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It's difficult to imagine life in the West without the freedom to surf the web at will, whatever your proclivities. In China, the Great Firewall has long blocked content deemed by the Communist Party to be unsuitable for general consumption. But the censors are now getting more ambitious, and they're no longer just taking the knife to politically sensitive material. In recent weeks VPNs, video games and livestreaming channels have been among the targets, with censors even removing pictures of Winnie the Pooh, after the cartoon bear was compared to President Xi Jinping. Xi’s government now seems intent on imposing his vision of China pastoral on the Web, which involves stamping out unwanted influences — whether that means dissenting views or simply “vulgar” ideas and images. The web might be a wild place, but we should count our blessings that we can, at least, go exploring.

This gold miner just got an eye-watering $190 billion tax bill. Tanzania has just hit Acacia Mining with a tax-bill equal to almost two centuries worth of the gold producer's revenue. The government issued the company with a $40 billion tax bill and another $150 billion in interest and penalties for alleged under-declared export revenues from two mines over periods between 2000 and 2017. Acacia said it has fully declared all revenues.

China's HNA reveals it's controlled by two charities. The disclosure came as as the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate, whose overseas investments have come under scrutiny, seeks to dispel concerns about its ownership structure. Little is known about how the philanthropic organizations — New York-based Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation, which owns 29.5 percent of the group, and China-based Hainan Province Cihang Foundation, with 22.75 percent — are managed and how votes are cast, though the company says its donations have reached tens of billions of yuan.

Donald Trump launches political tirade... at Boy Scouts jamboree. During the speech to about 40,000 scouts the U.S. president regularly alternated between apolitical comments to inspire the group of young boys, and deeply partisan attacks on his political opponents. He spent several minutes attacking the Republican health-care bill, reiterated his dislike for the news media and reminisced about his election victory over Hillary Clinton.

The rise of the machines could double Singapore's growth rate. In technology-proficient Singapore, artificial intelligence, once fully adopted, might lift the annual growth rate to 5.4 percent in 18 years, according to consultancy firm Accenture. Machines would allow workers to use their time more effectively and focus on innovation, and allow countries to tackle problems presented by a shortage of workers due to an aging population, it said.

India's Nifty 50 breaches 10,000 mark to hit record high.  The country’s benchmark equity index climbed to a record high as the NSE Nifty 50 Index briefly breached the record 10,000 mark amid better-than-expected earnings. It pulled back after briefly crossing the 10,000 level, paring most of its early gains.

Bomb-shelter mania. North Korea's missile launch has triggered a surge in demand from Japan for bunkers. “Japan’s going hog wild right now,” said Ron Hubbard, owner of Montebello, California-based Atlas Survival Shelters. Among the best sellers: the BombNado, with a starting price of $18,999.

Forget your chardonnay and your cabernet, it's time for the pecorino and the ruché to shine. Young, adventurous winemakers in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and elsewhere keep discovering long-lost grapes, rescue them from extinction, and then turn them into wines that expand our taste horizons. Here are six of the most delicious you've probably never heard of.

From left: Aligoté, Pecorino, Nascetta, and Gringet.
Source: Wineries​​​​

 

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