Closer ties with Asia sought
London is committed to forming ever closer links with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including greater economic, security and defense cooperation, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly said in a speech in Singapore yesterday. Cleverly, whose trip to the region also included visits to Japan and South Korea, told the audience of business, finance and academic leaders that Britain is set to have “the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.” The government is seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which removes 95 percent of tariffs between its 11 members. “We intend to be the first European country to accede to the CPTPP — which will give the region access to the UK’s world-class financial services sector and the world’s sixth-largest economy,” he said. Taiwan and China are also seeking to become members of the trade bloc.
Court to get female majority
Most judges on the highest court are to be women for the first time in the institution’s 121-year history, the attorney-general said yesterday. Justice Jayne Jagot is to fill a High Court vacancy on its seven-judge bench when Justice Patrick Keane retires on Oct. 17, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said. Jagot has been a Federal Court judge since 2008. Dreyfus said Jagot’s gender did not figure in his decision to choose her after consultations with leading judges and lawyers. “This was an appointment of the best possible person to the High Court,” Dreyfus told reporters. “Justice Jagot is an eminent jurist and brings tremendous experience and was nominated by very, very many people.” Jargot would be the 56th judge and only the seventh woman to serve on the High Court since it was created in 1901.
Queen revokes titles
Queen Margrethe, Europe’s only reigning queen and the continent’s longest serving monarch, on Wednesday stripped four of her eight grandchildren of their titles, the royal palace announced. The official reason was to allow the four children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to live more normal lives, and follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe to slim down their monarchies, the palace said. “As of January 1, 2023, the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim will only be able to use their titles of Count and Countess of Monpezat, their previous titles of Prince and Princess of Denmark ceasing to exist,” the royal palace wrote in a statement.
Rapper Coolio dies aged 59
Coolio, a rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song Gangsta’s Paradise, has died, his manager said on Wednesday. He was 59 years old. The Grammy-winner passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided. Coolio’s friend and long-standing manager Jarez Posey confirmed the news to Agence France-Presse without providing additional details. Posey told celebrity news Web site TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend’s house on Wednesday afternoon. Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August 1, 1963, in Pennsylvania, the artist spent most of his life in Compton, California, attending community college and working jobs including airport security before finding success in rap. He began his music career in the late 1980s, digging roots in the Los Angeles scene by 1994 when he signed to Tommy Boy Records.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) removed former minister of foreign affairs Qin Gang (秦剛) from his post after an investigation concluded that he had conducted an affair and fathered a child while serving as ambassador to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. Top officials were told in August that a CCP inquiry into Qin uncovered “lifestyle issues,” the newspaper reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation that it did not describe. That phrase usually means sexual misbehavior of some type in the parlance of Chinese officialdom. Two of the people said the affair led to the birth of a child in
GUNNED DOWN: The Canadian PM said there were credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey on June 18 India yesterday dismissed allegations that its government was linked to the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada as “absurd,” expelling a senior Canadian diplomat and accusing Canada of interfering in India’s internal affairs. It came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described what he called credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate of Sikh independence from India who was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, and Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a
LOST BATTLE: The Varroa mite, which Canberra has called the ‘most serious pest’ to face bees, would cause serious economic damage, an ecologist said Australia yesterday abandoned its fight to eradicate the destructive Varroa mite, an invasive parasite responsible for the collapse of honeybee populations across the planet. Desperate to keep Varroa out of the country, authorities have destroyed more than 14,000 infected beehives since the tiny red-brown pest was first detected north of Sydney in June last year. The government said its US$64 million eradication plan could not stop the mite from spreading, and the country’s beekeepers should now prepare to live with the incursion. “The recent spike in new detections have made it clear that the Varroa mite infestation is more widespread and has
SECURITY: Wang met with the US national security adviser in Malta over the weekend, with the US side noting the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) yesterday headed to Russia for security talks after two days of meetings with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan over the weekend in Malta. China’s top foreign policy official will be in Russia until Thursday for a round of China-Russia strategic security consultations, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief statement. The US and China are at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China has refrained from taking sides in the war, saying that while a country’s territory must be respected, the West needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about NATO’s