Asia Pacific Daily – Breaking News, Asia Pacific, World, China, Business, Lifestyle, Travel, Special Report, Video, Photo…Asia Pacific Daily – Breaking News, Asia Pacific, World, China, Business, Lifestyle, Travel, Special Report, Video, Photo…

To download APD News app

1. Please scan the QR Code 2. Download and install APD News App

Tennis star Basilashvili charged with domestic violence

Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was charged on Sunday with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said.A court in the Georgian capital Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating "violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor" before releasing him on bail amounting to 30,000 U.S. dollars (27,500 euros), prosecutor Natia Guruli said.He faces up to three years behind bars if found guilty.Basilashvili's ex-wife Neka Dorokashvili told the Mtavari TV station on Sunday that he "physically assaulted" her Friday in the presence of their 5-year-old son.Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua told journalists.The 28-year-old won his second ATP title at the China Open in 2018 by defeating world No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro in the final, three months after winning the German Open in Hamburg.He went on to defend the Hamburg title last year.In May 2019, Basilashvili reached a career high of 16 in the world.The Roland Garros logo is seen outside the VIP village on day nine of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France, June 1, 2015. /VCGFrench Open organizers working with authorities to avoid U.S. Open clashToday should have been the date for the French Open to start had the event not been postponed in Paris. The pandemic, however, prevented it from happening."Today we should be in Paris," Rafael Nadal expressed his nostalgia via social media. The Spaniard, who has collected an all-time record of 12 titles at Roland Garros, was the defending champion of the French Open in 2019.In March, the French Open's organizers announced a shock reschedule of the event from May to September, seven days after the U.S. Open final in New York, triggering criticism in the tennis world for its lack of communication.On Saturday, French Open director Guy Forget said he was working hand in hand with tennis authorities to make sure the dates of the clay court Grand Slam tournament and those of the U.S. Open do not clash."The official announcement has not been made yet. It (the French Open) will probably be between the end of September and the beginning of October. We've been working closely with the ATP, the WTA and the ITF to make a global announcement on what the circuit will be like until the end of the year," Forget told French radio Europe 1.Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the men's singles final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France, June 09, 2019. /VCG"There are so many question marks. The city of New York is more affected by coronavirus than France. They also have a lot of organization problems; they will make an announcement mid-June to say how it's going to be like for the U.S. Open."Forget said he is confident the event will be played in favorable conditions and he is not resigned to playing the tournament behind closed doors."Now, we don't know what's going to happen in a month or two. We will adapt to whatever the government tells us. We should be ambitious and optimistic."The French government has banned events involving 5,000 or more people before September.(CGTN)

Adviser: Taiwan-funded enterprises should participate more in BRI

Taiwan-funded enterprises should be encouraged to participate more in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), so as to maintain stability in foreign trade, Lian Jiede, vice chairman of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, or Taimeng for short, said at Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Monday.Lian added that in order to expand the domestic market share, Taiwan-funded enterprises should also be guided for more active participation in the development of the Yangtze River Economic Zone and the Greater Bay Area.He also advised on adjusting the favorable policies for Taiwan-funded enterprises and projects in accordance to the changing external environment, enhancing financial support for them, and providing more assistance in employment.Favorable measures were introduced over the years in order to further promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Straits. Earlier this month, the Chinese mainland issued a circular that required coordinated efforts to support Taiwan-funded enterprises and such projects amid the coronavirus epidemic.The Chinese mainland issued a package of "31 measures" in 2018 and another "26 measures" in 2019 aiming to ensure that enterprises and individuals from Taiwan receive the same treatment as those from the Chinese mainland.Lian said these measures have gained praise in Taiwan, as they have created opportunities for Taiwan-funded enterprises to do business in the Chinese mainland. He added that, thus far, more than 100,000 investment projects launched by Taiwan-funded enterprises have been approved by the Chinese mainland, and these investments have increasingly shifted from flowing to labor intensive manufactures to more valued-added industries.(CGTN)

Youth With You Finale Ready to Hit Off, BLACKPINK LISA Hot in Special Collaborative Show

BEIJING, May 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Youth With You just officially aired its Collaborative Performance. Leading contestants partnered up with Youth Producers' Representative KUN, the show's Mentor Squad, and winners from IDOL PRODUCER to deliver stunning new hits, capturing the fascination of audience worldwide. As the show's Dance Mentor, BLACKPINK LISA picked "I'm Not Yours" by Jolin Tsai and Namie Amuro for her Collaborative Performance with the aspiring starlets competing to debut. For this Girl Power classic that once captivated Asia, LISA wore an exquisite black tutu, her long curls flirting with tulle to effuse mysterious allure. Emanating the inspirational "I am my own girl" attitude, the video got dubbed a "YouTube Overloader" by avid fans, racking up impressive stats. Youth With You LISA's Collaborative Performance The trainees also won wide praise. XIN Liu experimented with a long hair look, her powerful stage presence shining through feminine charms. Crowd-beloved Esther Yu finally fulfilled her dream of dancing with her idol and improved to match. LISA even warmheartedly sent air purifiers and neck pillows to help her team prepare. For the much-awaited Collab Stage, KUN chose to present a brand new original song: "Lover". The unique design of having water flowing on stage is fresh and eye-catching. Many praised that this staged piece can already match the quality of professional music videos. Vocal Mentor Ella remixed her "Good Night Song" with "YES! OK!" for a warm tear-jerker that duly exhibited the vocal talents of her team. Rap Mentor JONY J and X Mentor Silence presented their signature works, "No Need to Guess" and "Never Give Up", with new energy contributed by the girls. Contestant Shaking even added original rap lyrics to "Never Give Up", sending her sentiments echoing on social media. Surprisingly, former NINEPERCENT members THEO, BOOGIE, and LilGhost also joined the star-studded CollabStage line-up. For this first reunion since their disbandment, they re-interpreted the IDOL PRODUCER finale song "It's OK", cranking up nostalgia to the max. The curtains have dropped on the Youth With You Collaborative Performance. Next, the world will witness the dazzling debut of its top trainees. On the Finale Night of May 30, which 9 contestants will get voted into the new girls group? All eyes are on their debut performance. Get excited! Photo -  

Top Stories

Top Newsmore >>

Australia's life expectancy stagnates amid worsen social inequality: study

Despite recording a steady increase for the past several decades Australia's life expectancy has begun to stagnate, local research disclosed on Monday, with growing social inequality being blamed for the change. The University of Melbourne led research analyzed data from Australia's death registry for 2006-2016, identifying socioeconomic status and geographic location as two major contributors to differences in life expectancy. Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which in 2016-2018 was 80.7 years for males and 84.9 years for females, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, a slowing in the decline of premature deaths among lower socioeconomic and non-urban populations, has tempered growth in the population's overall life expectancy. Meanwhile there has been no slowdown in the rate of mortality decline in the highest socioeconomic areas of major cities. Between the ages of 35-74, the premature death rate for those of worse socioeconomic status was double that of those in the highest category. Similarly, people living in the most disadvantaged geographic locations suffered a roughly 40 percent higher premature death rate than those in major cities, with the gaps widening in the early part of the century. Co-leader of the research, Professor Alan Lopez from the University of Melbourne said decisive actions were required from government to address the issue, adding that the ongoing COVID-19 might worsen social inequality. "Reducing this widening gap in mortality will require a significant shift in policy, with a stronger emphasis on the context and stressors prevalent among regional, rural and low socioeconomic groups," Lopez said. "The advent of COVID-19 might well exacerbate this already unfavorable trend due to increased stress and unemployment hitting the least well off hardest, which could well have a flow-on effect in terms of poorer health behaviors and access to health care." "This ought to be a key consideration in government policy responses to COVID-19," he said.(CGTN)


U.S. COVID-19 death toll nears 100,000, New York Times calls it "incalculable loss"

The front page of Sunday's New York Times features the names of 1,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in the United States. Calling it "an incalculable loss," the newspaper clarified that "the 1,000 people here reflect just 1 percent of toll.""They were not simply names on a list. They were us," the paper said. "Numbers alone cannot possibly measure the impact of the coronavirus in America, whether it is the number of patients treated, jobs interrupted or lives cut short.""Toward the end of May in the year 2020, the number of people in the United States who have died from the coronavirus neared 100,000 -- almost all of them within a three-month span. An average of more than 1,100 deaths a day," said the cover story sub-titled "The Human Toll," which was printed on four full pages including the cover.Photo taken on May 24, 2020, New York, the United States, shows the front pages of threecopies of The New York Times published on Sunday. The front page of Sunday's New York Times features the names of 1,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)"Why has this happened in the United States of 2020? Why has the virus claimed disproportionately large number of black and Latino victims? Why were nursing homes so devastated? These questions of why and how and whom will be asked for decades to come," said the report."For now, all we can do is hold our collective breath, inch toward some approximation of how things were -- and try to process a loss of life greater than what the country incurred in several decades of war, from Vietnam to Iraq," it added.Over 97,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, the largest toll among all the countries in the world, according to the Center of Systems Science and Engineering of Johns Hopkins University as of Sunday evening.(CGTN)


Insightsmore >>

Cambodia supports China's draft decision on HK national security legislation: spokesman

Cambodia supports China's draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong has said. "Cambodia consistently adheres to the one-China policy and considers affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China," he told Xinhua on Saturday. He said the draft decision, with a view to safeguarding national security and sovereignty in accordance with the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, is the sovereign right of China as an independent country. "It is Cambodia's wish to see the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region continue to enjoy progress and prosperity in peace, stability, harmony and free from foreign interference," Kuong said. A draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security was submitted to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) of China for deliberation on Friday.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Interview: Expert says equality key feature of Chinese diplomacy

China believes in equality among countries and strives to pursue equality in international relations, a Kazakh expert has said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. Anton Bugayenko, chief expert of the Chinese and Asian studies program at Kazakhstan's Institute of World Economics and Politics, said that by adhering to the principle of equality, China has been able to win more support from the international arena. Over the past years, China has been engaged closely in global issues, increasing its gravity in international relations, he added. The expert noted that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China has traveled a journey of tests and global challenges and walked on its path towards national rejuvenation. The COVID-19 epidemic would not waver the country's determination to achieve the goal, he said. Bugayenko said China has not only tamed the virus, but actively promoted global cooperation. "China has become a key player in promoting coordination in the anti-virus efforts at the international level," said the expert. As COVID-19 rocks the world, China's pursuit of cooperation is in stark contrast to the U.S. approach which has defected to isolationism and tried to shrug off its international obligations, said Bugayenko, adding that China's call for global cooperation has won more and more recognition internationally.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


World Newsmore >>

U.S. in chaos after Trump ended virus-alert program: Chomsky

President Donald Trump's systematic dismantling of the pandemic prevention machinery including the ending of joint programs with Chinese scientists on early detection of virus left the U.S. "singularly unprepared" for the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a fatally "chaotic" response, according to prominent American left-leaning intellectual Noam Chomsky."As soon as Trump came in, his first move was to dismantle the entire pandemic prevention machinery. At the start, defunding the Centers for Disease Control, which would deal with this. And canceling programs that were working with Chinese scientists to identify potential viruses. So the US was singularly unprepared," the 91-year old veteran activist scholar told the Agence France Presse news agency."There's no coherent leadership. It's chaotic. The presidency, the White House, is in the hands of a sociopathic megalomaniac who's interested in nothing but his own power, electoral prospects – doesn't care what happens to the country, the world," Chomsky said in a scathing criticism of Trump's handling of the pandemic."The president himself has said that it's none of his business. He's said that the federal government can't do anything. Nothing really matters except his personal power and gain. Of course he has to maintain the support of his primary constituency, which is great wealth and corporate power," he said, adding: "There's 90,000 deaths and there will be a lot more.... There's no coordinated plan."Chomsky reiterated that the U.S. "is a privatized society, very wealthy, with enormous advantages – far more than any other country – but it's in the stranglehold of private control. It doesn't have a universal health care system.... It's the ultimate neoliberal system, actually."The Trump administration ended a 200 million U.S. dollars early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to pandemics, just a couple of months before the COVID-19 outbreak believed to have started in Wuhan.The project, called Predict, had been run by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAid) since 2009. It had identified more than 160 different coronaviruses that had the potential to develop into pandemics, including a virus that is considered the closest known relative to COVID-19.The initiative trained and supported staff in 60 foreign laboratories including the Wuhan Institute of Virology that identified SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Field work ceased when the funding ran out in September, and organizations that worked on the program laid off dozens of scientists and analysts."It was a genius, visionary program that USAid took a big risk to fund and it's a crying shame it was canceled," Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit specialist in tackling wildlife-borne disease that was one of the major partners in the program, told The Guardian earlier last month.'COVID-19 not the worst problem, global warming is'Chomsky stated that Europe might be at a greater risk from the pandemic, but the American intellectual still praised it for maintaining a "kind of social democratic structure" which he felt has disappeared from the U.S."Europe in many ways is worse, because the austerity programs just amplify the danger, because of the severe attack on democracy in Europe, the shifting decisions to Brussels.... So Europe has its own problems, but at least it has the residue of some kind of social democratic structure, which provides some support, which is what I think is lacking in the U.S.," he reasoned.Chomsky, however, didn't consider COVID-19 to be the worst global threat asserting that climate change remains the biggest international challenge in the long run. "As severe as this pandemic is, it's not the worst problem. There will be recovery from the pandemic at severe cost... but there isn't going to be any recovery from the melting of the polar ice caps and the rising of sea levels and the other deleterious effects of global warming."Digital surveillance: OK for now, not inevitable in futureHe also felt that the digital surveillance technology being introduced across different nations may be necessary in the wake of the pandemic but that may still have privacy concerns and may not be entirely inevitable in the future."There are now companies developing technology which make it possible for the employer ... to look at what's on your computer screen and to check your keystrokes and if you get up and walk away for a minute, they'll send you a warning. That's being installed right now.... It's not the future," Chomsky said."The so-called Internet of Things is coming along. It's convenient. It means if you're driving home you can turn on the stove – but it also means that that information is going to Google and Facebook, to the government, the American government, the French government, it's an enormous amount of potential control, surveillance and invasion," he remarked."It might be [useful and justified] during the period of threat. There's controls needed during wartime, you have rationing. But it doesn't have to be permanent.... 'Yes, we'll let you have this authority now, but it can be revoked at any time'," he added."It's not inevitable, just like global warming, that it's going to happen – unless people stop it."(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Malaysia continues to find new cases in immigration detention facilities

The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. - - - - KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia reported 60 new COVID-19 cases, with 33 of them traced to two immigration detention facilities, the Health Ministry said on Sunday. The Semenyih detention facility which had already seen a cluster reported another 27 new cases, while another detention facility in Sepang reported six cases as a new cluster, according to a statement by Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director General of Health Ministry. - - - - ACCRA -- The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in Ghana had increased to 6,683, with 66 more cases confirmed, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in its latest update. The data posted on the GHS COVID-19 portal said the recovered cases had also increased by 20, bringing the number of recovery cases to 1,998. - - - - JAKARTA -- The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 526 within one day to 22,271, AchmadYurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference here on Sunday. The death toll in the country rose by 21 to 1,372, he added. - - - - DHAKA -- Bangladesh recorded 28 new COVID-19 fatalities Sunday, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic began in the country on March 8. The rise in deaths comes after the country reported 24 new COVID-19 fatalities on Friday. - - - - MOSCOW -- Russia has confirmed 8,599 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total number of infections to 344,481, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Sunday. The death toll climbed by 153 to 3,541, while 113,299 people have recovered, including 5,363 over the last 24 hours, according to the center. - - - - BEIJING -- Chinese health authority said Sunday that it received reports of three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Saturday, of which two were imported. The domestically transmitted case was reported in Jilin Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Breaking Newsmore >>

14 killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria military base

Jihadists killed 14 security personnel and civilians in an attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, security sources told AFP.Suspected Boko Haram fighters in trucks fitted with machine guns launched a dawn raid on the army base in the town of Damboa, sparking intense fighting.Sources said six soldiers, four police officers and two members of a government-backed militia were killed along with two civilians."We lost six soldiers in the attack while six others were injured," a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.The officer claimed 13 insurgents were killed by a fighter jet as they fled the area.The leader of an anti-jihadist militia said the civilians who died were among more than 50 local residents hit by shrapnel after rocket-propelled grenades fired by the jihadists hit nearby homes.Nigeria's decade-long jihadist insurgency has killed 36 000 people and displaced two million others inside the country, and spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.The United Nations has complained of a surge in violence in the conflict zone in recent weeks.Anger has been growing among local residents about the army's failure to stem the attacks despite repeated claims from officials that the insurgency has been defeated.(CGTN)


One dead, multiple injured shot near skate park in California

A 23-year-old male was shot dead and five others were injured following a shooting at a party near a skate park in Tulare County, California, late Wednesday night, ABC News reported citing local police.The conditions of the other shooting victims are unclear, including a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said at a press conference.Police said a "solo suspect shooter" walked up to the party and fired multiple rounds.(CGTN)


Life Stylemore >>

Two Sessions: CPPCC member suggests law to curb annoying pop-up ads

Laws should be used to regulate annoying pop-up ads, and platforms and operators that use pop-ups excessively should be blacklisted as a warning and punishment, Wei Shizhong, member of the CPPCC National Committee, suggested during the Two Sessions this week.Netizens have been suffering from pop-up ads for a long time, and the proposal has quickly sparked heated discussion and resonance on the Chinese internet.Internet users said they are annoyed by pop-up ads every time they turn on their computers, which distracts them and affects their mood.Even worse is that a lot of the pop-ups have hidden links that take users directly to advertisement pages when they click on the close or exit button. Some sites even try to force users to download small games and other useless software.There are also claims that the content and pictures in the pop-up ads are very vulgar and inappropriate for children. Parents and teachers are very worried that their children or students may see them.Some committee members agree that using legal means to protect the legitimate rights and interests of users is necessary.The advertising law of China stipulates that the use of the internet to publish and send advertisements shall not affect users' normal use of the internet. Advertisements on web pages in the form of pop-ups or other forms shall be clearly marked with closing signs to ensure one-click closing.(CGTN)


Veneto governor: Venice Film Festival to go ahead in September

The Venice Film Festival will go ahead as scheduled at the beginning of September, Luca Zaia, governor of the region around the Italian city said on Sunday as the spread of the new coronavirus in the country slows.Organized by the Biennale di Venezia company, Venice is the world's longest running film festival. In January it announced that Cate Blanchett would preside over its 77th edition.Due to the lockdowns imposed on the film industry across the world to limit the spread of the virus, the festival will probably be attended by fewer productions, said Zaia, who is also a board member of the Biennale di Venezia.The Cannes Film Festival, the world's largest, was forced to postpone its latest edition in May due to the virus epidemic.Italy plans to lift all travel curbs from June 3 and travelers from European Union countries will be able to enter without going into quarantine.The country recorded 119 new deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic on Saturday, bringing the death toll in Italy to 32,735, the third highest total in the world after the United States and Britain.(Top image: At the 76th Venice Film Festival Awards Ceremony, Emmanuelle Seigner accepts on behalf of director Roman Polanski the Silver Lion award, Grand Jury Prize in Venice, Italy, September 7, 2019. /Reuters)(REUTERS)


Sportsmore >>

Yao Ming: China needs to enrich its basketball talent sources

China's basketball icon Yao Ming, as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made his proposals for basketball talent development at the on-going Two Sessions in Beijing.Yao pointed out that the country is not sitting on a reserve of strong athletic talent. For example, in the men's basketball, the national team recruits all of their players from the 350 registered Chinese players in the CBA. The CBA saw 60 percent of its domestic players contributed by six provinces: Liaoning, Shandong, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Jiangsu. Some 55 percent of the league's Chinese players come from youth development systems of eight teams and only 22 are from non-professional teams. Therefore, expanding basketball youth development channels is already a top priority for China's sports development.Players of the Shandong Heroes in practice in Jinan, capital city of east China's Shandong Province, March 24, 2020. /VCGYao also warned against a possible break in the supply of athlete talents. It usually takes 8-10 years to train a professional athlete. A top one requires more delicate refining over an even longer time. Currently, China's athlete development system is going through a critical period of reform, which further calls for attention to be paid to talent reserves. Things will go terrible if the existing system is left unattended before the new system is established.Therefore, Yao proposed that a clear talent development and transmitting system be built at schools and professional clubs and in specialized teams and social institutions so whoever raises the athletes will also benefit from it. Meanwhile, ways should be paved for professional athletes to receive higher education.Teenagers in a U-15 basketball game in Changzhou of east China's Jiangsu Province, April 9, 2019. /VCGYao also emphasized the merging of education and sports participation. "Education without sports is incomplete, just like sports participation without education isn't solid," said Yao, adding that character-building is just as important as body-building.Yao proposed that both sports school students and professional athletes at eligible age be covered by compulsory education to help sport athletes improve their qualities in other areas. Meanwhile, the payment and benefits of sports school teachers should also be raised.(CGTN)


Rwanda, Gambia latest African countries to end football seasons

The Gambia and Rwanda became the latest African countries to end their domestic top-flight seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the East and West African nations did so in contrasting fashion.The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) declared the season null and void adding that there would be no winners, no promotions and relegation.However, a decision was made that Real De Banjul FC and Gambia Armed Forces FC will represent the nation in the CAF interclubs competitions"Nonetheless, the GFF will allow the current number one and number two of the 1st Division League (Real De Banjul FC and GAF FC) to represent the Gambia in the CAF Club Championship and CAF Confederation's Cup respectively,”the GFF said on its website.The GFF also pledged to provide financial support to clubs from the COVID-19 Relief Fund and take urgent action to improve the conditions of the country's football fields.In Rwanda, the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) declared the season over and announced that Rwanda Premier League leaders APR FC were crowned champions. APR FC were on a 23-game unbeaten run before the season was suspended."…To consider standings of the Rwanda Premier League after Match Day 23 and declare APR FC Champions which leads the Rwanda Premier League with 57 points for the season 2019/2020. Match Day 24 has been cancelled to clubs that had played these matches since it was not fully played," FERWAFA said in a statement on website.Consequently, Heroes FC and Gicumbi FC, who were placed 15th and 16th respectively at the time of the league's suspension, were relegated to the second division league for the 2020/2021 season.FERWAFA added that the Men's Second Division, play-offs competition will be played at a later date to determine the winner of the season and the two teams which will be promoted to the Rwanda Premier League for 2020/2021 season.FERWAFA said that the women's first and second division leagues remain suspended and will resume when the Rwandan government eases the lockdown on sporting activities.The Men's and Women's Peace Cup editions for this year were declared null and void while all FERWAFA Youth Competitions in all age categories for this year were postponed.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Science&Militarymore >>

Top UN official warns malicious emails rise by 600% amid pandemic

UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu warned Friday that cybercrime is on the rise, with a 600-percent increase in malicious emails during the COVID-19 pandemic.Nakamitsu told an informal meeting of the UN Security Council that the coronavirus crisis is moving the world toward increased technological innovation and online collaboration. But "there have also been worrying reports of (cyber) attacks against healthcare organizations and medical research facilities worldwide."She said growing digital dependency has increased the vulnerability to cyberattacks and that it is estimated that an attack takes place every 39 seconds.According to the International Telecommunication Union, nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity.Nakamitsu said the threat from misusing information and communications technology is "urgent." But there is also good news, pointing to some global progress at the United Nations to address the threats by a group of government experts who developed 11 voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behavior in the use of such technology.Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas, whose country holds the Security Council presidency and organized Friday's meeting, said the need for "a secure and functioning cyberspace" is more pressing than ever. He condemned cyberattacks targeting hospitals, medical research facilities and other infrastructure, especially during the pandemic."Those attacks are unacceptable," Ratas said. "It will be important to hold the offenders responsible for their behavior."(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Test and trace system of British to launch this week after 25,000 trackers recruited

Ministers have recruited 25,000 contact tracers ahead of the launch of the government's flagship test and trace programme which aims to stop the spread of coronavirus.The programme, which involves tracing and advising people who may have come into close contact with someone testing positive for the virus, is set to launch at the end of this week.The government has been aiming for human contact tracers to be in place for Monday 1 June, the earliest date for opening schools and non-essential shops in England.Widespread contact tracing was abandoned in mid-March as the number of COVID-19 cases soared in the UK, but a test, track and trace (TTT) strategy is now seen as playing a crucial role in efforts to ease the lockdown while avoiding a second wave of infections.The government is also currently trialling a contact-tracing NHS app on the Isle of Wight.Health Secretary Matt Hancock has sought to play down the importance of the delayed app in the contact tracing process.He had originally said the app would be rolled out by mid-May, but it has now been delayed by several weeks.Image:The NHS coronavirus contact tracing app is being trialled on the Isle of WightThe test and trace system will involve the public being asked to work closely with the newly-recruited contact tracers, who will run a national virtual call centre operation, the government says.The contact tracers will request that individuals testing positive for COVID-19 share information about who they have been in recent, prolonged close contact with and who might have been exposed to the virus.This is most likely to be either be members of someone's own household or work colleagues.By informing those who might have been exposed, contact tracers can ensure they receive advice and guidance to keep them safe and to prevent the virus from spreading further.How the UK will lift lockdown measuresA Number 10 spokesperson said: "A test and trace system allows us to isolate new infections so that we can control the spread of this virus, which will be vital while coronavirus remains present in the UK."As we continue on the road to recovery, this will mean that in time lockdown will no longer be necessary for the vast majority of the public and instead it will be possible for there to be a targeted lockdown for a small number of people."For this to be effective, everyone will need to stay alert and play their part to control the virus and save lives."By working with our tracers and complying with the rules, the public will avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to their family and loved ones and this new test and trace service will help to control coronavirus."Meanwhile it has emerged the prime minister will hold a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss the ways lockdown restrictions will begin to ease for certain sectors.While no changes are expected before 1 June, it is understood that guidance and advice will be given in relation to the sectors that are covered in step two of the government's roadmap for exiting the lockdown.This will include an update on the new test, track and trace programme, an announcement on schools, and potentially an update on non-essential retail.(SKY NEWS)


Businessmore >>

Japan to launch fresh stimulus package worth over $929 bln

The Japanese government is considering a coronavirus relief package of over 100 trillion yen (929 billion U.S. dollars) as a way to support companies and employees severely hit by COVID-19, theNikkei newspaper said on Monday.The move would be the latest measure by the government to cushion the economic blow under the pandemic, following last month's record 117 trillion yen stimulus.More than 60 trillion yen would be used as unsecured financing to businesses with little or no interest, about 12 trillion yen would come in the form of capital support, and an existing pool of public funds to rescue struggling lenders would be expanded to roughly 15 trillion yen, reported by the Nikkei.Meanwhile, financial support for those unemployed would total about 330,000 yen a month.Japan's economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in the first quarter of the year, technically entering into a recession – the first since the second half of 2015. The country also slipped back into deflation for the first time in more than three years, with prices falling by 0.2 percent in April.With the number of new COVID-19 cases declining, the country plans to completely lift the state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, before it expires on May 31.(CGTN)


Chinese banks could post flat or falling profits in 2020: PBOC

Chinese lenders could post flat or even falling profits in 2020 despite earnings growth in the first quarter, as the coronavirus outbreak brings difficulties to the economy, the country's central bank said in an article on Sunday.For the first quarter of 2020, China's commercial banks realized net profits of 600.1 billion yuan (84.2 billion U.S. dollars), up five percent year on year, mainly due to the expansion of banks' assets and lower management costs, according to an article by the research bureau of the People's Bank of China (PBOC).The possibility could not be ruled out that banks could log zero or even negative profit growth within 2020, due to mounting bad loans and a fast draining of cash buffers, as the difficulties in the real economy spills over into the financial area, the PBOC warned in the article.China's banks need to further support the real economy which faces various challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak, in particular small and micro enterprises, as there is some room for banks to surrender part of their healthy profits, the article said.In an effort to cushion the economy, small and midsize companies can delay paying loans and interest by a further nine months, through March 2021, and lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises by big commercial banks should grow more than 40 percent, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday.(CGTN&REUTERS)


chinamore >>

Tianfu New Area to take advantage of regional development

Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle to promote inland opening-upTianfu New Area in Chengdu is bracing itself for a new round of development after the layout of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle was recently promoted by the government.On Jan 3, the Chinese central government stressed the significance of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, attaching great importance to its development as a new economic engine in western China.As a core part of the economic circle, Tianfu New Area, a national-level new area approved by the State Council in 2014, aims to take the lead in promoting the development.On April 23, the second joint meeting of Chongqing Liangjiang New Area and Tianfu New Area was held in Chongqing, following the first session of the joint meeting held on Feb 28, and a summit for local industry in the economic circle on March 26.A bird's-eye view of Tianfu New Area, a national-level new area in Chengdu that aims to take the lead in promoting the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle development.At the second joint meeting, the two sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement.With the goal of achieving overall linkage and coordinated planning, the two sides have reached agreements in seven areas including inland opening-up, transport connectivity and the construction of a science and technology innovation center.Chengdu Science Town, an innovative entrepreneurship landmark in Tianfu New Area which opened in 2015, was emphasized as a major force in the newly-signed strategy.A top-tier supercomputing center in China's western region, one of the most representative "new infrastructure" projects in Chengdu, is located in Chengdu Science Town. Its construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020.With the completion of the center, a new industrial ecosystem for innovation should be fostered, according to local officials.Chengdu Science Town is another innovative entrepreneurship landmark in Tianfu New Area.Another major scientific project in Chengdu Science Town, the Huawei Kunpeng ecological base, which settled in the town in August last year, is also moving forward at speed.According to the agreement, Chengdu and Huawei will work together to build the Kunpeng commercialization platform, focusing on the incubation of industrial solutions and promotion of industrial innovation.Besides the two major projects, the town has established seven platforms for scientific studies and interdisciplinary research, 16 national-level innovation platforms and 37 projects run under the joint efforts of research institutes, universities and local administrations, aimed at building up a comprehensive innovation platform involving basic scientific research and research outcome commercialization.According to the local committee of Chengdu Science Town, more than 80 major industrial projects by industrial leaders such as Hikvision and SenseTime will be introduced, which are expected to bring together more than 9,800 enterprises involved in the "new economy".Building up a new model for inland opening-up is another key task in the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.An industrial park is under construction at Chengdu's Xinglong Lake, a place gathering a group of high-tech enterprises.At present, Tianfu New Area has built the Sino-Italian Cultural Innovation Industrial Park, an international expo town, an international conference center and a bonded logistics center.It is attempting to establish a comprehensive free trade harbor and is accelerating the construction of an all-round, wide-ranging and high-level pattern to operate with foreign trade businesses.At the second joint meeting held on April 23, Tianfu New Area and Liangjiang New Area determined 10 major tasks to build up openingup channels in Chinese inland cities during 2020, which should be fulfilled through 10 aspects ranging from overall planning, industrial innovation, exhibitions, opening-up policy, mechanism reform to talent introduction."The strategic cooperation agreements between the two national-level new areas has brought new opportunities to companies in areas such as new technologies, innovation platforms and markets," said Wang Zhongxun, vice-president of CloudWalk Technology.As the only one unicorn enterprise-a startup valued at over $1 billion-engaged in artificial intelligence in western China, Cloud-Walk has drawn up its layout in both the Tianfu New Area and Liangjiang New Area.At the end of last year, it relocated its regional headquarters working under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and research center for western China to the new industrial park at Xinglong Lake in Chengdu.According to Wang, the company will work on the construction of smart cities, enable the upgrade of traditional enterprises and bring more intelligence to people's lives through AI.SenseTime is another high-tech company located in the area. At its Chengdu headquarters, its products under research have covered fields such as smart cities, intelligent hardware, transport, real estate, finance and education."The strengthening of links in transport, major projects and major industries in Chengdu and Chongqing has brought plenty of market opportunities for the company's development," said Wang Jue, general manager of SenseTime Chengdu branch.Liang Chunyan, president of Qincheng Culture and Tourism Group, said that the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle has contributed to resource-sharing in the two areas, which is beneficial to improving efficiency and reducing market costs.Qincheng will follow the steps of Tianfu New Area and take advantage of opportunities brought by the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, Liang said.(CHINA DAILY)


Xinjiang company exports drip irrigation technology to Uzbekistan

A company in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has exported drip irrigation technology under plastic film mulch to Uzbekistan. The technology has been applied to cotton fields, covering an area of 406.7 hectares in the Sirdaryo state of Uzbekistan as a modern water-saving demonstration project, said Yang Kaiwen, a planning director of the project management center from the Xinjiang Tianye water-saving irrigation corporation. Initiated at the beginning of this year, the project saw irrigation facilities and related machines delivered from China at the end of February. Installation and application of the irrigation system took one and a half months, said Yang. Compared with regular irrigation and plantation, the cotton sprouted five days earlier, according to Yang. The water-saving demonstration project will expand the plantation area, with more local technical personnel to be trained. Xinjiang Tianye is China's largest water-saving facility development and production company. Primarily introducing drip irrigation technology from Israel, the company has developed a series of irrigation facilities and products. This helps save 50 percent of water and 30 percent of fertilizers and increase crop yields by 50 percent compared with the traditional plantation, according to the company. In recent years, the company has explored markets along the Belt and Road, applying the water-saving technology to 10,000 hectares of farmland in 17 countries, including Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)