China United Network Communications Ltd (中國聯合網絡通信), the Shanghai-listed arm of China Unicom Ltd (中國聯通), was to receive an infusion under a deal announced on Wednesday, part of the Chinese government’s push to overhaul inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by luring in private capital. The investors were to include Internet titans like Tencent, Alibaba, JD.com Inc (京東), taxi-hailing service Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) and several other firms. However, confusion subsequently emerged over which companies would be involved, with China United Network Communications withdrawing a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange about the agreement just hours after submitting it on Wednesday. Meanwhile, plans to lift suspensions on China Unicom-related shares were reversed. Unicom’s net debt has risen by 20 percent in the past five years to 150 billion yuan (US$22 billion), according to Bloomberg, as it spent on mobile network upgrades and plans an expensive 5G rollout.
August 17, 2017 15:56 UTC
Hong Kong (dpa) - A Hong Kong appeals court on Thursday sentenced three student leaders and democracy activists to prison terms for their part in anti-China protests in 2014. But they will not win the hearts and minds of Hong Kongers,"said Wong on Twitter after the verdict. The review is one of the latest cases brought by the Hong Kong government, which is seeking harsher penalties for the protesters, reflecting a toughening stance against dissent in the China-governed territory. Chow was found guilty of inciting people to join the protests and was handed a three-week suspended jail term. Getting jail sentences of more than three months means the activists will not be eligible to run for office in Hong Kong for five years.
August 17, 2017 15:45 UTC
Washington (dpa) - Will Monday's solar eclipse lead to the worst traffic chaos in US history? It's hard to say, but one thing's for sure: the phenomenon will be the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the United States in 99 years. Preparations for what is being called the "Great American Eclipse" are in full swing, including an online marketing blitz for eclipse glasses, commemorative stamps and T-shirts saying "Eclipse it!" Observers outside that path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. In fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse.
August 17, 2017 13:18 UTC
New Delhi (dpa) - A 10-year old girl in India who had been raped, but whose abortion plea was turned down by the country's Supreme Court, on Thursday delivered a baby. The girl was repeatedly raped by her uncle over several months. Lawyers had approached the Supreme Court on behalf of her parents but the judges refused their plea to allow an exception. A doctors' panel had advised the court that a termination at this stage would be "too risky" for the girl, the BBC reports. "She's very innocent and has no idea what's happened to her," a source who regularly interacts with the girl told the BBC.
August 17, 2017 11:03 UTC
Scientists, on the other hand, can predict with a fair degree of accuracy what will occur during a solar eclipse. Question: How does a total solar eclipse occur? Q: Where is the total solar eclipse visible on August 21? Q: How long is the total eclipse visible? A: In the individual US regions, the total solar eclipse will last a maximum of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
August 17, 2017 10:52 UTC
Three student leaders who were last year convicted for their roles in the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy "Umbrella" protests could be sentenced to jail on Thursday as an appeals court reviews their sentences. The review is one of the latest cases brought by the Hong Kong government, which is seeking harsher penalties for the protesters, reflecting a toughening stance against dissent in the China-governed territory. The Hong Kong Department of Justice said in a statement Thursdaythe trio had broken the law with "disorderly and intimidating behavior" and was convicted fairly. If the activists are handed jail sentences of more than three months, they will not be eligible to run for political office in Hong Kong for five years. Protesters, who shut down much of the center of the city for around 79 days, were demanding that Hong Kong be allowed to nominate and elect its own chief executive at the proposed 2017 elections
August 17, 2017 09:22 UTC
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said that the main Universiade venues had double-loop power supplies, and that all the venues had diesel generators that could power the site in the event of a blackout. "Even if the power were out completely, there would be nothing to fear because we have diesel generators. "Of course, our hope is that Taiwan Power Company doesn't see a power outage." The diesel generators were eventually powered up Tuesday, alarming one resident who saw a billowing cloud of smoke coming from an athletics field. Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee spokesman Yang Ching-tang (楊景棠) later told local media that smoke was a normal byproduct of diesel-powered electricity generators and that there was no cause for concern.
August 17, 2017 08:26 UTC
Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, and her boyfriend Kei Komuro will publicly announce their engagement on September 3, the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday. Mako, the older daughter of Prince Akishino, and Komuro, both 25 years old, met five years ago when they were students at International Christian University in Tokyo. Female members of the imperial family lose their status as members of the household if they marry non-royals, and Mako's marriage will reduce the imperial family to just 18 members. Mako's younger brother, Prince Hisahito, 10, is the only male member of their generation. Crown Prince Naruhito's only child is a daughter, 15-year-old Princess Aiko.
August 17, 2017 08:03 UTC
The public discourse over Taiwan's power policy seems to point to only two bad options: have nuclear power and face calamity down the road, or abandon it and suffer more power instability in the future. To solve the true long-term power crisis, Taiwan needs to make a choice and act fast. Despite the high-profile disasters, nuclear power plants have a good safety record. Taiwan is too small and most of the nuclear power plants are located in densely populated areas. Nuclear power plants might be able to withstand an earthquake or a typhoon, but can they withstand a combination of both?
August 17, 2017 07:30 UTC
Nearly 800 Vietnamese children drowned in the first six months of 2017, authorities reported Thursday. Data showed that 795 children drowned in the first six months of the year, Dang Hoa Nam, director of the Child Care and Protection Department, told dpa. Nam attributed the drowning deaths to a combination of lack of parental supervision and a systematic lack of swimming education in Vietnam. Vietnam's child drowning rate is among the worst in Asia. Schools in Vietnam do not teach students how to swim, partly due to a lack of swimming pools.
August 17, 2017 07:18 UTC
Uganda's athletes have successfully persuaded their country's government to allow their participation in the 2017 Universiade, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Earlier this month, Uganda's Foreign Ministry had directed Uganda's sports authority to skip the Summer Universiade hosted by Taiwan. Peninnah Kabenge, president of the Association of Uganda University Sports, said a day later that the order was "a misunderstanding" and "overaction." More than 100 countries will participate in the Taipei Universiade, which starts tomorrow and runs to Aug. 30. Thirty-six athletes from Uganda are expected to compete, including Dorcas Ajok, who won gold in the 1500 meters at the 2015 Universiade.
August 17, 2017 06:33 UTC
Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night to win the Spanish Super Cup 5-1 on aggregate. Barcelona were humbled in the first half by a Real Madrid side missing both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. But the pair were not missed and Real Madrid could have scored a third in the first period when Lucas Vazquez hit a post. Both Leo Messi and Luis Suarez hit the frame of the goal in the second half but Barcelona were well beaten. Real Madrid coach Zidane did his best to keep a lid on the euphoria.
August 17, 2017 06:22 UTC
Army officers of India and China met on Wednesday in Leh's Chusul sector, a day after border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops. The Chinese troops had managed to enter up to Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. Two thirds of the Pangong Lake are controlled by China while one third of it is controlled by India. America's remarks came a day after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of the famous Pangong lake in Ladakh.
August 17, 2017 05:26 UTC
SEOUL - South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed a trilateral discussion with the US during a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month in a bid to ease Beijing's resistance to the deployment of a US missile shield here, Seoul officials said Wednesday. The two leaders held their first face-to-face talks ahead of the Group of 20 summit on July 6 in Berlin. But Xi did not immediately respond and Beijing has since remained quiet on the offer, officials here said. Cheong Wa Dae declined to confirm the discussion, saying it is "inappropriate" to release specifics of summits. Though the Xi government has expressed its resolve to recover bilateral relations since Moon took office in May, its economic retaliation and diplomatic pushback have shown few signs of abating.
August 17, 2017 05:15 UTC
Thailand's first and only female prime minister, Yingluck was toppled in a May 2014 military coup. Several rice farmers told dpa her rice policy was better than those of other administrations. As the verdict nears, Thailand's political situation has become increasingly tense for the first time since the military wrested power from Yingluck three years ago. The verdict will dictate not only Yingluck's fate, which can land her up to 10 years in prison and disqualify her from becoming a prime minister again, but also the future of Thai politics. With thousands expected to gather for Yingluck's verdict next week, some of her supporters have vowed to fight on, or even to protest the verdict in the streets if she is found guilty.
August 17, 2017 04:41 UTC