• Indonesia quakes a ‘wake up call’ on buildings’ shaky foundations

    Indonesia quakes a ‘wake up call’ on buildings’ shaky foundations

    While country has made progress on seismic safety, collapsed buildings show need for regulation and better enforcement. The seven-storey Roa Roa Hotel, with its clean lines and bright blue decor, was one of the few high-rises in the small Indonesian city of Palu, on Sulawesi Island, offering a dash of style to visitors on a […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Aljazeera | 6:00 AM
  • Vladimir Putin says Japan’s Abe told him peace treaty proposal not possible

    Vladimir Putin says Japan’s Abe told him peace treaty proposal not possible

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (October 18) that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe told him Tokyo could not immediately sign a peace treaty with Moscow without first resolving their territorial dispute. Putin, sitting alongside Abe at an economic forum in Vladivostok last month, proposed Japan and Russia conclude an unconditional peace treaty that […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Straits Times | 6:00 AM
  • China, US defence chiefs meet on sidelines of Asean meeting in Singapore

    China, US defence chiefs meet on sidelines of Asean meeting in Singapore

    China’s Defence minister Wei Fenghe held talks with his US counterpart James Mattis at a key regional security summit on Thursday, after a meeting between the two men scheduled for earlier in the month was cancelled due to growing tensions between the two countries. The officials talked for almost 90 minutes on the sidelines of […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM
  • China’s GDP growth slows to 6.5pct in third quarter

    China’s GDP growth slows to 6.5pct in third quarter

    China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in nine years in the third quarter, as a campaign to tackle mounting debt and trade frictions with the US had an effect. The world’s second largest economy expanded by 6.5 percent in the July-to-September period year-on-year, according to official GDP figures released Friday by China’s National Bureau […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China state paper accuses west of double standards on Xinjiang

    China state paper accuses west of double standards on Xinjiang

    The western media is guilty of “double standards” when it comes to reporting on China’s restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, the official China Daily said in an editorial on Friday. China has faced an outcry from human rights groups, foreign governments and United Nations rights experts over what they say are mass detentions and strict […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping set to visit Guangdong to boost confidence in economic model

    Chinese President Xi Jinping set to visit Guangdong to boost confidence in economic model

    Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon embark on what he hopes will be a confidence-boosting tour of Guangdong province, according to sources familiar with the matter, as the manufacturing and export base begins to feel the impact of the country’s trade war with the US. While the leader’s itinerary is a closely guarded secret, the […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM
  • Pope receives Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit N Korea

    Pope receives Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit N Korea

    Pope Francis received an invitation Thursday from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea, and said he would consider the invitation, according to a South Korean spokesman. The offer was conveyed verbally by South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his visit to the Vatican, the spokesman said. The invitation comes at a time when the […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | CNN | 6:00 AM
  • World War 3 fears: N Korea accuses Japan of ‘sharpening sword for REINVASION’

    World War 3 fears: N Korea accuses Japan of ‘sharpening sword for REINVASION’

    A STATE-run North Korean newspaper has accused Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe of “sharpening the sword of re-invasion” with planned constitutional reforms which it claimed would leave his country equipped for military action against its neighbour. Abe, who was re-elected as President of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on September 20, wants to revise the country’s […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Express | 6:00 AM
  • Korea’s president is struggling to ‘democratise’ the economy

    Korea’s president is struggling to ‘democratise’ the economy

    Cho imho is angry. Perched on an enormous black leather chair, the director of South Korea’s association of small businesses throws up his arms in despair as he discusses the government’s economic policy. Cho reserves particular ire for the recent increase in the minimum wage to 7,530 won ($6.65) an hour, 16 percent more than […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Economist | 6:00 AM
  • China, SE Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

    China, SE Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

    China and Southeast Asian states will hold their first joint maritime exercises next week, officials said Friday, in a move aimed at easing tensions but which may spark US alarm. Beijing’s expansive claims to the South China Sea have long been a source of friction with rival claimants in Southeast Asia, as well as Washington […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Malaysian ex-deputy PM charged with money laundering, graft

    Malaysian ex-deputy PM charged with money laundering, graft

    Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, was charged on Friday with 45 criminal offences including money laundering and graft, the state news agency reported, amid a widening crackdown on corruption. Ahmad Zahid leads the opposition as president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the once-powerful party that ruled Malaysia for 60 years […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China’s former internet tsar pleads guilty to corruption

    China’s former internet tsar pleads guilty to corruption

    China’s former internet tsar Lu Wei has pleaded guilty to taking bribes of 32 million yuan (US$4.6 million), according to provincial court authorities. Lu, the former head of China’s powerful internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), appeared in court in eastern Zhejiang province on Friday morning. He was accused of taking advantage of […]

    20-Oct-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM

Society

Freed Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’ arrives in US

A dissident Vietnamese blogger known by her pen name ‘Mother Mushroom’ has arrived in the United States after her surprise release from prison, telling a large crowd of supporters she will “never keep silent” in her fight for democracy in the one-party state. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 39, was quietly freed from a jail on […]

Vietnam frees popular blogger on condition she leave for US

Vietnam has freed a well-known blogger after two years in prison on the condition that she leave for the United States. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom,” was arrested in October 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of defaming the Communist government. The conviction of the popular blogger, who […]

Freed Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’ arrives in US

A dissident Vietnamese blogger known by her pen name ‘Mother Mushroom’ has arrived in the United States after her surprise release from prison, telling a large crowd of supporters she will “never keep silent” in her fight for democracy in the one-party state. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 39, was quietly freed from a jail on […]

Health

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 […]

China confirms first human case of H7N4 bird flu

China confirms first human case of H7N4 bird flu

China has confirmed the first human case of H7N4 bird flu, prompting Hong Kong to issue a health warning for those travelling to the mainland during the busy Lunar New Year holiday. The strain was identified in a 68-year-old woman from the eastern province of Jiangsu who was admitted to hospital after falling ill on […]

First Zika case in Singapore since September 2017: MOH

First Zika case in Singapore since September 2017: MOH

The Zika virus is back in Singapore, almost four months after the last reported case. The latest case was reported last Thursday (18 January), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an update on its website published on Tuesday (23 January). The website does not list any Zika cluster. It is the first Zika infection […]

FinanceAsia

Mazda Included in Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for Second Year Running

HIROSHIMA, Japan, Oct 19, 2018 – (JCN Newswire) – Mazda Motor Corporation has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices’ World Index(1) and Asia Pacific Index(2) for the second year running. Dow Jones Sustainability Indices assess sustainability by examining a company’s environmental initiatives, social contribution, human resource development, corporate governance and compliance. Established in […]

Eisai: Discovery of Candidate Compound as Potential Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease Using iPS Cells

Opening the Way to Establishing New Techniques for Developing Treatments for Neurological Diseases TOKYO, Oct 19, 2018 – (JCN Newswire) – A joint research group centered around Professor Hideyuki Okano and Associate Professor Jun Kohyama, Department of Physiology of the Keio University School of Medicine, together with a research group of Eisai Co., Ltd. has […]

card complete Service Bank AG and JCBI enable contactless acceptance in Europe

Vienna & Tokyo, Oct 19, 2018 – (ACN Newswire) – card complete Service Bank AG, Austria’s largest credit card issuer and a top acquirer, and JCB International, Co., Ltd. (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., today announced the rollout of JCB Contactless* acceptance in Austria. JCB cardmembers will now be able to […]

Regional

US prepares for biggest-ever Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday visited a former American air base in southern Vietnam that will soon become the biggest-ever US cleanup site for contamination left by the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Standing near a skull-and-crossbones warning sign meant to keep people away from toxic soil, Mattis was briefed by […]

China, SE Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

China, SE Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

China and Southeast Asian states will hold their first joint maritime exercises next week, officials said Friday, in a move aimed at easing tensions but which may spark US alarm. Beijing’s expansive claims to the South China Sea have long been a source of friction with rival claimants in Southeast Asia, as well as Washington […]

EU builds ties with Asia in face of US protectionism

European leaders sought to build support from Asia Thursday in defence of free trade and the fight against climate change, to counter the growing protectionism of President Donald Trump’s America. The 28 EU states were joined at a summit in Brussels by more than 20 Asian leaders including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan’s Shinzo Abe […]

China

China’s smog-prone north must guarantee winter heatvice premier

The smog-prone northern Chinese region of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei must ensure residents have enough heating this winter, even as it switches thousands of households from coal to cleaner natural gas, vice Premier Han Zheng said. Han, who leads a cross-ministerial committee to tackle pollution in the region, warned local officials that it was “absolutely forbidden” to dismantle […]

China launches full-throated bid to ease fears as markets fall

China’s top economic supremo on Friday led a coordinated drive by top financial officials to shore up confidence in the country’s stock markets and economy, in a rare expression of concern over what one called “abnormal” share price falls. The intervention vice Premier Liu He and heads of the central bank and securities and banking […]

China reports economic growth below expectations its worst pace since the financial crisis

* China said on Friday its economic growth slowed to 6.5 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, missing expectations. * Beijing’s official GDP figures are closely watched as an indicator of the health of the world’s second-largest economy, but many outside experts have long expressed skepticism about the veracity of China’s reports. China’s […]

Malaysia

PM: Development no longer just about GDP, but ‘shared prosperity’

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stressed today that Putrajaya will no longer measure development through economic growth, while tabling the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament today. The prime minister said development will now means “shared prosperity” between all citizens from an increase in purchasing power, and the elimination of a wide income […]

Ng Eng Hen welcomes Malaysia defence minister to Singapore during introductory visit

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and his Malaysian counterpart Mohamad Sabu on Thursday (October 18) reaffirmed long-standing bilateral defence ties during the Malaysian minister’s introductory visit to Singapore. Mohamad, who is in Singapore from Thursday to Saturday, called on Dr Ng at the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Thursday morning and reviewed a guard […]

Malaysian ex-deputy PM charged with money laundering, graft

Malaysian ex-deputy PM charged with money laundering, graft

Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, was charged on Friday with 45 criminal offences including money laundering and graft, the state news agency reported, amid a widening crackdown on corruption. Ahmad Zahid leads the opposition as president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the once-powerful party that ruled Malaysia for 60 years […]

Indonesia

Indonesia: Massive relief effort under way three weeks after earthquake and tsunami

Three weeks after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Sulawesi on 28 September, a massive effort is under way to distribute 215 metric tonnes of relief items (equivalent to the weight of 107 medium-sized cars) before monsoon rain sets in. So far, the Indonesian Red Cross, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross […]

Indonesia’s threats over Scott Morrison’s Israel embassy remarks now out in the open

Indonesia’s threats this week over whether bilateral relations with Australia will be damaged by the Israel embassy row have been either implied or leaked. Now those threats are out in the open. Indonesia’s official spokesman for Foreign Affairs, Arrmanatha Nashir, would not say exactly what areas of policy would be affected, but he left Australia […]

Indonesia drops disinfectant on quake-hit Palu

Indonesian authorities on Thursday (October 18) used helicopters to drop disinfectant on parts of the earthquake-and-tsunami-ravaged city of Palu, where thousands of decomposing bodies are still buried beneath once-thriving neighbourhoods. The magnitude 7.5 quake and a subsequent tsunami razed swathes of the city on Sulawesi island on Sep 28. More than 2,100 bodies have been […]

Singapore

Japan’s largest warship visits Singapore on Indo-Pacific deployment

Japan’s largest warship since World War II docked in Singapore on Thursday (October 18) as part of its two-month-long deployment to boost maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. At 250m long, JS Kaga is the length of five Olympic-sized swimming pools, and it can carry up to 14 helicopters. The warship is reportedly designed to carry […]

Singapore, Malaysia in ‘dire need’ of third bridge to improve connectivity: Malaysian minister

Both Malaysia and Singapore are in “dire need of a third bridge” linking both countries, said Malaysian minister for Water, Land and Natural Resources Xavier Jayakumar on Thursday (October 18). He said that Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s recent interest in reviving the “crooked bridge” projecta bridge linking Johor and Singaporeseemed to have received “mostly […]

Singapore is ranked the best place in the world for expats, and after visiting I can understand why

If you had told me six months ago that Singapore was ranked the number one place in the world for expats to move, as HSBC Expat did in its annual report released last week, I would have laughed in your face. Prior to visiting the island city-state, my notion of Singapore was similar to the […]

Thailand

‘Vaccine denial’ behind measles deaths in south Thailand

The “vaccine denial” common in some Muslim communities has contributed to the deaths of at least six patients, including children, during a measles outbreak in the far South. Though vaccines are proven to prevent diseases, the Department of Disease Control is worried that a measles epidemic is quickly spreading in the three southernmost provinces of […]

Thailand’s richest man plans $1.5b property IPO

THAILAND’S richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is planning an initial public offering of a domestic property business that could raise at least $1.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. The tycoon’s TCC Group conglomerate has asked banks to pitch for a role on the share sale by its Asset World Corp. unit, according to […]

Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

Thailand army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable

Thailand’s new army chief on Wednesday did not rule out another military intervention if there was political conflict after the return of civilian rule in a general election next year. General Apirat Kongsompong, who took up his post this month, said the army was being closely watched and would strive to remain neutral. “We have […]

Philippines

Why Philippines and Indonesia are prone to natural hazards

Just like Indonesia, the Philippines has a big earthquake looming in its future. This raises an important question: what makes the Philippines and Indonesia prone to natural hazards? The catastrophic damage left behind by the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Palu, Indonesia still leaves people shaken to their very core. According to the United […]

Philippines’ San Miguel halves food unit’s share sale to $920 million

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC.PS) slashed the size of its food unit’s share sale by almost half to $920 million, as a weak stock market thwarted what could have been the nation’s biggest ever secondary offering. The sale of a minority stake in San Miguel Food and Beverage (FB.PS) is part of the parent […]

Philippines, Israel sign Palawan oil exploration deal

Malacanang yesterday expressed hope the oil exploration deal between the Philippines and an Israeli firm would lessen Manila’s dependence on imports and its vulnerability to price shocks in the global market. On Wednesday, President Duterte and Ratio Petroleum Ltd president and chief executive officer Itay Raphael Tabibzada signed an oil exploration agreement covering East Palawan […]

Japan

Japan’s consumer prices rise in September on energy costs

Japan’s consumer prices picked up in September amid rising energy costs, but the growth was still far below the Bank of Japan’s target, government data showed Friday. The nationwide core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food because of its volatility, rose 1.0 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from a 0.9 percent rise in […]

Ageing Japan: Unclaimed burial urns pile up in Japan amid fraying social ties

Unclaimed urns containing ashes of the dead are piling up by the thousands across Japan, creating storage headaches and reflecting fraying family ties and economic pressures in a rapidly ageing nation. The identities of the dead, cremated at public expense, are usually known. But in most cases, relatives either refuse or don’t respond to requests […]

Typhoons cause Japan’s famed cherry blossoms to bloom early

Spring has already sprungat least for certain confused cherry trees in Japan. The famed “sakura,” or cherry blossoms, have been regarded as a herald of spring for thousands of yearsand the industry that springs up around “hanami”cherry blossom viewingeach year is worth millions. But this year, Japan-based Weather News reports that there have already been […]

Korea

The US is reportedly unhappy about North and Korea’s latest plan to lower tensions

The United States opposes a plan by South and North Korea to set up a no-fly zone over their heavily fortified border, the latest sign of a rift between Seoul and its top ally, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Washington and Seoul both publicly insist they are on the same page about […]

Korea’s president is struggling to ‘democratise’ the economy

Korea’s president is struggling to ‘democratise’ the economy

Cho imho is angry. Perched on an enormous black leather chair, the director of South Korea’s association of small businesses throws up his arms in despair as he discusses the government’s economic policy. Cho reserves particular ire for the recent increase in the minimum wage to 7,530 won ($6.65) an hour, 16 percent more than […]

Pope receives Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit N Korea

Pope receives Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit N Korea

Pope Francis received an invitation Thursday from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea, and said he would consider the invitation, according to a South Korean spokesman. The offer was conveyed verbally by South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his visit to the Vatican, the spokesman said. The invitation comes at a time when the […]

Hong Kong

World’s longest sea crossing is finally finished, but HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge has come at a high cost

The world’s longest sea crossing linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau will open to passengers soon, but its construction was blighted by accidents, corruption, delays and budget overruns. Nearly a decade after construction began, the bridge’s opening ceremony will take place on October 23, marking a milestone in Beijing’s broader push to integrate the “Greater […]

HK will have to restrict number of vehicles using mega bridge because of delay in building airport link road

Hong Kong should not expect a lot of traffic on the multibillion-dollar Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge when it first opens, the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) said. Zhang Xiaoming said the fact a connecting road on the Hong Kong side had yet to be built, meant the number of vehicles using […]

Singapore outclasses HK when it comes to minimum home size

Singapore, which is smaller than Hong Kong in land area, is seemingly more generous when it comes to minimum standards for living space. The city state puts Hong Kong to shame with minimum home sizes in the private market that are three times larger, or 915 sq ft, compared with the 300 sq ft stipulated […]

Taiwan

Taiwan says will continue to push for papal visit

Taiwan said Friday it would continue to push for a papal visit to the island after the Vatican turned down its most recent invitation. Vice president Chen Chien-jen made the invitation during an audience with the pope Sunday as Taiwan seeks to deepen ties with its only ally in Europe after the Holy See signed […]

Taiwan blames ‘arrogant’ China over Interpol snub

Taiwan said Friday that Interpol had rejected its request to attend next month’s general assembly meeting in Dubai as an observer, blaming Chinese pressure in the latest snub from an international forum. China sees self-governing democratic Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification and has used its clout to diminish the island’s presence on […]

Taiwan confirms will not deport Chinese asylum seeking duo

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council confirms Chinese asylum seeking pair will not be sent back to China, irrespective of asylum application A Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) spokesperson confirmed that Taiwan will not deport the pair of Chinese asylum seekers who arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on September 27, reported CNA. The MAC said the Taiwan […]

Vietnam

PM Phuc highlights Asia-Europe business links

Globalisation promotes economic integration and fosters a new wave of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), creating opportunities for and optimism about investment and business towards sustainable development, said prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Brussels on Thursday. As the first leader to speak at the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF), Phuc said the […]

ABBank director steps down after three months

The general director of An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABBank) Duong Thi Mai Hoa has unexpectedly resigned from her position after just three months. ABBank’s board of directors approved Hoa’s resignation for personal reasons on Thursday and has appointed Pham Duy Hieu in her place. Hieu will officially become the bank’s general director after […]

FIT tour operator introduces new culinary and cultural experiences in Vietnam

Vietnam’s wonderful cuisine, friendly people, spectacular natural beauty, fascinating history and rich culture appeal to a growing number of independent travellers looking for something exotic and different. Independent travel specialist Avanti Destinations, a free independent traveler (FIT) tour operator, has introduced new food-focused itineraries and cultural experiences in Vietnam.According to Avanti’s Executive Chair Paul Barry, […]