Six In The Morning Sunday 28 July 2019


Ship’s flag can help its owner keep costs down. But for the crew, it can be a nightmare

Updated 0614 GMT (1414 HKT) July 28, 2019

A British-flagged ship owned by a Swedish company was seized by Iran last week. Caught in the middle are 23 seamen who have nothing to do with any of the three countries.

The current crisis in the Strait of Hormuz has put a spotlight on the murky world of international shipping, where shipowners can register and re-register their vessels within minutes, turning their crews into pawns in a game of diplomatic chess.
“If you’ve got a credit card, and you’ve got 15 minutes, you can re-register your ship under any flag you want,” said Michael Roe, a professor of maritime and logistics policy at the University of Plymouth.

‘No difference’: Hong Kong police likened to thugs after Yuen Long violence


Images circulate online comparing gang attacks to police baton charge as fresh protests begin on Sunday

Hong Kong police have come under criticism for charging protesters in a mass transit station in Yuen Long, where some were resting or preparing to leave after clashes with police on Saturday.

In scenes that protesters and critics said were reminiscent of an attack on commuters by suspected triad gangs last week, police fired tear gas and rushed into the station shortly before 10pm. The team, a special tactical unit, pepper sprayed and beat people with batons, causing panic. Some protesters attempted to fight back with fire extinguishers. Bloodied gauze and drops of blood could be seen on the station floor.

The criticism comes as the city prepared on Sunday for its third consecutive day of mass civil dissent, following Saturday’s rally in Yuen Long and an 11-hour-sit-in at the Hong Kong airport on Friday.

Human body ‘close to thermal limits’ due to extreme heatwaves caused by climate change, scientist says

Swathes of land could soon become uninhabitable amid catastrophic weather changes
Phoebe WestonScience Correspondent @phoeb0

Extreme global temperatures are pushing the human body “close to thermal limits”, according to a climate scientist.

Record-breaking heat has swept through Europe this week with temperatures topping 40C in a number of countries.

However, in places such as South Asia and the Persian Gulf, people are already enduring temperatures reaching up to 54C.

The Huawei DilemmaResistance to Chinese Mobile Provider Grows Among Conservatives

In Germany, the debate is growing in conservative political circles as to whether it should prohibit Chinese network equipment provider Huawei from helping to build the country’s 5G network. But at the moment, Berlin doesn’t really have any other choice.

When Germany’s economics minister traveled to Shanghai in mid-June, he had more than just a visit with his Chinese counterpart on the agenda. An appointment he originally intended to keep secret was of equal importance.

At the urging of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, Peter Altmaier of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party met company CEO Ren Zhengfei for breakfast in a luxury hotel. In other words, a man whose life work is considered by United States President Donald Trump to be a threat to national security. The Chinese company also presents an economic threat to the U.S., given that Huawei recently surpassed Apple in global smartphone sales.

Mexico, Honduras agree to create 20,000 jobs and stem migration

A scheme to create 20,000 jobs in Honduras has been agreed between the country’s president and Mexico’s leader in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants toward the United States.

Mexico, which is a stepping stone to the US for many from Central America seeking to escape violence and poverty, has seen a wave of migrants sweep through in the past few months, causing tensions with Washington.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met his Honduran counterpart Juan Orlando Hernandez in the Mexican state of Veracruz on Saturday to sign an agreement to extend a development program to Honduras, which includes a tree-planting scheme already active in Mexico.

‘Born to be wild’: Kenya’s female biker gang

The group recently completed a 270km (170-mile) ride from the capital, Nairobi, south to Loitokitok town. Their black leather boots, guards, jackets and helmets are the only protection from the notoriously dangerous red-dirt roads.

Some residents of the town, which is on the border with Tanzania, did a double take, but these women are used to faces of surprise.