China has its own "very substantive programme of nuclear submarine building", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday in an interview with radio station 2GB. Australia is "very aware" of China's nuclear submarine capabilities and growing military investment, he said in an interview with Channel Seven television. "We are interested in ensuring that international waters are always international waters and international skies are international skies, and that the rule of law applies equally in all of these places," he said. Australia wanted to ensure that were no "no-go zones" in areas governed by international law, he said. Australia simply wanted to ensure sustained peace and stability in the region, he said in an interview with Sky News Australia.
September 17, 2021 02:48 UTC
Nobel laureate Romer decries lack of 'integrity' under Georgieva at World BankNobel laureate Paul Romer in an interview criticized the lack of integrity of World Bank leadership, including Kristalina Georgieva, now the head of the IMFWASHINGTON - Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer said the current head of the IMF, in her previous senior role at the World Bank, engineered a "whitewash" of his concerns surrounding the bank's flagship report. In an interview with AFP on Thursday, Romer said there was a "lack of integrity" among the World Bank leadership, including then-CEO Kristalina Georgieva. Romer said that during his time at the World Bank he was not aware of Georgieva pushing staff on China. He said Georgieva worked closely with Simeon Djankov who handled the "quote audit" of the report to look into his concerns. The investigation not only found that Georgieva but also Djankov and then-president Jim Kim pressured staff to alter the report to favor China.
September 17, 2021 02:15 UTC
Victorious, Taliban face fierce new test in AfghanistanDeputy PM Baradar led the Taliban's talks in Doha with the USKABUL - Having conquered Afghanistan, the Taliban now face the formidable task of keeping the peace within their own ranks and running a country on the brink of ruin, experts say. With that common enemy vanquished, just weeks into Taliban rule, the group's divisions appear to be coming into sharper relief. Without foreign recognition, the Taliban would be hard-pressed to manage what the UN has called an "economic crisis" in Afghanistan and a looming "humanitarian catastrophe". Outsiders and Taliban groups from western Afghanistan, including those with links to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, were largely excluded from the government. "This is good for Taliban cohesion, and will appeal to Taliban supporters, but risks alienating other Afghans and the international community."
September 17, 2021 01:52 UTC
14,555 new Covid cases, 177 more deathsA food delivery rider and other motorcyclists wait for a train to pass through a crossing in Bangkok on Wednesday. (AFP photo)There were 14,555 new Covid-19 cases and 177 more fatalities recorded during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported on Friday morning. This compared with 13,897 new Covid cases and 188 more deaths on Wednesday, reported by authorities on Thursday. Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 1,448,792 Covid-19 cases, with 1,304,466 complete recoveries so far. The vegetarian festival could encourage people to travel, and that could spread the virus.
September 17, 2021 01:41 UTC
Leading streamer Netflix has never won best drama at the Emmys -- nor best comedy, nor best limited seriesLOS ANGELES: Netflix is tipped to finally win television's biggest prize Sunday as its critically adored British royals drama "The Crown" battles "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian" at an Emmys ceremony held in front of a scaled-back live audience. Despite turning the entire TV landscape upside-down since its groundbreaking online platform launched in 2007, leading streamer Netflix has never won for best drama at the small-screen version of the Oscars -- nor best comedy, nor best limited series. "It's going to be the first big series win for Netflix." Baby Yoda and a digitally de-aged Luke Skywalker helped "The Mandalorian" jointly top the overall nominations count alongside rival drama "The Crown." In limited series competition, quirky sitcom-inspired Marvel superhero show "WandaVision" has exceeded all critical expectations.
September 17, 2021 01:30 UTC
Heat on Koeman as Barca drift creates concern over loss of identityRonald Koeman is under pressure as Barcelona face Granada in La Liga on Monday. The relationship between Koeman and Laporta has become increasingly strained after Koeman objected to Laporta suggesting a coach does not have all the power. Barcelona have made a solid start in La Liga and for now, the hope is an upturn will postpone bigger, and more expensive, decisions until later. Atletico Madrid play at home to Athletic Club on Saturday before Real Madrid travel to in-form Valencia on Sunday night. Fixtures (GMT)FridayCelta Vigo v Cadiz (1900)SaturdayRayo Vallecano v Getafe (1200), Atletico Madrid v Athletic Club (1415), Elche v Levante (1630), Alaves v Osasuna (1900)SundayMallorca v Villarreal (1200), Real Sociedad v Sevilla (1415), Real Betis v Espanyol (1630), Valencia v Real Madrid (1900)MondayBarcelona v Granada (1900)
September 17, 2021 01:18 UTC
Ronaldo's Man Utd seek response, Chelsea look to Lukaku in Spurs clashCristiano Ronaldo has three goals in two games since returning to Manchester United. United must do betterOle Gunnar Solskjaer has demanded an immediate response from United after the optimism engendered by Ronaldo's return was punctured in Bern. Lukaku v KaneChelsea striker Romelu Lukaku will go head to head with Tottenham's Harry Kane in a fascinating shoot-out between two of the Premier League's leading marksmen. Arteta was given more money to spend than any other Premier League manager in the transfer window and is adamant there are better days ahead for his young squad. Fixtures (1400 GMT unless stated)FridayNewcastle v Leeds (1900)SaturdayWolves v Brentford (1230), Aston Villa v Everton, Burnley v Arsenal, Liverpool v Crystal Palace, Manchester City v Southampton, Norwich v WatfordSundayBrighton v Leicester (1300), West Ham v Manchester United (1300), Tottenham v Chelsea (1530)
September 17, 2021 01:18 UTC
The forsaken women of AfghanistanOwing to the pandemic and other calamities, many referred to 2020 as a "biblical year". A growing body of research has shown that promoting gender equality benefits not only women but the entire economy. A score of 100 indicates complete equality (under the law) between men and women; a score of zero indicates that women have none of the rights afforded to men. In 2020, Afghanistan's WBL score was 38.1, compared to a global average score of 76.1 and a South Asian regional average score of 63.7. In recent joint work, I argue that while Sharia imposes some constraints on women, it is not necessarily inconsistent with making progress on legal gender equality.
September 17, 2021 00:11 UTC
AQ hotels see occupancy rates plummetFood service during quarantine at Rattanakosin Hotel, an alternative quarantine hotel. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)Alternative quarantine (AQ) hotels are enduring their lowest occupancy rates, amid signs that infection levels have peaked and speculation that the quarantine period could be reduced. AQ Club Thailand has 144 AQ hotels, generating 16,000 rooms in Bangkok and its vicinity, of which 30% have become hospitels to serve Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms. "If more people are fully vaccinated, guests at AQ hotels will decrease." The Thailand Sandbox Club focuses on supporting operators under the SHA Plus standard, such as procuring affordable antigen test kits for workers, while also asking the government to subsidise some costs.
September 16, 2021 23:48 UTC
Water plan to prevent floodingPrime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has attempted to allay concerns over possible mass flooding along the Chao Phraya River, saying a water management plan was put in place to prevent such a disaster from happening. His assurance came after he inspected the water situation at the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat province on Thursday. Gen Prayut said the water management plan was put in place to help monitor large dams and reservoirs and predict rainfall. The flood mitigation plan for the lower part of the Chao Phraya River basin in particular, called for more efficiency in the draining of water in the Chao Phraya and Tha Chin rivers, he said. Meanwhile, low-lying areas in Ayutthaya were flooded yesterday following discharges of water at the Chao Phraya dam.
September 16, 2021 23:33 UTC
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who had been one of the hosts of "The Activist," admitted that the show which pitted activists against one another "got it wrong". WASHINGTON: Creators of a new reality show pitting activists promoting charitable causes against each other were forced to change course following a massive backlash, with a top star apologising Thursday for her participation. "We got it wrong," Global Citizen said in an online apology. The finale was to take place at the Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Rome in late October. "I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week," Chopra told her 27 million Twitter followers Thursday.
September 16, 2021 23:26 UTC
Other Oris limited editions have honoured the Swiss Air-Rescue Rega and the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. They shared a new vision when moving to Botswana to set up the Okavango Air Rescue in 2011. Founders of Okavango Air Rescue Dr Misha S. Kruck and Christian Gross. Initially operating emergencies and airborne evacuations, Okavango Air Rescue has grown into a provider of general medicine. Lush grassland inspires the green dial of Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition with an engraved caseback.
September 16, 2021 23:26 UTC
Methods sought to ease airlines' liquidity crunchFinance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has instructed the Fiscal Policy Office and the Bank of Thailand to jointly seek ways to relax some of the criteria for state banks to lend to domestic airlines to improve their liquidity. He said both offices should speed up their decisions to help the airlines improve their liquidity during the prolonged Covid-19 outbreak. Mr Arkhom said some government rules might make it difficult for state banks to provide financial assistance to airlines. A ministry source who requested anonymity said the ministry assigned the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Bank) as the main state bank to provide liquidity to the airline industry. The bank has two lending options for airlines, with the first a provision of one of its own loans.
New programme hones in on cybersecurity skillsThe National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) is gearing up to develop the cybersecurity skills of personnel working in seven sectors of critical information infrastructure (CII) through an intensive capacity-building programme, as cybercrimes have intensified around the globe. According to the 2019 Cybersecurity Act, NCSA is responsible for developing necessary skills and competence in relation to cybersecurity for personnel in the state and private sectors, making sure they are up to international standards. The development of cybersecurity skills among experts and executives is the most important factor in helping to fend off cyber-attacks, he said. NCSA secretary-general Lt Gen Prachya Chalermwat said the first phase of the cybersecurity capacity-building programme will see 2,250 personnel of CII-associated organisations undergo fundamental cybersecurity training. Thailand has only 250 cybersecurity personnel who have obtained the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, an information security certification for security analysts, compared with around 300 personnel in Malaysia and more than 3,000 in Singapore.
Agency urges reworkingThe government is being advised to speed up developing infrastructure for science, technology and digital as well as promote private investment in R&D next year to spur the economy and upgrade Thailand's competitiveness. Wanchat Suwankitti, the NESDC deputy secretary-general, said infrastructure development needs to be accelerated. "Thailand needs to speed up infrastructure development in 2022 if the country wants to help the economy and upgrade its competitiveness ranking, said Mr Wanchat. He said the government is maintaining its development targets under the 20-year national strategic plan (2018-37) despite the drastic impact on social and economic development caused by the spread of Covid-19. The strategy comprises 23 master plans, of which 15 are deemed urgent flagship projects that must be implemented during 2019-23.