• In Indonesia’s election, the winner is Widodoand Islam

    In Indonesia’s election, the winner is Widodoand Islam

    Two months before this week’s presidential election in Indonesia, prize-winning novelist Eka Kurniawan declared in an opinion column that “the Islamists have already won”. Unofficial results from Wednesday’s poll show that incumbent President Joko Widodo was actually the winner and is set for a second five-year termbut they also reveal a hardening bloc of conservative […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:38 AM
  • Trump will travel to Japan on May 25-28: White House

    Trump will travel to Japan on May 25-28: White House

    US President Donald Trump will travel to Japan on May 25-28 for meetings with Japanese prime minister Shinzo, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. The two leaders will discuss North Korea, “including efforts to achieve final, fully verified denuclearisation,” the statement said. “The two leaders will also explore ways to advance their […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:38 AM
  • WTO largely sides with US in dispute over China grain import tariffs

    WTO largely sides with US in dispute over China grain import tariffs

    The World Trade Organisation on Thursday largely sided with the United States in its Obama-era case against Beijing over Chinese restrictions on imports of American grain. The WTO decision was the second in as many months to favour Washington’s position on trade with China in grain. Back in December 2016, Washington filed a complaint with […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM
  • N Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; US plays down weapons test

    N Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; US plays down weapons test

    North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down. North Korea’s state news agency said Kwon Jong Gun, in charge of […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:38 AM
  • US says N Korean test not a ballistic missile

    US says N Korean test not a ballistic missile

    A weapons test announced by North Korea was not of a ballistic missile, the US defense chief said Thursday, adding that US forces have not changed their posture in response. “There was a test,” Patrick Shanahan, the acting defense secretary, told reporters as he met his Albanian counterpart at the Pentagon. He declined to elaborate […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM
  • US shrugs as N Korea demands Pompeo exit talks

    US shrugs as N Korea demands Pompeo exit talks

    Donald Trump has said he’s in love with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But if there’s someone with whom the US president is even more smitten, it’s Mike Pompeo. North Korea on Thursday demanded that the United States remove the secretary of state from future negotiations after Pompeo apparently encouraged Trump to stand firm […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM
  • N Korean leader Kim to meet Russia’s Putin this month  Kremlin

    N Korean leader Kim to meet Russia’s Putin this month Kremlin

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Thursday, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011. The announcement coincided with a moment of discord in efforts by US President Donald Trump’s administration to reach a […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:38 AM
  • With Kim-Putin summit, Moscow eyes role in N. Korea

    With Kim-Putin summit, Moscow eyes role in N. Korea

    With Russia’s Vladimir Putin set for his first talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month, Moscow is eyeing a major role in yet another global flashpoint. The situation on the Korean peninsula seemed to be stabilising after a historic meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump last year, at which they […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM
  • HK’s fugitive law could put press freedom at new low, says Reporters Without Borders

    HK’s fugitive law could put press freedom at new low, says Reporters Without Borders

    A proposed change to extradition law threatens the work of journalists and could drag Hong Kong’s press freedom rating to new lows lasting decades, a global media watchdog warned on Thursday. Reporters Without Borders said Hongkongers should do all they could to oppose a government proposal to allow the transfer of fugitives on a case-by-case […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:38 AM
  • China invites N Korea to Belt and Road summit

    China invites N Korea to Belt and Road summit

    China said Friday leaders from 37 nations and North Korean representatives will attend a summit for its Belt and Road Initiative next week as it hit back at criticism of the massive trade infrastructure project. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet project is a $1 trillion programme that includes maritime, rail and road projects in Asia, […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM
  • China downplays political impact of global development push

    China downplays political impact of global development push

    China downplayed the political implications of its global Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, saying Friday that it aimed to boost multilateralism amid protectionist trends in the US and elsewhere. Foreign minister Wang Yi said that a conference to promote the initiative to be held next week in Beijing would draw leaders from 37 countries, underscoring […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:38 AM
  • N Korea’s ‘new guided weapon’ designed for ground combat, not a ballistic missile, says South’s military

    N Korea’s ‘new guided weapon’ designed for ground combat, not a ballistic missile, says South’s military

    The “new tactical guided weapon” that North Korea said it test-fired this week is believed to be a guided weapon for ground combat, not a ballistic missile that would have constituted a breach of sanctions, a South Korean official said on Friday. On Thursday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said leader Kim […]

    20-Apr-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:38 AM

Society

Police seize 600 kilos of meth in Vietnam

Police in central Vietnam have seized more than half a tonne of methamphetamine in one of the largest drug busts in recent years in the communist country where synthetic drug use is on the rise. Four people were arrested after police stormed a house in central Nghe An province where they found 600 kilograms (1,300 […]

Vietnam man arrested smuggling tiger skin, bones to China

A Vietnamese man has been arrested for attempting to smuggle an entire tiger skin and tiger bones into China, police said Thursday in the southeast Asian country where illegal wildlife trade flourishes. Vietnam is both a consumption hub and popular trading route for illegal animal products destined for other parts of Asia, namely China. Border […]

Buddhist nun prays for Vietnamese workers who died in Japan

Asian markets rose Friday, putting them on course to end the week on a positive note with investors looking past a downgrade of US growth to focus on the next round of top-level China-US trade talks. While the past five days have been dogged by fears over the outlook for the global economy, equities from […]

Health

Vietnam confirms first African swine fever cases on three farms

Vietnam confirms first African swine fever cases on three farms

African swine fever has been detected on three farms in Vietnam, authorities said on Tuesday, the first confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease in the Southeast Asia country. All pigs on the farms located in Hung Yen and Thai Binh provinces, southeast of the capital Hanoi, were culled, the Animal Health Department said in […]

Thirteen countries from Asia and the Pacific plan scale-up of PrEP and HIV self-testing

Representatives from 13 countries across Asia and the Pacific gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, from 29 to 31 October to develop road maps to implement and expand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV self-testing in the region. In discussions on building capacity for the rollout of PrEP and HIV testing innovations in Asia and the Pacific, policy-makers, […]

After eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, Malaysia sets sights on Hepatitis B

The health ministry said today it will focus on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of Hepatitis B, after Malaysia became the first country in the Western Pacific to eradicate such transmissions in HIV and syphilis. Health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said a few states will begin pilot programmes of targeted screening for Hepatitis B among pregnant mothers, after […]

FinanceAsia

Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank Vision Fund to Invest $1 Billion in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group

TOKYO, Apr 19, 2019 – (JCN Newswire) – Toyota Motor Corp., DENSO Corporation and the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) announced today that they will invest USD1 billion in Uber Technologies Inc.’s Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG). The investment, in a newly formed ATG corporate entity, aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ride-sharing […]

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Eyes South American Gravel Glory

Rally Argentina and Rally Chile: Preview TOKYO, Apr 19, 2019 – (JCN Newswire) – A run of consecutive gravel-based events for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team begins with a double-header in South America. First comes an established classic event, Rally Argentina (April 25-28), where the Toyota Yaris WRC claimed victory in 2018. A brand […]

Asian stocks rise in quiet holiday trading

Asian stock indexes rose moderately in quiet holiday trading on Good Friday as some markets were closed. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5 percent in early trading to 22,191.98. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent to 2,221.1. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 percent to 3,269.59. Some markets remain closed for a national holiday, including […]

Regional

Asian leaders focus on malaria as region leads the world in fight against the disease

Asia has made “extraordinary” progress towards eliminating malaria, but is still in danger of relapse if funds dry up, one of the most senior officials leading the fight against the mosquito-borne disease, has warned. “While we recognise that global progress on malaria has pretty much stalled, Asia-Pacific is the only region where we’ve made significant […]

‘Masters of our destiny’: Burma’s Wa rebels in show of force

‘Masters of our destiny’: Burma’s Wa rebels in show of force

It has a standing army of 25,000, manufactures its own guns and conscripts at least one member of each householdmeet the United Wa State Army: Communist, reclusive, China-backed rebels determined to protect their supremacy over Myanmar’s badland border zone. Thousands of soldiers, including a company of women and a sniper platoon in combat webbing, marched […]

Malaysia arrests Vietnam poachers, seizes tiger, bear parts

Malaysian authorities have arrested two suspected poachers from Vietnam and seized body parts from tigers and bears, a minister said Tuesday, as the country clamps down on rampant wildlife trafficking. The Southeast Asian nation is home to swathes of jungle and a kaleidoscope of rare creatures from elephants to orangutans and tigers, but they are […]

China

Chinese woman whose Mercedes-Benz oil leak protest video went viral ‘satisfied’ with settlement deal

The Mercedes-Benz customer who turned her complaint about a dealer’s handling of an oil leak in her brand new CLS 300 into a viral social media video that got 200 million hits has reached an agreement with the showroom to resolve her complaint. The woman, surnamed Wang, picked up her 660,000 yuan (US$98,690) car at […]

Nintendo shares jump 17pct after Tencent wins key China Switch sales approval

* Key approval paves way for console to enter China * Unclear when Switch may go on sale, games need separate approval * Biggest share gain since July 2016; stock up 37 percent this year * News brings hope of Tencent, Nintendo mobile partnership (Adds analyst comment) Nintendo Co Ltd shares jumped 17 percent in […]

China expected to resume role as driver for global economy, BlackRock says

China’s economy, a drag on global growth last year because of a domestic slowdown, is expected to grow more quickly in the second quarter to become the key economic driver for the world, research by BlackRock shows. More expansive fiscal and monetary policies by Beijing have started to show results that may help to reverse […]

Malaysia

China’s BRI should boost maritime trade too, says Dr M

Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations stand to benefit more from a robust maritime trade route with China through it’s One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI), said prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In an interview with China Central Television Network, Dr Mahathir explained that while the BRI utilises more of land routes in and […]

Exclusion issue just speculation

The risks of capital flight out of Malaysia are likely to be contained, as concerns over exclusion of the country’s debt from the FTSE World government Bond Index (WGBI) are just “speculation”, market observers said. Such setback is also unlikely to affect Malaysia’s economic growth, they added. They expect the government to do whatever is […]

Why are Malaysian princes in love with foreign brides?

A Swedish woman Sophie Louise Johansson will be joining the Kelantan royal household when she ties the knot with the Malaysian state’s crown prince, Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra, on Friday. Tengku Faiz will be the latest royal to wed a non-Malay, after Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim, the only daughter of the Johor Sultan, married […]

Indonesia

In Indonesia’s election, the winner is Widodoand Islam

In Indonesia’s election, the winner is Widodoand Islam

Two months before this week’s presidential election in Indonesia, prize-winning novelist Eka Kurniawan declared in an opinion column that “the Islamists have already won”. Unofficial results from Wednesday’s poll show that incumbent President Joko Widodo was actually the winner and is set for a second five-year termbut they also reveal a hardening bloc of conservative […]

Indonesia’s ‘smooth’ polls a beacon in sea of strongmen: analysts

Indonesia’s ‘smooth’ polls a beacon in sea of strongmen: analysts

Indonesia pulled off a complex yet peaceful election across its vastand ethnically diverseisland territory this week, cementing its place as a democratic beacon in a sea of authoritarian governments, analysts say. But the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation still faces a spike in militant Islam and myriad other challenges. On Wednesday, the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago […]

Jokowi is set to win another term as Indonesia’s president experts doubt he’ll deliver reforms

* The Jakarta composite and Indonesian rupiah jumped on Thursday after unofficial election results showed incumbent President Joko Widodo winning a second-term in office. * Such optimism in the financial markets was not shared by a number of analysts, who pointed out that Jokowi’s reform ambitions may again face challenges in a divided parliament. * […]

Singapore

Singapore ranks 151st in 2019 World Press Freedom Index, unchanged since 2017

Singapore was ranked 151st in the latest Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index released on Thursday (18 April), a position it has held since 2017. The Republic’s position was below its Asian peers including Malaysia (123rd), Myanmar (138th), Hong Kong (73rd), Japan (67th), and Taiwan (42nd) in the RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. […]

70pct of 1,300 polled want recycling bin labels changed

Results suggest people think redesign might help households to recycle right: Ministry The labels on the blue recycling bin may be in need of a redesign to encourage more people here to recycle. A survey by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) found that over 70 per cent of 1,300 people who […]

Singapore still among top 5 most expensive Asian cities for business travellers

Singapore is ranked fourth most expensive city though living costs for business travellers in Singapore dropped 2.3 percent since 2018 A recent report by ECA International showed that the cost of living for business travellers in Singapore is cheaper than in Hong Kong. Average cost of living per day is at $468 (S$634) in Singapore […]

Thailand

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty

Thai authorities have raided a floating home in the Andaman Sea belonging to an American man and his Thai partner who sought to be pioneers in the “seasteading” movement, which promotes living in international waters to be free of any nation’s laws. Thailand’s navy said Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet endangered national sovereignty, an offense […]

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics. Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws according to a road […]

New bill to give Thai spy agency sweeping powers

New bill to give Thai spy agency sweeping powers

Thailand’s spy agency is set to be handed carte blanche powers to obtain information believed to threaten the country’s security using “any methods”, according to a bill announced Wednesday. The bill, published by palace mouthpiece the Royal Gazette, comes less than a month after disputed elections which saw both the ruling junta and an opposition […]

Philippines

Philippine Catholics lash themselves in penance ahead of Easter

Dozens of barefoot penitents in the Philippines whipped themselves and carried large wooden crosses in sweltering heat on Thursday (April 18) as they participated in a ritual ahead of Easter in Asia’s biggest Catholic nation. Some of the men, wearing red robes with their faces covered and hands tied to the crosses, walked for hours […]

Extreme Easter: Flogging, crucifixions in Philippines

Hundreds of barefoot men beat themselves with flails and at least 10 were to be nailed onto crosses throughout Good Friday in a blood-soaked display of religious fervour in the Philippines. Frowned upon by the Church, the ritual crucifixions and self-flagellation are extreme affirmations of faith peformed every Easter in Asia’s Catholic outpost. Barefoot men […]

RPOC-10 defines agencies’ roles in ending armed conflict

To attain inclusive and sustainable peace, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-10) mapped out the roles and functions of key agencies of the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC-10) in an organisational meeting on April 11 here. “The RTF-ELCAC shall oversee and coordinate the implementation of the Convergence Areas for […]

Japan

‘World’s smallest baby boy’ set to go home in Japan

The world’s smallest baby boy, who was born in October in Japan weighing as much as an apple, is now ready for the outside world, his doctor said Friday. Ryusuke Sekiya was delivered via emergency Caesarean section, after 24 weeks and five days of pregnancy as his mother Toshiko experienced hypertension. At 258 grams (9.1 […]

Japan seeks to avoid harmful impact from US sanctions on Iran: METI minister

Japan remains committed to avoiding any harmful impact from US sanctions on Iran, as it sees the Middle Eastern oil producer important for the country’s supply security, minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said Friday. “Japan’s relationship with Iran, as one of the world’s leading oil producing countries, is important as the country […]

Uber wins $1bn investment from Toyota, SoftBank fund

Japanese car giant Toyota and investment fund SoftBank Vision Fund on Friday unveiled an investment of $1 billion in US company Uber to drive forward the development of driverless ridesharing services. The latest cash injection, expected to close in the third quarter this year, came amid fevered anticipation of Uber’s public share offering which is […]

Korea

US shrugs as N Korea demands Pompeo exit talks

US shrugs as N Korea demands Pompeo exit talks

Donald Trump has said he’s in love with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But if there’s someone with whom the US president is even more smitten, it’s Mike Pompeo. North Korea on Thursday demanded that the United States remove the secretary of state from future negotiations after Pompeo apparently encouraged Trump to stand firm […]

N Korean leader Kim to meet Russia’s Putin this month  Kremlin

N Korean leader Kim to meet Russia’s Putin this month Kremlin

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Thursday, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011. The announcement coincided with a moment of discord in efforts by US President Donald Trump’s administration to reach a […]

Analysis: NKorea’s Kim back to military optics to raise heat

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is cautiously turning up the heat after his unsuccessful summit with President Trump in Hanoi two months ago. Returning to military optics for the first time in five months, Kim on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to an Air Force base to inspect fighter combat readiness and followed that […]

Hong Kong

News of Ed Sheeran refund falls flat with HK fans who waited for hours in thunderstorm for concert that never happened

Fans who stood for hours in the middle of a thunderstorm to see Ed Sheeran perform at Hong Kong Disneyland will be given a full refund after the gig was cancelled at the last minute, the concert promoter said on Friday. The singer’s second show in front of a 20,000-strong crowd was cancelled on Thursday […]

2 People Are Claiming To Be HK Airlines CEO

Hong Kong Airlines is currently in a chaotic game of thrones inspired CEO battle, as two rivals in the company both claim to be the current leader of the airline. With both sending messages declaring their own right to rule, the airline has been left rudderless as it approaches financial ruin. The current situation for […]

HNA Group tells warring HK Airlines parties to behave as battle for control of airline continues

HNA Group, the de facto parent company of Hong Kong Airlines, has finally broken its silence after four days of boardroom and shareholder infighting played out in the public arena. The Chinese airlines-to-financial services conglomerate said it wanted to put an end to a fractious dispute that has seen an attempted management coup and allegations […]

Taiwan

Taiwan makes advance in biofeul production technique

Academia Sinica Thursday unveiled a technique that facilitates the production of more biofuel using cryo-electron microscopy, a technology that enables researchers to better capture the structure of enzymesbiological catalysts that accelerate the process by which biomass is transformed into biofuel. Considered a source of renewable energy, Biofuels include such fuels as ethanol and biodiesel that […]

What To Expect If Taiwan’s iPhone Billionaire Wins The Presidential Election

Billionaire Terry Gou, chair of the world’s largest contract assembler of consumer electronics, said Wednesday he wants to run for president of Taiwan next year. The Foxconn founder said wants the nomination of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) opposition party, which is eyeing one or two other candidates as well. A bid for the presidency for […]

Taiwan to impose stricter visa scrutiny on HK, Macau reporters

At least six HK journalists on tourist visas found to be engaging in media work in Taiwan Reporters working for certain media outlets in Hong Kong and Macau will be subject to tougher visa scrutiny amidst reports that a number of HK tourists have been engaging in illegal media activities in Taiwan, according to the […]

Vietnam

Lam Dong exports macadamia nuts to RoK, Singapore

The Lam Dong-based Viet Green Maca company reported that it shipped about 10 tonnes of macadamia nuts to the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Singapore in March. According to director of the company Do Dinh Dung, the firm has provided to the market 25 tonnes of the nut, 40 percent of which were exported to […]

Sacombank organises seminar on metals trading on London exchange

Sacombank and the London Metal Exchange (LME) recently organised a seminar on metals trading on the LME for customers trading metals such as aluminium, zinc, copper, lead, and tin, and having demand for commodity price insurance. The seminar saw the participation of many prestigious companies in the fields of consulting and financial solutions such as […]

Vietnam Rubber Group urged to aim for $10 billion revenues

Deputy prime minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) to restructure its business and increase its revenues to $10 billion in the future. He made the request at a meeting with the group on April 18, adding that the VRG must become a leading enterprise in agriculture and set an example […]