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Locals worry Chinese language officers extra involved with cover-up fairly than clean-up after chemical spill – NEWPAPER24



Locals worry Chinese language officers extra involved with cover-up fairly than clean-up after chemical spill

2018-11-10 00:01:17

Mistrust of the authorities hangs heavy within the air in Quanzhou after the response to a poisonous chemical spill final weekend left many residents questioning whether or not officers had been extra involved about plugging details about the leak than tackling the issue.

Locals within the coastal metropolis within the southeastern province of Fujian worry that the leak of the substance known as C9 was extra harmful than they’d been informed, whereas complaining of a shoddy clean-up operation that has led to kids changing into ailing as a result of they’re being informed to proceed to go to high school.

“Primarily based on the very seen oil stains within the fish farms and close by seawater, I feel tens of tonnes of C9 had been leaked,” Xiao Renhong, a resident of Xiaocuo village, stated on Friday.

Nevertheless, the native authorities in Quangang district stated solely seven tonnes of C9 had leaked when a connecting tube broke because the chemical was being transferred between the wharf and a vessel early on Sunday morning.

The very first thing residents knew about it was once they had been woken by a powerful scent within the morning. However by Sunday night the native surroundings safety bureau introduced that the clean-up operation was “mainly full” and chemical ranges within the affected space had been inside protected limits.

Two days later, the bureau even introduced the water high quality was now appropriate for fish farming.

However late on Thursday the native authorities admitted that 52 individuals had been formally handled in hospital for signs – together with nausea, dizziness or pneumonia – after inhaling the chemical.

Of these, they stated, 42 had been “cured” and despatched again dwelling whereas 10 remained in hospital for additional therapy.

This was the primary time the authorities had admitted that individuals had wanted medical therapy following the spill.

Nevertheless, a employee at Quangang Hospital, surnamed Wu, stated that no less than a dozen sufferers who had inhaled extreme quantities of C9 had been nonetheless being handled there.

Some residents within the district, the place chemical manufacturing and aquaculture are two of the most important industries, complained in regards to the authorities’ preliminary response to the spill, whereas others expressed issues in regards to the ongoing well being dangers.

“We known as the police on Sunday morning after smelling a powerful odour and seeing the yellow oil floating on the ocean, however the bureaucrats simply wouldn’t pay attention,” stated Xiao Jiangong, a villager in Xiaocuo. “The police stated we should always name the Maritime Security Administration, which in flip directed us to the native environmental authorities.”

“The city officers stated it was as much as us to save lots of ourselves and our fish farms,” Xiao stated. “They despatched some oil absorbent pads however didn’t start cleansing the contaminated sea areas till Thursday.”

Xiao additionally stated that his uncle had been struggling ache in his fingers after he rushed to save lots of the household’s fishing rafts from the chemical on Sunday morning.

Chinese language fishing village fears contamination cover-up after chemical leak

“At first they didn’t even inform us the chemical was C9,” he stated.

“So we thought it is likely to be some common gasoline, which isn’t unusual as we’re surrounded by chemical factories.

“I’d by no means have let my uncle threat his life to save lots of the rafts if I knew the chemical was poisonous,” he stated, including that the scent had triggered even completely wholesome younger adults to change into nauseous.

One native lady, Xiao Lili, stated she believed the air was nonetheless poisonous and expressed concern that native kids had been nonetheless being informed to attend lessons regardless of the well being hazards.

“I despatched my daughter to a close-by metropolis the day after the leak, however her trainer known as asking her to return to high school because the midterm examination is approaching,” Xiao Lili stated. “The college authorities gained’t let the children have a break with a purpose to keep away from the poisonous air.”

Her nine-year-old daughter, Xiao Xinyuan, grew to become sick and began vomiting after spending a morning at Xiaocuo Main College.

Xiao took her daughter to hospital, the place she stated different kids had been being handled for related signs.

“The city officers stated they had been going to repair the scenario,” she stated. “I don’t learn about that. However no less than they need to droop lessons in order that the children can keep indoors.”

One seventh grade pupil stated fewer than 10 pupils out of 30 had confirmed up for the midterm examination on Friday.

Chinese language areas accused of faking efforts to curb environmental issues

Different residents, reminiscent of fisherman Xiao Qingjian, had been involved that they could face an extended and tough battle to win compensation.

Earlier within the week he employed an expert photographer to doc the yellow slicks that had affected his fish farm.

He additionally collected pictures and movies taken by fellow villagers and distributed them by way of social media.

“I discover that typically we fail in attempting to ship details about the leak to buddies by way of WeChat,” he stated. “We all know our discussion groups is likely to be monitored, so I’m maintaining all of the proof in thumb drives [to help with any compensation claim].”


Full cost in 30 minutes: ComfortDelGro to introduce quick charging station for electrical automobiles – NEWPAPER24




Full cost in 30 minutes: ComfortDelGro to introduce quick charging station for electrical automobiles

2018-11-13 03:44:06

SINGAPORE: Electrical automobile (EV) customers will quickly have entry to a charging station that would present a full battery cost in about 30 minutes, ComfortDelGro stated in a information launch on Tuesday (Nov 13). 

The direct present (DC) quick charging station will likely be operated by ComfortDelGro Engineering along with EV charging software program firm, Greenlots. 

In line with the information launch, the charging station gives two kinds of chargers – the alternating present charger that almost all charging stations provide and the brand new direct present quick charger. This will enable two electrical automobiles to cost on the similar time. 

DC charging service is at the moment not publicly obtainable in Singapore.

READ: What is going to drive demand for electrical automobiles?

“The DC quick charger is a perfect en route cease for EVs in want of a top-up as typical charging time could be as little as 30 minutes as in comparison with AC charging, which takes up between three and 4 hours,” stated ComfortDelGro.  

Charging is priced at S$0.40 per kWh for each kinds of charging, the transport operator added. 

“Now we have all the time supported the adoption of low-carbon emissions applied sciences, and hope that the introduction of this service will contribute in direction of the event of a dependable and accessible EV charging community in Singapore,” stated ComfortDelGro Engineering CEO Mr Ang Soo Hock.

ComfortDelGro could quickly introduce the direct present quick charging for electrical automobiles. (Picture: ComfortDelGro)

The service will likely be publicly obtainable as soon as the check paperwork are cleared with the related authorities, stated ComfortDelGro.

As soon as accepted, it will likely be accessible at ComfortDelGro’s premises in Braddell for Greenlots customers who personal BMW electrified automobiles, absolutely electrical Hyundai Ioniqs and Renault ZOEs.

House owners of these automobile varieties should apply for entry to the Braddell charging station by ComfortDelGro Engineering, and might verify its availability and pay for the fees by way of the Greenlots app.

Taxi drivers driving the absolutely electrical Hyundai Ioniq taxis don’t require the entry move, stated ComfortDelGro.

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Commerce struggle and censors blow chill wind by means of China’s large tech scene – NEWPAPER24




Commerce struggle and censors blow chill wind by means of China’s large tech scene

2018-11-13 01:01:54

BEIJING: Wang Miaoyi’s small one-bedroom condo, which doubles as her design studio, is overflowing with recreation magazines, collectible figurines and packing containers of sci-fi novels.

The 30-year outdated recreation developer is a baby of the county’s tech growth: She studied at one in all China’s prime universities and her firm hit it massive with an award-winning recreation that was revealed on Nintendo’s Swap console and the PC gaming platform Steam, with plans for roll-out on different recreation platforms.

Now her ambitions – and people of many others throughout China’s large tech business – are dealing with a reckoning, amid rising state management over the sector, tightening regulation and a biting commerce struggle with america stymieing development.

“(In 2015) doing a start-up was standard. So many younger individuals arrange small companies, like creating video games, and dreamed of creating massive cash in addition to being free,” she mentioned. “However they came upon now it is actually unrealistic.”

Wang says she has needed to abandon for now hopes of releasing the sport on new platforms in China, closing the unique studio that developed it and dealing as an alternative on updates with a skeleton crew of freelancers. 

She has moved from the Beijing tech hub of Zhongguancun to town’s cheaper far-west outskirts to chop prices.

She isn’t alone. Newpaper24 interviewed a dozen tech business insiders, from gig economic system employees to traders, who mentioned that the growth days of simple returns over.

Till final yr, China’s tech business had loved years of breakneck development. Corporations together with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd nearly doubled in worth in 2017 alone, making big-ticket investments as a part of a multi-billion greenback growth into cloud, offline retail and finance.

However now the market is feeling the pinch. Hiring numbers are down, firm margins are thinner and tumbling know-how shares have wiped almost half a trillion {dollars} this yr from the worth of China’s prime listed tech companies.

The most important names in tech have flagged issues, together with Alibaba and Baidu Inc , who revised down their full-year gross sales forecasts in current weeks on the weaker outlook.

“Investments into the tech area have positively cooled down, measured by nearly each metric: Variety of offers, deal measurement or fund elevating,” mentioned Zhang Chenhao, Shanghai-based Managing Companion at technology-focused Prometheus Fund.

“I feel this yr is the primary time over the past 30 years when greed yields to the concern.”


The know-how sector is dealing with challenges on all sides.

A broader financial slowdown noticed China’s third quarter GDP sluggish to its weakest tempo for the reason that world monetary disaster. The foreign money has slid towards the greenback and home markets are down sharply.

Alongside a collection of tit-for-tat commerce tariffs, america has accused China of stealing know-how, barring tech acquisitions by Chinese language companies and blacklisting others.

At house, tech corporations from social media to gaming and fintech have seen tightening regulation and a heavier hand from the ruling Communist Social gathering.

Gaming and social media large Tencent has seen its inventory worth dive by greater than 25 per cent this yr amid a brief ban on licenses for video games, its prime income driver.

On the nation’s prime web discussion board in Wuzhen this week, officers signaled they might look to rein within the nation’s tech giants.

“They are often massive however we also needs to be well-regulated,” mentioned Gao Xiang, vice minister of China’s Ministry of Trade and Info Know-how on Thursday.

China’s regulators have already cracked down on all the pieces from impolite joke apps to livestream bloggers disrespecting nationwide anthem – sending a chill by means of the free-wheeling and modern on-line enviornment.

“The individuals who fear about know-how is first older individuals, second authorities and third profitable individuals, they hate it and fear about it,” Alibaba’s billionaire govt chairman Jack Ma mentioned at an occasion in Shanghai final week.

“Usually companies do innovation and governments discuss innovation. As a way to defend yesterday’s pursuits … they may say please do not do it.”

This yr Alibaba has lowered its income forecast for the primary time since itemizing in 2014.

In the meantime, native ride-sharing large Didi Chuxing, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp , has lower the subsidies it pays to drivers after being pressured to shutter its car-pooling companies underneath a plan agreed with regulators following criticism over the murders of two younger feminine passengers in separate incidents.

“(In 2015) I purchased my first automobile since you might earn nearly 800 yuan a day with the subsidies,” says Huang Solar, who used to drive full-time for the corporate however now says he solely takes rides when he’s bored. “Now possibly you may’t even earn 200 yuan when you drive all day.”


The nippiness throughout the tech business is mirrored in hiring knowledge.

In accordance with statistics launched by main native job web site, job demand within the IT and Web sector has dropped by 51 per cent as of September in contrast with a yr earlier.

Corporations have slowed hiring in sure fields, together with gross sales and software program improvement, recruiters and human assets workers at Alibaba and Tencent mentioned, asking to not be named as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to press.

Tencent didn’t reply to a request for remark. Alibaba had no instant remark.

“Usually, they’re all lowering headcount, or they don’t seem to be making ready a really massive finances for headhunting,” mentioned Mocca Wang, who’s the director of the IT business unit at worldwide recruitment agency Spring Skilled, which works with corporations like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

Smaller start-ups, a key driver of development within the sector, are additionally being squeezed by tighter entry to credit score.

“These corporations cannot get capital and might’t make investments,” mentioned Wang. “They are going bankrupt.”

China’s tech companies are, to make certain, nonetheless posting gross sales development charges above abroad friends.

Tencent chief Pony Ma instructed state tv in a current interview that there was nonetheless “great potential” out there, although admitted “there are challenges of assorted sorts proper now”.

However the numbers counsel harder instances lie forward – a fear for China’s steeply-valued non-public tech start-ups and newly-listed companies similar to smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp and Tencent-backed meals ship large Meituan Dianping .

“Earlier than the sensation was that anybody can get funding, that when you throw out phrases like blockchain, AI, massive knowledge and machine studying that might get you funding,” mentioned Benjamin Speyer, managing director at Hangzhou-based consultancy Serica.

“Now everybody is a little more nervous about doubtlessly making a mistake with their cash.”

Alibaba, whose China commerce gross sales development dropped to its lowest price since 2015 within the final quarter, mentioned it will take much less revenue from its platforms for the close to future, successfully subsidizing retailers, in an effort to retain manufacturers on its platform.

Competitor Inc, which posted a loss final quarter, is looking for to revive income by outsourcing a few of its 2.5 million sq. meters of warehouse area.

The nation’s upstart know-how workforce are much more keenly conscious of the slowdown.

At the same time as property and dwelling prices proceed to rise sharply in main cities similar to Beijing and Shanghai, tech employees say salaries cannot sustain.

Beijing-based Liu Wangwei works as a software program engineer at one of many nation’s highest-valued start-ups and rents a two-bedroom condo as a result of his partially-disabled mom typically stays with him.

He mentioned his hire has risen by nearly 50 % since they moved to the world in 2014 and says he’s contemplating shifting to a different of the corporate’s workplaces in a smaller metropolis the place the federal government subsidizes housing for know-how employees.

“I at all times thought I might be part of the well-known tech corporations and by no means fear about cash,” mentioned Liu. “After I was in college our academics gave us encouragement to be like (Steve) Jobs and Jack Ma. It isn’t the identical as we have been promised.”

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Singapore, Malaysia maintain differing views on water difficulty; keen to debate additional: MFA – NEWPAPER24




Singapore, Malaysia maintain differing views on water difficulty; keen to debate additional: MFA

2018-11-13 02:02:31

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday (Nov 12) expressed their differing views on the appropriate to assessment the worth of water beneath the 1962 Water Settlement, Singapore’s Ministry of International Affairs (MFA) has stated.

In response to a question from Channel NewsAsia, an MFA spokesperson stated each leaders had a wide-ranging dialogue on bilateral and regional points.

“Either side expressed their differing views on the appropriate to assessment the worth of water beneath the 1962 Water Settlement (62WA),” the spokesperson stated. 

“They expressed their willingness for officers to have additional discussions to raised perceive one another’s positions.”

READ: Unique: Value of water offered to Singapore ‘ridiculous’; Malaysia to renegotiate deal, says Mahathir

READ: Singapore and Malaysia: The Water Subject

The Malaysian prime minister is in Singapore on an official go to from Monday to Tuesday, his first official go to since he was elected prime minister in Could.

Dr Mahathir advised the Bernama information company on Monday that the 1962 water settlement was one of many issues that was raised in the course of the bilateral assembly with Prime Minister Lee.

“We raised a few of the points previously which have been regarded as controversial,” Dr Mahathir advised reporters on the sidelines of a high-tea occasion with the Malaysian diaspora in Singapore.

“I assumed I’ve to state our stand on it. I believe by and huge, he (Mr Lee) was fairly accommodating. He listened to my views and I believe he’s far more open to debate this stuff than earlier than … earlier than they only rejected all efforts at renegotiating,” he stated.

READ: Water provide cope with Singapore ‘too expensive’, must be settled: Malaysia PM Mahathir

When requested additional whether or not Singapore agreed to revise the present value of water, Dr Mahathir stated: “They didn’t say they agree however at the least they seem to be keen to state their case and for us to state our case.”

As to what would be the subsequent step, he stated that some officers will meet and focus on.

Points on the settlement resurfaced in the midst of this yr when Dr Mahathir criticised the worth of uncooked water offered to Singapore as “ridiculous” and stated he deliberate to renegotiate its phrases.

The water settlement, which expires in 2061, entitles Singapore to attract as much as 250 million gallons a day (mgd) of water from the Johor River.

Singapore pays three sen per thousand gallons of uncooked water and sells handled water again to Johor at 50 sen per thousand gallons.

Johor is in the meantime entitled to a each day provide of handled water of as much as 2 per cent or 5 mgd of the water provided to Singapore.

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