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China's professional basketball league has fined former NBA star Jeremy Lin for making ‘inappropriate remarks’ about quarantine facilities for his Chinese team. That comes as the government tries to suppress protests against anti-virus controls that are among the world's most stringent. More cities eased restrictions following protests last weekend in Shanghai and other areas in which some crowds called for President Xi Jinping to resign. The China Basketball Association said Lin was fined $1,400 for “inappropriate remarks” on social media about a hotel where his team stayed before a game. The news outlet The Paper said he complained about workout facilities. Phone calls to his team, the Loong Lions, weren't answered.

Shares have retreated in Asia after a mixed day on Wall Street. Optimism over moves by China to ease strict pandemic controls faded, replaced by worries over data suggesting recession may be looming. A U.S. measure of inflation that’s closely watched by the Federal Reserve eased in October, raising questions over the central bank's determination to keep raising interest rates to tame price increases. The S&P 500 ended 0.1% lower Thursday, a day after markets rallied as Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank could dial back the pace of its interest rate increases.

An Australian prosecutor on Friday dropped the rape charge of a woman who was allegedly assaulted in a parliamentary office after he determined that the stress of the trial would put her life at risk. Former government staffer Brittany Higgins alleges a more senior colleague, Bruce Lehrmann, raped her in a minister’s office after a night of heavy drinking in March 2019. The Associated Press does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Higgins has chosen to identify herself in the media. Higgins' friend said she was in a hospital receiving mental health treatment. Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold said he dropped the case based on medical evidence that a trial could cost Higgins’ life.

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