July 4, 2018

Baidu’s self-drive buses enter ‘mass production’

Baidu's self-drive buses enter 'mass production' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Apolong buses are not fitted with a steering wheel One of China's biggest technology companies has declared it has begun mass production of a self-driving bus. Baidu made the announcement after building its 100th Apolong vehicle at its factory in the country's south-eastern Fujian province. It said the vehicles would initially be put to commercial use within Chinese cities but added it was also targeting foreign markets. The company is one of several competing to sell "level-4 autonomy" buses. The classification - set by the transport engineering body SAE International - refers to highly automated driving systems that can cope with most driving conditions, even if a human fails to respond appropriately to a request to intervene. It is one step below the maximum level-5 tier, which extends to all driving scenarios, including dirt roads and unusual weather conditions...
July 4, 2018

HNA group: China conglomerate boss Wang Jian dies in Provence

HNA group: China conglomerate boss Wang Jian dies in Provence Image copyright AFP The co-founder and chairman of giant Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group, has died in a fall in southern France, his company has confirmed. Wang Jian, 57, "accidentally fell" in Provence, while on a business trip to France, a company statement said. He fell from a wall in the village of Bonnieux on Tuesday as he was having his picture taken, police say. Mr Wang helped turn HNA into one of the world's biggest companies, with assets in aviation, tourism and finance. It has major stakes in Deutsche Bank, hotel chain Hilton and skyscrapers in London and employs more than 400,000 people worldwide. HNA is currently in the process of selling down some of its international assets in a bid to reduce its domestic debt built up during a rapid expansion in recent years. Edge of a sharp dropThe company, which turned its website grey in a gesture of mourning, said it had lost an "exceptionally gifted leader and rol..
July 4, 2018

Archbishop to challenge conviction for covering up abuse

Archbishop to challenge conviction for covering up abuse A Catholic archbishop in Australia says he will appeal against his conviction for concealing child sexual abuse. Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was found guilty in May of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in New South Wales. He is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime. During his trial, Wilson denied that he knew of the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest in the 1970s. He announced his appeal on Wednesday. "I am conscious of calls for me to resign and have taken them very seriously," he said in a statement. "However, at this time, I am entitled to exercise my legal rights and to follow the due process of law." On Tuesday, a court sentenced Wilson to a maximum of 12 months in detention. A magistrate ordered Wilson to be assessed for "home detention" - meaning he will probably avoid jail. This is a breaking news story - more to follow.
July 4, 2018

Putting death on the school timetable

Putting death on the school timetable Image copyright Reuters Image caption Day of the Dead: Doctors in Australia want to end the taboo around talking about death Maths, science, history and death? This could be a school timetable in a state in Australia, if a proposal by the Australian Medical Association Queensland is accepted. They want young people to be made more familiar with talking about the end of life. Doctors say that improvements in medicine and an ageing population mean that there are rising numbers of families facing difficult questions about their elderly relatives and how they will face their last days. But too often young people in the West are not prepared for talking about such difficult decisions. There is a taboo around the subject and most deaths happen out of sight in hospitals. Pupils might have reservations about lessons in death education. Dying daysBut the Australian doctors argue that if the law and ethics around palliative care and euthanasia were taught i..
July 4, 2018

British lesbian QT wins right to Hong Kong spouse visa

British lesbian QT wins right to Hong Kong spouse visa Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Hong Kong A British lesbian has won the right to live and work in Hong Kong with her wife, in a landmark ruling from the territory's top court. The court found the woman should be granted a spousal visa which she had initially been denied. The decision ends a long-running legal battle and could enable more same-sex couples to move to the financial hub. Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Hong Kong although discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal. The British woman, who has been identified only as QT, entered into a civil partnership in England in 2011 after more than seven years with her partner. In the same year, the couple moved to Hong Kong after QT's partner was offered a job there. Hong Kong's LGBT rights debate Hong Kong profile In 2014, QT sued the director of immigration after she was denied a spousal vi..
July 4, 2018

Thailand cave: New video shows boys in good health

Thailand cave: New video shows boys in good health Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe boys can be seen introducing themselves next to a diver in a wetsuit A new video has been released of the 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a Thai cave, in which they say they are in good health Smiling and at times laughing, they each introduce themselves one by one. They were found on Monday after nine days trapped by rising water inside the cave, and have since received food and medical treatment. But their rescue might take months, as they must either be taught to dive or wait for the water to recede. The concern is that the rainy season has only just begun, so water levels in the Tham Luang cave will almost certainly continue to rise. How will the boys cope underground? What are the rescue options? The video posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page shows the team draped in foil blankets to keep them warm. Image copyright AFP Image caption The boys all ..
July 3, 2018

Trump administration tells ZTE it can restart some operations

Trump administration tells ZTE it can restart some operations Image copyright Getty Images The US has said it will allow the Chinese tech giant ZTE to temporarily re-start some business activities as it considers lifting a seven-year ban imposed on the firm earlier this year. In April, the US found ZTE had violated trade bans with Iran and North Korea. The firm was then blocked from buying parts from US suppliers - a move that threatened to destroy its business. The order allowing ZTE to resume some business comes amid heightened trade tensions between the US and China. US-China trade row: What has happened so far? Trump wants to block China Mobile in US The US Department of Commerce said the temporary authorisation for ZTE to resume some business activities in the US would run from 2 July until 1 August. US reaches deal with China's ZTE China's ZTE 'poses risk to UK security' Under the new order, state-owned ZTE would now be allowed to support its existing han..
July 3, 2018

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-PM Najib appears in court to face corruption charges

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-PM Najib appears in court to face corruption charges Image copyright AFP/ Getty Images Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak has arrived in court in Kuala Lumpur to face corruption charges. Mr Najib was arrested by anti-corruption authorities on Tuesday and spent the night in detention. He has been accused of pocketing $700m (£517m) from the state development fund 1MDB, which he set up. The ex-leader has been dogged by scandal for years and an investigation began after his shock election loss in May. He denies all wrongdoing. The Malaysian state news agency Bernama said Mr Najib is expected to face more than ten counts of committing criminal breach of trust, linked to a former subsidiary of 1MDB. In a pre-recorded video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, he appealed to the public not to believe the reports, saying that not all of the accusations were true. "I have not had a chance to defend myself," he said. Najib Razak: Malaysia's tainted political aristocrat 1MDB: M..
July 3, 2018

The assault on Pakistan media ahead of vote

The assault on Pakistan media ahead of vote Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The Dawn newspaper says it has been under attack since late 2016 Imagine waking up in New York without the New York Times, newspaper kiosks shut down and hawkers off the streets. That is what many Pakistanis have been feeling for months as Dawn - Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper - has disappeared from their breakfast tables. A massive bout of censorship of TV channels, newspapers and social media is setting the stage for parliamentary elections on 25 July. The media and some political parties are being micromanaged by an establishment alliance of the army and the judiciary, according to journalists and the former ruling party - the Pakistan Muslim League - and its leader Nawaz Sharif, who was prime minister until being ousted last year on corruption charges and barred from politics. The army and judiciary deny this. Fall from graceHowever, it is the battle between Dawn and t..
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