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US private Military Contractor Academi “Blackwater” to open security personnel training centres in China

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Beijing, March 22, 2017: The founder of US private military contractor Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, has announced that he will open security personnel training centres in China, local media reported on Wednesday.

In an interview with Chinese official daily Global Times, Erik Prince said two training centres of his new firm Frontier Services Group would initially be set up on China’s border and conflict-ridden regions.

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One of these centres will be located in Xinjiang, which has experienced several violent attacks over the last few years, which the government blames on Uighur separatists, Efe news reported.

The other centre will be established in Yunnan, another sensitive region for China due to its proximity to Myanmar.

Clashes between the Myanmar Army and ethnic minorities such as Kokang people have caused collateral damage on Chinese territory, as well as an influx of thousands of refugees.

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The new company, headed by 47-year-old Prince — a former US Navy SEAL — brands itself a provider of security services to businesses operating in frontier areas.

Prince told the newspaper that his firm wants to support the development of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which is threatened by armed conflicts across Asia.

His previous firm Academi, sold to an investment group in 2010, was accused of human rights violations during the US-led Iraq occupation during the last decade. (IANS)

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Apple to shut its last Watch-exclusive store in May

Apple's shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 grew by more than 32 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016 to eight million

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Apple Watch Nike+ smartwatch. Flickr

Apple will shut down its last of the three Apple Watch-exclusive stores — located in Tokyo — it built when it launched the wearable in 2015.

On May 13, the last Apple Watch-exclusive store will close its doors. Twitter user Shotaro Akiba has shared a photo on the microblogging platform showing the department store’s announcement, Engadget reported on Sunday.

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Many apps pulled out of the watchOS. VOA

Apple had shut down the other two stores in London and Paris last year. According to 9to5mac website, the shop held a sale in which it was selling the remaining Apple Watch Edition inventory for as little as $700.

These 18-karat gold watches were sold for at least $10,000 and as much as $17,000 when they first became available, the report said.

Earlier this month, high-profile applications, including Instagram, Amazon, Google Maps and Twitter, pulled out their apps from the WatchOS. Driven by Apple Watch Series 3 shipments, the Cupertino-headquartered giant shipped a record 18 million Watch devices in 2017 — an increase of 54 per cent compared to the previous year.

Also Read: Apple working on gold variant of iPhone X: Report

“The Series 3 was the key growth driver, as total shipments of the latest version of Apple’s Watch were just under nine million, making up nearly half of all shipments in 2017,” Singapore-based market research firm Canalys said.

Apple’s shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 grew by more than 32 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016 to eight million — the highest-ever number of shipments in a single quarter for any wearable vendor. IANS