• China And Vietnam Agree on Territorial Talks Amid Tensions

    China And Vietnam Agree on Territorial Talks Amid Tensions

    China and Vietnam agreed to negotiate on their South China Sea disputes without backing away from territorial claims that have caused a rift between the two communist countries. Vietnamese politburo member Le Hong Anh, at the invitation of China, met with President Xi Jinping and other officials in Beijing yesterday. Ties cooled after a Chinese [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • New search area located for missing MH370 jet

    New search area located for missing MH370 jet

    The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the existing search zone after a new clue to the plane’s possible location emerged, Australia has said. Fresh information suggested the jet “may have turned south” earlier than thought, deputy prime minister Warren Truss said. The detail came to light [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Al Jazeera | 6:00 AM
  • Indonesia, Australia sign new security agreement

    Indonesia, Australia sign new security agreement

    Often-testy neighbours Indonesia and Australia signed a new security agreement on Thursday to mend a relationship badly damaged by allegations last year that Australia was listening to the telephone conversations of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife. “With the signing of the code of conduct, we are back to where we have been in [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Thai court dismisses murder charges against former PM, deputy

    Thai court dismisses murder charges against former PM, deputy

    A Thai criminal court on Thursday threw out charges of murder and abuse of power faced by a former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and his then deputy over a deadly crackdown on street protesters in 2010. The decision, three months after the army seized power in a bloodless May 22 coup, is sure to spark [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China, Korea Slam Japan for Honoring War Criminals

    China, Korea Slam Japan for Honoring War Criminals

    China and South Korea called for Japan to reflect on its history of aggression, a day after Tokyo confirmed prime minister Shinzo Abe sent a message to a ceremony honoring World War II-era Japanese war criminals. Prime minister Abe’s note was read at an April ceremony held at a temple in western Japan to honor [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | VOA News | 6:00 AM
  • Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year

    Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year

    Air pollution, smoking, obesity and accidents, especially on the road, kill at least 4.7 million Chinese a year and cost the country tens of billions of dollars, researchers said on Friday. In an overview published in The Lancet, they said China had in some respects made great strides in health, boosting the average lifespan from [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China defence ministry tells US to stop ‘close-in’ surveillance

    China defence ministry tells US to stop ‘close-in’ surveillance

    China’s military on Thursday told the United States to end air and naval surveillance near its borders, saying it was damaging relations between the Pacific powers and could lead to “undesirable accidents”. The US should “take concrete measures to decrease close-in reconnaissance activities against China towards a complete stop”, defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan

    China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan

    China on Thursday rejected remarks by former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda that Beijing had expressed willingness to improve ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, and said there was “no change” in its policy on Tokyo. Relations between China and Japan have been frayed by rows over the legacy of Japan’s wartime militarism, a territorial [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China Seeks to Protect South China Sea Submarine Gateway

    China Seeks to Protect South China Sea Submarine Gateway

    China’s efforts to protect its submarine gateway to the South China Sea could broaden from standoffs with US military planes to announcing an air defense identification zone, according to two retired army officers. China could seek to restrict the air space around Hainan Island as the US routinely runs surveillance flights in the area, retired [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • 75 Philippine UN peacekeepers defy Syria rebels

    75 Philippine UN peacekeepers defy Syria rebels

    Syrian rebels surrounded dozens of defiant Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Friday and demanded they give up their weapons, hours after taking 43 Fijian soldiers hostage, authorities said. Seventy-five Filipino members of a United Nations’ peacekeeping force were defending two posts on the Syrian side of Golan Heights, and were prepared to fight [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Democracy battle: Beijing set to dismay HK

    Democracy battle: Beijing set to dismay HK

    Hong Kong’s simmering summer of discontent gets even hotter Sunday when Beijing is expected to recommend restricting the first direct elections for the Chinese-controlled financial hub’s leader, stepping up chances of a showdown with democracy groups. The former British colony, which was handed back to China in 1997, has been the scene of escalating tension [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Pakistan army chief intervenes in political crisis

    Pakistan army chief intervenes in political crisis

    Pakistan’s army chief was named mediator Thursday in a fortnight-long political crisis, fuelling speculation that the military could use the protests against prime minister Nawaz Sharif to re-assert its dominance over the civilian government. Thousands of demonstrators led by populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri and politician Imran Khan have been camped outside the parliament building in Islamabad [...]

    30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

Malaysia jails six over ‘nude games’

A Malaysian court sent six men to jail for a month on Thursday and will try four other people over a nudist gathering that triggered outrage in the Muslim-majority country, a defence lawyer said. The six men – five Malaysians and a Singaporean – were jailed after pleading guilty to charges of public obscenity, said [...]

Low birth rates test Japan, S Korea

There is, at long last, a solution to the troubles that beset the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relationship: Patience. In this case, patience doesn’t mean waiting a couple of months or a year until new governments take office in each capital; neither does it mean waiting a few generations until the anger and animosity burn [...]

Shaun the shaggy Aussie sheep finally shorn smooth

Shaun the shaggy Australian sheep has at last been shorn smooth. But the woolly wanderer wasn’t the wooliest of them all. The sheep apparently had been hiding for years on a farm on the island state of Tasmania and had never been shorn. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday that Shaun lost 23.5 kilograms (52 [...]

Health

Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year

Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year

Air pollution, smoking, obesity and accidents, especially on the road, kill at least 4.7 million Chinese a year and cost the country tens of billions of dollars, researchers said on Friday. In an overview published in The Lancet, they said China had in some respects made great strides in health, boosting the average lifespan from [...]

Eye Health Care in the Philippines: Where Is It Going?

The Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with international and other local health organisations, has been trying to address the problem of visual impairment in the Philippines through the implementation of different advocacy campaigns and programmes that aim to uplift the eye health condition of the Filipinos. Eye health problems are a rampant concern worldwide. [...]

Vietnam preventing A/H5N6 outbreak

Vietnamese localities are strengthening preventive measures to prevent A/H5N6 outbreak as the virus has been detected in three provinces out of its 63 provinces and cities so far. The Department of Heath of Lao Cai province, some 250 km north west of capital Hanoi, was the latest locality reporting the present of A/H5N6 virus on [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian shares slump as Ukraine tensions flares

Asian shares slumped in early trading on Friday, after flaring Ukraine tensions ruined investors’ appetite for risk and bolstered the safe-haven yen. Ukraine’s president said Russian troops had entered his country in support of pro-Moscow rebels who captured a key coastal town, escalating a five-month-old separatist conflict. The United States on Thursday openly accused Russia [...]

Asian Futures Drop as Yen Rebounds With Gold on Ukraine

Asian stocks fell, with the regional index set for its first monthly drop since April, while silver and Australian bonds climbed as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine worsened. Malaysia’s ringgit dropped. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent by 11:07 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for a 0.7 percent drop in August. Japan’s Topix [...]

Japan stocks lead Asian declines after weak data

Tokyo stocks led declines in most Asian markets on Friday after Japanese economic data showed that the region’s second biggest economy is struggling to recover from a sales tax hike. KEEPING SCORE: The Nikkei 225, the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, fell 0.7 percent to 15,358.35. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.2 percent to 2,071.22 [...]

Regional

Google tests using drones to deliver goods

Google on Thursday said it is testing using drones to deliver items bought online, putting its own spin on similar efforts by Internet retail titan Amazon.com. Two years of research into what Google referred to as “Project Wing” was capped this month with test flights delivering candy, water, medicine, dog treats and other items to [...]

MoU signed between Pakistan, Philippines

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zakaria Usman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the formation of a joint Pakistan and Philippine Business Council. The signing ceremony took place in a meeting held with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Manila. [...]

Junk food makes rats lose interest in varied foods: study

Researchers in Australia say a steady intake of junk food leads to a loss of rats’ natural appetite for a balanced diet, indicating that poor eating habits could lead to changes in the brain. “The interesting thing about this finding is that if the same thing happens in humans, eating junk food may change our [...]

China

Taiwan says spying allegations won’t hurt China ties

Taiwan says spying allegations won’t hurt China ties

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday ties with Beijing will not be affected by his government’s probe into a former top negotiator on China policy accused of leaking state secrets. “Cross-strait relations are like a big tree… if a pest is discovered we need to find it and remove it so the tree can develop [...]

China’s ICBC 2014 H1 net profit up 7pct

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said Thursday net profit for the first half of 2014 was up seven percent year-on-year, helped by interest income growth. Net profit for China’s biggest lender by assets for the six months ending June 30 stood at 148.10 billion yuan ($24 billion), a 7.05 percent increase from [...]

China Supplier for Samsung and Lenovo Denies Child Worker Accusations

A China-based supplier for both Samsung and Lenovo has denied hiring underage labourers after a New York-based human rights organisation accused them of employing children. Samsung said its investigation into the Samsung production line at the Huizhou factory of its supplier HEG Technology found no children or students were being employed. A spokesman for Lenovo [...]

Malaysia

Maybank Earnings Get Boost From Loan Growth in Singapore and Indonesia

Lender Says it May Miss Return-on-Equity Target Malayan Banking 1155.KU +0.40 percent Bhd, Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest bank by assets, said Thursday its net profit rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter mainly due to loan growth, though it may miss its return-on-equity target this year. The bank saw a surge in demand for loans from [...]

Malaysia Airlines Reports Wider Loss

The parent of Malaysia Airlines reported a wider net loss in the second quarter as revenue was hurt by the disappearance of Flight 370 in March. Malaysian Airline System Bhd. said its net loss in the three months that ended June 30 widened to 307 million ringgit ($97.4 million), compared with 176 million ringgit in [...]

After nearly 6 months, new clue in Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 search

Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. Australian deputy prime minister Warren [...]

Indonesia

Chilling film confronts taboo of Indonesia mass killings

Human blood is “both salty and sweet” to drink, a mass murderer explains in “The Look of Silence”, Joshua Oppenheimer’s stunning documentary which premieres Thursday in Venice. The director returns to the subject of his acclaimed “The Act of Killing” about the murder of over a million “communists” following Indonesia’s 1965 coup – but takes [...]

Indonesia, Australia sign new security agreement

Often-testy neighbours Indonesia and Australia signed a new security agreement on Thursday to mend a relationship badly damaged by allegations last year that Australia was listening to the telephone conversations of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife. “With the signing of the code of conduct, we are back to where we have been in [...]

Widodo Committed to Reducing Indonesia Fuel Subsidy After Rebuff

The incoming Indonesian government of Joko Widodo remains committed to reducing the country’s fuel-subsidy programme, vice President-elect Jusuf Kalla said after outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono rejected a request from Widodo to scale it back. “We want to change our subsidy from consumption to productive use,” Kalla said in Jakarta late yesterday. “It will be [...]

Singapore

Singapore varsities get Asia’s fastest fibre-optic network

File sharing and video streaming for 80,000 students and staff at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will now be quicker than ever, thanks to yesterday’s launch of a new fibre-optic network – the fastest in Asia. The 100Gbps network – 100 times the maximum speed of fibre broadband in [...]

Singapore’s GIC invests $104mil in Taiwanese music streaming firm

Singapore sovereign fund GIC said on Thursday it has invested $104 million in Taiwanese music streaming service provider KKBOX. The investment proceeds will be used to fund the company’s overseas expansion, as well as refine its technology and services, Chris Lin, co-founder and CEO of KKBOX, said in a statement. KKBOX is available in Taiwan, [...]

Singapore’s regulatory framework for banks ‘remains strong’: Fitch

Regulatory standards here are progressing apace with global best practices, and the local banks’ “disciplined” offshore expansion exercises mean the industry is in good health, says the rating agency. The Republic’s banking industry is in good shape, with the prudential and regulatory frameworks for banks here “remaining strong” and regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) [...]

Thailand

Thailand ex-PM Abhisit murder charge dismissed

A Thai court has dismissed murder charges against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva linked to a bloody crackdown on protesters in 2010. Abhisit was Thailand’s leader when anti-government “red-shirt” protesters blockaded Bangkok for 10 weeks. In the end the military moved to end the stand-off. Over 90 people, mostly civilians, died during the protests. Abhisit [...]

Thai court dismisses murder charges against former PM, deputy

Thai court dismisses murder charges against former PM, deputy

A Thai criminal court on Thursday threw out charges of murder and abuse of power faced by a former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and his then deputy over a deadly crackdown on street protesters in 2010. The decision, three months after the army seized power in a bloodless May 22 coup, is sure to spark [...]

Sugar From Thailand Seen Heading for NY Bourse Amid Global Glut

Traders may ship Thai raw sugar equivalent to 16 percent of the global surplus against October contracts on the ICE Futures US exchange, the first deliveries from the Asian nation since 2012. About 625,000 metric tonnes of the unrefined sweetener will be delivered when futures expire, according to the median of six estimates in a [...]

Philippines

Philippine leader: Supreme Court meddling too much

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that the Supreme Court meddles too much in political issues, reiterating he was open to amend the constitution to clip the judiciary’s power. Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, an appointee of Aquino, said she had enormous respect for him and the court would only respond to [...]

As Economy Soars, Philippines No Longer ‘Sick Man of Asia’

Gross Domestic Product Expands 6.4 percent From a Year Earlier, Making the Philippines One of Asia’s Fastest-Growing Countries The Philippine economy grew 6.4 percent on year in the second quarter, making it one of Asia’s fastest-growing countries and deepening expectations for further rate increases. While China and other Asian economies are looking at easing monetary [...]

MoU signed between Pakistan, Philippines

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zakaria Usman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the formation of a joint Pakistan and Philippine Business Council. The signing ceremony took place in a meeting held with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Manila. [...]

Japan

China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan

China says ‘no change’ in policy on improving ties with Japan

China on Thursday rejected remarks by former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda that Beijing had expressed willingness to improve ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, and said there was “no change” in its policy on Tokyo. Relations between China and Japan have been frayed by rows over the legacy of Japan’s wartime militarism, a territorial [...]

Crafty expats take the home brew to Japan

Nestled next to an 80-year-old bamboo restaurant festooned with noren, the traditional Japanese fabric dividers, Campion Ale is a surprising addition to Asakusa, Tokyo’s entertainment district. Competing with the hundreds of small bars and restaurants dotted throughout the neighbourhood, the English-style brewpub swung open its doors in December. For the most part a drink in [...]

‘I am confident that India will be Japan’s largest investment partner, says Japan’s envoy to India

Minister Akio Isomata is currently attached to the Embassy of Japan in India. He took up this position this month itself, and has been on the Japanese foreign service for nearly 30 years. Besides working at the headquarters of MOFA and the Cabinet Legislation Bureau in Tokyo, he has been posted in Beijing, Switzerland (Geneva), [...]

Korea

N Korea yanks cheerleaders for Asian Games

North Korea said Friday it won’t send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in rival South Korea, blaming what it called Seoul’s hostility for reversing a decision to dispatch the women dubbed by South Korean media as a “squad of beauties.” Many South Koreans were infatuated in past years with the cheer squads of mostly [...]

Coroner blames negligence for Korean trawler sinking

A New Zealand coroner on Friday blamed negligence for the loss of a South Korean fishing trawler that sank near Antarctica in 2010, killing 22. Coroner Richard McElrea criticised the “poor seamanship” of those in charge of the No.1 Insung and called for compulsory international safety standards for all vessels operating in the Southern Ocean. [...]

Korea’s cosmopolitan capital has Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea South Korea’s hyper-efficient capital doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of exotic Asian destinations. But this megacity offers much to tempt travellers beyond a layover from the ultra-modern international airport in nearby Incheon. You can explore Korea’s rich historic heritage, visiting temples and palaces, wander around the enormous National Museum [...]

Hong Kong

Macau to ‘re-elect’ leader as democratic rumblings, mirroring HK, are stifled

Macau chief executive Fernando Chui is widely expected to be “re-elected” on Sunday after the pro-China government stifled an unofficial referendum on democracy, taking a much harder line on the gambling hub than leaders have in neighbouring Hong Kong. The election in the tiny but wealthy former Portuguese-run enclave, by a select panel of 400 [...]

HK urged to accept ‘imperfect’ democracy

Hong Kongers must accept Beijing’s version of democracy even if they think it is imperfect because the interests of the city’s business community have to be safeguarded, one of China’s foremost legal experts said Thursday. Wang Zhenmin, a well-connected scholar and regular advisor to Beijing, said greater democratic freedom in the semi-autonomous city must be [...]

Anti-graft officers raid HK media tycoon’s home

Hong Kong anti-corruption officials early Thursday raided the home of Jimmy Lai, an outspoken mogul whose media empire is often fiercely critical of Beijing. The swoop comes at a time of growing disquiet in Hong Kong over the erosion of press freedom and perceived influence Beijing holds over the semi-autonomous city. Lai came under the [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan Stock Market May Extend Losses

The Taiwan stock market on Thursday snapped the four-day winning streak in which it had collected more than 230 points or 2.4 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange ended just below the 9,480-point plateau, and the losses may accelerate on Friday. The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative, thanks to renewed geopolitical concerns in [...]

Taiwan says spying allegations won’t hurt China ties

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday ties with Beijing will not be affected by his government’s probe into a former top negotiator on China policy accused of leaking state secrets. “Cross-strait relations are like a big tree… if a pest is discovered we need to find it and remove it so the tree can develop [...]

Taiwan’s Yuan Reference Rate to Launch September 1

A daily reference interest rate for Chinese yuan circulated in Taiwan will go into effect next week as the island seeks a bigger role for the second-most widely currency in global trade finance after the US dollar. The Taiwanese central bank said Thursday that the reference rate will launch September 1. The reference rate – [...]

Vietnam

Vietnam Confirms Growth Goal of 5.8pct for 2014

Vietnam”s government is focused today on reaching the growth target proposed in the country of 5.8 percent for 2014, and at its regular monthly meeting, verified the promising results so far this year. A report presented by the Planning Ministry showed that until August, encouraging progress was seen in almost all economic sectors, specially in [...]

Government press briefing declares economy in recovery

In the government’s monthly press briefing in Hanoi on August 28, minister and head of the government Office Nguyen Van Nen informed the media that the cabinet worked to ease bureaucratic delays, in an effort to create a better business environment for investors. In August 2014 and eight months this year, the economy is on [...]

Vietnam’s consumer confidence rises on improving macroeconomic backdrop: ANZ

The consumer confidence index of Vietnam increased to 135.5 points in August, the highest since March, which reflected a “steadily improving” macroeconomy, according to a survey conducted by ANZ Banking Group and research firm Roy Morgan. Consumer confidence in Vietnam has posted its third consecutive gain since tensions with China over the April to May [...]