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  • January 26, 2015
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Obama and Modi's bear hug embrace might symbolise bond they want to show China and the world

US President Barack Obama hugs India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who a year ago was not welcome in Washington. Photo: Reuters

At first glance, they might appear unlikely friends or allies. One is a right-wing nationalist and long-time international pariah, while the other is an unabashed liberal and Nobel peace laureate.

Monday, 26 January, 2015, 8:59am 3 comments More on Barack Obama

MPF regulator in talks with pension chiefs on plans to stop passive savers being pushed into high-risk schemes

Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority said it is in advanced talks with pension providers on reform plans. Photo: Dickson Lee

An overhaul of the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme is being readied in a bid to stop 600,000 of the city's most passive pension savers being pushed into some of the most high-risk, high-cost investment schemes in the market.

26 Jan 2015 - 7:27am More on MPF

Shanghai takes China lead as annual report ignores GDP growth target

In the past two years, Shanghai has lowered its growth target from 8 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Photo: Reuters

Shanghai has become the first big city or provincial government to drop economic growth targets from its annual work report, a landmark break from the country's decades-long obsession with GDP.

26 Jan 2015 - 7:55am More on Chinese Economy

Shanghai out of fresh ideas for free-trade zone

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong bows to Shanghai people's congress delegates on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Shanghai's mayor offered nothing new on Sunday in initiatives for the city's free-trade zone, despite looming competition from new players.

26 Jan 2015 - 12:31am

Shanghai stampede officials 'held accountable' for accident that killed 36, says mayor

The Shanghai stampede on New Year's Eve left 36 people dead. Photo: AFP

The Shanghai New Year's Eve crush that left 36 dead showed "critical neglect", the mayor of the mainland's commercial hub said on Sunday, while insisting that those responsible had been held accountable.

26 Jan 2015 - 7:13am 2 comments More on Shanghai New Year's Eve stampede

In the long run: Visualising the 2015 Hong Kong Marathon results

In the long run: Visualising the 2015 Hong Kong Marathon results Interactive

This year’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon was won on Sunday morning by Ethiopia’s Sentayehu Merga Ejigu in 2:12:59 (net time), almost 2 minutes better than the best score in 2014. In the women’s competition, Kim Hye-gyong of North Korea broke the domination of African athletes by winning in 2:31:46. We reprise our 2014 graphic and again trace the milestones of the marathon challenge, the toughest among the event’s races, from the firing gun to the last second.

26 Jan 2015 - 7:33am More on Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2015

Amid rising anti-Muslim sentiment, Germany must walk a fine line

Illustration: Lau Ka Kuen

Ali began noticing them in early autumn, the men on street corners of his heavily Muslim neighbourhood who hoped to "talk about Islam" with him.

26 Jan 2015 - 3:53am More on Focus

China's great expectations for free trade as Guangdong gets in the zone

Guangzhou's free-trade zone covers Nansha. Photo: May Tse

Southern province's free-trade scheme could be officially launched as soon as end of next month.

26 Jan 2015 - 5:57am

Guangdong launches inquiry into 'abducted child ID scandal'

Guangdong launches inquiry into 'abducted child ID scandal'

Guangdong health authorities have launched a 10-month inquiry into the trade in forged birth certificates after mainland media reports that such documents were being used to provide false identities for abducted children.

26 Jan 2015 - 6:07am

Hong Kong nurse: Ebola battle worse than war zone

At Medecins Sans Frontieres' office in Kennedy Town, Chiu Cheuk-pong shows the kind of protective gear he wore in Liberia. Photo: Nora Tam

The first Hongkonger to work in an Ebola treatment centre in West Africa has described the fight against the virus as more terrifying than his nursing stints in war zones.

26 Jan 2015 - 3:36am More on Ebola Virus

Ageing China braces for onslaught of dementia with 30m cases predicted by 2050

With one of the fastest-greying populations in the world, China is on a global hunt for solutions to an impending health crisis as age-related problems such as dementia threaten to sweep the country.

26 Jan 2015 - 8:40am

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe labels murder of hostage as 'outrageous'

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants "outrageous" and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding.

26 Jan 2015 - 3:34am 5 comments
Participants pack the Island Eastern Corridor during yesterday's race. There were 73,000 entrants. Photo: Felix Wong

Hong Kong Marathon full to bursting, even if new Wan Chai route is approved

26 Jan 2015 - 7:36am 1 comment
Ada Tsang happily looking forward to her next Himalayan adventure. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Hong Kong teacher Ada Tsang aims to conquer both Everest and Lhotse in double Himalayan feat

26 Jan 2015 - 5:49am
US President Obama with Indian Prime Minister Modi. Photo: EPA

Obama announces nuclear ‘breakthrough’ on landmark India trip

26 Jan 2015 - 9:01am 2 comments
MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal (left) at a ceremony with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. The MILF group signed a peace deal with the Philippine government last year. Photo: AP

30 police are killed in Philippines during raid to capture top terrorist

26 Jan 2015 - 6:35am
A Greek orthodox priest casts his ballot yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Greek poll favourite, Syriza, says alternative must be found to austerity

26 Jan 2015 - 3:36am
American Sniper is nominated for Oscar Academy Awards' Best Picture. Photo: AFP

Muslims facing increased threats in the United States after release of American Sniper film

26 Jan 2015 - 3:53am
Federal guards watch over a New York courthouse for the trial of a man charged in the 1998 attacks of two US embassies in Africa. Photo: AP

9/11-era security for New York trial of defendant in bombings of 2 US embassies in Africa in 1998

26 Jan 2015 - 7:41am
Egyptians protest in commemoration of the anniversary day of the 2011 uprising in Cairo. Photo: EPA

13 killed and dozens hurt in clashes on anniversary of Egypt uprising

26 Jan 2015 - 7:59am
How the ivory mafia is driving Africa's elephants to extinction

How the ivory mafia is driving Africa's elephants to extinction

26 Jan 2015 - 7:59am
Scene at Chernobyl in 1986 from helicopter window. Photo: AP

The Russian Woodpecker depicts Moscow ordering the 1986 Cernobyl nuclear meltdown

26 Jan 2015 - 8:07am

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The Kapu lamp operates on a handshake.

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Aberdeen Marina Club

The exclusive Aberdeen Marina Club at Island South

As China's economy wavers banks and investment houses focus on long-term growth

As China's economy wavers banks and investment houses focus on long-term growth

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26 Jan 2015
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Leader

Criminals and suspects are transported to a mass sentencing rally in Xinjiang. Photo: Reuters

World must work together to defeat Islamic State and other terrorists

26 Jan 2015 - 7:00am 1 comment
Convenor Chan Ching-sum (front) and members of I Care Action march to support legislation Article 23 on March 23, 2014. The issue remains a hot potato 12 years after it was shelved following a huge public outcry speaks volumes about just how sensitive this matter is. Photo: Felix Wong

Hong Kong must find a way to settle the Article 23 debate on national security law

26 Jan 2015 - 8:32am 1 comment

Today's Poll

  • Yes: 29%
  • No: 71%
26 Jan 2015
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 56

Insight

Policymakers' coddling of market failure exacerbates cycles of boom and bust

For two decades, markets have not been allowed to clear. Every downturn is met with stimulus policies to sustain the status quo. ANDY XIE

Low interest rates have spawned numerous Ponzi schemes around the world. The time seems to be up, at least for some. The shocks in oil prices, the Swiss franc, internet concept stocks and China's A-share market are the harbingers of what is to come.

26 Jan 2015 - 5:02am 1 comment

Focus

Amid rising anti-Muslim sentiment, Germany must walk a fine line

Illustration: Lau Ka Kuen AP

Ali began noticing them in early autumn, the men on street corners of his heavily Muslim neighbourhood who hoped to "talk about Islam" with him.

26 Jan 2015 - 3:53am

Harry's View

China

More than a quarter of mainlanders are on track to be aged over 65 by the middle of the century. Photo: Bloomberg HEALTH

Ageing China braces for onslaught of dementia with 30m cases predicted by 2050

With one of the fastest-greying populations in the world, China is on a global hunt for solutions to an impending health crisis as age-related problems such as dementia threaten to sweep the country.

26 Jan 2015 - 8:40am

China Insider

Smoke billows from the chimney of a factory in Foshan, which recorded Guangdong province's worst air quality in last year's final quarter. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Foshan’s air quality worst in Guangdong during final quarter of last year

25 Jan 2015
A man bumped into his former girlfriend recently but but the reunion quickly turned sour when he demanded she return his SIM card, which she then swallowed. Photo: Bloomberg Around the nation

Around the nation: Woman swallows ex-boyfriend's SIM card during row

23 Jan 2015
A lesbian Chinese couple kiss for the cameras outside a marriage registry office after being turned away. Some lesbians are opting to marry gay 'beards' to ease social pressure and discrimination. Photo: EPA LGBT RIGHTS

Seeking a lesbian wife: pressured Chinese gays turn to online dating for ‘cooperative marriage’

23 Jan 2015 6 comments
The Chinese man who surprised commuters by riding on the Beijing subway with a "watermelon head mask" appeared to be drunk. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: 'Melon head' man spotted on metro in China - and taken away by police

23 Jan 2015
A man high on drugs thought he was proposing to popular Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (pictured), but it turned out to be his colleague. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Hallucinating Chinese man proposes to 'Fan Bingbing' - or so he thinks

22 Jan 2015
Zoo keeper expelled after abuse of tiger cub is exposed in online video Animal Care

Zoo keeper expelled after abuse of tiger cub is exposed in online video

22 Jan 2015
Diners visiting a new restaurant in Shenyang, Liaoning, have a winter-only option of being serving in an igloo. The interior is heated enough to prevent diners from freezing, but not so warm to melt the surroundings. Photo: SCMP Pictures Around the nation

Around the nation: Shenyang restaurant offers winter dining in an igloo

21 Jan 2015
Disgraced former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun (right) showed off his calligraphy work in 2010. Anti-corruption

'Leave the arts to artists,' China's top graft-buster warns officials of corruption under disguise of art groups

20 Jan 2015 3 comments
Rescue workers climb a 30-metre transmission tower in Zhengzhou to rescue a chef upset over a colleague's criticism of his cooking. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Chef threatens to jump off tower after colleague says his cooking is too salty

19 Jan 2015
WeChat angers China officials for flying virtual American flags on Martin Luther King Day

WeChat angers China officials for flying virtual American flags on Martin Luther King Day

20 Jan 2015 8 comments
The Fuyan police department insisted the officers were pictured in their real training sites. Photo: Weibo SECURITY

Police unit in China's restive Xinjiang mocked for cinematic recruitment posters

16 Jan 2015 7 comments
A foot-and-mouth outbreak has been reported among cattle in Wuhan. Photo: AP CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Foot-and-mouth outbreak among cattle in Wuhan

16 Jan 2015
Yi Junqing made his first public appearance in 22 months. Photo: AP anti-corruption campaign

Chinese propaganda official sacked for sex scandal reappears as Marxist scholar

15 Jan 2015 3 comments
A man surveys the Forbidden City in Beijing on Wednesday as air quality in the capital descended to heavily polluted levels. Photo: Simon Song ENVIRONMENT

Double jeopardy of fog and heavy smog across northern, central China

16 Jan 2015 2 comments

Business

Alibaba founder Jack Ma gestures at a conference. Taiwanese are cautious about his proposal to offer financial aid for the island's young people to start businesses on the mainland. Photo: Bloomberg internet & e-commerce

Jack Ma’s money pledge alone may not be enough to lure Taiwan start-ups to mainland China

New

Taiwanese are looking with cautious interest at a proposal by billionaire Jack Ma, chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, to offer financial aid for the island’s young people to start businesses on the mainland.

26 Jan 2015 - 8:33am More on Alibaba
BANKING

Commodity financing exposure in Asia-Pacific hits banks hard

Sinking commodity prices have cast a shadow over asset quality in banks as at least US$23 billion of loan commitments in eight banks were backed by commodity plays in the Asia-Pacific region, data showed.

25 Jan 2015 - 11:29pm

Property

Ho Tung Gardens on The Peak, without its landmark main building that was demolished two years ago, sold for a record HK$5.1 billion. Photo: Sam Tsang HOUSING

Sales on The Peak breathe life into Hong Kong luxury property market

New

Big-ticket sales on The Peak are seen as breathing life back into a luxury property sector that has languished in the doldrums even as prices in the mass market deepen their push into record territory.

23 Jan 2015 - 4:25pm 1 comment
Photo: Jonathan Wong

Jiang Wen's Gone with the Bullets shot down by Chinese film-goers

Of late, Jiang Wen's life seems to be imitating his art. It's a tragicomic turn for the acclaimed Chinese actor-director, not unlike the fate that befalls the protagonist in his new film, Gone with the Bullets.

26 Jan 2015 - 6:31am More on LIFE

Principals of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra call on chiefs to quit

26 Jan 2015

Forerunners of YouTube - Art Institute of Chicago's video collection is unofficially collated online by a grad student

24 Jan 2015
Vicky Lau started out in advertising before learning her trade at Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok and working at Michelin-starred Cépage in Hong Kong.

Vicky Lau, Asia's Best Female Chef 2015, not afraid to experiment

The owner of Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room & Bar, in Central, who has been named Best Female Chef 2015 by the organisers of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, talks to Kylie Knott about Hong Kong's evolving food scene.

24 Jan 2015 - 10:28pm

Wine lovers, do your homework before an auction

24 Jan 2015

Chefs, get out of the kitchen! It's the way to earn respect

24 Jan 2015
Creating the genetic firewall

Genetically recoded organisms could be safe enough to use to clean up oil spills or break down toxic chemicals

Synthetic amino acids may one day allow scientists to create "genetic firewalls" that prevent genetically modified crops or animals from escaping into the wild and causing environmental damage.

25 Jan 2015 - 8:08am

Debate over artificial intelligence raises moral, legal and technical questions

25 Jan 2015 1 comment

GSK, Pfizer must lower price of vital vaccine: Medecins sans Frontieres

25 Jan 2015

Magazines

Sport

A swarm of competitors line up on the Island Eastern Corridor for the start of the hugely popular 10-kilometre events of the Hong Kong Marathon programme in the early hours of Sunday. Photo: Felix Wong

First time lucky for Ethiopian Merga as he wins Hong Kong Marathon

The barricades were back out on Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay on Sunday, but there were no Occupy protesters around. Instead, they were keeping a large crowd off the streets, allowing Ethiopia's Sentayehu Merga Ejigu to race to victory in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.

25 Jan 2015 - 10:25pm More on Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2015

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