Photos: Typhoon batters Hong Kong and South China, killing 3 in Macau

A man holds on to a lamp post against strong winds as Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Typhoon Hato, a maximum category 10 storm, slammed into Hong Kong on Wednesday lashing the Asian financial hub with wind and rain that uprooted trees and forced most businesses to close, while in some places big waves flooded seaside streets. There were reports of 34 people injured in Hong Kong while in the city of Macau, across the Pearl River estuary, three people were killed, authorities there said. In Hong Kong, more than 450 flights were cancelled, financial markets suspended and schools closed as Hato bore down, the first category 10 storm to hit the city since 2012. "I've never seen one like this," Garrett Quigley, a longtime resident of Lantau island to the west of the city, said of the storm. "Cars are half submerged and roads are impassable with flooding and huge trees down. It's crazy."
Half submerged taxi in Hong Kong, China Reuters
Many skyscrapers in the usually teeming streets of Hong Kong were empty and dark as office workers stayed at home. Hato, that means "sky pigeon" in Japanese, churned up Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour and triggered large swells and big waves on some of the city's most popular beaches, with serious flooding in low-lying areas. In residential districts such as Heng Fa Chuen on densely populated Hong Kong island, waves smashed against the sides of oceanfront buildings and surged over a promenade, sweeping away walls and benches and swamping vehicles parked nearby. Construction cranes swayed at the tops of skyscrapers, windows imploded and nearly 200 trees were uprooted, while some people used canoes to venture out into flooded streets.
A man walks through a flooded street in wake of Typhoon Hato
Authorities downgraded the storm to a category three by late-afternoon with government services, the courts, financial markets and companies set to resume normal business on Thursday. HIGH SEAS The storm also caused a power blackout across most of the gambling hub of Macau for about two hours, residents said, with disruption to mobile phone and internet networks. There was severe flooding on the streets, with some cars almost completely submerged, and the water supply was affected in some districts. The three men who died included a 45-year-old Chinese tourist who was hit by a heavy truck, according to a government statement.
A man walks among tree branches broken by strong winds brought by Typhoon Hato in Shenzhen,China
The former Portuguese colony's casinos, however, had backup power, two casino executives told Reuters. The storm also made landfall in China's Guangdong province, in Zhuhai city adjacent to Macau, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported. Numerous flights and trains were cancelled in Guangdong province, with Shenzhen's International Airport particularly badly hit. Thousands of residents along the Chinese coast were evacuated and fishing vessels were called back to port.
A child reacts to a big wave on a waterfront
Maximum winds near Hato's centre were recorded at a destructive 155 kph (95 mph) as it continued to move west across Guangdong in the general direction of Hainan island. A senior scientific officer for the Hong Kong observatory warned that sea levels could rise several metres in some places, with the government issuing flood alerts and opening 27 shelters across the city. Trading in Hong Kong's financial markets was halted for the day, the stock exchange said. Typhoon Nida in August last year was the last storm to close the exchange for the whole day. The city's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, and Hong Kong Airlines said the majority of their flights to and from Hong Kong between 2200 GMT Tuesday and 0900 GMT Wednesday would be cancelled. Other transport services, including ferries to Macau and outlying islands in Hong Kong, were suspended.

Here’s how much Sim Lian paid to clinch Singapore’s largest property en bloc sale in a decade

Built in the 1980s and privatised in 2002, Tampines Court has 14 blocks, with 432 maisonettes and 128 apartments. This is its third bid for a collective sale.
The Straits Times
At a reserve price of S$952 million ($688 million), the collective sale of a sprawling 702,164 sq ft Tampines Court was set to become Singapore's biggest en bloc sale in a decade just last week. Today, this has become a reality, with Huttons Asia confirming the sale to housing developer Sim Lian Group who clinched the deal at S$970 million - S$18 million above the asking price - according to a report by The Business Times. Each of the 560 owners of Tampines Court will receive between S$1.71 million and S$1.75 million, The Straits Times reported. These units range from 1,658 sq ft to 1,733 sq ft across 14 blocks. Huttons Asia is the marketing agent for the former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate. Terrence Lian, senior division director and head of investment sales at Huttons, was quoted by BT as saying that the deal was reached "after one week of rigorous negotiation". The S$970 million bid comes with "conditions attached", but these were not detailed in the report. The offer works out to approximately S$676 per square foot of potential gross floor area, inclusive of two payments to the state. According to BT, one of these payments is to enhance the intensity of the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8, and the other is to top up the site's lease to 99 years. The site currently has 69 years leftover on its 101-year lease. This deal is reportedly Singapore's second most expensive since Farrer Court was sold en bloc for S$1.34 billion back in 2007. For more information on the sale, read The Business Times.

What's Happening

Singapore rejects US academic’s appeal against expulsion

Ex-professor Huang Jing from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
The Straits Times
Singapore - Singapore has rejected a US citizen's appeal to stay in the city-state following the cancellation of his permanent residence status after the government branded him as an agent of foreign influence. Earlier this month, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revoked the permanent residence of Huang Jing, then a professor at Singapore's prominent Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and of his wife, Shirley Yang Xiuping, also a US citizen. Both had appealed the decision. The minister for home affairs has rejected their appeals and they were informed of the rejection Aug 23, the MHA said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the decision was final. "Huang Jing and his wife will have to leave Singapore within a stipulated grace period. They will be permanently banned from re-entering Singapore," the statement said. The ministry's decision to revoke Huang's permanent residency this month was based on his alleged interactions with a foreign country with the aim of bringing about a change in the direction of Singapore's foreign policy. It also said Huang's wife was aware of his activities. The ministry did not identify the foreign country with which Huang was said to be interacting. Huang did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

If convicted, Samsung’s Lee could be sent to Uijeongbu Prison

Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee
Seoul - If convicted and given a jail sentence, home for Jay Y. Lee, the billionaire de facto head of South Korean conglomerate Samsung, could be a crowded prison set in wooded hills just to the north of Seoul, where disgraced politicians and business leaders have previously served time. Lee, who has been tried on charges ranging from bribery to perjury in a scandal that triggered the dismissal from office of the country's ex-president Park Geun-hye, will hear the verdict of a lower court on Friday. Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year jail term. The 49-year-old Samsung scion denies wrongdoing, and would almost certainly appeal any conviction, with his case likely to be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court for a final ruling, probably next year. In the event, then, of an upheld conviction, Lee would likely follow a route to Uijeongbu Prison taken previously by a former prime minister and the heads of the SK and Daesang conglomerates, among others. If sent to Uijeongbu, Lee would likely be held in a single cell, equipped with a TV, shelving, coat rack and electric fan. Prisoners are expected to work - tending the flower garden is seen as a popular choice, said a prison official, who didn't want to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media - and he would be allowed to exercise outdoors for an hour a day. They can also take up study courses in English or Japanese, and attend religious services. Chey Tae-won, the convicted SK chairman, dedicated a book he published while at the prison "to the Lord". Lawyers said white-collar crime inmates often reduce their manual work time by having "special meetings" with visitors, which can be granted at the discretion of the prison warden. Directing operations at Samsung Electronics, the world's leading smartphone and memory chip maker, from prison, though, would be a challenge as most visits are restricted. Previous conglomerate, or chaebol, heads relied on leadership committees to mind the shop while they served their sentences. For now, pending this week's lower court verdict, Lee remains in the Seoul Detention Centre where, since February, home has been a 6.56 square meter (71 square foot) cell, with a partitioned toilet. Meals are simple, normally rice and side-dishes, and cheap, costing 1,443 won ($1.26). The centre, in a Seoul suburb near apartments built by Samsung C&T and stores advertising Samsung Electronics' smartphones, is the country's third-most crowded correctional facility. A justice ministry official told Reuters that Lee could ask to be transferred - possibly to the newer 12-floor Seoul Eastern Detention Centre, which local media say has basketball courts, elevators and wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. A former top aide to ex-president Park, on trial for corruption, recently moved to the new Seoul facility. While preparing the lengthy appeal process, previous high-profile inmates have hired so-called 'butler lawyers', who stay with detained clients for hours a day to get them out of their cells and into the more comfortable visitors' rooms. Justice ministry data show SK chairman Chey had more than 1,600 meetings with his lawyers during his 17-month detention in 2013-14 - more than three meetings every day.

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CapitaLand turns up the heat on retail by partnering Alibaba and Lazada Singapore

It's 2017 and the retail landscape is quickly evolving. To combat the "death of retail", retail giants are increasingly being forced to revamp their online and offline strategies as a whole, instead of treating them as individual business units. Local conglomerate CapitaLand announced on Wednesday (Aug 23) new strategic alliances with e-commerce giants Alibaba Group and Lazada Singapore to advance what it calls its "omni-channel strategy". CapitaLand, which currently manages 109 shopping malls across 54 cities, will be managing a new shopping podium and one office tower at Alibaba’s new 80,000 sq m Shanghai headquarters. As a partner, CapitaLand will also be responsible for the pre-opening of these spaces. Founder of popular e-commerce site Taobao, Alibaba is one of the world's largest retailers. While it is mainly an e-commerce company, the Chinese group with over 50,000 employees started dabbling in physical retail stores earlier this year. Mr Wang Tao, Head of Intelligence Building at Alibaba Group, hopes that the firm's partnership with CapitaLand will chart  “new frontiers in integrating online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain to meet the needs of consumers”.
Alibaba's Shanghai headquarters
Capitaland Limited
According to president & group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, Mr Lim Ming Yan, “the key to unlocking the next stage of growth lies in blending physical and digital channels to create a seamless offline and online (O&O) experience that is sought after by consumers.” As even e-commerce bigwigs like Alibaba are moving toward combining O&O experiences in the retail landscape, CapitaLand itself is eager to become Singapore’s first omni-channel retail landlord. On Wednesday, the company announced that it would also be partnering Lazada Singapore to establish an online channel aimed at providing a seamlessly integrated O&O shopping experience.
A preview of the CapitaLand store page on
Capitaland Limited
If successful, this partnership with Lazada will give CapitaLand an opportunity to reinvent modern retail in Singapore. Shoppers who buy items on the Lazada channel will be able to collect and return their orders in special lounges equipped with fitting rooms and product-testing benches at CapitaLand malls. Mr. Lim says: “Even as new technologies disrupt traditional business models, real estate remains an important part of a holistic customer journey, as affirmed by leading digital players who are seeking to gain a foothold in the physical space."

US Justice Dept seeks $7 million forfeiture from Singapore firms with ties to North Korea

Washington - The United States said Tuesday it is seeking forfeitures of $11 million from companies that allegedly laundered money for North Korean banks that are subject to US sanctions. The Justice Department's complaints, filed against Singapore-based Velmur Management Pte Ltd and Transatlantic Partners Pte Ltd., and China-based Dandong Chengtai Trading Co. Ltd by the US Attorney for the District of Columbia, represent two of the largest North Korea-related seizures the government has ever pursued. The government is also seeking a civil penalty against the firms over alleged sanctions and money laundering violations. The actions by the Justice Department came on the same day as the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) separately imposed fresh North Korean sanctions against a string of Chinese and Russian firms for supporting Pyongyang, including the companies at the heart of the Justice Department's case. The Justice Department said it is seeking a forfeiture of nearly $7 million from Velmur Management and associated Transatlantic Partners over allegations they laundered money for sanctioned banks that were trying to procure petroleum from JSC Independent Petroleum Company. JSC Independent Petroleum Company, a Russian company, was designated by OFAC in June. The Justice Department accused Dandong Chengtai, which is also known as Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material Co. Ltd, of conspiring to evade US economic sanctions on behalf of the North Korean Workers' Party. It said that the company helped facilitate the trade of North Korean coal, and proceeds from the coal sales are used to fund the country's missile weapons programs. An FBI investigation into the company found that Dandong Chengtai is one of the largest importers of North Korean coal in China. "These complaints show our determination to stop North Korean sanctioned banks and their foreign financial facilitators from aiding North Korea in illegally accessing the United States financial system to obtain goods and services in the global market place," US Attorney Channing Phillips said in a statement.

Diabetes a hot issue not just in Singapore – here’s how tech and healthcare giants plan to take it on

The New Paper
Do you know anyone who suffers from diabetes? You probably do. By now, this should come as no surprise: the number of people with diabetes has been hitting all-time highs across the globe over the years. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, 422 million adults worldwide had diabetes in 2014, and 96 million of these cases were in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, a concerned Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke extensively about the issue during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday. Today, one in nine Singaporean adults have diabetes, the PM said, adding that the sobering number rises to three in 10 for citizens above the age of 60. Moreoever, these numbers are not expected to decline anytime soon. With such statistics, many large corporations are seeing huge growth potential in the global market for self-management devices and technology. Rumours of Apple secretly developing its own such device have been rife. According to Business Insider and CNBC, the iPhone maker could now be designing a watch blood glucose monitoring feature to its watches. Similarly, in a bid to occupy this market space, Google's parent company Alphabet has also started experimenting with a contact lens that can read blood sugar levels in tears. If successful, these non-invasive products would truly be revolutionary, as the industry has largely failed at creating a glucose-monitoring device that does not need to pierce the skin or draw any blood to perform accurately. You know it's going to be big if even the tech giants are jumping on the bandwagon. Meanwhile, Abbott has reported optimistic results from the 2014 European launch of its FreeStyle Libre, a one-of-a-kind flash glucose monitoring system. The device can conduct a scan in a few seconds, even through clothes - completely eliminating the need to use the traditional finger-prick technique.
Abbot's FreeStyle Libre
FreeStyle Libre
In a study conducted over an 18-month period, Abbott found that users actively checked their glucose levels an average of 16.3 times a day - definitely way more than they previously could with a finger-pricking device. The health care company says its study also found that the ability to monitor glucose levels freely also resulted in a drop of average glucose levels, a reduction in hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and an increase in time spent in the optimal glucose range. The fact that the sensor is small in size (35mm x 5mm), durable and water-proof also helps. But the FreeStyle Libre still requires skin insertions, and is by no means cheap at a price of S$92 for a sensor which lasts 14 days plus another S$92 for a reader that scans for results. Such products show a clear indication of the trend towards the need for self-management devices in an evolving healthcare environment. With demand booming, corporations big and small in both the healthcare and tech industries are looking to fill the gap in a market which has yet to resolve the issue of invasive monitoring technology. While a clear winner remains to be seen, it's only a matter of time before expectation becomes reality.