SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

#MeToo inspires Australia to be a world first with launch of national sex harassment inquiry

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:22
Australia launched an independent inquiry on Wednesday into workplace sexual harassment, one of the first of its kind in the world, hoping to find solutions to problems brought to light by the global #MeToo movement. The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said the inquiry was prompted by the social media movement known through the Twitter hashtag #MeToo, which has highlighted sexual misconduct in business, entertainment and politics. The planned 12-month investigation by the commission,...

Samsung to compete with Amazon, Google on AI platforms

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 07:56
By Baek Byung-yeul Amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Samsung Electronics has made a strong effort to beef up its presence in the sector. Since the Korean tech giant released its AI assistant Bixby last year, Samsung has applied the AI to its products ranging from the firm’s signature Galaxy S and Note phones to other home appliances. Moreover, Samsung is taking further steps in AI as it already declared all of its devices will have AI features by 2020. To pursue...

Toilet paper business in Japan is on a roll, thanks to surge in foreign tourists before 2020 Olympics

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 07:25
Japanese paper manufacturers were expecting a shrinking market due to the declining population but are expanding output instead due to an unexpected boost – a surge in foreign tourists pushing up demand, inevitably, for toilet paper. An industry official said the current situation was unforeseeable “10 years ago, when we thought the market would shrink due to the ageing population and low birth rates.” However, Nippon Paper Industries Co., Daio Paper Corp., Oji Holdings Corp....

What anti-China sentiment? Beijing’s man in Malaysia Bai Tian heartened by Mahathir’s overtures

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:02
“Where’s the anti-China sentiment? I don’t see it.” China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian gave this assessment when asked whether China’s rapid economic rise and growing regional influence was spooking citizens in his host country. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Bai Tian said he was heartened by overtures to China by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, contrary to speculation the leader would take a hawkish stance towards Beijing in keeping with his...

Indonesia raises number missing from ferry sinking to 166, almost double initial estimate

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:58
Indonesian officials say 166 people are missing from a ferry sinking Monday evening at a popular lake on Sumatra, a much higher number than previously believed. The boat didn’t have a passenger manifest and disaster officials have several times raised the number of people it was carrying as distraught relatives who rushed to Lake Toba in northern Sumatra provided information. On Tuesday, officials said 94 people were missing and expected the number to rise. Only 18 people were rescued and...

Plot twist: Indian forest ranger posed for photos with python draped around his neck. It nearly strangled him

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:58
The rock python had just killed and eaten a goat, but perhaps more troubling, the reptile had crushed and consumed its meal within shouting distance of a school. Something had to be done. So worried residents in Jalpaiguri, a city in northeast India, called Sanjay Dutta, the local forest ranger, on Sunday. As onlookers stared, Dutta corralled the snake with an animal-control pole, then used thick gloves to grab the snake’s head and pick it up. A woman in Indonesia went to check her corn...

North Korea says Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping discuss ‘a new future’ and ‘true peace’ at Beijing talks

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:11
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues that were discussed at a summit between the two leaders, including denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the North’s state media said on Wednesday. Kim and Xi assessed the historic meeting Kim had with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last week and exchanged opinions on ways to resolve the issue of denuclearisation, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. The North Korean leader...

Mahathir Mohamad Q&A: Malaysian PM on Beijing, Jack Ma and why battleships in the South China Sea are a bad idea

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:01
In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post this week, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad opened up about relations with China and his ideas for getting his country going again. But he deflected questions on whether he wants to stay on as premier beyond the two years he has promised to stay in office. Below is an excerpt of the interview at his Putrajaya office. *********** Q: Selamat Hari Raya. We hear you had a big Hari Raya celebration (to mark the end of Ramadan) at...

Japan arranging a multinational meeting on North Korea denuclearisation in September

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 20:42
The Japanese government is arranging a meeting, to be held during the UN General Assembly gathering in September in New York, to discuss how to share the financing of North Korea’s complete denuclearisation, government sources said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed readiness to support initial costs related to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, but Japan is also planning to provide other funds needed to neutralise Pyongyang’s nuclear...

Top Philippine court hears landmark gay marriage case

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:51
The Philippines’ top court heard arguments on Tuesday for the legalisation of gay marriage, a historic first in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation. Two same-sex couples denied licences to wed urged the Supreme Court to strike down a 1987 law that states marriage must be between a man and a woman. “When the right to marry, a decision so personal, so intimate and so life-changing, is denied to LGBT people, the state is not valuing their dignity,” lawyer Jesus Falcis, who is also...

Forget the warships: Malaysian PM Mahathir’s peace formula for South China Sea

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:03
Keep out the warships and instead have joint small-boat patrols – that is Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s prescription for maintaining peace in the disputed and resource-rich South China Sea. “I think there should not be too many warships. Warships create tension,” the 92-year-old leader told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview. “Someday, somebody might make some mistakes and there will be a fight, some ships will be lost, and there...

Bangladesh opposition leader Zia critically ill, aide says

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 13:41
Imprisoned former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia is critically ill and needs urgent medical care, a top leader of her party said on Tuesday. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, a top aide to Zia, said the 72-year-old opposition leader had suffered a recent mild stroke and multiple complications. Doctors have warned that she could be paralysed if she isn’t treated quickly, he said, adding that she can no longer walk on her own. The government has offered to have Zia admitted to two state-...

US suspends ‘war games’ with South Korea – but military drills with Japan continue

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:23
South Korea on Tuesday presented a united front with the United States on a decision to call off a major military drill, one week after US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement that he would suspend such exercises with the long-time Asian ally. Soon after the US and South Korean militaries formally announced the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises slated for August had been called off, Seoul’s Defence Ministry said the decision was necessary to support ongoing talks both...

Japan to check concrete walls after Osaka quake deaths

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:02
Japan’s government ordered an emergency inspection of breeze block walls at schools nationwide on Tuesday, a day after an earthquake in Osaka killed four people, two of whom were crushed by falling walls. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck Osaka during Monday’s morning rush hour injured more than 370 people in the region, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The quake also damaged many buildings and disrupted traffic. The death of nine-year-old Rina Miyake...

1MDB probe needs time to be watertight: Malaysia’s Mahathir calls for cool heads as Najib rumours swirl

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:34
The Malaysian government is taking time to build a watertight case in the 1MDB financial scandal and not be swayed by populist sentiment, according to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. His predecessor Najib Razak is the prime suspect under investigation and has been banned from leaving the country. This week, Najib’s decision to go on holiday to the resort island of Langkawi – which coincidentally is the parliamentary seat of Mahathir – sparked fears he was trying to slip out...

Kasuo Kashio, co-founder of Casio Computer, dies aged 89

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:25
Kazuo Kashio, one of four brothers who founded Casio Computer Co, the Japanese firm behind pocket calculators and later G-Shock watches, has died aged 89. Kashio, who was chairman and served previously as president, died at a Tokyo hospital on Monday from aspiration pneumonia, which is set off by breathing in food or liquids, the company announced on Tuesday. Kashio is credited with making the calculator an everyday product through Casio Mini. He also helped popularise G-Shock, which has grown...

American arrested in Vietnam ‘regrets’ breaking the law

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:55
An American student held in Vietnam for “causing public disorder” at violent protests this month has appeared on state television to say he regrets breaking the law and will stay away from future rallies. William Nguyen was detained on June 10 in Ho Chi Minh City after attending demonstrations against proposed special economic zones that would grant investors 99-year leases. Video footage shows the Texas-born 32-year-old with a bleeding head wound being dragged by plain clothes men...

Nothing to fear from China, says Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, but lopsided deals must end

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:30
Malaysia wants to strengthen its “good relations” with Beijing, says Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but he is urging Chinese companies investing in his country to refrain from relying only on material, capital and labour from back home and denying his country any real benefits. The 92-year-old Malaysian leader’s setting out of the terms for better relations in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post came in the wake of widespread unease that his predecessor...

Singapore was the top cyber attack target during Trump-Kim talks, says report

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:46
By Cynthia Choo Singapore was the top cyber attack target around the world during the Trump-Kim summit, with the country experiencing close to 40,000 attacks during the June 12 meeting, according to data collected by American technology company F5 Networks and its data partner Loryka. Data analysis by F5 Networks’ Threat Research Intelligence team, which monitors global attacks, found that cyber attacks “skyrocketed” from June 11 and 12.Eighty-eight per cent of the 40,000...

Puan, the world’s oldest Sumatran orangutan, dies aged 62

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:21
The world’s oldest Sumatran orangutan, which had 11 children and 54 descendants spread across the globe, has died aged 62, Australian zoo officials said Tuesday. Puan – Indonesian for “lady” – died on Monday at Perth Zoo, where she had lived since being gifted by Malaysia in 1968. “She did so much for the colony at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species,” said primate supervisor Holly Thompson. “Apart from being the oldest member of our colony...

New Zealand man charged with stealing human toes from dead body exhibition

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:19
By Sam Hurley In a bizarre criminal case, a New Zealand man has been charged with stealing two human toes from an exhibition displaying human corpses and organs. The 28-year-old appeared in the Auckland District Court today before a Community Magistrate charged with stealing two deceased human toes from the Body Worlds Vital exhibition in Auckland on May 4. The toes, which have been returned to the exhibition, are valued at NZ$5,500 (US$3,813), according to court documents. The man, who has...

Thailand carries out first execution since 2009 – on convicted murderer who robbed, then stabbed victim 24 times

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:01
Thailand has carried out its first execution since 2009, the Department of Corrections said, killing a 26-year-old convicted murderer in a move condemned by Amnesty International as “deplorable”. Theerasak Longji was executed by lethal injection on Monday, six years after his conviction. His death came as Thailand’s coup leader-turned-premier Prayuth Chan-ocha prepares to travel to the United Kingdom and France on a highly-publicised official visit. But the trip will now...

Chinese ambassador calls on Australia to drop 'cold war mentality'

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 06:41
China’s ambassador to Australia said on Tuesday “less bias and bigotry” were needed to repair bilateral relations amid concerns over Chinese influence in Australia and its use of loans to build leverage over poorer South Pacific island nations. “We need to see each other’s development and policy intentions from a more positive perspective with less cold war mentality,” Cheng Jingye said in a speech to politicians and business leaders in Canberra. Relations...

Chinese resorts are quietly setting up baccarat tables in Hainan, and Macau may have reason to be nervous

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 02:18
They’re not quite casinos, but they’re pretty close – and they could be coming to China sooner than some expected. On the tropical island of Hainan, at least five Chinese-owned resorts are laying the groundwork for so-called entertainment bars, where players put down real money on games but receive their winnings in the form of points that can be redeemed in local shops, restaurants and hotels, according to people with direct knowledge of the plans. The resorts’ owners...

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un ‘planning a third meeting’ with Xi Jinping

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:30
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to visit China as early as Tuesday to brief President Xi Jinping on his Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump and discuss a future negotiating strategy, Japanese publication Nikkei reported. Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, the report said Kim is expected to fly into Beijing. Security preparations are already under way, it said. It would mark Kim’s third meeting with Xi after a secret first trip to Beijing in late...

At least one person dead after a ferry with 80 passengers sinks in Indonesia’s Lake Toba

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 20:47
At least one person died after a ferry containing around 80 passengers sank in Lake Toba in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province on Monday, a disaster agency official said. The Sinar Bangun ferry sank in rough weather at around 5.30pm about a mile from the port of Tigaras, while carrying passengers from the lake’s volcanic Samosir Island to the town of Parapat Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPT) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. A woman in Indonesia went to check her corn and was...

US and South Korea to suspend ‘large-scale’ joint military drills, source says

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 17:20
South Korea and the US are expected to announce the suspension of “large-scale” military drills next week, with the provision that they will restart if North Korea fails to keep its promise to denuclearise, a South Korean news agency said on Sunday. Citing an unnamed government source, the Yonhap agency said the suspension was likely to affect only major joint exercises, not more routine military training. US President Donald Trump surprised officials in Seoul and Washington after...

Video games are as addictive as crack cocaine or gambling to some players, warns WHO

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 16:19
The World Health Organisation says some obsessive video gamers may really have an addiction. In its latest revision to a disease classification manual, the UN health agency said on Monday that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition. But the statement led critics to warn that it may risk stigmatising young people just because they play video games. The WHO said classifying so-called gaming disorder as a separate condition will help governments, families and...

Philippine air strikes target IS-linked militants near Marawi

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 15:07
Philippine military air strikes and ground assaults targeted a group of Islamic State-linked militants in an offensive that reportedly killed five extremists and forced thousands of villagers to flee to safety in the south, officials said on Monday. Army Colonel Romeo Brawner said the offensive on Sunday sparked gun battles between troops and the extremists in Tubaran town in a mountainous region of Lanao del Sur province and the military was verifying reports that at least five militants had...

Injured Cambodian ex-PM Norodom Ranariddh sent to Bangkok hospital after car crash killed wife

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:01
A Cambodian prince hurt in a car crash that killed his wife was flown to Bangkok for treatment Monday and is expected to recover, a member of his political party said. Prince Norodom Ranariddh, a former prime minister and half-brother of the current king Norodom Sihamoni, suffered “some broken ribs” and leg injuries, Yim Savy, the secretary general of the Funcinpec party, said. “He was sent to Thailand as a precaution”, Savy said, adding that the 74-year-old was in good...

Seoul says sanctions on North Korea may be eased before denuclearisation

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 10:35
South Korea said on Monday that sanctions against North Korea could be eased once it takes “substantive steps towards denuclearisation”, seemingly setting the bar lower than Washington for such a move. Last week’s Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un produced only a vague statement in which Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. Amid fears the summit...

Fashion statement: Rohingya refugees revel in the new-found right to wear trousers

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 09:54
In 28 years, Abdul Aziz had never known the pleasure of wearing trousers. Rohingya Muslim men like him were restricted to wearing sarongs, or longyis, in Myanmar. It was an unofficial uniform that identified Muslims as inferior, Rohingya refugees said. Wearing trousers outside cities and towns was restricted by local authorities and Rohingya who did so could be arrested and fined. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after a violent military crackdown in August....

PNG declares emergency after armed mobs torch plane and governor’s house

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 09:49
Papua New Guinea has declared a state of emergency in its rugged Southern Highlands after an armed mob went on the rampage, torching a passenger plane and the local governor’s house. Police said crowds were angered by a court decision to dismiss a petition against provincial governor William Powi’s 2017 election, amid concerns of corruption. They burned down Powi’s home and the local courthouse in the town of Mendi late last week and destroyed an aircraft belonging to the...

Japan angry as South Korea holds war games to defend against ‘island attack’

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 09:17
South Korea on Monday began two days of war games to practise defending the disputed Dokdo islands off its east coast – against an unlikely attack by Japan. The drills come just days after US President Donald Trump announced the suspension of long-running US joint exercises with South Korea – aimed at deterring North Korea – calling them expensive and “provocative”. The two-day exercise – tiny compared with the suspended US-South Korea war games – will...

Osaka area hit by powerful earthquake sits above fault that’s been inactive for 10,000 years … and that’s a worry for scientists

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:28
Osaka and surrounding areas in western Japan hit by a powerful earthquake on Monday are in a region where experts have long warned of the potential for major seismic activity. The inland earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1, occurred at a depth of around 13 kilometres shortly before 8am, with its epicentre in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture in an area where active faults are concentrated. Takuya Nishimura, an associate professor of geodetics at Kyoto University, said there was...

Hong Kong tour groups safe after child dies in deadly Osaka earthquake that struck during morning rush hour

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 07:40
Hong Kong travel agents are reporting that all their customers in Osaka are safe after a deadly earthquake struck Japan’s second city on Monday during the height of rush hour. A nine-year-old girl was killed when a wall collapsed at her school, an 80-year-old man is also believed to have died, and 200 people have reportedly been injured in the quake, which was measured at 5.3 on the Richter scale by the United States Geological Survey. The Japan Meteorological Agency measured the tremor...

Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad talk tech, jobs and future as China deals come under scrutiny

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 07:36
Alibaba Group’s efforts to undertake an intensive transfer of technology and skills to Malaysia are aligned with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s hopes for the Southeast Asia economy to transit into high-income status quickly, the Chinese conglomerate’s co-founder Jack Ma said on Monday. Ma was speaking to the media after a meeting with Mahathir in Kuala Lumpur – the first by a Chinese entrepreneur since the country’s landmark election of May 9 in which the...

Is this art? Man buried for three days under busy Australian road

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 06:47
An artist has emerged from three days entombed in a steel box under a busy Australian road in a performance billed as a tribute to victims of totalitarian violence. Mike Parr, 73, fasted during his time underground, with oxygen pumped into the 1.7-metre (5.5-foot) by 2.2-metre container to keep him alive as traffic drove on overhead. He had bedding, water, a waste bucket, a sketchpad and pencils for the stunt in Hobart, part of Tasmania state’s annual Dark Mofo festival, which celebrates...

Japan: Several feared dead after earthquake shakes Osaka

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 03:22
A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses. Several people were feared dead, according to Japanese media. A 9-year-old girl died after becoming trapped by a damaged wall in a swimming pool facility in the city of Takatsuki, local authorities said. At least eight people were injured and multiple fire incidents have been reported in the city of Osaka. The quake with a preliminary...

From China to Central Asia, a regional security bloc’s long, slow march towards an alternative world order

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 02:45
While the world was captivated this week by the globetrotting show of US President Donald Trump, another summit just days earlier suggested what an alternative world order might look like. Various heads of state from member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) met in the Chinese city of Qingdao for the bloc’s annual heads of state meeting. The SCO’s activities have been limited in the decade and a half since it was formed but this year’s summit had some...

China sounds out Japan and South Korea for another summit about North Korea this year, sources say

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 02:27
China has sounded out Japan and South Korea to hold a trilateral summit again in December in Beijing, hoping to further ramp up cooperation to denuclearise North Korea, diplomatic sources said Sunday. With the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea having met for a summit in Tokyo just last month, it would be unusual for a trilateral meeting at this level to be held again in the same year. China, a key economic benefactor of North Korea, appears to be pushing for a successive summit with its...

‘My people can’t compete’: as China’s influence grows in Pacific, so does local resentment and international worry

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 01:52
In the gritty, steamy streets of Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby, signs of China’s push into the Pacific island nation are inescapable. A Chinese worker stencils a logo for China Railway Group outside the new national courthouse it’s building; China Harbor Engineering Group labourers tar roads under the searing midday sun. Little by little they are taking slices of our businesses. My people feel we can’t compete Martyn Namorong, anti-China campaigner in Papua New...

Marijuana use tops paint thinner abuse in Japan for the first time

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 15:53
An estimated 1.3 million Japanese people aged 15 to 64 have used marijuana, surpassing for the first time the number of those who have abused inhalants such as paint thinner, a survey by a national institute showed on Sunday. The National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry in Tokyo’s Kodaira estimated there are 1,331,765 habitual and non-habitual marijuana users, an increase of around 380,000 from the previous survey, based on population ratios and other factors, while the survey showed...

Admit it: Trump’s Singapore date with Kim made us all safer

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:45
Let’s give credit where it’s due. Last Monday’s sit-down in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un probably nudged the Doomsday Clock just a few minutes further away from the apocalypse. And as much as Trump-haters may be loath to admit it, anything that staves off the risk of nuclear war, even temporarily, is a really good thing. Consider that less than six months ago, Trump and Kim were trading playground taunts and boasting...

Aussie supermarket relents to allow mass nude photo on car park

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:11
A US artist known for his large-scale nude photo shoots said he is relieved that Australian supermarket chain Woolworths has changed its mind and will now let him use one of its rooftop car parks for his next project. Spencer Tunick is travelling to Australia in July where he will take part in Melbourne’s Provocare Festival of the Arts. He had been commissioned by the festival to do a piece within the precinct of Chapel Street, a main street known for upmarket fashion shops and...

Cambodian prince’s wife dies in head-on road crash

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 09:49
Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh was injured and his wife killed in a two-vehicle collision that left five others also injured on Sunday morning in the resort city of Sihanoukville, a police official said. Sihanoukville police chief Chuon Narin said Ranariddh’s sport utility vehicle collided head-on with an SUV taxi carrying five people around 9am. The prince, who heads the royalist FUNCINPEC party, and his wife, Ouk Phalla, who were on their way to see supporters in Sihanoukville, were...

Thai king takes control of US$30 billion royal fortune after ascending the throne in 2016

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 05:09
The official agency that had managed the vast wealth of Thailand’s royal family has announced that its assets have formally been turned over to King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who assumed the throne after the death of his father in 2016. An undated announcement seen on Saturday on the website of the Crown Property Bureau says that assets it has been administering will be put in the same category as the monarch’s personal assets and managed together at his...

As Oli comes calling, what does Nepal want from China?

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 04:45
As Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli embarks on a visit to Beijing, a meeting that starts on June 19, his successful resetting of ties with India is likely to give him the elbow room he needs to rev up relations with China, which were once on the upswing but have slackened of late. Oli’s China visit comes a couple of months after his trip to New Delhi and a highly successful return trip by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month that put fraying India-Nepal...

After Trump-Kim summit, South Koreans are left wondering: ‘Are we better off than we were a week ago?’

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 03:30
South Koreans of a certain generation remember a hit children’s animation from 1978, featuring as its hero a Tarzan-like boy who battles an army of North Korean soldiers, depicted as packs of rabid wolves. By the end of the anti-communist movie, through the courageous feat of the protagonist Ttoli, the corpulent villain Red Marshal, who engorges himself while exploiting his own impoverished people, is unmasked and shown for his true self. As it turns out, the villain – unmistakably...

Kim Jong-un’s Air China summit charter is proof Beijing is wind beneath his wings

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 03:30
A picture is worth a thousand words. The proverb sprang to mind when the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, smiling and dressed in a Mao-style suit, stepped off the red-carpeted stairs of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet with the difficult-to-miss markings of Air China and its Phoenix logo. The visual that Kim flew on the Chinese special jet to Singapore for the historic summit with the US President Donald Trump is a subtle but apt reminder of China’s influences in the rapidly changing geopolitical...

From Vietnam, without love: the child brides of China

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 02:30
It was 8pm on a scorching summer night when Tien, a quiet, timid teenager, left her home in a coastal province of central Vietnam, supposedly to spend the night at her cousin’s. Or at least, that is what the 16-year-old had told her family. In fact, she planned to leave the village to escape the pressure on her to get married. Hoping her cousin would help her find a job, she slipped out the door. It was nearly two years before she would return, by then having endured horrors beyond the...

Canadian man accused of advising black market website Silk Road creator extradited to US from Thailand

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 00:15
A Canadian man accused by US authorities of acting as a senior adviser to the jailed creator of the underground Silk Road website was extradited to the United States from Thailand on Friday, federal prosecutors said. In a newly unsealed indictment, prosecutors charged Roger Thomas Clark with crimes including narcotics trafficking, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Clark was arrested in Thailand in 2015 at the request of US authorities. Prosecutors have said Clark was...

A woman went to check her corn and was swallowed by a python

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 22:33
For the second time in barely more than a year, an Indonesian villager has been swallowed whole by a python. Wa Tiba, 54, left her home on Muna island to visit her cornfield on Thursday night, according to The Jakarta Post. The field was about a half mile from her house, surrounded by cliffs, caves and a certain number of reticulated pythons, the longest snakes in the world. The snakes normally feed on smaller mammals. Attacks on humans are supposed to be as rare as winning the lottery and...

Why North Korea is set to become the next big thing for investors

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:58
Will North Korea become the next big thing for investors now that the Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un summit has ended with handshakes and a “walkabout” (rather than a walkout) by the two leaders? The question is not premature, even if denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is some way off. The general verdict on the Singapore summit is that there is still a long way to go before we can say Trump’s “art of the deal” has paid off. But the economic and financial...

Killing of Pakistani Taliban chief ‘significant’, prime minister says

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 15:32
Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk described the killing of Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike in Afghanistan as a “significant development in the fight against terrorism”. Mulk made the comment in a telephone conversation on Friday night with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and thanked him for sharing information about Fazlullah’s killing, said a Pakistan government statement. The call was made by Ghani, who tweeted that Fazlullah...

Japan approves economic plan to allow more foreign workers

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 12:46
Japan’s cabinet on Friday adopted an economic plan that would allow more foreign workers as the rapidly ageing country tries to make up for its declining workforce. Under the plan, visa requirements would be relaxed in sectors facing severe labour shortages such as nursing, agriculture, construction and transport – new categories it would start accepting in addition to highly-skilled professionals. The workers would only be allowed to stay in the country for up to five years as...

Vietnam launches probe into American detained for ‘public disorder’ during protests over proposed land deal with China

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 09:00
Vietnam police have launched a formal criminal investigation into an American man who was among dozens arrested last week during rare protests that erupted across the authoritarian state. American citizen William Anh Nguyen, 32, was detained in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday during a massive rally protesting a government proposal to grant lengthy land leases in new special economic zones. Many protesters expressed fear the land would be handed to China, and thousands gathered in several cities...

Australia rules out moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem in line with US and Donald Trump

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 08:40
Australia will not be following Donald Trump’s lead and moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Julie Bishop has said, despite strong support from the party’s base. The Liberal Party’s youth arm had called on the government to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s legislative capital, and to suspend all aid to Palestine “until it terminates its ‘Martyr’s fund”. The motion, which is non-binding, was carried in a vote 43 to 31, but the foreign...

Donald Trump hails successful summit with Kim but North Korean cyberattacks went unaddressed

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 07:22
Among the subjects President Donald Trump apparently didn’t discuss with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore – the regime’s human rights abuses, its exports of missile technology and its mistreatment of US prisoners – there’s one more: its long record of dangerous cyberattacks against sensitive targets in the US and allied nations. Experts warn that the country’s hacking skills have become increasingly sophisticated and dangerous in recent years....

If Korean Chaebol were scandalous before Trump-Kim summit …

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 05:32
As the Korean Air scandal burns through almost every member of the company’s controlling family, the prospect of reforming South Korea’s chaebol – large, family-owned business conglomerates – looks less promising than ever, particularly after the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Singapore. The Korea Immigration Service this week subjected Lee Myung-hee, the wife of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho, to 13 hours of questioning...

With China no longer aboard, Mahathir opens new chapter in Saga of the Malaysian People’s Car

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 04:30
Malaysia’s newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has raised the possibility of a new national car project, putting behind him the mixed fortunes of his previous initiative, Proton, launched over three decades ago. “We need to go back to the idea of a national car,” he announced at the 24th Nikkei Conference in Tokyo on his first foreign trip since his election last month. “Our ambition is to start another national car, perhaps with some help from our partners...

Grapes of wrath: dark clouds for Australian winemakers as China ties sour

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 04:18
Set in the rolling green hills outside the Queensland capital of Brisbane, Sirromet Winery has placed big bets on China. Exports of its Australian vintage now make up 30 per cent of its total sales, double what it was five years ago. Such is its popularity that Sirromet is now visited regularly by tourists from mainland China, necessitating the need for dedicated Mandarin speaking guides. “The Chinese really buy into the quality of the product and the fact it’s natural and grown in...

Japan’s concerns aside, North Korean media says abductions issue is ‘already settled’

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 21:44
North Korea’s official Pyongyang Broadcasting Station said on Friday that the issue of the North’s past abductions of Japanese nationals has “already been settled”, according to the Tokyo-based Radio Press news agency. It is the first time for North Korean media to reiterate the government’s official line since the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held earlier this week in Singapore. It also comes as Japanese Prime...

Trump says North Korea stand-off ‘largely solved’ after he gave Kim his telephone number

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 19:33
US President Donald Trump declared Washington’s nuclear stand-off with North Korea “largely solved” on Friday, after he gave young autocrat Kim Jong-un his telephone number and cancelled US “war games”. Hailing the success of this week’s summit in Singapore, Trump told reporters in Washington that he is now in direct contact with Kim and that their “good relationship” had ended the risk of conflict. The results of the Singapore meeting, at which...

Trump-Kim statement isn’t vague – it’s just flexible enough to work

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:01
The great tragedy of the “limited war” on the Korean peninsula that snuffed out 2 million civilian lives in the early 1950s was that it ultimately resolved very little: the status quo was restored, and a tenuous armistice held the peace thereafter. That is until earlier this week. On June 12 in Singapore, US President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un paved a pathway which, if faithfully trod upon, will durably close this painful chapter in Asia’s modern history and set...

Asia in 3 minutes: Japan finds dead man walking, Australians dress to repress

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 13:59
Viral photo of bird with beak bound by plastic ring leads to its rescue A bird that had its beak sealed shut by a plastic ring, captivating social media with its plight, has been rescued in India. A photo of the male black-necked stork spread on bird forums and gained international attention. A birder named Manoj Nair took the photo in a wetland in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi. After the image was posted online, birders and wildlife officials mounted a frantic search for the bird, which was...

Vibrators to Hindu twitter trolls, Indian film star Swara Bhasker not afraid of shaking things up

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:03
An Indian actress who introduced the vibrator to Hindi cinema has become the latest target for the country’s notorious Twitter trolls. And she is loving it. Swara Bhasker’s own bio on Twitter describes her as “an armchair activist, Twitter warrior, troll destroyer, right-wing baiter, liberal hysteric”. The candour is admirable – and the bio is accurate. Consider a recent instance involving her latest film, Veere di Wedding. Though it is a commercial movie with star...

Will New Zealand become ‘less attractive’ when it starts taxing tourists?

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:43
Tourists to New Zealand are to be charged a special tax, under new government plans announced on Friday to deal with the growing influx of holidaymakers from overseas. Visitor numbers have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in the 12 months to April – almost as big as the country’s population. “This rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” tourism minister Kelvin Davis said. “Many...

Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan is back with new blockbuster

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:50
Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan’s first film since his conviction for killing endangered wildlife opened across India Friday, with analysts predicting box office success for his latest Eid blockbuster. It has become a tradition in the Hindi film industry for Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, to star in the big release on the Muslim holiday of Eid to mark the end of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday in India. Action film Race 3 is Khan’s fifth straight Eid release and...

Aussie students ‘investigated’ after dressing in KKK costumes and blackface for party

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:18
Five Australian university students who dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan and one who dressed in blackface as a “cotton-picking” slave for a “politically incorrect” themed party will be investigated after the vice chancellor condemned their actions. The men, from Charles Sturt University, posted pictures of themselves on social media on Thursday night at an end-of-term party at the Black Swan Hotel in Wagga Wagga. One photo posted to Instagram and since deleted was...

Millions of speed pills and 300kg crystal meth seized in Northern Thailand

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:15
About 9 million methamphetamine pills and 300 kilogrammes of crystal meth have been seized and a key drug suspect arrested in Thailand’s Chiang Dao district. Suspected dealer Panatkit Soponphumipanya was arrested in the border area of Ban Pa Bong Ngam in tambon Mueang Na on Monday.  The drugs were in his possession. Seventeen-year-old caught in Thailand with drugs worth US$3.12m His arrest was announced on Friday at a news conference by Sirinya Sitdhichai, secretary-general of...

Red kiwifruit about two years away from commercial introduction

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:16
By Andrea Fox The world is waiting for a good red kiwifruit, says Zespri, and the New Zealand exporter hopes to deliver in a couple of years. Fieldays visitors to the Zespri site can sample the attractive red fruit, but it’s taking time to fine tune its commercial introduction so the fruit is viable from orchard right through to consumer markets, chief executive Dan Mathieson says. “It’s an exceptional piece of fruit with strong consumer attraction, but we’re still...

Propaganda or common courtesy? White House defends Donald Trump saluting North Korean general

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:24
The White House on Thursday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to return a military salute to a North Korean three-star general. “It’s a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that,” presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters two days after Trump returned from his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. North Korean state media released video from the visit of Trump reaching out to shake...

‘Those are literally the North Korean and Chinese talking points’: why Trump’s decision to halt military exercises with South Korea makes allies nervous

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 03:14
US President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend major US military exercises in South Korea could weaken allied defences, depending on the length and scope of the hiatus. But the potential for diplomatic damage seems even greater. The US, South Korea and Japan were making a public display of solidarity on Thursday over the outcome of Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. But analysts and former officials with experience in US-Asia policy were shaken by Trump’s...

Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to South Korea supports ‘a pause’ in joint military exercises

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 23:35
US President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to South Korea expressed his support Thursday for Trump’s pledge to stop military exercises in the area, a concession some US lawmakers worried could weaken Washington’s alliance with Seoul against Pyongyang. Harry Harris, a retired admiral and former commander of US Forces in the Pacific, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that the US should halt major military drills with South Korea in exchange for concrete steps...

Major military exercises ‘suspended indefinitely’ on Korean peninsula, says US official

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:57
Large military drills between the United States and South Korea have been “suspended indefinitely,” a senior US official told AFP on Thursday. “Major military exercises have been suspended indefinitely on the Korean peninsula,” the official said, two days after President Donald Trump said the US would halt joint military exercises with its security ally Seoul. It comes after US President Donald Trump announced after his summit with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday that he would...

Thai government steps up efforts to crack down on fake news

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:47
By Gregory Morrissey Thai authorities are stepping up a crackdown on false and misleading information targetting the government which is spreading quickly via social media platforms. Concerns about “fake news” were heightened after a London-based Facebook user posted on the KonthaiUK Facebook site a photo and a message suggesting corruption in the government’s satellite project. Computer crime warrant in Thailand out for London-based Facebook user ‘KhonthaiUk’ for...

Will Japan win the race to produce crucial 3D mapping for driverless cars?

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:41
Technology companies are racing to develop ultra precise digital maps that can guide self-driving cars within inches of where they should be – a hurdle the industry needs to clear if it hopes to deliver on its promise of widespread use of driverless vehicles. Japan’s government is backing a three-dimensional mapping system developed by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation that includes a wealth of details such as trees and pedestrians. It promises to be off by no more than 25cm (9.8...

Images of Australian army flying Nazi flag in Afghanistan sparks outrage from PM as ‘utterly unacceptable’

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:19
An Australian army vehicle flew a Nazi swastika flag during an operation in Afghanistan, the prime minister confirmed on Thursday in an act he called “completely and utterly unacceptable”. National broadcaster ABC published a leaked photo of the 2007 incident and cited a defence source as saying it was more a “twisted joke” than evidence of genuine neo-Nazism. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said displaying a Nazi flag was “absolutely wrong”. “...

Japan power firm TEPCO mulls scrapping Fukushima No.2 nuclear plant

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:49
The utility responsible for meltdowns at a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan seven years ago said Thursday for the first time publicly that it might decommission another plant in Fukushima that narrowly escaped the crisis. Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) said it was considering dismantling four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ni, or No. 2, plant, which has not been restarted since the 2011 disaster. The Fukushima Dai-ichi, or No. 1, plant was heavily damaged in a March 11, 2011...

IKEA may face mandatory regular closures in South Korea

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:49
By Yoon Ja-young Large-scale specialty stores such as IKEA and Daiso may be subject to mandatory regular closings every two weeks in South Korea as the nation’s government is set to study the validity of such a regulation. According to the Korea Small Business Institute, it will begin research on the appropriateness of the regulation on large-scale specialty stores this month. It will examine whether they are hurting small shops and whether the regular closures are necessary, at the...

Outrage spreads on social media over man freed after frenzied knife attack on Pakistani student

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:28
A Pakistani law student has emerged as a women’s rights crusader after she was stabbed 23 times in a busy street only to see her alleged attacker walk free, igniting outrage across the deeply patriarchal country. Khadija Siddiqui, 23, survived the frenzied attack in broad daylight outside her sister’s school on a busy thoroughfare in the teeming eastern city of Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital, in May 2016. Her sister was also injured as she tried to defend her, and the...

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushes back against North Korean sanctions-relief claims

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:17
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Kim Jong-un will not receive sanctions relief until after his complete disarmament, pushing back against North Korean suggestions that penalties will soon start being relaxed. Pompeo – sharing a podium in Seoul on Thursday with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts – was asked about North Korean claims that US President Donald Trump had committed to a “step-by-step” process and “expressed his intention” to lift...

South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party wins in a landslide after Trump-Kim summit

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:07
South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party (DP) won a landslide victory on Wednesday in local elections held the day after a historic summit between the United States and North Korea. The triumph in the first election since President Moon Jae-in took office just over a year ago is widely seen as a boon to the country’s leader, who helped bring together the cold war foes for an unprecedented meeting after the two sides traded threats of annihilation. Moon’s DP party won 13 of the 17...

Indian chess champ quits competition over Iran headscarf rule

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:07
An Indian chess champion has withdrawn from an international competition in Iran, saying a rule requiring her to wear a headscarf would violate her human rights. Soumya Swaminathan ranks fifth in India and was preparing to compete with the national team in the Asian Chess Championship in Bangladesh. However, when the competition was moved to Iran, the 29-year-old withdrew from the contest and took to Facebook to spell out why. “Under the present circumstances, the only way for me to...

Ill and broke, 59-year-old fugitive wanted in Singapore for armed robbery surrenders after over 20 years

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:51
By Wong Pei Ting A 59-year-old fugitive who had been on the run for an armed robbery for over 20 years finally surrendered this year as he was ill and broke. Foo Siang Thian was sentenced to four years’ jail and a three-year driving ban for robbery and motor vehicle theft. Foo had earlier been repatriated by the Malaysian authorities in 1998, two years after his offence, but managed to flee and returned there that same year. Foo, who had not been charged for his crimes before Wednesday,...

Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-un could meet after North Korean leader says he’s willing

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:31
Japan is working to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-un after the North Korean leader said he was open to talks, local media reported on Thursday. The Sankei newspaper said Kim discussed the possibility during historic talks on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump. “During the summit with Trump, Kim told Trump ‘I can meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’,” the Sankei reported. Japan wants the talks to push the emotive issue of citizens...

‘Drowned’ man returns nearly a year after wrong body is given to his wife in Japan

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:07
Imagine you have cremated your husband’s body, which was found in a river in your city. You enter a period of mourning and then begin to remake your life. Now, imagine 11 months later, your supposedly dead husband walking through your front door. That is what happened to a Japanese woman who in June 2017 was given the body of a man, believed to be her husband, who had been found dead in the Edo River in eastern Toyko. According to local media, the handover occurred after police examined...

US aims for North Korean denuclearisation within two-and-a-half years, Mike Pompeo says

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 17:39
The United States hopes to achieve “major disarmament” by North Korea within the next two-and-a-half years, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, speaking in Seoul the day after President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a historic summit. Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday and reached a short agreement that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, but provided no...

Former Maldives president sentenced to 19 months in prison

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 17:17
A Maldives court on Wednesday sentenced a former strongman accused of plotting to overthrow the government to 19 months in prison for failing to cooperate with the police investigation. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Indian Ocean archipelago state from 1978 to 2008, is the second former president to be jailed under President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s rule. He was arrested in February on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Yameen, his half-brother. A court...

Will US-North Korea deal leave Japan, South Korea vulnerable?

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 16:29
South Korea and Japan were left confused and concerned about their long-term security after US President Donald Trump said America would no longer take part in “war games” with its East Asian allies and wanted to reduce troop numbers in the region, analysts said. At a briefing immediately after his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, Trump described the joint military drills with South Korea as costly and “provocative”, and said...

US President Trump declares ‘no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea’ as questions mount over deal with Kim Jong-un

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:40
President Donald Trump declared on Twitter Wednesday that there was “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea”, a bold and questionable claim following his summit with leader Kim Jong-un that produced few guarantees on how and when Pyongyang would disarm. “Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” he tweeted. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong-un was an...

Malaysian top judges quit as Mahathir Mohamad’s new government cleans house

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:53
Malaysia’s top two judges are resigning, court officials said Wednesday, the latest senior public servants to leave their posts since the former government lost power. Chief Justice Raus Sharif and appeal court president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin are to step down on July 31, a judiciary statement said. They are the latest senior officials to quit, or be forced from, their jobs since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad won a shock election victory last month on a pledge to clean up a government...

Kim Jong-un grabs headlines at home, but what did Donald Trump get from historic summit?

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:58
The most highly anticipated summit in recent world history came and went. US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s secluded island of Sentosa, producing a two-page agreement addressing the long-troubled US-North Korea bilateral relationship and all its attendant issues, denuclearisation included. It’s true that by sitting across from Kim, Trump accomplished something no other US president before him had. But it’s not...

Solomon Islands drops Chinese tech giant Huawei for billion-dollar undersea cable, signs Australia

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:20
Australia will help fund and build an undersea communications cable to the Solomon Islands, it was agreed Wednesday, after the Pacific nation was convinced to drop a contract with Chinese company Huawei. The impoverished country and Huawei signed a deal in late 2016 to construct the fibre-optic cable from Australia to Honiara to improve its often unreliable internet and phone services. But Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela said last week there had been a change of heart following...

‘Barangay captain should fight drugs and crime’: Philippines to arm community leaders as crackdown widens

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:48
The Philippines’ interior ministry said on Wednesday it plans to acquire pistols for community leaders willing to fight crime and drugs, prompting concern it could fuel even more violence in the country’s notoriously bloody crackdown. President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he was considering arming community leaders, known as barangay captains, after consulting the police and intelligence community. Last week he vowed to provide the same legal protection to barangay captains as...

US imposes sanctions on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard for alleged human rights abuses

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:26
The United States has imposed sanctions on the commander of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit for alleged human rights abuses, the first member of the leader’s inner circle to be blacklisted by Washington. General Hing Bun Hieng, head of the Prime Minister Bodyguard Unit (PMBU), was sanctioned for “being the leader of an entity involved in serious human rights abuse,” the US Treasury Department said on Tuesday. The sanctioning of a Hun Sen loyalist comes...

Protesters disrupt Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte’s Independence Day speech over South China Sea disputes

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:48
A group of left-wing activists heckled and disrupted a televised Independence Day speech Tuesday by the Philippine president and called him a “traitor” amid criticism of his handling of territorial disputes with China. President Rodrigo Duterte briefly halted his speech during the commotion and calmly watched from a historic balcony in Kawit town, south of Manila, as police pulled the protesters away. He asked law enforcers to deal with the protesters “with maximum tolerance...

Measles outbreak could be triggered in Hong Kong by small number of people who are not vaccinated, expert warns

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:04
A small proportion of people who are not properly vaccinated against measles could trigger an outbreak of the highly contagious disease in Hong Kong, according to a medical expert. The call came as the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa on Monday declared its measles outbreak over. Some 99 people were infected during the four-month outbreak, with about 5,500 tourists, including hundreds from Hong Kong, cancelling trips to the popular destination. Professor Malik Peiris, chair of virology at the...

Warmer water worsens the nutritional quality of fish according to New Zealand study

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:38
By Jamie Morton Warmer water events can worsen the nutritional balance of fish, finds new research carried out in New Zealand. Conversely, the new study, just published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, found fish and squid caught when waters were colder than normal were of higher quality. Its lead author says the findings have implications for a range of species that eat fish - including us - and highlight another potential knock-on effect of climate change. Led by the University of Sydney,...

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