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

Read More

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

Read More

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,

Read More

Interested in ETFs?

Visit our ETF Hub for investor news and education, market updates and analysis and easy-to-use tools to help you select the right ETFs.

More than $1tn in new cash has poured into the exchange traded fund industry in 2021, with equity-focused ETFs attracting strong inflows in the closing weeks of the year even as concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant weigh on investor confidence.

Net global inflows into ETFs (funds and products) had reached $1.14tn by the end of November, compared with the record annual haul of $762.8bn gathered over the whole of 2020, according to ETFGI,

Read More

European stocks climbed for the third day on Thursday, as global markets continued their recovery from a bout of jitters over the Omicron coronavirus variant that shook investor sentiment last month.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index edged 0.3 per cent higher, with bourses in London, Frankfurt and Paris also advancing. The gains followed a 0.8 per cent rise on Thursday for MSCI’s broad Asia-Pacific index and a 1 per cent jump overnight for Wall Street’s S&P 500. Futures tracking the S&P 500 were little changed early in Chicago trading on Thursday.

Markets appeared in November to be poised to end

Read More

Maersk is paying $3.6bn for Li & Fung’s contract logistics business as the world’s largest container shipping line works to boost its land-based operations.

Flush with cash from record high shipping freight rates, the Danish group is seeking to go beyond its core ocean business and add on everything from ecommerce capabilities to road and air freight.

Maersk is buying the contract logistics part of LF Logistics, a Hong Kong-based company owned 78 per cent by parent group Li & Fung and Temasek holding the rest. It will also enter into a strategic partnership with Li & Fung.

“The acquisition

Read More