• N Korea official says North may consider hydrogen bomb on Pacific Ocean: Yonhap

    N Korea official says North may consider hydrogen bomb on Pacific Ocean: Yonhap

    North Korean Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said on Friday he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean of an unprecedented scale, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Ri was speaking to reporters in New York when he was asked what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had meant [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

    Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

    Thousands of Filipinos rallied on Thursday to denounce Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and warn of what they called an emerging dictatorship, in a major show of dissent against the controversial but hugely popular leader. Politicians, indigenous people, priests, businesspeople, and left-wing activists held marches and church masses accusing Duterte of authoritarianism and protesting at policies [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • US pressing Suu Kyi, Burma military over Rohingya: Haley

    US pressing Suu Kyi, Burma military over Rohingya: Haley

    The United States is worried about the “tragedies” in Myanmar affecting Rohingya Muslims and US authorities are pressing government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s military leaders to stop the crackdown, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday. “Not only have we pressed her, we pressed the military,” Haley told [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China urges N Korea not to go further in a ‘dangerous direction’

    China urges N Korea not to go further in a ‘dangerous direction’

    China’s foreign minister on Thursday called on North Korea not to go further in a “dangerous direction” with its nuclear programme and said negotiations were the only way out of the crisis over Pyongyang’s weapons development. Wang Yi also told the annual UN general Assembly China was committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea says sanctions threaten survival of its children

    N Korea says sanctions threaten survival of its children

    North Korea told a UN rights panel that international sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes would endanger the survival of North Korean children. Han Tae Song, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, was speaking at a hearing of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Kim hits back at Trump as US ramps up N. Korea sanctions

    Kim hits back at Trump as US ramps up N. Korea sanctions

    The United States ramped up sanctions aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons drive Thursday, as Kim Jong-Un vowed that Donald Trump’s “deranged” threats would only toughen his resolve. The US president unveiled the new measures as he met with the leaders of allies Japan and South Korea, even as key international players China and [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea’s Kim says will make ‘deranged’ Trump pay dearly for UN speech

    N Korea’s Kim says will make ‘deranged’ Trump pay dearly for UN speech

    North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un said on Friday the North will consider the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” against the United States in response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy the North. Calling Trump “mentally deranged” and his comments “the most ferocious declaration of a war in history,” Kim said [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Russia at UN slams ‘military hysteria’ over N. Korea

    Russia at UN slams ‘military hysteria’ over N. Korea

    Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday took an indirect swipe at the United States, telling the United Nations that “military hysteria” over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests would lead to “disaster.” “We resolutely condemn the nuclear and missile adventures of Pyongyang,” Lavrov said, “but military hysteria is not just an impasse, it’s disaster.” [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Trump says US to target firms doing business with N. Korea

    Trump says US to target firms doing business with N. Korea

    US President Donald Trump on Thursday paved the way for sanctions against foreign companies doing business with North Korea, a dramatic ratcheting up of pressure on the regime. Tightening an economic noose around the Pyongyang regime, Trump said he had signed an executive order allowing sanctions against “individuals and companies that finance and facilitate trade [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Four rangers killed by bomb in rebel-hit Thai south

    Four rangers killed by bomb in rebel-hit Thai south

    Four Thai army rangers were killed Friday when a roadside bomb tore through their truck as they were securing a road for teachers, an army official said, the latest carnage in an insurgency roiling the kingdom’s far south. The Muslim-majority region that borders Malaysia has seethed with violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Kim Jong Un Insulted Donald Trump And Taught America A New Word At The Same Time

    Kim Jong Un Insulted Donald Trump And Taught America A New Word At The Same Time

    President Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “rocket man” earlier this week, and now the North Korean dictator has returned fire. Kim gave Trump a nickname of his own ? and it’s one that sent Americans scrambling for a dictionary. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged dotard with fire,” Kim said in [...]

    23-Sep-2017 Intellasia | HuffPost | 6:00 AM
  • Trump urges ‘strong and swift’ UN action to end Rohingya crisis

    Trump urges ‘strong and swift’ UN action to end Rohingya crisis

    US President Donald Trump wants the United Nations Security Council to take “strong and swift action” to end violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday, declaring the crisis a threat to world. Speaking at a Security Council meeting on peacekeeping reform, Pence accused the Myanmar military of responding to militant [...]

    22-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam’s typhoon disaster highlights the plight of its poorest people

Six people lost their lives when Typhoon Doksuri smashed into central Vietnam on September 16, the most powerful storm in a decade to hit the country. Although widespread evacuations prevented a higher death toll, the impact on the region’s most vulnerable people will be extensive and lasting. Government sources report that more than 193,000 properties [...]

Vietnam jails dissident for five years in crackdown on activists

A court in Vietnam jailed dissident Nguyen Van Oai for a further five years on Monday for violating the terms of his probation after a spell in prison, his lawyer said. Human rights groups have expressed alarm over the Communist-ruled country’s biggest crackdown on activists in years. Oai, 36, was arrested in January while on [...]

Toll from typhoon rises to at least 9 in Vietnam; 4 missing

Toll from typhoon rises to at least 9 in Vietnam; 4 missing

The death toll from Typhoon Doksuri (Philippine name “Maring”) has risen to at least nine, with four people still missing since the storm hit Vietnam last week. The Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said Sunday the typhoon that battered the central coast on Friday also injured 112 people and destroyed or damaged more than 150,000 houses [...]

Health

Significant drop in Malaysia’s HIV infection rates

Malaysia has been lauded for its successful progress in the fight against the HIV epidemic, as the number of new infections falls. With new HIV infections dropping to 5,700 cases last year, a dip of 34 per cent from six years ago, Eamonn Murphy, the region’s director for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids [...]

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus China

On 4 August 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of one additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. Details of the case patients The case was a 58-year-old male from Fujian province. He developed symptoms on 19 July 2017, and was admitted [...]

Dengue fever outbreak in Vietnam sends thousands to hospitals

Dengue fever outbreak in Vietnam sends thousands to hospitals

Dozens of patients have been admitted to a hospital in the Vietnamese capital amid an outbreak of dengue fever, representing just a fraction of the thousands of dengue cases nationwide. About 100 patients, including children, were in Thanh Nhan hospital’s dengue fever ward, with extra beds having been set up in the lobby. The condition [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian central banks hold their own after Fed signals stimulus rollback

As the Federal Reserve signals an end to its decade of unconventional monetary stimulus, divergence between the policies of the US and Asian central banks is growing, a stark contrast to an era when regional rate moves closely tracked the United States. The Fed on Wednesday said it would begin to reduce its $4.2 trillion [...]

Asia markets down and dollar weaker, N Korea back in view

Asian markets turned lower Friday as investors cashed in at the end of a mostly positive week while the dollar weakened against its main peers with analysts questioning the chances of a third US interest rate hike this year. Adding to the selling pressure were renewed geopolitical worries after North Korea said it might consider [...]

Asia stocks edge lower, focus turns to China markets after ratings cut

Asian stocks fell and the Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained on Friday after North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean and escalated a war of words with US President Donald Trump. Spreadbetters expected European stocks to start lower amid a chill in risk appetite, forecasting Britain’s FTSE.FTSE to [...]

Regional

US pressing Suu Kyi, Burma military over Rohingya: Haley

US pressing Suu Kyi, Burma military over Rohingya: Haley

The United States is worried about the “tragedies” in Myanmar affecting Rohingya Muslims and US authorities are pressing government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s military leaders to stop the crackdown, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday. “Not only have we pressed her, we pressed the military,” Haley told [...]

Saudis call on Burma to allow Rohingyas to return

Saudis call on Burma to allow Rohingyas to return

A top Saudi relief official called Thursday for Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees and let them live in peace. Dr Abdullah al-Rabeeah, former health minister and now leading the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, said major global powers need to press Myanmar to stop its violent expulsion of the Muslim ethnic minority [...]

Trump Urges Help for Burma’s Rohingya Amid Violent Crackdown

US President Donald Trump has asked his national security advisers to find ways to help end violence that’s driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, according to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. “The president is very concerned about Burma,” Haley told reporters in New York on Thursday, using Myanmar’s former [...]

China

Why S&P’s First China Downgrade Since 1999 Is Good News for Bulls

S&P Global Ratings may have just done China’s investors a favour. With the credit assessor cutting the nation’s rating less than a month before the start of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress, Chinese officials have even more motivation to keep financial markets buoyant. The power of the state’s hand was seen after an equivalent downgrade [...]

China hits back at S&P’s ‘mistaken’ credit downgrade

China on Friday lashed out at the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating, calling the warning against ballooning debt “mistaken” and based on “cliches” about its economy. The agency slashed China from AA-minus to A-plus on Thursday, a move that followed a similar decision in May by Moody’s stemming from [...]

Balance and non-interference, the secret behind China’s Communist Party international success

China’s friendly approach on relations with political parties from other countries have been helpful in promoting economy and sharing knowledge. Communist Party of China (CPC) Asian Bureau of the International Department deputy director Zhang Xuyi said China had been maintaining such relations with 600 parties of 160 countries across the world. “China has 1.3 billion [...]

Malaysia

Najib-Trump meeting garnered support for Rohingya cause

The recent meeting between prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and United States President Donald Trump has played a part in garnering the support of world leaders for the Rohingya cause. Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Universiti Malaysia Sabah Dr Lai Ye Meng said one of the agenda discussed between the two [...]

Malaysia Airlines accused of sacking overweight flight attendants

: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) has been accused of sacking several flight attendants for being overweight. The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) today claimed that a ‘first wave’ of termination has already seen five flight attendantsthree men and two women, all above 50sacked for being overweight. Nufam president Ismail Nasaruddin claimed that 20 [...]

Credit Najib for raising awareness on Rohingya crisis: Sabah Umno Youth

Malaysians should acknowledge and give credit to prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for conveying the nation’s concern over the Rohingya crisis, said Sabah Umno Youth vice-chief Shahelmy Yahya. Shahelmy said Najib’s meeting with the US president Donald Trump in his recent visit to the White House has made an impact when Trump urged the [...]

Indonesia

East Ventures closes new $30M fund to continue investing in Indonesia

East Ventures is back at it again with another new fund to invest in early-stage companies in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country. This new $30 million fund is the firm’s sixth to date in Southeast Asia, and remarkably its second in 2017 alone. A $27.5 million fund announced [...]

Why We Won’t See Trump-Like Nationalism In Indonesia

? In recent years, the United States and Indonesia have witnessed the emergence of large-scale, right-wing, ethno-religious movements. Both nations have experienced a surge of populism ? that essentialist political ideology that operates in simple dichotomies, where a leader aligns with the “good,” the “deserving,” the “ordinary” people against a corrupt “privileged elite.” Yet their [...]

Indonesia should address longstanding human rights issues

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Republic of Indonesia, which reflects recommendations to protect the rights of religious minorities, women and girls and urges the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE). The outcome also addresses government-promoted discrimination against [...]

Singapore

Singapore-China ties are ‘more than stable’: PM Lee Hsien Loong

Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday (Sep 21) that bilateral ties between Singapore and China, which faced hiccups last year, are in a good state. “I think bilateral relations are more than stable, they are in a good state. We had some issues to deal with last year, but this year there have [...]

Two-thirds of Singapore brands refuse to disclose palm oil usage: WWF report

Only 10 out of 27 Singapore brands willingly disclosed details of their palm oil usage when contacted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The remaining 17 companies which include household names such as Bee Cheng Hiang, BreadTalk, Dairy Farm, Crystal Jade, Khong Guan and Tung Lok either declined or ignored the WWF’s requests [...]

Singapore Press Considering Job Cuts in Reorganisation Plan

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, which started a review of its media business last year, is considering job cuts amid a reorganisation, according to people familiar with the matter. The city’s dominant newspaper publisher, like many of its peers in the industry, is grappling with digital disruption that has eroded readership and advertising revenue. While Singapore [...]

Thailand

Thailand’s TOA Paint IPO to raise up to $368 million

TOA Paint Plc (Thailand), the country’s largest paint producer, said on Thursday its initial public offering later this month is expected to raise up to 12.2 billion baht ($368.36 million). The company will offer 254 million new shares, along with 253.6 million shares from existing shareholders, at a price range of 22-24 baht per share, [...]

Thailand Pivots Digital Strategies and Seeks to Grow Tech Sector with an Impact on GDP

Thailand is rolling out a digitally-fueled effort to enhance its economy and boost competitiveness. The current aim for the nation is to become Southeast Asia’s leader for all things digital. And the Kingdom’s Ministry for Digital Economy and Society is striving to make this happen through its Thailand 4.0 plan. Thailand 4.0 includes national investments [...]

Four rangers killed by bomb in rebel-hit Thai south

Four rangers killed by bomb in rebel-hit Thai south

Four Thai army rangers were killed Friday when a roadside bomb tore through their truck as they were securing a road for teachers, an army official said, the latest carnage in an insurgency roiling the kingdom’s far south. The Muslim-majority region that borders Malaysia has seethed with violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay [...]

Philippines

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

Thousands of Filipinos rallied on Thursday to denounce Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and warn of what they called an emerging dictatorship, in a major show of dissent against the controversial but hugely popular leader. Politicians, indigenous people, priests, businesspeople, and left-wing activists held marches and church masses accusing Duterte of authoritarianism and protesting at policies [...]

Philippines Holds Rate at 3pct as Inflation Seen on Target

The Philippine central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low with inflation seen remaining within its target band until 2019. Key Points The central bank held the key rate at 3 percent, it said in a statement on Thursday, as forecast by all 18 economists in a Bloomberg survey Inflation is [...]

Broad Support for Duterte’s Drug War in Philippines, Pew Finds

More than three-quarters of Filipinos support President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, despite thousands of deaths and international condemnation over alleged rights abuses, a Pew Research centre poll has found. Some 78 percent of Filipinos approve of Duterte’s handling of the illegal drugs issue, with 62 percent believing the government’s campaign was making progress, according to [...]

Japan

Japan policymakers soften fiscal pledges as election prospects loom

Senior Japanese policymakers on Friday said they may need to adjust calculations underlying the country’s plans to trim spending, an indication the government could look to water down previous pledges to improve fiscal prudence. The statements are a nod to recent reports premier Shinzo Abe will delay the timing for meeting fiscal reform goals to [...]

Families Of Japanese-American Civil Rights Leaders Join Legal Fight Against Travel Ban

Decades after Japanese-American civil rights leaders challenged the US government’s discrimination against people of Japanese descent, their families are fighting President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The children of Gordon Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu and Minoru Yasui ? three activists who took legal action against the government for its treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II ? [...]

Japan Early Election Would Delay BOJ Exit Further

The Japanese media are speculating that prime minister Shinzo Abe may call a snap election, possibly as early as October 22.1 Although Abe has, so far, not commented on the speculationand it is at the prime minister’s discretion to dissolve parliamentour sources suggest a reasonable probability of an early election. If so, the key implication [...]

Korea

EU agrees on new sanctions against N Korea: sources

Russia on Thursday clashed with the European Union over Syria, accusing the bloc of politicising aid by linking reconstruction funds to a political transition that would end the war. The European Union in April secured pledges of $6 billion in aid for Syria, now in its seventh year of war, with over 330,000 people dead. [...]

In Korea, daily stresses outweigh N Korea missile worries

Soon after North Korea tested its sixth and largest nuclear bomb earlier this month, You Jae-youn, a 32-year-old South Korean office worker, swiftly put the news behind her to focus on more immediate worries. “We have more than enough to concern ourselves with in our everyday lives. Personally, I worry more about how much it’s [...]

EU officials reach draft deal on more N Korea sanctionssources

EU ambassadors have reached an initial agreement to impose more economic sanctions on North Korea, going beyond the latest round of UN measures, officials and diplomats said on Thursday. “Today the PSC (EU member states’ ambassadors) agreed on a package of new autonomous measures,” an EU official said. An EU diplomat said around eight new [...]

Hong Kong

S&P lowers HK credit rating following China cut

S&P Global Ratings cut Hong Kong’s credit rating a day after it downgraded China for the first time since 1999, a move that reflects the “strong institutional and political linkages” between the special administrative region and the mainland, the ratings firm said. The financial hub’s long-term issuer credit rating was lowered to AA+ from AAA, [...]

HK suspects false health certificates used for Brazil meat

Hong Kong authorities on Thursday suspended meat imports from a Brazilian exporter and two producers on suspicions that health certificates had been falsified for 10 shipments of frozen chicken feet and livestock offal. Some shipments should have only been intended as pet food, Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety said in a statement on its [...]

HK asks Australia to inspect horse training facility in China

Hong Kong’s government has applied for Australia to inspect a racehorse training centre in mainland China that has prompted Canberra to suspend direct movement of horses between the two territories from October 2. Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said the suspension was made on concerns that equine diseases endemic to China could be [...]

Taiwan

Uptick in China-Taiwan travel gives little signal on cross-Strait relations

A turnround in the numbers of Chinese travelling to Taiwan should not necessarily be taken as a signal of any change in China’s policy towards Taiwan, an expert says. Taiwan officials recorded 249,999 visits made by Chinese to Taiwan in August, up from 248,538 the same month in 2016, and marking the first year-on-year growth [...]

Taiwan nanny fired for drinking employer’s breast milk: Reports

A 58-year-old nanny in Taiwan was dismissed from her job after she was allegedly caught for drinking her employer’s breast milk. According to media reports from Taiwan, the employer, known only by her surname Lin, had confronted the nanny after finding that her infant daughter had been finishing an entire bottle of breast milk too [...]

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC: report

Google is set to announce it is buying part of Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The deal for HTC’s smartphone design unit would give the US tech giant more control of its mobile handset hardware as it seeks to bolster its challenge to market leaders including Apple and Samsung. Google [...]

Vietnam

MoIT’s solar power PPA circular omits vital details

Issues related to commercial operation dates, feed-in-tariffs, and grid connections are addressed in a newly-released circular on solar power, but international organisations and investors said that some key points were not changed. The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT)?Circular No.16/2017/TT-BCT on project development and model power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar power projects, released last [...]

AIPA: Vietnam proposes building AEC with equal development

Vietnam proposed a resolution on strengthening intra-regional cooperation to build an Asean Economic Community (AEC) of equal development and inclusive growth. The resolution, adopted with high consensus by the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) member countries, was made at the second plenary session of the 38th AIPA general Assembly in the Philippines on Tuesday. The resolution, [...]

Hotel self-rating banneddraft decree

The practice of self-rating hotels and resorts will be disallowed, according to a draft decree guiding the execution of the 2017 Tourism Law. The Tourism Law stipulates that hotels, resorts and other lodging facilities can ask tourism authorities to rate them based on the star system, instead of being forced to do so as required [...]