A partial US government shutdown was almost certain to drag through the Christmas holiday after the Senate adjourned on Saturday without breaking an impasse over President Donald Trump’s demand for more funds for a border wall. [Photo/Agencies]
US government shuts down
The US federal government was expected to remain partially shut down past Christmas as the standoff deepened on Saturday over US President Donald Trump’s demand for funds to build a border wall with Mexico. With Trump’s insistence on $5 billion for the wall and negotiations with Democrats in Congress far from a breakthrough, even a temporary measure to keep the government running while talks continued seemed out of reach until the Senate returned for a full session on Thursday. The disruption affected many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and were expected to work unpaid. An additional 380,000 were to be furloughed, meaning they will stay home without pay.
A minke whale is landed at a port in Kushiro on Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido on Sept. 4, 2017.[Photo/VCG]
Japan considers leaving iwc 小王子 大飛
Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in a bid to resume commercial whaling, Kyodo News reported, citing government sources. Japan’s withdrawal from the IWC is planned for 2019 and will be announced by the end of the year, according to the report. Kyodo quoted unnamed government sources as saying Japan would abandon its controversial, and expensive, expeditions to the Southern Ocean and instead permit whaling fleets to operate in its coastal waters and exclusive economic zone. A fisheries agency official denied the report, however, insisting no decision had been taken on whether to withdraw from the iwc 500908, which banned commercial whaling in 1986.
File photo: The chief executive officer of China’s JD.com Inc, Richard Liu. [Photo/IC]
No charges against Liu
No charges will be brought against Liu Qiangdong, billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD, for an alleged sexual assault in the US. Minnesota prosecutors announced on Friday that their investigation turned up insufficient evidence to follow through. JD said on Saturday it was pleased to see this decision. Liu also issued a statement on his Chinese social media account saying “this proves I broke no law, however, my interactions with the woman have hurt my family greatly, especially my wife. I feel deep regret and remorse and hope she can accept my sincere apology.”
Travel rush ticket on sale
The sales of train tickets for the 2019 Spring Festival travel rush, or chunyun in Chinese, started Sunday and passengers can buy the tickets through various means, including telephone, website and smartphone app. The 2019 Spring Festival travel rush will last from Jan 21 to Mar 1. It is estimated that 410 million passengers will be traveling by trains during the 40-day chunyun, which is called “the world’s largest human migration”. To improve passengers’ ticket purchasing experience, a new function will be added to the official train ticket booking website, 12306.cn, and the 12306 app during the travel rush. The new function will automatically allocate canceled train tickets to other buyers who have paid in advance when tickets are sold out. It will save passengers the trouble of refreshing the website repeatedly to wait for canceled tickets.
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