Giant rhino fossils in China show new species was ‘taller than giraffe’

A new species of the ancient giant rhino, among the largest mammals to walk on land has been discovered in north-western China, researchers say. The Paraceratherium linxiaense, which lived some 26.5 million years ago, weighed 21 tonnes – the equivalent of four large African elephants. The hornless creature’s head could also reach 23ft (7m) to graze treetops, making it taller than a giraffe. The new findings were concluded from fossils discovered in Gansu Province. In a study published in Communications biology journal on Thursday, scientists said that analysis of the fossils – found near the Wang jia chuan village in 2015 – … Continue reading Giant rhino fossils in China show new species was ‘taller than giraffe’

China launches first crew to new space station

China has launched three astronauts into orbit to begin occupation of the country’s new space station. The three men – Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo – are to spend three months aboard the Tianhe module some 380km (236 miles) above the Earth. It will be China’s longest crewed space mission to date and the first in nearly five years. On Thursday, their Shenzhou-12 capsule successfully took off atop its Long March 2F rocket. Lift-off from the Jiuquan satellite launch centre in the Gobi desert was at 09:22 Beijing time (01:22 GMT). The launch and subsequent mission are another … Continue reading China launches first crew to new space station

China to launch first human spaceflight since 2016

A Chinese spacecraft will blast off from the Gobi Desert on a Long March rocket in the coming days, ferrying three men to an orbiting space module for a three-month stay, the first time China has sent humans into space for nearly five years. Shenzhou-12, meaning “Divine Vessel”, will be the third of 11 missions needed to complete China’s space station by 2022. Among them, four will be missions with people on board, potentially propelling up to 12 Chinese astronauts into space – more than the 11 men and women that China has sent since 2003. The craft will also … Continue reading China to launch first human spaceflight since 2016

Hong Kong speedboat smuggling bust nets luxury goods trove

Hong Kong customs announced their biggest ever bust of a speedboat gang smuggling luxury goods into the mainland on Thursday. Unveiling a haul that included watches, handbags and shoes, endangered animal parts, cosmetics, wines, whiskey and cigars. The massive seizure, valued at HK$120 million ($15.4 million) is a window into the thriving smuggling networks that operate along the border between Hong Kong and China. Simple economics makes the trade hugely lucrative. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has no sales tax, making it one of the cheapest places in the world to buy luxury goods. But over in China, punitive taxes often mean … Continue reading Hong Kong speedboat smuggling bust nets luxury goods trove

China students hold principal hostage in rare protest

Protesting students held a school principal hostage over fears their degrees would be devalued, Chinese police said on Tuesday. The protests were over a plan to merge a Nanjing college in Jiangsu province with a vocational institute – which are seen as less prestigious. Some of the students were reportedly injured as police allegedly used batons and pepper spray on them. Such protests are rare in China where mass movements are controlled. Danyang city police said in a statement on Tuesday that undergraduates at Nanjing Normal University’s Zhongbei College in Jiangsu province had “gathered” from Sunday and detained the 55-year-old … Continue reading China students hold principal hostage in rare protest

Professor killed party official at Fudan University

A professor killed the Communist Party secretary at the school of mathematics at China’s prestigious Fudan University, police and school authorities said.A security guard stands at the gate to the campus of Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Police identified the suspect in custody as a 39-year-old professor whose surname is Jiang, saying he used a knife in committing the crime on the school campus in Shanghai. The school said in a brief statement that Wang Yongzhen, 49, was killed on Monday afternoon and the department had established a working group to fully cooperate with the police investigation. Police said in … Continue reading Professor killed party official at Fudan University

Developing Story: Police in China apprehend suspect in knife attack that killed 6 and injured 14

Police caught a suspect in a knife attack that killed six people and injured 14 on Saturday in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing, local authorities said on Sunday.Volunteers arrange flowers at the site of a stabbing in Anqing, in China’s eastern Anhui province. The suspect in the attack, which took place on a pedestrian shopping street, is an unemployed 25-year-old man who was “venting anger over things not going well in the family, and pessimism,” the Communist Party in Anqing said in a statement on the social media site Weibo. Of the 14 people injured, one remained in severe … Continue reading Developing Story: Police in China apprehend suspect in knife attack that killed 6 and injured 14

Meituan founder donates $2.27 billion shares as charity grips Chinese billionaires

The founder of food delivery giant Meituan will donate shares worth about $2.27 billion to his personal charity, a stock exchange filing late on Thursday showed, making him the latest Chinese tech billionaire to make such a gesture.Wang Xing, CEO of Meituan The donation of shares by Chief Executive Wang Xing comes as Meituan and other so-called platform economy companies have come under the scrutiny of China’s anti-trust regulator, which announced a probe into Meituan in April. On Thursday, the market regulator warned Meituan and several other “sharing economy” companies over opaque pricing practices. “The changes regarding Wang Xing’s interest … Continue reading Meituan founder donates $2.27 billion shares as charity grips Chinese billionaires

China suspends ultramarathons after death of 21 runners

China has suspended all ultramarathon and long-distance races after 21 runners died when extreme weather struck a race last month. High winds and freezing rain hit participants in a 100km (60-mile) ultramarathon in Gansu province. The race was halted when some of the 172 runners went missing, and a rescue operation was launched. Now China is suspending all high-risk sports events that lack clear oversight, rules and safety standards. The suspended sports include trail running, desert trekking, wingsuit flying and ultra-long distance races, according to a statement by China’s General Administration of Sport. It is unclear how long the suspension … Continue reading China suspends ultramarathons after death of 21 runners

Update: China allows families to have 3 children in major policy shift

China has relaxed its family planning policy to allow couples to have three children after a census showed its population is rapidly ageing, state media reported, in a major policy shift to boost birthrate in the world’s most populous nation. For nearly 40 years, China enforced a controversial “one-child policy” – one of the strictest family planning regulations worldwide, which was relaxed in 2016 to a “two-child policy” due to widespread concerns about an ageing workforce and economic stagnation. Despite government efforts to encourage couples to have children, China’s annual births have continued to plummet to a record low of … Continue reading Update: China allows families to have 3 children in major policy shift

Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai jailed again for pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for participating in an unauthorised assembly. Mr Lai, 73, is currently already serving time for participating in other demonstrations that year. He will serve part of his new sentence consecutively, meaning Mr Lai faces a total of 20 months in jail. The verdict comes as mainland China is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms. The tycoon faces another three charges – at least one of which was imposed under the country’s new national security law, which can carry a maximum term of … Continue reading Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai jailed again for pro-democracy protests