Shares in SenseTime jumped more than 20 per cent on its first day of trading almost three weeks after it postponed its initial public offering when the US blacklisted China’s biggest artificial intelligence company.

SenseTime raised $740m in Hong Kong on Thursday after its original listing plans were derailed when Washington barred Americans from investing in the company.

Joe Biden’s administration has accused SenseTime, which specialises in facial recognition software, of enabling human rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs in China’s north-western Xinjiang region. The company has denied the charges.

The listing was swiftly revived after Chinese state-backed entities stepped

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Stand News, Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy news outlet, said it would close after national security police officers raided its headquarters, marking the latest step in a government crackdown on independent media and opposition activists.

More than 200 officers descended on Wednesday morning on Stand News, a news site known for its critical coverage of government policies. Police arrested six people, including current and former senior executives, for alleged “conspiracy to publish seditious publication” under British colonial-era laws.

Police said they used a search warrant to seize journalistic materials and that the government had frozen about HK$61m (US$8m) of Stand News’s

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Tokyo and Beijing have agreed to set up a military hotline, according to Japanese officials, creating an emergency communication mechanism to defuse potential crises over disputed islands and the Taiwan Strait.

The Japanese defence ministry said the governments agreed to set up the link by the end of 2022 during a two-hour phone call on Monday between Nobuo Kishi, defence minister, and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe.

The ministers agreed on the “timely establishment” of a hotline between the two militaries, the Japanese defence ministry said, in order to improve the effectiveness of the maritime and aerial communication mechanism, a

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The city at the centre of China’s worst Covid-19 outbreak in almost two years has tightened lockdown measures and launched another round of mandatory testing for its 13m residents in an effort to extinguish the virus.

Health authorities in Xi’an, the provincial capital of central Shaanxi province, said 150 locally transmitted cases had been discovered on Sunday, down slightly from Saturday. But they said they expected the number of infections to rise as a fourth round of testing for the entire population kicked off on Monday.

Zhang Yi, director of Shaanxi province’s centre for disease control and prevention, told state

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When John Finlayson was growing up, almost everyone in his community on the Isle of Skye was fluent in Gaelic. Now, despite decades of official support for what was once the dominant language of most of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Finlayson can only think of a single neighbour to the family croft on the island who speaks it.

“We’ve been trying to make Gaelic sustainable for many years. So why is it we are failing? That’s the big question,” said Finlayson, 63, a former headteacher who chairs the Highland local council’s education committee.

It is a question of increasing

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Once the engine room of a global empire, Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has in recent years been stripped of influence, prestige and self-confidence.

Britain’s chaotic evacuation effort from Afghanistan in August brought the department’s inadequacies into sharp focus, according to a whistleblower, but critics say the FCDO’s handling of the crisis highlights broad problems in a department once regarded as the Rolls-Royce of Whitehall.

“In domestic terms, the FCDO is at the lowest level of operational competence and respect than at any time in the 45 years I have been studying UK external policy,” said Professor Michael Clarke,

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