Star8 Corp. Has moved and more

Tampa, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Star8 Corp. (OTCPK: STRH) is please to announce that the corporate headquarters has officially moved to the Tampa Urban Centre at Westshore, located at 4830 West Kennedy Blvd., Suite 600, Tampa, Florida, 33609.  The facility allows us great flexibility for meeting and the ability to expand when it become necessary.  Additionally, the headquarters is closer to Hyper 30 Data operations, which allows better control and management.

Secondly, we are activity reviewing the qualifications of number of independent auditing firms, and I expect to announce the engagement within a few days.  Completing an audit of our Company is important for two reasons, 1) to become a fully reporting entity, and 2) be up-listed OTCqb.

Thirdly, our Company, through the acquisition of Hyper 30 Data is now focused on one industry.  The IT and Security industry.  This industry is in high demand and will result in growth and profits.  This places our Company in the position to achieve growth and profits.

Fourthly, we have identified additional companies for acquisition and are currently reviewing these potential entities, which are within the IT and Security industry.  Additional announcements will come shortly after LOI is executed.

For more information about Star8 Corp.’s please visit Star8Corp.com. To learn more about Hyper 30 Data, visit hyper30data.com.

About Star8 Corporation

Star8 Corporation (OTCPK: STRH) is a publicly traded company with expertise in IT and security. Additionally, Star8 Corp. provides sustainable marketing, technology, sales and distribution consulting for clients. To learn more about star8 Corp. please visit Star8Corp.com.

For inquiries please contact: info@star8corp.com | 1-866-316-0808

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Star8 Corp.
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FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are based on the beliefs of management and reflect the Company’s current expectations.  When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information.  The forward-looking statements and information in this press release includes information relating to the implementation of the Company’s business plan.  Such statements and information reflect the current view of the Company with respect to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements and information.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, among others, the following risks: risks associated with the implementation of the Company’s business plan and matters relating thereto, risks associated with the cannabis industry, competition, regulatory change, the need for additional financing, reliance on key personnel, the potential for conflicts of interest among certain officers or directors, and the volatility of the Company’s common share price and volume.  Forward-looking statements are made based on management’s beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change.  Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

There are a number of important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by forward-looking statements and information.  Such factors include, among others, risks related to the Company’s proposed business, such as failure of the business strategy and government regulation; risks related to the Company’s operations, such as additional financing requirements and access to capital, reliance on key and qualified personnel, insurance, competition, intellectual property and reliable supply chains; risks related to the Company and its business generally. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on the Company’s forward-looking statements and information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company has assumed a certain progression, which may not be realized.  It has also assumed that the material factors referred to in the previous paragraph will not cause such forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors. While the Company may elect to, it does not undertake to update this information at any particular time.

THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PRESS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS PRESS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE.  READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE THE COMPANY MAY ELECT TO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME EXCEPT AS REQUIRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8712845

General Fusion exceeds core technology performance targets with plasma and compression prototypes

The company achieves performance milestones that demonstrate it is on track to meet its Fusion Demonstration Program goals at power plant relevant scale

Compression system (CWC)

General Fusion’s primary compression prototype has completed over 1,000 shots, consistently achieving its compression performance targets.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — General Fusion has demonstrated plasma energy confinement times, plasma temperatures, and compression system performance that support meeting its goal of 10 keV (100 million degrees Celsius) in the company’s integrated Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) demonstration, being built to 70 percent scale of a commercial machine at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Campus.

The results come as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary. In that time, it has completed over 200,000 plasma shots, achieved 150 patents and patents pending, and grown to a team of more than 200 employees. Using large-scale prototypes, General Fusion has proven its core technology approach. Today, it announces additional advancements in its plasma and compression technologies.

“In 2002, I founded General Fusion with the vision of creating a technology that would combat climate change and end the world’s reliance on fossil fuels for power. To be successful, I knew I needed a practical method that overcame longstanding barriers to commercializing fusion. That’s why I chose Magnetized Target Fusion,” said Dr. Michel Laberge, Founder and Chief Science Officer, General Fusion. “After 20 years – to see our core technologies proven out and ready to be put together in the fusion demonstration – it’s an incredible feeling.”

Creating fusion energy with MTF starts with a hydrogen plasma injected into a vessel lined with liquid metal. Next, high-powered pistons compress the liquid metal around the plasma, squeezing and building pressure until the plasma reaches more than 100 million degrees Celsius – and fusion occurs. The technology depends on three core factors to be successful: hot plasmas that hold their energy long enough to be compressed, a synched compression system, and a stable fusion process that will increase neutron yields and temperatures when plasmas are compressed.

Plasma Injector (PI3)

General Fusion’s plasma injector exceeds requirements with 10-millisecond self-sustaining energy confinement time without requiring active magnetic stabilization, auxiliary heating, or a conventional divertor.

Plasma injector exceeds requirements with 10-millisecond self-sustaining energy confinement time:

General Fusion’s plasma injector PI3 is the world’s largest and most powerful of its kind. It generates plasma targets with confinement times exceeding predictions from accepted scaling laws and consistently achieves the conditions required for the company’s fusion demonstration. Today, General Fusion is creating the plasmas it needs, achieving 10 millisecond energy confinement time without requiring active magnetic stabilization, auxiliary heating, or a conventional divertor. The plasmas reach a temperature of 250 eV, almost 3 million degrees Celsius, the starting plasma temperature required for the company to compress the plasma to fusion conditions. Combined with known scaling laws, these results and modelling provide confidence that the company’s fusion demonstration is on track to meet its target temperature of 10 keV.

Compression system prototype validates five millisecond compression time for fusion demonstration:

General Fusion takes a pulsed approach to create fusion energy. This means, unlike a tokamak, its plasmas do not need to be sustained for long periods. Instead, the company uses mechanical compression to achieve fusion conditions. This is done with high-speed drivers that are timed to rapidly create a precisely shaped, symmetrical collapse of a liquid metal cavity, which envelopes the plasma. General Fusion’s primary compression prototype has completed over 1,000 shots, consistently achieving its compression performance targets. In addition, researchers and engineers have used test results across a range of compression parameters to validate and refine their fluid dynamic models to a high degree of fidelity. These models show that the fusion demonstration can achieve a shaped collapse in a liquid metal cavity within approximately five milliseconds. This is sufficient for the thermal confinement times already achieved within General Fusion’s existing plasma prototypes.

These two recent milestone announcements build on the significant technological advances previously achieved by General Fusion’s team since the founding of the company in 2002.

  • 2005: Fusion reaction in the company’s first MTF prototype
  • 2010: First at-scale plasma injector with magnetically confined plasma
  • 2011: First demonstration of compressive heating of magnetized plasma
  • 2012: Liquid metal compression tests validate engineering of liquid metal approach and synchronization of at-scale pistons
  • 2013: Plasma achieves performance to enable compression heating
  • 2017: Stable compression of plasma
  • 2018: Heating and increased neutron yield during plasma compression
  • 2019: Plasma lifetime maintained within a liquid metal cavity
  • 2019-2021: Plasma performance sufficient to achieve fusion conditions at scale
  • 2021: Compressed liquid cavity into a controlled, symmetrical shape sufficient to achieve fusion conditions when scaled in the company’s fusion demonstration
  • 2022: Plasma energy confinement time of 10 milliseconds and validated compression time of 5 milliseconds support achieving 10 keV at power plant scale

“Commercializing fusion energy is within reach, and General Fusion is ready to deliver it to the grid by the 2030s,” said Greg Twinney, CEO, General Fusion. “We have the right team, the right technology, and the right strategy to get us there.”

About General Fusion
General Fusion pursues a fast, efficient, and collaborative path to practical fusion power. We are completing an aggressive development plan to deliver economical carbon-free fusion energy with our proprietary Magnetized Target Fusion technology by the 2030s. Our mission is supported by a global syndicate of leading institutional investors, venture capital firms, and technology pioneers, together with governments across North America and Europe. General Fusion collaborates with a global network of partners to create a sustainable future built on cleaner energy, better materials, and a comprehensive life cycle approach to the world’s infrastructure. Founded in 2002, we are headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with additional centers co-located with internationally recognized fusion research laboratories near London, U.K., and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. Learn more at www.generalfusion.com.

General Fusion Media Relations
media@generalfusion.com
+1-866-904-0995

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8712402

New Oceana Analysis Finds Tuna Fisheries Are Masking USD $411 Million Blue Shark Industry

Oceana calls on regional fishery management organizations and member states to comprehensively manage the fishing of blue sharks

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new Oceana-commissioned study reveals that vessels authorized to fish in the waters of designated tuna regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) are operating major shark fisheries, propping up a massive blue shark (Prionace glauca) commercial fishery with a landing value worth USD $411 million. This first-of-its-kind analysis shows the catch value of blue shark exceeds that of each of the three iconic bluefin tuna fisheries. The report confirms blue shark represents 60% of all reported global shark catches, singularly dominating both the shark fin and meat trade, while direct management of the species remains absent.

Last month at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, world leaders voted to provide protections for 60 shark species, including blue sharks. This decision means these species can only be traded if their stocks are proven to be sustainably managed. Except for a 2019 catch limit set under the jurisdiction of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) RFMO, blue sharks are fished without any limits. “Despite being considered one of the most resilient and abundant shark species, blue shark populations are threatened by poor management,” said Philip Chou, Oceana’s Senior Director of Global Policy. “Without proper management, blue sharks and the ecosystems they balance face a perilous future. Direct and active fishery management of blue sharks must begin immediately.”

This report analyzed global data on the catch, trade, and management of sharks and tuna reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization and RFMOs. Researchers led by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd. found that nearly 200,000 metric tons of blue shark were legally caught and landed in 2019, amounting to over 7 million blue sharks. Of that catch, 90% was brought in by large-scale commercial fleets, mostly longliners, with 74% flagged to distant-water fishing nations. Spain and Taiwan are responsible for roughly half the total blue shark catch.

To access Oceana’s summary and the full report, visit oceana.org/blueshark. This research was prepared for Oceana’s Transparent Oceans Initiative — an international program that illuminates the global footprint of the world’s distant-water fishing fleets, catalyzing policy change to protect the ocean and the communities who rely on it.

Contact: Anna Baxter, abaxter@oceana.org

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8711327

AGC Biologics and Gore Collaborate on New Protein A-based Purification Technology and Contract Manufacturing Services for Antibody Therapies

GORE® Protein Capture Devices and AGC Biologics development and manufacturing platforms help advance downstream purification and support effective development and manufacturing

Seattle, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AGC Biologics, a leading global Biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), today announced a collaboration with W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore) that features Protein A affinity purification technology from Gore alongside the CDMO’s contract development and manufacturing services.

By using GORE and AGC Biologics, biopharmaceutical companies can improve downstream purification processes through increased productivity of the Protein A step, enabling a full single-use downstream process, which can eliminate column bioburden from storage, reduce manufacturing footprint, and help lower costs for clinical manufacturing and select scale commercial manufacturing.

The collaboration includes the family of GORE® Protein Capture Devices with Protein A, which improves productivity in Protein A affinity purification, and provides high binding capacity at short residence times, alongside AGC Biologics’ mAb-based CDMO services. The joint offering from Gore and AGC Biologics is available across various sites in the AGC Biologics’ network.

“This is a notable example of how our technology can support antibody-based therapies coming to market by addressing bottlenecks and boosting productivity” said William Barrett, Ph.D., Product Specialist, for GORE PharmBIO. “Our portfolio of GORE Protein A Capture Devices, with a unique expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane, offers a scalable solution and we are thrilled to work with ACG Biologics so customers can reach their next clinical or commercial milestones.”

AGC Biologics’ scientists have several decades of R&D experience in the monoclonal antibody space. The company has established more than 200 mammalian and microbial cell culture-based products. AGC Biologics’ historic work in implementing early-on high-throughput titer assessments of monoclonal cell lines helps streamline its early-phase mAb product programs.

“Investments in new technologies like the GORE Protein Capture Device are important to meet our clients’ needs and address the changes in the monoclonal antibody market,” said Kasper Møller, Chief Technical Officer of AGC Biologics. “We are excited to offer this new technology for GMP manufacturing at relevant scales throughout our manufacturing network.”

Learn more about GORE Protein Capture Devices with Protein A and get the latest information on upcoming events at www.gore.com/capturemoremAbs.

To learn more about AGC Biologics’ cell line development services, visit https://www.agcbio.com/capabilities/process-development/cell-line-development.

Learn more about AGC Biologics’ full line of mammalian-based manufacturing services at https://www.agcbio.com/capabilities/mammalian.

Attachment

Nick McDonald
AGC Biologics
14254193555
nmcdonald@agc.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8712011

OKX Introduces Quick Transfer Feature & Announces Ledger Compatibility, Streamlining Self-Custody for Millions of Users

VICTORIA, Seychelles, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OKX, the world-leading cryptocurrency platform, has introduced the seamless Quick Transfer feature and announced Ledger hardware wallet compatibility to streamline self-custody for millions of users.

The Quick Transfer feature allows OKX users to easily transfer assets between the OKX exchange and its leading self-custody Web3 Wallet. Quick Transfer is now available on the OKX Android Mobile App and will soon be available on iOS.

Later in December, OKX will introduce Ledger hardware wallet compatibility with its OKX Mobile App, making it the only multi-chain wallet that supports the Ledger hardware wallet on a mobile app. Users will be able to manage their crypto across 40+ chains and access DEX, NFT Marketplace, dApps and Yield directly from their hardware wallet. Ledger and Trezon compatibility is currently available on the OKX Wallet Web Extension.

The OKX Web3 Wallet is a decentralized multi-chain wallet that gives users custody of their own assets. OKX does not store user passwords, seed phrases (mnemonics), or private keys, nor does it send them to external servers. Additional benefits of the OKX Web3 Wallet include:

  • The ability to hold cryptocurrencies and NFTs across over 40 blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, OKC, Solana, BSC, and Aptos
  • Built-in access to a multi-chain, cross-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) that uses smart routing to get users the best rates across protocols
  • A multi-chain, zero-fee NFT marketplace that aggregates collections across other marketplaces like OpenSea, MagicEden, LooksRare, etc.
  • A service that finds the best on-chain yield to make DeFi accessible to all

OKX Director of Financial Markets Lennix Lai said: “Self-custody has been rising in importance in the crypto sector for some time, and this has accelerated in recent months. At OKX, we’re building a unified experience across Web3 and centralized services in a single app. Quick Transfer enables easy-to-use asset transfer, and ensures a seamless and secure experience, while Ledger compatibility empowers customers to take self-custody a step further by utilizing hardware wallets. Customers using these services will have more custody choices as well as direct access to and greater control of their assets.”

Find out more about the importance of self-custody here.

For further information, please contact:
Media@okx.com

About OKX
OKX is the second biggest global crypto exchange by trading volume and a leading web3 ecosystem. Trusted by more than 20 million global customers, OKX is known for being the fastest and most reliable crypto trading app for investors and professional traders everywhere.

Beyond OKX’s exchange, the OKX Wallet is the platform’s latest offering for people looking to explore the world of NFTs and the metaverse while trading GameFi and DeFi tokens.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8712771

Crurated Launches First of its Kind Virtual Cellars for Gifting French and Italian Wines This Holiday Season and Beyond

Members can gift wines from their Crurated cellars or buy from the platform to send directly to friends & loved ones

LONDON, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With an eye on innovation in the wine industry, Crurated, a blockchain and member-based wine community, has launched virtual cellars for gifting wines this holiday season and beyond. This first of its kind program lets members gift French and Italian fine wines from the platform that are stored in the Crurated cellar in Burgundy and available virtually. Wines for gifting start at 50 Euro and come with a complimentary Explorer Membership and a virtual cellar that allows the recipient to view their wines and ship to many countries across the globe. The wines are authenticated and traced via blockchain technology and come straight from the Domaine.

“While our members can give from their personal Crurated cellars, we’ve also added a full range of French and Italian wines that are perfect for gift giving,” said Alfonso de Gaetano, Founder of Crurated. “This new program makes last minute gifting easy. No stores to visit or shipping to do because the gift is instantaneously available and can be shipped out when the recipient is ready to enjoy their wine.”

“Our direct-to-consumer partnership with Crurated ensures that any and all wine lovers have the opportunity to gain access to our wines,” said Charles Lachaux, Burgundy’s most forward-thinking winemaker. “This new offering will help to foster a larger community of oenophiles and is the perfect gift not only for the holidays but any time of the year.”

In addition to selections from a member’s personal cellar additional wines are available for purchase from Crurated producers from regions including Barolo and Burgundy to Tuscany and beyond.

Each gift comes with a complimentary and upgradable Explorer Membership with benefits that include:

  • Access to discovery collections that highlight the unique styles of various regions and producers
  • Blockchain certificate on all bottles
  • Complimentary storage up to 50 bottles
  • Maximum Barrel allocation 3L
  • No Buyer’s premium

More details on Crurated Memberships can be found here: https://crurated.com/levels/.

About Crurated
Launched in 2021 with an emphasis on France and Italy, Crurated is a membership-based wine community designed to connect connoisseurs directly with world-class producers. A team of specialists provides personalized services and authentic experiences, while Crurated’s seamless logistics service guarantees quality and provenance thanks to secure wine cellar storage and innovative blockchain technology. For more on Crurated, visit crurated.com.

PR Contact
Michael Volpatt
Michael@larkinvolpatt.com
415.994.8864

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a3c662f1-094a-4df5-91aa-e94030935bcf

A video accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/85efcd66-fe45-4964-96f2-5aafc01e5797

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8711939

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai’s sentence casts chill over relaunch, analysts say

The sentencing of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai to five years and nine months in jail for fraud over the weekend is a further blow to attempts to restore the city’s reputation as a financial and business hub, analysts told Radio Free Asia.

 

Lai faces disqualification from the directorship of any company for eight years and fines of HK$ 2,000,000 (US$257,000). His assets and those of Next Digital have been frozen pending his trial on a separate charge under Hong Kong’s national security law, which forced the company to shut down in June 2021.

 

His sentence, which will likely be added to any future jail term under the national security law, was condemned by two press freedom groups as further proof of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s clampdown on the city’s once-free media.

 

“Illegal demonstration, fraud, national security crimes — the diversity of the charges held against Jimmy Lai, and the staggering severity of the sentences imposed on him, show how desperate the Chinese regime is to silence this symbolic figure of press freedom in Hong Kong,” Cédric Alviani, East Asia bureau chief of the Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, said in a statement.

 

Alviani called for Lai’s immediate release “alongside all other journalists and press freedom defenders detained in Hong Kong and in [mainland China].”

 

The International Federation of Journalists echoed Alviani’s comments, and called on the international community to “condemn the destruction of independent media in Hong Kong and to support journalists and media workers fleeing from an increasingly perilous working environment.”

 

‘Waste of money’

 

Lai’s sentencing comes as Hong Kong’s government under Chief Executive John Lee seeks to relaunch the city as a viable place for global corporations to do business, with Lee launching various talent recruitment and business partnership drives since being selected as the city’s leader in an unopposed “election” in May.

 

He told journalists at the APEC summit in Thailand last month that Hong Kong’s new system of Beijing-backed governance “mean[s] extra opportunities for enterprises all around the world.”

 

Lee also wants to relaunch Hong Kong as an IT hub and a regional center for culture and the arts, he said on Nov. 20.

 

But Herbert Chow, CEO of pro-democracy children’s clothing and lifestyle brand Chickeeduck, said Lai’s sentence would have likely have a further chilling effect on the rest of the business community in Hong Kong.

 

“Hong Kong is rapidly losing its advantage” as a destination for investors, said Chow, whose clothing chain is also shutting down following an investigation by the national security police.

 

“The government claims that Hong Kong is a world city, but when you look at the cases against Jimmy Lai, Shanghai looks like a better bet,” he said.

 

“If you can’t say anything anyway, then you might as well locate [your office] in mainland China,” Chow said. “Using Hong Kong as a jumping-off point to the mainland is a waste of money, because rents are much more expensive than in mainland China.”

 

Condemned by U.S.

 

Political risk management consultant Ross Feingold said multinational corporations and foreign business executives will also be weighing their personal and corporate legal risk under the national security law in Hong Kong, and likely reassessing it as a location.

 

Feingold said there is likely to be a high degree of concern over the sentencing of Jimmy Lai, which was also condemned on Saturday by U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

 

“The United States condemns the grossly unjust outcome of Jimmy Lai’s latest trial sentencing,” Price said via Twitter. “By any objective measure, this result is neither fair nor just.”

 

“We once again call on [the Chinese] authorities to respect freedom of expression, including for the press, in Hong Kong,” he said.

 

British lawmaker Alicia Kearns, who chairs the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, also hit out at Lai’s sentence.

 

“Newspaper owner Jimmy Lai sentenced to 5 years and 9 months for fraud in a political witch trial to hunt down dissent from the CCP regime,” Kearns tweeted, in a reference to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

 

“Jimmy is a British citizen and must receive vocal support from [the British government],” she wrote.

 

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in Hong Kong said the U.S. was interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.

 

“We urge external forces to refrain from interfering in the judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and in any other Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights,” the spokesperson said in remarks posted to the official website of the ministry’s Hong Kong office.

 

Describing Lai as “an anti-China criminal,” the spokesperson accused Washington of “supporting anti-China forces in Hong Kong.”

 

Subletting crime

 

Lai was handed the jail term by District Court Judge Stanley Chan, who said the subletting arrangement with secretarial contractors Dico Consultants had violated the terms of Next Digital’s lease agreement for its premises on the Tseung Kwan O industrial estate.

 

Chan told the court that Lai and Next Digital had concealed the fact that Lai was allowing the consultancy to operate from a 646-square-foot office in the Next Digital headquarters, and had blamed the error on the company’s chief operating officer.

 

He said Lai, 75, had also prevented the landlord from carrying out checks on the building.

 

Former Next Digital executive Wong Wai-keung was handed a 21-month jail term after being convicted of the same charge, because he was taking orders from his superiors and hadn’t been the “mastermind” behind the operation, the judge said.

 

Lai’s harsh sentence comes amid an ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy media organizations, opposition politicians and peaceful critics of the authorities sparked by the imposition of a draconian national security law on Hong Kong from July 2020 in the wake of the 2019 protest movement.

 

Lai is still awaiting trial under that law, on charges of “collusion with a foreign power,” and is currently also serving shorter jail terms for public order offenses linked to his part in peaceful protests in 2019.

 

More punishment coming?

 

There are concerns that the Chinese government may exercise its power under the national security law to hold Lai’s “collusion” trial in mainland China, likely leading to a much harsher sentence than might be imposed by a Hong Kong court.

 

Current affairs commentator Sang Pu, who is also a qualified lawyer, said nearly six years for fraud is a fairly heavy sentence.

 

“We’re very worried that this 75-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison, given that any further sentence under the national security law will be added to this current sentence,” Sang told Radio Free Asia.

 

“He could wind up serving more than 10 years altogether,” he said.

 

The charge of “collusion with a foreign power to endanger national security” carries a maximum jail term of life imprisonment in cases where the offense is deemed “serious,” with a minimum jail term of 10 years.

 

Radio Free Asia Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

Myanmar’s UN Ambassador Reportedly Renewed for Another Year Despite Junta’s Opposition

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun is the permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations; however, the diplomat does not represent the country’s ruling military junta.

 

Kyaw Moe Tun was appointed to his position in 2020, months before the military overthrew the elected civilian government in February 2021. The military junta tried to fire him from his post, but he refused to leave, and so far, the United Nations General Assembly Credentials Committee has refused to recognize the military’s appointee. He is also backed by Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), established by the country’s elected and now-removed legislators.

 

On Monday, a U.N. diplomat told VOA that the U.N. credentials committee had agreed to uphold his status as Myanmar’s ambassador. The diplomat declined to speak on the record before the committee formally announces its decision.

 

Last week, VOA’s Ingyin Naing interviewed Kyaw Moe Tun at his office in New York to discuss what it is like representing a government that rejects him and how he sees his role as diplomat.

 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

 

VOA: What do you think about the upcoming decision on Myanmar U.N. representations this year?

 

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun: Since last year, two countries, namely Afghanistan and Myanmar, had competing credentials with regard to the respective delegations. So, last year, the credentials committee decided to defer the decisions on the credentials of Afghanistan and Myanmar.

 

How they will decide depends, of course, on the members of the Credentials Committee. Russia, China and the United States are the three members who are elected every year. [[This year the credentials committee members also include Angola, Austria, Guyana, Maldives, Uruguay and Zambia.]]

 

VOA: You also voted this year to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to suspend Russia’s membership at the U.N. Human Rights Council. Do you think that your stance on those issues affects Russia’s decision on the matter of who should represent Myanmar and that they might prefer the Myanmar junta’s representative?

 

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun: We not only voted yes but also co-sponsored the resolutions because the reason is very simple and very clear: We the people of Myanmar need to stand firm with the people of Ukraine, who are suffering like the people of Myanmar. By co-sponsoring the resolution, by voting yes on the resolution, we stand firm with the people of Ukraine. Russia will not be happy with that. So, whatever they decided regarding the representation of Myanmar here in the U.N., they will not be in favor of the permanent representative, who is appointed by the elected civilian government, who is speaking for the people of Myanmar.

 

VOA: What do you think about China also publicly backing the Myanmar junta?

 

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun: You can compare China and Russia. But what I know is that the high-level visit from China is what we don’t see during this time. But of course, the last time Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Myanmar [in July], that was only for the subregional meeting, not for the bilateral meeting.

 

China was making it clear that the visit was not for a bilateral visit and was for the subregional group meetings, the Lancang-Mekong meetings. So, it is clear the position of China is different from the position of Russia because Russia’s foreign minister visited Myanmar on bilateral bases.

 

China is also our neighboring country and a permanent member of the Security Council. That is why we always value the role of China. Of course, there are other neighboring countries whose roles we value — not only China but also India, Bangladesh, Laos and Thailand.

 

The role of the neighboring countries is very important. The neighboring countries of Ukraine open their borders, open their arms and extend warm hospitality to the Ukrainians, who escaped from the aggression and who take refuge in the neighboring countries. We wish our neighboring countries would be like those of Ukraine.

 

Back to the question about the position of China, of course, it is different from the position of Russia. That is my personal point of view.

 

VOA: According to some news agencies, Ukraine sold weapons to the Myanmar military. Did you ask Ukraine’s diplomats about selling weapons to the Myanmar military when you met them?

 

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun: To be very frank, I haven’t brought this issue to the Ukrainian ambassador here. But I do understand that the selling of weapons was before the military coup. I do understand that after the military coup, the government of Ukraine was not selling any kind of weapons to the military, who use these weapons to kill innocent civilians. So according to my knowledge, Ukraine as a government is not selling any kind of weapons to the Myanmar military.

 

VOA: You have spoken frequently in your speeches at the U.N. committee meetings about the U.N.’s failure to protect the Myanmar people who are being oppressed by the military junta. Do you have any hope for concrete action from the U.N.?

 

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun: Our people are really helpless, and even they were holding the placards carrying the R2P — “responsibility to protect.” Since then, in my statements at the U.N., I tried to convey the people’s voices — like asking the U.N. to apply the principles of R2P to save the lives of the people of Myanmar. Even though, of course, it is very frustrating because no one ever will make the statement whenever we made the appeal. Whenever we meet, that demand does not really come out in practical terms. But on the other hand, sometimes in multilateralism, the result takes time.

As a diplomat sitting here in New York, even though I have that frustration, at the same time, I understand the situation on the ground here: The U.N. is composed of 193 member states.

 

Source: Voice of America