International

Qantas bends to Beijing by

describing Taiwan as Chinese

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s foreign minister on Tuesday expressed concern at Qantas Airways’ decision to describe Taiwan as a Chinese territory after pressure from Beijing.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Monday that Australia’s flag carrier airline was in the process of changing its website after China’s aviation regulator in April issued a May 25 deadline to more than 40 airlines to make the change.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has reiterated her concerns about Beijing’s request for airlines to no longer refer to Taiwan as an independent country, but noted that Qantas was free to make its own corporate decisions.

“Private companies should be free to conduct their usual business operations free from political pressure of governments,” Bishop said in a statement.

“The decision of how Qantas structures its website is a matter for the company,” she added.

China’s aviation regulator ordered airlines operating in China to refer to self-ruled Taiwan as “Taiwan, China” on its website, or risk facing legal action.

While many airlines quickly complied, Qantas and some American airlines including Delta and United Airlines missed the deadline.

Mouth gets Duterte in trouble

again, this time for kiss

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouth has landed him in hot water again, this time for kissing a married woman on the lips in front of thousands of his cheering supporters.

Duterte, known for his verbal outbursts and other antics, is being slammed by critics for the kiss, which took place Sunday during a town hall-style meeting with overseas Filipino workers in South Korea. One senator called the act “a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority.”

Duterte sought a kiss from the woman after he called her on stage to give her a copy of a book at the event in Seoul. When Duterte asked if she can explain to her husband that the antic was just a joke, and she said yes, the president leaned in and kissed her as thousands erupted in cheers.

The state-run TV network aired the scene live in the Philippines.

While the woman has defended the kiss and said she was thrilled by her encounter, others said the president went too far.

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