China bans celebrity rankings in bid to ‘rectify chaos in the fan community’ | China

[ad_1] Chinese authorities have banned online lists ranking celebrities by popularity, as regulators continue a drive to “clean up” fame and fandom culture. According to regulations published in state media, all existing lists that rank Chinese stars must also be removed from the internet. Only lists that rank works such as songs, films and TV … Read more

‘We were punch bags’: North Korean prison beatings may be form of torture, says UN | Global development

[ad_1] Detainees in North Korea are forced into gruelling manual labour and beaten so severely it may be a form of torture, the UN has said, as it warned that Covid-19 had exacerbated human rights concerns in the notoriously oppressive country. In a report to be presented at the UN general assembly in September, the … Read more

New Zealand police break up one-person anti-lockdown protest in Auckland | New Zealand

[ad_1] A one-person anti-lockdown protest in central Auckland has been shut down, after the police were alerted to discussions of a potential gathering on social media. New Zealand police said officers were on Queen Street on Friday after hearing a protest was being planned, but only one person arrived with the intention of protesting, Newshub … Read more

Kamala Harris’s south-east Asia trip reveals limits of US strategy | US foreign policy

[ad_1] In October 2013, as the former US president Barack Obama had to cancel his four-nation tour of south-east Asia due to the congressional impasse at home, China’s president Xi Jinping, instead, made the news headlines across the region. On that trip to Indonesia, Xi proposed to set up an Asian infrastructure investment bank to … Read more

New Zealand Covid update: 70 new cases recorded ahead of lockdown announcement | New Zealand

[ad_1] New Zealand has reported 70 new cases of coronavirus in the community, bringing the total number in its outbreak to 347, as parts of the country wait to hear if the lockdown will be extended or downgraded. Of Friday’s cases, 333 are in Auckland, and 14 are in Wellington. Many of the cases are … Read more

Thai police chief accused of killing suspect in custody is arrested | Thailand

[ad_1] A Thai police chief accused of torturing and killing a suspected drug dealer while in custody, allegedly in an attempt to extort tens of thousands of pounds, has been arrested following a manhunt. Thitisan Utthanaphon, 39, who has been removed from his position as superintendent of Muang police station in Nakhon Sawan, north of … Read more

‘Total betrayal’: Afghan interpreters shocked as New Zealand ends Kabul evacuation | Afghanistan

[ad_1] Afghan interpreters left behind after New Zealand ceased its mercy flights are shocked and terrified at being stranded, saying it is a “total betrayal” by the New Zealand government. The Guardian spoke to an Afghan interpreter, Ali* who was approved for a resettlement visa in New Zealand due to fears of reprisal from the … Read more

How a hot blob off New Zealand is contributing to drought in South America | Environment

[ad_1] A vast patch of warming water off the coast of New Zealand – referred to as a “warming blob” – has contributed to a decade long drought affecting parts of South America, according to scientists. Researchers based in New Zealand and Chile have examined the rapidly warming hot blob which rose to prominence in … Read more

Hong Kong police investigate organisers of Tiananmen Square vigil | Hong Kong

[ad_1] Hong Kong’s national security police are investigating the organisers of a vigil commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre for alleged foreign collusion offences. Chow Hang-tung, the vice-chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said authorities had written to core members of the longstanding group demanding information related to … Read more

Fukushima operators to build undersea tunnel to dump contaminated water | Japan

[ad_1] Operators of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have unveiled plans to construct an undersea tunnel to release more than a million tonnes of treated water from the site into the ocean. Plans for the 1km tunnel were announced on Wednesday after the Japanese government decided in April to release the accumulated water in two … Read more