• Strong quake hits Japan

    Strong quake hits Japan

    Buildings in Tokyo shook Tuesday as a strong quake hit Japan, AFP reporters in the city said, but there was no immediate risk of a tsunami and no damage was reported. Seismologists said the epicentre was around 44 kilometres north-northeast of the Japanese capital and was located around 50 kilometres (30 miles) below the surface. [...]

    17-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Chinese police detain 81-year-old writer: lawyer

    Chinese police detain 81-year-old writer: lawyer

    Police in Beijing have detained an 81-year-old writer who has long been a sharp critic of the Communist Party, a human rights lawyer said Tuesday, as Chinese authorities further their campaign against dissent. Tie Liu, whose real name is Huang Zerong, was taken away by police and placed under criminal detention at the weekend for [...]

    17-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Typhoon hits China’s Hainan after shutting down HK

    Typhoon hits China’s Hainan after shutting down HK

    A powerful typhoon slammed into China’s Hainan island on Tuesday after sweeping past Hong Kong where it disrupted flights and forced the closure of the stock market and container ports. Typhoon Kalmaegi buffeted Hong Kong with gusts of up to 159 kilometres (98 miles) per hour as it barrelled west, injuring some 29 people, felling [...]

    17-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • 110 rescued from ferry: ‘Death was in our minds’

    110 rescued from ferry: ‘Death was in our minds’

    Survivors from a ferry that sank after encountering steering problems in the central Philippines said Sunday that they were tossed about by the churning sea in darkness for six hours while praying and clinging to an overturned life raft before a passing ship rescued them. “A few more hours in those huge, huge waves and [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AP | 10:24 AM
  • US says Malaysia offers to host spy planes that irk China

    US says Malaysia offers to host spy planes that irk China

    The top US Navy officer said this week that Malaysia has offered to let the United States use one of its bases for a detachment of new maritime surveillance planes, but officials clarified on Friday that no such flights had been approved. US surveillance flights from a country such as Malaysia would likely increase friction [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Dutch say need to know MH17 missile launch site to prosecute

    Dutch say need to know MH17 missile launch site to prosecute

    Prosecutors in the Netherlands said today that they need to know where a missile that may have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was fired from in eastern Ukraine before criminal charges could be laid. “When we know from where it was fired, then we can find out who controlled that area,” and possibly prosecute, [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • Thailand’s coup leader outlines policies

    Thailand’s coup leader outlines policies

    Thailand’s coup leader-turned-prime minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha made his first major policy statement Friday in a 2-hour televised speech that described his vision for the country. Prayuth’s 11-point plan is the latest in a series of moves by the junta to consolidate power on its own terms, starting with the May 22 coup that overthrew [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China warns citizens to avoid Philippines

    China warns citizens to avoid Philippines

    China on Friday warned its nationals to avoid visiting the Philippines, citing a foiled bomb plot against the Chinese embassy in Manila and the danger of criminal gangs. “Given the worsened security situation in the Philippines, the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges Chinese citizens not to travel to the Philippines for [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • China’s military secrecy justifies surveillance flights – US official

    China’s military secrecy justifies surveillance flights – US official

    The United States is justified in carrying out surveillance flights in East Asia, in spite of Chinese objections, given a lack of transparency in China’s military buildup, a senior US official said on Friday. Beijing called last month for the United States to cut back, or even stop, close surveillance by patrol aircraft if it [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Three condemned to die for ‘China’s 9/11′ mass stabbing

    Three condemned to die for ‘China’s 9/11′ mass stabbing

    Three men were condemned to death Friday and a pregnant woman given life in prison for a mass stabbing that killed 31 people in China, a court said, an attack authorities blamed on separatists from largely Muslim Xinjiang. The three men were convicted of “leading a terrorist group” which planned and carried out the attack, [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • Japan Reactor Restart Plan Clears New Hurdle

    Japan Reactor Restart Plan Clears New Hurdle

    Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government took a step toward clearing one of the main obstacles for restarting the first of the nation’s 48 nuclear power plants idled after the 2011 Fukushima disaster: putting adequate evacuation plans in place. Abe on Friday approved evacuation plans for nine municipalities located near the Sendai power plant on [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | WSJ | 6:00 AM
  • Pranab to visit Vietnam ahead of Xi Jinping’s India tour

    Pranab to visit Vietnam ahead of Xi Jinping’s India tour

    India will be expanding its footprint in the hotly contested South China Sea. Vietnam, which has given two gas exploration blocks to Indian company OVL, has offered two more blocks to India. President Pranab Mukherjee, undertaking an important visit to Vietnam from Sunday, will be taking along oil and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan to sign [...]

    15-Sep-2014 Intellasia | Indiatimes | 6:00 AM

Society

Mariah Carey steals hearts of Malaysians with thoughtful post

POP diva Mariah Carey, who is scheduled to perform in Malaysia on October 22, posted a Malaysia Day greeting on her Facebook page, reported Sin Chew Daily. “Happy Malaysia Day! Stay Strong! See you in Kuala Lumpur on October 22! xoxo MC,” she wrote on Tuesday. It earned more than 7,000 likes and was shared [...]

Can Dating Apps Solve Japan’s Sex Crisis?

Onuki was 15 when he had his first experience with online dating, getting together with a girl who he’d met on a gaming site. He was shy. She, it turned out, was not. “She actually messaged me first,” says the software engineer, who’s now 23 and working at a web startup in Tokyo [names of [...]

Asia Remains The Hungriest Continent

The United Nations released its food security report and stated that the world’s hungry dropped by 100 million over the last decade. However, one in nine of the world’s population remains undernourished, with the majority of the world’s underfed found in Asia. The report titled “State of Food Insecurity in the World”, which is a [...]

Health

Singapore Beats HK in Health Efficiency: Southeast Asia

Singapore overtook Hong Kong to top a ranking of the most-efficient health-care systems, as the government boosts spending on medical services to support an aging population. The Southeast Asian nation was rated first among 51 countries, according to an annual ranking compiled by Bloomberg that tracks factors including life expectancy, the cost of health care [...]

Pakistan floods affect 2.3 million

As the flood emergency deepens in Pakistan, now affecting nearly 2.3 million people, humanitarian teams have mobilised to work alongside local government authorities to assess needs in the worst-affected areas. Late monsoon rains earlier this month hit the mountainous areas of Gilgit-Balitstan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, unleashing a torrent of water flowing into Punjab’s agricultural heartlands. [...]

Australia promises $6.4 million to fight Ebola

Australia announced on Wednesday it will immediately provide an additional 7 million Australian dollars ($6.4 million) to help the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The country had previously committed AU$1 million to the international response to the viral disease outbreak that has killed at least 2,400 people. The World Health Organization [...]

FinanceAsia

Asia’s billionaires see fastest wealth growth: report

Asia’s billionaires led by Chinese tycoons enjoyed the fastest increase in their wealth this year compared to their peers in the rest of the world, a report said Wednesday. The combined wealth of Asia’s billionaires grew 18.7 percent from last year to $1.41 trillion, said the report by Wealth-X, a research firm specialising in ultra-high [...]

Emerging Stocks Advance on China Stimulus as Currencies Weaken

Emerging-market stocks rose for the first time in 10 days after China boosted stimulus. Developing-nation currencies declined as the Federal Reserve raised its US interest rate forecast. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd advanced as a gauge of Hong Kong-traded Chinese shares posted the biggest gain in two weeks. AFK Sistema lost more than [...]

Asian shares mixed after Fed decision

Asian markets were mixed on Thursday while the dollar rallied after the Federal Reserve stuck to its timetable on hiking interest rates but indicated they could rise more sharply than initially envisaged. The central bank’s statement that its federal funds rate would remain low for “some considerable time” fanned a rally on Wall Street, with [...]

Regional

India ships in 50pct more Iranian oil in January-August

Indian imports of Iranian oil rose by nearly half to 271,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January-August from a year ago, when refineries cut purchases due to worries about insurance coverage for processing crude from Tehran, data from trade sources shows. World powers and Iran are working to resolve a decade-old dispute over the OPEC [...]

President Xi’s India visit: India, China sign 3 pacts

India and China today signed three-Gujarat specific pacts today shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping commenced his three-day visit to the country from the home state of prime minister Narendra Modi. State authorities rolled out the red carpet as Xi, the first Chinese leader to visit Gujarat, was given a warm welcome after an Air [...]

Bangladesh, China And Japan: Dhaka’s Delicate Balancing – Analysis

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina visited China and Japan during the second quarter of this year. These visits were fruitful as both countries pledged financial support and investment in Bangladesh. Japanese PM visited Dhaka early this month. How is Dhaka balancing between China and Japan? Will it have to choose between the two? The prime [...]

China

China Home Prices Weaken Further

China’s economically vital property market slid for a fourth straight month as more cities reported new-home prices fell in August and at a faster pace, adding to the gloom in the world’s second-largest economy. Shares of Chinese financial service and property developers fell as much as 2 percent in morning trade after the news, dragging [...]

With Much at Stake, Chinese Leader Visits India

India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, celebrated his 64th birthday on Wednesday by hosting President Xi Jinping of China in his home state, Gujarat, as the leaders of Asia’s two giants laid the foundation for a relationship that will carry huge stakes for both countries. The visit is the first by a Chinese president to [...]

Asia documentary makers ride wave of ‘civil awareness’

A wave of “civil awareness” across Taiwan, Hong Kong and China is inspiring more documentary makers to unearth stories that otherwise would not be told, according to an award-winning Taiwanese director. “In the past two years, there has been this prevailing value,” Kevin Lee Hui-jen told AFP. “This awareness reflects citizens’ mistrust in their leaders.” [...]

Malaysia

Female Bank CEOs Deepen Malaysia Expertise Pool: Islamic Finance

In her native Malaysia, Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd. Chief Executive Officer Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz says she has never felt discriminated against on the basis of her gender. Overseas, it’s a different matter. “I was speaking at a conference in Europe when somebody got up and said how can you be speaking [...]

‘Modern slavery’ in Malaysia electronics factories

Nearly one-third of the 350,000 workers in Malaysia’s electronics manufacturing sector – a major supplier for leading global brands – suffer labour conditions akin to “modern slavery”, a report released Wednesday said. The study by US-based fair-labour organisation Verite said at least 28 percent of workers toiling in Malaysian electronics factories – particularly foreign migrants [...]

Moody’s Says Malaysia’s Economic Performance Best in the Region

Malaysia has posted strong growth in the first half of 2014, buoyed by private sector consumption and investment, but the persistent rise in government-guaranteed debt is a concern, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Despite the drag on growth from fiscal consolidation, the Malaysian economy performed strongly in the first half of 2014 with real GDP [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia anti-terror police question four foreigners

Indonesian anti-terror police are questioning four foreign nationals in a sign of tightening security in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, officials confirmed September 16. Indonesia grappled with a string of militant attacks during the 2000s, including a bombing at a Bali nightclub that killed 202, with 88 Australians among them. Since then, [...]

The Islamic State Comes to Indonesia

The world’s largest Muslim country is a vast recruiting ground for radical jihadists. But the government has done a surprisingly good job of containing the Caliphate – so far. One day in July, worshippers gathered in a small mosque on the outskirts of Malang, a mid-sized Indonesian city, to learn about the achievements of the [...]

Reacting to ISIS atrocities, Indonesia claims to be a model of Islamic tolerance

This country, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, holds itself up as an example for followers of Islam everywhere. Largely peaceful, increasingly prosperous and democratic, Indonesia’s government and religious leaders have issued swift condemnations of the Islamic State terror group. Some Muslims have “lost their identity” and “need role models to follow,” said Indonesia’s [...]

Singapore

Hotels in Bintan no longer accepting Singapore dollars

Several hotels and resorts in the Indonesian island of Bintan have stopped accepting Singapore dollars since the start of this month, citing a government policy that requires all transactions to be made in the Indonesian rupiah. Five hotel operators, including Banyan Tree Bintan and Nirwana Gardens, told TODAY that they had been told not to [...]

Questions for the 2014 Singapore GP

Who will go radio ga ga? The FIA’s radio clampdown is no trifling matter. Or straightforward. According to the governing body’s own updated ‘clarification’ of what Article 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations – which simply declares “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided” – fully entails, 18 different ‘types’ of messages have been [...]

Faster immigration clearance between Singapore & HK from Sep 22

Automated system, open to eligible citizens, meant to enhance trade and tourism links between Singapore and Hong Kong, according to the Republic’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Starting next week, eligible Singapore passport holders will be able to clear immigration faster in Hong Kong – and vice versa. Singaporeans aged 11 and above who have visited [...]

Thailand

Forensic report into British murders in Thailand leaked to local media

Murdered British tourist David Miller struggled violently with his attacker or attackers in the sea on a scenic Thai resort island to protect his fellow victim Hannah Witheridge, forensic tests indicate. Miller, 24, had water in his lungs when he was bludgeoned to death with a hoe on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, [...]

Thailand murders: British brothers questioned

Jonathan Head reports that the murder investigation is “kicking in to a higher gear” Police investigating the murders of two British tourists in Thailand have questioned two British brothers and detained 11 Burmese people. Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found dead on a beach on the island of Koh Tao on Monday. [...]

Thailand says no DNA match yet for slain Britons

Police in Thailand said Wednesday that DNA samples from the bodies of two British tourists found bludgeoned on a resort island did not match any collected from 12 people who were among those in the area. Police also conducted autopsies which showed that 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge died from head wounds while 24-year-old David Miller suffered [...]

Philippines

Philippines Absent In China’s Expo, Ties Tested By Territorial Dispute

The Philippines is not attending China’s trade show in Nanning citing tense disputes in the South China Sea this year, reports said. The event is aimed at promoting China’s trade ties with Southeast Asian countries. It is the second year in a row that the Philippines is not attending the China Asean Expo, reports said. [...]

Volcano eruption in Philippines prompts evacuations

The Philippines’ most active volcano has sent more huge lava fragments rolling down its slopes in an ongoing gentle eruption that has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of villagers, officials said Wednesday. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned that a “hazardous eruption” of Mount Mayon, located in the eastern Philippines, is possible [...]

Philippines condemns, vows to help ‘thwart’ ISIS

The Philippines condemned the extremist Islamic State (ISIS) on Wednesday, September 17, and vowed to help “thwart” it after two Filipinos reportedly died fighting for ISIS in Syria. “We reiterate that the Philippines condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by ISIS. As a responsible member of the international community, the Philippines [...]

Japan

Japan tells IWC it will resume whaling despite international court’s halt order

Japan told an International Whaling Commission meeting Wednesday that it will resume its so-called research whaling in the Antarctic next fiscal year, while vowing to improve the transparency of the activities over which it lost an international court case earlier this year. After the International Court of Justice ordered in March that the whaling be [...]

Japanese woman feels at home in central Taiwan

If you visit Lishan, scenic resort at an altitude of 2,000 meters in central Taiwan, you might bump into a young Japanese woman telling you about the history of the place, speaking in fluent mandarin Chinese. Chiaki Ota, 30, has been working at the counter of the Lishan Guest House and also doing tour guide [...]

Japan to file new research whaling plan ‘this year’

Japan said Wednesday it would file a plan by the end of the year for the resumption of its controversial Antarctic whaling programme, ruled invalid by the UN’s highest court in March. Tokyo’s representative to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) 65th meeting, Joji Morishita, said his country would be “open and transparent” in its bid, [...]

Korea

N Korea resembles ‘The Truman Show’

One of the best books written about North Korea is Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. In it, she brilliantly reconstructs the lives of ordinary people living in Chongjin in the remote northeast of the country. I say “reconstruct” because her narrative is pieced together almost entirely from talking to exiles who managed to flee [...]

Japan Wants N Korea Abductions Report Soon

A Japanese Cabinet minister on Wednesday urged North Korea to quickly release the results of a new investigation into the fate of dozens, possibly hundreds, of Japanese believed to have been abducted by the North’s agents in the 1970s and ’80s. Minister in charge of abductions Eriko Yamatani said it is extremely regrettable that North [...]

Harassment cases blighting Asian Games countdown

A second sexual harassment case at the Asian Games was being investigated by South Korea police on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony. Police asked prosecutors to indict a 19-year-old Palestinian footballer for allegedly harassing a female staff member at the athletes’ village, Inspector Ahn Jeong-hee said. Ahn said the man admitted to touching [...]

Hong Kong

Rents hit record high at 50 major HK estates

Average rents at 50 major housing estates in Hong Kong hit a record high last month, research by Ricacorp Properties shows. The average rent at 50 estates monitored by Ricacorp rose 2.1 per cent month on month to HK$26.99 per square foot of gross floor area in August, eclipsing the previous record of HK$26.43 per [...]

Asia documentary makers ride wave of ‘civil awareness’

A wave of “civil awareness” across Taiwan, Hong Kong and China is inspiring more documentary makers to unearth stories that otherwise would not be told, according to an award-winning Taiwanese director. “In the past two years, there has been this prevailing value,” Kevin Lee Hui-jen told AFP. “This awareness reflects citizens’ mistrust in their leaders.” [...]

HK to Spend $14.2 Billion on Seven New Rail Routes

Hong Kong plans to spend at least HK$110 billion ($14.2 billion) to build seven railways connecting outlying districts where most of the city’s population growth is projected. The total length of railways in Hong Kong will increase by about 38 percent to more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) when the new lines are completed in [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan Dollar Drops Most Since April as Fed Flags Higher Rates

Taiwan’s dollar fell the most since April on capital outflow concerns as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising borrowing costs. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose to a 14-month high while 10-year Treasury yields advanced after the US central bank increased its end-2015 median estimate for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. [...]

Trickle of Taiwan Tech Income From The iPhone 6

Taiwanese high-tech hardware companies have a long, widespread reputation for living off Apple AAPL +0.71 percent contracts. In July a government-backed market research firm found that 70 percent of Taiwan’s tablet PC orders come from Apple, leading to a slump in production for the Asian island earlier this year as the revered Silicon Valley developer [...]

Tang Prize showcases Taiwan’s value: president

President Ma Ying-jeou praised the Tang Prize awards Thursday, saying that they showcase Taiwan’s soft power and value. The Tang Prize encourages important research that benefits humanity and also promotes Chinese culture and showcases Taiwan’s value, Ma said at a meeting with the five Tang laureates at the Presidential Office. The president expressed his respect [...]

Vietnam

Business Brief September 19

* VTV Digital has struck a cooperation agreement with Hi-Tech Security Investment and Development Company on protecting the copyright of all programmes produced by Vietnam Television (VTV). * The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has offered a 5 trillion dong loan package for production and trading enterprises until next March 31 with [...]

Forum boosts Vietnam-Russia trade links

The Vietnam-Russia Business Forum accelerated Vietnam-Russia relations, opening up both challenges and opportunities, vice President of Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nhikolaievich Kurochkin told the forum in Moscow on September 16. Russian Industry and Trade deputy minister, Yuri Slyusar in turn held that the presence of large businesses at the forum will offer more [...]

KPMG survey optimistic about emerging market expansion, including Vietnam

Vietnam was ranked in the top four high growth markets globally for intended investment by US multinational companies in the next 12 months, according to KPMG’s latest survey of US business executives. “It is exciting to see our US clients expressing such confidence in Vietnam,” said KPMG in Vietnam’s chair and CEO, Warrick Cleine. “Quality [...]