June 28, 2018

China caps film stars’ pay over ‘money worship and tax evasion’

China caps film stars' pay over 'money worship and tax evasion' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Forbes ranked Fan Bingbing as the world's fifth highest-paid actress in 2016 China's authorities say they are capping the pay of actors as part of a move to crack down on tax evasion and "money worship" in the industry. Actors in Chinese films and TV programmes will have their pay capped at 40% of total production costs. Meanwhile, lead actors cannot be paid more than 70% of total cast pay, the government says. It comes after a debate on celebrity pay, and allegations of tax evasion in the film industry. Why is this happening now?The official announcement comes from a joint statement (in Chinese) from five government agencies, including the propaganda department, ministry of culture and tourism, and radio, TV and film regulators late on Wednesday. It does not specify why the government is cracking down on celebrity pay now - but says it is needed to deal with..
June 28, 2018

China hits back at US investment rules

China hits back at US investment rules Image copyright Getty Images The Chinese government has criticised a US move to expand the powers of its foreign investment watchdog. The government is worried that the move means the US will use national security concerns unfairly in order to restrict Chinese investments. The new investment rules will target Chinese companies investing in technology industries in the US. It comes as the US and China both prepare to slap tariffs on $34bn worth of each others' goods. What is the US government proposing? US President Donald Trump has said he supports legislation that would expand the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is an inter-agency body which scrutinizes the national security implications of business deals that would result in foreign ownership of US companies. It can make recommendations to the president, who can stop a deal from going though, although in practice a negative CFIUS find..
June 28, 2018

Australia passes foreign interference laws amid China tension

Australia passes foreign interference laws amid China tension Image copyright Reuters Image caption PM Malcolm Turnbull says the laws are not aimed at one country Australia's parliament has passed a package of new laws aimed at preventing foreign interference in the country. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the crackdown last December. Although he denied it was aimed specifically at China, the move has added to diplomatic tensions with Beijing in recent months. The wide-ranging laws, approved in the Senate on Thursday, target foreign interference in politics and other domestic affairs, as well as espionage. Among key provisions, they will require lobbyists for foreign governments to identify themselves on a pubic register. In December, Mr Turnbull said the crackdown followed warnings by intelligence agencies that were "necessarily classified". "Foreign powers are making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process, both here ..
June 28, 2018

Are trade issues spoiling the Trump-Modi bromance?

Are trade issues spoiling the Trump-Modi bromance? Image copyright AFP Image caption President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have forged a good relationship US President Donald Trump has singled out the European Union, China and several South American nations ever since he started his trade war. But his recent actions and rhetoric towards India have left many puzzled, says the BBC's Suranjana Tewari in Mumbai. President Trump seems to be standing firm on his decision to impose tariffs on goods imported into America despite an increasing number of threats and retaliatory taxes on US products. "We're the bank that everyone wants to steal from and plunder," he told reporters at the White House. India and the United States have had a historic strategic partnership, but on the economic front, President Trump seems to have adopted a different attitude. On Monday, he justified hiking tariffs on imports into the US by pointing out that India had up to a 100% tariff..
June 28, 2018

Australia charges former officer in East Timor spy case

Australia charges former officer in East Timor spy case Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The spying row sparked protests in East Timor in 2013 A former intelligence officer who exposed an Australia spying operation in East Timor is facing criminal prosecution, an MP has revealed. East Timor took Australia to a UN court in 2014 over the spying row, related to a border deal from a decade earlier. That treaty set out how the nations would divide lucrative gas reserves in the Timor Sea. East Timor later axed the deal after the spying revelations. A lawyer says newly laid charges in Australia will be contested. Andrew Wilkie, an independent Australian MP, used parliamentary privilege on Thursday to reveal that prosecutors had charged the former spy - known only as "Witness K" - and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery. Witness K had previously raised concerns about an Australian operation that allegedly planted listening devices in East Timor's cabinet rooms in 2004. At the time, th..
June 28, 2018

Five dead as light aircraft crashes in Mumbai

Five dead as light aircraft crashes in Mumbai Image copyright Kunal Kotak Image caption The plane crashes in a residential area A chartered plane has crashed in India's financial capital Mumbai, killing at least five people, officials have confirmed. It crashed into a building that was under construction in Ghatkopar, a residential area in eastern Mumbai. Fire officials told BBC Marathi that the dead included four people on the flight and one person on the ground. Initial reports say the plane crashed while the pilot was attempting to land. It burst into flames immediately after. The plane was sold to a private individual by the government of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a senior police official told the BBC.
June 28, 2018

Thai cave: Rising water stops divers searching for missing boys

Thai cave: Rising water stops divers searching for missing boys Rising water levels have interrupted efforts to find 12 teenagers and their football coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. Pumping was halted and with the entrance flooded, Thai navy divers had to stop their search. The boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year old coach entered the cave on Saturday and there has been no contact with them since. The rescue operation is now focusing on finding another way into the cave. Thai authorities said they planned to drill a narrow shaft into the mountain to create an alternative entry point. Skip Twitter post by @pakhead Miserable conditions at the entrance to #Thamluangcave. Thai navy divers have stopped searching - water levels have risen to fill most caves. Pumping has stopped - too much rain. Authorities say they will rethink strategy for finding missing boys. pic.twitter.com/gWFeFgj7xD — Jonathan Head (@pakhead) June 28, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @pakhead It is ..
June 27, 2018

Apple and Samsung end patent fight after seven long years

Apple and Samsung end patent fight after seven long years Image copyright Getty Images Image caption An Apple iPhone and one of Samsung's Galaxy S phones Apple and Samsung have finally settled a seven-year-long patent dispute, bringing to an end the long-running battle over the design of their rival smartphones. The terms were not disclosed. But it comes weeks after a US jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $539m (£403m) in damages for copying features of the original iPhone. The fight started in 2011, when Apple sued its South Korean competitor, seeking more than $2bn in damages. The suit was the first of many that saw the two companies square off in courts around the world. In 2012, a US jury awarded California-based Apple $1.05bn in damages for the copied features, which included design elements like the screen that displays icons in a grid. Samsung appealed part of that award, taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that damages should be limited since patent ..
June 27, 2018

China won’t give up ‘one inch’ of territory says President Xi to Mattis

China won't give up 'one inch' of territory says President Xi to Mattis Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Mattis (L) met with President Xi during his three day trip to China China is committed to peace but will not give up "even one inch" of territory, President Xi Jinping has said, after talks with visiting US Defence Secretary James Mattis. Tensions between both countries are mounting over trade hostilities and China's increasingly assertive claims to territory in the South China Sea. Mr Mattis is the first Pentagon chief to visit China since 2014. It's part of a trip across Asia, meeting several regional US allies. Mr Mattis said his talks with Mr Xi in Beijing and other officials on Wednesday had been "very, very" good, adding that the US was assigning a "high degree of importance to the military relationship" with China. Mr Xi added that China had peaceful intentions, but reasserted his view that there would be no concessions from China abou..
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