Month: February 2019
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.
China and the United States are expected to come to an agreement soon over trade frictions, analysts said, as the negotiating teams a
re reported to be discussing the wording of an accord and considering applying the brakes to their tariff standoff.
They made the prediction after Chinese and US officials said there had been concrete p
rogress on multiple issues in the latest round of trade talks in Washington.
During the latest talks, held from Thursday to Sunday in Washington, the seventh round since February of last year, th
e two sides focused on the text of an agreement, the Chinese delegation said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
The negotiators also had made substantial progress on such specific issues as technology transfers, protection of i
ntellectual property rights, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agriculture and exchange rates, the delegation said.
On the basis of the latest progress, the two sides are expected to continue their work
into the next stage, in accordance with the instructions of the two countries’ top leaders, according to Xinhua.
PYONGYANG — Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train f
or Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-US summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.
Kim will meet with US President Donald Trump there on Feb 27-28. Their first meetin
g was held in June 2018 in Singapore, which resulted in improved bilateral relations.
Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong before his meeting with Trump.
Kim was accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, Ri Su-yong, Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong, members of th
e Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of K
orea (WPK), Ri Yong-ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Com
mittee and foreign minister, No Kwang-chol, alternate member of the Po
litical Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, among others, said the KCNA.
Kim was seen off at Pyongyang Railway Station by Kim Yong-nam, Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Cen
tral Committee of the WPK, and other senior officials of the party, government and armed forces, said the KCNA.
Ali only had two hours to save his baby’s life. He careened through traffic and sped along highway
s to an east Tehran government pharmacy. When he saw some 800 people queued outside the fac
ility, he dropped to his knees. Like him, they were waiting to obtain state-funded medications.
”I cried and screamed, begging people to let me get through,” Ali — whom we have not fully identified for security reasons — recalls.
Eventually, he skipped the line and returned with the medicine in time for his one-year-old daughter, Dory, to recover.The incid
ent happened just as Iran’s landmark nuclear deal with six world powers led by the US was being sig
ned in 2015. It was a moment when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had promised Iranians an easier life, free of me
dicinal and food shortages, and where desperate scenes such as Ali’s outside the pharmacy would become a thing of the past.
Iran was halting its nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief, appearing to turn the pa
ge on a 36-year history of diplomatic and economic
But dreams of a new reality for Iran screeched to a halt in May 2018 when President Donald Tr
ump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal. Despite repeated certifications that Iran was
sticking to its end of the bargain, Trump unleashed several rounds of stinging sanctions on the country.
The US president said the penalties aimed to force Iran to end its military adventurism in the region, a demand that Iranian officials have repeatedly brushed off.
Officially, the sanctions exempt humanitarian goods, such as food, medicine and medicin
al instruments. But in reality, shortages in essential goods have affected households across the country.
Ali now gets the medicines to treat his daughter’s rare genetic disease, from friends living abr
oad. Her medical bill has more than doubled, forcing him to sell his car, work two jobs, and accu
mulate loans. He says that his entire salary from his day job as a waiter goes toward Dory’s treatment.
”I am a wedding singer at night. I try to stay cheery and
keep a smile on my face, but on the inside all I can think about is my daughter,” says Ali.
keep up with soaring prices of medications and medical instruments, doctors tell CNN.
European banks, fearing secondary US penalties, are reluctant to do business with Iranian companies even those not blacklisted b
y the US. Medical companies have had to resort to paying intermediaries exorbitant sums to secure ne
eded supplies, including imported medicines and medical instruments which have more than tripled in value du
ring Iran’s rapidly dropping currency, health professionals explain.Sanctions is the first problem in our country and in ou
r system. We can’t transfer the money and make the preparations for surgery. It’s a big problem for us,” says Dr. Mo
hammad Hassan Bani Asad, managing director of the Gandhi Hotel Hospital. “We have the procedures, but we don’t hav
e the instruments. It is very difficult for patients and maybe leads to death of some patients.”
Though most of Iran’s medicines are domestically manufactured, much of the primary materials, m
any of them imported, are in short supply. And while the state provides universal healthcare, so
me of the treatment needed for critical cases cannot be covered by state insurance.