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Chinese ambassador warns Canada against being used by U.S. in Meng Wanzhou incident

"Interference from third parties" harms the development of China-Canada bilateral ties, stressed the Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu during a speech on the experiences and lessons learned throughout the China-Canada relationship delivered at the 10th National Forum on Canada-China Economic Policy Webinar."The United States' conduct in the Meng Wanzhou incident amounts to a barbaric act of bullying that goes against the basic norms of international relations," Cong said. "Regrettably, Canada has been taken advantage of by the U.S. and acted as an accomplice. It should seriously reflect on its role in it."Noting that the Meng Wanzhou incident is causing difficulties in the relations between China and Canada, Cong reiterated that this incident is a serious political incident concocted by the United States to suppress Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies. As the facts pile up, the political nature of this case is becoming increasingly clear, and more and more insightful Canadians see the truth clearly, he added.As for the bilateral ties in economy, Cong said that throughout the development of the relationship, the two countries have complemented each other's economies and shared prosperity.Over the past 50 years, total trade between China and Canada has increased nearly 500 times, from 150 million to 74 billion U.S. dollars last year. For several consecutive years, China has remained Canada's second largest trading partner, export market and source of imports. By the end of 2019, Canada's cumulative investment in China was nearly 11 billion U.S. dollars, and each year, 1.5 million people travel between the two nations and more than 200,000 Chinese students study in Canada, according to Cong.Looking to the future, the ambassador further elaborated that there are neither past grievances nor major conflicts of interest between China and Canada and a healthy and stable relationship between them is in the common interest of their two peoples. "However, any relationship can only remain stable and far-reaching if both parties adhere to the principles of mutual respect and equal treatment," he added.(CGTN)

Iran vows 'hit' on all involved in US killing of top general

TEHRAN, Iran -- The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general's January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.Image IconThe Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 file photo, Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks at a pro-government rally, in Tehran, Iran. The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has threatened to go after everyone who had a role in a top general’s January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard’s website on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real.” U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)The guard's website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real.”U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that “if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we’re going to hit them 1000 times harder.”The president's warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani's killing at Baghdad's airport at the beginning of the year.“We took out the world’s number one terrorist and the mass murderer of American troops and many, many troops and many people all over the world,” Trump said. “Qasem Soleimani is dead. He’s dead. Bad guy. Bad guy. Very bad guy.”Salami rejected the report of an Iranian plot to assassinate Ambassador Lana Marks, but made clear that Iran intends to avenge the general's death.“Do you think we hit a female ambassador in return to our martyred brother?’ the general said. “We will hit those who had direct and indirect roles. You should know that everybody who had role in the event will be hit, and this is a serious message. We do prove everything in practice.”In January, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq in response to the fatal drone strike.Trump has stepped up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions since he pulled the United States out of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.Tehran has continued to expand its stockpile of enriched uranium and pressured other nations to offset the harm of U.S. sanctions, while insisting it does not want to develop a nuclear weapon.(ABC News)

Politicians, celebrities pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'I am the beneficiary of her work'

Tributes to Ruth Bader Ginsburg swiftly followed news of the passing of the trailblazing Supreme Court justice Friday night.Politicians, journalists and celebrities offered their condolences to the family of Ginsburg, 87, who died due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.Among them were her fellow justices."Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her -- a tireless and resolute champion of justice."Flowers and candles outside the Supreme Court Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Washington, after the Supreme Court announced that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.In a statement, President Donald Trump highlighted that Ginsburg was just the second woman ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court. He referred to her as a "titan of the law," who was "renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents.""A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life," Trump said. "May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world."In a proclamation, Trump ordered U.S. flags at the White House, all public buildings and grounds and military bases throughout the country to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of her internment.Several former presidents shared their remembrances in statements.Ginsburg, according to President Barack Obama, helped inspire future generations' pursuit of justice."Over a long career on both sides of the bench – as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist – Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are – and who we can be," Obama said in a statement Friday night.President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993, called her "one of the most extraordinary Justices ever," who had "boundless courage in the face of her own adversity.""Her 27 years on the Court exceeded even my highest expectations when I appointed her," he said. "Her landmark opinions advancing gender equality, marriage equality, the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of immigrants, and so many more moved us closer to 'a more perfect union.'"Doug Mills/AP Doug Mills/AP In this June 15, 1993, file photo, President Bill Clinton applauds as Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg prepares to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House, after he announced he would nominate her to the Supreme Court.In this June 15, 1993, file photo, President Bill Clinton applauds as Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg prepares to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House, after he announced he would nominate her to the Supreme Court.President George W. Bush said he and his wife, Laura Bush, were "fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazer.""She dedicated many of her 87 remarkable years to the pursuit of justice and equality, and she inspired more than one generation of women and girls," he said. "Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law."President Jimmy Carter, who appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980, called her a "truly great woman.""A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career," he said.MORE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, powerhouse Supreme Court Justice, dies at 87Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president and former vice president, read a statement to reporters upon landing in Delaware Friday night."We learned of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure, and my heart goes out to all those who cared for her and care about her," Biden said. "And she practiced the highest American ideals as a justice: equality and justice under the law.""Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us," he added.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden looks down as he delivers a statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upon landing in New Castle, Delaware, on Sept. 18, 2020.Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton"Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG."Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 19, 2020Vice President Mike Pence"Today, America mourns the passing of a true public, servant, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Ginsburg led an inspiring life, and her storied career paved the way for women in the law. As an advocate and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, she was a champion for women whose tireless determination reshaped our national life. A fierce defender of her judicial philosophy, Justice Ginsburg will always be remembered as a jurist who respected and commanded the respect of her colleagues."Sen. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court."It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg.Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 19, 2020Cliff Owen/AP Cliff Owen/AP In this July 31, 2014, file photo, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen in her chambers in at the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.In this July 31, 2014, file photo, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen in her chambers in at the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell"The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation's highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues."House Speaker Nancy Pelosi"The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is devastaing. Justice Ginsberg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children."Every family in America benefited from her brilliant legacy and courage. Over the course of her quarter century as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg became an icon, inspiring people around the world with her tenacity, towering intellect and devotion to the American promise of equality and opportunity for all. Her tireless advocacy in the fight for gender equality, whether working at the ACLU, arguing cases before the Supreme Court or authoring thoughtful and historic opinions and dissents as an Associate Justice, leaves an enduring legacy of progress for all women. Her opinions have unequivocally cemented the precedent that all men and women are created equal."We must honor Justice Ginsburg's trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all. May it be a source of comfort to her children, Jane and James, her grandchildren Paul, Clara, Miranda and Abigail, and loved ones that so many people around the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time."Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer"Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women. She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy."Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women.She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020Sen. Elizabeth Warren"Ruthie was my friend and I will miss her terribly. The t-shirts simply labeled "RBG" made her notorious. But it was her wit, her tenaciousness, and her skill as a jurist that made her an icon."As a young mom heading off to Rutgers law school, I saw so few examples of female lawyers or law professors. But Ruthie blazed the trail. I'm forever grateful for her example -- to me, and to millions of young women who saw her as a role model."Ruthie was my friend and I will miss her terribly. The t-shirts simply labeled "RBG" made her notorious. But it was her wit, her tenaciousness, and her skill as a jurist that made her an icon.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 19, 2020Sen. Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff"Tonight we mourn, we honor, and we pray for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her family. Tomorrow we fight for her legacy.For all who believe in the power of the law as a force for change, Justice Ginsburg was and will always be a titan. She was a relentless defender of justice in our country and a legal mind for the ages. She also remained, throughout her life, a proud daughter of Brooklyn, with immigrant roots and a fire lit from an early age as a champion for progress and equality.Justice Ginsburg was known to pose the question, 'What is the difference between a bookkeeper in the Garment District and a Supreme Court justice?' Her answer: 'One generation.' She never forgot where she came from, or those who sacrificed to help her grow into the historic icon we all came to revere.Even as we focus on the life that she led and process tonight’s grief, her legacy and the future of the court to which she dedicated so much can’t disappear from our effort to honor her. In some of her final moments with her family, she shared her fervent wish to 'not be replaced until a new President is installed.' We will honor that wish.Justice Ginsburg used every ounce of life she was bestowed to urge our nation down a path toward equal justice. Doug and I send our heartfelt prayers to Jane and James, and the entire Ginsburg family, particularly on this holy day of Rosh Hashanah. According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah we begin a period of reflection. Tonight, we reflect on the legacy of Justice Ginsburg and we honor her belief in creating a fair and just world by recommitting to fight for that justice."Sen. Bernie Sanders"The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history."The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 19, 2020Sen. Cory Booker"I am so, so saddened by the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer and an extraordinary jurist who devoted her life to advancing the causes of equality and justice. We are in her debt.May her memory be a blessing to us all."I am so, so saddened by the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer and an extraordinary jurist who devoted her life to advancing the causes of equality and justice. We are in her debt.May her memory be a blessing to us all.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 19, 2020Sen. Mitt Romney"Justice Ginsburg served our nation with a deep reverence for the law and our Constitution. Her fight for women’s equality inspired all women to pursue their dreams without limits, and her grit, character and sharp wit made her an iconic and inspirational jurist beloved by people young and old. The beautiful friendship she shared with the late Justice Scalia serves as a reminder to all Americans to treat each other with kindness and respect, despite our differences. Justice Ginsburg’s record of distinguished service leaves an indelible mark on our country that will endure for generations to come. She and her husband Martin shared a full life together, and Ann and I pray tonight that her family finds comfort during this time."Sen. Tammy Duckworth"There are no words to adequately express just how devastated and heartbroken I am to learn of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only did our nation lose a brilliant jurist, we lost a hero—a 5’1” giant who gave a voice to girls and women everywhere and moved the needle forward in our long fight toward justice and equality for all.Like so, so many other Americans tonight, I am deeply grateful for all that Justice Ginsburg did to ensure equal protection under the law for women across this country and to defend the rights of so many others. She will be sorely missed, but her unparalleled legacy and impact will never be forgotten.Tonight we are devastated, but tomorrow we will roll up our sleeves and keep working. We must honor her legacy by redoubling our efforts to safeguard the rights of women, the rights of Americans with disabilities and the rights of all Americans for future generations. We cannot let up now."Former Sen. Harry Reid"Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented a level of greatness rarely seen in our country. She was not only a brilliant Supreme Court Justice and jurist, but a woman whose inspiring story and courageous leadership transcend law, politics and government. She forever changed our country, not to mention the Supreme Court. The impact made by Justice Ginsburg on women’s leadership, equal rights and basic fairness is without parallel. She’s been an inspiration to women, girls, LGBTQ individuals and people everywhere, and she will continue to inspire for many years to come.The Senate now has a duty to do right by the American people and the legacy of Justice Ginsburg. Republicans can show where their convictions and priorities lie. Each Republican Senator must now demonstrate whether previous protests about filling Supreme Court seats during an election year were sincere beliefs or a shameless example of the cynical hyper-partisan grandstanding and obstruction that Americans detest from Washington. “If Republicans attempt to force yet another nominee onto the Supreme Court against the will of the American people, then they risk delegitimizing themselves and their party even more. Doing so would further tear our country apart and take our democracy down aperilous road. Democrats must do everything in their power to prevent this from happening and ensure the voices of the American people are heard."New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo"NY's heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration. Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America."NY's heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration.Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 19, 2020Attorney General William Barr"On behalf of the Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg led one of the great lives in the history of American law. She was a brilliant and successful litigator, an admired court of appeals judge, and a profoundly influential Supreme Court Justice. For all her achievements in those roles, she will perhaps be remembered most for inspiring women in the legal profession and beyond. She and I did not agree on every issue, but her legal ability, personal integrity, and determination were beyond doubt. She leaves a towering legacy, and all who seek justice mourn her loss."Eric Trump"Justice Ginsburg was a remarkable woman with an astonishing work ethic. She was a warrior with true conviction and she has my absolute respect! #RIP"Justice Ginsburg was a remarkable woman with an astonishing work ethic. She was a warrior with true conviction and she has my absolute respect! #RIP— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) September 19, 2020White House chief of staff Mark Meadows"Joining the whole nation tonight in mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a trailblazer, a dedicated public servant, and an inspiration to so many. My prayers are with her family and friends."Joining the whole nation tonight in mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a trailblazer, a dedicated public servant, and an inspiration to so many. My prayers are with her family and friends.— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) September 19, 2020Maria Shriver"The news of #RuthBaderGinsburg passing has left me in tears. What a hero she was to me and millions of others. A living legend! I was blessed to know her and her amazing husband. And as a woman, I am the beneficiary of her work.Ruth’s work has changed the lives of millions of people. This is a moment to celebrate her amazing life, but also to mourn her passing. She leaves a huge gap in our world and in my heart."The news of #RuthBaderGinsburg passing has left me in tears. What a hero she was to me and millions of others. A living legend! I was blessed to know her and her amazing husband. And as a woman, I am the beneficiary of her work. pic.twitter.com/N8JZbAsfu0— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) September 19, 2020Billie Jean King"'So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow.'My Shero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has died.To pay tribute, those who believe in equality & freedom must fight for the ideals she championed.For her.For us.For generations to follow."“So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow.”My Shero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has died.To pay tribute, those who believe in equality & freedom must fight for the ideals she championed. For her. For us. For generations to follow. pic.twitter.com/oHJOGSVZIy— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 19, 2020Tim Cook"Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life in pursuit of an equal world. She fought for the unheard, and through her decisions, she changed the course of American history. We can never repay what she has given us, but we all can honor her legacy by working toward true equality, together."Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life in pursuit of an equal world. She fought for the unheard, and through her decisions, she changed the course of American history. We can never repay what she has given us, but we all can honor her legacy by working toward true equality, together. pic.twitter.com/lh6bioRuED— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 19, 2020Brie Larson"'Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.'Thank you, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ll keep pushing our way into all the places we’ve yet to be invited."“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” Thank you, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ll keep pushing our way into all the places we’ve yet to be invited.— Brie Larson (@brielarson) September 19, 2020Dan Rather"A shock. A sadness. A great loss. The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a hole in a nation already reeling. She is an American hero, in every sense. We can honor her by joining to carry forth her legacy of equality, empathy, and justice. May she Rest in Peace."A shock. A sadness. A great loss. The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a hole in a nation already reeling. She is an American hero, in every sense. We can honor her by joining to carry forth her legacy of equality, empathy, and justice. May she Rest in Peace.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 18, 2020Megan Rapinoe"This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #RIPRBG"This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #RIPRBG— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) September 19, 2020Janet Mock"Rest in power to a feminist icon and American hero! Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg for your service, for working well BEYOND retirement until the very end because our country needed you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."Rest in power to a feminist icon and American hero! Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg for your service, for working well BEYOND retirement until the very end because our country needed you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. https://t.co/cQgTwuafVJ— Janet Mock (@janetmock) September 18, 2020Mindy Kaling"Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say 'who knows, one day you could be HER.' I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world."Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say "who knows, one day you could be HER". I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world.— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) September 19, 2020Bill Gates"Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who devoted her entire career to fighting for equal justice for women, because she knew it would improve life for everyone. America is a better place because of her service. I am inspired by her life and legacy."Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who devoted her entire career to fighting for equal justice for women, because she knew it would improve life for everyone. America is a better place because of her service. I am inspired by her life and legacy. https://t.co/hFksGoIXXZ— Bill Gates (@BillGates) September 19, 2020Stacey Abrams"May the Lord see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to her well-earned rest. May we continue fight for Justice here with her passion, brilliance and extraordinary mischief. Until good is done. #RBG"May the Lord see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to her well-earned rest. May we continue fight for Justice here with her passion, brilliance and extraordinary mischief. Until good is done. #RBG— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 19, 2020Rep. Katie Porter"I'm thinking today about Justice Ginsburg's remark that there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when there are nine. History will remember #RBG as a trailblazer and a voice for liberty and equality."I'm thinking today about Justice Ginsburg's remark that there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when there are nine. History will remember #RBG as a trailblazer and a voice for liberty and equality.— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) September 18, 2020(ABC News)

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TikTok confirms proposed deal with Oracle, Walmart as U.S. delays app store ban by one week

TikTok on Saturday confirmed that it has reached a proposed deal with U.S. companies Oracle and Walmart. "We are pleased that the proposal by Tiktok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. administration and settle the question around TikTok's future in the U.S.," the company said in a statement. Oracle will become TikTok's technology provider and it's also working with Walmart on a commercial partnership, the statement said.Shortly after TikTok confirmed the deal, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an order to delay TikTok's U.S. app store ban by a week until September 27.The order said the decision was taken "in light of recent positive developments," and at U.S. President Donald Trump's direction the ban will be postponed until 11:59 p.m September 27. Trump on Saturday told reporters at the White House he backs the deal with TikTok owner ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart."I have given the deal my blessing," Trump said. "I approve the deal in concept."(CGTN)

2020-09-20

Trump urges Republicans to confirm new Supreme Court nominee "without delay"

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday urged Republicans to confirm "without delay" a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died the previous evening at the age of 87."We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!" the president tweeted.U.S. media cited presidential aides and advisers as saying that Trump was considering a woman for his latest Supreme Court nominee, who would also be the third appointee during his presidency. Assessment of possible options began on Saturday, according to reports.Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Supreme Court said in a news release, adding that a private interment will be held at the Arlington National Cemetery, without revealing the specific date for the ceremony.The second female Supreme Court justice in U.S. history and a champion for equal protection under law for women, Ginsburg was nominated to the bench by then President Bill Clinton in 1993 and over the years became the most senior liberal justice on the nation's highest court.The death of Ginsburg set up a fierce partisan fight on Capitol Hill over whether to confirm a nominee less than 50 days away from the presidential election.Democratic lawmakers led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as well as former President Barack Obama, all maintained that Ginsburg's replacement be nominated by the next president to be chosen by voters in the Nov. 3 election."The voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said Friday night.Such a position echoed Ginsburg's dying wish. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," she said in a statement dictated to her granddaughter, Clara Spera.On the Republican side, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blocked a Senate hearing of an Obama appointee shortly ahead of the 2016 election to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February that year, said Friday that the Senate will vote on Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy Ginsburg left.Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is on Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees announced on Sept. 9, said Friday the president should tap a new justice "next week."The number of justices on the bench reduced to eight following the passing of Ginsburg, among whom only three are liberals. Trump is expected to swing the bench further to the right with a new appointee.While Republicans in the Senate changed the rules so that the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice now needs 51 votes rather than a supermajority, the slight 53-47 majority they hold in the Senate means they can only afford a maximum of three defections, a scenario where Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote will be needed to seat the new candidate. Enditem(Xinhua)

2020-09-20

Insightsmore >>

What does the WTO ruling mean for the United States?

A panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against the United States in a tariff dispute with China. According to the finding, the U.S. was rendered to have violated rules and its own public commitment in launching a Section 301 investigation unilaterally and threatening punitive tariffs against China, which harbingered the trade war.The ruling has both political and legal implications for the United States, and they somewhat offset each other.The full-fledged trade war between the two sides of the Pacific, which once subjected nearly all China's U.S.-bound goods to punitive tariffs, dwindled into a tentative truce in the form of the phase one agreement on January 15, 2020.Since its inception, the phase one agreement has served as the only link between the two countries, as the two sides' general relations have been worsening alongside the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.On the other hand, it has also been treated as a convenient target of political attacks as a wild call for decoupling of the two economies gains momentum in Washington.For those who wish to see an earlier decoupling, the phase one agreement, which seems to be a means for maintaining a minimum degree of connection between the two sides, is the last obstacle they have to overcome.As a result, there have been recurring threats on the U.S. side to rescind the agreement, and with the U.S. election around the corner, those voices have been getting even louder.The findings, which undoubtedly undermined the legitimacy of the U.S.-led trade war, delivered a blow to the attempts of the advocators of decoupling to roll back U.S.-China relations.Also, the ruling's timing means they have to weigh the pros and cons of a further move. After all, a revocation of the agreement would mean that they would have no economic card to play in its relation with China.Form a legal perspective, however, the ruling will not mean that much. According to the WTO's Disputes Settlement Understanding, a panel ruling is not final. Any disputant dissatisfied with a panel ruling may, within 60 days, lodge an appeal to the Appellate Body.A screenshot of the Addendum of the World Trade Organization ruling on the WTO's website.From a legal point of view, ironically, the Appellate Body, which has been at an impasse due to the U.S. blocking the judges' appointments, is still alive as a built-in body in the WTO.In this context, the U.S. may lodge such an appeal to the Appellate Body. However, since the current Appellate Body will never be able to form a collegiate bench of three judges to hear the dispute, the appeal itself will have the effect of making the dispute an everlastingly pending case unless the Appellate Body receives more judges appointed.While China expressed its appreciation of the WTO ruling and commended it, calling it "objective and fair," the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), as a seasoned trade lawyer, was probably not so moved.He may remain indifferent. But it is not difficult to find that the USTR routinely issued statements of dissatisfaction in the immediate aftermath of the panel findings. It can be expected that he will make an appellate case within the 60 days. In a word, it will not pose a serious legal challenge for the United States.It is not meaningless to point out an option that the U.S. may consider taking. Legally, again, the U.S. may choose to ignore the ruling, as the USTR has been used to dismiss the WTO as failing to deliver the fairness and justice that the U.S. needs.The U.S. has, on numerous occasions, threatened to withdraw from the WTO. The ruling, which is unfair in the eyes of the USTR, has given the advocators of a WTO withdrawal an extra incentive. If the U.S. were finally to leave the WTO, it could surely opt to ignore the panel ruling.(CGTN)

2020-09-18

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy ensures Singapore-China ties remain strong

September 16 marks the birth date of the late Lee Kuan Yew – leader of Singapore who served as the country's first prime minister from 1959 to 1990.His birthday was honored across the island and the world with hundreds of netizens on Twitter paying tributes to his legacy and remembering his achievements, one of which was transforming the island into one of the major economic success stories of the modern era.As tributes poured in five years since the late his passing, China-Singapore ties remain strong and is indicative of a powerful and deep relationship, which has not been hindered despite differences over geopolitical dynamics.Singapore's powerful economic development policies, abundant greenery, housing security and reliance on technology has been a source of inspiration for China over the years as evidenced by China's own economic architect, the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Deng's ability to raise the standard of living for millions of Chinese people and attract foreign investment into the country was inspired partly by Singapore's development model championed by Lee.The Suzhou Industrial Park located in east China's Jiangsu Province, September 19, 2018. /XinhuaApart from economics, it is notable that despite differences over the presence of American troops in the South China Sea and Washington's alliance systems in Asia, Singapore has expressed deep interest in participating in the China's Belt and Road Initiative and extensive collaboration continues unabated in the areas such as defense, culture and education.By transferring knowledge, training Chinese civil servants and imparting expertise on how to manage industrial parks in China such as the famed Suzhou Industrial Park in 1994, Lee's contribution in China's rise and development is significant. It is thus not surprising that Beijing conferred a China reform friendship medal to Lee Kuan Yew in 2018 to acknowledge his role as the principle architect of bilateral ties between the two states.China's rise was predicted by Lee years before any Western analyst, dating back as early as the1990s. He claimed astutely that China would be challenging the United States as the most significant power in Asia and the world.Even today as Asia becomes a theater of provocations from the United States where the Trump doctrine has wider implications for security in the region, Singapore-China ties are not affected by any great power binaries and have remained strong despite cases such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and increased Chinese influence in the region, which the U.S. has constantly peddled as issues of grave concern. Singapore's friendly relations with China are a product of Lee Kuan Yew's dedication towards non-interference and his vision for peace, prosperity and stability.As the world recalls his achievements, Lee's espousal of "Asian values" inspired by Confucianism has made him a revered figure in Asia and in China. The strong momentum in China-Singapore bilateral relationship and the fact that Lee Kuan Yew's legacy is held in high regard demonstrates China's respect for true leadership, which has inspired economic development and prosperity across the world, including its own.(CGTN)

2020-09-18

World Newsmore >>

A new day for Japan to break out from its cocoon

September 16 marked the end of an era in Japan as power changed hands from long-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to 71-year-old politician Yoshihide Suga. The latter was elected prime minister through popular voting in the parliament, following Abe's official resignation a day ago on health concerns.Suga, a farmer's son who once worked in a cardboard factory, is expected to continue with Abe's legacy. The transition to a new administration was predictable, efficient and seamless, with Suga retaining many of Abe's cabinet in his new government. The new prime minister made a bigger political statement by appointing his predecessor's younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, as defense minister.Significantly, both the finance and foreign ministers have retained their portfolios in the new cabinet. In typical Japanese fashion, the entire exercise was a mark of tradition, stability and continuity, as opposed to a radical political shift to uncharted waters. Japan's strong economy and its relations with the U.S. are some of the pillars that have built the country into one of the top "Asian tigers."Rising from the ashes of World War II, the country is today the third largest economy (in the rank of countries, not organizations) after the U.S. and China. Japan is still under a monarchy, now led by Emperor Naruhito after his father Akihito abdicated the throne in 2019.Amid this formidable outlook, Japan is still playing it safe, either fearful or unwilling to throw its hat in the ring of world politics, which currently has the U.S. and China as the two major forces. For historical reasons, the country still seems shy of playing a prominent role in balancing the current global power set up.Understandably, Japan is torn between two forces driving the world today – unilateralism, as espoused by the U.S. led by Donald Trump, and multilateralism, as championed by China.Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (C, front) leads his cabinet ministers as they prepare for a photo session at prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, September 16, 2020. /XinhuaIn the first instance, Japan has apparently never overcome the horror of its bombing by the U.S. and subsequent occupation by the latter, and would be unable to stand up to Trump's shenanigans. In fact, Abe was Trump's most important ally in Asia, which puts Suga at odds if Japan wants to be in countering against the United States.Conversely, Japan could still be feeling guilty for its part in World War II against China. This has been a longstanding blot on Sino-Japanese relations.But Japan must now count its losses and move on. There will be compromises and reparations to be made where need arises, but the change of guard in Tokyo must count for something in helping to resolve mounting global crises, particularly with the U.S. absconding several of its responsibilities.Japan should not find it difficult to step up its global presence as it already enjoys significant clout, as it has served 11 terms as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, more than any other UN member state.On this role, the country's foreign ministry notes that "Japan has been putting even greater effort into achieving the diplomatic goals that cannot be achieved by one country alone by further strengthening cooperation through the UN, including responding to global issues."Japan is also a member of G20, which account for most of the world's wealth, population and land mass. Japan hosted its first ever G20 summit in 2019 in Osaka under the overarching theme of ensuring global sustainable development. It will also host the Olympics in 2021.As the then holder of the G20 presidency, Japan showed willingness to protect the rules-based free trade under the World Trade Organization (WTO). Notwithstanding the outcome of on-going bilateral trade negotiations between the U.S. and China at the time, Japan announced it would "initiate trilateral dialogue together with the U.S. and the EU, with the aim of reforming outdated aspects of the WTO."Japan is literally a member of tens of global organizations, including regional bodies like the African Development Bank, where it can exert its influence. Although it has what it takes to become an influential player, it must overcome both its historical burden and fear of contradicting its top ally in critical global affairs.Indeed, Japan could be the missing piece in the puzzle in entrenching multilateralism.Together with other leading countries in both Asia and Europe, the country can help in setting the agenda of a more sensitive world where the interests of weaker countries and regions are not overridden by those with the might. It is a fresh voice that is begging to be heard.(CGTN)

2020-09-18

Syria says U.S. sanctions behind acute fuel crisis

Syria is experiencing worsening gasoline shortages as a result of tougher U.S. sanctions disrupting crucial fuel imports, its oil minister said on Wednesday, the latest crisis to hit the war-devastated country's crumbling economy.The Caesar Act - the toughest U.S. sanctions which came into force last June prohibiting foreign companies trading with Damascus - had disrupted several imported shipments from undisclosed suppliers, Bassam Touma told state television."The tightening of the American siege and their barring of imports from arriving forced us to reduce distribution of gasoline by 35 percent," Touma said.Residents say there have been acute shortages in the capital and main cities, where long queues have been building at petrol stations in the last week.The fuel shortages come with the country in the throes of an economic crisis, amid a collapsing currency and inflation sky-rocketing, aggravating hardships for ordinary Syrians battered by years of war.The government has limited private vehicles to 30 litres of gasoline every four days, with residents saying hundreds of motorists wait for hours before gas stations are opened.Oil production collapsed after Damascus lost most of its oil producing fields in a stretch east of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor.These oil fields are now in the hands of U.S. backed Syrian Kurds, who continue to sell part of the oil to Damascus.Syria had previously relied on Iranian oil shipments but tightening sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies have dried up supplies in the past year.The shortages were worsened by major maintenance at the Baniyas refinery, the country's largest, which supplied two-thirds of the country's gasoline needs, Touma said.Touma said once unavoidable maintenance work at the 130,000 barrel per day capacity refinery had been completed in the next 10 days, capacity would rise by 25 percent. Shipments from several undisclosed sources would also help ease the crisis later this month, he added.Oil traders say oil imports through Beirut port, a major conduit, have also been disrupted in the wake of a major explosion last August.Washington has long accused Syria of smuggling oil through Lebanon across a porous border area where Damascus's ally Iranian-backed Hezbollah holds sway.A shortfall in foreign currency had also forced Damascus to import less fuel in the last two months, further worsening supplies, two traders said.(REUTERS)

2020-09-17

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)

2020-03-06

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)

2020-03-05

Life Stylemore >>

Human footprints 120,000 years ago found in Saudi Arabia

Around 120,000 years ago in where is now northern Saudi Arabia, a small band of homo sapiens stopped to drink and forage at a shallow lake that was also frequented by camels, buffalo, and elephants bigger than any species seen today.The people may have hunted the large mammals but they did not stay long, using the watering hole as a waypoint on a longer journey.This detailed scene was reconstructed by researchers in a new study published in Science Advances on Thursday, following the discovery of ancient human and animal footprints in the Nefud Desert that shed new light on the routes our ancient ancestors took as they spread out of Africa.Today, the Arabian Peninsula is characterized by vast, arid deserts that would have been inhospitable to early people and the animals they hunted down.But research over the last decade has shown this wasn't always the case – due to natural climate variation it experienced much greener and more humid conditions in a period known as the last interglacial."At certain times in the past, the deserts that dominate the interior of the peninsula transformed into expansive grasslands with permanent freshwater lakes and rivers," explained study co-author Richard Clark-Wilson of Royal Holloway.A view of the edge of the Alathar ancient lake deposit and surrounding landscape. /CFPThe paper's first author Mathew Stewart, of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany, told AFP the footprints were discovered during his PhD field work in 2017 following the erosion of overlying sediments at an ancient lake dubbed "Alathar" (meaning "the trace" in Arabic)."Footprints are a unique form of fossil evidence in that they provide snapshots in time, typically representing a few hours or days, a resolution we tend not to get from other records," he said.The prints were dated using a technique called optical stimulated luminescence – blasting light at quartz grains and measuring the amount of energy emitted from them.A Green ArabiaIn total, seven out of the hundreds of prints discovered were confidently identified as hominin, including four that, given their similar orientation, distances from one another and differences in size, were interpreted as two or three individuals traveling together.The researchers argue these belonged to modern humans, as opposed to Neanderthals, on the basis that our extinct cousins aren't known to have been present in the wider Middle East region at the time, and based on stature and mass estimates inferred from the prints."We know that humans were visiting this lake at the same time these animals were, and, unusually for the area, there's no stone tools," said Stewart, which would have indicated the humans made a longer term settlement there."It appears that these people were visiting the lake for water resources and just to forage at the same time as the animals," and probably to also hunt them.A fossilized elephant footprint. /CFPThe elephants, which had gone extinct in the nearby Levant region some 400,000 years ago, would have been particularly attractive prey, and their presence also suggests other plentiful freshwater resources and greenery.In addition to the footprints, some 233 fossils were recovered, and it's likely that carnivores were attracted to the herbivores at Alathar, similar to what is seen in African savannas today.According to the paper, fossils were first recorded for Homo sapiens outside of Africa between roughly 210 and 180 thousand years in southern Greece and the Levant.Animal fossils eroding out of the surface of the Alathar ancient lake deposit. /CFPThe new paper demonstrates "inland routes, following lakes and rivers, may have been particularly important to humans dispersing out of Africa" too, said Stewart."The presence of large animals such as elephants and hippos, together with open grasslands and large water resources, may have made northern Arabia a particularly attractive place to humans moving between Africa and Eurasia," added the study's senior author Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.(AFP)

2020-09-18

Chinese cinemas now allowed 75% seating capacity

A new version of the cinema reopening guideline issued on Tuesday allows Chinese cinemas to further loosen limits and have their per-show attendance reach 75% capacity.The guideline, issued by the Chinese Film Circulation and Projection Association, said, in principle, that at most 75% of the seats in a theater could be sold for each screening. This is a big leap in comparison to the beginning phase of reopening in late July when only 30% of seats were available for each show.The third version of the guideline also omitted the requirement of selling non-adjacent tickets in every other row.The other requirements remained almost the same, including specific instructions like twice-a-day disinfection spraying of lobbies, screening rooms, restrooms, corridors and aisles, as well as wiping vending machines and public seats with disinfectant five times a day, and so on. Armrests, 3D glasses and other such frequently touched items should also be disinfected after each use, according to the guideline.Advertisements and promotional materials about pandemic prevention and control should also be implemented on LED screen displays, pre-screening displays and billboards and flyers.The guideline also stipulated that the public can only buy movie tickets from online platform through real name-registered online reservations, while both staff and audience members should wear masks at all times when inside a venue. Those who do not wear masks or who display a body temperature above 37.3 degrees Celsius should not be admitted.No snacks and beverages are permitted inside the theaters, but the instructions omitted to be sold, which means the cinemas can sell popcorn, snacks and drinks for takeaway after screenings. This means a lot to the cinemas, as snacks and beverages are a large part of their profit.The latest version of the guideline has also loosened the limit on films with a running time of more than two hours. Now, a film, no matter how long it is, can be screened in its entirety without a forced interlude.This raise in cinema capacity indicates the effectiveness of China's pandemic prevention and control work and robust cultural demands from the general public.China's box office revenue has hit 5 billion yuan ($733 million) by Monday since theaters reopened on July 20 following months of closure due to COVID-19. The epic war drama The Eight Hundred, formally released on Aug. 21, contributed more than half of the total, grossing over 2.6 billion yuan as of Monday.The new guideline will benefit all of those films to debut during the coming National Day holiday, starting around Oct. 1, including potential mega blockbusters like China's women's volleyball epic Leap, the action film Vanguard starring Jackie Chan, the animated feature Legend of Deification and the comedy anthology film My People My Homeland with an all-star cast and all-star directors headed by Zhang Yimou.Experts have predicted that the only eight-day holiday film season this year will be the peak, explosive period for box office performances, as the once-heated Spring Festival season and May Day holiday season were lost due to the shutdown of cinemas to avoid the virus spreading.(CGTN)

2020-09-18

Sportsmore >>

Chinese long jumper sets world season's best of 8.36m

Chinese long jumper Wang Jianan leaped to 8.36 meters in the men's event, the world's best performance this season, on the first day of China's national athletics championships in Shaoxing, east China's Zhejiang Province on Tuesday. The 24-year-old landed at 8.36m in his second attempt. Huang Changzhou ranked second with a personal best of 8.33m in his first attempt. Both results rank top two in the world's season rankings, surpassing Yuki Hashioka's 8.29m at the Japanese University Championships in Niigata last week. Long jumper Wang Jianan during the 2020 Chinese national athletics championships in Shaoxing, Jiangsu Province, east China, September 15, 2020. /VCG"It never occurred to me that I would leap out to 8.36m. Huang did a great job today, it motivated me too," the Asian champion said. Earlier this month, Huang won the event with a leap of 8.28m at the 2020 Chinese Athletics Street Tour Nanjing meeting, while Wang finished third, 20 centimeters short of Huang. Meanwhile, Liu Shiying refreshed her personal best in women's javelin thrown with 67.29m, beating world silver medalist Lyu Huihui in the last attempt. "I used to fail in the final shot, this time I was the one who turned the tide, I hope I can make more breakthroughs in the future," Liu said. Xie Zhenye (M) during men's 100m at the 2020 Chinese National Athletics Championships in Shaoxing, Jiangsu Province, September 15, 2020. /VCGAnother big hit of the day was Asian 200m record holder Xie Zhenye, a Shaoxing native, who claimed men's 100m title in 10.31 seconds.  It was a tense race as Zhang Ruixuan and Chen Guanfeng finished 10.34 seconds and 10.36 seconds respectively, with Xie's lane laid just between them. "The result didn't meet my expectation. I was just not in right tempo. I need more excitement," Xie commented. The Chinese national athletics championships will run till September 18, with nearly 700 athletes from across the country present.  As the first major athletics event held in China since the COVID-19 outbreak, it is designed for athletes to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which has been postponed to next summer.  (CGTN)

2020-09-17

LeBron James makes All-NBA team for record 16th time

LeBron James now stands alone in All-NBA recognition history, getting there unanimously.James was revealed Wednesday as an All-NBA player for a record 16th time, breaking the mark he shared with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. He was a first-team pick on all 100 ballots, joining Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only unanimous first-team selections this season.Joining them on the first team: Houston guard James Harden, Lakers forward Anthony Davis and Dallas guard Luka Doncic, who got the nod in just his second season in the NBA – becoming the first player to do that since Duncan in 1998-99.Luka Doncic (L) #77 of the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Clippers' head coach Doc Rivers talk after the NBA Playoffs game in Orlando, Florida, U.S., August 30, 2020. /VCGThe 21-year-old Doncic is the sixth player to make All-NBA at that age or younger, joining Kevin Durant, James, Duncan, Rick Barry and Max Zaslofsky.James is a first-team pick for the 13th time in his career, extending his record there. Bryant and Karl Malone were 11-time first-teamers. Antetokounmpo, the reigning MVP and the frontrunner to win the award again this season, was picked unanimously for the second consecutive year.Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Denver center Nikola Jokic, Portland guard Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City guard Chris Paul and Toronto forward Pascal Siakam were on the second team.Kawhi Leonard (L) #2 of the LA Clippers shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the NBA Playoffs game in Orlando, Florida, U.S., September 13, 2020. /VCGThe third-team picks were Boston forward Jayson Tatum, Miami forward Jimmy Butler, Utah center Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons and Houston guard Russell Westbrook.Paul and Westbrook are now nine-time All-NBA players, Harden a six-time choice, Lillard is a five-timer and Antetokounmpo, Leonard and Davis are four-time selections. Butler and Gobert are three-time selections, Jokic a two-time choice and Siakam, Tatum and Simmons all joined Doncic as being on the team for the first time.Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the NBA Playoffs game in Orlando, U.S., September 6, 2020. /VCGHarden and Doncic appeared on all 100 ballots – though only James and Antetokounmpo were unanimous as first-team choices on every ballot. Davis and Jokic were on 99 ballots, and Leonard appeared on 98.The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played through March 11, and voters had to choose two guards, two forwards and one center for each team. Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton did not make All-NBA even though he appeared on more ballots (60) than Simmons (43) and Westbrook (38); they made the team as guards. Philadelphia's Joel Embiid got 39 votes and did not make the team either, after finishing fourth among centers.Middleton led forwards who didn't make the team in votes, Embiid did the same for centers and Washington's Bradley Beal (26 votes) did the same for guards.(CGTN)

2020-09-17

Science&Militarymore >>

Meet the five startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt 2020

TechCrunch hosted an unusual Startup Battlefield this week — the founders, judges, audience and moderator (me) were all in different locations, doing our best to interact over WebEx.But the 20 startups still demonstrated their products and explained their visions, then were grilled by expert judges. And those judges helped the TechCrunch team select our five finalists.Those finalists will be presenting tomorrow at 10:40 a.m. Pacific for a whole new set of judges and you can watch the live stream by logging into TechCrunch. (Also: It’s not too late to sign up for the full Disrupt experience.) Those judges will choose a runner-up and a winner, and the winner will take home $100,000 equity-free.Here are the finalists:CanixCanix has built a robust enterprise resource planning platform designed to reduce the time it takes cannabis growers to input data. It integrates nicely with common bookkeeping software, as well as Metrc, an industry-wide regulatory platform. You can read more about Canix here.Firehawk AerospaceHybrid rockets aren’t new, but they have always faced significant limitations in terms of their performance metrics and maximum thrust power. Firehawk Aerospace is building a stable, cost-effective hybrid rocket fuel engine that employs industrial-scale 3D printing to overcome the hurdles and limitations of previous designs. You can read more about Firehawk Aerospace here.HacWareTiffany Ricks founded HacWare in Dallas, Texas, in 2017 to help bring better email security awareness to small businesses. The technology sits on a company’s email server and uses machine learning to categorize and analyze each message for risk. You can read more about HacWare here.JefaJefa is building a challenger bank specifically designed for women in Latin America. It focuses on solving the problems that women face when opening a bank account and managing it. You can read more about Jefa here.MatidorMatidor is building a project platform for consultants and engineers to keep track of projects and geospatial data in a single dashboard. It offers an all-in-one data visualization suite for customers in the energy and environmental services fields. You can read more about Matidor here.Announcing the Startup Battlefield companies at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020(TC)

2020-09-18

Benchmark’s Peter Fenton: ’10 to 20 years of innovation just got pulled forward’

Earlier today at TechCrunch Disrupt, venture capitalist Peter Fenton  joined us to talk about a variety of issues. Among them, we discussed how he’s putting his stamp on Benchmark  now that, 15 years after joining the storied firm, he’s its most senior member.Fenton said that he’s mostly focused on ensuring that the firm doesn’t change. It wants to remain small, with no more than six general partners at a time. It wants to keep investing funds that are half a billion dollars or less because its small team can only work closely with so many founders. He also made a point of noting that Benchmark’s partners still divide their investment profits equally, unlike at other, more hierarchical venture firms, where senior investors reap the biggest financial benefits.We also talked about diversity because (hint hint) Benchmark — which is currently run by Fenton, Sarah Tavel, Eric Vishria and Chetan Puttagunta — is hiring one to two more general partners.We talked about why Benchmark, a Series A investor in both Uber  and WeWork, seemingly took so long to address cultural issues within both companies.And we talked about the opportunities that has Benchmark, and Fenton specifically, most excited right now. Read on for more, or check out our full conversation below.On whether Benchmark, which historically had all white male partners and now counts Fenton as its only white male partner, might hire a Black partner on his watch, given the dearth of Black investors in the industry (along with the changing demographics of the U.S.):“That’s a personal issue for me, which is going to be measured in the outcomes, just like we have companies that take on initiatives that matter and then measure them and hold themselves accountable. I won’t feel good about our failure if we don’t continue to tilt towards diversity. It’s not enough that I’m the only white male partner. The industry is so systematically skewed in the wrong direction, and we’ve gotten so good at rationalizing how it ended up here, that I don’t think we can tolerate it anymore.”Benchmark is looking to reinvent itself through “three interfaces,” he continued. “It’s who are we talking with and spending time with in terms of [who we might invest in] — that has to change; who are the people making investment decisions, [meaning] the partnership; and then what’s the composition of the companies we’ve invested in, meaning the executives and the boards.“Before I’m done with the venture business, I want to be able to point to empirical outcomes . . .”As for why Benchmark waited for the public to rally against its portfolio companies Uber and WeWork  before taking action to address cultural issues (in Uber’s case, in reaction to former engineer Susan Fowler’s famous blog post and, in the case if WeWork, in reaction to its S-1 filing):“I can’t give you a crisp answer because ultimately, what happens in the public eye isn’t the whole story of what was going on between Benchmark and those CEOs.” It’s “far more complicated, far more nuanced, far more engaged.”Said Fenton: “What you start with in any partnership is this idea that we’re all flawed and providing what feels like unconditional support to a founder to nurture them and help them to understand in ways they might be able to from their direct reports where they are going to get in trouble, where they’re going to fall short, and then buttress them.“I can say, having watched both [Benchmark investors] Bruce [Dunlevie] and Bill [Gurley] in those roles that they give their heart and soul to enable the full potential of those entrepreneurs, and in each case, it wasn’t enough.“I don’t know what to say other than, I don’t envision another individual in that [board] role being able to do a better job because what they gave was everything, and those companies built enormous organizations, great success, delight and joy for customers, and they had, in each of their cases, pathologies in their culture. A number of companies that I’m involved with have pathologies in their culture. Every organization can build them. What motivated both Bill and Bruce was the constituencies that go beyond the CEO, the employees, the customers, and in the case of Uber, the drivers . . .“You could say Susan Fowler was the reason it all happened; I can assure you that the work that was being done far preceded [the publication of her blog post]. Could we have done more, more quickly? You always look back and say, ‘Yeah.’ I think you learn as an organization. We’re not perfect.”As for the trends that Fenton is watching most closely right now, he suggested a world of opportunities have opened up in the last six months, and he thinks they’ll only gain momentum from here:“What I’m most excited about is, we’re not going back to normal. What’s so amazing is this shock to the system is really a big opportunity for entrepreneurs to come and say, ‘What do we need to build to recreate and unlock all these things we lost when we stopped going into workplaces?’“So I think this opportunity to build the tools for a world that’s ‘post place’ has just opened up and is as exciting as anything I’ve seen in my venture career. You walk around right now and you see these ghosts towns, with gyms, classes you might take [and so forth] and now maybe you go online and do Peloton, or that class you maybe do online. So I think a whole field of opportunities will move into this post-place delivery mechanism that are really exciting. [It] could be 10 to 20 years of innovation that just got pulled forward into today.”(TC)

2020-09-18

Businessmore >>

Snowflake's value doubles in stock market's largest software debut

Cloud data warehouse startup Snowflake saw its shares double on Wednesday, raising more than three billion U.S. dollars in a blockbuster debut on the New York Stock Exchange.Snowflake shares priced at 120 U.S. dollars at the opening bell finished the official trading day just shy of 254 U.S. dollars.The San Mateo, California-based company has grown quickly since it was founded eight years ago in Silicon Valley, and was valued at some 12.4 billion U.S. dollars in a private funding round early this year despite not being profitable.Snowflake's spectacular market debut reflects the hearty appetite for new stocks, as low interest rates drive investors into equities.Among U.S.-listed companies with a market capitalization of at least 10 billion U.S. dollars, only three companies are now more expensive than Snowflake's 2020 revenue multiple. It lags only Nikola Corp, Liberty Broadband and Immunomedics Inc, according to Refinitiv.Snowflake sold 28 million shares in its IPO to raise 3.36 billion U.S. dollars in the biggest software IPO of all time.For a such a large IPO, an opening pop of this magnitude is rare. The stunning debut makes CEO Slootman and CFO Mike Scarpelli billionaires, even though neither of them founded the company.Snowflake's full-year revenue for the period ended January 31 jumped 173.9 percent to 264.7 million U.S. dollars, though its net loss nearly doubled to 348.54 million U.S. dollars.Snowflake provides online data storage, analytics and management, essentially providing infrastructure as a service to businesses seeking to operate online. It relies on data centers hosted by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, according to the filing.While the pandemic is taking a toll on the economy, it is also accelerating a trend toward businesses connecting with customers online and relying on the cloud or remote work.(CGTN)

2020-09-17

New Zealand economy in deepest recession as Q2 GDP drops

New Zealand fell into its deepest economic slump on record in the second quarter of 2020 as its battle against the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed business activitiesy, official data showed on Thursday.Gross domestic product contracted a seasonally adjusted 12.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, its sharpest quarterly contraction on record and largely in line with forecasts of a 12.8 percent decline from economists polled by Reuters. GDP fell 12.4 percent year-on-year.The Reserve Bank of New Zealand had forecast a quarterly and annual GDP decline of 14 percent in its August statement.Growth has been hit by a standstill in economic activitiesy as a strict nationwide coronavirus lockdown in April and parts of May forced almost everyone to stay at home and businesses to shut.The GDP data confirms New Zealand's worst recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction, since 2010, with GDP in the March quarter falling 1.6 percent.In comparison, second quarter economic growth in neighboring Australia which enforced a less stringent COVID-19 lockdown fell 7.0 percent, while the United States recorded a 9.1 percent drop.But economists say New Zealand will bounce back faster, while other nations are still struggling to contain the coronavirus."We expect the June quarter's record-breaking GDP decline to be followed by a record-breaking rise in the September quarter," said Westpac Senior Economist Michael Gordon.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government, which faces an election on October 17, has said success in suppressing the virus locally is likely to help recovery prospects.Treasury forecasts released on Wednesday showed that while New Zealand's response to COVID-19 helped lessen the short-term economic shock, massive debt and continuing disruptions will delay a full recovery.Economists say the GDP data will have little impact on the central bank's policy, which is expected to hold interest rates at a record low of 0.25 percent at its meeting on September 23.(REUTERS)

2020-09-17

chinamore >>

How can China's anti-poverty experience inspire UN SDGs?

Five years have passed since the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Faced with a devastating pandemic and a rising trend of unilateralism, the international body now needs to find a way to meet these goals in the remaining period of less than 10 years.A forum titled "UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals China's Experience on Poverty Reduction" kicked off on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN as well as the fifth year of the adoption of the SDGs. At least 140 representatives from 39 countries and regions participated in the opening ceremony.While sharing their views on China's anti-poverty efforts, the participants explored ways to facilitate the global pursuit of the 17 goals.China's experience in poverty reductionOver the past 40 years, China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. The number of impoverished people in China fell from 98.99 million in 2012 to 5.51 million in 2019, a reduction of poverty headcount ratio from 10.2 to 0.6 percent.China is expected to complete its poverty alleviation targets by the end of this year, and if the mission is accomplished, the country would meet the UN's poverty alleviation goal a decade ahead of schedule.The forum "UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals & China's Experience on Poverty Reduction" is being held in Beijing, China, September 16, 2020. /CGTNMany Chinese companies, organizations and individuals have been making contributions to reaching the country's poverty alleviation goals. China Media Group (CMG), as a Chinese broadcaster, has also been playing its part.CMG promoted more than 130 agricultural and sideline products, contributing over 100,000 minutes of screen time and investing resources with a market value of 6.8 billion yuan (995 million U.S. dollars). It also provided free advertising services for some programs.More than 3.5 million households and 13 million people living below the poverty line have benefited from the scheme.Voices from around the globeA number of world leaders, scholars and experts spoke at the first day of the event.Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon spoke highly of China's achievements in national development and poverty alleviation. He stressed that the world needs cooperation and more efforts amid increasing uncertainties.Yves Leterme, former prime minister of Belgium, emphasized the UN's role in meeting the SDGs by 2030. He said "global challenges need global answers" and it was imperative to strengthen the UN through international cooperation.Representatives from around the globe attend the forum via internet. /CGTNJeffrey Sachs, professor at Columbia University, talked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy. Sachs pointed out that it is not time for a trade war and fighting against the pandemic should be the priority.At the sub-forums, participants shared their views on the impacts of COVID-19 on the development of the global economy as well as the SDGs.(CGTN)

2020-09-18

China urges India to abide by mutual agreements in border dispute

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday urged the Indian side to abide by agreements reached by the two sides regarding the recent border dispute after the Indian Defense Minister warned lawmakers of the border tension.Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on Tuesday that the current border tension with China was serious, and he blamed China for the violation of border agreements.He said India wanted to pursue dialogue for a peaceful solution to the tension. But he stated that India had doubled the budget for vital roads and bridges along the border with China, and more roads and bridges were built.Wang said the Indian side should be held responsible for the tension in the past months as its soldiers violated the agreements reached by the two sides and attacked Chinese soldiers.We hope the Indian side could meet China halfway, avoid further escalation, and resolve disputes through diplomatic and military channels.(CGTN)

2020-09-17

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)

2018-06-12

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)

2018-06-06