SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Subscribe to SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST feed SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
For all the latest news, features, photographs and videos from Asia
Updated: 39 sec ago

‘Direct assault on freedom of the press’: Philippine government presses ahead with plan to close news site that covered drug war

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:34
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s government rejected calls on Tuesday to halt the potential closure a news website that has been reporting on his deadly drug war, with media watchdogs raising fears over eroding freedoms. The country’s corporate regulator revoked the incorporation papers for Rappler on Monday, accusing the online portal of ceding control to foreign investors in an industry exclusively reserved for Filipinos. Rappler, founded in 2012, has produced reports...

‘An era to forget’: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib hails close Singapore ties while taking aim at Mahathir Mohamad

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:17
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak praised his country’s relationship with neighbouring Singapore on Tuesday, but added a jibe for his closest rival in upcoming elections. “We believe in good relations with our neighbour, with Singapore, and we’ve proven that we can bring tangible benefits to the people if we work closely together,” Najib said at a news conference in Singapore. “The other side may have other ideas. We certainly do not want to return to the era of...

Gun-making inmates to serve Thailand

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:30
By King-oua Laohong Sixteen inmates found guilty of illegally making guns have been chosen to join a project aimed at sharpening their weapon-making skills to support the defence industry and smooth their return to society. The project will “light their way” to a more positive future, Corrections Department chief Naras Savestanan said as he presided over an orientation ceremony before their two-week training, conducted by experts from the Army Ordnance Department at Bang Kwang...

Japan issues emergency warning after deadly fugu fish goes on sale

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:59
A Japanese city has activated an emergency warning system to alert residents to avoid eating locally bought blowfish, after a mix-up saw toxic parts of the delicacy go on sale. A supermarket in Gamagori in central Japan sold five packages of fugu fish without removing the livers, which can contain a deadly poison. Three of the potentially lethal specimens have been located, but the other two remain at large, local official Koji Takayanagi told AFP. “We are calling for residents to avoid...

New calls for sugar tax after research finds more sugar in New Zealand soft drinks than US ones

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:58
The call for a sugar tax has been strengthened by a new study of New Zealand’s soft drinks which shows they contain more sugar than in other countries. The University of Waikato research found the drinks contained a higher amount of sugar than those in most other Western countries. Lead author Lynne Chepulis said the average fruit juice or soda in New Zealand had up to five or six teaspoons of sugar, compared with maybe three or four teaspoons in the United Kingdom. She said regulations...

‘I can be it all’: Thailand awaits elections but will Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha be willing to cede power?

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:43
When Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of Thailand in a military coup, he vigorously denounced politicians as responsible for the country’s ills and positioned himself and his fellow generals as the cure. Four years on, with many of the country’s problems still festering and the public growing impatient for long-delayed elections, the junta leader made a declaration that for many seemed to confirm suspicions that he planned to stay in power long past any polls. “I am no longer...

Eight bodies found in ‘North Korean ghost ship’ washed up on Japan shores

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:42
Eight bodies have been recovered from a wrecked boat that washed ashore in central Japan, authorities said on Tuesday, suspecting the vessel is the latest in a series of North Korean “ghost ships”. Coastguard rescuers found the corpses of seven men inside the wreckage of the boat that washed up in Kanazawa, central Japan, last week, senior police official Hiroshi Abe told AFP. The badly decomposed remains of another man were discovered around 15 metres (50 feet) from the boat, added...

Singapore’s crime rate is so low that many shops don’t even lock up

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:10
By Uptin Saiidi Singapore was recently ranked second on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index for 2017, coming in just behind Tokyo. In 2016, the island nation’s police reported 135 total days without any crimes including snatch-theft, house break-ins and robbery. That low crime rate means many small businesses enjoy little concern about shoplifting. In fact, as CNBC recently observed, many local businesses take few precautions when closing shop at night. For instance...

Rohingya deal aims to return refugees 'within two years'

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:04
Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the South Asian nation said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the neighbours to implement a pact signed last year. A statement by the Bangladesh foreign ministry did not say when the process would begin. But it said the return effort envisages “considering the family as a unit”, with Myanmar to provide temporary shelter for those returning before...

‘From terrified to ecstatic’: Australian dad with a hunch hired a helicopter and found his injured son in a car wreck

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:35
The father of a teenager who spent 30 hours trapped in a car wreck in Australia said on Tuesday he had followed his intuition by hiring the helicopter that found his seriously injured son. Samuel Lethbridge, 17, remained in a hospital in serious condition with multiple fractures two days after the crash. His father, Tony Lethbridge, said he suspected his son may have been in a car wreck when he did not return by Sunday night to the family home at Lake Macquarie, after a Saturday night out with...

Foreign ministers from 20 countries converge on Vancouver to discuss North Korea nuclear crisis

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:11
Foreign ministers and senior officials from the United States, Japan and 18 other countries met over dinner on Monday night in Vancouver ahead of Tuesday’s talks in the western Canadian city on addressing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will join the welcome dinner, a sign that a military option remains open to Washington in dealing with Pyongyang’s aggressive weapons development. Later on Monday, the foreign ministers of Japan,...

Major eruption possible as lava flows down Philippine volcano Mount Mayon

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 04:24
Glowing red lava rolled down the slopes of a Philippine volcano on Tuesday morning as authorities maintained a warning of a possible hazardous eruption. The lava was flowing in some places but at times Mount Mayon was erupting like a fountain, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. Lava and ash had advanced up to two kilometres (1.24 miles) from the crater, falling on nearby communities. Nearly 15,000 people have fled the danger zone within seven kilometres of Mayon, and...

Seoul announces free public transport to battle rising smog

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 04:22
By Nyshka Chandran South Korea’s capital has unveiled emergency measures to combat a thick layer of smog coating the city. Beginning Monday, Seoul officials waived public transport fees during commuter hours as the daily average density of ultra-fine dust remained above 50 micrograms per cubic meter — a level that’s widely considered harmful. Authorities have also limited car use for public employees, closed 360 parking lots and reduced construction work on government-funded...

Wallaby in custody after leading police on chase over Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 01:40
A wallaby hopping across the Sydney Harbour Bridge held up early-morning traffic in Australia’s biggest city on Tuesday, before being caught downtown by police officers. Police said they chased the animal, which looks like a small kangaroo, over the bridge before dawn. “Officers took the startled macropod into police custody near the Conservatorium of Music, with the police mounted unit arriving on scene soon after to take it to the zoo for veterinary assessment,” New South...

Rohingya children in diphtheria-riddled refugee camps vaccinated as disease returns to Bangladesh

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 21:41
Aid workers are ramping up efforts to vaccinate half a million children against diphtheria in and around Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. The respiratory disease has killed as many as 31 people and infected about 4,000 since it broke out in November in the camps, which house more than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar military operations that began in August. About 316,000 Rohingya children were vaccinated last month, according to a Sunday...

Malaysia plans special court on human-trafficking as cases soar

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:57
Malaysia is setting up a special court to tackle rising numbers of human-trafficking cases in a move welcomed by campaigners who hope it will deliver justice to victims. The Southeast Asian nation relies heavily on foreign domestic workers as well as labourers from countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal for jobs shunned by locals including work on plantations and in construction. It has nearly two million registered migrant workers, according to government data, but rights groups...

Why ‘milkshake duck’ is the word of the year for an Australian dictionary

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:40
Milkshake duck – a term born in the twittersphere that describes an overnight social media sensation whose viral support rapidly dissolves with closer scrutiny – was chosen Monday as an Australian dictionary’s word of 2017. Macquarie Dictionary, the definitive authority on Australian English, defines a milkshake duck as: a person who is initially viewed positively by the media but is then discovered to have something questionable about them which causes a sharp decline in...

US ambassador to Pakistan tries damage limitation in wake of Donald Trump’s ‘deceit’ tweet

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:12
A senior US diplomat had talks in Pakistan on Monday following an outcry over President Donald Trump’s accusation that the nuclear-armed South Asian state had engaged in “lies and deceit” as a US ally in the war in neighbouring Afghanistan. Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, met with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the Foreign Ministry and US embassy said. A Foreign Ministry statement said Wells “...

Sri Lanka court dashes President Sirisena’s hope of extending his term in office

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:02
Sri Lanka’s top court has rejected a controversial attempt to extend President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office by an extra year, further souring the ruling party’s relations with its coalition partners. Sirisena had asked the Supreme Court whether a limit on presidential terms, which he introduced in 2015 as part of measures to curb the power of the executive, applied to his own mandate. His chief attorney general last week told the court that the constitutional...

Talks start in Myanmar to ‘settle issues’ on Rohingya return but questions loom over refugees’ proof of residence in Rakhine

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 14:39
Talks were held Monday to “settle issues” over the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, Bangladeshi officials told AFP, as doubts linger over how many of the 655,000 Muslim minority who fled violence are likely to return. Under diplomatic pressure, Myanmar has vowed to repatriate refugees driven into Bangladesh by an army crackdown last year, if they can verify they belong in western Rakhine state. But aid agencies question how many Rohingya, a Muslim minority reviled...

Pages