A Hong Kong Newspaper on a Mission to Promote China’s Soft Power

A Hong Kong Newspaper on a Mission to Promote China’s Soft Power HONG KONG — On a recent afternoon, the staff of The South China Morning Post, a 114-year-old newspaper, gathered around roast suckling pig in their lavish new headquarters in Hong Kong to celebrate a remarkable turnaround.
Readership has been surging. The Post has launched new digital products and added dozens of journalists. After more than a decade of decline and editorial chaos, the newsroom now buzzes like a tech start-up, with table tennis and an in-house pub serving free craft beer.
The revival began with The Post's acquisition two years ago by the Alibaba Group, the Chinese technology and retail giant. But if Alibaba is breathing new life into the paper, it has also given it a new mission: improving China’s image overseas and combating what it sees as anti-Chinese bias in the foreign media.
In effect, Alibaba has taken Hong Kong’s English-language paper of record since the days of British rule and put it on th..

‘Like a Dream’: Malala Makes an Emotional Visit to Her Pakistani Hometown

‘Like a Dream’: Malala Makes an Emotional Visit to Her Pakistani Hometown Photo Malala Yousafzai, center, and her family visited her former home in Mingora, Pakistan, on Saturday. Credit Abdullah Sherin/Associated Press ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for girls’ education and the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, visited her hometown in Pakistan on Saturday for the first time since the Taliban attempted to assassinate her in 2012.
Her return under heavy security to the city of Mingora in the Swat Valley — a former Taliban stronghold — was a deeply emotional moment for Ms. Yousafzai and her family.
“I wish to be in Swat, to be among you and serve you,” Ms. Yousafzai said with tears in her eyes as she met with former schoolmates and relatives at her old family house. “It is still like a dream for me to be among you,” she said, her voice quavering.
Ms. Yousafzai’s visit reflected how Pakistan has changed and how it hasn’t since the attempt on her life more th..

At Stephen Hawking Funeral, Eddie Redmayne and Astronomer Royal Give Readings

At Stephen Hawking Funeral, Eddie Redmayne and Astronomer Royal Give Readings Photo The coffin of Stephen Hawking arriving at St Mary the Great Church in Cambridge, England. Credit Joe Giddens/Press Association, via Associated Press LONDON — Hundreds of people lined the streets of the British city of Cambridge on Saturday, breaking into applause as the hearse carrying the remains of the famed scientist Stephen Hawking arrived at a local church for a private funeral for 500 invited guests.
Dr. Hawking died on March 14 at age 76 after capturing popular imagination with his writings about space and time.
Photo The actor Eddie Redmayne, who played Stephen Hawking in the 2014 film “The Theory of Everything,” gave a reading. Credit Joe Giddens/Press Association, via Associated Press His book “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” published in 1988, has sold more than 10 million copies and inspired a documentary film by Errol Morris. His own story was the basis of an aw..