China parliament eyes Hong Kong national security law after unrest

first_imgChina’s parliament considers it “necessary to improve and uphold the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy,” Zhang said, referring to the arrangement that has underpinned the city’s liberties and free market economy.Article 23 of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, says the city must enact national security laws to prohibit “treason, secession, sedition [and] subversion” against the Chinese government.But the clause has never been implemented due to deeply held public fears it would curtail Hong Kong’s widely cherished civil rights.The city enjoys freedoms unseen on the Chinese mainland which are protected by an agreement made before former Britain handed the territory back to Beijing in 1997.  China’s parliament said Thursday it will introduce a proposal for a national security law in Hong Kong at its annual session, in a move likely to stoke unrest in the financial hub.Beijing has made clear it wants new security legislation passed after the semi-autonomous city was rocked by seven months of massive and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests last year.The proposal will be introduced on Friday, the first day of the National People’s Congress, and would strengthen “enforcement mechanisms” in the financial hub, the parliament’s spokesman Zhang Yesui said. An attempt to enact Article 23 in 2003 was shelved after half a million people took to the streets in protest.The controversial bill has been put back on the table in recent years in response to the rise of the city’s pro-democracy movement.Zhang did not provide more details about the proposed law. But if it is introduced to the NPC it is likely to be approved, as the body rubber-stamps decisions already made by Communist Party policymakers.Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing political party DAB was quick to voice its support for the proposal, describing it as a “responsible move”. But pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong were furious.”This is the end of Hong Kong, this is the end of One Country, Two Systems, make no mistake about it,” said Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok told reporters.Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker Tanya Chan said Beijing had “shown zero respect for Hong Kong people” by attempting to enact the law without consultation.”Many Hong Kongers must be as angry as us now, but we must remember not to give up,” she added.Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s final British governor before the 1997 handover, said the proposal signaled a “comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy”.”This will be hugely damaging to Hong Kong’s international reputation and to the prosperity of a great city,” Patten said. Hong Kong has its own lawmaking body, but at least two Hong Kong deputies to the NPC have openly said they would propose the idea of introducing the national security law without going through city’s legislature.Article 18 of Hong Kong’s basic law allows the NPC to add legislation to an annex of the mini-constitution after consultations with a Basic Law committee and the Beijing-backed Hong Kong government.The legislation can then be applied to Hong Kong without being scrutinised by the city’s lawmakers.The NPC’s move comes after Beijing appointed a hardline senior official, known for a crackdown on Christians in mainland China, as its main policymaker for Hong Kong.Xia Baolong, previously secretary-general at the national committee of China’s top political advisory body, was promoted to director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council in February.Topics :last_img read more

Weibo parent Sina and search engine Sogou latest to delist from US

first_imgHong Kong or ShanghaiChina has previously lost the listings of internet giants such as Alibaba and Baidu to Wall Street, but it is looking to change the situation — especially as tensions rise with the US and its own capital markets mature.Tighter US rules could push companies towards Hong Kong or Shanghai, with e-commerce giants Alibaba and having launched huge offerings in Hong Kong in the past year.Alibaba’s financial arm is planning a mega dual IPO in the two cities as well.China has eased listing rules over the past couple of years to encourage more domestic share issues by big Chinese tech firms, as Beijing challenges the US for global tech dominance.The push is part of the Communist Party’s strategy to develop domestic champions into global leaders in artificial intelligence, big data, and other advanced sectors.China’s largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SIMC), which previously delisted in the US as well, announced earlier this year it would seek a Shanghai stock listing.Topics : A growing number of Chinese companies have delisted from the US or opted for secondary, domestic listings as the world’s two superpowers butt heads over a number of issues including technology, Hong Kong and the, which is Sogou’s parent company, said in a statement on Tuesday that the purchase price will be at $9 per share.This represents a premium of approximately 56.5 percent to the closing trading price of Sogou on July 24, shortly before the company announced it had received a proposal on going private from Tencent.If the share purchase is completed, Sohu’s subsidiary (Search) will receive an aggregate consideration of around $1.18 billion in cash, and Sohu will no longer have any beneficial ownership interest in Sogou. The parent company of China’s vast Weibo platform and one of the country’s biggest search engines have announced plans to delist from US stock markets in deals totaling over $6 billion as relations between Washington and Beijing grow increasingly tense.Chinese search engine Sogou confirmed Tuesday it would be taken private by tech giant Tencent, in a deal that values the New York-listed firm at around $3.5 billion.The announcement comes a day after Chinese internet giant Sina Corp — which owns the country’s massive Twitter-like Weibo — said it would go private as well.center_img Meanwhile, Sina Corp plans to cease trading on the tech-rich Nasdaq exchange — where it has traded since 2000 — after a deal valuing the firm at $2.59 billion.last_img read more

Contract Awarded for Corps Island Dredged Material Unloading Project

first_imgThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, awarded a $7.475 million contract September 24, 2018, to Dubuque Barge & Fleeting Services, Co. to carry-out a Corps Island Dredged Material Unloading project.The project involves unloading approximately 500,000 cubic yards of dredged material from Corps Island, located in Pool 3 of the Mississippi River, near Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin.The contractor is removing the material by mechanical and/or hydraulic means.HistoryCorps Island was endorsed for use as a dredged material placement site by the River Resources Forum in December 1995, as recommended in the 1995 Lower Pool 3 Reconnaissance Report prepared by USACE. The report recommends that channel maintenance material be placed on Corps Island until site capacity is reached – approximately 500,000 cubic yards – then transferred (unloaded) to an upland placement site.Since 1995 Corps Island has been used to manage more than 1 million cubic yards of dredged material. To date, there have been 24 placement events and 2 major site unloads in 1998 and 2011.ProjectIn November 2017 the St. Paul District began to prepare contract plans and specifications for the third major site unload of Corps Island. It was anticipated that approximately 500,000 cubic yards of material would need to be unloaded. The contract was written to give the awarded contractors flexibility with how material could be removed from Corps Island, allowing mechanical, hydraulic or a combination of both.USACE is currently establishing permanent placement sites via long-term Dredge Material Management Plans. However this work has not been completed in Pool 3, resulting in an immediate need to unload Corps Island.Work is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2019 and be complete by December 2019.last_img read more

Two years on, Haiti turns a page

first_img Share NewsRegional Two years on, Haiti turns a page by: – January 10, 2012 Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share 7 Views   no discussions Flag of Haiti. Photo credit: cia.govPORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — As it approaches the second anniversary of the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti is determined to show the world that it is “open for business”Assisted by the Inter-American Development Bank, Haiti´s new government authorities in November held an investment conference in Port-au-Prince that drew more than 1,000 participants, including hundreds of business people from 29 different countries. A number of deals were announced at the event, including several plans to build hotels in the capital.That same week, Haiti broke ground for a new industrial park in the north, part of a broader effort to promote economic activity in that region. The park’s anchor tenant, Korean apparel manufacturer Sae-A, plans to hire as many as 20,000 workers. Other firms, including a furniture maker, a paint manufacturer, an electric cable producer and a call center operator, are in talks to establish operations there.The challenge for Haiti is to build on this momentum and turn the aid-underpinned rebound into sustainable growth and more formal sector jobs. Its new authorities have pledged to push reforms to improve their country’s business climate, while development partners such as the IDB are committed to helping finance indispensible investments to rebuild and modernize its infrastructure and public sector agencies.The IDB is a leading source of assistance for Haiti. In the two years since the earthquake it has approved $442 million in new grants and disbursed nearly $355 million to support projects in education, transport, energy, agriculture, water and sanitation and private sector development. These are the six priority sectors identified in a five-year strategy agreed with the Haitian government, under which the IDB plans to provide around $1 billion in grants.In education the IDB has already approved $100 million in grants for Haiti’s ambitious effort to expand access to and improve the quality of education. A major portion of those funds will help finance the construction of 50 new public schools. Another portion is going to a tuition waiver program that allows some 220,000 children to attend non-public schools for free. The IDB is also working to raise additional contributions from other donors interested in supporting education reform in Haiti.In transport, the IDB is providing assistance to upgrade Haiti’s principal roads, including the RN1, RN2, RN5, RN7 and RN8 highways. These investments help improve communication between the country’s main cities and with the neighboring Dominican Republic. A grant approved in December 2011 also has resources for paving urban streets, a labor-intensive project that will generate thousands of temporary jobs in several towns and cities.In energy, the IDB is working with other donors such as the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development to help Haiti carry out a comprehensive reform of its electricity sector. In 2011 the IDB approved grants to secure the financing needed to revamp the Péligre hydroelectric plant, the country’s main source of renewable energy. By refurbishing its three turbines and electromechanical equipment, the plant will recover its 54 megawatt installed capacity.Agriculture is a top priority for Haiti, as nearly half of its population lives in rural areas. The IDB is supporting the national rural development plan, providing resources for a wide variety of activities, from irrigation to watershed management. The most recently approved operation will finance a technology transfer program that will provide subsidies to farmers to improve their productivity.In water and sanitation the IDB works closely with Spain’s government to help Haiti improve services in Port-au-Prince, five mid-size cities and dozens of rural communities. One of the biggest challenges in this sector is to turn around the capital’s ailing water utility. To that end, the DINEPA water and sanitation agency has hired a team of foreign experts, who have started to address the problems.In terms of private sector development, during 2011 the IDB approved a $55 million grant for the construction of the industrial park in the north as well as an $11 million grant for a program to provide business development services to small and medium-size companies. This program will complement the activities of a fund established with a €50 million contribution from Spain to co-finance loans to Haitian SMEs with local banks and microfinance institutions.The IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund, which has traditionally focused on microenterprises, continued to test innovative solutions. One of its most recent projects seeks to restore Haiti as a producer of high quality coffee, working with farming cooperatives and organizations. The project is supported by the French development agency AFD, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and food giant Nestlé.For the IDB, the challenge will be to help its Haitian counterparts step up the pace of project execution at the same time as they strengthen their institutional capacity. To that end the IDB has a team of 55 people working on the ground, supported by many more specialists at headquarters.“We have a vision of the future of Haiti, and now we must begin transforming that vision into reality,” said Agustín Aguerre, manager of the IDB’s Haiti Country Department. “I think that’s the challenge of 2012.We moved from the gloom of 2010, to the dreams of 2011, and now 2012 must be the year of people working and children in schools.” Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Pa ‘stabs’ son

first_imgThis prompted the suspect to stab the victim using a four-inch nail. According to police investigators, the victim and his father Richard Sr., 42, figured in a heated argument in their house around 8 p.m. The incident on June 27 landed 21-year-old Richard Villaester Jr. at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in this city. He sustained a stab wound on the right abdomen, a police report showed. The suspect was detained in the lockup facility of the La Carlota City police station./PN BACOLOD City – A father allegedly stabbed his son in Barangay Batuan, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.last_img read more

Airport Recognition

first_imgDo you wonder how pro teams get through airports without being mobbed for autographs?  The Indianapolis Colts go to a remote airport gate, go through security, and are whisked onto a plane.After a game, they use a private TSA agent to prepare them for the flight back to Indianapolis.  They board a bus under the stadium, are fed, and they arrive at the airport where they already have been checked by security so they can go directly to their plane.  When they reach Indianapolis, they again go to a private gate for de-boarding.  They leave the airport without ever going through the main lobby area.These procedures are followed by teams with high-profile players such as Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.last_img read more

COVID-19: Barca players will take additional pay cut — Messi

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians FC Barcelona players will make an extra contribution on top of the 70 per cent pay cut they have agreed to take during the enforced La Liga break. Team captain Lionel Messi, while announcing this on Monday, said this would enable the club’s other employees to earn their full salaries during the coronavirus crisis. The club’s all-time top goal scorer was among many FC Barcelona players who released identical statements on social media on Monday to confirm the decision. “As well as the 70 per cent reduction in our salaries during the national state of emergency, we will make a contribution so that the club’s employees can earn 100 per cent of their salaries during this time,” Messi said on his Instagram account. Reacting to criticism that the players had not made any announcements about what they were doing to help others during the pandemic, Messi added: “We haven’t spoken until now because our priority was to find real solutions in order to help the club and those who will be most affected by this situation. “We also could not forget to send all our best wishes to all FC Barcelona fans who are suffering in these tough times and everyone who is waiting patiently in their home waiting for the end of this crisis.” The number of coronavirus cases in Spain increased to 85,195 on Monday from 78,797 on Sunday, the country’s health ministry said, as the infections surpassed those reported in China. So far 7,340 people have died from the virus in Spain. The country is into the third week of a lockdown while all organised football has been postponed indefinitely. In a separate statement, Barca announced that all players in its sports teams had agreed to reduce their salaries during the state of emergency. It further confirmed that the first team players were taking an additional pay cut for the benefit of other employees. “The club wishes to show its gratitude to its professional athletes during such an exceptional situation,” it added. Reuters/NAN.Tags: CoronavirusCOVID-19FC BarcelonaLa LigaLionel Messilast_img read more

Lescott targets new deal

first_img The England international is in the final year of his present deal and his future has been the subject of speculation. The 30-year-old fell down the pecking order under former manager Roberto Mancini last season and there have been suggestions he could move on to further his international ambitions, particularly in a World Cup year. Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is keen to stay at the Etihad Stadium and secure a new contract. But Lescott himself has given no hint that he wants to leave and, after starting City’s first two matches of the season, wants to prove himself to new boss Manuel Pellegrini. Lescott told City: “I have expressed a number of times that nothing more would please me than to sign an extension. “If that negotiating ever happens I will be there with my pen ready to sign.” Lescott formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Vincent Kompany in City’s title-winning 2011-12 season. Last year the arrival of new signing Matija Nastasic saw him supplanted as first choice while Kolo Toure – who has since left for Liverpool – was also being preferred to him by the end of the campaign. Injuries to Kompany and Nastasic at the start of this term have seen Lescott given a chance by Pellegrini but there are suggestions the club want to sign a new centre-back. Atletico Madrid’s Martin Demichelis has been strongly linked with a move to City ahead of next week’s transfer deadline. Lescott said: “It is no different than any other time. Most of my City career has been determined by pressure being put on – by myself, and by speculation of the club buying a centre-half. “This year is no different. There may be more pressure with it being my last year but I am using that as a challenge, and an exciting challenge. “I want to stay and be a part of the future but I understand there is a business side to it and if it is not to be I will walk away from the club with my head held high and no regrets.” City are looking to respond against promoted Hull on Saturday after slipping up at Cardiff last weekend. The club also now know their opponents for their third venture into the Champions League – one which they hope will be significantly more successful than their first two. City have exited at the group stage in each of the past two seasons but this year might be more hopeful after drawing Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen. Director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We have improved the team, we have a new manager with a lot of experience in the Champions League and we hope we will be stronger in the Champions League.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Allardyce warning for players

first_img “I just want to see on Saturday if the players have the mentality to show the same consistency as they have and whether they have got the right desire and determination to win back-to-back football matches for the first time this season,” he said. “That is their first test against a Burnley side that are undoubtedly well-organised and make things very difficult, even if they have not won a game yet. “Somewhere along the line they are going to win a game very shortly and we have got to make sure it is not against us.” Matt Jarvis and James Collins have also been sidelined with niggling problems but, even in the absence of such talent, the Hammers have impressed in the early stages of the season and sit seventh in the Barclays Premier League table. Allardyce is ready to welcome the selection headache he will be presented with when he is able to select from a fully-fit squad, as those who have thrived in previous weeks will have to maintain that level to stay in the side. “I don’t know whether it’s a given or not,” Allardyce said, when asked if his injured players would come straight back in. “The sooner you get all your players fit the bigger decisions you have to make as a manager. That puts you in a better position, even though those decisions are big ones, because you are going to start disappointing players on a more regular basis. “The challenge for me is to make sure I pick the right team and formation in the game and how you are going to play against the opposition. “When you have a full squad to choose from then you have to make big decisions and you have to disappoint people if they are all fit. That’s what they have to accept. “If we all want to do better – even though you are disappointed if you aren’t selected – then you have to accept it and wait for your time to go in and make sure you play at your best so it’s very difficult for me to leave you out.” Despite wins over QPR, Liverpool and Crystal Palace, West Ham are yet to record successive Premier League wins this season and it is consistency that Allardyce is hoping will come in time – starting at Turf Moor against newly-promoted Burnley. Mark Noble is set to be available for selection for the weekend trip to Burnley as the influential midfielder recovers from a calf problem. Skipper Kevin Nolan is still working his way back to full fitness following a dislocated shoulder and club-record signing Andy Carroll is closing in on a return after undergoing ankle surgery in pre-season. Sam Allardyce has warned his West Ham side that their recent impressive form does not protect them from being dropped when key players return from injury. Press Associationlast_img read more

Football Floridians headed home

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoFor the vast majority of the Badgers’ roster, a December trip to Orlando serves as a warm, southern vacation miles away from home. For others, it’s not only a chance to escape the blistering Wisconsin winter but also an opportunity to return to their native state and play in front of their families and friends.Eight players on the UW football team call Florida home. Not surprisingly, the eight players are anxious to return to the Sunshine State — the state in which Wisconsin has played a bowl game for the past four seasons — to face Florida State Dec. 27 in the Champs Sports Bowl.“Any time you get the chance to go back home to the warm weather, you can’t really argue about that,” said sophomore cornerback Aaron Henry, who medically redshirted this season and will be unable to play in the bowl game for the second straight year. “It’s a true, true blessing.”The Seminoles, led by Bobby Bowden — the second-winningest coach in Football Bowl Subdivision history — of course will be playing much closer to their Tallahassee campus.“It’s my fourth year in a row going back to Florida, so that’s always a good thing,” said middle linebacker Jaevery McFadden. “They’ve got some players on Florida State that I know; running back Anton Smith, Preston Parker, the wide receiver. There will be a little trash talking on the field, a little bragging rights, but it’s going to be all good; we’ve got love for each other and everything.”McFadden grew up in Riviera Beach, Fla., rooting for the University of Miami, the Seminoles’ archrivals.“When I was growing up, it was all about Florida State and Miami, that’s all you heard about back then,” he said. “I was a big Hurricane fan, so when recruiting time came out, I was waiting for Miami to give me that nod, which they did, but I felt that Wisconsin was the right school for me.”Though the opposite was true for Henry in Immokalee, Fla., both he and McFadden ended up in cardinal and white.“I was a crazy Florida State fan growing up, so we’re going to go down there and handle business,” Henry said. “You want to go back and show them that there are other schools, there’s other talent elsewhere. As bad as I wanted to go to Florida State, Wisconsin was looking at me as well, so you want to go back and show them what you’ve got.”In terms of recruiting, the opportunity to play in Florida allows local high school players to see what Wisconsin football is all about, something that lured some of the current Badger Floridians to seriously consider UW.Sophomore running back Zach Brown was in Orlando for Wisconsin’s 17-14 Capital One Bowl victory over Arkansas two seasons ago.“It was a great experience, just to see everything,” said the Royal Palm, Fla., native. “It played a great role [in my decision to come to Wisconsin]. As a player, you know there’s a chance to come back and play in front of your home state. We’ve done that a lot in the last few years, so that’s a major thing to look forward to.”Aside from playing in the midwinter Florida heat, the mere fact of playing in a bowl game gives the team several weeks’ worth of practices, weeks used not only for bowl game preparation but for development of the teams’ young players as well.“It helps tremendously because through the year, the [younger players] have been playing scout team, so this gives them a chance to learn what we’re doing,” Brown said.“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I remember working with the coaches, getting that extra development,” McFadden added. “That definitely helped me get to that next level, helped me for the next year.”In the midst of a season in which a bowl appearance was by no means a certainty, all Bret Bielema’s Badgers are thankful to still be practicing this December. But for eight players, the trip to Orlando — and not Phoenix or Detroit — is extra special.“It’s always good to go back because my family can actually come,” McFadden said. “I’ve got a lot of family that can come watch me.”As for his non-football plans?“I’ve been to Disney World like 50 times, being from Florida,” he added. “This year I might not be going to Disney World and Universal [Studios] that much. I might just stay in the hotel.”last_img read more