Double Take

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Easy going

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Mentmore and Hands takeover link

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Benchmark says Yes in Mayfair

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Coronavirus forces delay of trade fairs, conferences

first_img* China Iron Ore 2020, Feb. 25-27: The event held by Fastmarkets in Beijing has been postponed to June 30–July 2.* East China Import and Export Commodity Fair), March 1-4:Due to be held in Shanghai, the fair usually attracts traders of garments and household goods. It was postponed until further notice.* POC2020, March 2-4: Bursa Malaysia Derivatives has postponed the Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference & Exhibition 2020 to June 22-24, on health concerns.* Marine Money China, March 3-4: Originally slated to be held in Shanghai, organizers of the meeting for shipping financiers have said that it has been delayed, likely until November.* Food & Hotel Asia in Singapore, March 3-6: Organizers of the biennial trade show have postponed its first leg to July. The event attracted more than 80,000 attendees when it was last held in 2018.* National People’s Congress, likely to have started March 5: China is considering delaying the annual meeting of its top legislative body, five people familiar with the matter told Reuters.* 6th China LNG & Gas International Exhibition and Summit, Shanghai, March 4-6: Organizers said the event has been postponed until a later date this year. They are in the process of confirming the new date.* Asian Ferroalloys, March 16-18: The conference by Fastmarkets, due to be held in Shanghai, has been postponed with no new date given.* Art Basel Hong Kong show, March 19-21: The high-profile annual show has been cancelled.* SEMICON/FPD China 2020, March 18-30: The annual trade conference for the global chip industry in China was postponed until further notice.* China Development Forum, usually late March: Hosted by a foundation under the State Council, the conference was postponed until further notice.* Canton Fair, spring season from April 15: The venue of China’s oldest and biggest trade fair said it has suspended exhibitions until further notice.* Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, April 21-23: The show’s organizers, the National Business Aviation Association, said they would cancel this year’s show in Shanghai given health concerns and other challenges its participants faced. Over two dozen large trade fairs and industry conferences in China and overseas have been postponed due to travel curbs and concerns about the spread of a coronavirus, potentially disrupting billions of dollars worth of deals.In order of scheduled or likely dates:* Taipei International Book Exhibition, Feb. 4-9 – Billed as Taiwan’s largest annual literary event, the exhibition has been postponed to May 7-12. Topics :center_img * League of Legends Pro League, due to start Feb. 5: The e-sports league owned by gaming giant Tencent Holdings said it would postpone the start of its second week until further notice.* Singapore Airshow, Feb 11-16: The aviation leadership summit scheduled on the eve of the event was cancelled. The show itself will go ahead as planned, but on a smaller scale* China Commodity Markets Insight Forum 2020, Feb 19-20: The forum held by S&P Global Platts was delayed until further notice.* National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) travel fair 2020, Feb 21-23: Moved to May because exhibitors were concerned about turnout at the fair.last_img read more

Australia to deploy armed forces in coronavirus compliance battle

first_imgAustralia has already closed its borders to everyone but Australian citizens or residents returning home. Those returnees will now be detained in a hotel for two weeks, rather than trusted to go home and self-isolate.The Australian Defense Force (ADF) will be sent out to check recent returnees are complying with the previous order to self-isolate at their home for the same period of time, a rare step in a country where the military is not often seen on the streets.”The ADF will be there to put boots on the ground,” Morrison said.The rate of infections across Australia remains much slower than in many other countries, but officials are concerned that the number of cases has accelerated over the past week, particularly in the most populated states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria. There have been 13 deaths nationally. Australia is introducing enforced quarantine by midnight on Saturday for citizens returning home from overseas and will deploy the armed forces to ensure people already subjected to self-isolation measures are complying.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that returning Australians accounted for around two thirds of the country’s more than 3,000 coronavirus cases, making it the “biggest issue” to be addressed in the country’s fight against the pandemic.”As time has gone on, the risk of those who are returning from other parts of the world actually increases,” Morrison said in a televised briefing. Despite the relatively low numbers, there has been frustration and anger over contradictory guidance from the federal government, state legislators and health officials in recent days over the necessary level of social distancing.At the same media conference where Morrison announced returning Australians as the No. 1 issue to tackle, Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the priority from a health perspective was preventing any potential spike in local transmissions.”We’re not kidding ourselves – if community transmission becomes significant, that is the real serious concern,” Murphy said. “That’s why these social distancing measures are just so important.”That has been a particularly thorny issue for Morrison’s government, which has said that schools should remain open and has so far backed away from the more sweeping lockdowns on public movement seen in Europe.The leaders of NSW and Victoria state have both said they are ready to push ahead with tighter curbs when – rather than if – they become necessary.”We will get to a point where we need to do more,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said after Morrison spoke.Andrews said measures like the enforced quarantine for returning travellers were a “big step to take away someone’s liberty … but this is life and death. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.”Cruise ship concerns Cruise ships have become a flashpoint in Australia after almost 200 of 2,700 passengers who were allowed to disembark from Carnival Corp’s Ruby Princess in Sydney a week ago later tested positive for COVID-19.Murphy noted on Friday that case numbers had “not been helped by a recent cruise ship”. The blunder sparked widespread anger, a blame game between state and federal authorities, and tighter scrutiny of cruise ships still in Australian waters.One liner off the west coast, the German-owned MV Artania, was permitted to dock on Friday morning after a medical emergency on board. Seven passengers have tested positive for COVID-19, with one now in hospital in a critical condition.Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan said arrangements were being made for around 800 remaining passengers to be transferred to waiting planes for charter flights to Germany, the home country of the bulk of the tourists.Australian passengers on board a second cruise ship in Western Australian waters, the Vasco da Gama, will be quarantined on the former prison island turned tourist destination of Rottnest island from Monday. Other passengers will be flown home. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Uber losses widen in pandemic, amid recovery signs

first_imgWeathering the crisisUber has said it has ample cash on hand to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced billions of people to remain at home.”Our ample liquidity provides us with substantial flexibility to navigate the current crisis, but we are being proactive and taking actions to emerge stronger and more focused as a company,” said chief financial officer Nelson Chai.Uber has taken steps including the layoff of some 14 percent of its workforce.It said earlier Thursday it was leading a $170 million investment in Lime as part of a plan to merge its Jump electric bike and scooter operations into the rival service.The tie-up will free Uber to concentrate on its core rideshare and delivery services while Lime — which operates in some two dozen countries — will manage scooters and bikes including the Uber Jump fleet.Uber and other “sharing economy” services are expected to feel a massive impact from the coronavirus outbreak which has dampened economic activity and made travelers more cautious.Rival rideshare platform Lyft this week reported a loss of $398 million, narrower than a year ago, as revenues increased to $956 million.The two firms listed shares last year with an eye toward long-term profitability, goals which have become more elusive in the current environment.”On the other side of this dark valley, the Uber business model will likely look a lot different for the next few years [at least] and the company must rationalize costs and a smaller operation to focus on attaining profitability in this ‘new normal’ backdrop,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities in a research note.”On the ride sharing front, Uber and Lyft face Herculean-like challenges looking ahead as the new reality will likely change the business models of these companies [and competitors] for the foreseeable future.” Gross bookings were up eight percent from a year ago to $15.7 billion, with revenues to the company rising 14 percent to $3.5 billion. Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the data from April suggests a massive impact from the COVID-19 outbreak but also some indications of a rebound in some markets.”I won’t sugarcoat it — COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on Rides with business down globally around 80 percent in April… but there’s some green shoots driving restrained optimism,” he told analysts.Khosrowshahi said Uber was seeing a “fourth consecutive week of growth” with bookings up 12 percent last week.The net loss in the quarter was nearly triple the level of a year earlier and included some $2.1 billion in write-downs of the value of some of its assets — which companies are required to count as losses under accounting rules. Topics : Uber said Thursday its losses widened to $2.9 billion in the first quarter as the ridesharing giant felt the impact of the global pandemic lockdowns while pointing to signs of a tentative recovery.The San Francisco-based company said ride bookings were up eight percent over the first three months of the year despite the lockdowns that began in the final weeks of the quarter.It saw 53 percent revenue growth in its Eats restaurant take-away delivery service, as more people ate in to avoid the coronavirus.last_img read more

Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei: How badminton’s great rivalry was born

first_imgFifteen years ago in a packed Kuala Lumpur stadium, rising stars Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei met in a final for the first time, setting the stage for what would become badminton’s greatest rivalry.Malaysia’s Lee, then 22, fell to the floor, punched the air and blew kisses to the crowd after his see-sawing, 88-minute 17-15, 9-15, 15-9 victory, when he fought back from behind in the first and last games.”Everyone saw how [Lin] played,” said Lee, who was the defending champion, after his win at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium. “He is excellent in attack and his overhead smashes and forehand crosscourt shots are dangerous. So it is very satisfying to beat him.”It was a fittingly tense start for a match-up that would span two Olympic finals and two world championship deciders, and drew a new generation of fans.But the match would remain one of the high points for Lee, who lost his four world and Olympic finals against the Chinese great and retired last year without winning either of the sport’s top two titles.”Their rivalry happened in a period when badminton needed inspiration,” K.M. Boopathy, a veteran Malaysian sports journalist who watched the 2005 game, told AFP. Topics : ‘We have to salute him’Lee launched a comeback and defeated Lin in a thrilling semi-final at the 2016 Rio Olympics — only to lose once again in the final, this time to another Chinese player, Chen Long.The sinewy star longed for a final shot at Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games, now postponed due to the coronavirus, but his hopes were dashed after being diagnosed with nose cancer in 2018.He recovered after treatment but struggled to regain his form, and announced his retirement last year at a tearful press conference.With 705 wins and 69 titles, Lee is a national hero in Malaysia, which has produced few world-class athletes.The pair’s final match was the quarter-finals of the prestigious All-England Open in March 2018, which the Chinese won.But Lin has not hit his former heights in recent years, and with retirement looming he looked certain to miss the Tokyo Olympics before they were postponed to next year.When Lee announced his retirement, Lin posted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo: “I will be alone on the [badminton] court and no one will accompany me.”And only last month, Lee described his nemesis, who is still playing, as a “legend”. “His titles speak for themselves. We have to salute him,” he said.center_img Bad boy vs nice guy Lee, now 37, and Lin, 36, played 40 times in total, with the Chinese player convincingly winning their head-to-head 28-12. Lee had lost his first and only encounter against Lin before beating him in the Kuala Lumpur final.The 2008 and 2012 Olympic title matches were among the most memorable showdowns between the men, who both enjoyed long spells as world number one.Lin won in straight games in Beijing in 2008, but Lee came agonizingly close to gold at London 2012, leading 19-18 in the deciding game before fatefully leaving a shot that dropped on the line. Bracketing the 2012 defeat, Lee lost world title matches to Lin in 2011 and then in 2013 in southern China, when the air conditioning mysteriously failed mid-match and the Malaysian was stretchered off with cramp as he faced match point.Fiery Lin and soft-spoken Lee are very different characters, although they were friends off the court and share a strong mutual respect.Known as “Super Dan”, Lin had a reputation as badminton’s bad boy — he sported multiple tattoos, unusually for a Chinese player, and strutted around the court with supreme confidence. The two-time Olympic and five-time world champion, often regarded as the best badminton player ever, often ran into controversy. In 2008, he threw a temper tantrum during a training session after which he had to deny striking his coach. In contrast, Lee was quiet and unassuming. But his humble demeanor belied a dazzling array of weapons on the court — he was blessed with lightning reflexes and once held the record for the world’s fastest smash. His 19-year career also had its fair share of drama, however.The then world number one was banned after testing positive for a proscribed anti-inflammatory at the 2014 world championships, and was sidelined for eight months until authorities eventually accepted his explanation he took it inadvertently. “They managed to make the sport extremely popular.”last_img read more

Novel’s alleged attackers should be acquitted to restart investigation: Former KPK chief

first_imgTopics : Other former KPK leaders and Novel’s legal team members had urged the KPK to act upon the light sentence sought against the defendants, arguing that the attack on Novel was an attack on the national corruption eradication agenda as well. “If I were the judge, I would use my judge reasoning in addition to my legal reasoning and intuition,” he continued.If the judge were to acquit the defendants of all charges, Busyro suggested that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo form an independent fact-finding team to reopen the new investigation instead of handing it over to the police again.State prosecutors had previously demanded a one-year prison sentence against the defendants, police personnel Chief Brig. Ronny Bugis and Brig. Rahmat Kadir Mahulette. The defendants allegedly attacked Novel with sulfuric acid, resulting in serious damage to Novel’s eyes.The light sentence demands had sparked public outcry questioning the prosecutors’ arguments that the defendants “accidentally” threw the acid into Novel’s face in April 2017.Read also: Baffled by light sentences sought for Novel Baswedan’s attackers, netizens turn to humorActivists and members of the public also raised suspicions that the two policemen were merely scapegoated, with the mastermind still at large.Novel had tweeted through his Twitter account, @nazaqistha, that the defendants should be released “rather than making things up”, expressing his disbelief that the accused were the real culprits. Read also: Jokowi hopes for ‘fair’ verdict in Novel Baswedan’s acid attack trial: State PalaceThe journalist, Fuad Muhammad Syariffudin, was killed in August 1996 shortly after writing a story on several graft practices committed by the Bantul administration in the province.Dwi Sumaji, the sole suspect arrested by the police, allegedly was forced to admit his involvement in the murder. He was later freed of all charges by the Bantul District Court in 1997 due to a lack of evidence.“The real culprit will not be revealed unless the judges free the defendants with their conscience,” Busyro, who led the antigraft agency from 2011 to 2015, said. Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Busyro Muqoddas expressed support for the judges at the North Jakarta District Court to free the alleged attackers of graft buster Novel Baswedan in order to give room for a new investigation.“Hopefully the panel of judges will acquit [the defendants] so a new investigation can be carried out,” he said in a virtual discussion on Novel’s case held by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Friday.Busyro said the new inquisition would hopefully reveal the real culprits and masterminds behind the case. He cited the murder case of a journalist of Yogyakarta local daily newspaper Bernas during the New Order era.last_img read more

Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

first_imgOn Sunday, the total number of infections rose to 157,612, while the death toll climbed to 1,267, according to data from the health ministry.Intensive care units in the capital Riyadh and the Red Sea city of Jeddah are crowded with coronavirus patients, putting pressure on the health care system, medical sources told AFP.But the decision to lift restrictions comes amid the kingdom’s worst economic crisis in decades as it grapples with the twin blow of low oil prices and the impact of the virus.Mosques outside of Mecca reopened at the end of May, but with strict rules imposing social distancing and other measures. But the kingdom has said the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina will remain suspended over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading in Islam’s holiest cities.Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s hajj, scheduled for the end of July, but have urged Muslims to defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.Last year, some 2.5 million faithful travelled to Saudi Arabia from across the world to take part in the hajj, which all Muslims must perform at least once in their lives if able. But Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media announced the reopening of cinemas across the kingdom with strict guidelines on social distancing.”We are happy and cautious at the same time… I have been without a haircut for five months,” said Bashayer, a Saudi customer at a Riyadh hair salon.”But we are… scared. I sanitize my hands whenever I touch anything,” she said, while a hairdresser clad in a mask and face shield cut her hair.The kingdom, which has the highest reported coronavirus infections in the Gulf, has seen a spike in cases after it began a phased easing of stringent lockdown measures in late May. Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections.Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start.International flights and religious pilgrimages, however, remain suspended and social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, according to the interior ministry.center_img Topics :last_img read more