney general, Christian Porter, made the comments on ABC’s Insiders on Sunday as Scott Morrison released a video he says is aimed at discouraging asylum seekers overs...
Tags: Labor, Abc, Australia, Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Asia Pacific, Coalition, Nauru, Scott Morrison, Manus Island, Christian Porter, News Corp Australia Continue


The week that shook Thai politics – and what comes next

A puppet-master in exile and a princess stopped from running for prime minister throw hopes of a return to democracy into doubtIt was last Monday that the incendiary whispers first began.Over the following four days, Thai embassy officials, journalists, political observers and politicians gradually caught wind that a candidate for prime minister would be put forward to run in the elections in March who would turn the political landscape on its head. Continue reading...
Tags: World news, Thailand, Asia Pacific


Refugees in Indonesia say few would risk a boat ride to Australia

Scott Morrison’s claims that medevac bill will restart flow of boats is not seen as credible by those stuck in asylum seeker limbo in Indonesia“I don’t think it will be like before,” 21-year-old Hussain Badavi says, as he contemplates the idea of taking a boat to Australia – something the young Iranian refugee tried once but failed.“In 2012-2013 it was around $3,000 to take a boat. Maybe it’s double now,” he guesses, “Only a few people have that money now.” Continue reading...
Tags: Indonesia, Australia, Australia news, Australian immigration and asylum, Asia Pacific, Migration, Scott Morrison, Hussain Badavi


Gavin Williamson at centre of row over chancellor’s cancelled China trip

Senior Conservatives call for defence minister to be reined in after upset in Beijing over his commentsThe defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, was at the centre of a growing cabinet row on Saturday night as senior government sources blamed him for offending the Chinese and causing the cancellation of a crucial trade visit to Beijing by the chancellor, Philip Hammond.Senior Conservatives said it was time to rein in Williamson, who has earned the nickname Private Pike in Whitehall after a series ...
Tags: Politics, China, UK News, World news, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Foreign Policy, Defence policy, Treasury, Philip Hammond, Defence, Whitehall, Pacific, South China Sea, Elizabeth, Williamson


Russian minister calls Gavin Williamson 'minister for war'

Sergei Lavrov criticises UK defence secretary after he says Russia has ‘blood on its hands’Russia’s foreign minister has described Gavin Williamson as “minister for war” after the UK defence secretary said Russia had blood on its hands for its actions in Ukraine and Syria in a speech on Friday.Comments by Williamson on the possibility of sending a naval frigate to patrol the South China Seas has already led China to cancel a trade trip by Philip Hammond – a move that has infuriated the Treasury....
Tags: Europe, Politics, UK, China, Russia, UK News, World news, Syria, Ukraine, Asia Pacific, Nato, Philip Hammond, Sergei Lavrov, Williamson, Treasury Continue, South China Seas


Signs that China's real-estate bubble will burst and take the economy with it

China's real-estate bubble is the largest in human history, and despite years of warning signs, it has grown and grown, spilling over into the rest of the world. It's hard to overstate just how crazy China's real-estate market is: 25% of the country's GDP comes from construction, and 80% of the nation's wealth is in domestic property holdings. That's $65T, nearly double the size of the economies of every G7 nation combined. The market has been kept afloat through China's massive "shadow ba...
Tags: Post, Business, News, China, Economics, Asia Pacific, Property, Moody, Minsky, Jinan, Japan Asia, Renmin University, Hyman Minsky, Mizuho Securities, Weaponized Shelter, Bubblenomics


Hammond's trip to China scuppered by Williamson's 'gunboat diplomacy'

Beijing reportedly scrapped plans for chancellor’s visit after defence secretary’s remarksPhilip Hammond is not going to China this weekend for trade talks, following reports that Beijing scuppered advanced preparations for a meeting after the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, threatened to deploy a warship in the Pacific.The UK chancellor was expected to meet the Chinese vice premier, Hu Chunhua, but Treasury sources said the trip was never confirmed. It is believed that there is an internal...
Tags: Politics, UK, China, George Osborne, UK News, World news, Beijing, Military, Asia Pacific, Foreign Policy, Royal Navy, Treasury, Philip Hammond, Defence, Pacific, Hammond


Williamson accused of 'gunboat diplomacy' over China warship threat

Philip Hammond’s planned trip to Beijing reportedly scuppered by defence secretary’s remarksPhilip Hammond is not going to China this weekend for trade talks, following reports that Beijing scuppered advanced preparations for a meeting after the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, threatened to deploy a warship in the Pacific.The UK chancellor was expected to meet the Chinese vice premier, Hu Chunhua, but Treasury sources said the trip was never confirmed. It is believed that there is an intern...
Tags: Politics, UK, China, George Osborne, UK News, World news, Beijing, Military, Asia Pacific, Foreign Policy, Royal Navy, Treasury, Philip Hammond, Defence, Pacific, Hammond


Trump: Shinzo Abe nominated me for Nobel peace prize

US president claims Japanese president put his name forward after he opened dialogue with North Korea’s Kim Jong-unDonald Trump has said Japan’s prime minister nominated him for the Nobel peace prize for his work to open up a dialogue with North Korea. At a White House event to discuss his proposed border wall, Trump spoke about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.The president said early exchanges with Kim were filled with “fire and fury”, but since their first m...
Tags: Japan, North Korea, White House, US, World news, US news, Asia Pacific, Shinzo Abe, Kim, Vietnam, Donald Trump, Nobel Peace Prize, Trump, Kim Jong, Kim Jong unDonald Trump


Donald Trump hints at extension to China trade talks

President said potential delay was justified as deal ‘must be the biggest in history’President Donald Trump has conceded that he will delay planned increases in import duties on $200bn (£155bn) of Chinese goods if there is progress in trade talks in Washington next week.Appearing to soften his demand for talks to conclude before 1 March, Trump said there could be a 30- or 60-day extension, should negotiators get closer to a deal. He said a delay was justified, based on the scope and scale of the...
Tags: Business, Washington, White House, China, International Trade, Economics, World news, US news, Asia Pacific, Donald Trump, Chinese Economy, Trump, Trump Administration


PE-backed Avetta and Browz merge

Avetta and Browz, two providers of SaaS-based supply chain risk management software, has merged. No financial terms were disclosed. Evercore provided financial advice to Avetta on the deal while Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal adviser. FT Partners was financial and strategic adviser to Browz with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP providing legal advice. Avetta is majority owned by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. PRESS RELEASE OREM, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Avetta and BROWZ, two leading providers of S...
Tags: Utah, New York, London, India, Israel, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Basf, Palo Alto, Canada, Asia Pacific, M&a, Norwest, Kirkland Ellis LLP, Herr


Attacks on the media show Duterte’s Philippines is heading for despotism | Jo Fuertes Knight

The editor of Rappler, Maria Ressa, faces 15 years in jail, in the most flagrant abuse of the president’s power yet“I will do the right thing,” Maria Ressa, CEO of the Philippines news site Rappler, told reporters as she was led away by police officers having been served a warrant for her arrest in her own newsroom. Agents from the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigations arrested Ressa concerning a continuing and much inflated digital libel case this Wednesday in Manila. She was freed a d...
Tags: Media, Journalism, World news, Asia Pacific, Philippines, Journalist safety, Publishing And Public Relations, Manila, Rodrigo Duterte, Duterte, Rappler, Maria Ressa, Ressa, National Bureau of Investigations, Jo Fuertes Knight, Rappler Maria Ressa


China's most popular app brings Xi Jinping to your pocket

App’s amazing take-up is not entirely due to merit, the government has ordered members of the party download itAn app produced by the Chinese government has become the most popular in the country, rocketing up through the charts with a little help from the Chinese Communist Party.The app’s name “Study (Xi) Strong Country”, is a pun – Xuexi being the word for “study” but also containing the president’s name, suggesting users are to “study Xi”. Continue reading...
Tags: Technology, China, World news, Asia Pacific, Xi Jinping, Chinese communist party, Xuexi


Huawei ban: Chinese state media claims tourists avoiding New Zealand

Report in Communist party mouthpiece comes amidst strained relationsNew Zealand has become the latest target of a propaganda campaign in China’s state-run media, with the English language Global Times newspaper claiming that tourists are cancelling their holidays in retaliation for the country banning Huawei from being involved in the 5G rollout.In November national telecommunications company Spark was temporarily banned from using Huawei equipment in the rollout after New Zealand’s spy agency w...
Tags: China, World news, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, Huawei, Global Times, relationsNew Zealand


James K Baxter: venerated poet's letters about marital rape rock New Zealand

Collection of writings just released includes references to rape of then-wife Jackie Sturm, herself an acclaimed poet and authorA new collection of letters from one of New Zealand’s most significant poets, James K Baxter, that includes a blunt admission of marital rape is causing shockwaves through the literary community.Baxter died in Auckland in 1972 but remains one of New Zealand’s literary giants. He achieved international attention in the late 1950s after Oxford University Press published h...
Tags: Books, Poetry, World news, Culture, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, Auckland, Baxter, Oxford University Press, James K Baxter, Jackie Sturm


D-edge Hospitality Solutions: The Marriage Of Technology & Marketing

Availpro, a leading & highly acknowledged hotel technology provider, and Fastbooking, an expert in digital marketing solutions, are joining forces to create a new brand and a new value proposition for the hospitality industry. With a portfolio of more than 20 solutions, a customer base of 11,000 hotels, and a large local presence in more than 100 countries in Europe and Asia Pacific, D-EDGE is the Europe's No1 Hotel Distribution Technology provider and the World's No3.
Tags: Travel, Europe, Asia Pacific, Availpro


Alibaba’s Ant Financial buys UK currency exchange giant WorldFirst reportedly for around $700M

Ant Financial, the financial services behemoth affiliated with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has made its first big move into Europe. It’s acquired London-headquartered payments company WorldFirst in a deal that sources tell us is valued at around $700 million. (That price would also line up with multiple reports from December claiming the two were in talks for an acquisition of around £550 million, or $717 million at current exchange rates.) This isn’t your average multi-hundred million ...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Asia, Europe, UK, London, Finance, China, Southeast Asia, US, San Francisco, Tech, Spokesperson, Banking, Economy, Companies


Sweden investigates its ambassador to China over 'strange' meetings

Daughter of Swedish bookseller jailed in China says Anna Lindstedt set up meetings in StockholmSweden is investigating its ambassador to China after she was accused of orchestrating a bizarre series of meetings between the daughter of a Swedish bookseller jailed in China and businessmen who said they could help secure his release.The story is detailed in a blogpost by Angela Gui, the daughter of Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish bookseller who has disappeared twice and is currently held in Chin...
Tags: Hong Kong, Europe, Sweden, China, World news, Asia Pacific, Gui Minhai, Angela Gui, Anna Lindstedt


Sweden investigates its Beijing ambassador over 'strange' meetings

Daughter of Swedish bookseller jailed in China says Anna Lindstedt set up meetings in StockholmSweden is investigating its ambassador to China after she was accused of orchestrating a bizarre series of meetings between the daughter of a Swedish bookseller jailed in China and businessmen who said they could help secure his release.The story is detailed in a blogpost by Angela Gui, the daughter of Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish bookseller who has disappeared twice and is currently held in Chin...
Tags: Hong Kong, Europe, Sweden, China, World news, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Gui Minhai, Angela Gui, Anna Lindstedt