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Fewer China tourists coming to Malaysia

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362771

Beauty of Malaysia: Chinese tourists posing happily in Malaysia as it is still a popular destination.
Beauty of Malaysia: Chinese tourists posing happily in Malaysia as it is still a popular destination.

Fewer China tourists coming to Malaysia

ASEAN+ January 23, 2019 09:24

By The Star
Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA: Fewer tourists from China are coming during the two-week Chinese New Year holiday period next month, say industry players.

They expect a drop of as much as 10% compared to the same period last year. Much of it is due to changing of travelling trends and stiff competition from regional destinations.

Malaysian Tourist Guides Council president Jimmy Leong Wie Kong said the drop was not surprising considering the lack of promotion and marketing.

“The cut in the Tourism Ministry’s promotion and marketing budget is a big factor.

“We can’t deny that we will not be able to maintain the numbers that we have enjoyed over the past few years,” he said.

Leong said some Chinese tourists who had visited Malaysia before might opt to travel to those countries, especially the ones that offer visa-free entry.

“They will only consider visiting Malaysia again if the other regional destinations are fully booked,” he said.

Leong said new strategies were needed to tackle changes in travelling trends brought about by the emergence of online booking apps and e-hailing.

He said the previous zero-cost tours for Chinese tourists were now less attractive and deemed negative for the industry.

“Some states have put their foot down on zero-cost tours because of complaints received from Chinese tourists that they were fleeced by operators.

“Nowadays, dissatisfied tourists post their complaints on social media and this has given our country a bad image,” he said.

Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association president Uzaidi Udanis said the industry was becoming more competitive but the drop in the arrivals from China would not be too significant.

“We received about 250,000 Chinese tourists during the Chinese New Year holiday period last year.

“There will be a slight decrease this time around and this is expected because of the change in travelling trends among the 150 million Chinese passport holders who are now eyeing other regional destinations.

“They are shifting their focus to other destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia which are offering visa-free entry,” he said, adding that some 12 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand last year.

Uzaidi also said the era of Chinese tourists travelling in large tour groups was on the decline.

He said they tended to travel individually, with families or in smaller groups.

“This is because of the availability of online flight and hotel booking apps, including the convenience of using e-hailing for ground travelling,” he said.

Uzaidi said the introduction of free visas for specific periods would help boost the number of Chinese tourist arrivals.

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Chinese baby-editing doctor ‘pursued own gain’

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362753

Chinese baby-editing doctor ‘pursued own gain’

ASEAN+ January 22, 2019 20:48

By The Japan News
Asia News Network

2,298 Viewed

It is claimed that He, a doctor at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, modified the fertilized eggs through genome editing.

According to the Chinese media, the provincial investigative team announced the results of its preliminary investigation on Monday, concluding that He had raised funds on his own and organized a project involving researchers from outside mainland China from June 2016 to research human gene editing for reproductive purposes.

The research was conducted between March 2017 and November 2018 on eight volunteer couples in which the husbands had contracted HIV. Two women eventually conceived babies from the genome-edited eggs. One of the women gave birth to twin girls, while the other is still pregnant. An ethical review certificate needed to approve the research had been fabricated.

A source from the investigative team reportedly told Xinhua that He’s research seriously violated relevant Chinese regulations and generated adverse effects at home and abroad.

He, others involved and participant organizations will be dealt with in line with laws and regulations, the source said.

The media also reported that public security authorities will be in charge of probing the case to determine the legality of his action.

As to the twins and the pregnant woman, the Guangdong Provincial government expressed an intention to conduct medical observations and follow-up inspections on them in cooperation with a relevant organization.

In response to the investigation, SUSTech released a statement on Monday saying that the university would sever its professional ties with He.

If the investigation’s findings reported by Xinhua are accurate, it would mean that the twins are the world’s first gene-edited babies. The findings prompted criticism from biologists in Japan.

“It’s completely irresponsible of a scientist to conduct research without thoroughly reviewing ethical issues,” said Yoichi Matsubara, director of the Research Institute of the National Center for Child Health and Development.

Hokkaido University Prof. Tetsuya Ishii, a bioethics specialist, said: “Gene editing could result in the birth of babies with congenital abnormalities. It’s also problematic from a human rights perspective to conduct such research based only on the consent of parents without regard for the child’s will.”

He reportedly altered genes during the external fertilization process to prevent the babies from contracting HIV.

Genome editing enables researchers to efficiently alter genes, though it is feared that non-targeted genes could also be altered by accident. The effects of genetically modifying a fertilized egg can affect not only children but also their offspring. The technology can also engineer the birth of “designer babies” that possess abilities and physical characteristics desired by parents.

In Europe, genetically modifying fertilized eggs for the purpose of pregnancy and childbirth is illegal. This spring, the Japanese government plans to issue guidelines banning the transfer of genetically edited fertilized eggs into a woman’s uterus. The ban applies to clinical research into gene therapy and basic research that can support reproductive technology but does not apply to medical practices.

“The guidelines have no penalties and have limitations. It’s also important to warn parents not to carelessly participate in risky medical procedures,” Ishii said.

Japan Princess Mako’s boyfriend bids to clear path for wedding

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362718

This file photo shows Princess Mako (R), the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and her fiancee Kei Komuro (L), during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo in 2017.//AFP
This file photo shows Princess Mako (R), the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and her fiancee Kei Komuro (L), during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo in 2017.//AFP

Japan Princess Mako’s boyfriend bids to clear path for wedding

Breaking News January 22, 2019 16:41

By AFP

2,281 Viewed

Tokyo – The boyfriend of Japan’s Princess Mako insisted Tuesday his family had no financial difficulties hanging over them, after reports of a unpaid loan apparently forced a postponement to a fairytale wedding between the two college sweethearts.

Kei Komuro and Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, had been scheduled to become formally engaged in a traditional Japanese court ceremony last year before a royal wedding planned in late 2018.

But the marriage was dramatically called off last February amid reports Komuro’s family had run into financial difficulties, with his mother failing to repay a four-million-yen ($36,000) loan from a former fiance of hers.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Komuro said: “My mother and I both understand that the (financial) support from the ex-fiance of my mother has been settled.”

Komuro said that when his mother and her fiance split up in 2012, the man had said the money he had offered them during the engagement did not need to be repaid.

But he changed his tune the year after, according to Komuro, demanding the money back in a letter in August 2013.

Komuro’s mother met her former partner and told him she could not repay the money and there was no further request.

Komuro said he and his mother were then “bewildered” when reports surfaced in December 2017 that the ex-fiance still wanted his cash back, just two months after the royal engagement was announced.

“My mother and I both appreciate the support we received from the former fiance, and we will make efforts to gain understanding from him,” Komuro’s statement concluded.

However, the former fiance said Tuesday that the claim had not been settled.

“The money trouble has not been resolved and there has not been any contact from Mr. Komuro’s side,” he told the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun.

 

– ‘Clear the problem’ –

 

In February 2018 the pair postponed the wedding until 2020, saying they needed more time to prepare, but rumours swirled in Japanese gossip magazines that there was more to the delay than simple money problems.

“We have come to realise that we do not have enough time to prepare for the ceremonies and our new life before the wedding planned in autumn,” Mako said in a statement released through the imperial household agency at the time.

She said the announcement of their planned engagement was made “too hastily” after the news leaked out.

“We should have thought carefully whether the pace was actually right for us … Now, we’d like to have the marriage, a major life event, in a better way.”

She apologised to those planning the royal wedding, blaming the couple’s “immaturity”. They are both 27.

Mako’s father Prince Akishino told reporters in November the pair “should take proper measures” if they still hope to get married.

Unless they “clear the problem”, we cannot hold the ritual for a formal engagement, he said.

The Japanese royal family has a packed schedule this year, as the 85-year-old Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30 — the first time for more than two centuries that a Japanese emperor has stepped down.

His eldest son Naruhito is set to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne a day later.

Mako is the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino, Naruhito’s brother, and Princess Kiko.

Tourist killed by falling window from Hong Kong hotel

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362706

Mira Hotel, Hong Kong//facebook
Mira Hotel, Hong Kong//facebook

Tourist killed by falling window from Hong Kong hotel

ASEAN+ January 22, 2019 12:55

By AFP

2,717 Viewed

Hong Kong – A hotel employee arrested after a window she was cleaning fell onto a busy Hong Kong street and killed a tourist was released on bail Tuesday as investigators try to work out what caused the fatal tragedy.

Police said a 24-year-old female tourist from the Chinese mainland was struck by the window which fell from the 16th floor of the Mira Hotel in the busy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district on Monday.

She was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save her. A male friend was also struck by the window but escaped with only light injuries.

Police arrested a hotel cleaner under a law against allowing objects to fall from buildings and endanger or harm the public.

The accident sparked alarm that a window could possibly fall from the outside of a modern hotel building in a city stacked with skyscrapers.

A police spokesperson told AFP that the woman was released on bail Tuesday pending further enquiries and is required to report back in early February.

Local police officer Chan Ka-ying told reporters on Monday that the hotel windows could only be opened by staff with a special key.

“We believe that the cleaner tried to open the window, and the window immediately fell after she opened it,” she said.

The Mira Hotel made headlines in 2013 when it was chosen by whistleblower Edward Snowden as his bolthole in Hong Kong after he fled the United States carrying a trove of information on government surveillance.

The hotel did not respond to an AFP request for comment but local media said it had vowed to cooperate with authorities.

Taiwan’s ‘Bikini Climber’ social media star dies after ravine fall

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362705

  • Gigi Wu’s Facebook
  • Gigi Wu’s Facebook
  • Gigi Wu’s Facebook

Taiwan’s ‘Bikini Climber’ social media star dies after ravine fall

ASEAN+ January 22, 2019 11:52

By AFP

Taipei – Taiwanese rescue teams were trying Tuesday to retrieve the body of a dead hiker who became famous on social media for taking selfies on top of mountain peaks dressed in a bikini.

Gigi Wu — dubbed the “Bikini Climber” by fans — used a satellite phone on Saturday to tell friends she had fallen down a ravine in Taiwan’s Yushan national park and badly injured herself.

Rescue helicopters struggled to reach her because of bad weather and officials eventually located her lifeless body on Monday.

“The weather conditions in the mountains are not good, we have asked our rescuers to move the body to a more open space and after the weather clears we will make a request for a helicopter to bring the body down,” Lin Cheng-yi, from the Nantou County Fire and Rescue Services, told reporters.

Officials said Wu had told friends she was unable to move the lower half of her body after a fall of some 20-30 metres (65-100 feet) but was able to give her coordinates.

She is the latest in a string of social media adventure seekers who have met an untimely end.

Last week, the bodies of an Indian couple were found at the bottom of a popular overlook in California’s Yosemite National Park after hikers alerted officials to their camera equipment at the top of the cliff.

New Taipei City native Wu, 36, built up a sizeable social media following through photos of herself at the top of mountains dressed in bikinis.

She usually wore hiking clothes to scale the mountains, only changing into a bikini once she reached the top.

In an interview with local channel FTV last year, she said she had scaled more than 100 peaks in four years.

“I put on a bikini in each one of the 100 mountains. I only have around 97 bikinis so I accidentally repeated some,” she said.

When asked why she did it, she replied: “It just looks so beautiful, what’s not to like?”

While Taiwan is a largely tropical country, it boasts a spine of towering peaks down its middle that regularly top 3,000 metres. In the winter, temperatures routinely drop well below freezing on the mountain slopes.

Lin said their top rescue team hiked for 28 hours to reach the body, only sleeping for three hours because they knew temperatures were rapidly plunging.

World’s oldest and youngest leaders meet

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362700

  • Welcome to Austria: Dr Mahathir with Kurz at the Federal Chancellery In Vienna. The two leaders exchanged views in strengthening trade ties. — Bernama
  • Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad (L) is greeted by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz prior to a meeting in Vienna on January 21, 2019.//AFP

World’s oldest and youngest leaders meet

Breaking News January 22, 2019 10:20

By The Star
Asia News Network

VIENNA: The meeting between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has created history as a meeting between the oldest and youngest leaders in the world.

The Prime Minister, 93, is in Vienna after his last visit here in 1985. Kurz, 32, is the youngest national leader in the world, according to Malaysia’s Bernama news agency

Dr Mahathir is on a three-day working visit here. He said that he welcomes more foreign direct investment from Austria apart from strengthening bilateral relationship from the European Union country.

“We know that the trade volume is not very big but substantial.

“So the investment can increase the volume trade between the two countries,” he said at a joint press conference with Kurz. Dr Mahathir said Austria is also involved with the Langkawi cable car project.

Scoot flight from Gold Coast to Singapore diverted to Sydney after unruly man punches fellow passenger

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362699

Scoot said that an Australian man on board punched another passenger, causing crew members and other passengers to step in to break up the fight.// PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/7 NEWS.
Scoot said that an Australian man on board punched another passenger, causing crew members and other passengers to step in to break up the fight.// PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/7 NEWS.

Scoot flight from Gold Coast to Singapore diverted to Sydney after unruly man punches fellow passenger

Breaking News January 22, 2019 10:14

By The Straits Times
Asia News Network

SINGAPORE – A Scoot flight from Gold Coast to Singapore was diverted to Sydney Airport on Monday (Jan 21) due to a disruption caused by an unruly passenger on board.

Flight TR7 was scheduled to reach Singapore at 3.15pm on Monday, but it was diverted just 1h 20 min into the eight-hour flight.

In a statement on Monday, Scoot said that an Australian man on board punched another passenger. Crew members and other passengers stepped in to break up the fight.

“The unruly passenger was eventually subdued with two restraining kits, with the help of five passengers,” the airline added.

According to Australian newspaper Brisbane Times, the man was met by Australian Federal Police and paramedics at Sydney Airport.

The assaulted passenger told crew members on board that he did not require medical attention.

All affected passengers were transferred to alternative flights bound for Singapore – Scoot TR13, as well as Singapore Airlines flights SQ242 and SQ288.

“In Singapore, Scoot representatives will be meeting with arriving customers to assist them where necessary,” the airline said.

Scoot said that the passenger appeared normal during boarding and take-off, but began to disturb surrounding passengers after take-off.

Crew members were instructed not to sell alcohol to him, the airline said.

A passenger on the flight took a video of the scuffle and told Australian news agency 7 News that the unruly man had begun drinking heavily after the flight was delayed.

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed that TR7, which was scheduled to depart Gold Coast at 9.20am, took off at 12.09pm.

Strong 6.1-magnitude quake hits off Indonesia

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362698

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Strong 6.1-magnitude quake hits off Indonesia

Breaking News January 22, 2019 10:00

By AFP

Jakarta – A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian coast early Tuesday, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake hit at a depth of 31 kilometres (19 miles) off Sumba island, some 150 kilometres west southwest of the city of Waingapu, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It was followed by a weaker quake in the same area with an initial reading of 5.2 magnitude, according to Indonesia’s disaster agency.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Indonesia is still reeling from a deadly tsunami at the end of December triggered by an erupting volcano in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that killed more than 400 people.

The vast Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

The tsunami was Indonesia’s third major natural disaster in six months, following a series of powerful earthquakes on the island of Lombok in July and August and a quake-tsunami in September that killed around 2,200 people in Palu on Sulawesi island, with thousands more missing and presumed dead.

Abe to propose global rules on data flow in Davos

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362635

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Abe to propose global rules on data flow in Davos

ASEAN+ January 22, 2019 01:00

By THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
TOKYO

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to propose creating international rules on the movement of personal and corporate data in a speech tomorrow to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, it has been learned.

Abe conceives of establishing a framework for negotiating the rules among members of the World Trade Organisation and hopes to reach an agreement to launch talks when leaders of the Group of 20 nations meet in Osaka in June, the sources said.

Abe wants to take a leading role in drawing up the rules at the summit, which will be chaired by Japan.

In his speech in Davos, Abe will emphasise the importance of the movement of data.

“The engine of growth no longer runs on gasoline but on digital data,” he plans to say, the sources said.

The free flow of data across national borders is seen as essential to economic growth driven by artificial intelligence and the internet. Big data — information on consumers’ online browsing histories and purchase records — has even been called “modern petroleum.”

Japan, the United States and the European Union agree that interested WTO member nations should embark on creating new rules.

They believe there should be sufficient safeguards on the flow of data to prevent problems such as |leaks of secret or personal information.

In contrast, China is strengthening its restrictions on transferring data outside the country, as well as taking other steps that benefit its domestic information technology industry, such as demanding foreign companies transfer their technology when doing business in China.

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To create an environment where data can move freely around the world, Abe has resolved to call for the negotiations not only involving the United States and Europe, but a |wide range of WTO member nations, including China, India and |African countries. The Trans-Pacific Partnership commission, made up of ministerial officials from TPP countries, was held in Tokyo on Saturday.

Abe told the ministers at the meeting that the trade pact’s “clear provisions on the free flow of data will serve as a model for future international rules.”

The TPP prohibits excessive restrictions on the movement of data.

Abe also aims to incorporate such a provision into the new rules, the sources said.

However, even if Abe succeeds in launching the negotiations, China and other countries will likely insist on maintaining their own rules on data movement, which might make reaching an agreement difficult.

Korea to produce 6.2m hydrogen cars by 2040

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30362636

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Korea to produce 6.2m hydrogen cars by 2040

ASEAN+ January 22, 2019 01:00

By THE KOREA HERALD
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
SEOUL

SOUTH KOREA will produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles and build 1,200 refilling stations across the country by 2040, in a major industrial push aimed at securing energy independence and assuming a leadership role in hydrogen technology.

In its roadmap announced last week, the government said it would diversify the hydrogen supply portfolio, increase the supply volume to 5.26 million tons in the next 20 years and lower the |market price of the energy source to less than 3,000 won per kilogram.

The Seoul government will also support the industrial and domestic use of fuel cells for electricity and develop ships, trains and construction machinery powered by hydrogen, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

The roadmap was announced in Ulsan, a southeastern industrial city with President Moon Jae-in in attendance.

According to the plan, the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the country will reach 80,000 in less than four years and 1.8 million by 2030.

The government will start providing subsidies for fuel-cell electric taxis and trucks while working with local governments to increase the number of fuel-cell electric buses to 2,000 by |2022.

It also plans to start replacing all 820 police buses with fuel-cell electric buses in 2021.

The subsidies, the government believes, will drive up production capacity and lower costs to around 30 million won, half the price of an FCEV sold on today’s market, by 2025.

Stressing the government’s determination to pursue a |hydrogen economy, President Moon said fuel cell technology would lead the country’s future growth.

“For us, it is a golden opportunity that could fundamentally transform the state energy system and secure new growth engines (at the same time),” said Moon.

“We can take the lead in (creating) a hydrogen economy by connecting (the technology) with traditional manufacturing sectors including the auto, shipping and petrochemical industries.”

The rationale behind the Korean government’s rather drastic hydrogen economy plans lies in the strong potential of hydrogen fuel to create new jobs and revive sluggish manufacturing businesses, including small and medium-sized companies.

The aim of the government’s road map is to bring in fresh investment and create jobs |in traditional industries such |as steel production, petrochemicals and mechanical engineering, according to industry watchers.

By 2040, the government expects to generate 43 trillion won worth of added value a year and create 420,000 new jobs in the market.

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Korea’s shift toward hydrogen as an energy source is also based on hopes of decarbonizing the country’s entire transportation fleet and reducing its heavy reliance on imported oil.

The country relies on oil imports from the Middle East for most of its energy needs.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy is among a few countries vying to secure the top position in hydrogen technology.

Both China and the US have set their 2030 targets for hydrogen vehicles at 1 million, while Japan plans to provide 800,000 FCEVs across the country in the same year.

Korea’s Energy Ministry believes the country could become a first mover in hydrogen technology, overtaking competitors such as the US and China.

“We have world-class technology for hydrogen cars and fuel cells and also have (a significant) production capacity for hydrogen byproducts from petrochemical complexes as well as a (strong) supply network for natural gas across the country,” said |Vice Energy Minister Jeong Seung-il.

Both mass production and the goals in the road map are feasible, he asserted.

Ulsan, where the announcement was made, is home to major petrochemical and auto manufacturing complexes as well as to the Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor.

The carmaker takes the lead in the hydrogen car market with the Nexo, which can go up to 609 kilometers on a single charge, giving it the longest range in the world for a green car.

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