• HK tycoon, former official guilty of corruption

    HK tycoon, former official guilty of corruption

    Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government’s former deputy leader Rafael Hui were found guilty of corruption Friday in a blockbuster trial that shocked a city known for clean governance. Kwok’s billionaire brother Raymond was cleared after a seven-month trial over payments of HK$34 million ($4.38 million) the prosecution said were made to [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

    Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

    An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman’s home. The 37-year-old woman, who is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds, was under guard and speaking with police, Queensland Police [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China MH370 families protest for information on missing plane

    China MH370 families protest for information on missing plane

    Grieving family members of Chinese passengers from a missing Malaysia Airlines flight protested outside the foreign ministry in Beijing Friday accusing the government of failing to provide them with regular updates on the search for the aircraft. About 30 people, many of them elderly, gathered at the gates of the ministry with temperatures approaching freezing [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • Delays in probe on downed MH17 suspicious, says Russian envoy

    Delays in probe on downed MH17 suspicious, says Russian envoy

    Russia’s ambassador to Malaysia Lyudmila G Vorobyeva moved to deflect global heat over her country’s role in the fatal downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 today, questioning instead the hold-ups in the investigation process. Vorobyeva said there has not been any conclusive findings into the downing of the Boeing jetliner over Ukraine that resulted in [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | The Malay Mail Online | 6:00 AM
  • Indonesian human rights advocate: Neil Bantleman should be freed

    Indonesian human rights advocate: Neil Bantleman should be freed

    A human rights advocate in Indonesia says the courts should free Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Indonesian teacher’s aide Ferdinand Tijong. Bantleman, 45, and Tijong are facing child sexual abuse charges in an investigation involving an international school in Jakarta. Bantleman has called the allegations “baseless” and “completely false.” He and his supporters say the [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | CBC | 9:16 AM
  • Detained China rights lawyer facing ‘inhuman torment’, wife says

    Detained China rights lawyer facing ‘inhuman torment’, wife says

    A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer arrested this year has had to endure hours of interrogation and his health has suffered, his wife wrote in a letter released on Friday, calling for his immediate release. Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most outspoken dissidents, was arrested in June on charges of causing a disturbance and illegally [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • American Christian Aid Worker Peter Hahn Arrested in China

    American Christian Aid Worker Peter Hahn Arrested in China

    China arrested on Friday a Korean American Christian aid worker who was being held near the country’s border with North Korea, signaling a toughening crackdown on Christian activists in the sensitive region. Peter Hahn, 74, is being charged with embezzlement and counterfeiting receipts, lawyer Zhang Peihong told Reuters. Zhang said he believed authorities were targeting [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | Nbcnews | 6:00 AM
  • As Obama opens to Cuba, experts recall benefits from US engagement with China

    As Obama opens to Cuba, experts recall benefits from US engagement with China

    Liu Yawei vividly remembers his shock when as a college freshman, he first heard from morning television news that China had established diplomatic relations with the United States, on December 15, 1978. “How could it be possible to establish relations with a country we were supposed to overthrow?” he remembers thinking. “Our generation was taught [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | Washingtonpost | 6:00 AM
  • US moves closer to sale of frigates to Taiwan; Beijing protests

    US moves closer to sale of frigates to Taiwan; Beijing protests

    President Obama has signed a measure allowing the U.S. government to sell four used frigates to Taiwan, the Defense Ministry in Taipei said Friday. The news prompted an angry response from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and resents foreign efforts to boost the self-ruled island’s military. The White House’s approval Thursday of [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | LA times | 9:07 AM
  • China’s PM Li visits Bangkok with Thai junta craving allies

    China’s PM Li visits Bangkok with Thai junta craving allies

    Chinese premier Li Keqiang is set on Friday to sign agriculture and transport agreements on a visit to Bangkok, as Thailand’s junta seeks diplomatic support after their coup was given short-shrift by US and European allies. A dual-track railway through Thailand, part of a 1,400 kilometre (870 mile) vision of linking China’s southwestern hub city [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

    Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

    A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and leaving four hikers injured and one missing when they scrambled to safety, an official said. Mount Gamalama on Ternate island in North Maluku province shot thick gray smoke up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) into the sky just [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Umbrellas banned as China’s Xi arrives in Macau

    Umbrellas banned as China’s Xi arrives in Macau

    President Xi Jinping visited a drizzly Macau on Friday for the 15th anniversary of the gambling hub’s return to Chinese rule, with onlookers barred from using umbrellas – the emblem of democracy protests in nearby Hong Kong. The two-day trip to the former Portuguese enclave comes just days after Hong Kong police cleared the last [...]

    22-Dec-2014 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam rescues 12 trapped by tunnel collapse

Vietnam rescues 12 trapped by tunnel collapse

Twelve people trapped in a collapsed tunnel were freed Friday after a four-day ordeal which saw rescuers pass oxygen and food through a small hole while they pulled away debris, state media reported. The 11 men and one woman were in good health after being led from the tunnel, according to state-run Vietnam Television. Part [...]

Gillian Chung speaks Shanghai dialect for new movie

Hong Kong actress Gillian Chung recently revealed that she is currently busy filming a new movie alongside Chinese actors Ge You and Zhang Ziyi. As reported on Mingpao News, the singer-actress, who attended a fashion event recently, stated, “I can’t talk much about the film right now, but all of us play Shanghainese and have [...]

Detained China rights lawyer facing ‘inhuman torment’, wife says

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer arrested this year has had to endure hours of interrogation and his health has suffered, his wife wrote in a letter released on Friday, calling for his immediate release. Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most outspoken dissidents, was arrested in June on charges of causing a disturbance and illegally [...]

Health

Philippine health secretary resigns over vaccine purchase

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has accepted the resignation of his health secretary over the purchase of pneumonia vaccines in 2012 which government investigators later questioned, a spokesman said on Friday. Health Secretary Enrique Ona, who has been on leave since October, submitted his letter of resignation on Thursday even before the completion of a government [...]

B.C. avian flu virus has Asian origin; first such outbreak in North America

The avian flu virus involved in an outbreak in B.C. is related to a deadly strain that has spread through Asia and is now affecting North American poultry for the first time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says. Experts say the presence of an avian flu virus with Asian lineage does not increase the danger [...]

Cambodia orders probe into mass HIV infection

Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen on Thursday ordered a probe into an apparent mass HIV infection believed to have been spread by contaminated needles, as the number of suspected cases passed 100. Hundreds of panicked residents of the remote Roka village in western Battambang province have flocked for testing since news of the infections emerged [...]

FinanceAsia

#ISurvivedEbola Campaign Goes On-Air in Liberia, Expands to Sierra Leone

PCI Media Impact and Vulcan Productions announced on December 22, in collaboration with UNICEF, an expansion of radio and video programming of the West African multimedia project #ISurvivedEbola (https://www.facebook.com/ISurvivedEbola.org?ref=br_tf) across Liberia and Sierra Leone. Call-in radio broadcasts that provide life-saving health information about Ebola prevention and transmission will reach more than a million listeners in [...]

Manfred Schmoelz Joins The Warranty Group to Lead Asia Pacific Business

The Warranty Group, a leading global provider of warranty solutions and underwriting services, is proud to announce the addition of Manfred Schmoelz to the corporate executive leadership team. Mr. Schmoelz joins The Warranty Group as executive vice president of its Asia Pacific region. In this role, he will be responsible for managing overall business growth, [...]

No Currency to Claims of New Asian Financial Crisis, Say Veterans of 1990s Turmoil

As wild swings in Russia’s ruble fan fears of a crisis in emerging markets, veterans of the late-1990s Asian financial crisis say they have been surprised by market fluctuations but note the region’s economies are showing few signs of heading toward another meltdown. Ewen Cameron Watt, chief investment strategist for BlackRock Inc. ‘s investment institute, [...]

Regional

India a step closer to manned flight to space as ISRO’s GSLV Mark-III successfully tested

India moved a step closer to sending its own manned mission to space as well as heavy satellites when it successfully tested a next generation rocket and crew module on Thursday. The country took forward its rocket technology with the successful flight testing of its heaviest next-generation rocket – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III [...]

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman’s home. The 37-year-old woman, who is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds, was under guard and speaking with police, Queensland Police [...]

Malaysia condemns Pakistan school massacre – Bernama

Malaysia has strongly condemned the attack on the Army School and Degree College in Peshawar, Pakistan which resulted in the loss of 141 lives, including 132 school children. In the attack on December 16, dozens of students and teachers were wounded. In a statement today, the foreign ministry said prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak [...]

China

China arrests US missionary near N Korea border

China arrests US missionary near N Korea border

China on Friday arrested Korean American missionary who was being held near the country’s border with North Korea, signaling a toughening crackdown on Christian activists in the sensitive region. Peter Hahn, 74, is being charged with embezzlement and counterfeiting receipts, his lawyer, Zhang Peihong, told Reuters. Zhang said he believed authorities were targeting Hahn because [...]

China’s PM Li visits Bangkok with Thai junta craving allies

China’s PM Li visits Bangkok with Thai junta craving allies

Chinese premier Li Keqiang is set on Friday to sign agriculture and transport agreements on a visit to Bangkok, as Thailand’s junta seeks diplomatic support after their coup was given short-shrift by US and European allies. A dual-track railway through Thailand, part of a 1,400 kilometre (870 mile) vision of linking China’s southwestern hub city [...]

American Christian Aid Worker Peter Hahn Arrested in China

American Christian Aid Worker Peter Hahn Arrested in China

China arrested on Friday a Korean American Christian aid worker who was being held near the country’s border with North Korea, signaling a toughening crackdown on Christian activists in the sensitive region. Peter Hahn, 74, is being charged with embezzlement and counterfeiting receipts, lawyer Zhang Peihong told Reuters. Zhang said he believed authorities were targeting [...]

Malaysia

AEC, Asean chairmanship to revitalise Malaysia’s economy

Malaysia’s chairmanship of Asean next year, which coincides with the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), will revitalise the country’s economic growth, said general Electric (GE) chief executive officer Stuart Dean. The AEC will position Southeast Asia as a strong integrated market with a highly competitive and equitable economy, Dean said. The focus on [...]

City Hall’s budget, outsourcing plans under DAP spotlight

Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) budget for 2015, which is higher than Selangor’s budget for three times the population and 33 times the size, and its outsourcing plans have come under fire from the DAP. DAP’s Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said it did not make sense for DBKL to have a budget of RM2.44 [...]

‘British Victims of Investing in Malaysia’ in Court

After three years of struggling for justice, the British Victims of Investing in Malaysia (BVIM) are surprised that Sivalingam Thechinamoorthy, the managing director of Doxport Technologies Sdn Bhd, will be the only one finally facing a trial at the Sessions Court in Petaling Jaya on charges of “Criminal Breach of Trust”. BVIM alleges that they [...]

Indonesia

Indonesian human rights advocate: Neil Bantleman should be freed

Indonesian human rights advocate: Neil Bantleman should be freed

A human rights advocate in Indonesia says the courts should free Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Indonesian teacher’s aide Ferdinand Tijong. Bantleman, 45, and Tijong are facing child sexual abuse charges in an investigation involving an international school in Jakarta. Bantleman has called the allegations “baseless” and “completely false.” He and his supporters say the [...]

Indonesia gets $18.7b in direct investment since Widodo took office

Indonesia has attracted $18.7 billion worth of prospective investments from domestic and foreign investors since the new President Joko Widodo took office in October, its Investment Coordinating Board said. Most of the investments were in import substitution industry, maritime and mineral processing plant, the board said in a statement on Thursday. During the first nine [...]

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and leaving four hikers injured and one missing when they scrambled to safety, an official said. Mount Gamalama on Ternate island in North Maluku province shot thick gray smoke up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) into the sky just [...]

Singapore

No UK asylum for cross-dressing Singaporean

A cross-dressing Singaporean who sees himself as a woman has failed in his bid to remain in Britain on human rights grounds. He had argued that he would be under pressure to live as a male here and would have to do reservist training. The United Kingdom Immigration and Asylum Chamber found no exceptional circumstances [...]

Sony hacking: Singapore ‘among sites used by hacker group’

A hacker group that leaked confidential e-mails and recent movies belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment last month reportedly used Singapore as one of its sites to launch its cyber attacks, according to a recent New York Times report. Responding to The Straits Times’ queries, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCert) said the attacks on [...]

Singapore dollar set to stay strong against regional counterparts: Analysts

The Singapore dollar continued to weaken against the US dollar on Friday (December 19). While currency strategists are anticipating the downward trend to continue – with the US Federal Reserve expected to hike interest rates – they also see the Singapore dollar maintaining a strong position against some of its regional counterparts. The US economy [...]

Thailand

Drug abuse in Thailand highest in Southeast Asia

Thailand has become “a narcotics hub” and the Southeast Asian country most affected by drug abuse, local media reports cited the justice minister as saying Friday. At an opening ceremony for a new drug rehabilitation facility in capital Bangkok, general Paiboon Khumchaya said 1.3 million people in Thailand – 2 percent of its population – [...]

Thailand, China Sign Railway Deal

Thailand on Friday signed two memorandums of understanding with China on the development of a key rail link project and the purchase of agricultural products. The two countries are seeking to strengthen their economic ties and firm up relations in general. The agreements are among the few major bilateral deals secured by Thailand’s military-backed government [...]

Canada considers free trade with Thailand despite internal warnings

The Canadian government is exploring the idea of free trade with Thailand despite internal warnings from Foreign Affairs officials that Ottawa should hold back while the Asian country remains under control of a military junta, documents say. A government memo dated December 12, 2014 and marked “secret” that was obtained by The Globe and Mail [...]

Philippines

PNoy wants to personally thank pope

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Friday he wants to personally thank Pope Francis for bringing the Catholic Church closer to the people. The two leaders will have a meeting at the Palace on January 16 during the Pope’s five-day trip to the Philippines, the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II came in 1995. [...]

US Filipinos: Pope’s visit will help the Philippines

Filipino Catholics living in the United States say the pope’s upcoming visit to the Philippines will be a big boost for their homeland that has experienced so much suffering. “After all the travesties” the country has faced, the visit will provide a “flicker of light and a glimmer of hope,” said Deacon Bernie Nojadera, head [...]

Philippines’ BOP back to deficit in November

The Philippines posted a balance of payments (BOP) deficit of $314 million in November, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. The latest figure brought the BOP deficit in the 11 months to November to $3.72 billion. The central bank expects the country to end the year with a balance of payments deficit of $3.4 [...]

Japan

McDonald’s Highest-Calorie Menu Item Is In Crisis

Japan’s french-fry shortage has gotten so bad that McDonald’s has started limiting how many customers can buy. Customers can buy only the smallest fry size at the fast-food chain’s 3,200 Japanese stores, Jonathan Soble at The New York Times reports. A US dockworker dispute on the West Coast has led to potato shortages across the [...]

Cyberattack of Sony could be costliest in coporate history

The unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures, which a US official says is linked to North Korea, may be the most damaging cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business. The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the [...]

A good time to travel in Japan as yen tumbles

Lee San Duo of booked a last-minute vacation to Japan this month, hoping to take advantage of the slumping yen. The timing of the Singapore resident could hardly have been better: the currency tumbled to a record versus Singapore’s dollar just a day before he flew out. “Things are relatively cheaper and I’ve been spending [...]

Korea

Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the [...]

FBI blames N Korea for Sony hack

President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures Entertainment “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he vowed the United States will respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to a hack attack the FBI blamed on the secretive Communist regime. [...]

Few options for US in response to N Korea hack

President Barack Obama vowed Friday to punish North Korea for hacking a Hollywood studio, but Washington’s options are limited and Pyongyang’s economic weakness is a surprising strength. No one expects the United States to launch a military strike against a nuclear-armed provocateur, but sanctions against its tiny economy or cyber attacks on its ramshackle Internet [...]

Hong Kong

HK former official, property tycoon guilty in graft case

HK former official, property tycoon guilty in graft case

A former top Hong Kong civil servant was found guilty on Friday of accepting HK$8.5 million ($1.1 million) in bribes from executives of property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, in the city’s highest profile corruption case. The jury of six women and three men reached their verdicts after deliberating for five days following a [...]

HK tycoon, former official guilty of corruption

HK tycoon, former official guilty of corruption

Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government’s former deputy leader Rafael Hui were found guilty of corruption Friday in a blockbuster trial that shocked a city known for clean governance. Kwok’s billionaire brother Raymond was cleared after a seven-month trial over payments of HK$34 million ($4.38 million) the prosecution said were made to [...]

HK Doesn’t Find Evidence of Forex Benchmark Rigging by Banks

Hong Kong’s de facto central bank on Friday said it found no evidence of collusion among banks in rigging benchmarks in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which carried out the probe as part of a global investigation, said it sought to determine whether banks in Hong Kong manipulated foreign exchange [...]

Taiwan

US moves closer to sale of frigates to Taiwan; Beijing protests

US moves closer to sale of frigates to Taiwan; Beijing protests

President Obama has signed a measure allowing the U.S. government to sell four used frigates to Taiwan, the Defense Ministry in Taipei said Friday. The news prompted an angry response from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and resents foreign efforts to boost the self-ruled island’s military. The White House’s approval Thursday of [...]

Obama opens door for sale of four warships to Taiwan

Barack Obama has signed into law legislation authorising the sale of up to four guided missile frigates to Taiwan. Selling arms to Taiwan is a ‘crude interference ‘ in Beijing’s internal affairs, Chinese officials say. The planned purchase of the American warships is part of Taiwan’s efforts to modernise its naval force. Obama signed the [...]

Taiwan F-16 Radar Upgrade Moving Forward

The US government awarded a $308 million contract modification Tuesday to Lockheed Martin to supply Taiwan with 144 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for the upgrade of 144 F-16A/B Block 20 fighter aircraft. The AESA radar is the Northrop Grumman APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR). Taiwan’s state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation will perform [...]

Vietnam

Trade pact creates chances for Vietnam exports to Korea: official

The conclusion of bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) talks between Vietnam and South Korea is an opportunity for the Southeast Asian country to ship goods to the Korean market and increase its export revenue, an official from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has said. Under the trade pact, South Korea will for the [...]

ADB raises economic growth forecast in 2014 – 2015 for Vietnam

Vietnam’s economic growth prospect is expected to be at 5.6 percent and 5.8 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB). It is a 0.1 percent increase over the previous forecast, according to the most updated report of ADB on economic growth prospects for Asia in 2014-2015 released on Wednesday. Earlier, [...]

Vietnam looks for closer trade ties with Kuwait

The Vietnamese and Kuwait business communities should further foster cooperation to narrow their trade gap and raise two-way trade to $1 billion in the future, a Vietnamese economic expert has said. Deputy director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s HCM City branch Nguyen The Hung made the suggestion during a workshop in [...]