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Australian detained in China receives consular visit: official

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:21

The Australian embassy in Beijing was on Friday granted consular access to Australian national Yang Jun, who is detained in China on national security grounds. "Access to Mr Yang was provided in accordance with our bilateral consular agreement with China," the statement said. The Chinese-Australian author and democracy advocate, whose pen name is Yang Hengjun, was detained shortly after he made a rare return to China from the United States last week.

Queen’s Brexit Intervention Shows She Knows How to Make a Point

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:10

(Bloomberg) -- Despite being the U.K.’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II never talks about politics.

Vodafone 'pauses' use of Huawei kit in core networks amid espionage concerns

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:09

Vodafone will pause installation of hardware created by Chinese technology business Huawei in its core networks, the company’s chief executive said on Friday. The decision by Vodafone places more pressure on Huawei, which has seen its hardware blocked by several phone networks around the world in recent months following growing concern over the business’ closeness to the Chinese government. Nick Read, Vodafone’s chief executive, said during the business’ earning call on Friday that Vodafone was communicating with security agencies in the UK, but said that he chose to pause the installation of new hardware in Vodafone’s core network due to “general noise” about the subject. The “noise level is at an unhealthy level across Europe,” Mr Read said of the ongoing debate about the Chinese business. The debate around Huawei risks becoming a “tailspin into more emotion rather than facts,” he said. Vodafone will continue to purchase Huawei technology for its 4G and 5G networks, but will rely on competitors including Nokia and Ericsson in its core network, Mr Read said. The chief executive warned that a ban on Huawei technology would significantly delay the launch of 5G networks. The pause on installation of does not affect the UK, Mr Read said, as no Huawei technology is used in Vodafone's core UK network. A Huawei spokesman said: “Vodafone and Huawei are long-term strategic partners that have worked together since 2007. Huawei is focused on supporting Vodafone’s 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion. We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavour to live up to the trust placed in us.” Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA On Thursday, the Prince’s Trust charity announced it would not accept any new donations from Huawei. And earlier this month, Oxford University said it had suspended all new research grants and donations from the business. On Friday, Vodafone reported a 6.8pc fall in turnover to €10.9bn (£9.42bn), narrowly missing analyst expectations for the last three months. Vodafone’s performance in key markets including Spain and Italy was poor, while its overall services revenue dropped 3.9pc to €9.7bn.

Southwest Airlines to ax Mexico City flights

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 07:56

Southwest will still fly to three other cities in Mexico, all beach resorts: Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. Mexico City flights end in March.

Whole Foods recalls salads, wraps with baby spinach for possible Salmonella contamination

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 07:37

Whole Foods is issuing a recall for foods containing baby spinach sold at its stores in eight states over concern for potential Salmonella risk.

Mercedes-Benz to make more use of Chinese auto suppliers

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 07:30

'China is more advanced than the United States in many areas of digital innovation'

Bishop Stowe Errs on Covington Catholic

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 06:30

Two days ago, Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., condemned the Covington Catholic schoolkids who went to the March for Life, mostly because some of them wore MAGA hats. There is a defensible argument against wearing the hats to the march, which would basically have been the same as the argument against wearing a Bush-Cheney T-shirt to the march in 2005.

Google Employees Fret That ‘Family Friendly’ Is a ‘Homophobic’ Term

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 06:30

According to an article in The Daily Caller, the trouble started when a Google executive used the phrase “family friendly” when discussing a product for children during a company-wide presentation. “If you mean ‘children,’ say ‘children;’ we have a perfectly good word for it,” the thread began.

U.S. Coast Guard searches for missing cruise crew member

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 06:17

Exactly a month ago, another Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard in the Atlantic, off Puerto Rico, and was never found. A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd was not available for comment early Friday. Neither was a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District, which patrols the Florida coast.

New study finds slim people have a genetic advantage when it comes to maintaining their weight

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 05:32

In the largest study of its kind so far, UK researchers have found that slim people have an advantage when it comes to staying thin thanks to their genes. Interested in why some people find it easier to stay slim than others, researchers at Cambridge University, along with support from the Wellcome and the European Research Council, set up the Study Into Lean and Thin Subjects (STILTS), recruiting healthy UK adults aged 18 to 65 who were thin -- defined as a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 kg/m2 -- and with no medical conditions or eating disorders. The team then worked with the Wellcome Sanger Institute to compare the DNA of around 14,000 adults in total, including 1,622 thin volunteers from the STILTS study, 1,985 severely obese people and 10,433 normal weight controls.

Beijing dismisses Soros' anti-China remarks as 'meaningless'

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 05:02

China dismissed remarks from George Soros as "meaningless" on Friday, after the billionaire investor called President Xi Jinping the "most dangerous opponent" of free societies and warned against Beijing's high-tech surveillance regime. Soros "confused right and wrong in a meaningless statement, and it is not worth refuting", said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing. "In today's world, it is clear who is opening doors and building roads, and who is closing doors and building walls," she said.

Florida politician resigns after dressing in blackface as Hurricane Katrina survivor

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 05:00

Florida’s secretary of state has resigned after photographs emerged of him in blackface mocking victims of Hurricane Katrina at a Halloween party. Michael Ertel, who had only held the role for three weeks, stepped down after images thought to been taken in 2005 were published by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. Photographs show the Republican wearing blackface, a headscarf, large earrings and fake breasts, alongside a t-shirt which has the words “Katrina victim” written on it.

The Irish Border Is Now Giving the EU a Brexit Headache

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 04:01

Its surefootedness and unified communications have helped it get most of what it’s wanted since talks started 18 months ago. Mixed messages this week surrounded the Irish border and what would happen to it if the U.K. leaves without a deal.

Takeaway from BuzzFeed's Michael Cohen-Donald Trump report: Journalists police themselves

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 04:00

BuzzFeed is being challenged by multiple news organizations that do not view their job as defending the president — or their media brethren.

Governor Gavin Newsom responds to Cal Fire's report clearing PG&E of blame in Tubbs Fire

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 02:26

"PG&E was found not to be liable, that said, PG&E is liable for 17 others in 2017." In their report, Cal Fire investigators blame the Tubbs Fire not on PG&E but on a private electrical system.

Florida allows families of bank murder victims to withhold names under 'Marsy's Law'

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:42

Families of three of the murder victims in Wednesday's brutal attack at a Florida bank have opted not to publicly release the names of their loved ones

US faces tough choices as it weighs next moves on Venezuela

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:13

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says "all options are on the table" as the U.S. seeks to push Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to give up power. But the reality is much more complicated.

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to comply with Senate subpoena

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:06

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has subpoenaed President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Cohen intends to comply with the interview demand next month, his attorney said Thursday.

Microsoft 'waiting to find out' why Bing went offline in China

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 21:55

Microsoft is still trying to figure out why its Bing search engine temporarily went offline in China, the company's president said following speculation that it could have been blocked by censors. The US firm's Chinese website,, was accessible again late Thursday, one day after it suddenly went offline, temporarily taking away the most prominent foreign search engine in China. The disruption raised fears among social media users that it was the latest foreign website to be blocked by China.