• As Philippines’ Duterte visits Vietnam, US jibes hang over new partnership

    As Philippines’ Duterte visits Vietnam, US jibes hang over new partnership

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte met Vietnam’s top leadership on Thursday, aiming to advance a burgeoning alliance that could become increasingly uncertain amid his defiance of the United States and overtures towards China. Vietnam and the Philippines have drawn closer as China asserts more vigorously its claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, but Duterte’s [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Singapore court sends teen blogger back to jail for criticising religion

    Singapore court sends teen blogger back to jail for criticising religion

    A Singapore court sentenced 17-year-old blogger Amos Yee to six weeks in jail on Thursday for “wounding religious feelings”, his second prison term in a year, reigniting concerns about social controls and censorship in the conservative city-state. Yee pleaded guilty to six charges of deliberately posting comments on the internet in videos, blog posts and [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Rescuers Pull 15 Out Alive From China Landslide, 32 Missing

    Rescuers Pull 15 Out Alive From China Landslide, 32 Missing

    Rescuers have pulled 15 people alive from a landslide that slammed into a village in China’s eastern Zhejiang province after a typhoon but 32 people are still missing there and in another nearby village, state media said on Thursday. Heavy rains brought by the remnants of Typhoon Megi caused the landslide to crash into Sucun [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | NBC News | 6:00 AM
  • N. Korea soldier defects to S. Korea across border

    N. Korea soldier defects to S. Korea across border

    A North Korean soldier walked across one of world’s most heavily fortified borders on Thursday and defected to the South, military authorities said. The man crossed the military demarcation line around 01:00 GMT on the central-eastern part of the border, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. There was no exchange of fire during the [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • HK Faces Strife Without Popular Leader, Lawmaker Says

    HK Faces Strife Without Popular Leader, Lawmaker Says

    A potential contender for Hong Kong’s top leadership post warned that the government risked “serious problems” if the city’s next chief executive lacked broader credibility with the public. Pro-establishment Legislator Regina Ip – among the top vote-getters in legislative elections earlier this month – made her remarks Wednesday during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • Dutch name two Russian speakers in MH17 probe

    Dutch name two Russian speakers in MH17 probe

    Dutch prosecutors, for the first time in their long inquiry, on Wednesday released the names of two Russian-speaking men in connection with the MH17 disaster after investigators found the missile to down the plane had been transported from Russia. The inquiry is “especially looking for more information” on two people, Dutch investigators said hours after [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Thailand’s military allows ‘culture of torture’, says Amnesty

    Thailand’s military allows ‘culture of torture’, says Amnesty

    Thailand’s military government has allowed a “culture of torture” to flourish since assuming power, says a new report by rights group Amnesty International. The report lists 74 alleged cases of torture and other ill-treatment, including methods such as beatings and waterboarding, by soldiers and police. The military seized power in 2014 after months of political [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | BBC | 6:00 AM
  • Duterte declares upcoming Philippines-US war games ‘the last one’

    Duterte declares upcoming Philippines-US war games ‘the last one’

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plunged one of the United States’ most important Asian alliances deeper into uncertainty on Wednesday by declaring upcoming US-Philippines military exercises “the last,” and ruling out any joint navy patrols. The firebrand Duterte pledged to honour a longstanding security treaty with the United States, but said China opposed joint marine drills [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Japan’s Abe seeks breakthrough with Russia on long-disputed islands

    Japan’s Abe seeks breakthrough with Russia on long-disputed islands

    Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is betting that close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s economic woes and regional concerns about China’s rise will help him make progress in a decades-old territorial row when the men meet in December. Abe, 62, who wants to leave a diplomatic legacy with a breakthrough in ties with [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • US, Japan to test interceptor missile in face of N Korea provocations

    US, Japan to test interceptor missile in face of N Korea provocations

    The United States and Japan are to test-launch a new co-developed interceptor missile as North Korea raises tensions with nuclear tests and dozens of test missile launches. The test of the upgraded missile is to take place in October near Hawaii, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday. Due to a time-consuming production process, however, [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | UPI | 6:00 AM
  • N Korean teen math prodigy arrives in Korea after defection

    N Korean teen math prodigy arrives in Korea after defection

    A North Korean teenage math prodigy who defected to a South Korean consulate in July left Hong Kong on Saturday. The teen, identified as Jong Yol Ri, arrived in Seoul after 80 days in South Korean custody in Hong Kong, South Korean news service News 1 reported Jong, 18, spent the last two months in [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | UPI | 6:00 AM
  • Explosion Kills 19 in ‘Illegal’ Coal Mine in Northern China

    Explosion Kills 19 in ‘Illegal’ Coal Mine in Northern China

    Chinese authorities blamed illegal mining activities for a gas explosion at a coal mine that killed 18 miners left two others missing, Chinese state media reported Wednesday. Tuesday morning’s explosion occurred at a small coal mine when 20 miners were working underground in the city of Shizuishan in the northwestern region of Ningxia, the official [...]

    30-Sep-2016 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM

Society

In Bali’s deaf village, silence is golden

Balinese women dressed in gold bodices dance to rhythmic drumming while waving fans as men in purple outfits sit cross legged around them, jiggling their arms and chanting. It appears to be just another show on the Indonesian resort island, known for its ancient culture and rituals, but there is a key difference – the [...]

As Asians Age Faster, More of The Cash Heading Offshore

In the next two decades, aging in Asian emerging markets will outpace that of developed nations for the first time since 1950 Asian emerging markets won’t just need to worry about “taper tantrums” in future when it comes to the risk of capital outflows. And the hidden danger has nothing to do with the US [...]

Asia’s poor choking on filthy air

Polluted air is a “public health emergency”, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, adding nine out of 10 people globally breathe bad air that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year. And the WHO warned that nearly 90-percent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Southeast Asia and the [...]

Health

Asia’s poor choking on filthy air

Polluted air is a “public health emergency”, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, adding nine out of 10 people globally breathe bad air that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year. And the WHO warned that nearly 90-percent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Southeast Asia and the [...]

New Dengue Vaccine Potential Game Changer for Asia

A recent WHO recommendation on vaccination signals a potential tipping point in the global fight against dengue. There has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes in Asean as health authorities and regulators respond to the long-awaited World Health Organization (WHO) position paper on dengue, released in late July. The WHO paper supports the [...]

Zika Virus Becoming Public Health Challenge in Southeast Asia

After plaguing much of Brazil and the Caribbean since late 2014, the Zika “crisis” – such as it is – seems to have migrated eastward – far eastward. New data suggests that the mosquito-borne infection is increasingly becoming a public health challenge for officials in several countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, and the [...]

FinanceAsia

Oil shares pull Asian stocks higher; yen slips

Oil shares pulled regional stock markets higher on Thursday after OPEC members agreed to curb output in a surprise deal, though investors were wary of chasing markets higher as the US presidential election neared. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.9 percent by mid-morning, thanks to a bounce in energy shares, [...]

Honda Sets Monthly Production Records for Worldwide, Overseas, in North America, USA, Asia and China

TOKYO, Sept 28, 2016 – (JCN Newswire) – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced a summary of automobile production, Japanese domestic sales, and export results for the month of August 2016. Worldwide Production http://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_HondaWorldProduction.jpg Production Outside of Japan http://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_HondaOutside.jpg Production in Japan for the month of August 2016 experienced a year-on-year increase for the fourth [...]

Eisai to Present Latest Data on Lenvatinib and Eribulin at ESMO Congress 2016

TOKYO, Sept 29, 2016 – (JCN Newswire) – Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that a series of abstracts highlighting the latest clinical and pre-clinical data on lenvatinib mesylate (selective inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) with a novel binding mode, product name: Lenvima/Kisplyx, “lenvatinib”) and eribulin mesylate (halichondrin class microtubule dynamics inhibitor, product name: Halaven, [...]

Regional

US urging Burma to end any vestige of NKorea military ties

Pockets within the Myanmar military may still be cooperating with North Korea although the new civilian government and the military leadership oppose such ties, a senior US official said Wednesday. During Myanmar’s years of international isolation, its then-ruling junta bought defense equipment from North Korea. The US has been pressing the country also known as [...]

President in two-day working visit to Vietnam

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday began his two-day working visit to Vietnam with the aim of improving economic, agriculture, defense, and maritime cooperation between Manila and Hanoi. Duterte said in his pre-departure speech at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA): “On this introductory visit to Hanoi, I look forward to renewing [...]

US, Vietnam Kick Off 7th Annual Bilateral Engagement Exercise – Navy

The US and Vietnamese navies have begun the 7th annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) Vietnam 2016 at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang, the US Navy said in a press release on Wednesday. The exercise will focus on non-combatant events and include seminars in military medicine and maritime law as well as subject matter expert [...]

China

China’s economy less healthy in third quarter than data suggest-private survey

China’s economy was less healthy in the third quarter than a recent spate of upbeat data suggest, with growth coming exclusively from manufacturing and property while the services and retail sectors faltered, a private survey showed. Manufacturing posted its fastest expansion nationally, with 53 percent of companies seeing revenue gains, up 3 percent from a [...]

Typhoon leaves 5 dead in China and Taiwan

Typhoon Megi smashed into the Chinese mainland yesterday, killing one person, after leaving a trail of destruction and four people dead in Taiwan. More than 500 people were hurt when the storm raked across the island, including eight Japanese tourists whose bus was toppled by the strong winds. One remains in critical condition. Megi hit [...]

27 missing in E. China landslide: Xinhua

27 missing in E. China landslide: Xinhua

A landslide which hit a village in eastern China Wednesday buried dozens of houses and left 27 people missing, state media reported. The landslide struck the village of Sucun in Suichang county of Zhejiang province at around 5pm (0900 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said. More than 400 rescue workers were at the scene [...]

Malaysia

Honda reports another Takata airbag rupture in fatal Malaysia crash

Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Wednesday that the driver-side airbag inflator ruptured during a fatal crash in Malaysia, in the fourth death this year in the Southeast Asian country linked to airbags from supplier Takata Corp (7312.T). The incident on September 24 took place in Johor, a state in southern Malaysia, and involved a [...]

PM Najib wants German-Malaysian cooperation to go beyond maritime industry

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najih Razak today visited the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where Malaysia’s Genting Group plans to build the world’s biggest cruise ship. The leisure and gaming group recently bought three Russian-owned, Germany-based shipyards in the state for 375 million euros and plans to raise its investments to one billion euros. Najib, [...]

MH17 victims families told missile launched from pro-Russian rebel territory

A man whose cousin was killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in 2014 said international prosecutors had determined that the missile that downed the airliner was launched from territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Robby Oehlers, whose niece Daisy was killed in the crash, told Reuters that investigators had identified 100 [...]

Indonesia

Should You Buy Indonesia ETFs on Policy Easing Spree?

Indonesia’s central bank slashed its interest rate for the fifth time this year on September 22. This was expected as the country intends to jazz up growth amid contained inflation. Moreover, the Fed’s no-hike decision made the case easier for the Indonesian central bank as the Fed’s move, kept the Indonesian currency relatively stable against [...]

StanChart tells authorities about corruption allegations at Indonesian firm

Standard Chartered (STAN.L) has told “appropriate authorities” about alleged corruption at an Indonesian power plant company majority-owned by its private equity arm, the bank said. The lender’s comment came in response to a Wall Street Journal report that the US Department of Justice is investigating whether Standard Chartered failed to stop possible bribery and other [...]

Indonesia establishes diplomatic ties with three more countries

Indonesia now has diplomatic relations with 190 out of the 193 UN member states as the country is set to establish three new foreign representatives after the signing of agreements for that purpose on the sidelines of the UN general Assembly in New York. Indonesia will open offices in Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and [...]

Singapore

Singapore’s deputy PM rules himself out from becoming PM

Singapore’s Indian-origin deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam today “categorically” ruled himself out from becoming the prime minister of the city-state. “Just to be absolutely clear, because I know there’s this talk going around…I’m not the man for PM, I say that categorically. It’s not me,” the 59-year-old leader was quoted as saying by the local [...]

Japan PM promotes Shinkansen ‘bullet’ train to Singapore

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe used a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart on Wednesday to promote Japan’s Shinkansen “bullet” train technology for use in a planned high-speed railway linking Singapore and Malaysia. Abe, serving as top salesman for Shinkansen trains, held talks with Lee Hsien Loong at the state guest house – a venue for [...]

Singapore economy ‘in for a tough period’: Tharman

The Singapore economy is “in for a tough period that will last for a while”, said deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday (Sep 28). Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Wong Fong Industries headquarters in Joo Koon, Tharman noted that for 2016, “we’ve had some growth at the start but the second [...]

Thailand

Thailand cracks down on migrant workers as anti-immigration feelings rise

Thailand is cracking down on migrant workers from neighbouring countries, saying they are “stealing jobs from Thais”, amid fears that anti-immigrant sentiment is rising as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy stagnates. In an operation led by the Thai labour department, police and troops on Wednesday raided a fresh produce market in Bangkok and arrested 14 people, [...]

Thai authorities bar Amnesty news conference on torture

Thai authorities blocked an Amnesty International news conference on torture in the kingdom Wednesday, the watchdog said, the latest move to silence rights groups in the army-run country. Two foreign Amnesty International staff were scheduled to speak at the launch in Bangkok of a report detailing 74 cases of torture at the hands of Thai [...]

Tiger trafficking continues with Thailand as its route

There is no evidence of a decline in tiger trafficking in Asia as tiger farms continue to operate, with the route from Thailand via Laos to Vietnam remaining the most popular, a conservation network reported on Thursday. From 2000-15, seized parts of tigers equated to a minimum of 1,755 tigers, an average of more than [...]

Philippines

Philippine jail brawl wounds inmates set to testify against Duterte rival

A riot broke out at a Philippine prison on Wednesday, killing one inmate and wounding three, all of whom had been expected to testify at a congressional inquiry on alleged criminal activity by the president’s biggest critic. Rolando Asuncion, chief of the Philippines’ corrections bureau, said a drug trafficker was stabbed to death in the [...]

Duterte’s foreign policy off track – Del Rosario

The Duterte administration’s independent foreign policy is “off track” and will need to be revisited or the Philippines risks losing the confidence of long-time “friends” who had helped in the country’s development, a former top diplomat said. Commenting for the first time on the matter, former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario said yesterday the [...]

Chinese drug lord killed in Philippine prison fight, 8 inmates injured

Philippine officials said a notorious Chinese drug lord was killed Wednesday after violence broke out among inmates at the national prison, injuring four others – among them a convict sought as a witness in a Senate inquiry into a bloody crackdown on illegal drugs. Local media reported that Tony Co, among the inmates tagged by [...]

Japan

Abe promotes shinkansen technology to Singapore

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe used a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart on Wednesday to promote Japan’s shinkansen “bullet” train technology for use in a planned high-speed railway linking Singapore and Malaysia. Abe, serving as top salesman for Shinkansen trains, held talks with Lee Hsien Loong at the state guest house – a venue for [...]

Takata to book $100 million special profit in second quarter from US interiors unit sale

Japanese auto safety parts supplier Takata Corp (7312.T) said on Thursday it expected to book a special profit of about 10 billion yen ($99 million) in the July-September quarter from the sale of US interiors unit Irvin Automotive Products Inc. Takata is selling the unit to Detroit automotive supplier Piston Group. The deal is not [...]

Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi aim to merge nuclear fuel units – source

Hitachi Ltd , Toshiba Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd aim to merge their nuclear fuel businesses, a person with direct knowledge of the talks said, amid bleak prospects for Japan’s nuclear reactors to return to operation after the Fukushima disaster. The three Japanese industrial conglomerates are in talks to merge the fuel operations as [...]

Korea

N Korean teen math prodigy arrives in Korea after defection

N Korean teen math prodigy arrives in Korea after defection

A North Korean teenage math prodigy who defected to a South Korean consulate in July left Hong Kong on Saturday. The teen, identified as Jong Yol Ri, arrived in Seoul after 80 days in South Korean custody in Hong Kong, South Korean news service News 1 reported Jong, 18, spent the last two months in [...]

N Korea to stick two fingers up to the West with new nuclear warhead launch before ‘end of year’

BOMB-crazy Kim Jong-un is to defy the West and launch another massive nuclear warhead before the end of the year, it’s been revealed. Rogue state North Korea was condemned by leaders across the globe earlier this month when it carried out a weapons test involving a bomb TWICE the size of the one which flattened [...]

Vatican spokesman expresses concern about N Korea’s nuclear programme

Pope Francis and the Vatican are concerned about continuing tensions on the Korean peninsula “on account of the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea,” the Vatican spokesman confirmed. Greg Burke, the spokesman, issued a statement on September 27 affirming the Vatican’s position as explained to the International Atomic Energy Agency by a top Vatican [...]

Hong Kong

Has HK’s Economy Peaked?

From 1981 to 2015, Hong Kong sustained an annual growth rate of almost 5 percent, despite numerous global recessions. It was a testament to the power of economic freedom. For twenty-one consecutive years, The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom has ranked Hong Kong’s economy as the freest in the world – and for good [...]

HK Magazine to cease publishing after 25 years

Say it ain’t so! HK Magazine, the beloved English-language lifestyle publication, is closing down after 25 years. Industry sources, who declined to be named, told Coconuts Hong Kong that the decision was announced earlier today by upper management at SCMP Group. We’re told that the final issue will be published on October 7. At the [...]

HK hotel smartphone group raises $125m

Foxconn is among backers of Tink Labs, one of the city’s best-funded start-ups A Hong Kong company that provides hotel guests with free smartphones has raised $125m from investors including electronics manufacturer Foxconn, making it one of the city’s best-funded start-ups. Tink Labs, which was founded by 24-year-old university dropout Terence Kwok, said it would [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan recovering from typhoon No. 3

Taiwan began to recollect itself on Wednesday following a fierce battering from Typhoon Megi, which caused the second-largest power outage on Taiwan record. According to the Central Emergency Operation Centre, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Megi had resulted in four deaths and 527 injured island-wide. Electricity in 1.3 million households across Taiwan had yet to [...]

Typhoon Megi kills 5, injures over 600 in Taiwan and eastern China

Typhoon Megi kills 5, injures over 600 in Taiwan and eastern China

More than 600 people were injured and five were killed after once-Typhoon Megi roared across Taiwan and eastern China. Megi made landfall in central Fujian, near the city of Putian, early Wednesday morning local time. The system has since weakened to a tropical rainstorm. Despite weakening, Megi will continue to pose risks to residents in [...]

Petition on shutdowns for storms reaches threshold for response

A petition to the government to abandon the practice of giving only a half day when a typhoon is threatening the country had received the required number of online supporters Wednesday and is now due to receive an official response. The petition, launched September 14 on the National Development Council’s (NDC) Join website, proposed that [...]

Vietnam

Oil helps extend gains on VN Index

Vietnamese shares extended gains on September 29, rescued by oil and gas firms during the end of the session after oil prices rebounded strongly on OPEC’s first eight-year output reduction. The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange rose 0.3 percent to close at 688.55 points – a new nine-year high – extending its [...]

Business Briefs Sep 30

* Red River Holding has registered to sell its entire stake totaling 7.8 million shares (8.5%) in food producer Vinh Hoan Corporation (VHC) over one month starting from October 3. * Vietnam Electric Cable Corporation (CAV) plans to issue over 28.8 million shares to double its chartered capital to VND576 billion. CAY will sell the [...]

Circuit board, LED equipment project licensed in SHTP

Domestic firm G7 Tech has received an investment certificate for a project to produce electronic circuit boards and light-emitting diode (LED) equipment at Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCM City. The $10 million project will make lighting equipment for civil, industrial and fishing purposes, G7 Tech’s director Nguyen Phan Xuan Huy said. The project is [...]