Khamis, 6 Mac 2014

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The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro

Birmingham's Yeung sentenced to six years jail for money laundering

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 11:27 PM PST

Hong Kong (AFP) - Hong Kong businessman and Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung was on Friday sentenced to six years in jail for laundering HK$720 million ($93 million).

Judge Douglas Yau handed down the sentence in the southern Chinese city's district court after convicting the 54-year-old of five charges of money laundering on Monday.

Buying ivory is buying bullets, says Yao Ming

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PST

BEIJING: Former NBA star Yao Ming, also a political adviser in China, wants his country to do more to stop the trade in illegal ivory.

"Buying ivory is buying bullets," Yao, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told reporters attending the CPPCC annual session in Beijing, heaping pressure on the world's leading tusk consumer.

Yao is well known for his stance against poaching and his high-profile campaigns against the trade. He wants legislation to prevent the sale of any illegal animal products and wider publicity for the cause.

Ivory remains legal in China if it comes from a registered dealer.

Yao's proposal to the CPPCC asks for a total ban on all domestic trade in ivory and ivory products and an end to imports.

"The ban will protect elephants," he said.

Ivory products are always used as bribes, and are an important feature of the extravagance and corruption in China, Yao added.

China banned trading in endangered species such as the giant panda, the golden monkey and the white-flag dolphin in the late 1980s.

Between December 2013 and January 2014, China led operation Cobra II, a strike against international wildlife crime organised by China, the United States, South Africa, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, the Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network and the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network.

Over 350 cases were dealt with and in excess of three tonnes of ivory and ivory products seized, along with more than 1,000 hides and numerous other wildlife products.

In January, 6.1 tonnes of confiscated ivory, seized over a number of years, were destroyed in south China's Guangdong province.

"This shows China's determination to stop poaching and the illegal trade in animal products," Yao said in his proposal.

"Ivory smuggling and the ivory trade damage China's image," he added. — Xinhua

Afghan president welcomes third child at age of 56

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 11:23 PM PST

NEW DELHI, March 07, 2014 (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has become a father again at the age of 56 after his wife gave birth to their third child in India, according to an embassy statement sent to AFP Friday.

A baby girl was delivered at a private hospital in the New Delhi satellite town of Gurgaon earlier this week, the statement said.

Karzai paid a brief visit to the Fortis Hospital on Wednesday to see his wife, 44, and new child as he flew on to Sri Lanka where he is on a two-day trip.

The leader, who has close ties with New Delhi, is set to retire from office after elections set for April 5 having led his war-wracked country since 2001.

Both of his other children - a son and a daughter - were born in Afghanistan, but due to an unspecified "medical complication" Karzai's wife Zinat was advised to travel to seek specialised care in India.

The child was born on Tuesday at around 9:30 am (0400 GMT), the Afghan embassy in New Delhi said in the statement.

In an interview last year to the BBC, Zinat explained that her husband of 15 years doted on his young family but often found it difficult to find time for them due to demands on his time.

"Sometimes, perhaps on Fridays, he might be free for an hour or so, so he will go for a walk with me and the children. We all go out together - once in a while," she said.

She also stressed that for them, despite deep-rooted cultural preferences for boys in Afghanistan, they were equally happy to have a daughter.

"For us... there is no difference between a boy and a girl," she said. "A daughter is the best gift from God."


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