• Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan

    Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan

    A series of underground gas explosions killed 20 people and injured 270 others late Thursday inTaiwan’s second-largest city, authorities said. The National Fire Agency said five firefighters were among the dead.Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that firefighters had been at the scene investigating reports of a gas leak when the explosions occurred. Taiwan’s Premier Jiang [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AP | 11:13 AM
  • Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC, say Dutch

    Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC, say Dutch

    The Netherlands or Malaysia are likely to try those responsible for the downing in Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, not the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Dutch said on Wednesday. Cases are only referred to the world’s permanent war crimes court if countries involved are unable or unwilling to prosecute atrocities, Justice [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • Malaysia Airlines MH17: 82pct of Russians Believe Ukrainian Military is to Blame for Crash

    Malaysia Airlines MH17: 82pct of Russians Believe Ukrainian Military is to Blame for Crash

    A staggering 82 percent of Russians believe the Ukrainian Army is responsible for bringing down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a poll has revealed. Levada-Centre, a Russian organisation that collates public opinion, surveyed a representative sample of the population of six large cities in Russia about the 17 July disaster that resulted in the death of [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | IB Times | 6:00 AM
  • Seventy coffins of MH17 victims inspected so far, says minister

    Seventy coffins of MH17 victims inspected so far, says minister

    Seventy coffins containing remains of victims who perished in the Malaysia Airline (MAS) flight MH17 disaster have been inspected and have undergone forensic and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) at the Dutch military facilities in Hilversum. Health minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said in a report by Bernama that out of the 227 coffins which [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • Landslide buries Indian village; at least 24 dead

    Landslide buries Indian village; at least 24 dead

    Rescue workers and desperate villagers dug through deep mud, rocks and the debris of shattered homes Thursday after a massive landslide buried a remote village in western India, killing at least 24 people and trapping more than 150, authorities said. Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide early Wednesday, but national rescue personnel could [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Attack in Xinjiang kills dozens of civilians

    Attack in Xinjiang kills dozens of civilians

    A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China’s volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic militants, state media reported Tuesday. Many other people were injured in the violence Monday in Shache county near the city of Kashgar, [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | The Australian | 6:00 AM
  • World Ebola fears grow with Europe and Asia on alert

    World Ebola fears grow with Europe and Asia on alert

    Fears that the west African Ebola outbreak could spread to other continents grew on Wednesday with European and Asian countries on alert and a leading medical charity warning the epidemic was out of control. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would only get worse and warned there was [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • US Navy Chief Seeks to Ease Tensions With China Via Joint Exercises

    US Navy Chief Seeks to Ease Tensions With China Via Joint Exercises

    The US would welcome greater exchanges with China’s navy to help deepen military ties and dial down recent maritime tensions in the Asian-Pacific region, US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Wednesday. Washington and Beijing have traded barbs this year over China’s assertiveness on territorial disputes in Asian waters, though the secretary’s comments mirror a softer [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | WSJ | 6:00 AM
  • Cambodians hear case against Khmer Rouge

    Cambodians hear case against Khmer Rouge

    Buddhist monks and ordinary Cambodians attended a hearing Wednesday in which a UN-backed tribunal prepared for the genocide trial later this year of two surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge. The tribunal encourages people to attend the hearings, such as school groups and elderly survivors of the regime that brutally ruled Cambodia in the late [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Associated Press | 6:00 AM
  • Thai junta to keep tight grip after transfer of power

    Thai junta to keep tight grip after transfer of power

    Thailand’s military makes way for a new administration in coming weeks, but the generals will keep a tight grip on power by filling an interim cabinet and legislature with soldiers, military sources said on Wednesday. The armed forces took power on May 22 in a bloodless coup following six months of street demonstrations that contributed [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines, 10 others agree to joint MH17 prosecution

    Philippines, 10 others agree to joint MH17 prosecution

    The Philippines and 10 other countries whose citizens were victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 met at The Hague to cooperate on a joint judicial strategy. The European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit or Eurojust announced in a statement on Tuesday (Manila time) that states agreed to establish a joint investigation team focusing on [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Philstar | 6:00 AM
  • Japan practices amphibious landing in Hawaii

    Japan practices amphibious landing in Hawaii

    Japan has been practicing storming beaches with the US and other countries in Hawaii this month. The amphibious landing exercises, which are relatively new to Japan’s military, come as Tokyo tries to boost its ability to defend small islands it controls but China claims as its own. Helicopters dropped a reconnaissance team of Japanese soldiers [...]

    01-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM

Society

Musical stars lead Philippines’ show

Miss Saigon’s Rachelle Ann Go and Hugh Maynard, Mamma Mia!’s Dianne Pilkington and Olivier Award nominee Summer Strallen are among the stars who will perform in a cabaret to raise funds to build an arts centre for abandoned and abused orphans in Manila. The Philippine Dream, which will take place at the Leicester Square Theatre [...]

Singapore Bloggers Get Caught Up In A Social Media Misunderstanding

It is beef between “Asia Pacific’s Top Blogger” and the “Celebrity Blogger”. Xiaxue strikes again, and draws tension between her and twenty-year-old blogger Eunice Annabel. If you haven’t been keeping up with the online community then you would be utterly clueless as to what’s going on; but you must have at least heard of social [...]

Another Vietnamese bride found dead in Korea

South Korean police said on Tuesday they had recovered the dead body of a Vietnamese woman from a gorge in the south-western province of Chonlanam-do last week. Police said Do Thi My Tien, 27, was murdered five days before by a killer who then pushed her and her motorbike off a mountain road to make [...]

Health

Drug-resistant malaria spreading fast in SE Asia

Drug-resistant malaria spreading fast in SE Asia

Drug-resistant malaria parasites are now firmly established in border regions in four Southeast Asian countries, imperilling global efforts to control the disease, experts warned on Wednesday. Blood samples taken from 1,241 malaria patients found that parasites which are resistant to the frontline drug artemisinin have spread to border areas in western and northern Cambodia, eastern [...]

World Ebola fears grow with Europe and Asia on alert

World Ebola fears grow with Europe and Asia on alert

Fears that the west African Ebola outbreak could spread to other continents grew on Wednesday with European and Asian countries on alert and a leading medical charity warning the epidemic was out of control. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would only get worse and warned there was [...]

India’s meth addiction grows as criminals tap chemical hub

The teenager sits quietly in a Mumbai rehab clinic, a victim of India’s emerging fad for the drug crystal meth, which experts say is spurred by loopholes in the country’s giant chemical industry. “It made me feel powerful,” said the 19-year-old undergraduate student, who began taking the drug with friends at college last year and [...]

FinanceAsia

SolarWinds Opens Network Engineers’ Eyes to App-Centric View of the World

Is it the network or the application? SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today announced it’s helping network engineers answer this business-critical question with its latest release of SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM). The company’s flagship and award-winning network performance monitoring solution has added new, enterprise-class deep packet [...]

New WinZip(R) Courier(TM) 6 Simplifies Sending Large Files by Email

Editor’s note: There are two photos associated with this press release. Introducing WinZip Courier 6, the latest version of WinZip‘s email plugin that makes it effortless to secure and send large files by email. Extending its cloud service integration with new support for www.zipshare.com and MediaFire, WinZip Courier 6 works with corporate email, webmail and [...]

Vantage Drilling Company Schedules Second Quarter 2014 Earnings Release Date and Conference Call

Vantage Drilling Company (“Vantage”) (NYSE MKT: VTG) today announced that it will conduct a call at 11:00 AM Eastern Time on August 5, 2014 to discuss operating results for the second quarter 2014 and recent developments. Vantage will release earnings before the market opens on August 5, 2014. To access the conference call, U.S. callers [...]

Regional

Asia tourist boom fuels airport binge

Faced with snaking queues at immigration, overflowing baggage carousels and expensive flight delays, Asian nations are rushing to build hundreds of new airports to cope with surging demand for air travel in the region. From China and India to the Philippines and Indonesia, the fast-growing middle classes are looking to spend their cash by spreading [...]

Pakistan acid attacks on women cast pall of fear

A recent spate of acid attacks in a region of Pakistan previously untouched by the crime has sparked an impassioned debate about rising Islamisation that is forcing an increasing number of women to stay at home. The horrific crime, which disfigures and often blinds its overwhelmingly female victims, has long been used to settle personal [...]

Asia agribusiness giants tie up to boost China-Australia trade

Three of Asia’s leading agribusinesses have joined iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest in what he described Thursday as an “unprecedented” 100-year partnership to position Australia as China’s food bowl. Forrest said China’s New Hope Group and COFCO Corp., and Singapore-listed Wilmar International, had joined the Australia-Sino 100-Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership, known as ASA [...]

China

Vietnam, China to witness stronger military ties: defense official

The relations between the armies of China and Vietnam will continue to witness new developments, a senior Vietnamese defense official said here Wednesday. The friendly military ties between the two countries will be important pillars for the relationship between the two parties and the two nations, which accords with the expectation and interests of the [...]

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices. China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce said Tuesday it was investigating the US technology firm for “monopoly actions” related to [...]

Italy agrees to sell energy grid stake to China

Italy has agreed to sell a 35 percent stake in its electricity grid to China’s state power company for at least 2.1 billion euros ($2.8 billion) as part of its privatisation drive. The board of state holding company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) on Wednesday gave the green light for the sale to China’s State [...]

Malaysia

Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC, say Dutch

Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC, say Dutch

The Netherlands or Malaysia are likely to try those responsible for the downing in Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, not the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Dutch said on Wednesday. Cases are only referred to the world’s permanent war crimes court if countries involved are unable or unwilling to prosecute atrocities, Justice [...]

Fighting, possible mines keep Flight 17 investigators away

Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down, clashes on Wednesday between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels again prevented international experts from reaching the crash site to recover remains still baking in midsummer heat in farm fields – deepening frustration for victims’ relatives and the governments whose citizens died. Fuelling concerns for investigators [...]

Following Malaysia Airlines Tragedy, Is It Safe to Fly?

The United Nations agency that governs civil aviation is creating a task force aimed at improving security measures after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine. In an emergency meeting in Montreal, top officials from four international organisations discussed risks to civilian aviation in conflict zones. Airlines and international leaders are calling [...]

Indonesia

Haze Fines Win Indonesia’s Support With Caveats

The incoming president of Indonesia, a holdout in Southeast Asia’s pact to fight haze, is backing Singapore’s plan to wield heftier fines against overseas polluters as long as sovereignty is respected. A year after the city-state endured its worst-ever air quality, Singapore presented a bill to Parliament this month that subjects foreign companies to as [...]

5 huge challenges any tech business faces in Indonesia

Several stats and buzzwords get thrown around when global investors talk about Indonesia’s tech startup potential. Often, they cite the country’s six percent economic growth rate in recent years, or the population of more than 250 million; more than 50 percent of whom are people under the age of 29, a demographic more inclined to [...]

Indonesian Migrant Workers in HK Denied Vote

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22, the Indonesian general Elections Commission officially announced the result of the presidential election: Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) had won with 53.15 percent of the votes. The election, perhaps the most fiercely contested in Indonesia’s history, was also the most exciting: rousing enthusiastic campaign volunteers, vigorous social [...]

Singapore

Why Singapore, South Africa and the Philippines Get Instagram’s New ‘Bolt’ App First

Good things come to those who wait, right? Users in three countries – South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines – are the first to get their hands on Instagram’s new ephemeral messaging app, “Bolt.” Instagram chose the three countries for their geographical diversity and engagement within their communities. “We’re going to other regions soon, but [...]

MAS unveils details of life policies that can be bought directly

People in Singapore will be able to buy certain types of life insurance products directly from insurance companies starting next year, saving on commissions. This is according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which said on Wednesday (July 30) that all insurance companies that serve the retail market will have to offer the following [...]

Air India retimes Singapore flights to offer better connections in New Delhi

Air India is retiming its flights from Singapore to offer travellers better connections from its hub in India. Instead of 9.15am, its flight to New Delhi will leave at 8.25am from Friday, while the flight to Mumbai via Chennai will be retimed to leave at 9.15am. From New Delhi, travellers will have more convenient connections [...]

Thailand

Thai junta sets plan for fast rail links to China

Thailand’s military government approved a massive budget to upgrade the country’s railways including high-speed rail that would eventually link with China as part of an eight-year plan to improve infrastructure, officials said Wednesday. The junta approved 741.46 billion baht ($23.3 billion) to build two high-speed train routes that will connect Thailand’s industrialised eastern seaboard with [...]

Thailand Quick To Claim Human Trafficking Improvements

Following several recent national policy announcements of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), there have been a multitude of activities and significant advancements made in addressing international concerns about human trafficking in Thailand. ”’These new programmes are a strong step in the direction of eliminating dishonest job brokers, legalising workers who were previously [...]

Thai junta to keep tight grip after transfer of power

Thai junta to keep tight grip after transfer of power

Thailand’s military makes way for a new administration in coming weeks, but the generals will keep a tight grip on power by filling an interim cabinet and legislature with soldiers, military sources said on Wednesday. The armed forces took power on May 22 in a bloodless coup following six months of street demonstrations that contributed [...]

Philippines

Philippines’ Aquino seeks to quash rumours of military coup

Philippines’ Aquino seeks to quash rumours of military coup

Philippine President Benigno Aquino sought Wednesday to quash rumours that a coup is being plotted against him, with his spokesman insisting he had the military’s full support. A senator-ally of Aquino alleged earlier this week that retired military officials were trying to recruit troops to destabilise the government, but Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda downplayed the [...]

PHILIPPINES PRESS-Philippine Airlines buyout seen in Q3 – Star

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp is hopeful that its bid to buy out its Philippine Airlines partner, the Lucio Tan Group, would be completed within the third quarter so as not to derail improvements in the carrier’s financial performance, the Philippine Star newspaper quoted the president of San Miguel and PAL as saying. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/31/philippines-press-pal-hldgs-idUSL4N0Q608D20140731

EU seeks Philippine ties beyond trade, aid

The European Union intends to have a “more strategically well-rounded” partnership with the Philippines beyond business and humanitarian efforts. Catherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and European Commission vice president, said in her recent visit in Manila that the EU has sought new ways of collaboration with the Philippines beyond [...]

Japan

Japanese search US archives for WWII MIA info

Racing against time, members of a Japanese organisation are combing a New York military museum’s World War II records for information they hope will lead to the graves of American servicemen still listed as missing in action on Saipan. The reason for the urgency: A developer plans to begin construction in the fall on a [...]

BOJ should mull shifting focus to zero rates in future: Kiuchi

Bank of Japan board member Takahide Kiuchi said on Thursday the central bank should consider as a future option shifting the focus of its monetary policy to zero interest rates from asset purchases when it eyes an exit from ultra-loose policy. Unconventional monetary policy, such as asset purchases implemented under the BOJ’s quantitative easing, is [...]

Japan’s Second Quarter Slump Could Be Worse Than ’97

A handful of data and surveys this week show that Japan’s recent economic recovery may be stalling, as the effects of April’s consumption tax increase take hold and external forces such as rising energy costs constrain growth. While the tax increase was expected to have a pronounced negative short-term effect, some economists now doubt if [...]

Korea

Hyundai recalls 883K Sonatas to fix gear shifters

Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers. The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years. The Korean automaker says the automatic transmission shift cable can separate from the shift lever. If that happens, the lever may not show the correct gear, increasing [...]

Samsung profit falls as smartphone sales slow

Samsung Electronics Co. reported a bigger-than-expected fall in second quarter profit on Thursday and said it was uncertain if earnings from its handset business would improve in the current quarter. Samsung warned earlier this month that the second quarter would be its worst in two years as rapid growth in smartphone sales had faded. The [...]

S. Korea ruling party boosts majority with key poll wins

S. Korea ruling party boosts majority with key poll wins

South Korea’s ruling party celebrated Thursday after sailing through a key by-election test that increased its parliamentary majority despite lingering public anger over the handling of April’s Sewol ferry disaster. President Park Geun-Hye’s Saenuri Party won 11 of an unprecedented 15 by-elections contested on Wednesday, leaving it with 158 legislators in the 300-seat National Assembly. [...]

Hong Kong

Taiwan’s misery index lower than HK, S. Korea

Taiwan’s misery index – the sum of the country’s jobless and inflation rates – over the past 10 years is higher than Singapore’s but lower than the figures for Hong Kong and South Korea, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER,???????) said Wednesday. CIER President Wu Chung-shu (???) said that among Asia’s four “little dragons,” [...]

Indonesian Migrant Workers in HK Denied Vote

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22, the Indonesian general Elections Commission officially announced the result of the presidential election: Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) had won with 53.15 percent of the votes. The election, perhaps the most fiercely contested in Indonesia’s history, was also the most exciting: rousing enthusiastic campaign volunteers, vigorous social [...]

HK Popping Housing Bubbles London Can’t Handle

Take a look at the world’s dizzying surges in the price of housing for 12 months at the end of June: London, up 20 percent. Manhattan, 18 percent. Sydney, 15.4 percent. Then there are Singapore and Hong Kong: down 3.7 percent and 0.6 percent. Prompted by concerns over potential property bubbles and affordability for the [...]

Taiwan

Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan

Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan

A series of underground gas explosions killed 20 people and injured 270 others late Thursday inTaiwan’s second-largest city, authorities said. The National Fire Agency said five firefighters were among the dead.Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that firefighters had been at the scene investigating reports of a gas leak when the explosions occurred. Taiwan’s Premier Jiang [...]

Number of visas to Taiwan not enough to satisfy all Chinese tourists

Summer is the most popular time for mainland Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan. But as applications to enter Taiwan are limited, it can take a while for them to obtain their visa, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper China Times. A chartered flight from Jiangsu province to Taiwan’s Penghu Islands was forced to take off without [...]

Taiwan’s economy grows 3.84pct in Q2

Taiwan’s economy grew a higher-than-expected 3.84 percent on-year in the three months to June, official data showed Thursday, thanks to increased exports and domestic consumption. The figure is much higher than the 2.79 percent forecast in May and is the best since the final three months of 2012, as strong demand for electronics, machinery and [...]

Vietnam

Business Brief August 01

* Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate Corporation (HBC) has won two new construction packages in Hanoiand Ha Tinh Province. The first 170 billion dong package is to build the body of the commercial centre-office-housing project invested by Kinh Do Hotel Company at 102 Truong Chinh in Hanoi and the second 85 billion dong package [...]

Cabinet meeting: economy on track

Positive signs continued in July for the country’s socio-economic development, the Ministry of Planning and Investment told a regular cabinet meeting which opened in Hanoi yesterday. In a report delivered at the meeting, the ministry noted that inflation remained under control and that the consumer price index had experienced modest growth. Interest rates, foreign exchange [...]

Complex tax laws don’t deter foreign investment

The complexity of Vietnam’s business tax climate is not impeding the attraction of foreign investment, and oddly enough, is appealing to a corrupt element of investors using complexity and legal loopholes to their advantage. A World Bank recent report on Vietnam’s business tax climate in 2013 reflects it took a typical foreign invested small business [...]