• Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors

    Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors

    Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation. There were conflicting reports of how many people were missing in the slide, [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam

    AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam

    One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading “propaganda against the state” before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a US-bound flight with just the clothes on his body. Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AP | 8:21 AM
  • HK activists mull Beijing visit during Apec

    HK activists mull Beijing visit during Apec

    Hong Kong student protest leaders are considering visiting Beijing while it hosts a major Asian summit next week to press their demands for greater democratic reforms. Student leader Alex Chow said at a rally late Thursday that protest organisers would discuss the idea of trying to talk to Chinese officials during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • For HK youngsters, protests bring taste of freedom

    For HK youngsters, protests bring taste of freedom

    A month on the streets has given young Hong Kong democracy protesters a taste of life outside the city’s cramped shoebox apartments – and away from the prying eyes of overprotective parents. In this city of high tower blocks and even higher property prices, many Hong Kongers reach their 30s before they get married and [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Burma’s president, army chief meet Suu Kyi

    Burma’s president, army chief meet Suu Kyi

    Myanmar’s president held talks Friday that for the first time brought together opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the military chief in a bid to showcase the nation’s political dialogue less than two weeks before President Barack Obama and other leaders attend a regional summit. Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally barred from running for [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles

    China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles

    China called on Japan on Thursday to stop scrambling its jets against Chinese aircraft following a rise in the number of such operations, saying it was source of flying safety concerns. Tension has been high between Asia’s two largest economies in recent months, with each accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Family of MH370 passenger to sue Putrajaya and MAS

    Family of MH370 passenger to sue Putrajaya and MAS

    The family of three passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will file a suit against Putrajaya and the national carrier, eight months after it went missing presumably in the southern Indian Ocean. Legal firm Messrs Rusmah Arunan & Associates will file the suit on behalf of the plaintiff at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 6:00 AM
  • N. Korea cracking down on a distant threat: Ebola

    N. Korea cracking down on a distant threat: Ebola

    North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners entering the country for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported anywhere in Asia, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter. North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts

    China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts

    China’s defense ministry on Thursday expressed concern over reports that India plans to build 54 new border posts along their disputed border, long a source of tension between the two giant neighbours. China defeated India in a brief war in 1962 and the border has remained unresolved since, despite 17 rounds of talks. The two [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Taiwan tycoon faces more charges in food safety scandal

    Taiwan tycoon faces more charges in food safety scandal

    Taiwanese tycoon Wei Ying-chung was slapped with nearly 140 fraud charges on Thursday over his alleged role in Taiwan’s latest food safety scare, prosecutors said. Wei, one of Taiwan’s richest men, faces a 30-year jail term if convicted as prosecutors indicted him on 60 accounts of fraud and 79 account of aggravated fraud in addition [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets

    Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets

    South Korean activists said they launched more than one million anti-North Korean leaflets across the border on Friday, a move likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which has demanded Seoul ban such exercises. The leaflets were in bundles attached to 24 gas-filled balloons that a North Korean defector group floated over the heavily militarised frontier shortly after [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China says 180 graft suspects captured in overseas manhunt

    China says 180 graft suspects captured in overseas manhunt

    China says it has captured 180 people suspected of committing economic crimes as part of an aggressive anti-corruption campaign targeting suspects who have fled abroad, state news agency Xinhua reported. The campaign, dubbed Operation Fox Hunt, included the arrests of 104 suspects, Xinhua said late on Thursday, citing China’s Ministry of Public Security. Seventy-six people [...]

    01-Nov-2014 Intellasia | Theglobeandmail | 6:00 AM

Society

How Japan fell in love with Halloween for adults

Until only recently, Japan never celebrated Halloween. And why would it? The nation honors the spirits of its ancestors in August, during the ancient Buddhist festival of O-bon, when ancestral spirits are said to revisit the family altars – and when reported encounters with ghosts and spirits reach a fevered peak. But over the past [...]

Philippine star rides dictator’s coattails to West End

The extraordinary road to the West End for the Philippines’ Mark Bautista began with singing boy-band covers at shopping malls and a long ride from poverty aboard a cargo ship. Now, he is performing to sold-out crowds at one of the world’s most prestigious theatre venues, cast as ex-Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos in “Here Lies [...]

Bobby Au Yeung has no pity for Lawrence Ng

While other stars expressed their sympathy towards Lawrence Ng for the failure of his marriage, Hong Kong actor Bobby Au Yeung recently stated that he has no pity for him at all. According to Mingpao News, the actor, who attended the production commencement ceremony for his new series “With or Without You” on 30 October, [...]

Health

No TB epidemic in the Philippines: expert

Although the Philippines has the two ingredients for a tuberculosis (TB) epidemic, an expert from Paris-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) does not see this happening. “The Philippines is quite unique. One of my colleagues at the Brown University is from the Philippines and he studied the epidemic for 15 years,” [...]

India’s universal healthcare rollout to cost $26 billion

India’s universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed benefits to a sixth of the world’s population will cost an estimated 1.6 trillion rupees ($26 billion) over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said. Under the National Health Assurance Mission, prime minister Narendra Modi’s government would provide all citizens with free drugs [...]

Philippines urges citizens to leave Ebola-hit Africa

The Philippines on Thursday urged hundreds of its citizens to leave Ebola-hit west African nations, as it announced anyone who returned would be placed under a 21-day quarantine. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government had made a “voluntary repatriation” call to about 900 workers in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. He told [...]

FinanceAsia

Health – Africa: Merck Forms a Scientific Partnership with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) as part of its Capacity Advancement Program in Africa

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life-science sectors, announced today the signature of a memorandum of understanding with Kenya Medical Research Institution (KEMRI) for a scientific partnership aimed at contributing to the country’s social and economic development. The partnership will cover research and development projects, [...]

Colliers International and CoreNet Global Announce First Service Provider Benchmarking Agreement in Corporate Real Estate Industry

Global commercial real estate services firm Colliers International has announced with CoreNet Global the first BenchCoRE-Service Provider benchmarking agreement in the corporate real estate industry. This agreement will provide Colliers 360, the dashboard and analytics technology created by Colliers, with data services from BenchCoRE, a first-of-its-kind corporate real estate benchmarking service owned by CoreNet Global. [...]

Brickstream Acquires NOMi to Become the Largest Player in the In-Store Analytics Space

Brickstream, the in-store analytics market leader, announced today that it has acquired the fast-growing location analytics company NOMi. Together, the company now dominates the market with the largest number of global deployments, partner network, application suite, and offering of smart devices. This integrated platform provides the most complete view of the customer journey across both [...]

Regional

AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam

AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam

One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading “propaganda against the state” before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a US-bound flight with just the clothes on his body. Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The [...]

Haqqani commander among dead in US drone strike in Pakistan

A US drone strike killed at least seven militants in Pakistan’s restive tribal belt on Thursday, including an important commander of the feared Haqqani network, security officials said. The attack happened early Thursday in Nargas village of Birmil area, some 30 kilometres west of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal region near the [...]

Obama calls for ‘inclusive’ vote process in Burma: W.House

US President Barack Obama has called for an “inclusive and credible” elections process next year in Myanmar, where President Thein Sein was set to hold an unprecedented political summit on Friday with his rivals. Obama made the comment in telephone talks with Thein Sein, during which the pair also discussed the US president’s visit to [...]

China

China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles

China called on Japan on Thursday to stop scrambling its jets against Chinese aircraft following a rise in the number of such operations, saying it was source of flying safety concerns. Tension has been high between Asia’s two largest economies in recent months, with each accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to [...]

Local firms look to benefit from direct RMB-Singapore dollar trading

Direct trading between the Chinese renminbi and Singapore dollar got off to a positive start, with about S$700 million worth of trade done across the board on October 28. Some Singapore companies said they expect to derive benefits from direct currency trading. According to OCBC Bank, direct trading between the Chinese renminbi (RMB) and Singapore [...]

China’s Baidu says mobile investment a priority as third quarter revenue falls short

China’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc said it would continue to invest significantly to adapt its business to the mobile era, a transition that has tripped up other Internet peers born in the desktop PC era like Google Inc. Sometimes known as the “Google of China,” Baidu reported lower-than-expected 52 percent increase in third quarter [...]

Malaysia

Malaysia wins in Singapore tax dispute

A land tax dispute that threatened to derail joint-government projects related to KTM Bhd land in Singapore has been decided in Malaysia’s favour. Yesterday’s decision saw the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rule in favour of Malaysia’s arguments that no extra land tax needed to be paid by the Khazanah Nasional Bhd-Temasek Holdings [...]

Family of MH370 passenger to sue Putrajaya and MAS

Family of MH370 passenger to sue Putrajaya and MAS

The family of three passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will file a suit against Putrajaya and the national carrier, eight months after it went missing presumably in the southern Indian Ocean. Legal firm Messrs Rusmah Arunan & Associates will file the suit on behalf of the plaintiff at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry [...]

After delays, Philippines, Malaysia sign new air pact

After delays, the Philippines finally inked a new air agreement with Malaysia. Air talks with Malayasia were cancelled twice in 2014. Originally scheduled in April, they were postponed due to the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The air talks were reset to August but had to be called off again due to the [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia’s economy grew 5.0-5.1pct yr/yr in third quarter: finance minister

Indonesia’s economy grew between 5.0-5.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, and the September trade balance was expected to show a small deficit, the country’s new finance minister said on Thursday. Finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told Reuters that exports had been hit by falling prices rather than volumes. “The slowdown in China [...]

Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil to Sell Stake in Indonesia Arm to Coke for $500m

Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) jumped in Sydney trade on news that it will sell a minority stake in its struggling Indonesian unit to its US-backer. Amatil’s stock finished 4.49 percent higher on 30 October after it agreed to sell a 29.4 percent stake in its Indonesian unit to US beverage giant Coke for $500m [...]

Indonesia to Change Fuel Subsidies by End of the year at Latest

Indonesia’s new government will make changes to its costly gasoline and diesel subsidies before the end of the year, the country’s chief economics minister said on Thursday. Although a highly unpopular step, Indonesia’s new minority coalition government has to urgently address Indonesia’s biggest fiscal problem – a $23 billion fuel subsidy bill. The subsidy regime [...]

Singapore

Bank lending in Singapore flat in September

Loans and advances by banks in Singapore amounted to S$604.5 billion last month compared with S$604.6 billion in August, central bank data showed. Total bank lending in Singapore hardly changed in September from August, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday (October 31). Loans and advances by banks in [...]

Malaysia wins in Singapore tax dispute

A land tax dispute that threatened to derail joint-government projects related to KTM Bhd land in Singapore has been decided in Malaysia’s favour. Yesterday’s decision saw the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rule in favour of Malaysia’s arguments that no extra land tax needed to be paid by the Khazanah Nasional Bhd-Temasek Holdings [...]

Arbitral tribunal decides on Malayan Railway land in Keppel, Kranji, Woodlands – Bernama

An arbitral tribunal appointed by Malaysia and Singapore has decided that a joint investment company of the two countries will not be conditionally liable to pay development charges on the former Malayan Railway parcels of land in Keppel, Kranji and Woodlands. The tribunal decided that the company, M+S Pte Ltd, would not have been liable [...]

Thailand

Thailand cuts growth outlook

Thailand’s economy is still stuck in first gear nearly six months after the army overthrew the government to end months of turmoil, with demand at home and abroad stubbornly weak and big government projects unlikely to bear fruit until next year. A spate of poor economic data, including the government’s economic downgrade yesterday, is an [...]

Thailand finance ministry Lowers Economic Growth Forecast

Thailand’s finance ministry on Thursday cut its forecast for the country’s economic-growth rate this year to 1.4 percent, down from its previous 2 percent estimate. The ministry said weak exports and a decline in tourist arrivals had hit the country’s economy, which had been showing signs of rebound after months of political crisis rattled investors [...]

Thailand’s business ranking up:More reforms needed, says World Bank

One main contributor is the procedure put in place to fast-track approvals for construction permits for developing small commercial buildings, the World Bank said. Constantine Chikosi, the bank’s portfolio and operations manager for Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, said the country’s ranking had moved up two places from last year in the “Doing Business [...]

Philippines

World Bank grants $300 million loan to boost Philippines’ development efforts

The Philippines is taking out a loan from the World Bank that will improve the government’s capacity to raise revenues and spend them. In a statement, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the Philippines and the World Bank signed a $300 million development policy loan agreement last month. In peso terms, the loan would amount [...]

After delays, Philippines, Malaysia sign new air pact

After delays, the Philippines finally inked a new air agreement with Malaysia. Air talks with Malayasia were cancelled twice in 2014. Originally scheduled in April, they were postponed due to the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The air talks were reset to August but had to be called off again due to the [...]

Amid murder case, Philippines says US pact stays

A security pact that allows thousands of American troops to join large-scale combat exercises in the Philippines is “imperfect” but Manila is unlikely to amend it, the country’s top diplomat said Thursday. The Visiting Forces Agreement, which was signed by the treaty allies in 1998, has come under renewed criticism by left-wing groups and nationalists [...]

Japan

Japan consumer inflation slows, spending down in September

Japanese inflation slowed further in September as consumers tightened their purse strings, data showed on Friday, fuelling concerns that a tax hike this year could detail the nation’s economic recovery. The internal affairs ministry said Japan’s core consumer inflation, stripping out volatile fresh food prices, came in at 3.0 percent year-on-year, down from 3.1 percent [...]

Japan Inflation Slowest in Six Months Challenges Kuroda

Japan’s inflation slowed to its lowest pace in half a year, underlining the challenge to central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda’s efforts to reflate the world’s third-biggest economy. Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 3.0 percent in September from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo, in line with a median projection in [...]

BOJ unexpectedly eases monetary policy further

The Bank of Japan unexpectedly eased monetary policy on Friday in a 5-4 vote, due to concerns that a decline in oil prices would weigh on consumer prices and delay a shift in sentiment away from deflation. The central bank decided to increase the pace at which it expands base money to about 80 trillion [...]

Korea

Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets

Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets

South Korean activists said they launched more than one million anti-North Korean leaflets across the border on Friday, a move likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which has demanded Seoul ban such exercises. The leaflets were in bundles attached to 24 gas-filled balloons that a North Korean defector group floated over the heavily militarised frontier shortly after [...]

N Korea to deepen probe into Japanese abductees: Japan’s Abe

North Korea had told Japan it intends to deepen its probe into the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang decades ago, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, but there was no indication of any imminent breakthrough. Abe’s administration is under fire for fund-related scandals in his cabinet that have forced two ministers [...]

Samsung Electronics seeks China turnaround, unveils mid-tier handsets with premium feel

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled two new mid-tier handsets with a premium design as it prepared to deliver a riposte to its low-priced Chinese rivals and reclaim its title as the top brand in the world’s biggest smartphone market. The Galaxy A3 and A5 will be Samsung’s first devices to feature fully metal bodies and [...]

Hong Kong

Britain will not ban tear gas exports to HK, minister tells MPs

Britain announced yesterday that it would not ban exports of tear gas to Hong Kong or revoke export licences to supply the city. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the decision was based on Foreign Office advice. The Hong Kong police used 87 tear gas canisters on September 28 to disperse pro-democracy protesters in Admiralty. The [...]

Inside China: Beijing rips HK tycoons

Hong Kong’s tycoons, typically the bedrock of China’s influence over the former British colony, have been notably silent in denouncing the pro-democracy protest movement. And the boss inside the Communist Party’s Politburo has run out of patience for the silence of Hong Kong’s superwealthy. Xinhua News Agency, the communist country’s official media outlet, last week [...]

HK is still a very easy place to do business, even after a month of protests

Hong Kong’s Occupy Central, which vowed to bring the city’s financial centre to a standstill if demands for democracy aren’t met, hasn’t quite done its job. The World Bank says that despite the pro-democracy protests, Hong Kong is still the world’s third-best locale to do business. The ranking puts Hong Kong just behind Singapore and [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan tycoon faces more charges in food safety scandal

Taiwan tycoon faces more charges in food safety scandal

Taiwanese tycoon Wei Ying-chung was slapped with nearly 140 fraud charges on Thursday over his alleged role in Taiwan’s latest food safety scare, prosecutors said. Wei, one of Taiwan’s richest men, faces a 30-year jail term if convicted as prosecutors indicted him on 60 accounts of fraud and 79 account of aggravated fraud in addition [...]

Taiwan and HK Told you so: The protests in HK fuel Taiwan’s distrust of China

“ONE country, two systems”, the formula supposed to guarantee Hong Kong’s autonomy under Chinese sovereignty, was first devised for Taiwan. But it has never held much appeal there, and China’s refusal to cede to the demands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong comes as no surprise. But the confrontation makes it harder to enthuse Taiwan [...]

Taiwan shipbuilder, Lockheed Martin to build minesweepers for navy

A consortium of Taiwan’s largest private shipbuilder Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co Ltd, US defence firm Lockheed Martin Corp and Italian firm Intermarine SpA have won a contract to supply six mine countermeasure vessels for Taiwan’s navy for an undisclosed amount. The contract is part of a procurement process by the Ministry of National Defense, said [...]

Vietnam

Vietnam, Slovakia enhance trade cooperation

A seminar to promote trade between Vietnam and Slovakia was held in the latter’s capital city Bratislava on October 29 in a bid to provide Slovakian businesses and financial institutions with information on Vietnam’s investment climate. The seminar was organised by the Vietnam Trade Office in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and Bratislava’s Chamber of [...]

Officials: Public debts still at safe levels

Both minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung and Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Van Binh said the levels of public debts are still safe and bad debts have been properly handled. Speaking at the government’s regular cabinet meeting in Hanoi on October 29, Dung attributed rising public debts to an increase in [...]

Vietnam, DPRK host conference to seek investment opportunities

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a new market with potential that Vietnamese businesses can consider entering, a conference heard Thursday. The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the DPRK’s Ministry of External Economic Affairs jointly hosted the event in Hanoi to seek cooperation chances and promote trade ties between the two [...]