US to cut Hong Kong’s special status, as Cold War tensions flare

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. will eliminate a “full range of agreements” it has with Hong Kong that grants special status, a day after China decided to impose control over the territory’s security. 

“This was a plain violation of Beijing’s treaty obligations,” the president said, adding that the “one country, two systems” arrangement for Hong Kong’s autonomy that was promised to last for 50 years “has 27 years to go.” 

Therefore, he said, “I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.”

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Nissan-Renault alliance to deepen cooperation and cut costs

TOKYO — Nissan Motor, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors set out on Wednesday their plans to deepen their carmaking alliance to confront plunging vehicle demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying they would become more efficient and cut costs while ruling out a full merger.

The three carmakers said their alliance would seek to cut investment costs per vehicle model by up to 40% through greater use of common platforms and parts. They also cast doubt over its previous growth strategy, saying the focus would shift away from maximizing sales volume.

“The alliance’s new model focuses on efficiency and competitiveness, rather than

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In cut to ‘bat woman’ lab, critics say US politics trump science

TOKYO — The news was sudden, and stunning. The premier U.S. agency for biomedical research cut funding last month to a New York-based lab that works with researchers worldwide on infectious diseases, and the motivation appeared to be political rather than scientific.

The National Institutes of Health severed the funding for the EcoHealth Alliance roughly one week after President Donald Trump was asked about the nonprofit’s link to a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the novel coronavirus is claimed to have originated. There had been American media reports about the lab and the U.S. funding it receives.

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India’s SoftBank-backed Ola to cut 35% of workforce

TOKYO — Ola, India’s biggest ride-hailing company and one in which Japan’s SoftBank Group has an equity stake, will cut 1,400 jobs, or 35% of its domestic workforce, as the novel coronavirus slams India’s economy.

Ola’s revenues tumbled 95% in the past two months as India went into lockdown.

Ola decided on the cuts as it cannot determine whether Indians, after the lockdown is lifted, will use transit services at the same levels they did before the virus struck.

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal delivered news of the job cuts in an email to employees, local newspapers reported. “The

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