Xi urges better partnership
President Xi Jinping (習近平) called for stepped-up cooperation with India during an informal summit on Friday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid tensions along their contested border. Xi greeted Modi at the provincial museum in the city of Wuhan at the start of two days of talks between the heads of the world’s two most-populous nations. “Conducting great cooperation by our two great countries can generate worldwide influence,” Xi was quoted as saying by state broadcaster China Central Television. Xi said he hoped the meeting would “usher in a new chapter of China-India relations.” The two leaders were yesterday to continue talks with a walk along a lake, a boat ride and lunch together.
Landmark film banned
The government has banned the nation’s first feature film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, accusing it of having “clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.” Director Wanuri Kahiu said she is “incredibly sorry” to confirm the ban of Rafiki, or “Friend” in Swahili, by the Kenya Film Classification Board. Her film depicts a love story between two women. In the country, gay sex faces up to 14 years in prison. “We believe adult Kenyans are mature and discerning enough to watch local content, but their right has been denied,” she said on Twitter on Friday. The director has said in interviews she had been nervous about the film’s reception in the country, but found support from government authorities and the local film industry.
Train collision kills seven
A train has struck a vehicle at a railway crossing, killing seven men in the same place where 10 children died in a similar accident in 2010. Authorities are investigating the cause of the collision on Friday at the Buttskop crossing in Cape Town, site of a memorial to the victims of the 2010 crash. Local media have said the victims in Friday’s accident were workers. Photographs from the scene show their crumpled vehicle. The driver of the vehicle in the 2010 case was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
Ban aims to protect bees
The bloc on Friday made a key decision to completely ban pesticides that harm bees and their crop pollination. The 28 member states got a large majority, representing about three-quarters of its population, backing the ban on the three prevalent neonicotinoid pesticides which is to take effect at the end of the year. Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta called the decision “disappointing” and said that “evidence clearly shows that neonicotinoids pose a minimum threat to bee health compared to a lack of food, diseases and cold weather.”
Toddler Alfie Evans dies
Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old toddler whose grave illness drew international attention, died early yesterday, his father said in a Facebook post. Tom Evans said he was “heartbroken” by his son’s death. Alfie had a rare, degenerative disease and had been in a semi-vegetative state for more than a year. After a series of court cases Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool removed his life support on Monday, against his parents’ wishes. He confounded expectations by continuing to breathe unaided. The case has provoked strong feelings over whether judges, doctors or parents have the right to decide on a child’s life. Alfie’s parents have been backed by Pope Francis.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”