S President George W. Bush has decided to replace John Snow as treasury secretary and has been looking closely at a number of possible replacements, including the White House chief of staff, Andrew Card Jr., Republicans with ties to the White House say. \nRecently, administration officials have been hinting that Snow would go sooner rather than later. And an adviser to the White House, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that a firm decision had been made to replace Snow as soon as Bush can settle on a successor. \nTreasury secretary is a high-profile job, and one likely to be especially prominent in the next few years if Bush makes good on his vow to press for big changes to Social Security and a rethinking of the tax code. \nCard, who was transportation secretary under the president's father, has been at Bush's side for four years. It was Card who whispered into Bush's ear on Sept. 11, 2001, that the nation was under a terrorist attack, and since then he has had a hand in nearly every big political and policy decision made by the White House. \nCard is said by some Republicans to be very interested in the treasury job. Bush had already moved several loyalists from White House staff positions into top Cabinet posts, including Condoleezza Rice, who is going from national security adviser to secretary of state. \nSnow, an economist and formal railroad executive who was named treasury secretary two years ago after Bush ousted Paul O'Neill from the job, has been a workhorse for the White House this year, selling Bush's economic plan nationwide during the presidential campaign and to Congress during legislative battles. \nBut he upset some White House officials with a remark this fall in Ohio, a state that had suffered especially intense economic woes in recent years, that job losses were a myth. Snow later said he had been misinterpreted.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged