• At least 30 dead after military plane crashes in Indonesia

    At least 30 dead after military plane crashes in Indonesia

    At least 30 people have been killed after an Indonesian military plane crashed in a residential area in Sumatra and burst into flames today. An Indonesian military spokesman told The Associated Press the Hercules C-130 plane had crashed in the city of Medan. Pictures showed the aircraft and several surrounding cars on fire with thick [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | 9news | 3:44 PM
  • Gay activists in Asia upbeat about impact of US court ruling

    Gay activists in Asia upbeat about impact of US court ruling

    Gay rights activists in Asia, where no country allows same-sex couples to legally marry, are upbeat about prospects for a change following the landmark US Supreme Court ruling legalising such marriages in every state of the nation. A look at some of the reactions and background on gay rights: SOUTH KOREA South Koreans’ attitudes toward [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Vietnam frees hi			<a href=

    Vietnam frees high-profile dissident lawyer

    One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents vowed to continue his anti-China activism after being released from prison on Saturday after serving two and a half years on tax evasion charges. Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic blogger and lawyer from the communist nation, was freed from jail early Saturday in central Quang Nam province and met [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Vietnam’s Communist Party chief to visit White House to mark 20 years of friendship

    Vietnam’s Communist Party chief to visit White House to mark 20 years of friendship

    Many have seen the deepening of ties between Hanoi and Washington as a result of their growing concerns over China’s ascendance to power. The White House will receive a rare guest next month as Vietnam’s Communist party chief embarks on a highly symbolic trip to mark the 20th anniversary of resumption of diplomatic ties between [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | SCMP | 6:00 AM
  • 14 Thai students face seven years in jail for anti-junta rally

    14 Thai students face seven years in jail for anti-junta rally

    Fourteen Thai students were taken into custody Saturday after staging an anti-coup rally on charges that could see them jailed for seven years, as the ruling junta tightens its chokehold on dissent. The pro-democracy campaigners are among the few activists that have dared to publicly challengeThailand’s military rulers, who imposed severe curbs on civil liberties [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 7:07 AM
  • Thousands march in Seoul for S. Korea’s gay pride parade

    Thousands marched through central Seoul Sunday in what organisers described as South Korea’s biggest annual gay pride parade, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court’s historic decision allowing same-sex couples nationwide to wed. On the other side of police barriers aroundSeoulPlaza, thousands of Christian activists waved banners and chanted slogans at those taking part, condemning [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 7:05 AM
  • Philippines halts repairs on Spratlys airstrip ahead of UN suit

    Philippines halts repairs on Spratlys airstrip ahead of UN suit

    ThePhilippineshas halted the repair of its airstrip in the disputed Spratly islands due to its pending suit atThe HaguechallengingChina’s claim over the waters, a presidential spokesman said Sunday. The work on the airstrip on Thitu island, which the Philippines calls Pagasa and which hosts a small community, comes as China builds up outcroppings in the [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 7:03 AM
  • China angered by Philippine documentary on South China Sea

    China angered by Philippine documentary on South China Sea

    Chinaon Monday accused thePhilippinesof spreading misinformation and “creating the illusion of the victim” in their dispute over the South China Sea afterManilaaired a three-part documentary defending its position. The first part of the documentary series titled “Karapatan sa Dagat”, or maritime rights, was released as thePhilippinesobserved Independence Day on June 12. “ThePhilippinesis attempting to mislead [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 7:02 AM
  • Top rebel slain in blow to Philippine communist rebellion

    Top rebel slain in blow to Philippine communist rebellion

    The Philippine military has shot dead an infamous communist guerilla leader in a blow to one of the world’s longest-running Maoist insurgencies, authorities said Monday. New People’s Army (NPA) commander Leonardo Pitao was killed in a mountainous hamlet near the major southern city ofDavaoon Sunday by army special forces, the military said. “He’s an NPA [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 7:01 AM
  • Framework for China-led international bank signed

    Framework for China-led international bank signed

    Countries from five continents formally signed up Monday to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – a potential rival to the Washington-based World Bank – asBeijingsteps up its global diplomatic and economic role. Australiawas the first country to sign the articles of association creating the AIIB’s legal framework at a ceremony inBeijing’s Great Hall of [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 7:01 AM
  • HK student leader Wong in ‘chilling’ assault

    HK student leader Wong in ‘chilling’ assault

    Hong Kongstudent leader Joshua Wong, the teenage face of the city’s pro-democracy protests, was assaulted in the street with his girlfriend in an attack he said Monday sent a “chill to my heart”. The motivation for the assault is not known but previous high-profile attacks against prominent media figures have raised concerns that tensions fromHong [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:59 AM
  • Taliban ambush kills 11 Afghan soldiers: officials

    Taliban ambush kills 11 Afghan soldiers: officials

    At least 11 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush in western Afghanistan, officials said Monday, as security forces face their first fighting season without NATO combat support. “The Taliban ambushed a convoy of soldiers in Karukh district of Herat, killing 11 Afghan army soldiers last evening. The soldiers were riding in pickup trucks,” [...]

    30-Jun-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam frees high-profile dissident lawyer

Vietnam frees high-profile dissident lawyer

One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents vowed to continue his anti-China activism after being released from prison on Saturday after serving two and a half years on tax evasion charges. Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic blogger and lawyer from the communist nation, was freed from jail early Saturday in central Quang Nam province and met [...]

Gay activists in Asia upbeat about impact of US court ruling

Gay activists in Asia upbeat about impact of US court ruling

Gay rights activisdiv class="post clearfix" id="post-2-453037"> es to legally marry, are upbeat about prospects for a change following the landmark US Supreme Court ruling legalising such marriages in every state of the nation. A look at some of the reactions and background on gay rights: SOUTH KOREA South Koreans’ attitudes toward [...]

Indian-origin scientist finds key to early Alzheimer’s diagnosis

According to an Indian-origin scientists, errors on memory and thinking tests may signal Alzheimer’s up to 18 years before the disease can be diagnosed. “The changes in thinking and memory that precede obvious symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin decades before,” said study author Kumar B Rajan with Rush University Medical centre in Chicago. “While we [...]

Health

Indian-origin scientist finds key to early Alzheimer’s diagnosis

According to an Indian-origin scientists, errors on memory and thinking tests may signal Alzheimer’s up to 18 years before the disease can be diagnosed. “The changes in thinking and memory that precede obvious symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin decades before,” said study author Kumar B Rajan with Rush University Medical centre in Chicago. “While we [...]

Chinese scientists believe they may have found a way of making beer good for you

Researchers in China believe they may have found a way of making beer good for you. Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences experimented on rats using a gene commonly found in humans and animals to turn alcohol into glycogen rather than fat in the rodents’ livers. The findings, published in the latest issue of [...]

Mers outbreak: WHO issues ‘wakeup call’ as Rep. of Korea orders hospitals to track visitors

The World Health Organization has said in a statement that the recent large outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the Republic of Korea “is a wakeup call”. In the ninth meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV, the committee said “that this outbreak is a wakeup call and that in a [...]

FinanceAsia

Asia markets hit by Greece fears, Shanghai plunges

Asian equities tumbled Monday June 29 on expectations of a Greek eurozone exit after Athens announced a referendum on creditors’ proposals, while Chinese stocks gyrated wildly after losing some 20 percent in the past two weeks. Shanghai saw a 10 percent swing from gains to losses, extending a painful sell-off since hitting a June 12 [...]

Asia markets hit by Greece fears, Shanghai plunges

Asian equities tumbled Monday on expectations of a Greek eurozone exit after Athens announced a referendum on creditors’ proposals, while Chinese stocks gyrated wildly after losing some 20 percent in the past two weeks. Shanghai saw a 10 percent swing from gains to losses, extending a painful sell-off since hitting a June 12 peak, with [...]

AsianBondsOnline Newsletter (29 June 2015)

News Highlights – Week of 22 – 26 June 2015 Emerging East Asia’s bond markets were volatile amid increasing global concerns over the Greek debt crisis and a possible interest rate hike in the United States (US), according to the Asian Development Bank’s June edition of the Asia Bond Monitor. The region’s local currency (LCY) [...]

Regional

Indian diplomat quits New Zealand after wife accused of assault

Delhi’s top diplomat in New Zealand said Saturday he would return to India but denied that his relocation was linked to accusations that his wife had assaulted a staff member. Police said a member of staff at the Indian diplomatic mission alleged he was assaulted by Sharmila Thapar, the wife of High Commissioner Ravi Thapar, [...]

Pakistan bristles at India’s 1965 war ‘commemorative carnival’

The government’s plans to hold a “commemorative carnival” to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war are being viewed across the border as a “muscular” assertion by the Narendra Modi government that could vitiate further the atmosphere between the two countries and reduce space for dialogue. India has never celebrated any of its [...]

Vigil for Burma’s Rohingya people in Manawatu

Manawatu ethnic groups have joined forces in a vigil to raise awareness and create discussion about the treatment of Rohingya people in Myanmar. Dozens of people turned out to protest in The Square in Palmerston North on Sunday against what they are calling brutal killings. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority living in northern [...]

China

China-led development bank holds signing ceremony

China-led development bank holds signing ceremony

Delegates from 57 countries have gathered in the Chinese capital,Beijing, for the signing ceremony of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Chinawill hold a 30.34 percent stake in the AIIB, the finance ministry said on Monday, makingBeijingthe largest shareholder in a bank [...]

China says many in Japan not ready to accept its rise

China says many in Japan not ready to accept its rise

The lack of acceptance by many Japanese people ofChina’s rise is one of the root causes of the problems between the two countries,China’s foreign minister, a former ambassador toTokyo, said on Saturday. Sino-Japan relations have long been affected by whatChinasees asJapan’s failure to atone for its occupation of parts of the country before and during [...]

Framework for China-led international bank signed

Framework for China-led international bank signed

Countries from five continents formally signed up Monday to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – a potential rival to the Washington-based World Bank – asBeijingsteps up its global diplomatic and economic role. Australiawas the first country to sign the articles of association creating the AIIB’s legal framework at a ceremony inBeijing’s Great Hall of [...]

Malaysia

Job loss is divine will, UUM professor tells axed MAS workers

The cut in 6,000 jobs under Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) rescue plan should be accepted as “divine will and decree”, said Datuk Dr Zainal Kling of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). Zainal said Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s plan to reduce the number of staff was one of the key steps that needed to be undertaken even though it [...]

Lost fisherman eats raw crab to stay alive

A fisherman ate a raw crab to stay alive after he and his father drifted for nearly 24 hours following the capsize of their boat on Friday night. The boat carrying Ong Chee Wee, 32, and his father Choo Peen, 54, capsized after it was blown off course by strong winds and currents. The duo, [...]

Malaysia tycoon donates $67m

Malaysian businessperson Low Taek Jho has donated $50 million (S$67 million) to a United States project that is working to turn a supercomputer into a cancer expert able to analyse patients’ questions about their condition. The project is located at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Centre, the tycoon told the Washington Post newspaper [...]

Indonesia

At least 30 dead after military plane crashes in Indonesia

At least 30 dead after military plane crashes in Indonesia

At least 30 people have been killed after an Indonesian military plane crashed in a residential area in Sumatra and burst into flames today. An Indonesian military spokesman told The Associated Press the Hercules C-130 plane had crashed in the city of Medan. ortion:

A top ministerng cars on fire with thick [...]

Sondakh to make Indonesia’s Rajawali global player in food supply

Tan Sri Peter Sondakh, the Indonesian billionaire, made his fame and fortune turning around sickly state-owned enterprises into hugely profitable companies. He launched in 1986 Indonesia’s first private television company and rolled out Asia’s first prepaid telecommunication services in 1997 – at the onset of the Asian financial crisis. He rescued a cigarette maker from [...]

Bank Indonesia’s no-dollar rule may create distortion:

A top minister has claimed that Bank Indonesia (BI) is open to the possibility of revising a ban on the use of US dollars for domestic transactions, which is slated for implementation starting on July 1, amid heightening worries among major importers and state-owned firms. If the ban of dollar transactions is implemented as planned, [...]

Singapore

Tony Abbott visits de-radicalisation centre in Singapore

Tony Abbott visits de-radicalisation centre in Singapore

Tony Abbott has looked toSingapore’s experience in de-radicalisation asAustraliamonitors fresh terror attacks abroad and threats at home. The prime minister’s visit to Khadijah Mosque’s successful programme came on his first of two days in the city-state, on a visit aimed at strengthening ties in defence and security, and trade and investment. Abbott saysSingaporehas long-term experience [...]

Singapore, Australia mark 50 years of bilateral ties

Singapore, Australia mark 50 years of bilateral ties

Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott warmed the friendship between the two countries over one of 50 barbecues organised by the Australian High Commission inSingaporeto mark 50 years of friendship, as well as celebrate the Republic’s Golden Jubilee. Abbott is inSingaporefor a two-day official visit, his first in his capacity [...]

Manulife Arm Proceeds With Planned Singapore IPO of US Assets

Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Corp. ‘s asset-management arm will take orders this week for an initial public offering in Singapore of US office properties, people with knowledge of the process said Sunday. The IPO of the real-estate investment portfolio holdings of Manulife Asset Management, which could raise up to $450 million, would target Asian investors [...]

Thailand

14 Thai students face seven years in jail for anti-junta rally

14 Thai students face seven years in jail for anti-junta rally

Fourteen Thai students were taken into custody Saturday after staging an anti-coup rally on charges that could see them jailed for seven years, as the ruling junta tightens its chokehold on dissent. The pro-democracy campaigners are among the few activists that have dared to publicly challengeThailand’s military rulers, who imposed severe curbs on civil liberties [...]

14 Thai students face seven years in jail for anti-junta rally

Fourteen Thai students were taken into custody Saturday after staging an anti-coup rally on charges that could see them jailed for seven years, as the ruling junta tightens its chokehold on dissent. The pro-democracy campaigners are among the few activists that have dared to publicly challenge Thailand’s military rulers, who imposed severe curbs on civil [...]

India sees Thailand as valued partner in ‘Act East’ policy: Sushma

Sushma said that India’s ‘Look East’ Policy of the last two decades has been elevated to ‘Act East’ Policy under the leadership of Modi. India on Sunday described Thailand as a valued partner in its ‘Act East’ Policy and said it envisage a more vigorous and proactive engagement with the strategic and economically vibrant Southeast [...]

Philippines

Filipino LGBT people celebrate Gay Pride, US court decision

Filipino LGBT people celebrate Gay Pride, US court decision

Several hundred gays, lesbians and transgender people held a Gay Pride rally Saturday in the Philippine capital to push for LGBT rights and to celebrate the US Supreme Court decision recognising gay marriages in allUSstates as a victory for their cause. About 500 people marched aroundManila’sRisalPark, many carrying placards and streamers saying “Fight for Love” [...]

Philippine Church stands firm against gay marriage

Philippine Church stands firm against gay marriage

The leadership of thePhilippines’ dominant Roman Catholic church stressed its opposition to legalising gay marriage on Sunday despite last week’s landmark decision by the irstrip on Thitu island, which the Philippines calile affirmed that under its law, marriage is still between a man and a woman and only an act of Congress can change this, unlike [...]

Philippines halts repairs on Spratlys airstrip ahead of UN suit

Philippines halts repairs on Spratlys airstrip ahead of UN suit

ThePhilippineshas halted the repair of its airstrip in the disputed Spratly islands due to its pending suit atThe HaguechallengingChina’s claim over the waters, a presidential spokesman said Sunday. The work on the airstrip on Thitu island, which the Philippines calls Pagasa and which hosts a small community, comes as China builds up outcroppings in the [...]

Japan

The first robot wedding happened in Japan: There was a kiss, cake, and dancing

It’s been quite a week for the institution of marriage: First the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage; now Japan has hosted the first robot wedding. About 100 people gathered in Tokyo on Saturday to witness robots named Frois and Yukirin tie the knot. There was even a “kiss.” Each attendee paid about $81 to [...]

Japan Mulls Politically Dangerous Squeeze on Seniors’ Benefits

Sipping beer and listening to a guitarist at an event for retirees in western Tokyo, Sadao Sekine said he backs government plans to cut Japan’s ballooning debt – as long as he can keep his benefits. “It’s hard. I’ve had two serious illnesses,” the 75-year-old former trading company employee said, pointing to his heart and [...]

BOJ not considering emergency fund injection over Greece yet-sources

Developments in the Greek debt crisis and the Asian financial market reaction so far have yet to alarm the Bank of Japan enough to consider offering emergency liquidity, officials familiar with its thinking say. If the deepening crisis triggers global market turmoil and risks hurting Japan’s banking system, the BOJ’s first response would be to [...]

Korea

Thousands march in Seoul for S. Korea’s gay pride parade

Thousands march in Seoul for S. Korea’s gay pride parade

Thousands marched through central Seoul Sunday in what organisers described as South Korea’s biggest annual gay pride parade, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court’s historic decision allowing same-sex couples nationwide to wed. On the other side of police bnds marched through central Seoul Sunday in what octivists waved banners and chanted slogans at those taking part, condemning [...]

Defense minister to warn N. Korea on battle anniversary

Defense minister Han Min-koo said Sunday he will attend a ceremony this week to commemorate those who were killed in an inter-Korean naval clash 13 years ago. The ceremony will be held Monday on the anniversary of the naval skirmish that broke out off South Korea’s border island of Yeonpyeong, leaving six South Korean sailors [...]

Thousands march in Seoul for S. Korea’s gay pride parade

Thousands marched through central Seoul Sunday in what organisers described as South Korea’s biggest annual gay pride parade, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court’s historic decision allowing same-sex couples nationwide to wed. On the other side of police barriers around Seoul Plaza, thousands of Christian activists waved banners and chanted slogans at those taking [...]

Hong Kong

HK student leader Wong in ‘chilling’ assault

HK student leader Wong in ‘chilling’ assault

Hong Kongstudent leader Joshua Wong, the teenage face of the city’s pro-democracy protests, was assaulted in the street with his girlfriend in an attack he said Monday sent a “chill to my heart”. The motivation for the assault is not known but previous high-profile attacks against prominent media figures have raised concerns that tensions fromHong [...]

HK must beware spread of radical ‘localism’

The mushrooming of groups advocating for “localism” in Hong Kong has caused disquiet in recent years. While many such groups remain little known to the wider community, some have gone from being vocal to confrontational, as evidenced by frequent clashes during protests and demonstrations. Concerns are growing that their actions may escalate and jeopardise public [...]

HK split over gay marriage debate

As the impact of the US Supreme Court’s ruling legalising same-sex marriage continues to reverberate around the world, a leading rights group in Hong Kong says now is the time to push for new legal protections. But opponents of gay marriage say they have received a surge in support following comments from the chairperson of [...]

Taiwan

Hundreds still in hospital after fire at Taiwan music party

Hundreds still in hospital after fire at Taiwan music party

More than 400 people, many of them seriously burned, remained in hospitals Sunday after a fire spread into a crowd of spectators at a music party at aTaiwanwater park, authorities said. The fire late Saturday was sparked by an accidental explosion of a colored theatrical powder thrown from the stage in front of about 1,000 [...]

Hundreds still in hospital after fire at Taiwan music party

More than 400 people, many of them seriously burned, remained in hospitals Sunday after a fire spread into a crowd of spectators at a music party at a Taiwan water park, authorities said. The fire late Saturday was sparked by an accidental explosion of a colored theatrical powder thrown from the stage in front of [...]

Hundreds injured in Taiwan water park blast ‘hell’

Witnesses described the scene at a Taiwan water park as “hell” after a ball of fire ripped through a crowd, with authorities putting the injured at nearly 500 on Sunday, more than 200 of them seriously hurt. Horrifying amateur video footage showed crowds of young revellers dancing in front of a stage and cheering as [...]

Vietnam

Business Brief Jun 30

* Leaders of KienLongBank cut the ribbon to open a branch in the southernprovinceofTay Ninhlast Friday, taking to 103 the total number of its banking units in the country. The bank now has over 200,000 customers. KienLongBank has got approval from the State Bank ofVietnamto establish one more branch and 16 transaction offices from now [...]

Vietnam government again urges state firms to speed up privatisation

The managements of state-owned enterprises that fail to privatise and divest from non-core businesses as ordered this year face “strict” action, a government committee on the restructuring of SOEs said at a meeting in Hanoi Thursday. Only 61 SOEs have finished selling stakes to private investors in the first six months, accounting for a mere [...]

Vietnam sees seven-year high of GDP growth in Jan-Jun

The GDP growth of Vietnam in the first six months of this year reached 6.28 percent, the strongest rise since 2009, minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said at a meeting in Hanoi this week. The updated GDP figure is 0.17 percent higher than the previous estimate of 6.11 percent released by the [...]