Shanghai Daily front page headline stories
Deadly chill grips Europe
OFFICIALS suspended shipping along Europe’s second-longest waterway yesterday as a polar spell gripped a large swathe of the continent. Meanwhile, the death toll from the deep freeze continued to mount.
Romanian police halted shipping at midday for an undetermined period along a 900-kilometer stretch of the Danube river, which crosses Romania. Croatian and Serbian authorities also stopped river traffic on the Danube.
In Serbia, the icy conditions claimed another two lives. Authorities said an 88-year-old man and his son, 64, died from freezing temperatures in the village of Duga Poljana. Serbian state TV said the two victims, discovered by a man delivering bread, were extremely poor.
Three people have been found dead in the past three days in Macedonia as temperatures plunged to minus 20 degrees Celsius. One 68-year-old homeless man was found frozen to death in the capital, Skopje, while a 60-year-old man died in front of his home in the southern town in Strumica. An 80-year-old woman was discovered in her home in eastern Macedonia.
In Albania, it snowed in the southern city of Saranda for the first time in 32 years. A homeless Albanian man was found dead in the southeast city of Korca.
In the central town of Bulqize, temperatures plummeted to minus 22 degrees, with most rural areas cut off by snow. There were temporary power and water outages. Army helicopters were distributing aid in remote mountain areas.
Taliban Bombers Kill 30 in Kabul
Policemen who rush to help die in second blast near parliament building in Afghan capital
Taliban blasts struck near the Afghan parliament in Kabul yesterday, killing more than 30 people and wounding 80 in a rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital.
The bombings came just hours after a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand.
The explosions in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses the offices of lawmakers, leaving the area littered with bloodied bodies.
“A suicide bomber on foot caused the first explosion, leaving a number of innocent workers killed and wounded,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard, told reporters.
“The second one was a car bomb. The vehicle was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.
Some of the wounded were in a serious condition, health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said, and he warned that the death toll was expected to rise.
The dead included at least four policemen who were killed in the second explosion when they rushed to help the victims of the first blast.
The carnage underscores growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are helping struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency as well as al-Qaida and Islamic State militants.
Alibaba predicts US jobs bonanza
Trump and Ma emerged from their meeting at Trump Tower in New York together. The president-elect told reporters they had a “great meeting” and would do great things together. Ma called Trump “smart” and “open-minded.”
Ma said the two mainly discussed supporting small businesses, especially in the Midwest, such as farmers and small clothing manufacturers, who could tap the Chinese market directly through Alibaba, whose Tmall online shopping platform offers virtual store fronts and payment portals to merchants.
The company has in recent years been aggressively courting foreign brands to set up Tmall stores by offering to smooth out Chinese sales, payment and shipping processes.
Trump often targeted China in his election campaign, blaming Beijing for US job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. He also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.
Alibaba has deep ties with the Chinese government, working closely on some of the country’s core technology development goals including cloud infrastructure and big data.
“It’s important, given the anti-China rhetoric that has been coming out, to innoculate the company and himself from that,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of investment advisory firm BDA China and author of a book on Alibaba, of Ma’s meeting with Trump.
Shanghai Daily Article
Radio Silence oas DAB takes over
DEAD air will greet some radio listeners in Norway today when the mountainous nation of 5 million people becomes the world’s first to phase out analog signals in favor of digital audio broadcasting, or DAB.
The move has provoked concern for the elderly and motorists, while others will be nostalgic for the crackling sound of old radio.
Judith Haaland, 98, remembers broadcasts from London during World War II and Norway’s king stiffening the resolve of his countrymen under German occupation. Now blind, the radio is her link to the outside world.
“I remember April 9, 1940, planes flying overhead and Quisling coming on the radio saying he had taken control of the government with the help of the Germans,” said Haaland, recalling the rule of Norwegian Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling. “After that we listened to broadcasts from London.”
In a move likely to be watched closely, Norway will begin shutting off the FM signal today. By the end of the year, national networks will only be on DAB.
Switzerland and Britain are both considering a switch to digital networks.