SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Philippines tells UN it will quit International Criminal Court

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:55
The Philippines said on Friday it had given official notice to exit the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which is examining President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. The move comes days after Duterte announced his nation would quit the court over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his crackdown on narcotics amounts to crimes against humanity. Philippine police say they have killed roughly 4,000 suspects who fought back during arrest, but...

Singapore ‘world’s most expensive city’ for fifth year in a row, survey says

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:13
Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year, with Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong following closely behind, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey published on Thursday. Low inflation meant Tokyo – the most expensive city until 2013 – dropped out of the top 10 in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s biannual study of 133 cities. Meanwhile, euro strength and a weaker pound saw the Irish capital Dublin overtake London, which is now...

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso skipping G20 meeting as PM’s cronyism scandal balloons

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 05:44
Japan’s finance minister will miss a G20 meeting next week, officials said on Friday, to address parliament as pressure mounts over a cronyism scandal and alleged cover-up dogging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Taro Aso “will concentrate on” dealing with parliament, and will be represented at the meeting by his deputy Minoru Kihara, a ministry official said. Ruling and opposition lawmakers have agreed to hold a hearing Monday on the growing scandal over the cut-price sale of...

South Korea and US to scale down joint military drills

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 05:31
South Korea and the United States will scale down and shorten annual joint military exercises in light of a diplomatic thaw with Pyongyang, a report said on Friday. The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills held every spring regularly infuriate the nuclear-armed North, which usually condemns them as preparations for invasion and responds with provocations of its own, ratcheting tensions higher. But the two Koreas and the US are in the throes of an Olympics-led rapprochement, with South Korea...

Taiwan to ask Hong Kong’s help investigating teenager wanted for girlfriend’s murder

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:32
Taiwan’s government said on Thursday it wanted Hong Kong’s help investigating the murder of a woman from the city, allegedly by her teenage boyfriend, while the couple was in Taipei last month. Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang said that although there is no extradition deal between Taiwan and Hong Kong, his ministry would try to get an agreement from the Hong Kong side to ease the investigation and any eventual punishment of 19-year-old Chan Tong-kai. “The Justice...

North Korea’s top foreign minister arrives in Sweden for talks that could set up Trump-Kim summit

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:17
North Korea’s top diplomat arrived in Sweden on Thursday for two days of talks which could play a role in setting up a proposed summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho arrived at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport around 6.15pm local time before being whisked away in a diplomatic motorcade. Ri is to hold talks with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom – whose country represents US interests in Pyongyang – on the denuclearisation of the...

British man involved in Cambodia ‘dirty dancing’ case goes on trial

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 15:10
A Cambodian court held a one-day trial Thursday of a British man who was among a group of foreigners arrested for allegedly posting photos on social media of sexually suggestive dancing at a party. The judge in Siem Reap provincial court said the verdict in the case against Daniel Jones would be announced later. Jones, 31, has been charged with producing pornography. He was among 10 Westerners arrested in late January for posting the photos and faces up to one year in prison if convicted. The...

My Lai massacre: the day US troops slaughtered 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians in three brutal hours

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:03
The shudder of artillery fire woke the boy at 5.30am. Three American soldiers appeared at his family’s home a couple of hours later and forced the mother and five children into their bomb shelter, a structure most every Vietnamese home had during the war, to keep them safe. One soldier set fire to the family’s thatched house while the others tossed grenades into the shelter. Protected under the torn bodies of his mother and his four siblings, 10-year-old Pham Thanh Cong was the only...

Bali to halt flights, shut shops and turn off internet for ‘Day of Silence’

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:38
Indonesia’s bustling tourist island Bali is set to go quiet with internet service and flights temporarily halted for a “Day of Silence”, while young people get ready to pucker up. Residents of the Hindu-dominated island stop regular daily activities for a day of meditation, fasting and introspection, an annual rite that includes elaborate beachside ceremonies and demon-like effigies. Known locally as Nyepi, Hindus on the island are expected to stop all work and play and remain...

Indonesia enacts law that makes criticising politicians a crime, and Widodo can’t do anything about it

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:08
Indonesians could be jailed for criticising national politicians under a new law that came into force on Thursday, in what critics slammed as a major step back for the world’s third-biggest democracy. The vaguely worded bill passed the 560-member house last month but has just become official, over the objections of President Joko Widodo who refused to sign off on the controversial legislation. Widodo does not have veto power over the bill, although it can be challenged at the...

Thai tycoon eyes youth vote with new party as coups, corruption and old faces fuel hunger for fresh politics

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:21
A 39-year-old business tycoon entered Thailand’s political bear-pit on Thursday with the launch of a new progressive party, courting the youth vote in a kingdom plagued by coups and corruption. Dubbed “Future Forward”, the party was born out of a late night conversation three months ago between Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, whose helps run his family’s auto-parts empire, and a young law professor Piyabutr Saengkanokkul. The duo unveiled their new party in Bangkok on...

India eyes Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet for ageing air force in latest twist to jet shopping saga

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:34
Boeing Co, considered the front runner in the race to supply the Indian navy with new fighter jets, is now in contention for a much bigger US$15 billion order after the government abruptly asked the air force to consider the twin-engined planes. Until recently, Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-16 and Saab AB’s Gripen were in a two-horse race supply at least 100 single-engine jets to build up the Indian Air Force’s fast-depleting combat fleet. Both had offered to build the planes in...

South Africa criticises ‘sad’ Australian plan to fast-track visas for its supposedly persecuted white farmers

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:10
South Africa has criticised Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s offer to fast-track visas for its white African farmers, saying his comments on the supposed threat to their lives and land were “sad” and “regrettable”. A spokesperson for international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said: “There is no need to fear … we want to say to the world that we are engaged in a process of land redistribution which is very important to address the...

The world’s trade and stability rest on three men as they prepare to play the Great Game

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 07:22
For the first time since the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Russia has launched a chemical warfare attack against a member nation. The release of a dirty bomb in public that could wound or kill indiscriminately is a terrorist attack. Such an attempted execution of an enemy of the leadership in a neutral country might be expected of North Korea, but not by a superpower in a leafy English suburb. Naturally Russia denies the attack - and who wouldn’t? It was...

Australia urged to get tough on human rights when it hosts leaders at Asean summit in Sydney

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 07:20
Australia must avoid a “dance with dictators” when it hosts Asean leaders at a special summit this week, and should make human rights a prominent issue, campaigners say. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will welcome heads of government or state from nine of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations heads to Sydney from Friday, including Cambodian strongman Hun Sen and Myanmar’s under-fire leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a no-show, citing...

Vietnamese trainee paid US$19 a day to do decontamination work near crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 05:55
A Vietnamese man who came to Japan under a foreign trainee programme was made to engage in radioactive decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture without his knowledge, a foreign workers support group heard. At an event organised by the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan, the 24-year-old man, who declined to be named, said he would have “never come to Japan” if he had known he would be doing that work near where a nuclear disaster occurred in 2011. The Vietnamese said a...

South Korean ex-president Lee Myung-bak emerges from marathon interrogation session as bribery case builds

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 04:07
Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak returned home Thursday after a marathon interrogation by prosecutors over corruption, the last of the country’s living ex-leaders to be embroiled in a criminal inquiry. Allegations of graft involving the conservative 76-year-old’s relatives and aides during his term have mounted in recent weeks as prosecutors investigate multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of dollars. The probe means that all four living former South Korean...

European Parliament in ‘secret’ talks with North Korea

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 17:54
A European Parliament delegation said on Wednesday it has been conducting secret talks with North Korea over the last three years to try to persuade Pyongyang to negotiate an end to its nuclear programme. The group led by British MEP Nirj Deva has met senior North Korean officials, including ministers, 14 times and plans another meeting in Brussels in the near future. News of the below-the-radar diplomacy effort comes after the surprise announcement that US President Donald Trump plans a summit...

Indonesia’s Aceh province considers beheading as penalty for murder under sharia law

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 17:05
The conservative Indonesian province of Aceh – known for publicly caning gays, adulterers and gamblers – is considering the introduction of beheading as a punishment for murder, a top Islamic law official said on Wednesday. Syukri M Yusuf, the head of Aceh’s Sharia Law and Human Rights Office, said the provincial government has asked his office to research beheading as a method of execution under Islamic law and to consult public opinion. “Beheading is more in line with...

How Kim Jong-nam Vietnamese murder suspect was recruited for a prank TV show

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 16:13
A Vietnamese woman who introduced her compatriot to the North Korean masterminds behind the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader, believes she was duped, a Malaysian court heard Wednesday. Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, the defence lawyer for Doan Thi Huong, 29, presented a statement given by Nguyen Bich Thuy, bar owner and Huong’s friend, to the Vietnamese police on March 1, 2017, two weeks after Kim Jong-nam was murdered at the Kuala Lumpur...

Japan relocates 13 former members of deadly Aum cult to new jail cells ahead of execution

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:27
The Justice Ministry began transferring seven of 13 former Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row from the Tokyo detention centre to other facilities across the country, government sources said Wednesday, likely moving them one step closer to execution. With the Aum-related trials wrapping up in January, the ministry is considering when they should be hanged for the series of crimes they committed that left 29 people dead. The transfer is expected to be completed on Thursday, according to the...

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte moves to quit International Criminal Court

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:08
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will withdraw his country’s ratification of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute, due to what he said were attacks by United Nations officials and violations of due process by the ICC, according to a draft statement. The statement, which had yet to be signed by Duterte, was given to reporters by presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, who confirmed to Reuters that the document was authentic. It said the move was due to the...

Futuristic air taxi with no pilot has parachute if anything goes wrong

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 06:56
Pilot-less flying taxis are being tested in New Zealand as part of a project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page that supporters say will revolutionise personal transport. New Zealand regulators late Tuesday approved plans for Zephyr Airworks, a subsidiary of Page’s company Kitty Hawk, to develop and test the futuristic air taxis. Known as Cora, the electric aircraft has a dozen small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter. But...

North Korea: fearing diplomatic sidelines, Japan explores possible meeting between Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-un

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 06:33
Japan is considering seeking a summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as Tokyo struggles to stay relevant in fast-moving diplomacy with Pyongyang. Officials in Tokyo would not confirm Wednesday the reports of a potential shift in Japan’s policy, but government spokesman Yoshihide Suga also declined to explicitly deny a summit was being explored. “What is important is that the three countries, Japan, the US and South Korea, continue to closely...

South Korean ex-president Lee Myung-bak ‘sorry’ as he faces interrogation over bribery claims

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 04:36
Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak reported to prosecutors for questioning in a corruption probe Wednesday, apologising for the controversy. Allegations of corruption involving the 76-year-old’s relatives and aides during his 2008-2013 presidential term have mounted in recent weeks as prosecutors investigate multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of dollars. The investigation into Lee means all four living former South Korean presidents have been convicted, charged, or...

Retired US Army general and foreign affairs chair eyed for role of Donald Trump’s South Korea envoy

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 00:05
A retired US Army general and the chairman of the US house foreign affairs committee have emerged as candidates to become US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Seoul. Retired US Army General James Thurman and outgoing Republican Representative Edward Royce are under consideration for the ambassadorship, two sources with knowledge of the matter told the South China Morning Post. The pair emerged as candidates after the White House rejected presumptive nominee Victor Cha, a veteran...

Singapore, UN ‘working closely’ after leaked report says local firms traded with North Korea despite sanctions

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:01
Singapore said Tuesday it was “working closely” with the United Nations after a leaked draft report said two local firms sold luxury items to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions. The UN report, cited by the BBC, alleges that the two Singaporean companies and other firms in Asia had been supplying luxury goods, including wine and spirits, to North Korea until as recently as July 2017, despite the sanctions aimed at forcing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons programme....

Japan finance minister Taro Aso may skip G20 meeting as cronyism scandal plagues Abe’s government

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 10:28
Japanese finance chief Taro Aso was preparing to skip a Group of 20 finance leaders’ gathering in Buenos Aires next week, officials said on Tuesday, with the minister fighting to survive a cronyism scandal that has paralysed parliament. Premier Shinzo Abe and Aso, his close ally, are under pressure over the finance ministry’s admission that it had altered records of a discounted sale of state-owned land to a school operator with ties to Abe’s wife. The suspicion of a cover-up...

Japan PM Shinzo Abe wants abduction issue resolved in denuclearisation talks between North and South Korea

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 09:24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a South Korean representative on Tuesday he wants talks with North Korea, called to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programmes, to resolve a dispute over past abductions of Japanese citizens as well. “A resolution of the abduction, nuclear and missile issues is Japan’s core policy,” Abe told South Korean National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon in Tokyo. “North Korea must match its words with actions,” Abe...

One-eyed Hun Sen likes his Japanese contact lens very much

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 07:59
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who lost an eye fighting for the Khmer Rouge in 1975, has spoken about the “extremely good” Japanese contact lens he has been using in his other eye for more than two decades. Speaking on Tuesday at an event concerning national road improvement under Japanese grants, Hun Sen said some of his colleagues even joked that he has a long-term vision for the country’s governance and development because of his good contact lens. “I visited Japan...

Japan sending military adviser to Malaysia, boosting regional presence in face of assertive China

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 07:52
Japan is beefing up its military and diplomatic presence in Southeast Asia by sending an extra defence attaché to its embassy in Kuala Lumpur, adding to military officers sent to embassies in the Philippines and Vietnam last year. A spokesman for the ministry confirmed the appointment Malaysian appointment, funded in the 2018 budget, but declined to explain why Japan is stepping up military advisory and intelligence-gathering capabilities in Southeast Asia. However, the official said the...

Cockpit radio chatter suggests pilot confused before Kathmandu crash killed 49

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 05:37
Radio conversations between the control tower and a pilot whose passenger plane crashed in Kathmandu on Monday indicated confusion in the cockpit over landing direction before the disaster. The pilot did not follow the control tower’s instructions and approached the one runway from the wrong direction, the Kathmandu airport’s general manager said. “The aeroplane was not properly aligned with the runway. The tower repeatedly asked if the pilot was OK and the reply was ‘...

Philippines drops charges against high-profile drugs suspects, including son of mayor killed in prison shoot-out

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 04:58
The Philippines’ justice department has dismissed complaints against several high-profile drugs trade suspects because of weak evidence, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. In his bloody war on drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte had publicly named and shamed provincial politicians and businessmen as “drug lords” controlling the narcotics trade-in the Southeast Asian nation. “We are mindful of the zealous intention of the complainant to eliminate the illegal drug...

Sexy siren to rebel granny: Zeenat Aman on her Bollywood journey

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 02:04
Zeenat Aman is fashionably late, literally, for her interview. We’re waiting for her at the Island Shangri-La Hotel and an organiser of the “India by the Bay” cultural event that has brought her to Hong Kong explains that she is delayed at the hair salon. I’m long past my rookie reporting days, when I had no choice but to lower my tolerance threshold for interviewees running late and wasting everyone’s time. But curiosity kills impatience as I’m intrigued to...

Bangladeshi passenger plane crashes near Kathmandu airport

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:30
An airport official says a US-Bangla Airlines passenger plane has crashed as it landed at Kathmandu airport. It wasn’t immediately clear if there were fatalities. Clouds of thick smoke could be seen rising from the plane, which was on a field at the edge of the airport. US-Bangla is a private Bangladeshi carrier. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of airport policy, said the flight was arriving from Dhaka, Bangladesh. No other details were immediately available....

Churning political storms collide: what will prove decisive in Malaysia’s election?

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:19
Scholars are finding it harder to predict what is next for Malaysian politics. The once familiar script for political change, employed since 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim was ousted from the ruling regime – institutional failure, corruption, cronyism, abuse of the judiciary – got stood on its head when the man claimed by the opposition to be responsible for the many wrongs in Malaysia’s politics, Mahathir Mohammed, became head of the oppositional alliance, the Pakatan Harapan (PH)....

South Korean politician quits after woman accuses him of unzipping her pants in karaoke bar

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 08:34
A South Korean member of parliament resigned Monday after being accused of sex abuse, the latest target of a spreading #MeToo campaign in the country, as an exhibition to an accused poet was dismantled. Min Byung-doo, a three-term lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Party, quit despite requests by his own organisation to reconsider as his exit whittled away its position as largest party in the legislature. He is the first sitting MP to step down over allegations of abuse, which have swept...

East Timor: Xanana Gusmao given hero’s welcome at airport after striking sea border deal with Australia

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:59
Thousands of East Timorese lined the road to the capital’s international airport to cheer returning independence hero Xanana Gusmao for leading negotiations that settled the sea border between the impoverished country and Australia. Gusmao, whose party lost power in parliamentary elections last year, was greeted at Dili’s tiny airport Sunday with cries of “Viva Xanana Gusmao”. He’d been abroad for the previous eight months leading the final stretch of maritime...

Man who held Japanese teen girl captive two years as ‘experiment’ is jailed for nine years

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:15
A Japanese court on Monday sentenced a man to nine years in prison for abducting a teenage girl and holding her captive for two years. The Saitama District Court determined that Kabu Terauchi, 25, was fully competent to be held criminally liable, turning down claims made by defence lawyers that he was not able to take full responsibility as he suffered from schizophrenia. Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year prison term for Terauchi, saying although the accused showed symptoms of autism he was...

Japan PM Shinzo Abe wife’s name removed from official documents about discount land deal. Is there a cover-up?

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 06:19
The name of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife was removed from documents regarding a suspected cronyism scandal, media said on Monday, as pressure mounted on the premier and his ally Finance Minister Taro Aso over a possible cover-up. Abe, now in his sixth year in office, had tried to put behind him questions over the sale of state-owned land at a huge discount to a school operator with ties to his wife, Akie. The issue last year sharply eroded Abe’s popularity. His ratings...

Weird things have happened for ‘BBC Dad’ in year after hilarious video went viral

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 05:47
The Korea politics professor who became a viral sensation after his children interrupted a BBC interview says he has been pulled over by police for selfies and photographed buying milk in the year since the broadcast. Robert Kelly of Busan National University was commenting on the downfall of impeached president Park Geun-hye when his daughter Marion waltzed into his home office, followed by his toddler son James, who wheeled in on his baby walking frame. Suddenly the implications of a...

Myanmar: satellite images show helipads and military installations built on burned Rohingya land

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 04:26
Myanmar is building security installations on top of razed Rohingya villages, Amnesty International said Monday, casting doubt on the country’s plans to repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents six months ago that the US and UN have called ethnic cleansing. Myanmar rejects that accusation, saying it was responding to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya...

Mattis tight-lipped on ‘delicate’ US-North Korea diplomacy

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 15:39
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the diplomatic push to solve the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis was at such a delicate stage that he will not publicly discuss the talks or related issues such as US-South Korean military exercises. Mattis was among advisers who were in the White House when President Donald Trump on Thursday decided to accept the offer by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet by May. The offer was relayed to Trump by South Korean government officials who briefed the...

Two doctors in India suspended after severed leg used as pillow

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:44
Indian authorities have suspended two doctors and launched an investigation after a patient’s severed leg was used as a pillow to prop up his head, a hospital official said on Sunday. Administrators at the government-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh state vowed “strict action” after images emerged showing the patient on a stretcher with the amputated limb being used as a headrest. “We have set up a four-member committee to find out who put the severed leg under the patient...

Science students track radiation seven years after Fukushima

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:07
Beneath the roof on the Seirinji Buddhist temple in Japan’s Fukushima region hangs an unlikely adornment: a Geiger counter collecting radiation readings. The machine sends data to Safecast, an organisation created after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster that says it has built the world’s largest radiation data set, thanks to the efforts of citizen scientists like Seirinji’s priest Sadamaru Okano. Like many Japanese, Okano lost faith in the government after the nuclear...

Police investigate fresh anti-Muslim attack in Sri Lanka

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:33
Vandals attacked a Muslim-owned restaurant in Sri Lanka on Sunday in an alleged “hate crime”, police said, as tensions were high across the island following a week of violent riots. The restaurant in Anamaduwa – 130km (81 miles) north of the capital Colombo – was hit despite police being on high alert after a spate of anti-Muslim attacks. The government declared a state of emergency last week as 11 mosques were torched and 200 Muslim-owned businesses destroyed in riots...

Four men spot a Sumatran tiger and run for their lives. One didn’t make it

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:31
A Indonesian man has been mauled to death by a Sumatran tiger in a remote village, authorities said Sunday, the second deadly attack this year. Yusri Effendi, 34, was found with fatal wounds to his neck by workmates and local villagers in Riau province on Sumatra island on Saturday evening, the local conservation agency said. The victim was working on a building to lure the edible-nest swiftlet in Tanjung Simpang village when the tiger began lurking around the construction site. Several hours...

Japan PM Shinzo Abe and finance minister face mounting pressure over doctored documents in school scandal

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:14
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ally, Finance Minister Taro Aso, face mounting pressure over a suspected cronyism scandal as the finance ministry prepares to report on Monday that documents in the case were doctored. Abe, now in his sixth year in office, had hoped to put the issue of the sale of state-owned land at a huge discount to a school operator with ties to his wife, Akie, behind him. But it has gathered steam with a series of fresh revelations. A source with direct knowledge...

DMZ, Geneva, Beijing: search is on for the best summit site for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 09:24
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev chose Reykjavik, Iceland. Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin huddled at Yalta. Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev will always have Paris. So where should US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un meet up for the first face-to-face talks between a US and North Korean president? The demilitarised zone between North and South Korea is one possibility. Sweden has offered to help. And there’s always neutral Geneva,...

S. Korea’s Moon Jae-in: the master tactician who could be bringing Trump and Kim to the summit table

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 09:05
If anything comes of the remarkable agreement by Donald Trump to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un some time in May, it will be to Trump’s eternal credit. But perhaps more than anything, it will be due to the unwavering lifetime vision and unconventional tactics of Moon Jae-in, the 65-year-old human rights lawyer who became South Korean’s Democratic Party president less than a year ago. So much has happened since the slanging matches between Trump and Kim from September last...

What an unlimited Xi presidency in China means for India

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 05:02
What does the removal of term limits for the Xi Jinping presidency in China mean for the developing world and, in particular, for South Asia? One possibility is there could be a demonstration effect. China’s decades-long rapid economic growth has been a source of envy and inspiration for many countries in the developing world. Some like Vietnam, for instance, have used China as a model in launching its own opening up and reforms process. Other countries, including many in South Asia, have...

Donald Trump hopes for ‘greatest deal’ with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as he praises helpful China

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 03:27
US President Donald Trump said his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could fizzle without an agreement or it could result in “the greatest deal for the world” to ease nuclear tensions between the two countries. “I may leave fast” if progress does not seem possible, Trump said at a campaign rally Saturday for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone in western Pennsylvania. Trump said he believes North Korea wants to make peace and that, “I...

In Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, issues related to city’s unbridled growth froth up

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 03:01
What do you do when water catches fire? That’s exactly what Bangaloreans are scratching their heads over – the water in their lakes is catching fire, and nobody knows how exactly to put the flames out. For a city that once boasted close to a thousand lakes, this is something of a problem. Bangalore or Bengaluru, India’s Garden City, a quiet backwater once known as “The City of Lakes”, has been losing perspective lately. It’s once beautiful, temperate, lake-...

What’s behind Malaysia’s election apathy?

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 02:01
Lunar New Year has come and gone. Malaysia’s 14th general election, or GE14, could take place by the end of this month. In most normal countries, you’d look to the newspapers and television to get a sense of public sentiment. That won’t help you much in Malaysia. With the government clamping down on all forms of expression – sometimes in the name of fighting “fake news”– trying to get a sense of how Malaysians feel isn’t easy. Even online media...

Why is Najib pushing fake news laws before Malaysia election?

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 00:00
In Malaysia, where the mere act of caricaturing Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown could get you thrown in jail, plans for a new law to stamp out “fake news” before a landmark election have set alarm bells ringing among the opposition and free speech proponents. The government for months has been floating trial balloons about the law, and this week confirmed a bill was in the works and could be passed before the polls, which are likely to be held in April or May. In a speech...

Rights activists fear trumped-up charges as Philippines’ Duterte gives police subpoena powers to speed up investigations

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 14:32
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill giving the police chief and two other senior police officials the power to issue subpoenas to hasten the investigation of crimes, his spokesman said on Saturday. The law “will add more teeth to their mandate to enhance the law and find solutions to criminal cases”, spokesman Harry Roque told a news briefing. Human rights activists expressed concern about the new law, saying the Philippine police force was notorious for...

Japan’s finance ministry to admit altering documents for cut-price land sale linked to Abe cronyism scandal

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:31
Japan’s Finance Ministry will admit altering documents pertaining to a state-owned land sale at the centre of favouritism allegations against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, government sources said on Saturday. The ministry plans to tell the Diet as soon as Monday that it has found several instances where content present in the original versions of the documents was removed later, the sources said. The admission of the allegations, which were reported earlier this month by a major daily...

Wild boars are taking over Japan’s small towns and residents are either too old or too few to scare them away

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:32
Rapidly shrinking towns and cities across Japan are experiencing a population explosion, but not of humans – of wild boars. Across the country, wild boars are moving in as Japan’s ageing population either dies or moves out. The boars come for the untended rice paddies and stay for the abandoned shelters. “Thirty years ago, crows were the biggest problem around here,” said Hideo Numata, 67, a farmer in Hiraizumi, which has a human population 7,803. “But now we have...

Sri Lanka to investigate law and order breakdown after four days of deadly anti-Muslim riots in Kandy

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 09:44
An investigation into anti-Muslim riots that spread in central Sri Lanka prompting the authorities to declare a nationwide state of emergency was announced on Saturday by President Maithripala Sirisena. A panel of three retired judges will look into the breakdown of law and order in the picturesque hill resort of Kandy, Sirisena’s office said in a statement. Three people died, 20 others were wounded and more than 200 Muslim-owned businesses and homes were destroyed in four days of rioting...

French President Macron greeted with PM Modi’s bear hug on first day of India visit

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 09:24
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said he wanted his country to be India’s best partner in Europe as he started a three-day trip to the country aimed at ratcheting up security and energy ties. Macron, who was welcomed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his traditional bear hug on his arrival late on Friday, also said “collective security” will be on top of the agenda during talks later Saturday. “France is the entry point to Europe. We want to be...

Fears tobacco giants will use TPP to sue Australia over plain packaging as secrecy shrouds legal costs in Philip Morris case

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:47
The Australian government is fighting to keep secret the amount it paid to fight a legal battle with the tobacco industry over its plain packaging laws. Philip Morris, a tobacco multinational, used a clause in a Hong Kong-Australia trade deal to sue the Australian government over its Gillard-era plain packaging laws. It eventually lost the case, but the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) political party has since attempted to find out how much Australia paid to fight the case in The Hague. NXT is...

Will insulting Robert Kuok cost Najib and Barisan Nasional the Malaysia election?

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 05:05
Just how much clout does the Hong Kong-based billionaire Robert Kuok have in the eyes of his fellow Malaysian Chinese after being away from home for more than four decades? The Barisan Nasional, Malaysia’s ruling coalition, could be poised to find that out the hard way after one of its stalwarts launched a blistering verbal attack against the 94-year-old with a general election just around the corner. Observers are warning the coalition’s already weak support from the minority...

Trump is meeting Kim, so what? We may be headed for nuclear war

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 04:04
The line separating nuclear war in northeast Asia and a Nobel Peace Prize for the reunification of the Koreas has undoubtedly become very thin under US President Donald Trump. But does this logic still ring true in light of recent, apparently warm meetings between the North’s supreme leader and Seoul officials, the prospect of both Korean heads of state attending a summit in April, and news that President Trump has agreed to meet Kim Jong-un in person soon after? The answer: most...

Why are ethnic Chinese still being denied land in Indonesia?

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 03:03
When bicycle seller Willie Sebastian was offered a plot of land by the Indonesian government, little could he have known it was the start of a long and humiliating process that would eventually leave him not only empty-handed but feeling like a second-class citizen in the country of his birth. As part of a drive to beautify the area around the Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta – a site that has welcomed such foreign dignitaries as Barack Obama – the state government had...

What could go wrong for Najib when Malaysia goes to the polls?

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 01:00
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is a tease. With just over 100 days before his government’s five-year term ends, only he seems to hold the answer to the date of the general election. In parliament this week – the legislature’s last meeting before the June 24 deadline – the premier displayed his trademark coyness over the timing of the vote. Walking past a gaggle of journalists, he drew hoots of faux exasperation when he stopped in his tracks, his face breaking into...

Vietnamese crowned queen in Thai transgender beauty pageant

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:52
Vietnam’s Nguyen Huong Giang was crowned “Miss International Queen” in Thailand on Friday at one of the world’s top beauty pageants for transgender women. The red-dressed winner fended off 26 competitors, from countries spanning Mongolia to Mexico, to clinch the coveted crown in the seaside town of Pattaya, where the popular contest has been running since 2004. While the competition is fierce, contestants say the pageant also offers an opportunity for camaraderie among...

7 years later, why hasn’t Japan learned from Fukushima?

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:01
Seven years after the worst natural disaster to strike Japan in living memory, a handful of people whose homes, schools and livelihoods were in villages that were directly beneath the plume of radioactivity that escaped from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were this week permitted to return briefly to their communities. Media coverage has shown families picking through the interiors of their abandoned homes and collecting keepsakes to remind them of their lives before March 11, 2011, when a...

SOS carved into Indonesian palm oil plantation to highlight damage from deforestation

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 20:26
A Lithuanian artist has carved a giant SOS message into an Indonesian palm oil plantation to draw attention to the damage done by deforestation. Ernest Zacharevic curated the ‘Save our Souls’ project as part of a campaign on the impact palm oil plantations have on tribal communities and endangered species such as the orangutan. “We, as consumers, are so detached from the source of our commodities that we are no longer able to see the consequences of our daily choices,”...

Monsoon floods and landslides threaten 100,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 19:01
The Rohingya refugees who live in shacks clinging to these steep, denuded hills in southern Bangladesh pray that the sandbags fortifying the slopes will survive the upcoming monsoon. “They make it safer, but they won’t hold if the rain is really heavy,” said Mohammed Hares, 18. Cracks have already formed in the packed mud on which his shack is built. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since last August to escape a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar...

Soju diplomacy: how Pyongyang dinner eased path towards Kim-Trump May summit

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 18:04
Kim Jong-un held court at tables of hotpot and cold noodles, where bottles of wine, ginseng liquor and soju seemed bottomless. He joked about himself and his “rocket man” reputation, but also made a serious overture: he was willing to give up his nuclear weapons and he wanted to meet Donald Trump. Kim attempted to soothe his guests, a South Korean delegation, saying the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, could rest easy now that he had decided to place a moratorium on missile...

US, Norway help Philippines catch child sex video suspect

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 11:00
Norwegian and US authorities have helped the Philippines capture a man they say exploited children by having them join sex videos which he then showed to paying foreign clients online, officials said on Friday. National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran said law enforcers from Norway and the US joined Filipino authorities in a raid on Thursday that led to the arrest of the suspect, Anselmo Ico Jnr, and the rescue of five minor – his alleged victims – in a poor village...

Asia in 3 minutes: bad week for Genghis Khan, Thailand’s reputation, shape-shifting Sumatran tigers

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:02
Land of a Thousand insults: Thailand angry at Gambia for sex tourism label Gambia has apologised to Thailand after its foreign minister said the country was a haven for sex tourists, sparking a strongly worded protest from Bangkok. Hamat Bah said on state television in January that Gambia, a sunny beach destination favoured by Western tourists especially from Scandinavia, was losing out to nearby Cabo Verde after gaining a reputation as a sex haven. “The fact is that this country’s...

South Korean actor Jo Min-ki found dead after string of sexual assault accusations

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 09:58
A South Korean actor accused of sexual assault in a spiralling wave of #MeToo accusations in the country was found dead Friday, Yonhap news agency reported. Jo Min-ki, who had been accused of sexually molesting at least eight victims, was found dead at his home in Seoul, Yonhap cited police as saying, adding suicide was suspected. Most of his victims were drama students at a provincial university where he taught, it said, adding the 52-year-old had been forced out of his professorship over the...

Former Sikh militant sorry for Canadian PM Trudeau’s embarrassment in India

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 09:33
A former Sikh militant apologised on Thursday for causing embarrassment to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his trip to India. Jaspal Atwal, who was part of a movement that supported an independent Sikh nation in the 1980s and went to prison for the attempted murder of a visiting Indian minister in 1986, was invited to a dinner with Trudeau in New Delhi causing consternation among his hosts. Trudeau’s visit to India had already been dogged by suspicions that Canada was soft...

Official linked to PM Shinzo Abe’s cronyism scandal found dead, Japanese media reports

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 09:19
A Japanese finance ministry official at the centre of cronyism allegations linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been found dead, local media said on Friday. A second key official will step down over the scandal, local media also reported. Police are investigating the death of the official in Kobe in western Japan and suspect he committed suicide, with some media reporting a suicide note had been found. A police spokesman could not confirm the reports. The unidentified official, who was found...

How a masturbating monk and ‘Korea’s Obama’ drove Seoul to say ‘Me Too’

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 09:01
The Me Too movement in South Korea has exploded in little more than a month, inspiring many with the hope that this society – notoriously male dominated, yet also famously adaptable – will follow last year’s political revolution with a feminist one. “I have done nothing that might bring shame on me or my wife,” the poet Ko Un said on Monday, breaking a month-long silence after being accused of masturbating in public and using his literary influence to coerce young...

Ultra-nationalist Myanmar Buddhist monk freed from prison

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 07:32
An ultra-nationalist Myanmar monk was released from prison on Friday after serving time for inciting unrest in an anti-Rohingya protest in 2016, a rare punishment handed to one of the country’s hardline Buddhist clergymen. Parmaukkha, who was handed a three-month jail term, has helped peddle a fiery brand of Buddhist nationalism and Islamophobia in Myanmar, a country accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims. The monk was arrested in November over a rally he...

For Trump and Kim, the real games have only just begun

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 07:20
The president of the United States plans to meet the North Korean leader by May, a meeting with no precedent that leaves little sense of what to expect. The North Korea nuclear crisis has long been a storm full of wave after wave of recycled headlines, but it has finally reached the shore of an undiscovered country. Where does it go from here? The Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games have almost allowed people to forget the world is at the brink of nuclear war, a state of affairs brought on by...

Happy feat: these penguins found a camera in Antarctica and captured an excellent selfie

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 07:07
The selfie-snapping animals are at it again. Two emperor penguins in Antarctica captured a short video of themselves after coming across a camera left on the ice by a human. The Australian Antarctic Division posted the comical, 38-second clip to its social media channels Thursday. One of the group’s members, Eddie Gault, had placed the camera on the ground near the Auster Rookery – home to a large emperor penguin colony – while visiting the nearby Mawson research station. #...

‘There’s homework to be done’: Washington unsure Trump’s team can pull off talks with Kim

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 05:19
US President Donald Trump’s high-wire gambit to accept a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sets off a scramble among US officials to assemble a team capable of supporting a historic summit of long-time adversaries and determine a viable engagement strategy. State Department officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were downplaying the immediacy of talks in the hours before the White House rolled out the South Korean national security adviser, who made the surprise...

Timeline: 16 key North Korea events that marked rocky road to Kim-Trump summit

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 05:06
The following is a chronology of recent events concerning North and South Korea, and the United States. July 4, 2017: North Korea succeeds for first time in test-firing intercontinental ballistic missile. July 28: North Korea launches its second ICBM, unusually late at night. September 3: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test. September 15: North Korea fires intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific with flight distance of 3,700 kilometres, the longest yet, putting...

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un offers to meet Trump and halt nuclear testing

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 01:13
South Korea’s national security adviser has announced at the White House that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was inviting US President Donald Trump to meet with him. The South Korean national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, delivered by hand a letter from Kim to Trump. Chung headed a delegation that met Kim at a historic meeting in Pyongyang late Monday, Kim’s first with South Korean officials. Chung praised Trump’s “leadership and maximum pressure strategy”. He...

Sri Lanka arrests 10 in wave of anti-Muslim attacks

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 22:28
Police in Sri Lanka said on Thursday it had arrested the suspected leader and nine others suspects behind a wave of anti-Muslim attacks by Sinhalese Buddhist hardliners in a central highlands region this week. Sri Lanka’s Kandy district has been rocked by communal clashes since Sunday following attacks on members of the minority Muslim community by nationalist crowds from the Sinhalese majority. At least two people have been killed. President Maithripala Sirisena decreed a state of...

11 nations sign Trans-Pacific trade pact as US plans tariffs

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 20:36
Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping free trade agreement Thursday to streamline trade and slash tariffs on the same day that President Donald Trump was expected to formalise new tariffs on aluminium and steel to protect US producers. Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last year, causing fears that it would not prosper without its most influential country. But the remaining 11 members pressed ahead, saying they were showing resolve against...

2 foreign men go missing at ski resort in Japan’s central Hokkaido

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 20:13
Two foreign nationals, possibly French, have gone missing at a ski resort in central Hokkaido, local police said on Thursday, adding they could not find the men at ski run areas. The two, who are in their 40s, have been staying at the Sahoro ski resort in the town of Shintoku from Sunday with family members. But the two went skiing without companions. The wife of one of the men told the hotel she lost contact with her husband, prompting the hotel to report the situation to the police. The...

Philippines seeks to slap ‘terrorist’ tag for 600 alleged communist guerillas

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 18:22
A UN special rapporteur, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerillas the Philippines wants declared “terrorists”, according to a government petition filed in court. The justice ministry last month said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), “terrorist” bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would...

‘Duterte the No 1 terrorist’: president’s rival hits back after petition to tag 600 alleged rebels on terror list

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 18:15
A UN special rapporteur, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerillas the Philippines wants declared “terrorists”, according to a government petition filed in court. By declaring the groups and individuals terrorists, the government would be able to monitor them more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures. The petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as UN...

‘Series of missteps’ led to sudden turn that caused deadly crash between US warship and tanker, Singapore says

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 14:38
A US guided missile destroyer’s deadly collision with an oil tanker near Singapore in 2017 was caused by “a sudden turn” made by the warship that put it in the path of the commercial vessel, said a report by the Singapore government on Thursday. The collision on August 21, which killed 10 sailors and was one of a handful of incidents in the Asia-Pacific region involving US Navy warships, raised questions about Navy training and led to the removal of a number of officers....

Indonesian universities move to ban niqab face veils over fundamentalism fears

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 14:07
A pair of Indonesian Islamic universities are pushing female students to ditch niqab face veils – with one threatening expulsion for non-compliance – as concerns grow over rising fundamentalism in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation. Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University said it issued the edict this week to more than three dozen niqab-wearing students, who will be booted from school if they refuse. Although niqabs are common in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia and...

South Korean writers, artists accused of abuse to be erased from textbooks as country gets behind #MeToo

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:51
Three prominent South Korean writers and artists who have been accused of sex abuse will have their works and almost all mentions of their names removed from school textbooks, the government said Thursday, as the country’s nascent #MeToo campaign spreads. A growing number of women have spoken out about abuses they suffered at the hands of powerful figures in multiple fields, making headlines in a country that remains socially patriarchal despite economic and technological advances. Those...

South Korea probes secret plan for military crackdown on candlelit protests against Park Geun-hye

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:38
South Korea will investigate allegations that ousted president Park Geun-hye planned to send military troops to quash the candlelit protests that culminated in her impeachment last year, the defence ministry said Thursday. Activist group the Centre for Military Human Rights Korea (CMHRK), citing multiple leaks, said top military leaders had studied plans to crack down on demonstrators calling for Park’s resignation over a corruption scandal. South Korea was ruled by military dictators for...

Philippines’ top judge vows to fight ‘bullying’ as President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies push for her ouster

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:52
The Philippine Supreme Court chief justice vowed to fight “bullying” and save judicial independence as President Rodrigo Duterte’s congressional allies launched an impeachment process Thursday to remove her from office. Voting 38-2, the House of Representatives justice committee said there was “probable cause” to impeach Maria Lourdes Sereno, in a move critics allege is part of wider efforts by Duterte to destroy foes and usher in one-man rule. A US-style...

Alone and having a heart attack, man self-medicates and saves life in true MacGyver-like fashion

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 05:24
Alone at a health clinic in a small, remote seaside settlement in Australia, a 44-year-old nurse sensed he was having a heart attack and sprang into action, saving his own life, a report said. The man, whose name was withheld for privacy reasons, experienced severe chest pain and dizziness while he was the sole medical professional on duty at a nursing post in Coral Bay, more than 1,000 kilometres from Perth, the capital of Western Australia, said the account published in the New England...

Diver films shocking underwater video of plastic garbage wasteland in Bali

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 04:12
Millions of tourists are drawn to Bali’s palm-fringed scenery and rich marine life, but a British diver has released stark footage highlighting a growing problem in its famously crystal-clear waters: plastic rubbish. An underwater video shot by Rich Horner this week showing a sea overflowing with plastic and other garbage at Manta Point, a well-known diving site near Bali’s main island, has already been viewed about a million times. “The ocean currents brought us in a lovely...

French President Emmanuel Macron heads to India after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s blunder-filled trip

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 03:44
Two weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned from a blunder-struck trip to India, Emmanuel Macron arrives in New Delhi hoping to avoid the missteps of his ally. Trudeau and Macron are often compared internationally because of their broadly similar political views, as well as youth and good looks. But the French leader will be eager to make a different impression on his Indian hosts. Trudeau, already facing suspicions in India that Canada was too soft on Sikh separatists back...

Low-cost housing pioneer Balkrishna Doshi is first Indian architect to win prestigious Pritzker Prize

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 03:15
Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, a pioneer of low-cost housing design, won the prestigious Pritzker Prize on Wednesday, considered architecture’s Nobel equivalent. The 90-year-old Doshi – one of the last living architects to have apprenticed with the Franco-Swiss trailblazer Le Corbusier – distinguished his work by committing to sustainable architecture and inexpensive housing, bringing modernist design to an India rooted in traditionalism. He is the 45th Pritzker laureate...

Coca-Cola to launch its first alcoholic drink in Japan

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 22:02
Coca-Cola plans to launch its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan, in a surprising departure for a US company identified with cola and other non-alcoholic beverages. While Coca-Cola dabbled in the wine business in the 1970s, the Japanese experiment is “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, said Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno. The new offering will be in Japan’s growing “Chu-Hi” category of beverages, Garduno said in a recent interview posted to...

Coca-Cola to launch its first alcoholic drink in Japan

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 22:00
Coca-Cola plans to launch its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan, in a surprising departure for a US company identified with cola and other non-alcoholic beverages. While Coca-Cola dabbled in the wine business in the 1970s, the Japanese experiment is “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, said Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno. The new offering will be in Japan’s growing “Chu-Hi” category of beverages, Garduno said in a recent interview...

Kim Jong-un’s sister could be sent to US to launch talks on ending nuclear crisis

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 20:45
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may propose sending his sister to the US as part of efforts to launch direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, according to a South Korean diplomatic source. That may be one of a number of possible messages South Korean envoy Chung Eui-yong will deliver to US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in Washington this week, the source told the South China Morning Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Kim Jong-un has a certain message...

US Holocaust Museum revokes Aung San Suu Kyi’s human rights award over Rohingya crisis

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 20:21
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has rescinded its top award to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi because of her failure to condemn and stop military attacks on her country’s minority Rohingya Muslims, the museum said on Wednesday. The Washington museum’s rescission of its Elie Wiesel Award to Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the latest honour to be retracted over her silence about widespread abuses against the Rohingya. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy have...

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