• SKorea ferry toll hits 159 as relatives wait

    SKorea ferry toll hits 159 as relatives wait

    Divers made their way deeper Thursday into the submerged wreck of a ferry that sank more than a week ago as the death toll neared 160 and relatives of the more than 140 still missing pressed the government to finish the grim task of recovery soon. At a port on this island near the scene [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Obama seeks to ease Asian allies’ doubts during visit to Japan

    Obama seeks to ease Asian allies’ doubts during visit to Japan

    President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up US engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington’s real aim is to contain Beijing’s rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo

    Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo

    Opening a four-country swing through the Asia-Pacific region, President Barack Obama is aiming to promote the US as a committed economic, military and political partner, but the West’s dispute with Russia over Ukraine threatens to cast a shadow over the president’s sales mission. Obama arrived in Tokyo late Wednesday for an official state visit after [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery

    Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery

    Australia and Malaysia vowed on Wednesday to keep searching for a missing Malaysian plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft and an undersea drone neared the end of its first full mission. But Australian authorities said unidentified material washed up on the coast of Western [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says

    International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says

    Malaysia expects to finalise by next week the list of members on the independent team of experts commissioned by Putrajaya to carry out an extensive probe on the disappearance of flight MH370, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today. The acting Transport minister said Cabinet approved the formation of the team earlier this morning, and it [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | The Malay Mail Online | 6:00 AM
  • ‘Unidentified material’ under investigation for MH370 link

    ‘Unidentified material’ under investigation for MH370 link

    Authorities are investigating whether “unidentified material” washed up on the southwest coast of Australia has any link to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, officials said Wednesday. “Western Australia Police have attended a report of material washed ashore 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Augusta and have secured the material,” Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre said [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Sub Nears End of Search While Debris Found Ashore Not From MH370

    Sub Nears End of Search While Debris Found Ashore Not From MH370

    The submarine scouring the Indian Ocean for a missing Malaysian Air (MAS) plane has completed more than 90 percent of its search area without success while a study of debris that washed ashore turned out to be a false lead. The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle is currently completing its 12th dive, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • Thai PM given more time in crucial legal case

    Thai PM given more time in crucial legal case

    Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday gave prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra more time to submit her defence against allegations of abuse of power which could see her removed from office. The premier, who has faced a series of legal challenges to her tenure as well as months of sometimes violent anti-government street protests, must give her [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Obama arrives in Japan for tension-filled Asia trip

    Obama arrives in Japan for tension-filled Asia trip

    US President Barack Obama dined on sushi Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said he described as the best in his life on Wednesday, a fitting start to an Asian tour dedicated to “rebalancing” US foreign policy toward Asia. Obama’s arrival in Tokyo came as regional tensions boil over maritime territorial disputes and fears that North [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

    S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

    South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to make “further efforts” to dissuade North Korea from conducting a fresh nuclear test, warning of serious repercussions for regional stability. Her comments, made during a phone call between the two presidents and reported by her office, came a day after South Korea [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • H1N1 Flu kills 45 in Thailand this year

    H1N1 Flu kills 45 in Thailand this year

    Dr Sopon Mekthon, director-general of the Department of Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health, said a total of 29,821 cases were reported in 21 provinces across the country from January 5 to April 19 this year. The provinces include Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Chai Nat, [...]

    25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | The Borneo Post | 6:00 AM
  • China frees Japan ship after $28 mn paid: court

    China frees Japan ship after $28 mn paid: court

    China on Thursday released a seized Japanese ship after owner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines paid 2.9 billion yen ($28 million) to the Chinese side, a court said, in a dispute dating to the 1930s. “The court has delivered a ruling at 8:30 am on April 24, 2014, to lift the detention of the Baosteel Emotion ship,” [...]

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

Society

Social progress in Indonesia as women receive awards

Five women from across Indonesia were honored on Tuesday during the annual Kartini Next Generation Awards, named after Raden Ayu Kartini, an early 19th century pioneer for the rights of women in the country. The awards, launched in 2012, commemorate achievements by women in education, business, art, culture, health and environmental protection, but also gauge [...]

Vietnam sentences American man to death for heroin

State media say a court in Vietnam has sentenced an American to death for heroin trafficking. The Liberated Saigon newspaper says Jason Dinh, 41, was convicted of trafficking 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of heroin at a one-day trial by HCM City’s People’s Court on Tuesday. The paper said Wednesday that Dinh was arrested last June [...]

Chinese premier eyes stronger China-Britain cultural exchanges

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday lauded the progress of China-UK cultural exchanges, urging joint efforts from both sides to expand people-to-people exchanges and enhance mutual understanding. Li made the remarks while meeting with British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is here to co-chair the second meeting of the China-UK high-level cultural exchange mechanism with [...]

Health

N Korean health system crumbling as shortages and sanctions bite

Touring a new hospital in Pyongyang recently, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted that it would “let the people live in luxury and comfort under socialism in good health”. But North Koreans interviewed in China paint a grimmer picture of medical conditions across their country: citing broken equipment, declining treatment standards and widespread self-medication. “A [...]

Vietnam Measles Outbreak ‘Could Have Been Prevented’: WHO

The World Health Organization chief in Vietnam said the deadly measles outbreak in the country could have been prevented through a more effective vaccination programme, but added that the authorities have strengthened their capability to contain the crisis. Doctors say that more than 7,000 children have been affected by the highly contagious virus since it [...]

Taiwan confirms 3rd imported H7N9 case

The Centers for Disease Control confirmed Tuesday the third imported case of H7N9 avian flu since April last year. The patient, a 44-year-old woman from China’s Jiangsu Province, entered Taiwan April 17 as part of a tour group. She is currently in serious condition in a hospital intensive care unit. The woman had a dry [...]

FinanceAsia

Bill Keogh Named CEO of Ultimate Risk Solutions, LLC

Bill Keogh has been named Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Risk Solutions, LLC, an independent developer of financial risk analytics, and software solutions for the global insurance and reinsurance industry, Alex Bushel, Founder and President, announced. Keogh joins URS from Tiger Risk Partners, LLC, a reinsurance brokerage and risk management advisory firm, where he served [...]

Strong Demand: dmexco World of Experience 2014 Puts the “Internet of Everything” at Visitors’ Fingertips

Display screens can be found everywhere nowadays, from kitchens to cars. Our daily life is becoming more and more digital, and consumers are accessible almost around the clock. The possibilities this is already creating today for marketing and media will be demonstrated at the dmexco World of Experience 2014 (http://dmexco.de/en/World_of_Experience.html). In this event area, visitors will [...]

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

Vantage Drilling Company (“Vantage”) (NYSE MKT: VTG) today announced that it will conduct a call at 12:00 PM Eastern Time on May 6, 2014 to discuss operating results for the first quarter 2014 and recent developments. Vantage will release earnings before the market opens on May 6, 2014. To access the conference call, U.S. callers may dial [...]

Regional

Call to Boost Indonesia-India Trade Ties

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin, the country’s main business lobby, has vowed to work closely with its Indian counterparts to boost investment, knowledge transfer and capacity building between the countries. Suryo Bambang Sulisto, the Kadin chair, told the India Business Forum in Jakarta on Wednesday that Indonesia stood to learn a [...]

New Zealand hikes interest rates again

New Zealand’s central bank lifted interest rates for the second time in as many months on Thursday, saying it was necessary to contain inflation as an economic recovery gained momentum. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised the Official Cash Rate (OCR) 0.25 points to 3.0 percent in a well-flagged move that had been widely [...]

Death of Australian player weighs heavy on team

The locker where Chris Lane once got ready to play now sits empty on the campus of East Central University in Ada. All that’s left is his nameplate and a large black and white photo of the young man preparing to throw a baseball. The locker is a memorial to Lane, an Australian who came [...]

China

OnePlus One is a Xiaomi killer, set to launch in 16 countries next month

The 5.5-inch display in overcast daylight. Somewhere in the Xiaomi offices, Lei Jun is starting to sweat. China’s newest smartphone maker, OnePlus, unveiled its first-ever flagship phone in Beijing today at a price equal to Xiaomi’s flagship Mi3 in China, RMB 2,000 (US$330) for the 16GB version and RMB 2,300 (US$368) for the 64GB. The [...]

S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to make “further efforts” to dissuade North Korea from conducting a fresh nuclear test, warning of serious repercussions for regional stability. Her comments, made during a phone call between the two presidents and reported by her office, came a day after South Korea [...]

Xiaomi set to expand into 10 more countries this year, including India, Indonesia, and Brazil

This afternoon Xiaomi, China’s fast-growing smartphone maker, held a meetup in Beijing to announce it would enter some new markets and also reveal a new product it had been teasing for the past several weeks. At the event, Xiaomi founder Lei Jun confirmed that the company would expand internationally in full force. Specifically, he claimed [...]

Malaysia

Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery

Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery

Australia and Malaysia vowed on Wednesday to keep searching for a missing Malaysian plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft and an undersea drone neared the end of its first full mission. But Australian authorities said unidentified material washed up on the coast of Western [...]

MH370: Beach debris ruled out

Debris washed up on a beach near Augusta is not from missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370, authorities have said. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau announced the development this morning after extensive examination of detailed pictures of the object. ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan told ABC radio that investigators would now not go to Busselton to [...]

Debris found on Australian beach not from MH370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau ruled out Thursday any link between material found on a beach in southwestern Australia and the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Debris described as “unidentified material” was found Wednesday on a beach near Augusta, more than 300 kilometres (180 miles) south of Perth, by a member of the public and handed [...]

Indonesia

Indonesian Credit-Tied Note Sales Jump and Defy Market Sell-Off

Sales of credit-linked notes tied to Indonesia’s treasury bonds rose to the highest in five months as returns draw investors amid a stock slump and currency depreciation. Issuance in April climbed to 1.33 trillion rupiah ($115 million), more than four times March’s total, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as Moody’s Investors Service warned of [...]

Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

Indonesia’s military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake. A Singapore website flagged a picture of the general and his watch this week, saying it was from the Richard Mille brand’s Filipe Massa collection and worth more [...]

INDONESIA PRESS-BRI Q1 net profit up 18 pct y/y -Investor Daily

State lender PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) posted a net profit of 5.9 trillion rupiah ($507.3 million) in the first quarter of this year, up 18 percent from the same period last year. The bank has issued loans of 432.44 trillion rupiah ($37.2 billion), up 20 percent from last year, said director Randi Anto. (Investor [...]

Singapore

Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use [...]

Singapore telco M1 partners GrabTaxi to allow direct carrier billing for drivers

Launched in October 2013, Malaysia-based taxi booking app service GrabTaxi has today announced that it has partnered up with Singaporean telco M1 to allow its drivers to pay through their M1 bills, instead of having to make a trip to the startup’s office at Midview City. In addition, taxi drivers who are M1 subscribers will [...]

Daily Briefing: COE falls across most categories; Housing market still struggling: report

And pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia. Premiums for the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) decreased across most categories in the latest bidding for April. Read more here. Following the introduction of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework in June last year, the private housing market continued to be weak in Q1 2014 [...]

Thailand

Thailand’s Central Bank Holds Benchmark Rate Steady

Thailand’s central bank held interest rates steady despite a fast decelerating economy caused by ongoing political tensions. The Bank of Thailand kept its key rates at 2 percent, in line with economists’ expectations. Bank officials also said Wednesday they now expect growth this year to come in below 2.7 percent, already much lower than a [...]

Sumitomo inaugurates AG tire plant in Thailand

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd has inaugurated production of radial agricultural tires at its newest factory, the $126 million dedicated plant in Amata City in Thailand’s Rayong Province. Speaking at the plant’s opening ceremony April 22, Ikuji Ikeda, SRI president said the plant is an integral part of Sumitomo’s “Vision 2020″ growth strategy and will contribute [...]

Rakuten Tarad founder predicts this is the year of m-commerce in Thailand

At the end of last year, we noted that 2013 was a year of booming ecommerce in Thailand. It seems like the momentum is still there and getting even stronger, especially in the area of mobile commerce (aka m-commerce). According to Rakuten Tarad, the Thai branch of the Japanese eshopping titan, the site saw that [...]

Philippines

Philippines arrests extremist in Malaysia resort kidnapping

Philippines arrests extremist in Malaysia resort kidnapping

Philippine forces on Wednesday arrested a Muslim extremist believed to have taken part in the kidnapping of 21 people from a Malaysian resort in 2000, a senior commander said. Such cross-border kidnappings have become more common recently with militants from the lawless southern Philippines travelling to nearby Malaysia, where there are many dive resorts popular [...]

HK and Philippines settle spat over 2010 bus tragedy

Hong Kong on Wednesday scrapped travel sanctions against the Philippines after Manila offered an apology and compensation for a hostage tragedy almost four years ago, settling a lengthy diplomatic spat between the two. Hong Kong and the Philippines have close economic ties, with more than 150,000 Filipino domestic helpers working in the city. But emotions [...]

HK, Philippines compromise over tourist deaths

Hong Kong and the Philippines reached a compromise Wednesday over Hong Kong’s demands for an apology for the families of eight tourists killed in a bungled response to a 2010 Manila hostage-taking that soured relations. “The Philippine government expresses its most sorrowful regret and profound sympathy, and extends its most sincere condolences for the pain [...]

Japan

China Rejects Obama’s Stance on Japan Island Dispute

China is voicing strong opposition to President Obama’s statement that disputed islands in the East China Sea fall under a mutual security treaty between Washington and Tokyo. Ahead of his arrival in Japan for security and economic talks, the president told a Japanese newspaper that Washington would come to Tokyo’s defense if there is ever [...]

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies’ doubts during visit to Japan

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies’ doubts during visit to Japan

President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up US engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington’s real aim is to contain Beijing’s rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony [...]

Obama says US-Japan treaty applies to disputed Senkaku Islands ahead of visit

Obama says US-Japan treaty applies to disputed Senkaku Islands ahead of visit

President Barack Obama confirmed Wednesday that America’s mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands at the centre of a territorial dispute between China and Japan. “The policy of the United States is clear,” he said in a written response to questions published in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper before his arrival in Tokyo at the [...]

Korea

N Korea slams UN human rights report because it was led by gay man

A North Korean state news agency has lashed out at the United Nations’ recent report into human rights in the Hermit Kingdom – by using homophobic insults against the man who led the investigation. Michael Kirby, a former justice of the High Court of Australia, was specifically criticised in the report published Tuesday. Titled “KCNA [...]

Prof: Ferry turned further than 3rd mate ordered

A maritime professor who spoke with the third mate who was steering the South Korean ferry before it sank said Wednesday that he suspects there was a problem with the steering gear. Professor Kim Woo-Sook of Mokpo National Maritime University is a former teacher of the third mate, Park Han-gyeol. She was arrested Saturday in [...]

N Korea by night: satellite images shed new light on the secretive state

New images taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station this year captured a fresh view of the Korean peninsula at night. Though theme is familiar – “light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea” – this picture has in fact been changing. Other cities and even smaller towns [...]

Hong Kong

HK and Philippines settle spat over 2010 bus tragedy

Hong Kong on Wednesday scrapped travel sanctions against the Philippines after Manila offered an apology and compensation for a hostage tragedy almost four years ago, settling a lengthy diplomatic spat between the two. Hong Kong and the Philippines have close economic ties, with more than 150,000 Filipino domestic helpers working in the city. But emotions [...]

Could ‘Jenga’ hotel Hive-Inn be the future of sustainable design?

‘Jenga’ buildings composed of recycled shipping containers could be the next innovative architectural trend, if Hong Kong studio OVA has its way. The firm has designed Hive-Inn, an unusual sustainable concept that sees shipping containers slotted in and out of the building’s grid-like structural frame according to requirements. The flexible tower would primarily be used [...]

Megaupload seeks return of millions in frozen HK assets

Megaupload, the defunct file-storage site, is asking a Hong Kong court to release millions of dollars in assets as part of efforts to allow its former users to reclaim their data. The company’s assets were frozen by Hong Kong at the request of the US Department of Justice around January 2012 after its operators, including [...]

Taiwan

In Taiwan, an Anti-Nuclear Activist With Unusual Pull

A high-profile Taiwanese anti-nuclear activist began a hunger strike on Tuesday to protest construction of the island’s fourth nuclear power plant, in what could become another challenge for the already beleaguered President Ma Ying-jeou. Lin Yi-xiong, the former chair of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and a longtime anti-nuclear activist, vowed to sustain on only [...]

DTI expects trade missions from Taiwan

Expect more Taiwanese trade missions as the Philippine government continues to promote the country as a gateway to Southeast Asia. “With its strong economic performance, flourishing business opportunities, and proximity, the Philippines is in a firm position to encourage Taiwan in closely considering our country as their gateway or hub for the Asean market,” Trade [...]

The US, TPP and Taiwan

As President Obama travels throughout Asia this week to revive his stalled pivot there, he should pay special attention to Taiwan – a country that, in recent years, has quietly but steadily drifted deeper into China’s orbit. The US military commitment to Taiwan has historically been strong. The Taiwan Relations Act, passed by Congress in [...]

Vietnam

Vmoto up on Vietnam deal

E-Max range of electric scooter products in Vietnam. The initial contract is for a minimum of 1200 units to be ordered by euro Ebike by August 2015. Vmoto said Vietnam’s motorbike market is the fourth-largest in the world after China, India and Indonesia. The company said it was in the process of developing and testing [...]

KBC raises capital with share offering

Kinh Bac City Development Holding Corp (KBC) on Tuesday reported it had sold 100 million shares for VND1 trillion (US$47.4 million). They were put for sale to increase its charter capital to cover debts (debt-to-equity swap). The shares were sold last week through a private offering to the company’s shareholders and creditors. Three female shareholders [...]

Quang Ngai wants to set up Dung Quat special economic zone

The authorities of the central province of Quang Ngai have expressed their wish to establish the Dung Quat special economic zone or the Dung Quat City. According to the local authorities, the aim is to have a strong enough management model to solve two important objectives of the Dung Quat Economic Zone at present – [...]