The son of peach farmers, Chen Jian relishes the fruits of his middle class life, driving to work and flying on holiday, epitomising how China's carbon footprint has grown alongside the prosperity of its nearly 1.4 billion people. China's ruling Communist Party bases its claim to legitimacy on delivering better lives to the world's most populous country, and since it embraced the market it has overseen a boom that created a burgeoning middle class, now 300 million strong. Average incomes remain far below those of the United States, but China -- now the world's second largest economy -- is already the biggest international market for both cars and smartphones.
South Korea on Thursday became the first country outside the United States to punish Volkswagen AG on the basis of its own emissions tests, slapping the German automaker with a record fine and ordering a recall of 125,522 vehicles. The environment ministry said it ordered Volkswagen Korea to submit a recall plan by Jan. 6, 2016, after its own testing showed Europe's biggest auto manufacturer manipulated devices that record diesel emissions in vehicles with older engines. It also fined Volkswagen Korea 14.1 billion won ($12.31 million), the steepest financial penalty imposed on an automaker in Asia's fourth-biggest economy, a decision that could scare some buyers off imported cars generally.
Fixing the migrant crisis requires rich nations to invest in rural areas and agriculture in the world's poorest countries, the UN said Wednesday. "There can be no sustainable solution to the migration crisis without a poverty eradication-oriented strategy to transforming rural economies" in least-developed countries (LDCs), the head of the UN's Conference on Trade and Development, Mukhisa Kituyi, said in a statement. The UNCTAD's annual report on the 48 economies categorised as LDCs detailed the extent of rural poverty afflicting many areas, including incomes languishing as low as $0.10 (0.09 euros) per day in parts of Africa.
Tensions following Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet have shrunk the horizon for Russian tourists in search for sunnier climes -- and for battered tour operators. Foreign travel had already been under a dark shadow from a weak economy and the severing of air ties with Egypt after the bombing of a passenger jet. Officials led by president Vladimir Putin warned Russians against travelling to Turkey and insisted the country was no safer than Egypt, where a Russian charter plane flying from the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg was downed by a bomb last month, killing all 224 people on board.
US Vice President Joe Biden called at a Western Balkans summit Wednesday for greater cooperation at European borders to deal with the flow of migrants and to fight terrorist threats. Biden's attendance at the meeting of presidents in Zagreb was seen as highlighting Washington's renewed interest in the fragile Western Balkans as the region deals with an unprecedented influx of refugees and other migrants. "It is clear there is a need to improve cross-border cooperation, information sharing and to deal with the flow of refugees while stepping up our ability to counter terrorist threats as well," Biden said afer the summit.
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Former Balkan rivals on Wednesday pledged joint efforts with the United States and the European Union in protecting European borders from a record surge of asylum-seekers amid fears that Islamic militants may have infiltrated the flow.
In this photo by Mukhtar Khan, women collect dry leaves of willow, poplar and maple trees on the outskirts of Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Kashmiris collect fallen leaves in autumn to make charcoal for keeping themselves warm and cooking during winter. The dried leaves are half burnt to get charcoal. Kashmiris use "kangri" pots filled with hot charcoal embers and carried beneath their traditional clothing for personal warmth. Winter temperatures typically drop below freezing in the Himalayan territory and heavy snows make roads impassable.
By Robin Emmott and Francesco Guarascio BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Prospects for a grand bargain between Europe and Turkey to stem a flow of migrants into the continent are uncertain days before a summit on Sunday meant to seal a deal and put fraying relations back on a firm footing, EU and Turkish officials say. How much money Turkey will receive for settling more Syrian migrants, the pace at which Turkey's long-stalled EU membership bid can be accelerated and whether Brussels can deliver on its promise of easier travel for Turks are all unresolved. "We are not there yet," said a senior European Union official.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Because of man-made global warming and a strong El Nino, Earth's wild weather this year is bursting the annual heat record, the World Meteorological Organization announced on Wednesday.
TOKYO (AP) — European shares rose modestly Wednesday while Asian markets mostly fell as investors kept a wary eye on developments in the Middle East after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. Trading was light ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.