February 20, 2019

Could Huawei threaten the Five Eyes alliance?

Could Huawei threaten the Five Eyes alliance? Image copyright Reuters In the shiny, optimistic vision of the future we will all be living in "smart cities" in which self-driving cars will check the best routes after being charged up on intelligent, connected power grids. Public services and safety will be carefully managed though data, while devices in our homes will talk to each other and the wider world as part of the "internet-of-things". Many of these services will be delivered over what is called 5G. It will be much more than just faster data on our phones, but potentially transformational for our lives - if you believe the hype. But there is a darker fear as well. What if it is also transformational for our security if we end up reliant on a Chinese company to deliver this future? That question risks causing a major divide in the Five Eyes - the intelligence alliance between the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The US is campaigning hard among allies to exclude the ..
February 20, 2019

Uighur Australian’s plea to ‘save’ his family in China

Uighur Australian's plea to 'save' his family in China Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China has been accused of imprisoning Uighurs on a mass scale An ethnically Uighur Australian has called on his government to help "save" his wife and baby son, saying they are at risk of being detained in China. The man says he was separated from his wife, a Chinese national, in 2017 - when she was banned from leaving China. He has since obtained Australian citizenship for his 18-month-old son, whom he has never met. Australia says it is providing consular help. Rights groups have accused China of persecuting its Muslim minorities. Last year, the UN heard that up to one million Uighur Muslims could be being held in camps in China's Xinjiang region, where they're said to be undergoing "re-education" programmes. Beijing has previously denied the existence of such camps. China's Muslim 'crackdown' explained China legalises Uighur 're-education..
February 20, 2019

Fang Fenghui: China’s ex-top general jailed for life

Fang Fenghui: China's ex-top general jailed for life Image copyright AFP Image caption Fang Fenghui with President Xi Jinping in 2017 A former high-ranking Chinese general has been sentenced to life in jail for corruption, state media reports. Fang Fenghui, ex-chief of joint staff of the People's Liberation Army, was found guilty of bribery and having huge wealth that he had been unable to account for, according to Xinhua. The 67-year-old accompanied President Xi Jinping in his first meeting with US President Donald Trump in 2017. Many officials have been jailed in what Mr Xi says is an anti-corruption drive. The efforts have had a particular focus on the country's military, which is the world's largest and is undergoing a modernisation campaign. China's anti-corruption super agency Charting China's 'great purge' under Xi The country that locks up its lawyers Fang Fenghui lost his post with no explanation in 2017 and disappeared from public view..
February 20, 2019

Billionaire Ambani risks jail over missed Ericsson payments

Billionaire Ambani risks jail over missed Ericsson payments Image copyright Getty Images Indian billionaire businessman Anil Ambani is facing a prison sentence after a deal between his cash-strapped firm Reliance Communications (RCom) and telecoms giant Ericsson collapsed. Ericsson is owed 5.5bn rupees (£59.3m) by RCom under the terms of an agreement to manage and operate its network. RCom failed to comply with India's Supreme Court's order to pay the money by 15 December last year. Now the court says Mr Ambani will be jailed for three months unless he pays. It found him guilty of contempt, giving him another four weeks to pay or else go to prison. Both sides have said they respect the ruling. Ericsson signed the deal in 2014 and began proceedings against RCom last year. The court also found Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani breached the orders. But all three can avoid punishment if the money is paid with interest, it sai..
February 19, 2019

Emoji number plates launched in Queensland

Emoji number plates launched in Queensland Image copyright Facebook/PersonalisedPlatesQueensland If a personalised number plate simply isn't enough to express your complex personality, worry not - soon you will be able to add an emoji to the mix. Ok, you'll have to move to Queensland, Australia - but once that's sorted, you can get your own little smiley starting next month. The emojis will cost you some extra of course, and are only for decoration. Oh, and only a few positive faces are allowed, so you'd better be a chirpy driver or else things won't match up. Your choice will be limited to laughing out loud, a winking face emoji, the cool sunglasses, the heart eyes, and the good old standard smiley face. Why emojis mean different things in different cultures Could an emoji save your life? The symbols won't be part of the sequence to identify your car, though; that will still be down to the letters and numbers on the plate. Image copyright Facebook/..
February 19, 2019

Chinese ‘Ivory Queen’ Yang Fenglan jailed in Tanzania

Chinese 'Ivory Queen' Yang Fenglan jailed in Tanzania Image copyright AFP Image caption Yang Fenglan was a leading figure in business circles at the time of her arrest Tanzania has sentenced Yang Fenglan, a Chinese businesswoman nicknamed the "Ivory Queen", to 15 years in jail for smuggling hundreds of elephant tusks. Yang was accused of operating one of Africa's biggest ivory-smuggling rings, responsible for smuggling $2.5m (£1.9m) worth of tusks from some 400 elephants. Two Tanzanian men were also found guilty of involvement in the ring. Ivory poaching is said to have caused a 20% decline in the population of African elephants in the last decade. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global environmental body, says the population of African elephants has fallen to 415,000 - a drop of 110,000 over the last 10 years - as a result of poaching. The illicit trade is fuelled by demand from China and east Asia, where ivory is used to make jewellery and..
February 19, 2019

HSBC profits hit by China slowdown

HSBC profits hit by China slowdown Image copyright Reuters HSBC has reported a lower-than-expected 15.9% rise in pre-tax profits for 2018, partly because of an economic slowdown in China and Hong Kong. Europe's largest bank made $19.9bn (£15.4bn) before tax last year, compared with $17.2bn in 2017. Reported revenue was $53.8bn, a rise of 5% from the previous year. HSBC makes three-quarters of its profits in Asia, and China's trade war with the US was one reason for problems with its economy near the end of 2018. Group chairman Mark E Tucker said that the bank was "in a strong position". He added: "Despite a challenging external environment in the fourth quarter, all of our global businesses delivered increased profits." New HSBC headquarters opens in Birmingham HSBC sparks controversy with ad campaign HSBC bank confirms US data breach Last June, new group chief executive John Flint set out eight targets for the bank to achieve, including accelerated growth from Asia and its..
February 19, 2019

Pakistan warns India against attack

Pakistan warns India against attack Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Khan has also called on India to provide evidence to support its claims that Pakistan was involved Pakistan PM Imran Khan says his country will retaliate if India takes military action against it in the aftermath of last week's suicide attack on Indian forces in Indian-administered Kashmir. In a televised address, he also called on India to provide evidence to support its claims that Pakistan was involved. More than 40 members of India's security forces died in Thursday's suicide bombing. A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, said it was behind it. In his first comments addressing the Kashmir militant attack, Mr Khan said India should "stop blaming Pakistan without any proof or evidence". "Any adventurism on the part of India to threaten the sovereignty of Pakistan will be met with assured retaliation," he said. Mr Khan said his government was ready to cooperate with Delhi in inv..
February 19, 2019

UK and French tourists missing in Australia beach search

UK and French tourists missing in Australia beach search Image copyright NSW POLICE Image caption Hugo Palmer (left) and Erwan Ferrieux are missing, Australian police say A British man and his French companion are missing in Australia, sparking a large-scale police search. The alarm was raised when passersby found items belonging to Hugo Palmer and Erwan Ferrieux, both 20, on a beach north of Sydney on Monday, authorities said. Police searched the location, Shelly Beach, and discovered the pair's rental car nearby. Other personal items, including travel documents, were found in the vehicle. Police began ground and water searches on Monday, but they have not found any sign of the men. The pair had arrived in the region on Sunday, said the local Port Macquarie News, which reported that Mr Palmer was from East Sussex. Police Insp Michael Aldridge told the newspaper that recent surf conditions had been rough. A British High Commission spokeswoman said: "Our staff are in contact with ..
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