August 8, 2018

Will Trump’s tariffs stop Chinese espionage?

Will Trump's tariffs stop Chinese espionage? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US company AMSC had its wind turbine software stolen by its one-time Chinese partner Sinovel Windpower Dan McGahn says it was a case of attempted murder. The victim was his business American Superconductor (AMSC), and the perpetrator was a Chinese company called Sinovel Windpower. The two firms had been partners, but Sinovel bribed an insider to steal AMSC's key wind turbine technology. As a result Massachusetts-based AMSC saw its sales collapse, its market value plummet by $1bn (£770m), and it had to lay off hundreds of employees. "It was attempted corporate homicide," says Mr McGahn. This act of industrial espionage was uncovered back in 2011, and after a seven-year legal fight, a US judge last month fined Sinovel just $1.5m, the maximum currently possible. While Sinovel is also continuing to pay AMSC an agreed settlement of $57.5m, the US firm is getting back just a fraction of the los..
August 8, 2018

Thai cave rescue: Coach and boys given citizenship

Thai cave rescue: Coach and boys given citizenship Image copyright EPA Image caption Mongkol Boonpiam (pictured), two of his teammates and their coach have all been awarded citizenship Thailand has granted citizenship to the coach and three members of a football team dramatically rescued from a flooded cave last month. During their ordeal, it emerged that the boys and their coach were among around 480,000 stateless people living in the south-east Asian country. It prompted calls to fast-track their citizenship applications. The four were part of a 13-strong team, known as the Wild Boars, who became trapped deep in a cave on 23 June. How the Thai boys were rescued The full story of Thailand’s extraordinary cave rescue Thai boys relive 'moment of miracle' They were found by two British divers nine days later, but it took another six days to rescue the first team members. Coach Ekapol Chantawong, who was widely praised for keeping the boys safe after rain flooded the cave sys..
August 8, 2018

China to hit US with tariffs on US imports worth $16bn

China to hit US with tariffs on US imports worth $16bn Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bags of imported chemicals at a port in Zhangjiagang in China China's commerce ministry has announced that it will start imposing 25% import duties targeting $16bn (£12.4bn) worth of US goods. The Chinese counter-move will take effect immediately after the US imposes tariffs on the same amount of Chinese goods on 23 August. The list of US imports affected by the taxes includes coal, oil, chemicals and some medical equipment. Last month, the US imposed duties of 25% on Chinese imports worth $34bn. The US is also considering further tariffs on another $200bn worth of Chinese goods which could come into effect in September. For its part, China has threatened to ratchet up the tit-for-tat trade war by slapping tariffs on another $60bn of American imports. At the same time, Beijing reported a $28.1bn trade surplus with the US in July, just below the record $28.9bn seen in June. But it ..
August 8, 2018

Lombok quake: Facebook ‘regrets’ earthquake balloons

Lombok quake: Facebook 'regrets' earthquake balloons Image copyright Getty Images Facebook says it "regrets" that members posting about a deadly earthquake in Indonesia saw their messages adorned with confetti and balloons. On Sunday, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok killing more than 130 people. Many Indonesian speakers wrote messages using the word "selamat", which can mean "unhurt" or "congratulations" depending on the context. But doing so triggered an animation of balloons and confetti. Skip Twitter post by @hermansaksono “Congrats” in Indonesian is “selamat”. Selamat also means “to survive.” After the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Lombok, Facebook users wrote “I hope people will survive”. Then Facebook highlighted the word “selamat” and throw some balloons and confetti. — Herman Saksono (@hermansaksono) August 6, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @hermansaksono Facebook said the feature was available globally. In the UK ..
August 8, 2018

M Karunanidhi: India political giant to be buried at iconic site

M Karunanidhi: India political giant to be buried at iconic site Image copyright Nathan G Image caption Muthuvel Karunanidhi contested Tamil Nadu state assembly elections for the first time in 1957 An Indian court has allowed veteran politician Muthuvel Karunanidhi to be buried at an iconic site despite the government's objections. His family wanted him to be laid to rest at Marina Beach in Chennai (formerly Madras), along with other former chief ministers. But the government in the southern state of Tamil Nadu denied the request. Karunanidhi, who served as the state's chief minister five times, died on Tuesday at the age of 94. The politician was being treated for age-related illnesses at the Kauvery Hospital in capital Chennai. He helped found the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in 1949 and continued to lead it until his death. M Karunanidhi: Veteran Indian politician dies at 94 M Karunanidhi: The radical wordsmith who shook up Indian politics Controversy erupted..
August 8, 2018

Ivory Lane WWF hoax: Using ‘fake news’ for good?

Ivory Lane WWF hoax: Using 'fake news' for good? Image copyright Ivory Lane Singapore It was a luxury brand that sounded too controversial to be true - and it was. "Vintage" retailer Ivory Lane attracted public ire when it went online in Singapore this week, touting modern designer jewellery and accessories made from ivory. "Ivory is a secret desire for most girls," said its ad campaign. But the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has now revealed it was all a publicity campaign to promote awareness of the global trade in elephant ivory. "The brand may be fictional but the issues highlighted are real. This was just the start," WWF-Singapore CEO Elaine Tan told the BBC. "We are calling for clear and robust laws that will not allow the trade of ivory or any illegal wildlife products in Singapore." Following the big reveal, many applauded the WWF's novel approach in tackling the issue of elephant ivory. But did the conservation body go too far in selling its cause? Image copy..
August 8, 2018

Airbnb cancels Great Wall sleepover competition

Airbnb cancels Great Wall sleepover competition Image copyright Image caption The Great Wall stretches for thousands of kilometres across northern China Airbnb has called off a competition offering to chance to spend a night on the Great Wall of China. The ad campaign asked people to write a 500-word essay on overcoming cultural boundaries and promised a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity for the winner. But the plan sparked mixed feedback and concerns that it could contribute to the historic structure being damaged. And according to Chinese media, Airbnb had never received approval from local authorities to run the event. Airbnb said it "deeply respected the feedback" and so had "made the decision to not move forward with this event". 'Incredible piece of world history'The competition offered the exclusive chance to sleep in one of the ruined watch towers on the Unesco-listed Great Wall near Beijing, with a proper bed but neither windows nor roof. The visit woul..
August 8, 2018

Tokyo Medical University apologises for changing female exam scores

Tokyo Medical University apologises for changing female exam scores Image copyright Reuters Image caption The university has apologised for "betraying" the trust of the public One of Japan's most prestigious medical universities has apologised for tampering with entrance exam scores to limit its intake of female students. An internal investigation found that Tokyo Medical University (TMU) had been manipulating the scores of female applicants from as early as 2006. It also marked down the scores of male applicants who had taken the entrance test at least four times. TMU has said the alterations should never have happened. The university also admitted to adding extra points to the scores of 18 students who had made donations to the school. "We betrayed the public trust. We want to sincerely apologise for this," TMU managing director Tetsuo Yukioka told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. Keisuke Miyazawa, vice-president of TMU also pledged that next year's entrance ..
August 7, 2018

Malaysia ex-PM Najib charged with money laundering

Malaysia ex-PM Najib charged with money laundering Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Najib has seen a dramatic fall from grace after losing the election Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with three counts of money laundering linked to a multi-million dollar corruption scandal. His is accused of having received 42m ringgit ($10m; £8m) from state fund 1MDB in his personal bank account. Mr Najib was arrested in July and has already been charged with breach of trust and abusing his position. The new investigation into 1MDB began after his shock election loss in May. He has always denied any guilt and had been cleared by Malaysian authorities while in power. Image copyright EPA Image caption Raids on properties linked to Mr Najib uncovered luxury goods worth millions of dollars Mr Najib, members of his family and several allies are accused of embezzling huge sums allegedly used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate around the globe. The a..
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