• N Korea Successfully Launched Its First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Now Hawaii Is Getting Ready For A Possible Attack.

    N Korea Successfully Launched Its First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Now Hawaii Is Getting Ready For A Possible Attack.

    Hawaii is launching a preparedness plan in case North Korea fires an intercontinental ballistic missile at the Pacific island state. The new campaign includes public service announcements, school drills, and attack sirens, like those used during the Cold War. Tensions between North Korea and the United States have been growing as leader Kim Jong Un [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Buzzfeed | 6:00 AM
  • S. Korea urges North to respond to military talks offer

    S. Korea urges North to respond to military talks offer

    South Korea urged the North on Friday to break its silence on an offer of military talks aimed at easing simmering tensions over the hermit state’s nuclear ambitions. Seoul had proposed to hold rare inter-Korea talks this week at the border truce village of Panmunjom to ease hostilities after a series of missile tests this [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Youths protest violence, ‘emerging dictatorship’ as the Philippines’ Duterte seeks to extend martial law

    Youths protest violence, ‘emerging dictatorship’ as the Philippines’ Duterte seeks to extend martial law

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has cursed world leaders, threatened to kill criminals and promised to eat the livers of terrorists, but Shibby de Guzman and her friends don’t seem intimidated. Shibby, a 13-year-old ninth-grader, and other young activists are calling for the end of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and other aggressive policies by [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | LA Times | 6:00 AM
  • Why Japan’s first lady was probably not snubbing President Trump

    Why Japan’s first lady was probably not snubbing President Trump

    President Trump’s exclusive interview with the New York Times on Wednesday touched on plenty of weighty topics, including the Republicans’ unsuccessful attempts to pass a health-care bill and what would constitute a “red line” in the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. But one excerpt in particular set afire a corner of the [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Washington Post | 6:00 AM
  • USS Milius deployment to Japan delayed amid ‘incredible’ workload in Asia-Pacific

    USS Milius deployment to Japan delayed amid ‘incredible’ workload in Asia-Pacific

    The destroyer USS Milius’ forward deployment to Japan has been pushed back to 2018, despite a need for additional ships in the busy Asia-Pacific region. USS Milius, originally scheduled to arrive this summer, was rescheduled so the ship can undergo additional testing and certification, the Navy said Thursday in a statement. Naval Surface Forces delayed [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Stripes | 6:00 AM
  • UN rights chief says China must allow Liu Xia to move freely

    UN rights chief says China must allow Liu Xia to move freely

    The UN human rights chief said Thursday he intends to keep pressuring China to allow the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo to move freely and leave the country if she wants to go elsewhere. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told a group of reporters Thursday that he intends to meet with Chinese [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China punishes 210000 officials for corruption

    China punishes 210000 officials for corruption

    Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog says it has punished 210,000 officials for corruption in first half of 2017. Chinese authorities have punished more than 210,000 officials for corruption in the first half of 2017, according to the Communist Party’s corruption watchdog. In a statement on Thursday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said anti-corruption institutions [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | News Agencies | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Is Sneering As Korea Presses For Talks

    N Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Is Sneering As Korea Presses For Talks

    Leaders of the two Koreas, still technically at war despite lack of actual conflict over the past six decades, came together for peaceful meetings in 2000 and 2007 under the South Korean government’s “Sunshine Policy.” But today’s leader in Pyongyang, the mercurial Kim Jong-un, wasn’t in power then. He’s a reason foreign media like to [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM
  • Britain stands shoulder to shoulder with Japan on N Koreaminister

    Britain stands shoulder to shoulder with Japan on N Koreaminister

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday his country stands with Japan in efforts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and called on China to help bring Pyongyang back to negotiations with world powers. “Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violation [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Blast in China’s Hangzhou city kills two, injures 55

    Blast in China’s Hangzhou city kills two, injures 55

    An explosion on Friday at a shop by a busy street in the Chinese city of Hanghzou killed two people and injured 55, authorities in the area said. Fire engulfed the shop sending plumes of smoke into the air, video footage circulated on social media showed. The fire had since been put out, Hangzhou’s West [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Rohingya still being smuggled into Malaysia despite ongoing crackdown

    Rohingya still being smuggled into Malaysia despite ongoing crackdown

    Despite the ongoing crackdown against human trafficking in Thailand, the people smuggling network is still very much alive. Scores from Rohingya from north west of Myanmar were still being smuggled into the Malaysia each month, seeking better lives for themselves and their families back home. Thirteen-year-old Mohammad Kibas was one of them who survived the [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | CNA | 6:00 AM
  • Thai ‘Red Shirt’ leader jailed for defamation ahead of polls

    Thai ‘Red Shirt’ leader jailed for defamation ahead of polls

    A leader of Thailand’s ‘Red Shirt’ movement was jailed Thursday for defaming an ex-prime minister, sidelining a key voice of dissent against the ruling junta ahead of polls expected in 2018. Thailand’s Supreme Court sentenced Jatuporn Prompan over a 2009 speech accusing then-PM Abhisit Vejjajiva of being a “tyrant” and ordering the military to shoot [...]

    22-Jul-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam to rescue 1,000 bears in bid to end bile trade

Vietnam agreed Wednesday to rescue more than 1,000 bears from illegal farms across the country, in a move to end the traditional medicine trade in the creatures’ bile. Though bile farms are already outlawed in Vietnam, bears are still captured and caged in illicit facilities where their bile is extracted using invasive and painful techniques. [...]

Study finds caste-based diseases in South Asia

Most South Asian linguistic races and caste groups have a high vulnerability for ‘population-specific’ diseases. A CCMB study published in Nature Genetics on Monday found that out of 263 unique South Asian groups studied, around 81 have a large number of recessive diseases. A recessive disease is one that can be passed down through families. [...]

In South Asian Social Castes, a Living Lab for Genetic Disease

In certain states in southern India, anesthesiologists know to ask anyone undergoing surgery whether they belong to the Vysya, a regional group traditionally associated with traders and businesspeople. Anecdotally, medical workers know that some people with Vysya ancestry who live primarily in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have had fatal responses to common muscle relaxants, so [...]

Health

Study finds caste-based diseases in South Asia

Most South Asian linguistic races and caste groups have a high vulnerability for ‘population-specific’ diseases. A CCMB study published in Nature Genetics on Monday found that out of 263 unique South Asian groups studied, around 81 have a large number of recessive diseases. A recessive disease is one that can be passed down through families. [...]

In South Asian Social Castes, a Living Lab for Genetic Disease

In certain states in southern India, anesthesiologists know to ask anyone undergoing surgery whether they belong to the Vysya, a regional group traditionally associated with traders and businesspeople. Anecdotally, medical workers know that some people with Vysya ancestry who live primarily in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have had fatal responses to common muscle relaxants, so [...]

HK leader Carrie Lam calls for measures to cope with deadly flu outbreak

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has called on local health authorities to take urgent measures to cope with a deadly flu outbreakone of the city’s worst in recent history. According to the South China Morning Post, 157 people have died so far since the outbreak started in May. The worst such flu outbreak was [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian shares meander as ECB, BOJ hold monetary policy steady

Asian shares were mixed Friday in muted trading after the European Central Bank announced no changes to its stimulus policies. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2 percent to 20,109.57 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,750.70. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 percent to 2,446.86. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent [...]

Asia stocks hit near-decade high, yen slips as BOJ cuts inflation forecast

Asian shares rose to their highest levels in nearly a decade on Thursday, bolstered by a surge in global markets, while the yen eased after the Bank of Japan reinforced expectations that it will keep massive stimulus in place far longer than other major central banks. European markets were also set for a positive start, [...]

Toyota to Showcase at Automobile Council 2017

Introducing 20 years of hybrid technology from the birth of the Prius Toyota City, Japan, July 21, 2017 – (JCN Newswire) – Toyota Motor Corporation announces its participation at Automobile Council 2017, an event to be held over the course of 3 days from August 4 (Friday) to August 6 (Sunday) at Makuhari Messe (Mihama-ku, [...]

Regional

Burma propaganda? Army takes media on reporting trip

Myanmar’s military has a big public relations problem: It stands accused of committing genocide. Which is why I was among 14 international journalists escorted to a village in northern Rakhine state this past week on a guided press tour the first time we were allowed into this area since last October, when the army began [...]

Vietnam’s Drinkers Are Giving the World’s Top Brewers Beer Goggles

Ho Chi Minh called alcohol a poison peddled by French imperialists. Half a century later in the Vietnamese city that bears the revolutionary founder’s name, young women in short skirts haul cases of Tiger Beer and buckets of ice to wooden tables crowded with young men. “Drinking beer is essential in Vietnam,” shouts Nguyen Nhat [...]

Bad weather caused deadly plane crash: Burma military

Bad weather caused deadly plane crash: Burma military

Bad weather caused a Myanmar military plane to crash last month with 122 people on board, state media reported on Wednesday, in one of the deadliest aviation accidents in the country’s history. The Chinese-made Shaanxi Y8 military aircraft plunged into the Andaman Sea during a routine flight from the southern city of Myeik to the [...]

China

Illinois man charged with Chinese scholar kidnapping pleads not guilty

An Illinois man charged with kidnapping a female Chinese scholar who has been missing for more than a month pleaded not guilty during an appearance in a US court on Thursday. Brendt Christensen, 28, is accused of abducting Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old visiting scholar at the University of Illinois from southeastern China, who disappeared on [...]

The China SOE Reform Waiting Game

China’s SOE reform is all bark, little action and entirely no bite. Authorities are considering a merger of the nation’s two biggest state-run metals companies, China Minmetals Corp. and China National Gold Group Corp., Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Minmetals Development Co., almost two-thirds owned by China Minmetals, jumped by [...]

Abercrombie Is Still Hip in China and Wants to Cash In

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is looking to shoppers in China, where its brand still has prestige, to help with its comeback plan. The company will offer its flagship brand and its Abercrombie kids line on Alibaba Group’s Tmall website starting on July 26, according to a statement Thursday. Tmall, China’s largest consumer platform, has carried [...]

Malaysia

BAT Malaysia raised to outperform at Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse analyst Joanna Cheah upgraded the recommendation on British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd to outperform from neutral. Cheah lowered the target price to 49.50 ringgit from 49.90 ringgit, implying a 13 percent increase from the last close. The target is 10 percent above the consensus average of 45 ringgit. BAT Malaysia had 3 buy [...]

Bangladeshi human rights activist denied entry into Malaysia

Bangladeshi human rights activist Adilur Rahman Khan was denied entry into Malaysia today. Adilur was barred from entering Malaysia about 4am today at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He was scheduled to attend a conference on ‘The Abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific’, organised by Anti Death Penalty Asia Network, [...]

Malaysia Airlines launches 3-day flash deals

Malaysia Airlines launched its three-day flash deals campaign on Thursday and the promotion is valid for travel from July 27 until September 30, 2017. The national carrier said on the campaign offered customers a chance to enjoy up to 35 percent savings on economy class to selected routes. The air fares are from as low [...]

Indonesia

Indonesian Islamists open a new front in their war on tolerance

CORNELIS, the 63-year-old governor of West Kalimantan, a province in Indonesian Borneo, is relaxing in jeans and a stained white vest at a table piled with krupuk crackers and other local snacks. Portraits of the governor and his wife posing with prize-winning vegetables (both are keen gardeners) decorate the walls of the family home in [...]

Indonesian media visits NSTP, gains valuable knowledge on digital media practices

Indonesian media practitioners today visited Balai Berita to study New Straits Times Press Bhd’s (NSTP) innovative digital media practices. Around 30 representatives were present to gain understanding of how the dailies New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro converged its print and online publication while maintaining their relevance to the readers. Indonesia Newspaper (SPS) [...]

Analysts Puzzled by Indonesia Central Bank’s Midnight Decision

Indonesia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as expected, on Thursday, but left analysts puzzled by delaying the announcement until close to midnight. No reason was given by the bank for the late release. Bank Indonesia doesn’t have a specific time for its monthly press conference where the rate decision is disclosed, but [...]

Singapore

Singapore’s value to the United States lies in its location: US ambassador nominee KT McFarland

The value of Singapore to the United States is more than just a bilateral relationship, but about “location, location, location”, said KT McFarland, President Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Singapore on Thursday (July 20). In her confirmation hearing statement, McFarland, who is deputy national security adviser, noted that Singapore sits astride one of [...]

Nam Cheong to Restructure in Blow to Singapore Bond Market

Nam Cheong Ltd is set to renege on some of its borrowings, in the latest blow to Singapore’s bond market as the shipbuilding and offshore oilfield services industry struggles to rebound from a slump in oil. The Kuala Lumpur-based group has decided to temporarily cease repayment on all borrowings, including a semi-annual coupon due July [...]

Defence force looking for training land for Singapore military

THE Australian Defence Force has confirmed it is still looking for training land for the Singapore military in the Ravenswood and Pentland districts. The ADF also confirmed yesterday that it was in talks with some of the 23 owners of land near the existing 200,000ha Townsville Field Training Area, initially targeted for compulsory acquisition last [...]

Thailand

Thailand should leave ‘no stone unturned’ after 62 found guilty of trafficking

More needs to be done to ensure that human traffickers are brought to justice and Rohingya migrants are protected, rights groups said on Thursday, after a trial in which 62 people were convicted of crimes including trafficking and murder. A Bangkok court convicted the 62, including a general, police officers and provincial officials, on Wednesday [...]

Thai court charges disgraced ‘jet-set monk’ with rape

A Thai court charged a disgraced former monk Thursday with the rape of an underage girl, fraud and money laundering, after he was extradited from the United States. Thailand is an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation with around 300,000 men in orange robes, but the clergy are beset by high-profile scandals. Wiraphon Sukphon, 37, was arrested on [...]

Thai general, provincial politicians found guilty in trafficking trial

An army general, two provincial politicians and police officers were among 62 people out of a total of 103 defendants found guilty on Wednesday by a judge in Thailand’s biggest human trafficking trial. The trial, which began in 2015, had been marred by allegations of intimidation of witnesses, interpreters and police investigators. Some of those [...]

Philippines

Philippines orders arrests as communist talks close to collapse

The Philippine government ordered the arrest Thursday of communist rebel leaders involved in peace talks, the day after a guerrilla ambush left five presidential bodyguards wounded in the latest escalation of the half century-long conflict. The insurgents have been engaged in off-and-on peace talks with Manila to end one of the world’s longest insurgencies that [...]

3 global firms assist coconut oil supply chain in Philippines

Three big names in the global household consumer goods industry have teamed up to boost the coconut oil market through initiatives focused on southern Mindanao and southern Leyte as well as North Sulawesi in Indonesia. Cargill, Procter & Gamble and BASF would be working with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) [...]

Philippines bans Brazil meat imports due to salmonella

Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol said Thursday he ordered a temporary ban on all meat imports from Brazil after nearly 500 kilos of a recent shipment tested positive for salmonella, a bacteria that causes food poisoning. The ban will remain while the National Meat Inspection Office investigates the contamination. A team from the department will fly [...]

Japan

Bank of Japan keeps monetary policy steady, cuts inflation expectations

The Bank of Japan (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 8301.T-JP) said Thursday that it kept its monetary policy unchanged after its two-day meeting, but it cut inflation forecasts for fiscal years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019. The central bank now expects inflation to be at 1.1 percent for the current fiscal year, down from its previous forecast of 1.4 [...]

The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies

Many point to unromantic 20-somethings and women’s entry into the workforce, but an overlooked factor is the trouble young men have in finding steady, well-paid jobs. Japan’s population is shrinking. For the first time since the government started keeping track more than a century ago, there were fewer than 1 million births last year, as [...]

Japan’s fertility crisis is causing companies to raise their minimum age for retirement

More than half of Japanese companies are planning to raise the retirement age of their workforce, a Reuters poll shows, with many saying it would alleviate the country’s labour shortage and harness the expertise of veteran workers. Most Japanese companies require full-time employees to retire at 60, with an option of a further five years’ [...]

Korea

Korea is losing faith in an elitist education system

“IF YOU don’t have the ability then blame your parents,” wrote Jung Yoo-ra on social media in 2014, after being accepted into a prestigious university. Her mother, it turns out, had gone to great lengths to secure a spot for her, inducing Ehwa Women’s University to alter its admissions policy in a manner tailor-made for [...]

No response from N Korea as proposed talks loom: Seoul

No response from N Korea as proposed talks loom: Seoul

Hours before proposed military talks between South and North Korea, Pyongyang on Thursday still refused to confirm its participation, officials said. Seoul’s defence ministry had offered rare talks with the North at the Panmunjom truce village on the heavily militarised inter-Korean border to discuss tension reduction on Friday. “There has been no response as of [...]

S. Korea urges North to respond to military talks offer

S. Korea urges North to respond to military talks offer

South Korea urged the North on Friday to break its silence on an offer of military talks aimed at easing simmering tensions over the hermit state’s nuclear ambitions. Seoul had proposed to hold rare inter-Korea talks this week at the border truce village of Panmunjom to ease hostilities after a series of missile tests this [...]

Hong Kong

China’s banned books fade from HK

China’s banned books fade from HK

The annual Hong Kong book fair has always been a source of politically sensitive titles banned in China, but this year fewer were on display as the city faces growing pressure under an increasingly assertive Beijing. Several publishing houses were still displaying controversial books at the harbourfront convention centre as part of a fair that [...]

China, HK shares rise on buoyant global markets

China’s blue-chip index rose to fresh 18-month highs early on Thursday, buoyed by solid corporate earnings and signs Beijing is stepping up restructuring of the country’s bloated state sector. Hong Kong shares were also firm, with the benchmark Hang Seng index on track to rise for the ninth day, bolstered by buoyant global equity markets. [...]

HK holds memorial for Chinese Nobel laureate Liu

HK holds memorial for Chinese Nobel laureate Liu

Hundreds turned out in Hong Kong Wednesday night to pay their respects to late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, the pro-democracy Chinese dissident whose death in custody shocked the world. Liu, a government critic and thorn in the side of the authorities for decades, died last week aged 61 after losing a battle with cancer, more [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan to launch its first self-developed satellite

Taiwan is set to launch its first developed satellite which will monitor ‘earthly activities’ for five years. The satellite was sent to the US on July 19 where it will be launched into space by a US rocket on August 25. However the NT$5 billion (GBP 126 million) satellite almost missed its flight to the [...]

Guatemalan foreign minister visits Taiwan

Foreign minister of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday on a two-day visit aimed at bolstering bilateral relations. During his stay in the nation, the foreign minister will meet with his Taiwanese counterpart, David Lee (???), who will host a dinner banquet in honor of Morales’ official visit. According to Taiwan’s [...]

Chinese bombers pass through Taiwan airspace

Two Chinese bombers crossed through Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone on the island’s east side, but were tailed by Taiwanese Indigenous Defense Fighter jets (???), according to pictures released by the Ministry of National Defense Friday. It was reportedly the first time a photo showed a Taiwanese and a Chinese military aircraft in the same [...]

Vietnam

Reference exchange rate down 1 VND

The State Bank of Vietnam cut the daily reference exchange rate for VND/USD by 1 VND on July 21 to 22,432 VND per USD. With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,105 VND and the floor rate 21,759 VND. The opening hour rates [...]

Small agri production must end

Vietnam’s agriculture sector needs to end the practice of small-scale production and reorganise it on a larger scale towards high-tech agriculture, the “Reorganising Agricultural Production” seminar, held prior to the second Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF) at the end of this month, heard. Tran Manh Bao, Chair of VPSF’s Agriculture Working Group and the Thai [...]

Petrol prices increased by over 300 VND per litre

The ministries of industry and trade and finance decided to raise retail petrol prices as of 3 p.m on July 20. The retail price of RON 92 increased by 357 VND to trade at a maximum of 16,426 VND (0.72 USD) per litre. The price of E5 bio-fuel rose by 333 VND to trade at [...]