Greta Thunberg, Climate Change, Uk University

Greta Thunberg, Climate Change

Greta Thunberg statue at UK university prompts backlash

Staff and students said the money could have been better spent.

1/4/2021 3:00:00 PM

Staff and students said the money could have been better spent.

The installation of a statue of climate change activist Greta Thunberg at a UK university on Tuesday has sparked a backlash among staff and students who have said the money could have been better spent.

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Police investigating woman who allegedly disregarded repeated advice to wear mask at MBS COVID-19: 271 imported cases from S Asia over past 28 days, B1617 variant a global problem – MOH Woman being investigated for not wearing a face mask at Marina Bay Sands

a day agoSouth China Morning PostChina warned 25-year deal with Iran is ‘hugely risky’ despite hope it will boost influence in Middle EastChina is taking a “huge risk” by signing a 25-year cooperation deal with Iran, a government adviser and diplomatic observers have warned. Both sides hailed the deal, signed last week by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, as a key step in elevating their relationship, and Beijing hopes it will boost its influence in the Middle East. The two sides have not made details of the plan public, while state media has reported only that it involves cooperation in fields such as trade, economics and transport.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. The plan did not include any specific contracts and goals, nor did it target any third party, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry told a regular media briefing on Monday. China’s 25-year deal with Iran marks ‘momentous’ change as ties with US sour, says ex-envoy However, according to a New York Times report, China agreed to invest US$400 billion in Iran over 25 years in exchange for a steady supply of oil to fuel its growing economy. Sun Degang, a specialist in Middle East studies at Fudan University, said China may wish to pursue similar arrangements with other countries in the region, including Turkey, the Arab states – many of which are hostile to Iran – or even Israel. “The comprehensive cooperation plan between China and Iran is a strategic choice made from a global perspective, especially in response to the current situation of the United States and the West undermining the international order,” he told state-run news portal ThePaper.cn. But other Chinese diplomatic observers warned that the deal, signed with a country sanctioned by the US and facing an uncertain economic outlook, carries “huge risks” and will pose a challenge to China’s foreign policy. “Iran hopes to tie up with China both politically and economically. This is a challenge to China’s diplomacy and will be a fundamental shake-up of China’s foreign policy,” said an expert from an official think tank who advises the Chinese government on Middle East policy, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Is it worth China tying itself to a country being sanctioned and isolated?” Iran’s Fars news agency has said the deal should be considered a political, strategic, economic and cultural programme that pursues comprehensive relations in the long run with clauses on investment and finance as well as mutual support in international forums. “In the military and defence fields, issues such as training, transfer of defence technologies, counterterrorism and joint exercises have been discussed. One of the highlights is the agreement on trade in national currencies,” the report said. The document also repeatedly mentions China’s Belt and Road Initiative, saying that Iran can benefit from active participation in the plan. But the expert who advises the Chinese government on Middle East policy said some of the details might be difficult to achieve, for example, the reported US$400 billion oil deal. He said that if this figure was correct then it carried a huge risk, but a more general agreement would carry fewer potential downsides. “China can provide infrastructure in exchange for oil exports under normal circumstances”, he said, but “Iran’s economic and trade environment is not good under sanctions”. China urges US to seek Iran nuclear talks after ‘new developments’ Another Middle East policy expert based in Shanghai, who is not authorised to speak to overseas media, said the deal may lead to concerns among other Middle East nations that Beijing may be more inclined to focus on its ties with Tehran. Saudi Arabia – one of Iran’s biggest rivals – would be watching closely to see how much oil China bought from Iran, he said, adding Beijing would need to reassure other regional players that Iran was not the only one getting the focus. “China does not choose sides in the Middle East, and its policy of non-alignment remains unchanged. The minister’s visit to the Middle East also shows that China has taken a more proactive attitude in the Middle East and will invest more diplomatic power and resources in the region,” he said. Wang also visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman during his tour and proposed a five-point initiative on peace and stability in the Middle East.More from South China Morning Post:China’s 25-year deal with Iran marks ‘momentous’ change as ties with US sour, says former ambassadorIran and China sign 25-year cooperation agreementChina’s foreign minister starts Middle East tour with Iran deal, alliances high on agendaChina urges US to seek Iran nuclear talks after ‘new developments’This article China warned 25-year deal with Iran is ‘hugely risky’ despite hope it will boost influence in Middle East first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.

2 days agoSouth China Morning PostExtradition judge is told she, not minister, must decide if US has jurisdiction over Meng Wanzhou’s actions in Hong KongThe United States was engaged in a “power grab” that breached international law by trying to regulate Meng Wanzhou’s conduct in Hong Kong, the Huawei Technologies executive’s lawyer told her extradition hearing on Tuesday. Lawyer Gib van Ert said the judge presiding over the case, and not Canada’s justice minister, must decide whether the US had jurisdiction to bring its fraud case against Meng. “It’s not a matter that you may leave to someone else. It is a legal determination. It is a question you must answer,” lawyer Gib van Ert told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as he pressed the case that the US has no right to prosecute Meng under international law, and Holmes must therefore throw out the bid for her extradition to New York.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. The case showed that the US had wrongfully “given itself the power to regulate the conduct of Chinese nationals in Hong Kong”, van Ert said. Meng is accused by the US of defrauding HSBC by lying to one of its bankers in a 2013 meeting about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, thus putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions. But the US has no right to prosecute Meng’s conduct, van Ert had said on Monday, because Meng is Chinese, HSBC is British and the meeting took place in a Hong Kong teahouse. US prosecutors have claimed jurisdiction because the fund transfers that allegedly resulted from Meng’s representations were cleared through US banks; her lawyers said in a written submission that this was a “wholly insufficient and artificial” connection. Jurisdiction is about where states get to exercise their power … And the United States is saying ‘we get to exercise it in Hong Kong’ Lawyer Gib van Ert Canadian government lawyers acting for US interests in the extradition case say jurisdiction is a matter to be considered mainly at trial, and by Canada’s justice minister, who ultimately will decide whether to allow Meng’s extradition, should Holmes approve it. On Tuesday, Holmes echoed that position, asking van Ert “isn’t it then more appropriate in an extradition context for the minister to be making the decision” about whether the US had “overstepped”. ‘US laws do not apply in China’: new front opens in Meng extradition fight Van Ert said this was “a legal question and not a political determination”, and if the court condoned the US request, Canada too would be in breach of customary international law. While legislatures might act in ways that breached international law, Canada’s judges must not, said van Ert. “If international law is to be violated that is to be left to politicians, not courts,” he said. He said the US had conducted a “plain power grab” by claiming jurisdiction over Meng’s conduct. “Jurisdiction is about where states get to exercise their power,” van Ert said. “And the United States is saying ‘we get to exercise it in Hong Kong, at least in circumstances where a financial transaction between a Chinese company and a British bank took place in some way that we say is connected to that’. “If that is right it is a fundamental shift in how jurisdiction is understood in international law.” If US law applied to a Chinese national in Hong Kong “that is an interference with the sovereignty of Hong Kong and China”, he said. “Ms Meng would have expected that her conduct in Hong Kong is governed by the law of Hong Kong. States around the world would have that same expectation,” van Ert said. Chaos and confusion would result if states routinely applied their laws to activities taking place elsewhere, van Ert said, and it was “self-evident” that the “United States makes law for the United States. It doesn’t make law for China. That’s the territoriality principle.” The US assertion of jurisdiction relied upon the process of dollar clearing, said van Ert, in which transfers between accounts in two non-US banks, but denominated in US dollars, may pass through their respective correspondent US banks. The US accusations against Meng cite transfers between Huawei affiliate Skycom and a British company called Networkers. Van Ert referred to an expert witness report by Regis Bismuth, a French law professor, who said that international monetary law principles “do not allow states to use their currency as a basis of jurisdiction”, even if a payment was reflected in their currency clearing system. Meng’s case involved US$2million in payments through the US dollar clearing system over 13 months, compared to US$4.5 trillion that went through the system daily, van Ert said, citing another expert report by US banking expert John Simonson. “The actual impact as a percentage [is] very nearly zero,” van Ert said, and was no basis for US jurisdiction. Ms Meng would have expected that her conduct in Hong Kong is governed by the law of Hong Kong. States around the world would have that same expectation Lawyer Gib van Ert Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the eldest daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at the request of US authorities at Vancouver’s airport on December 1, 2018, on a stopover from Hong Kong. She has been fighting extradition ever since, in a case that has thrown China’s relations with the US and Canada into turmoil. The jurisdictional argument is one of four branches of Meng’s case that she is the victim of an “egregious” abuse of process that has violated her Canadian charter rights. Meng’s Vancouver mansions are not owned in her name, extradition case hears 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 rejected by Holmes. Van Ert told Holmes on Tuesday that she found herself in an “unusual and unprecedented situation”; never before had there been a Canadian extradition case in which the request itself was contrary to international law, he asserted. If the court decided to pass on the decision about jurisdiction to the minister or ruled that the request was unlawful but did not impose a remedy, then it was “unlikely to result in the minister solving the problem … the minister will take the same view [as the court]”, van Ert suggested. Meng’s long-running extradition battle may be nearing its final stages, with hearings due to be completed on May 14, after which Holmes must decide whether to free her or approve extradition. But the final say will rest with the justice minister, and appeals could drag out the process for years. Meng’s treatment has enraged Beijing, which has repeatedly demanded her release. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China soon after Meng’s arrest, and this month both men were put on trial for espionage. The closed-door trials only lasted hours; no verdicts have been announced. Canada’s government regards both men as victims of “hostage diplomacy” and arbitrary detention by China.More from South China Morning Post:‘US laws do not apply in China,’ court is told, as new front opens in Meng Wanzhou extradition fightMeng 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 hearingPutting Meng Wanzhou on trial would be ‘triumph for rule of law’, Canadian government lawyer saysThis article Extradition judge is told she, not minister, must decide if US has jurisdiction over Meng Wanzhou’s actions in Hong Kong first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.com

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