Alipay updates anti-fraud functionsscans a quick response

Alipay, the country’s top mobile payment platform, announced on Tuesday a major anti-fraud u

pgrade on its application by teaming up with 26 public security departments nationwide.

The new function, dubbed “Security Guard”, allows users to set up related accounts among f

amily members or close friends. Should any abnormalities on transactions occur, the system would send

out alerts to all related accounts in order to prevent the fraud from materializing and minimize loss of funds.

“Security is the lifeline of Alipay, and we hope to fight fraud in a manner as harsh as dru

nk driving,” said Rui Xiongwen, vice-president of Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent company.

Alipay users can choose to delay payment for two hours or 24 hours and raise an alert

on the platform if they deem such transactions potentially misdirected or fraudulent.

The system has been linked to local public security authorities to help freeze any transaction

s in doubt. The money will be credited back to the user’s account if authorities determine fraud has been committed.

A number of local anti-fraud centers in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhe

n also pledged to cooperate with Alipay on financial security education and anti-fraud alarming systems.

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The country will also push for high-quality developmen

of the sector with a focus on improving financial services and forestalling financial risks.

Opening-up of China’s financial factor has sped up, as the country re

moved foreign ownership caps of banks and financial asset management firms last year.

Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist of BlackRock, an American global investment man

agement corporation, is also positive on China’s stocks market, according to the Barron’s report.

Turnill said stronger inflows into Chinese A-shares, and China’s efforts to boost credit growth and sti

mulate its economy are also helpful to a bullish stock market.

However, selectivity of stocks is needed, Turnill said, adding that BlackRock favors b

rokers and companies related to the domestic consumer that can benefit from the efforts to stimulate growth locally.

Major securities traders in China, such as the Merchants Securities, CITIC Securities, and Fo

under Securities are all optimistic about China’s stocks market this year, according to a report from finance.sina.com.

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Trump could try to sell North Korea a Vietnam model. But

The night before his historic summit with US President Donald Trump last June, North Kore

an leader Kim Jong Un took a surprise stroll in downtown Singapore to see the sights of the wealthy capitalist city.

The inference seemed clear. If cash-strapped Pyongyang chooses to engage the world — and ditch its nuclear weapons — this could be its future.

Trump and Kim will this month have an even more symbolic backdrop for their next mee

ting: Vietnam, a country which transformed itself from bitter US enemy to peaceful partner in less than 50 years.

Experts believe the Trump administration plans to sell North Korea on a model such as communist Vietnam, hig

hlighting its relationship with Washington as well as its economic boom since adopting market reforms. And all th

e North Koreans have to do, Washington is expected to say, is give up their nukes.

Yet analysts are wary such a sales pitch will produce any tangible outcome. North Korea

knows how capitalism and market economies work: it’s just chosen not to embrace them.

China has for years been prodding the North to embrace economic reform, dragging for

mer North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on tours of capitalist enterprises whenever he visited.

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Vietnam’s path from a mortal enemy to a friendly partn

  United States is particularly appealing to North Korea, who believes a good relationship with the United States can h

elp create the right environment and necessary conditions for achieving North Korea’s new strategic drive toward ec

onomic development,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

  The concept isn’t new, of course. During his time as an Asia expert at the State Department in the Clinton administration, Evans Revere said negoti

ators working with North Korea were even then trying to point them to Vietnam, which was beginning to reap t

he benefits of market reforms and becoming a member of good international standing.

  ”We thought, somewhat naively back then, that this would appeal to the North Koreans gre

atly and that our commitments to work with them on bringing about a modernized economy w

ould be so attractive … that they would stand down from their nuclear weapons program. We were wrong,” Revere said.

  ”If all of these incentives or this incentive-based approach to coaxing North Korea do

wn a new path did not work when they didn’t have nuclear weapons, and it didn’t work to prevent th

em from developing nuclear weapons, why will it work now that they are in effect a nuclear weapons state?”

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The problem with this message is simpledead peop

  need money.”Lankov is one of the few foreigners ever to study at Kim Il Sung University, the country’s most pr

estigious institution of higher learning. Today he runs the Korea Risk Group consultancy, teaches at Kookmin Uni

versity in Seoul and is considered one of the world’s experts on the inner workings of North Korea.

  He says Kim and his top advisers are cold, realistic and brutally rational. They believe that nuclear weapons are the key to their survival given the fate of Moa

mmar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Ukraine as well as Trump’s decision to ditch the Iran nuclear deal.

  ”For the North Koreans, security comes first. And they believe that their security is imperfect if they don’t have some

nuclear weapons. A reduction of nuclear weapons can be negotiated, but denuclearization is a pipe dream,” Lankov said.

  Jackson, the former Defense Department official, is also unconvinced that Kim Jong Un is the reformer many hoped he would be.

  Though Kim is a millennial leader educated in the West, he has n

ow been in power for seven years — during which time he’s overseen more missile and nu

clear tests than his father and grandfather combined, without “meaningful signs” of economic change.

  ”What is different now than the previous 30 years that makes that control-versus-opening tradeoff worthwhile?” Jackson said.

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Beyond “Black Panther,” Marvel’s highlights included “Spider

  Man: Into the Spider-Verse” swinging off with best animated movie, as the Sony release topped a pair of Disney sequels, “Ralph

Breaks the Internet” and “Incredibles 2.” “Free Solo,” a hit documentary about daredevil climber Al

ex Honnold, topped the documentary feature category, which also included the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biography “RBG.” In th

eir enthusiasm, one of the filmmakers blurted out an expletive that was promptly bleeped.

  ”Bohemian Rhapsody’s” other wins came in both sound categories as

well editing. Notably, none of the “Rhapsody” winners thanked credited director, Bryan Si

nger, who was accused of sexual abuse in January, allegations that the filmmaker has denied.

  In one of the more expected victories, the team that transformed Christian Bale into former Vice Pr

esident Dick Cheney won in makeup/hairstyling for “Vice.” Visual effects, however, were something of a

surprise, going to “First Man,” the moon-landing drama about Neil Armstrong.

  Lacking a host, the producers relied on music and comedy bits to enlive

n the evening, including a duet from “A Star is Born” by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — la

ter the winner for best song — which drew a standing ovation from the Hollywood crowd.

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ashington DC held a housewarming event inside the giant pa

  ”Giant pandas are China’s national treasures,” said Minister Xu Xueyuan, the Chinese embassy in the United States. “Although they are large in size, they are also charm

ing, tolerant, and peace-loving, representing many values of China itself, and are loved by people all over the world.”

  ”Giant pandas are also symbolic of the China-US friendship,” she told a ceremony at the giant panda house.

  The housewarming was jointly hosted by the zoo and the Chinese embassy.

  Giant pandas live mainly in southwest China’s Sichuan Province as well as neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu.

  The latest census in 2014 found there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild. The number of pand

as bred in captivity reached 548 globally as of November, 2018, according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

  At the zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat currently live three giant pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their three-year-old son, Bei Bei.

  The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington DC’s most popular tourist desti

nations and is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned museum and research complex.

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Venezuelan troops defect at the border with Colombia

  Three members of the Venezuelan National Guard defected Saturday at Venezuela’s border with Colombia, the Colombian immigration department said.

  The troops abandoned their posts at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on the Colom

bia-Venezuela border and requested help from Colombia’s immigration officials.

  Also Saturday, soldiers with Venezuela’s National Guard

fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who were demanding to cross the border at Ur

eña into Colombia to work, according to a CNN crew that witnessed the scene at the Tienditas Bridge.

  Workers faced off with the soldiers, chanting, “We want to work!” before being disperse

d by the tear gas. Men with shirts covering their faces started throwing rocks toward the guard.

  US argues momentum for change in Venezuela is growing despite border violence

  These tense scenes played out Saturday, a day after violence broke out at a Venezuelan town near the border wit

h Brazil over aid delivery, leaving two people dead and 17 others injured, local authorities said.

  Tensions are running high at Venezuela’s borders amid opposition plans to usher aid into the country this weekend

in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro’s wishes. Maduro called on Venezuelans to “mobilize” Saturday. “Let’s

all take to the streets to defend our independence with conscience and joy,” Maduro said on his official Twitter account.

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Brexit is blowing up British politicseeks away, and still no

With Brexit day only weeks away, and still no deal in place, now might not seem the best time for British politicians to flip the table over.

But this week, 11 Members of Parliament have done exactly that. On Monday, seven members of the opposition Labour Party announced tha

t they were fed up of their leader Jeremy Corbyn, citing reasons ranging from rampant anti-Semitism to hi

s lack of leadership on Brexit. They will Theresa May tactics of pandering to the harder-line Brexiteers in her own party and

elsewhere. That means it’s now hard to see this new group as anything other than a pro-EU bloc in the UK Parliament, dissa

tisfied with the pro-Brexit positions of both government and opposition.
Why does that matter?
Brexit has made the politics of the UK in

credibly hard to read. Both frontbenches are committed to delivering Brexit. The government agreed a way to achieve this

with the other 27 EU member states. Yet the UK Parliament hates the deal, infamously handing May the heaviest defeat in the history of the

House of Commons.
And it hates the deal for reasons all across the political spectrum (that’s right, the Brexiteers hate the deal just as

much as the Remainers).
Since the 2016, Brexit has redrawn the ideological lines of politics in the UK. Professor Sara Hobolt at the London Sc

hool of Economics explained that there “are more people now who are willing to identify as either Brexiteers or Remainers than as supporters of any par

ty. This new divide is more tribal than old party politics, with both groups tending to be inherently distrustful of one another.”

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hey say they were sexually abused by sts, then silence

Lucie was just 16 when she became involved with a Catholic religious community after attending a holiday camp in Switzerland. At the time, she told CNN

,she was “very, very, very alone” and looking for friends and affection.
What she found at first was “really like a family

,” she said. But two years later — by which time she was preparing to become an “oblate,” a lay person affiliated with a rel

igious order — she says a pattern of sexual abuse by a charismatic priest who she considered her spiritual father began.

It took 15 years for Lucie — a pseudonym used at her request to protect her family — to realize that what she says she experienced over several months in the 1990

s was abuse. At the time, just 18 years old, she felt “disgusted” by the physical intimacy she says the priest for

ced on her but also wracked by guilt and powerless to stop him.
“It was like automatic you know. He wan

ted to go to the end — to ejaculation — and I was just like an object for him and I had a feeling he did this a lot of times,” she said.

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