How to lose a technology cold war: Restrict visas

Last week, China’s education ministry issued a warning to students: if you’re thinking about studying in the United States, you might want to think again. Citing a rise in visa delays and refusals, officials called on students to adjust their “risk assessment” of pursuing an American education. While it might be tempting to dismiss the statement as a propaganda ploy amid a deepening trade conflict with China, the fact is that the Trump administration has taken steps that restrict Chinese students and researchers from coming to the United States, putting the…

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Sri Lanka opens doors to luxury tourism a decade after Civil War

In 2004 businessman Malik Fernando bought Castlereagh, a decrepit bungalow in the terraced, emerald hills of Sri Lanka’s sprawling tea country. The structure had no roof. “It was in absolute shambles,” he recalls. “There were cattle roaming through the whole house.” But it had one irresistible asset: “It was what was available,” he says, shrugging and welcoming me to the neat, gingerbread-style mansion on a clear, 80F winter day. That was enough to make it the perfect place for the area’s first luxury hotel. When Fernando closed 13 years ago…

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Syria war: US disappointed at Russia’s Syria stance

The US is “disappointed but not surprised” at Russia’s response to its strikes on a Syrian air base suspected of storing chemical weapons. At least six people are reported to have been killed in the US missile strikes early on Friday. Syria’s ally Russia accused the US of encouraging “terrorists” with its unilateral actions. “I’m disappointed in that response,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “It indicates their continued support for the Assad regime and, in particular, their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of…

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India’s Bharti offers free data, deepening price war with rivals

  Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top wireless carrier, said on Tuesday it would offer free data to woo new and existing 4G customers, intensifying a price war in the sector and sending share prices tumbling. The package is Bharti’s latest response to the entry last year of new operator Reliance Jio, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, which shook India’s telecom sector by offering free data services until March 31. Bharti said it would offer three gigabytes of free 4G data per month until the end of the year for customers…

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Analysts: Militarization of South China Sea is fraught with risk of major war

Further militarization of the South China Sea, which Vietnam has now joined in thereby following in China’s footsteps, may cause skirmishes and fire exchanges, as well as internationalization of the conflict involving the United States’ Pacific Fleet, polled experts have told TASS. OPINION Reuters quotes US intelligence sources as saying Vietnam is moving its missile complexes to Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, disputed by China and three other countries. These weapons are capable of hitting China’s facilities on neighboring reefs. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has expressed a strong…

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Ukraine finds Russian ‘soldiers’ guilty of waging war

A Ukrainian court has convicted two alleged Russian special forces soldiers of crimes including terrorism and sentenced them to 14 years in jail. The pair – Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov – were captured in eastern Ukraine last May. Russia denies sending troops to the region and has said the men were volunteers who had left active service. A fragile ceasefire is in place in eastern Ukraine between the army and pro-Russian rebels. The court in Kiev found Yerofeyev and Alexandrov guilty of waging an “aggressive war” against Ukraine, committing…

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EU’s Mogherini says no Cold War with Russia as Syria truce agreed

The European Union`s senior diplomat said on Monday there was no Cold War climate between Moscow and the West as they agreed to a pause in the fighting in Syria, although Russia`s prime minister said tension was growing. At a security conference in Munich on Friday, world powers agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” that would let humanitarian aid be delivered in Syria and was envisaged to start this week. But a day later Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the gathering that Moscow and the West had “fallen into…

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