Bond Nips Ballard for the Win In $6,000 CSI3* to Open WEF 6

first_img Email* On the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Imagine, owned by Aurora Farms and Little Valley Farms, captured the Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3* to open FEI competition during Week 6 of WEF. A total of 40 entries contested the two-phase track set by Catsy Cruz (MEX), which featured nine jumping efforts in the first phase, moving over to an additional six efforts in the second phase. With 15 passing the initial test, it was the best for last on the day as Bond and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Emerald x Heartbreaker jumped double clear and posted the fastest time of 26.24 seconds.“ We got her when she was five,” said Bond. “It was a partnership horse for a while, but we bought them out at the beginning of last year because we really felt like she was something special and really suited me. I know her really well, and she’s just one of those horses that is so naturally careful. She doesn’t really know what she can or can’t do.“I love jumping on this field,” Bond continued. “The footing feels wonderful, the horses were really bouncing off of it, and the course was really smooth and flowed very nicely. I thought Catsy’s course was beautifully done.”Bond credits the extra time at home due to the pandemic for helping her further the development of her talented mare, noting her flatwork and rideability have significantly improved. The extra down time also allowed the horse to mature, continuing to learn the ropes, and Bond thinks she now has a better mind in the ring.“I didn’t know if I was going to do the 1.50m this week because she’s only eight but she’s so unfazed by the height,” Bond continued. “I felt like the jumps could be three holes bigger, and she still would jump it like it’s no big deal. I jump big in the warmup ring because when I jump small, she feels ‘blah.’ If I put the jumps up and get her head up, she’s a little better because she thinks, ‘Oh, I have to pay attention and try.’ She had a few shows under her belt but to develop her and then win a 1.45m CSI3* her first time out is just so rewarding. I have such a young string of horses that every one of these is just so fulfilling. It feels so good. I’m just so excited.”Canada’s Erynn Ballard was second last to go, posting a double clear effort aboard Classic Penny, a nine-year-old Norwegian Warmblood mare by Clapton x Brokers Plastic City, owned by Ilan Ferder, finishing in 27.38 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Alex Matz (USA) with Davidson, a 13-year-old gelding by Harley VDL x Chin Chin owned by 5 Star Partners, crossing the finish line fault-free in 28.45 seconds.Bond will continue to jump on the Derby Field throughout the week with plans for Imagine and Contefina LVF to jump in Saturday’s $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic while Lazy, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, owned by Stephex Stables and Aurora Farms, LLC, will be stepping up to jump the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 CSI3* on Friday.“Lazy has never been the number one horse before,” she said. “She was so good during the CSI4* here and jumped effortlessly, so I’m really excited for this week. Hopefully we’ll qualify to jump on Sunday.”Later in the day, Ireland’s Michael Duffy and RMF Chacco Top, owned by Rushy Marsh Farm, LLC, captured the $1,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers CSI3*. Duffy and the Hanoverian stallion by Chacco Blue x Graf Top put forth a double clear effort in 27.11 seconds for the victory.Final Results: $6,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3*1. IMAGINE: 2013 KWPN mare by Emerald x HeartbreakerASHLEE BOND (ISR), Aurora Farms and Little Valley Farms: 0/0/26.242. CLASSIC PENNY: 2012 NWB mare by Clapton x Brokers Plastic CityERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0/0/27.383. DAVIDSON: 2008 KWPN gelding by Harley Vdl x Chin ChinALEX MATZ (USA), 5 Star Partners: 0/0/28.454. MILLIONINMIND: 2007 ISH gelding by ARD VDL DouglasEMILY WARD (GBR), Steven Barnes: 0/0/29.945. LINCOURT GINO: 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Gino III x Graf MagnaALEJANDRO KAROLYI (VEN), Monica Carrera: 0/0/29.946. OPIUM DU SOUFFLET: 2009 gelding by Ogano Sitte x Landjuweel St.hubertNICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Rocking D Ranch: 0/0/31.917. VARGAS ROUGE: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Manillon Rouge x Double EspoirKIMBERLY PRINCE (USA), Kimberly Prince: 0/0/33.348. CHIC HIN D HYRENCOURT: 2008 SBS gelding by Taran de la Pomme x ElanvilleBEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/1/36.249. ARPEGE DU RU: 2010 Selle Français mare by Apache D’Adriers x Quat’sousABDEL SAID (EGY), Abdel Said: 0/4/27.0310. CASANOVA 499: 2011 Holsteiner male by Clarimo x ContenderJESSICA MENDOZA (GBR), Carly Day: 0/4/28.57 Tags: Erynn Ballard, WEF, show jumping, Classic Penny, Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3*, We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP More from News:MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes.last_img read more

Speech: Matt Hancock’s speech at the Charity Commission’s Annual Public Meeting

first_imgIt is wonderful to have had The Duke of Cambridge supporting this event today. He has been a superb ambassador for the sector, and his passion for the welfare of our armed forces, for young people and for the environment has given a huge boost to charities in the UK.I would also like to offer my appreciation for everything that William Shawcross has done in his time as Chair.It can be a difficult job, which involves making some courageous judgements. And William, you have certainly not shirked from making those.William, you have greatly improved the standing of the Commission, preserved the independence of the sector and laid the foundations for the growth in strength and size which we will see for years to come.You have been unafraid to identify the big challenges and then have acted to tackle them, bringing the sector with you. I have no doubt that British charities under your leadership are a bigger force for good than ever before.I’m absolutely thrilled to be leading DCMS. The Department does many things but basically it’s the Department for the Things That Make Life Worth Living.This means the arts, culture, sport, and also the ties that bind us in our communities; the charities, faith groups and neighbourhood projects that hold our society together.It’s also the Department for Digital and for me this is equally crucial to the things that make life worth living. Tech isn’t just transforming the economy.It’s changing how communities work and opening up new opportunities for our civil society to become yet more effective.The same goes for innovations in finance – the new world of social impact investment, bringing new approaches and new forms of finance to tackle social problems.We’re also seeing innovations in policy which push power and responsibility away from Whitehall and towards local communities, especially local mayors.So I’m starting this job with a huge sense of possibility. I know from my five years as a minister across many departments that a charity is often better equipped to tackle a social problem than the government.And I think there’s a huge amount more we can do in finding opportunities for government, civil society and business to work together.The Charity Commission deserves major credit for developing this sense of possibility, despite tough times.Six years ago the National Audit Office published a pretty tough review of your work and the then chair of the Public Accounts Committee questioned whether the Commission should be thrown on the bonfire.Well, phoenix-like, under William’s leadership, you have risen – last year the NAO hailed ‘significant progress’, which coming from them is like a Nobel Prize.I want to congratulate you for everything that you are doing to maintain the reputation, the independence and the success of the sector.I also want to welcome the work of the Fundraising Regulator. Charities depend on public trust and it is right we challenge those few charities whose bad behaviour endangers the reputation of all.The Fundraising Regulator is also working with other partners to develop simple guidance for small charities on the new GDPR data protection requirements, which I know some of you have questions about.I believe we are on the path towards a more transparent charity sector with higher standards of integrity. And this is important. Because I see an opportunity for the sector to make a major step up in its role.These improvements to governance and funding must continue. Because I want us to focus on our time ahead as an opportunity to work together and improve people’s lives.Whether in public service or service through charities, that is what it’s all about. I believe to my core in the value of public service and the deep integrity of dedicating your working life to improve the lives of others.This is what we do in government, both politicians and civil servants. And it’s what you do in the charitable sector, directly addressing some of the gravest challenges to the human condition and lifting the lives of people across the country and the world. I want this to be the focus of our work together.I commend those charities that are working to fix problems and responding to need, usually on a small, local scale.I also commend the charities which are playing a role in preventing social problems and not just fixing them.This might be through setting the framework for action by other charities, the public sector and businesses. Or it could be bringing together everyone involved on an issue to coordinate their work, pool finance and agree common goals.All charities that operate on the ground make a valuable contribution. Often the life-blood of our communities, I pledge today that I will always fight to protect and promote you. But I also want to see charities playing a strategic role in our social policy and practice.Likewise, I want the Charity Commission not just to be known for challenging badly operating charities, as important as this is, but for actively supporting all charities to be the best that they can be.My brilliant colleague Tracey Crouch has recently been appointed ministerial lead on loneliness and social isolation.This is one of the most pressing social issues of our time, with research showing that nine million people say they always or often feel lonely.I know that charities and civil society will play a crucial part in our cross-government strategy on loneliness. We are looking forward to working with you to develop and implement it.Tracey also recently announced a review of civil society in the UK, with the objective of publishing a government strategy later this year.We both see this as a major opportunity to set a new direction for UK civil society and to put charities centre-stage in local communities and public services.This is of course not entirely new. Britain has a unique tradition of philanthropy and of social innovations which began through charitable activity.Everything from hospitals and hospices to insurance and pensions have their roots in the independent initiative of individuals and communities, developing mutual solutions to the challenges of the time.In 1948, William Beveridge followed his famous report on a new health and welfare system with another report called Voluntary Action. He saw the work of charities as vital to a strong and free society.I could not agree more and I very much intend to maintain that tradition.I’m looking forward to working with all of you to help our nation’s incredible charities to strengthen and grow.I pledge that I will be by your side all the way.Thank you very much.last_img read more

Spooky Haunted Castle Cake

first_imgInspired by Hammer House Horror, ghoulish goings on and things that go bump in the night, this cake is ideal for Halloween and the celebration of all things spine chilling.The cake is formed of two parts; the castle and the rocky crag on which it is perched. A range of tools materials were used to create form, texture and effect. Click on the image below to launch the step-by-step photo guide%%ImageNewsTicker_23904%%by Sandra Monger, pictures by Robin Paikeslast_img

Wheeland Brothers Go All-Acoustic For New ‘Run River Run’ Video [Premiere]

first_imgSouthern California-based duo Wheeland Brothers have made a name for themselves in the beach rock scene, opening for groups like 311, The Wailers, Slightly Stoopid and more in their exciting career. Earlier this year, the band took the opportunity to perform at the balcony of the Tree House for an intimate acoustic performance. Bringing out their beloved 2013 single “Run River Run,” from the Muchos Mahalos album, the band thoroughly impressed with the stripped-down session.“The more we’ve performed ‘Run River Run,’ it’s become a song that moves our imagination,” said Travis Wheeland to L4LM. “We wanted to create a version of the song that captures that energy, and maybe inspire a few people to wonder what’s out beyond their horizon. So we got a few friends and neighbors together on my balcony in San Clemente, California and filmed a live take of the song.”The beautiful number translates idealistically to the intimacy of the setting, and we’re honored to premiere the footage. Check out the Wheeland Brothers’ acoustic “Run River Run,” below.Wheeland tells us more about the lovely tune. “On a hot California summer day I set up a camping tent at the water’s edge at Crystal Cove State Beach. I was sitting alone with my guitar—I tend to make up songs to myself to think through whatever’s going on in my life. Catalina Island was on the horizon as I wrote ‘Run River Run.’ I was remembering the river that runs through the Kalalau Valley in Hawaii and straight into the ocean. You can be sunburned and salt encrusted, but the moment you sink into that river and let the cool glassy water pour over your face, it refreshes you to your core. When a moment stuns you and you see yourself—when you really arrive, like snapping out of the day-to-day hypnosis—you’ve got to pause and make a conscious decision to remember those moments. That river, the ‘Kalalau Stream’ is flowing as you read this. Heck you can look it up on Google Maps right now if you want. It’s a reminder that there’s magic happening in this world. It keeps carrying us to the ocean; it keeps us coming back, looking for magic.”This exciting group will be making waves all summer long! For more on the group, head to their official website.last_img read more

Colorado’s Magic Beans Rock Denver’s Bluebird Theater For Post-Thanksgiving Affair [Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images Magic Beans | The Bluebird Theater | Denver, CO | 11/24/2017 | Photos: Gary Sheer On Friday, Magic Beans rocked the Bluebird Theater in Denver with fellow musical brethren Cycles opening up the evening. The post-Thanksgiving Denver bash has become somewhat of a tradition, marking the second year Magic Beans have hosted a jubilant affair to dance off the delectable plates of food that were gobbled down the day prior. Coming off a high from their six-night Colorado Halloween run, Magic Beans shredded through their show, offering the debut of two new covers, in addition to two sets of their jam-heavy space funk.The Magic Beans Light Up Denver With New Debuts And Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Sit-In“Mr. Scientist” served as the bass-heavy set opener, with the crowd sailing on the groovy jam as bassist Chris Duffy led the pack into deep type-II territory. The heavy-hitter that was recently debuted this past August gradually loosened up, as the jam became more spacious, eventually reaching a soaring climax before dropping back into “Mr. Scientist” bouncing main theme.  By way of the slightest pause, the space captains dropped into the funky tune “Give Me Something Real”, highlighting Casey Russell’s wizardry as he hopped between different sets of keys and his beautiful mahogany organ.“Powder” offered a change of pace, as guitarist Scott Hachey and Duffy brought out their acoustic stringed instruments, leading the quartet through the folky number speaking to Colorado’s most cherished natural gift—powder. Although the powder has still not fallen this year in Denver, the Beans showcased the mastery of their diverse catalog. As the jam came to an aggressive end, the boys swapped back to full electric, and drummer Cody Wales led the charge into “Here On Out.”“Here On Out” exhibited the more straight-forward funk stylings that the band has to offer, before blissfully segueing into a debut cover of Scissor Sister’s poppy hit “Take Yo Mama”, during which the group invited Cycles guitarist Patty Harvey up on stage to join in the shenanigans. Russell hit the nail on the head with his punctual silky-smooth vocals, proving that sometimes taking the risk with a new cover is the absolute perfect ingredient for massive crowd response. Hachey and Harvey traded off smoking hot solos, as the two mastermind guitar players brought the first set to a triumphant finish.Magic Beans returned after set break with “Mission”. Wales and Duffy laid down the perfect backbeat, as the bubbly and climactic intro pushed towards its peak, finding Hachey and Russell feeding off of each other with harmonious licks thrown back and forth. “Mission” served as a brilliant second set opener, with the band fully focused and locked and loaded. Hachey’s guitar work was particularly on point during “Mission,” before the band dove head-first into a funky-fresh rendition of CeeLo Green’s 2010 catchy hit “Fuck You.”This latest addition to the Beans catalog was characterized by soaring vocals from Russell, as the remaining three members added in comical theatrics, involving the crowd with the radio hit we have all heard one too many times. Being playful with pop-culture’s notion of beating a song into the ground is sometimes the best you can do, and the 500 person capacity venue was just as playfully receptive, as the fully engaged crowd helped Magic Beans out with the chorus.“Lost and Found” brought the second set to a close, before Magic Beans returned for their encore, with the crowd still amped to keep the holiday weekend going, and the reality of going into work the following day nowhere on the horizon. For their final song of the night, the Beans played a lively and dynamic “Hanky Panky,” a song that has become a fan-favorite and staple in Magic Beans’ catalog in recent time. Closing the show with yet another crowd interactive tune was the money call, and the Colorado locals brought the celebratory Friday night show to a close.You can check out the setlist from Magic Beans two-set turkey extravaganza below, as well as a gorgeous gallery of photos courtesy of Gary Sheer. Plus, fans hoping to listen to last night’s show can pre-order the Magic Beans’ new album, Casino Cabaret, on PledgeMusic, where the full soundboard from the show will be posted as an exclusive along with the new album!Setlist: Magic Beans | The Bluebird Theater | Denver, CO | 11/24/2017Set 1: Mr. Scientist, Give Me Something Real, Powder*->Always Cool, Here On Out-> Take Yo Mama^Set 2: Mission-> As You Like It’-> Fuck You**, Lost & FoundEncore: Hanky Panky*played on acoustic guitar and upright bass^Scissor Sisters cover (First Time Played) w/ Patty Harvey on guitar (Cycles)‘ w/ Duff Zone and Jib Zone** CeeLo Green cover (First Time Played) w/ Mike Wood on tambourine (Cycles)last_img read more

International summit

first_imgChina is a major supplier of food ingredients and products to the U.S. and Canada. However, food safety concerns for both Chinese and U.S. products have resulted in food recalls in recent years. To address these concerns, the University of Georgia held the fourth International Summit on Emerging Issues in Food Safety and Marketing.The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosted 10 scientists from China and one from Taiwan, as well as several UGA food experts and students, for the summit which is a partnership between UGA, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Shanghai Ocean University. Each year, the summit is held at one of these institutions. “This program provides a catalyst for increased collaboration and exchange by providing a forum for researchers, students and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas related to food safety, trade and policy issues,” said Ed Kanemasu, CAES assistant dean and director of global programs. “We envision new collaboration in training on food safety issues and new opportunities for student exchange.”Food exports from China have surged since its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, defective labeling, contamination and poor food safety have caused concern and sparked the recall of some food products. The summit focused on food safety and trade to ensure that food safety issues don’t hinder international trade. Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods in the U.S. have led to new food safety laws, increased food-tracing technologies and greater scrutiny of imports.The summit included discussions about new technology to decrease foodborne viruses, too, and postharvest quality techniques as well as pesticide applications and global food marketing. “Our economies are so intertwined that we must find ways to work together. This begins with relationships,” said Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “While the immediate purpose of the meeting is to share information, the relationships we are creating are just as valuable.”Next year, the summit will be hosted by SHOU in Shanghai, when the university celebrates its 100-year anniversary.last_img read more

New Washington law requires state’s utilities to quit coal by 2025

first_imgNew Washington law requires state’s utilities to quit coal by 2025 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Seattle Times:Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement.Other parts of the green agenda now embedded in state law create new conservation standards for energy use in large new buildings, require new efficiency standards for appliances and phase out “super pollutant” hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants.The law sets a 2025 deadline for utilities to end all reliance on coal, and a 2045 deadline to end use of natural-gas-generated electricity. The new energy standards will have a major impact on investor-owned utilities. Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which serves more than 1.1 million electric customers, got nearly 60 percent of its electricity from coal and natural gas in 2017.PSE leaders were involved in intense negotiations with legislators and environmentalists over the shape of the bill. In the final version, legislators yielded to utility concerns that an early House bill contained too harsh of a financial stick should the fossil-fuel-powered electricity not be phased out by 2045.For PSE, the clean-power law will add new urgency to the task of ending a decades long reliance on a major coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Montana, which the utility partially owns. Two of the plant’s four units will close by July 2022. PSE had forecast that it would stop drawing power from the other two units by the early 2030s, and hinted in planning documents that it could happen sooner.The new legislation means that within six years, PSE needs to be done with delivering Colstrip power to Washington.More: Clean power is now the law; Inslee signs bill for zero-carbon electricity by 2045last_img read more

Millennials join the house hunt

first_img 37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAYA low credit score thwarted Marie Kapelke and her husband Mike Biethan’s plans to try to buy a house early last year.When the couple, both 26, met with a mortgage specialist in December 2013, they found out Biethan would need to improve his score in order for them to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, neither of them knew their credit scores before meeting with the banker, but they were ready to buy their first home after living in Seattle for about six years.“We found out, OK your credit score really affects your interest rate,” Kapelke says. Biethan worked to improve his score over the past year, and the two revisited homeownership in the fall. They closed on a townhouse in West Seattle last month.With rents rising into unaffordable territory, housing inventory up and mortgage rates hovering below 4%, 2015 may prove to be the year of homeownership for millions of Millennials. Real estate website Zillow predicts Millennials will overcome Gen X as the largest group of home buyers this year — more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds said they plan to buy a house in the next one to five years, according to a survey by Zillow last summer.But after putting away enough savings, the biggest hurdle for Millennial buyers may be the learning curve that comes with understanding the process, as well as a host of new financial terms, trade-offs and commitments to consider.It’s a stressful process, especially when you’ve never done it before, recent first-time Millennial buyers say. Kenny Coleman, 25, bought his first place — a loft-style apartment in Cincinnati — in December. He says the first bank he went to for a mortgage wasn’t good at explaining the financing process to a first-timer. “They used all this jargon,” he says. “And they’re talking about all these different insurances.” Coleman, who says the process took him from “complete idiot to pretty well versed” in a matter of weeks, ultimately went to a different bank that was willing to give him a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage. continue reading »last_img read more

FRS13 standard proves lucky for Minerva debt

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

EU warns China over Hong Kong security law

first_img‘Very negative consequences’ “The national security law risks seriously undermining the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, which we wish to see stay in place.”Von der Leyen said that she had warned the Chinese leaders that Hong Kong owes its economic success to its relative autonomy from Beijing.”So we also conveyed that China risks very negative consequences if it goes forward with imposing this law,” she said.Under the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement made before Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997, Beijing agreed to let Hong Kong maintain certain liberties and autonomy until 2047 — including legislative and judicial independence and freedom of speech.But after a year of huge and often violent rallies that have morphed into a popular call for democracy and police accountability, Beijing says the new law is needed to end unrest and restore stability.China and the EU both profess to want to strengthen ties, but the relationship is tangled in a thicket of disagreements on topics ranging from trade and investment rules to human rights and national security.And Monday’s talks came against a backdrop of rising tensions and increasing mistrust between Brussels and Beijing. “We expressed our grave concerns about the proposed national security law for Hong Kong,” Michel told reporters after the talks. “We called on China to follow the promises made to the people of Hong Kong and the international community regarding Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and guaranteed freedoms.”A report of the summit by China’s state news agency Xinhua made no mention of Hong Kong but said Xi had stressed his country wanted “peace without hegemony”.Foreign ministers from the G7 group of industrialized nations last week urged Beijing to reconsider the proposed law, which has raised concerns it will end Hong Kong’s relative freedoms and open the door to the kind of repression seen in mainland China. Echoing the language of the G7 statement, von der Leyen said they had made it clear to the Chinese that the EU believes the imposition of the national security law breaches Beijing’s international commitments. Topics :center_img The EU on Monday warned China it would face “very negative consequences” if it presses ahead with a new security law for Hong Kong, stepping up pressure on Beijing over the controversial legislation.European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel told China’s top leaders of their “grave concern” over the new law, which critics say will curb the financial hub’s autonomy and freedoms.The stern message, delivered during a video summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, adds to a chorus of international concern over Hong Kong, though so far Beijing has shown no sign of backing down on a law it says is necessary to maintain order. Cyber complaints The EU has been angered by what it says is a significant Chinese campaign of disinformation around the coronavirus epidemic, which originated in China.”We have seen cyber attacks on hospitals and dedicated computing centers. Likewise we’ve seen a rise on online disinformation, and we pointed out clearly that this cannot be tolerated,” von der Leyen said.The EU has in recent months sought to tread a delicate path with China, characterizing it as a “systemic rival” and competitor but also as a partner on some issues.But Monday’s statements were sharper and more critical in tone.Up to now the EU’s efforts to stand up to Xi’s increasingly assertive China have been stymied by a lack of unity among its 27 member states, many of which have been courted assiduously by the Asian giant.Going into the summit, Chinese officials grumbled about proposed new EU legislation aimed at ensuring foreign firms backed by heavy state subsidies do not distort competition in Europe.There is particular concern about Chinese companies swooping in to buy European companies weakened by the coronavirus-triggered recession.According to Xinhua, Xi said the economies of China and Europe should become a “dual engine of the world economy” to promote recovery after the pandemic.After the summit, von der Leyen said there needed to be “more ambition” from the Chinese side to conclude a stalled investment agreement.last_img read more