• Undersea drone hunt for Malaysian plane foiled by depth

    Undersea drone hunt for Malaysian plane foiled by depth

    A US Navy underwater drone sent to search for a missing Malaysian jetliner on the floor of the Indian Ocean had its first mission cut short after exceeding its 4.5 km (2.8 mile) depth limit, Australian search authorities said on Tuesday. The launch of the Blue-fin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle on Monday marked a new [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Malaysia Airlines Plane MH370: Russia FSB Claim Jet Hijacked and Flown to Afghanistan

    Malaysia Airlines Plane MH370: Russia FSB Claim Jet Hijacked and Flown to Afghanistan

    A Russian newspaper has claimed that flight MH370 was hijacked and landed in Afghanistan where passengers were being held hostage. The bizarre theory has been attributed to an alleged source within the country’s FSB secret service, according to newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. The source stated: “Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on March 8 with 239 passengers [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | IB Times | 6:00 AM
  • Asian Pollution Boosts Pacific Storm Power

    Asian Pollution Boosts Pacific Storm Power

    Pollution from China’s coal-burning power plants is pumping up winter storms over the northwest Pacific Ocean and changing North America’s weather, a new study finds. Northwest Pacific winter storms are now 10 percent stronger than they were 30 years ago, before Asian countries began their industrial boom, according to research published today (April 14) in [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | LiveScience.com | 6:00 AM
  • China tells US to stop ‘gesticulating’ on rights cases

    China tells US to stop ‘gesticulating’ on rights cases

    China’s foreign ministry told the United States on Monday to stop “gesticulating” in its criticism of China’s treatment of dissidents, after Washington called on Beijing to release a prominent activist. The United States last week said it was “deeply disappointed” at a Beijing court’s decision to uphold a four-year jail sentence for anti-corruption and children’s [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

    Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

    Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday met Gina McCarthy, the first US cabinet-level official to visit the island in 14 years, and hailed her trip as important for ties with Washington. “This is the first time since 2000 for a cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan from the United States. It is of great significance for [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Bird flu alert in Japan as deadly H5 virus is confirmed on farm

    Bird flu alert in Japan as deadly H5 virus is confirmed on farm

    Japan is on bird-flu alert after two confirmed cases at a farm in the country’s south where more than 1,000 chickens have died. The slaughter of 112,000 chickens was today under way as efforts began to halt the spread of the highly pathogenic H5 virus after it was detected at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture. [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Daily Mail | 6:00 AM
  • China cancels human rights dialogue with Britain

    China cancels human rights dialogue with Britain

    China has cancelled this week’s bilateral human rights dialogue with Britain, which David Cameron highlighted as one of the “important achievements” of his high-profile trip to Beijing last year. Beijing accused the UK of making irresponsible comments and using human rights issues to interfere in its internal affairs. The British prime minister Cameron had cited [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • 161 killed during Songkran festival celebration in Thailand

    161 killed during Songkran festival celebration in Thailand

    At least 161 people have been killed and 1,640 others injured in a number of accidents caused by drunk driving and speeding during Thailand’s Songkran festival that marks the arrival of spring. Fifty-nine people were killed and 747 injured in 689 accidents yesterday, the third day of the “seven dangerous days” (April 11-17) of the [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | The Economic Times | 6:00 AM
  • Vietnam frees two high-profile dissidents

    Vietnam frees two high-profile dissidents

    Vietnam has released two political activists, the latest high-profile dissidents to be freed as the communist nation comes under increasing international pressure over its human rights record. Blogger Nguyen Tien Trung told AFP that he and Vi Duc Hoi, a Communist Party official turned democracy campaigner, had been freed on Saturday. Trung, 30, was serving [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Killing of environmental activists rises globally

    Killing of environmental activists rises globally

    As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff – until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him. A year later, his three alleged killers, including a [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Indian troops kill 2 rebels in Kashmir fighting

    Indian troops kill 2 rebels in Kashmir fighting

    A nearly 20-hour gunbattle in Indian-controlled Kashmir ended Monday after government troops killed two suspected rebels in the Himalayan region’s main city, a senior police official said. The fighting began Sunday evening when troops cordoned off a neighbourhood in Srinagar following a tip that rebels were in a house there, said police officer Afadul Mujtaba. [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Russia, China try to finish gas talks before Putin’s visit

    Russia, China try to finish gas talks before Putin’s visit

    Moscow and Beijing plan to wrap up a decade of talks on supplies of Russian natural gas before President Vladimir Putin’s expected to travel to China next month, a deputy prime minister said on Monday. Deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, speaking after a visit to China last week, also said Chinese companies wanted to invest [...]

    16-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

Meet Miss Philippines Supranational Yvethe Marie

How do you feel after winning the title? I feel very blessed. I did not expect it but I was very hopeful that I’ll get the crown because I really want to make my family, supporters and the whole Bicol proud. I dedicate this crown to my family who is always there for me no [...]

Vietnamese pop stars to help save rhinos

Two Vietnamese pop stars have been co-opted into South Africa’s campaign to save the rhino so that they can help spread the message in East Asia where demand for rhino horn is huge. The two, Thu Minh and Thanh Bui, were hosted by the Wilderness Foundation, a conservation group headquartered in the coastal city of [...]

‘Frozen’ Heading Toward $100 Million at Japan Box Office

Frozen stayed on top of the Japanese box office for the fifth consecutive weekend, pushing its total to $91.2 million (9.28 billion), as the country overtook Korea as the biggest overseas territory for Disney’s Oscar winner. The end of spring break last week had little effect on Frozen’s stellar performance in Japan, with takings falling [...]

Health

China detains 160 in Shanghai healthcare scam

Chinese authorities have detained 160 members of a criminal gang in the eastern city of Shanghai after the group swindled patients by luring them to fake medical clinics and selling them over-priced drugs, Shanghai police said on Tuesday. The gang cheated over 500 victims out of 1.7 million yuan ($273,400), employing corrupt doctors to inflate [...]

Chinese court dismisses water pollution lawsuit

A Chinese court has rejected a lawsuit filed by five residents from a major northwestern city after authorities said a cancer-inducing chemical had been found in tapwater at 20 times above national safety levels, state media reported on Tuesday. Levels of benzene, a cancer-inducing chemical, in Lanzhou’s tap water rose 20 times above national safety [...]

Nearly 15 pct of Vietnam’s population suffer mental disorders

The conditions include schizophrenic, epilepsy, depression, amnesia, alcohol and drug addiction, and adolescent behaviour problems, said speakers at the Asia-Pacific International Training-research Network on Mental Health Forum. Addressing the event, Vietnamese deputy Health minister Nguyen Viet Tien stressed that the meeting can help establish a regional cooperation network on services, training and research to improve [...]

FinanceAsia

TransAlta Named Preferred Bidder in Western Australia Development

TransAlta Corporation (TSX: TA) (NYSE: TAC) announced today that it has been named the preferred bidder for the South Hedland Power Project. Subject to the finalization of necessary contracts and approvals that will take place during the next several weeks, the project would see TransAlta build, own and operate a 150MW power station in South [...]

Roy Hill Selects Aconex for Iron Ore Mining Project

Aconex, provider of the world’s most widely used construction project management software, has been selected by Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd to support the construction and operation of Roy Hill, one of Australia’s largest integrated iron ore mining, rail and port projects. Located approximately 115 kilometers north of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the [...]

World’s Leading Cloud and Content Providers Team With BTI Systems Global Services Group

BTI Systems, an award-winning provider of cloud and metro networking software and systems to content and service providers around the world, today announced significant expansions to its service and support capabilities and partner ecosystem. Fueled by BTI’s reputation for teaming with the industry’s most influential and fastest-growing providers to accelerate time-to-value for an ever-increasing range of services, [...]

Regional

Indian troops kill 2 rebels in Kashmir fighting

Indian troops kill 2 rebels in Kashmir fighting

A nearly 20-hour gunbattle in Indian-controlled Kashmir ended Monday after government troops killed two suspected rebels in the Himalayan region’s main city, a senior police official said. The fighting began Sunday evening when troops cordoned off a neighbourhood in Srinagar following a tip that rebels were in a house there, said police officer Afadul Mujtaba. [...]

Doing a video effects app – the Asian way

Is there such a thing as doing a startup the ‘Asian way’? If you’re Ali Kurtze, the Singapore-based founder of startup Basilo Labs which just launched its video effects app Snapclip, it’s a resounding yes. Doing a startup in Asia – and we’re using that term broadly, while excluding the market-specific quirks of places like [...]

The Scorned but Valuable Work of Waste Pickers

You don’t rummage through piles of garbage looking for recyclable items if you have other options in life. Waste pickers are pretty close to the bottom of the career prestige ladder. But they do provide a useful service, simultaneously reducing the volume of waste that goes into landfills and providing useful raw materials like glass, [...]

China

Japan Follows China’s Coal Rush

Japan is following in China’s footsteps, all the way to a near-future powered by coal. On Friday, the Japanese government released a new energy plan that intends to increase coal’s use in the energy matrix both at home and abroad – most likely destined for China. The new energy plan designates coal as an important [...]

In China, a Big Jet Becomes a Status Symbol

IN the United States, public reaction to the corporate use of business jets can be scathing when instances of obvious excess become publicised, such as the day in 2008 when the top executives of the Detroit automakers each used a private jet to fly to Washington to argue for $25 billion in taxpayer bailouts. But [...]

China Is Losing Its Taste for Gold

China’s appetite for gold is waning after a decadelong buying spree, suppressed by the country’s economic slowdown and constrained credit markets. Demand in the world’s biggest gold consumer is likely to stay flat in 2014, according to estimates from the World Gold Council. Gold demand in China has expanded every year since 2002, when it [...]

Malaysia

MH370 Tragedy: Najib expresses gratitude to Singapore

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has once again expressed gratitude to Singapore for its assistance and support to Malaysia in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, MH370. “I thank our neighbour again for their friendship and solidarity during our trying time,” he wrote on his Facebook account. The posting coincided with Singaporean [...]

We have given our all in search for MH370, says Najib

We have given our all in search for MH370, says Najib

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that Malaysia had given its full commitment to the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Najib said the unexpected disappearance of the aircraft had seen an unprecedented search and rescue operation which had superseded national security. “Malaysia has given everything to find [...]

Hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues: the latest news and updates

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has largely turned up more mysteries than answers. While the aircraft, which was carrying 239 passengers, is believed to have crashed far off course in the Indian Ocean around eight hours after it departed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, there was no evidence of its wreckage there even [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia woos Chunghwa Telecom for tablet production

Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom has sent officials to Indonesia to seek out cooperation opportunities, according to the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Indonesian authorities are hoping Chunghwa will set up a plant to produce tablets for students. Didi Suwondo, deputy chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Chunghwa officials are [...]

Indonesian lawmaker jailed in Alstom-Marubeni bribe case

Indonesia’s main anti-corruption court sentenced a lawmaker to three years’ jail Monday for accepting bribes from French company Alstom and Japan’s Marubeni in a multimillion-dollar contract. Isedrik Emir Moeis was found guilty of accepting $357,000 from the companies to help them secure a $118 million joint contract in 2004 to supply and install boilers at [...]

Effecting change in Indonesia

The Indonesian parliamentary election did not produce the decisive result observers believe is required for a hugely disparate country poised for take-off. Democracy is messy, and purists think a closely run election validates its practice. Indonesia is not yet, however, an economy or a democracy that has matured enough to withstand the corrosive effects of [...]

Singapore

Corporations in Singapore doing more to support the arts

Earlier this month, DBS Bank made what is the largest single donation by a corporation to the arts, giving $25 million to the National Gallery Singapore. What is less well-known is that it took a year of negotiations before the champagne could be popped. That was the case too for another major cash donation – [...]

Trade pact could mean boost for Taiwan’s beer exports to Singapore

Taiwan’s beer exports to Singapore are expected to grow by 50-100 percent year-on-year in 2014 once a trade pact between the two sides takes effect April 19, Taiwan’s main trade promotion body said Monday. Under the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP), Taiwan’s [...]

New private home sales in Singapore drop in March

Sales of new private homes tumbled last month as buyers stayed on the sidelines amid a softening market. Developers sold 480 new units last month, 34 per cent down from 724 in February, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority figures released on Tuesday. This was despite 724 new homes being launched for sale in March, an [...]

Thailand

60 Thailand fishermen to be deported from Aceh

At least 60 fishermen from Thailand, have reportedly been arrested in the West Aceh waters, Aceh province and will be deported after the trial over illegal fishing. “These Thai fishermen will be deported as soon as possible, as who would feed them here? We are already overwhelmed with having them here just for a day,” [...]

Hezbollah members arrested in Thailand: report

A Hezbollah ring of three was arrested in Thailand, according to a report published by a specialised website in the country. The Thai website dedicated to gathering intelligence reports identified the three arrested suspects as a Thai citizen, Y. Ayyad, who was described as a member of a foreign operations unit of Hezbollah working out [...]

Sibley soybean grower calls Thailand trade trip a ‘success’

A Sibley, Iowa farmer is back on Iowa’s frozen soil, after a whirlwind trade mission to Thailand. Brian Kemp, president of the Iowa Soybean Association was part of a three-person delegation that included Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. Over three days, they visited a chicken processing plant and a soybean processing plant. They also held [...]

Philippines

Philippine telco PLDT brings LTE into households

Philippine telco Smart first introduced 4G LTE in 2012 for its mobile subscribers. Now PLDT, which is Smart’s parent company, is bringing LTE into the home. This new 4G service for the home connects devices through a router’s wireless, promising speeds of three to 10Mbps. It comes in three different tiers: 3Mbps for Php 999 [...]

Filipino in Taiwan accused of killing store owner

A Filipino factory worker in Taiwan was accused of homicide after surveillance video allegedly shows a store owner knocked to death with a hammer. According to a report by China state-run Central News Agency on Monday, 31-year-old Darwin Gorospe Sarmiento has been handed over by police to prosecutors in Taoyuan County for the alleged killing [...]

PHILIPPINES PRESS-Operations at St. Augustine’s Kingking mine to start in 2017-Inquirer

Toronto-listed St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd has expressed optimism that its $2 billion Kingking project in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, south of Manila, will start commercial operations by 2017, the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper reported. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/philippines-press-operations-st-augustines-005525225.html

Japan

Panasonic, Fujitsu in broad agreement to form chip company: sources

Panasonic Corp and Fujitsu Ltd have reached a basic agreement to form a company this autumn as part of their plan to combine their chip design and development operations, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The new company will have be capitalised at 50 billion yen ($490.9 million), with Fujitsu injecting 20 [...]

Japanese whaling group intends to resume its hunts

The group that conducts Japan’s whaling says it expects to resume scientific whaling in the Antarctic after this year’s hunt was cancelled in the wake of an international court ruling ordering a halt to the disputed programme. The judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month was a blow to Japan’s decades-old “scientific [...]

JGBs little changed, 5-yr auction draws solid bids

Japanese government bond prices were little changed on Tuesday, erasing small earlier losses after an auction of five-year JGBs drew solid bids. The 10-year JGB futures ticked up 0.04 point to 145.09, coming back from the day’s low of 144.99. The auction of 2.7 trillion yen ($26.5 billion) in five-year JGBs drew bids 4.67 times [...]

Korea

New Starts: China Signs HSR Agreement With N Korea, Riyadh and Guangzhou Get Tons of Metros

Chinese-Built Hermit-Speed Rail According to KBS, a South Korean TV network, North Korea and China have signed agreements for a high-speed rail line cutting through the hermit kingdom. The Seoul Village blog translates, saying that the new railway would follow the existing Pyongui Line through North Korea’s eastern half, with another blogger saying that it [...]

Korea spy chief apologies over forgery scandal

Korea spy chief apologies over forgery scandal

South Korea’s intelligence chief vowed a “bone-crushing” overhaul of his embattled agency as he apologised Tuesday for a scandal that saw senior agents charged with fabricating evidence in an espionage case. “I feel deeply pained for letting this happen… and feel tremendous responsibility,” Nam Jae-Joon told reporters in a rare press appearance. His apology came [...]

Korea’s landmark tobacco fight

Today, US tobacco companies will make their annual payment to 46 states for the cost of providing health care for people with smoking-related illnesses. Could South Korea be headed down a similar path? In a landmark case, the state health insurer there has filed a lawsuit against a number of domestic and foreign tobacco companies [...]

Hong Kong

Arrest Order for Fugitive HK Tycoon Reaffirmed

A Hong Kong judge declined on Monday to set aside an arrest warrant for a local newspaper tycoon who fled to Taiwan 36 years ago after being charged with drug trafficking. Ma Sik-chun, the founder of the city’s largest-selling Chinese-language newspaper, was one of nine people who was arrested and charged in a major case [...]

HK in Lego form? Everything about these photos is awesome

But we couldn’t help breaking into an enthusiastic rendition of “Everything is Awesome” when we came across these Hong Kong-themed Lego photos by 36-year-old photographer Ric Tse. Made by combining Lego minifigures, props and images, Tse’s “Legography” series captures the spirit of Hong Kong in toy form, whether it’s Louis Vuitton-toting shoppers, a Chinese lion [...]

A new play addresses the growing fear for journalists in HK

The journalistic assignment had been to write a simple tale of youthful reminiscence, but the reporter’s first draft attracted a suspicious gaze from his editor. Was there a subversive message hidden within the apparently innocuous prose, he wondered, some implicit criticism of the Chinese government? First, the numbers 6, 8 and 9 were removed, just [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday met Gina McCarthy, the first US cabinet-level official to visit the island in 14 years, and hailed her trip as important for ties with Washington. “This is the first time since 2000 for a cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan from the United States. It is of great significance for [...]

Less visibility for Taiwan brands in China

Taiwanese products are lacking in visibility in mainland China, according to a piece in our sister paper Want Daily on April 14. Lin Bin, chairperson of Chinese budget smartphone maker Xiaomi, has described how the Beijing Communist Party secretary Guo Jinlong presented a Xiaomi smartphone to Lien Chan, honorary chairperson of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang as [...]

Washington agrees to help Taiwan build attack submarines

The United States has agreed to help Taiwan build attack submarines, as the island has spent nearly a decade waiting to acquire them from abroad, the Taiwanese defense chief said Monday. Minister of National Defense Yen Ming told a legislative committee that the United States “is willing to help us build the submarines together.” Yen [...]

Vietnam

City sees growth ebb as focus shifts

HCM City is set to see a slowdown in economic growth from 2016 onwards, a master plan approved by the government acknowledges. The socio-economic development plan for the city – and the Southern Focal Economic Zone – released at a conference yesterday for until 2020 envisages growth of 9.5-10 per cent a year between 2016 [...]

Report on developing enterprises and growth quality

The annual report of Vietnamese enterprises 2013 is one of the important documents helping enterprises and policy makers understand clearly the situation of development of Vietnamese enterprises through the years and on this basis, build the suitable orientations to serve the development of business in Vietnam, according to the Authority of Foreign Information Service. The [...]

Vietnam public debt nears red line after topping $90b in 2012: expert

Vietnam’s public debt to GDP ratio will “cross the red line” soon although it remains within a safe limit now, a department head of the National Economics University has warned. By the end of 2012, Vietnam’s national debt reached $90 billion, equal to 55.7 percent of its GDP and only a short way from the [...]