- 10 Things to Know for Today
- China's aircraft carrier puts naval ambitions on show
At a northern quayside China's first aircraft carrier dwarfs nearby vessels, its take-off ramp rising higher than the top deck of the cruise ship at the next berth, symbolising the country's naval ambitions. Dalian, where the Liaoning was refitted and undergoes regular maintenance, looks out over the Bohai strait, gateway to the Yellow Sea, and beyond it, Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Beijing proclaims that China's rise is entirely peaceful and it has no interest in hegemony, but analysts say its goal is to surpass the naval capability of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and ultimately rival the US Navy, masters of the Pacific. The 300-metre (1,000-foot) Liaoning -- a Soviet-era vessel Beijing bought from Ukraine -- was commissioned in September 2012, and officers have acknowledged that it is not yet ready for combat, with naval fighter pilots taking years to train.
- Italy's cruise ship wreck begins final voyage
Italy's once-luxurious Costa Concordia cruise liner embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday, as tug boats began towing it from island wreck site to scrapyard grave in one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history. "It's hard not to get emotional," said Franco Porcellacchia, an engineer with ship owner Costa Crociere. "Today, Giglio is once again ours," a local man, visibly relieved to see the back of the Concordia, told AFP. The rusting liner, roughly twice the size of the Titanic and now hoisted afloat by massive air chambers, will be tugged to the port of Genoa in northwest Italy, where it will be dismantled and scrapped.
- Young MH17 victim has eerie premonition of crash
- Inside Xi Jinping's purge of China's oil mandarins
By David Lague , Charlie Zhu and Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Oil executive Jiang Jiemin rose to power in Communist China in time-honored fashion: by hitching his star to a mighty mentor. In Jiang's case, that patron was another oil man, Zhou Yongkang, who went on to become the chief of China's internal security apparatus and one of the country's most powerful men. Like Zhou before him, Jiang rose to the top of country’s biggest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corporation. ...
- Parents head to Ukraine convinced MH17 daughter still alive
The parents of an Australian victim of the MH17 disaster are clinging to hopes their daughter may still be alive, travelling to Ukraine to find her, reports said Friday. Jerzy and Angela Dyczynski's daughter Fatima was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was brought down by a suspected missile strike, as she made her way to see her parents in Perth. "We still think she is alive so today we fly to Donetsk and we find her," her father, a doctor, told The Australian newspaper from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The Dyczynskis have been clinging to hope that Fatima, their only child, somehow survived the disaster which befell the plane carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
- Chinese billionaires criticised for giving Harvard $15m
A Chinese billionaire couple have faced a deluge of criticism for donating $15 million to one of the richest and most prestigious universities in the US, with Internet users saying it would be better spent on students in China. Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, the husband-and-wife duo behind real estate giant SOHO China, are giving $100 million to fund disadvantaged Chinese students at top universities across the globe. The first stage of the programme was last week's gift to Harvard, widely regarded as one of the world's best universities. Pan is not only one of China's wealthiest people but also one of the country's most-celebrated "Big V" bloggers, with nearly 17 million followers on Sina Weibo, at times drawing attention from the authorities.
- Five Ways Paul Ryan Thinks He Can End Poverty
Rep. Paul Ryan thinks the federal government should stop its habit of treating poverty as a series of isolated problems and start listening to the “boots on the ground,” local community leaders fighting for different results. Today, Ryan, R-Wisconsin, released an anti-poverty proposal he coined an...