Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing spotted in public three months after disappearance and US looks to China’s neighbours for trade. 

Investors want Mark Zuckerberg to step down as Facebook chairman

Following a series of controversies surrounding the leak of Facebook user data and proliferation of fake accounts to manipulate elections, many investors believe the social media giant would be better off if founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a less powerful role in the company, reports CNN.

On Wednesday, a number of state and city treasurers in the US extended their backing to a proposal for Zuckerberg’s removal as chairman, to be moved to the Facebook board of directors. The idea is to separate the CEO’s post from the chairman’s, in a bid to devlove authority.

New York City, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, which have public funds invested in Facebook, have joined the efforts of Trillium Asset Management, an employee-owned investment management firm, to approach Facebook directors.

Theresa May to ‘consider’ extending Brexit 

British Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed willingness to extend the period the United Kingdom will stay in the European Union before Brexit, hoping to break the deadlock in negotiations for terms of the split,  The Guardian quoted sources as saying.

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As of now, Brexit is slated for 29 March 2019. Though not official yet, the PM’s hint to “consider” postponing it till the end of 2021 has already invited the wrath of Brexit supporters, the BBC added.

“An extension of the Brexit transition period would likely mean the UK needed to make additional budget contributions to the EU on top of its £39bn divorce bill,” The Guardian report added.

The reports came after a EU summit Wednesday evening in Brussels where May addressed her 27 European counterparts, urging them to end the Brexit deadlock over the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

US plans trade agreements with China’s neighbours to counter Asian giant 

In order to counter Chinese trade, US President Donald Trump is striking new trade agreements with countries it had earlier diverted paths from, The New York Times reports.

In 2017, Trump had pulled out of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership with 11 other countries, but Washington is now securing fresh trade agreements with many nations that remain in the pact, the report added. Apart from this, the US has already secured new trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and South Korea and plans to approach Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Washington’s move for trade talks with many countries in China’s vicinity comes amid a trade war between the US and China.

China, too, is looking to increase trade negotiations in the region under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which would sharply reduce tariffs on trade within Asia and link Asian markets closely to China’s, the report added.

There are talks of a potential meeting between the US and Chinese presidents in November.

Chinese star Fan Bingbing spotted in public

Chinese actor Fan Bingbing was seen in public for the first time three months after her mysterious disappearance that media reports had linked to the Chinese Communist Party, CNN reported.

As reported by local media, Fan was spotted leaving the Beijing Capital International Airport Monday night.

The actor has, however, not made any formal public appearance since the disappearance, which followed tax evasion allegations against the Chinese star who has also dabbled in Hollywood.

Earlier this month, Fan had posted an online apology accepting the allegations and agreeing to pay a compensation.

What Japan and China can do to make Asia thrive

As Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to embark on a three-day trip to China from 25 October, academic Zhou Yongsheng, in an op-ed in The Global Times, analyses the possible upshots of the visit.

“The most important task for Abe’s trip this time is to deepen mutual political trust between China and Japan,” writes Zhou, the deputy director of the Japanese Studies Center at China Foreign Affairs University. He urges both nations to avoid touching sensitive topics and rather shelve long-standing disputes.

The op-ed highlights the need for both nations to cooperate in order to make the Asian markets more viable for trade with one another.

While US President Donald Trump is looking to strike fresh trade deals with several countries in the region, the op-ed urges Asian economic giants to further build the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes the 10 ASEAN members and the six Asia-Pacific countries they have free trade agreements with (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India), in order to prevent the US from having better trade prospects in the region.

An earlier headline for the Facebook snippet said the investors wanted Mark Zuckerberg to step down as CEO. The error is regretted.

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