Scientists think the discovery of a rare, medium-sized black hole may help answer one of the more tantalising questions in astronomy: how do their supermassive counterparts come into being?
Scientists have reported the discovery of a rare, medium-sized black hole that may help answer one of the more tantalising questions in astronomy: how do their supermassive counterparts come into being?
South China Morning Post‘US laws do not apply in China,’ court is told, as new front opens in Meng Wanzhou extradition fightThe United States has no right under international law to prosecute Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou for fraud because her alleged conduct has nothing to do with the US, her lawyers told a Canadian extradition hearing on Monday as they began a new line of argument to thwart her being sent for trial in New York. Meng, arrested at Vancouver’s airport more than two years ago, is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying to the bank about its business in Iran, thus putting it at risk of breaching US sanctions – but her alleged conduct involved a 2013 meeting in a Hong Kong teahouse, Meng is a Chinese citizen, and HSBC is a British bank, her lawyer Gib van Ert said. “United States laws do not apply in China,” said van Ert, and “if any laws were broken that day, that is a matter for China”. Canada had a duty to protect Meng from the US attempt to violate international law, he said.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. In a written argument Meng’s lawyers said: “The Requesting State‘s prosecution of the Applicant violates CIL [customary international law] because CIL does not allow a state to criminalise the conduct of a non-national, outside that state, for representations made to another non-national, where there is no substantial and genuine connection to that state. “In this case, there is no connection between the Applicant‘s alleged conduct and the Requesting State.” Meng’s Vancouver mansions are not owned in her name, extradition case hears Van Ert said that if Canada extradites Meng “it will itself be breaking international law.” Ms Meng, whether she likes it or not, finds herself under the protection of our laws Lawyer Gib van Ert In a written response, the Canadian government lawyers representing US interests in the hearing before the Supreme Court of British Columbia said the matter of jurisdiction was primarily for the US trial to consider, as well as Canada’s minister of justice, and not the extradition judge, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes. The no-jurisdiction claim represents the co-called “fourth branch” in a line of arguments brought by Meng’s legal team that she is the victim of an abuse of process and the extradition bid should be thrown out. The other branches are that her case is a tainted political prosecution brought as leverage in a US trade war with China, that Canadian police and border guards conducted a covert criminal investigation of her to obtain evidence for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that American authorities misled the Canadian court in their summaries of the case. A separate argument, that the case failed to pass the “double criminality” test – that extradition cases must involve actions that would have represented crimes had they occurred in Canada – has already been thrown out by Holmes. Meng Wanzhou’s lawyer blasts ex-Mountie for ‘shock’ refusal to testify Van Ert said the US was attempting to justify jurisdiction over Meng’s behaviour by claiming that money transfers resulted from Meng’s assurances to HSBC were cleared through US banks. But van Ert said this was “incidental dollar clearing” of a foreign transaction, and the written submission called the “purported” connection “wholly insufficient and artificial”. He dubbed the prosecution “an extraterritorial exercise of prescriptive jurisdiction”. On the other hand, van Ert said that international law was not foreign law because its principles formed a part of Canadian common law itself. Customary international law should be treated with the same respect as any other part of Canada’s common law, he told Holmes, and it “all points the same way” – towards Meng being released. While the principle of comity, or deference to foreign legal systems, was very important with respect to extraditions, it was not a basis “for closing one’s eyes to violations of international law by a foreign state”, said van Ert. Canada had a duty towards Meng, who “whether she likes it or not, finds herself under the protection of our laws,” he said. Earlier on Monday, arguments about the alleged misconduct by the Royal Canadian Police (RCMP) and Canada Border Services Agency guards concluded. One of Meng’s lawyers, Mona Duckett, told the court that “our case is not that this is a US-led conspiracy”, as she responded to the government lawyers’ assertions that Meng had failed to prove one existed – instead, there was an effort to help the FBI, just not necessarily at their command. Another of Meng’s lawyers, Tony Paisana, said that when the RCMP collected electronic serial numbers from Meng’s seized devices three days after her December 1, 2018, arrest, this constituted a new search in response to an FBI request. The “intrusive nature” of this search also showed this was not part of a routine effort to inventory the devices, as the government lawyers contended, Paisana said. Even if it was, it remained unlawful, he said. Reject Meng’s ‘exciting narrative’ of abuse, Canada government lawyer says The nature of CBSA questions to Meng about Huawei and Iran before her arrest, along with the securing of Meng’s phone passcodes which then ended up in RCMP hands, led to “the plausible, the most reasonable, if not the inescapable inference” that CBSA abused its powers on the day Meng was arrested, said Paisana, and the RCMP “was content with that process because it benefited the FBI”. The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday. Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been fighting extradition since her arrest at Vancouver’s airport on a US-sought warrant. She denies the charges. It was a momentous event in China’s relations with the US and Canada, and it infuriated Beijing. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China in the days that followed and this month both were put on trial for espionage. The trails lasted just hours and no verdicts have been announced. Ottawa regards both men as victims of “hostage diplomacy” and arbitrary detention by China.More from South China Morning Post:Meng Wanzhou’s Vancouver mansions are not owned in her name, extradition hearing is toldReject Meng Wanzhou’s ‘exciting narrative’ of abuse, Canadian government lawyer tells extradition judgeMeng Wanzhou’s lawyer blasts ex-Mountie for ‘shock’ refusal to testify at extradition hearing‘Abhorrent’ remarks by Donald Trump take centre stage at Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearingMeng Wanzhou case: arresting Huawei exec on plane would have been too risky, Canadian officer tells courtThis article ‘US laws do not apply in China,’ court is told, as new front opens in Meng Wanzhou extradition fight first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
14 hours agoSouth China Sea: US, Japan and Indonesia ramp up pressure on BeijingThe United States, Japan and Indonesia have stepped up pressure on China over its activities in the South China Sea following an ongoing row with the Philippines over a disputed reef which became public last week. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on Monday morning that the US “stands with our ally, the Philippines” in the face of what he called China’s “maritime militia” amassing at Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands. “We will always stand by our allies and stand up for the rules-based international order,” he wrote. The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of the PRC's maritime militia amassing at WhitsunReef. We will always stand by our allies and stand up for the rules-based international order.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. — Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 28, 2021 Meanwhile, the Japanese and Indonesian defence ministers agreed at a meeting on Sunday to send a message that their two countries would strongly oppose any action by China that could escalate tensions in the contested regional waterway. According to Japan’s Nobuo Kishi, this will include a boost to their defence cooperation and a joint exercise in the South China Sea. The escalating pressure follows a formal diplomatic protest to Beijing lodged last week by Manila, which said more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels it believed were crewed by militias had been moored at the reef since March 7. Beijing has denied the presence of any maritime militia, but reiterated China’s claim to the reef. In a statement issued late on Saturday, Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said aircraft would be sent daily to monitor the situation, and the military would also beef up its naval presence with “sovereignty patrols” to “protect Philippine fishermen”. The reef is also claimed by Vietnam, which calls it Da Ba Dau. Hanoi has said the Chinese vessels are infringing on its sovereignty. An international tribunal at The Hague in 2016 supported the Philippines’ claim to the reef as part of its exclusive economic zone, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, the ruling was rejected by Beijing, which claims more than 90 per cent of the disputed South China Sea. Explainer | South China Sea: what are rival claimants building on islands and reefs? At least US$3.4 trillion in annual trade passes through the contentious waterway, which is subject to competing claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Vietnam. While Japan does not have a claim in the South China Sea, Tokyo has been in a similar dispute with Beijing in the East China Sea and has been voicing concern over a new law which gives China’s coast guard authority to fire on vessels intruding into what it considers its waters. In a joint statement released following Blinken’s visit to Japan in mid-March, the US and Japan said they objected to China’s “unlawful” maritime claims in the South China Sea and underscored the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait – an issue Beijing has said is a red line issue. The two sides also discussed Xinjiang and Hong Kong, which China has said are internal affairs. Kang Lin, a deputy director of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said the pressure on Beijing over the South China Sea would continue to rise as the US rebuilds its alliances in the region under President Joe Biden. “The South China Sea issue is obviously not one that the new Biden administration has identified as one that is looking for cooperation with China. It is classified as an area of competition or resistance. Different from Donald Trump’s unilateral approach, Biden adopts a ‘group-beating’ approach with its allies. Whenever an ally faces a challenge, the US will call upon its ‘friends’ to pressure China. Therefore, it can be expected that China will face bigger pressure in the South China Sea compared to Trump’s term.”More from South China Morning Post:China announces further military exercises in disputed South China SeaPhilippine fighter jet flies over Chinese boats in South China SeaPhilippines sends navy on ‘sovereignty patrols’ to South China Sea amid fears Whitsun Reef is ‘Scarborough Shoal 2.0’Spratly Islands: are Chinese boats baiting fish, or the Philippines?Philippines must protest over Beijing’s ‘little blue men’ or waive South China Sea claims, Rodrigo Duterte’s government toldThis article South China Sea: US, Japan and Indonesia ramp up pressure on Beijing first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.Read more: Yahoo Singapore »
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