• Malaysia says VX nerve agent used in killing of N Korean

    Malaysia says VX nerve agent used in killing of N Korean

    The banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean ruler’s outcast half brother who was poisoned last week at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, police said Friday. The announcement raised serious questions about public safety in a building that authorities went 11 days without decontaminating. The substance, [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China continues ‘steady pattern’ of S.China Sea militarisation: experts

    China continues ‘steady pattern’ of S.China Sea militarisation: experts

    Recent satellite imagery appears to show China is completing structures intended to house surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) on a series of artificial islands in the South China Sea, a Washington think-tank said Thursday. According to images published by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the structures are being installed on Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • S. Korea blasts news of Kim murder via loudspeaker to North: report

    S. Korea blasts news of Kim murder via loudspeaker to North: report

    South Korea is using giant loudspeakers to blast news of the dramatic assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother across the border with its reclusive northern neighbour, it was reported Thursday. Kim Jong-Nam – the eldest son of the North’s late leader Kim Jong-Il – died on February 13 after being attacked by two [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | AFP News | 6:00 AM
  • Indonesia to raise prospect of joint patrols with Australia in South China Sea – report

    Indonesia to raise prospect of joint patrols with Australia in South China Sea – report

    Indonesia President Joko Widodo will discuss the prospect of joint patrols with Australia in the South China Sea when he meets his counterpart prime minister Malcolm Turnbull at the weekend. Widodo told The Australian newspaper he would like to see joint patrols with Australia, but only if did not further inflame tensions with China. “If [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Philippine law enforcers arrest Duterte critic on drug charges

    Philippine law enforcers arrest Duterte critic on drug charges

    A Philippines Senator and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was arrested on Friday after charges were filed in court alleging she received money from drug dealers inside the country’s prisons. Senator Leila de Lima, her former driver and bodyguard and a former national prison official were ordered to be arrested by [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Japan PM’s wife cuts ties with school at centre of political scandal

    Japan PM’s wife cuts ties with school at centre of political scandal

    Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s wife has cut ties with an elementary school whose operator is under fire for buying state-owned land at a rock-bottom price in a furore rapidly developing into a political headache for Abe. Moritomo Gakuen, an educational institution in the western city of Osaka that also operates a kindergarten promoting patriotism [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea Says China `Dancing to US Tune’ in Rare Spat

    N Korea Says China `Dancing to US Tune’ in Rare Spat

    North Korea hit out at China in an unusual hostile commentary on state-run media, denouncing the country’s decision to ban coal imports from the isolated nation as “inhumane” and vowing to carry on developing nuclear weapons. While the piece published Thursday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency didn’t mention the country’s Cold War ally [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • Fukushima Latest News: Amid ‘Unacceptable Radiation Risk,’ Japan Tells Residents To Move Back Home To Nuclear Disaster Site

    Fukushima Latest News: Amid ‘Unacceptable Radiation Risk,’ Japan Tells Residents To Move Back Home To Nuclear Disaster Site

    Japan has urged residents of Fukushima to return to the nuclear disaster site despite “unacceptable radiation risk,” according to the Japanese arm of the non-governmental environmental organisation Greenpeace. The Japanese government will lift the evacuation order for the 6,000 residents of Iitate village on March 31 – six years after a tsunami triggered the meltdown [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Ibtimes | 6:00 AM
  • China’s President Vows to Lead the World Because Trump Isn’t Stepping Up

    China’s President Vows to Lead the World Because Trump Isn’t Stepping Up

    Is it China’s time to be the global leader? As Trump’s administration is taking steps back from its global leadership role to focus on its “America First” policy, Beijing is now declaring that it’s ready to take its place. For the first time ever, a Chinese president and not an American politician made a case [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Nextshark | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea breaks silence on Kim Jong Nam death, says probe ‘full of holes’

    N Korea breaks silence on Kim Jong Nam death, says probe ‘full of holes’

    North Korea’s state-run news agency slammed Malaysia on Thursday, saying its investigation into the assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “full of holes and contradictions.” It was the North’s first reference to the death of Kim Jong Nam following an apparent poisoning at the Kuala Lumpur airport on [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Usatoday | 6:00 AM
  • How to Stop China in the South China Sea

    How to Stop China in the South China Sea

    All eyes on Taiwan, America’s ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ China has once again raised the stakes in one of the world’s most fiercely contested waterways – this time, for the first time, on Donald Trump’s presidential watch. New satellite photos have revealed that China is building surface-to-air missile (SAM) facilities on Subi, Mischief, and Fiery Cross [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Nationalreview | 6:00 AM
  • HK police hold rally over sentenceing of colleagues for assault

    HK police hold rally over sentenceing of colleagues for assault

    Hong Kong police have staged a protest against the jailing of seven of their colleagues for assault. Seven policemen were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday, after being found guilty of beating up social worker Ken Tsang at a 2014 pro-democracy rally, Occupy Central. More than 30,000 people – mainly police officers – [...]

    25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Newsweek | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam to punish officials over mass fish deaths

Vietnam said on Wednesday (February 22) it will punish 11 senior officials for misconduct over a toxic waste dump last year that killed tonnes of fish in one of the country’s worst environmental disasters. Taiwanese steel firm Formosa was blamed for the crisis that decimated livelihoods in coastal fishing communities in central Vietnam and was [...]

US-born panda Bao Bao lands in China after leaving DC zoo

An American-born panda started settling into her new home Thursday in southwest China where she will eventually join a breeding programme. Bao Bao was born at the National Zoo in Washington to panda parents on loan from China. Under an agreement between China and the US, such panda cubs must be returned to China before [...]

6 bird flu outbreaks reported in Vietnam

Vietnam has reported six bird flu outbreaks in five provinces nationwide in the past 21 days, said Pham Van Dong, chief of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Animal Health on Wednesday. Specifically, two A/H5N1 avian bird flu outbreaks are reported in northern Nam Dinh province, one A/H5N6 in central Quang Ngai province, [...]

Health

6 bird flu outbreaks reported in Vietnam

Vietnam has reported six bird flu outbreaks in five provinces nationwide in the past 21 days, said Pham Van Dong, chief of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Animal Health on Wednesday. Specifically, two A/H5N1 avian bird flu outbreaks are reported in northern Nam Dinh province, one A/H5N6 in central Quang Ngai province, [...]

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry – WHO

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry – WHO

China has detected an evolution in the H7N9 avian flu virus that is capable of causing severe disease in poultry and requires close monitoring, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Samples of the virus taken from two infected humans were injected into birds in a laboratory and became “highly pathogenic” for poultry, it [...]

UN health agency ‘vigilant’ about China bird flu outbreak

The World Health Organization says an increase in bird flu cases in China this year has not shown sustained human-to-human transmission, but it vows to remain “vigilant” over the puzzling outbreak in which affected fowl don’t show any symptoms. Spokesman Christian Lindmeier of the UN health agency says the outbreak of the H7N9 strain is [...]

FinanceAsia

Renesas Electronics Announces Appointment of Necip Sayiner as Executive Vice President

Renesas Electronics Announces Appointment of Necip Sayiner as Executive Vice President

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Following the successful completion of the acquisition of Intersil Corporation (“Intersil”, NASDAQ:ISIL) announced on February 25, 2017, Renesas Electronics Corporation (“Renesas”, TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the appointment of Dr. Necip Sayiner, the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Intersil Corporation, as Executive Vice President of Renesas. [...]

Caution Prevails for Asia Stocks After Yen Advance: Markets Wrap

A positive week for Asian stocks is ending on a cautious tone as a strengthening yen weighed on Tokyo equities and weaker metals prices pulled down shares of raw-materials companies. The dollar held on to losses. The dollar weakened after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox Business that fiscal stimulus effects on the economy [...]

AirAsia plans for single, listed Asean holding company

The AirAsia group plans to combine its Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines operations under a single, listed Asean holding company. AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes outlined the move as part of its outlook for this year. “Now that all our Asean airlines are on stable footing, we want to further our [...]

Regional

EU says trade pact approval rests on Vietnam’s rights record

European parliamentarians warned communist Vietnam on Thursday that a failure to improve its human rights record threatens to hinder the ratification of a free trade pact negotiated by the two powers. The trade agreement, which was approved by Brussels and Hanoi in 2015 and is slated to come into effect next year, would slash nearly [...]

Burma makes record seizures of illegal timber

Myanmar seized a record amount of illegal timber this financial year as part of a government clampdown to protect the country’s rapidly disappearing forests, a senior official said on Wednesday. Forest ministry director Tin Tun said authorities had confiscated 40,000 tonnes of timber since April 2016, months before the newly elected government issued a nationwide [...]

Burma security forces probe Rohingya prison deaths

Burma security forces probe Rohingya prison deaths

Myanmar’s security forces are investigating the deaths of eight Rohingya in custody who were among hundreds arrested during a military crackdown in the north of Rakhine state, the government said Wednesday. Hundreds of Rohingya are thought to have been killed during the army campaign launched four months ago after militants carried out deadly raids on [...]

China

IMAX China profits tumble amid box-office slump

IMAX China Holding Inc saw a steep fall in profits in 2016 amid a slump in China’s box-office sales, the film company said on Friday, underlining the challenge filmmakers and cinema operators face in the world’s second-largest economy. The subsidiary of large-format movie and cinema screen giant IMAX Corp saw net profit for the year [...]

US-China Friendship Crucial, Trump Nominee for Ambassador Says

President Donald Trump’s pick to be the US ambassador to China emphasized friendship between the countries as he prepared to meet with China’s ambassador during a trip this week to Washington. Cordial ties are “going to be an important thing” between the two nations, Iowa Governor and Trump Nominee Terry Branstad said Thursday in an [...]

Why China’s Silicon Valley Is a Magnet for Tech Millennials

When Alex Chen and his brother Harrison wanted to get their ping pong-playing robot up and running, it wasn’t Silicon Valley they turned to for help. Instead it was Shenzhen, a former fishing village bordering Hong Kong that has the strongest claim to be China’s answer to Silicon Valley. About a thousand startup accelerators are [...]

Malaysia

Malaysia to sweep Kuala Lumpur airport for ‘radioactive’ material

Malaysian authorities will sweep the international airport and other locations for radioactive material, the police chief said on Friday, following the murder of Kim Jong Nam in which VX nerve agent, a highly toxic chemical, was used. “(We are looking to) sweep all locations that we knew the suspects went to. We will get the [...]

In Malaysia, no complaints against theatre don accused of sexual abuse

Students from a local varsity who studied under an American theatre don who has been accused of sexual abuse in the US never complained about his conduct, according to officials. Sunway Education Group said that Rey Buono, who was named in a Boston Global report as having abused at least a dozen underage boys at [...]

Malaysia says highly toxic VX nerve agent used in murder of Kim Jong Nam

VX nerve agent, a chemical on a UN list of weapons of mass destruction, was used to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in last week’s bizarre murder in a busy Kuala Lumpur airport, Malaysian police said on Friday. Kim Jong Nam died on February 13 after being assaulted by [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia to raise prospect of joint patrols with Australia in South China Sea – report

Indonesia to raise prospect of joint patrols with Australia in South China Sea – report

Indonesia President Joko Widodo will discuss the prospect of joint patrols with Australia in the South China Sea when he meets his counterpart prime minister Malcolm Turnbull at the weekend. Widodo told The Australian newspaper he would like to see joint patrols with Australia, but only if did not further inflame tensions with China. “If [...]

Indonesia says rise of One Nation party in Australia a ‘concern’

Statement comes amid calls from party leader Pauline Hanson for a ban on Muslim immigration, surveillance in mosques and a royal commission into Islam The rise of political parties with challenging views on Islam such as Australia’s One Nation are a “concern”, the Indonesian foreign ministry says. The minor party’s leader, Pauline Hanson, has called [...]

Jakarta: could the governor elections change the face of Indonesia?

As Jakarta holds elections to decide its next governor, the Indonesian capital has been rocked by religious tensions. The incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Chinese Christian popularly known as Ahok, is battling Muslim candidate Anies Baswedan. After the first round of votes on February 15, Ahok is leading with 42.87 percent of the vote, [...]

Singapore

Disrupting the disruptors: Singapore rattles sharing economy with rule change

Singapore, a keen early adopter of the sharing economy, has fired a warning shot across the bow of Airbnb and Uber with tighter rules that could shake up their business models and growth ambitions in Asia. The rules, some say, are a sign that even governments sympathetic to companies that allow citizens to rent out [...]

A Singapore-registered ship has been sold on Taobao for $11.8M

Varada Blessing had previously been put up on the Taobao auction site twice but did not reach its reserved price Varada Blessing Most shoppers probably know Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao as China’s Amazon – a one stop portal for a vast selection of consumer goods ranging from electronics to household items. What is lesser known, [...]

Boeing to deliver 1st tranche of converted freighters to China by end-2017

Boeing Co said it was planning to deliver its first tranche of revamped old passenger jets to be used as freight haulers in China by the end of the year, amid a boom in e-commerce that is driving China’s parcel delivery market. Boeing will have the revamped versions of the popular 737-800 passenger jet ready [...]

Thailand

Thailand court upholds magazine editor’s royal insult conviction

The Supreme Court of Thailand on Thursday upheld the sentence of a former magazine editor who published stories criticising the royal family. The court did curtail the sentence [AP report], so that Somyot Pruksakasemsuk would be released in 2018. The editor was convicted under Thailand’s controversial lese majeste [BBC report] legislation. The law makes it [...]

Thailand: Quash Editor’s Conviction for ‘Insulting Monarchy’

Thai authorities should quash the conviction and release a prominent magazine editor imprisoned under Thailand’s draconian law on insulting the monarchy, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 23, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld lower court verdicts that found Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a labour rights activist and former editor of Voice of Thaksin magazine, guilty of [...]

BBC journalist faces five years jail for Thailand reporting

BBC journalist faces five years jail for Thailand reporting

A British journalist with the BBC faces up to five years in a Thai jail after a lawyer brought a criminal defamation case against him over an investigation into fraud on a popular tourist island. Rights groups say the case is the latest example of how Thailand’s broad defamation and computer crime laws shut down [...]

Philippines

Top Philippine drug war critic dodges arrest

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for the highest-profile opponent of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, but she dodged police and sought refuge in the Senate. The planned arrest of Senator Leila de Lima outraged her supporters and human rights activists, who said the government had manufactured drug trafficking charges to silence [...]

Philippines’ De Lima: from high-flying lawyer to rights crusader

Philippine drug war critic Leila de Lima was a highly paid lawyer who switched focus mid-career to human rights, a decision that would draw her into the deadly world of President Rodrigo Duterte. De Lima was due to be arrested Friday on drug trafficking charges she insists are manufactured to silence her opposition to Duterte’s [...]

Philippine law enforcers arrest Duterte critic on drug charges

Philippine law enforcers arrest Duterte critic on drug charges

A Philippines Senator and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was arrested on Friday after charges were filed in court alleging she received money from drug dealers inside the country’s prisons. Senator Leila de Lima, her former driver and bodyguard and a former national prison official were ordered to be arrested by [...]

Japan

Japan to pay damages to Okinawans hit by US jets’ noise

A Japanese court on Thursday ordered the central government to pay over $260 million in compensation to residents living near a US airbase in Okinawa over aircraft noise. The Naha district court’s Okinawa branch handed down the ruling, public broadcaster NHK reported. Some 22,000 residents from five municipalities around the US Kadena Air Base, the [...]

Why Japan may finally emerge from its lost decades

Just how stubborn is Japan’s deflation? Consider a recent note from High Frequency Economics’ Carl Weinberg, about the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos in January. “It used to be that…sessions with the Bank of Japan governor would sell out. Not this year. Mega-Japan sessions were not on the programme. The only time Japan came [...]

US report: ‘Uncertainty’ in relations with Japan

A US Congressional Research Service report released on Wednesday posed questions over the course of Japan-US relations after the two country’s closely watched summit. The February 10 meeting between prime minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump was “seen as broadly successful,” the report said. Despite that, “questions remain about how the relationship will [...]

Korea

N Korea embassy in KL: The secretive outpost of the hermit nation

Hidden in an upscale neighbourhood along Jalan Batai in Damansara Heights is the embassy of one of the world’s most secretive countries. The Embassy of the Democratic Party Republic of Korea, or North Korea, is housed in a huge bungalow with a high perimetre wall with rusted barbed wire. Like other embassies here, it is [...]

Kim Jong-nam Was Killed by VX Nerve Agent, Malaysians Say

The poison used to kill Kim-Jong-nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was VX nerve agent, a substance listed as a chemical weapon, the Malaysian police announced Friday. In a brief statement, Khalid Abu Bakar, the national police chief, said the substance was listed as a chemical weapon under the Chemical [...]

NKorea statement on Kim Jong-nam death in Malaysia

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency has criticised Malaysia for its handling of the death of a “DPRK citizen”, in its first apparent mention of the death of Kim Jong-nam. Here is the full text of the English-language version of the report. A citizen of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] bearing a diplomatic [...]

Hong Kong

HK Gains Are Small Fry to Morgan Stanley Eyeing China

To make real money this year on Chinese stocks, look beyond the Asia-leading surge we’re seeing in Hong Kong. That’s the message from Morgan Stanley, whose chief Asia strategist is predicting Chinese shares back on the mainland will jump 42 percent in 2017, more than double the move he’s forecasting for the Hang Seng China [...]

Sri Lanka ‘hunting’ refugees who sheltered Snowden in HK

Sri Lankan asylum seekers living in Hong Kong fear they are being illegally pursued by police after sheltering the US whistleblower Edward Snowden in the city. Criminal investigators from Sri Lanka are believed to have visited Hong Kong looking for them, their lawyer said. The Sri Lankan police have denied the allegations. Law enforcement authorities [...]

HK police hold rally over sentenceing of colleagues for assault

HK police hold rally over sentenceing of colleagues for assault

Hong Kong police have staged a protest against the jailing of seven of their colleagues for assault. Seven policemen were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday, after being found guilty of beating up social worker Ken Tsang at a 2014 pro-democracy rally, Occupy Central. More than 30,000 people – mainly police officers – [...]

Taiwan

Editorial: China tries to use the 228 Incident

One of the darkest pages in Taiwan history was opened in February 1947, when Kuomintang leader and President Chiang Kai-shek sent in his troops to help his local governor, Chen Yi, put down an uprising. The “228 Incident,” as it became known, was not a one-day event, but a long period of repression, suffering, and [...]

Taiwan Wealth Probe Shows Disdain for China-Style One-Party Rule

At the Palace, one of the most expensive residences in Taiwan’s capital, a uniformed attendant waits to greet visitors under an elaborate stone archway and swaying palm trees. The plot of land, roughly the size of Rome’s Colosseum, housed the state-run broadcaster after Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang fled the mainland in 1949 and established military rule [...]

Taiwan Plans To Restrict Cash Purchases In Criminal Crackdown

Taiwan is becoming the latest country to launch a war on cash, banning its use for transactions involving real estate and ‘luxury’ goods. As Zerohedge reports quoting the Economic Daily News, an unidentified government minister stated there would likely be an outright ban on using cash to pay for such items. Their actual cost, he [...]

Vietnam

Govt targets budget deficit below 3.5pct of GDP

The government will continue consolidating macro-economic fundamentals in the 2016-2020 period to curb inflation at under 5 percent a year and cut budget deficit to less than 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. According to an action programme for implementing two economic restructuring resolutions of the Party and the National Assembly, public [...]

European firms optimistic about Vietnam’s business environment

European companies expressed optimism about the business environment in Vietnam during a recent meeting with the press, Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) newspaper reported. The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) revealed the positivity from a survey on Vietnam’s business environment in the fourth quarter of 2016. Nearly 73 percent of European businesses were [...]

UK sees Vietnam as important trade partner

Visiting UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox stated that the UK considers Vietnam as an important and promising trade partner at a working session with minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh in Hanoi on February 23. Fox affirmed that the UK hopes to forge stronger multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam which [...]