• Lion Air to resume search for victims of Indonesia crash

    Lion Air to resume search for victims of Indonesia crash

    Lion Air announced Monday it was funding a multi million dollar search effort using a Dutch company for the second black box and missing victims from doomed flight JT-610. The Boeing 737 MAX vanished from radar 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on October 29, crashing into waters off the north coast of Indonesia’s […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Gay Singaporean man wins right to adopt surrogate son

    Gay Singaporean man wins right to adopt surrogate son

    A gay Singaporean man Monday won the right to adopt a child he fathered via a surrogate in the United States, in a landmark court ruling for the conservative city-state. While Singapore is affluent and modern in many ways, attitudes towards homosexuality are routinely criticised as outdated. Gay marriage is not allowed and sex between […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea warns on US sanctions

    N Korea warns on US sanctions

    Nuclear-armed North Korea condemned the United States over its latest sanctions measures, warning Washington’s approach could “block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula forever”. After a rapid diplomatic rapprochement this year that culminated in the Singapore summit in June between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, progress has […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Malaysia’s Mahathir says no rights to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital

    Malaysia’s Mahathir says no rights to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital

    Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday criticised Australia’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying countries had “no rights” to do so. Australia’s move follows US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider Islamic world and upset […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:23 AM
  • Major Earthquake Strikes Indonesia After Volcanic Eruptions

    Major Earthquake Strikes Indonesia After Volcanic Eruptions

    An earthquake with a 6.2 magnitude occurred about 168 km (101 miles) south-southwest of the town of Jayapura, Indonesia, the US Geological Survey reported on Sunday. The USGS first reported the earthquake at a 6.1 magnitude at a distance of 174 km from Jayapura. A volcano in central Indonesia has erupted an hour prior, ejecting […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Haaretz | 6:00 AM
  • Despite Malaysia’s olive branch, Singapore Navy seen inside Johor port limits

    Despite Malaysia’s olive branch, Singapore Navy seen inside Johor port limits

    The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) sent a patrol ship into Johor Baru’s new port limits several times earlier this week, after Putrajaya’s offer to de-escalate the standoff in the contested waters off Johor. According to a source familiar with the situation there, RSN’s RSS Unity a 1,250-tonne Independence-class littoral mission vessel (LMV) fitted with […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:00 AM
  • Explosion at Japan restaurant injures 42: police

    Explosion at Japan restaurant injures 42: police

    Japanese police were investigating Monday the cause of a powerful blast that ripped through a restaurant in the country’s north overnight, injuring 42 people and damaging surrounding buildings. The explosion in the city of Sapporo on Sunday night started fires and caused the partial collapse of some neighbouring buildings, forcing dozens of residents into shelters, […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Why Shinzo Abe faces an uphill battle to revise Japan’s constitution

    Why Shinzo Abe faces an uphill battle to revise Japan’s constitution

    Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last week abandoned its widely anticipated plan to present a formal proposal to revise the 1947 constitution to the current session of the Diet, Japan’s legislature. Revising the constitution is a longtime ambition of conservative prime minister Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister in 50 years. With Abe […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Brookings | 6:00 AM
  • African swine fever hits two more Chinese provinces

    African swine fever hits two more Chinese provinces

    The deadly African swine fever virus is continuing to spread through China, with the total number of affected provinces rising to 22, but fears that pork will be in short supply when the country welcomes the Year of the Pig in February are being downplayed. As of Friday, two more provinces had been affected, according […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM
  • Ottawa’s envoy in China meets with second detained Canadian: ministry

    Ottawa’s envoy in China meets with second detained Canadian: ministry

    Ottawa’s ambassador to Beijing has met with the second Canadian detained in China on suspicion of threatening national security, Canada’s foreign ministry said Sunday. The ministry said Ambassador John McCallum had met with Michael Spavor, a business consultant, two days after meeting with another detained Canadian, Michael Kovrig, a think tank employee. “Canadian consular officials […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China: seven miners killed after skip plummets down mine shaft

    China: seven miners killed after skip plummets down mine shaft

    Seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in south-western China, state media reported. The accident occurred at around 6pm local time on Saturday after the connecting segment of a mining skip broke, causing it to plummet down the mine shaft, the official Xinhua news agency said. Three […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | The Guardian | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea marks 7th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death

    N Korea marks 7th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death

    North Koreans are marking the seventh anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong Un. As snow fell Sunday, tens of thousands of people offered flowers and paid respects to the late leader at Mansu Hill in central Pyongyang, […]

    18-Dec-2018 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM

Society

Philippines contestant Catriona Gray named Miss Universe

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 in a competition concluding Monday in Bangkok, besting contestants from 93 other countries and delighting her home nation. Gray wore a sparkling red dress she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines as she was handed the crown to the delight of a roaring […]

Miss Philippines wins 2018 Miss Universe crown

Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe on Monday in Bangkok after a trailblazing ceremony praised for featuring its first transgender candidate but marred by gaffes about the English-speaking ability of two Asian contestants. Catriona Gray, 24, finished first ahead of the South African and Venezuelan finalists in the glittering televised event hosted by American comic […]

Vietnamese ride-hailing startup Be raises funding ahead of its launch

In the market, Be will be competing with Southeast Asian ride-hailing giants such as Grab and Go-Jek, who is present through Go-Viet Vietnam-based ride-hailing startup Be has raised a “hundreds of millions of US Dollars” ahead of its launch in December 17. The investors participating in the funding round are undisclosed, though Be Founder and […]

Health

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 […]

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 […]

FinanceAsia

Asian markets rise ahead of key meetings in China and US

Asian markets mostly rose Monday as traders look ahead to a key meeting of the Federal Reserve, and a Chinese policy-setting conference this week. However, there is still caution on trading floors after Friday’s sharp sell-off fuelled by concerns over China’s economy, and despite a tweet from Donald Trump suggesting a trade deal could be […]

Blockpass, Ethfinex Promoting Decentralised Asset Management with RigoBlock

HONG KONG, Dec 17, 2018 – (ACN Newswire) – In its continuing work with Ethfinex, Blockpass is pleased to announce that it is now helping to facilitate decentralised asset management as RigoBlock launches its ICO on Ethfinex’s token sale platform. Created to streamline the ICO process for all parties, Ethfinex’s platform utilises Blockpass’ user-centric, verified […]

Novotech CRO Launches Largest Oracle Trial Management and Monitoring Cloud Service Implementation in Asia-Pacific

SYDNEY, Dec 17, 2018 – (ACN Newswire) – Asia-Pacific specialist CRO Novotech announced as part of its ongoing IT infrastructure investment program that it has implemented the Oracle’s Trial Management and Monitoring Cloud Service (TMMCS) to support its growth in the Asia-Pacific. Oracle Health Sciences VP of Services, David Tuckfield said Novotech will have the […]

Regional

Cambodia seizes record 3-tonne haul of African ivory

Cambodia seized more than 3.2 tonnes of elephant tusks hidden in a storage container sent from Mozambique, a customs official said Sunday, marking the country’s largest ivory bust. The discovery Thursday of 1,026 tusks at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port followed a tip from the US embassy, the official said, and highlights Cambodia’s emergence as […]

US House calls on Burma to release Reuters journalists

US House calls on Burma to release Reuters journalists

The US House of Representatives called nearly unanimously on Thursday for the government of Myanmar to release Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were imprisoned one year ago in a landmark free speech case. House members voted by 394 to 1 for a resolution calling for release of Wa Lone, 32, and […]

Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada appoints new chief executive to replace Lucy Peng

Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada on Thursday announced that Pierre Poignant, the company’s executive president, will succeed Lucy Peng as group chief executive. Peng will remain executive chairwoman of the company. The change at the top comes less than a year after Peng, one of Alibaba’s most prominent executives, was appointed to head the […]

China

Canada gets access to detainee in China 6 days after arrest

Canada’s ambassador to China was given access Sunday to detained Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor six days after he was arrested, the country’s Global Affairs department said. Ambassador John McCallum also met with ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig on Friday. Both were detained in China last Monday in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese tech […]

China, Malaysia artists come together for Perak scroll painting

More than 30 artists from China and Malaysia today painted a 30-metre long scroll portraying the scenery, streets, heritage buildings and people of Perak. Among them are international Chinese award recipients Hu Xiao Xing and Professor Tu Wei Neng from Yunan University, and Malaysia’s renowned artist Calvin Chua Cheng Koon. The watercolour painting is believed […]

Foxconn not in settlement talks with Qualcomm in Apple battle: attorney

The lead attorney for the group of Apple Inc device assemblers seeking at least $9 billion in damages from Qualcomm Inc said on Sunday the contract manufacturers are not in settlement talks with the mobile chip supplier and are “gearing up and heading toward the trial” in April. The conflict is but one aspect of […]

Malaysia

Malaysia’s Mahathir says no rights to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Malaysia’s Mahathir says no rights to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday criticised Australia’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying countries had “no rights” to do so. Australia’s move follows US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider Islamic world and upset […]

Reject ‘Father of all Melaka scandals’, DAP MP urges PPBM

A Pakatan Harapan lawmaker has made a strong call for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM)’s Melaka chapter to reject any membership application by former Melaka chief minister Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik dubbing him the “Father of all Melaka scandals”. In a press statement today, Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong recalled many scandals involving […]

Talks adopt ‘rulebook’ to put Paris climate deal into action

Almost 200 nations, including the world’s top greenhouse gas producers, China and the United States, have adopted a set of rules meant to breathe life into the 2015 Paris climate accord by setting out how countries should report their emissions and efforts to reduce them. But negotiators delayed other key decisions until next year a […]

Indonesia

Hunt for Lion Air jet’s black box delayed by bad weather

A renewed search for the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea on October 29 has been delayed for two days due to bad weather hampering the arrival of a specialised ship, the airline said. The crash, the world’s first of a Boeing Co 737 MAX jet, killed […]

Lion Air to resume search for victims of Indonesia crash

Lion Air to resume search for victims of Indonesia crash

Lion Air announced Monday it was funding a multi million dollar search effort using a Dutch company for the second black box and missing victims from doomed flight JT-610. The Boeing 737 MAX vanished from radar 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on October 29, crashing into waters off the north coast of Indonesia’s […]

‘Recognise State of Palestine’: Indonesia on PM’s west Jerusalem decision

Indonesia’s foreign ministry has released a five-point response to prime minister Scott Morrison’s controversial move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Indonesia has called on Australia and the United Nations to “promptly recognise the State of Palestine” following prime minister Scott Morrison’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In its statement obtained […]

Singapore

Amid raging sea and air row, Singaporeans still can’t say no to Malaysian food

Malaysian cuisine is still reaching new levels of popularity in Singapore even as the republic harangues Malaysia over the ongoing aerial and maritime disputes. According to The Straits Times, two establishments serving Malaysian food continue to be thronged by hundreds of hungry diners in the island state. For the Malaysia Boleh! food court at AMK […]

Singapore allows two fathers to adopt their surrogate son in landmark ruling

Singapore’s High Court has made a landmark ruling allowing a gay couple to adopt their five-year-old son conceived through a surrogate in the United States, on the basis of prioritising the child’s welfare. In a 145-judgment released on Monday, a panel of three judges led by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon ruled the adoption bid, rejected […]

Singaporeans are ‘daft’ and need to challenge the status quo: CEO of occupational safety company rants on Facebook

Singaporeans can do better to question the status quo instead of following by the book. That is the gist of a video that was released by a Singaporean CEO on his Facebook page questioning the complain culture that seems to permeate Singapore these days. Raj Singh, founder and CEO of occupational safety and health service […]

Thailand

Thailand needs a more ambitious action plan on climate change

THAILAND’S climate-change prevention commitment is not ambitious enough, environmental group Greenpeace warned, following a United Nations report last week that called for a major boost in prevention measures in order to keep global warming within the 1.5- to 2-degree Celsius target needed to prevent dire future consequences. The government’s Office of Natural Resources and Environmental […]

Malaysian men can no longer marry young girls in south Thailand as underaged unions are banned there

Thailand’s Islamic council has for the first time in history issued a ban on child marriage nationwide. This followed public anger sparked by the marriage earlier this year of an 11-year-old child to a man four times her age. The Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT)’s new regulation bans children under the age of 17 […]

Ban Ki-moon attends launch of Global Compact Network Thailand, setting off private-sector collaboration for country’s sustainable development

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently visited Thailand to celebrate the official launch of Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) along with more than 500 business representatives from all manner of private industries. The collaborative network is part of a key initiative of the United Nations that has been established to drive Thailand towards […]

Philippines

Duterte thanks US for return of Balangiga bells

The historic Balangiga bells are finally home in Balangiga town, Eastern Samar after 117 years of stay in the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday (December 15) personally led the handover ceremony of the century-old war artifacts to the people of Balangiga. The President handed the certificate of transfer to Balangiga Mayor Randy Graza […]

CHINA HOLDS THE CARDS AS ONLINE BETTING BOOMS IN THE PHILIPPINES

* Online casinos have gone on a hiring spree for Chinese nationals, to cater to their biggest group of customers * The Duterte administration is developing warmer relations with Beijing, but debate on the influx of workers continues before next year’s midterms The promises are irresistible to any young Chinese jobseeker: a work visa in […]

Philippines external debt rises as of end-September

The country’s external debt went up by more than five percent as of end-September, exceeding the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s foreign exchange buffer as new borrowings exceeded loan repayments. BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the country’s outstanding external debt stood at $76.4 billion as of end-September, 5.6 percent higher than the end-September 2017 […]

Japan

Hitachi to buy majority stake in ABB’s power grid arm for $6.4 bn

Japan’s Hitachi on Monday announced plans to buy a majority stake in the power grid business of Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB for $6.4 billion, in what would be its biggest ever buyout. The deal would make Hitachi the world’s largest power grid company, local media said. Under the plan, ABB will spin off its power […]

Suspected gas explosion destroys eatery in Japan, hurts 42

A suspected gas explosion destroyed wooden buildings housing a restaurant and a real estate office in northern Japan on Sunday night, injuring 42 people, police and local media said. The powerful explosion in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, shook nearby buildings, shattered windows and scattered wooden debris across the […]

Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

The board of automaker Nissan was meeting Monday to discuss a replacement for former chair Carlos Ghosn after his arrest for financial misconduct, as tensions grow in the firm’s alliance with Renault. The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary. But it appears […]

Korea

N Korea marks 7th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death

N Korea marks 7th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death

North Koreans are marking the seventh anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong Un. As snow fell Sunday, tens of thousands of people offered flowers and paid respects to the late leader at Mansu Hill in central Pyongyang, […]

N Korea warns on US sanctions

N Korea warns on US sanctions

Nuclear-armed North Korea condemned the United States over its latest sanctions measures, warning Washington’s approach could “block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula forever”. After a rapid diplomatic rapprochement this year that culminated in the Singapore summit in June between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, progress has […]

N Korea threatens return to ‘exchanges of fire’ over US sanctions

North Korea has hit out at the US for stepping up sanctions against its regime, warning that it could force a return to “exchanges of fire” and block the path to nuclear disarmament forever. Pyongyang’s statement, cautioning that the US policy of “maximum pressure” would be its “greatest miscalculation”, follows Washington’s decision last week to […]

Hong Kong

Time to bring in mandatory accreditation scheme for HK’s care homes, says senior government official

Mandatory accreditation should be introduced to Hong Kong’s elderly care homes to improve the quality of services, a leading government adviser has said. Dr Lam Ching-choi, chair of the Elderly Commission and an Executive Council member, made the comments on Saturday after a report from the city’s ombudsman on the Social Welfare Department’s failings to […]

11 suspected mainland Chinese scalpers arrested in HK for trying to sell tickets to Canto-pop legend Andy Lau concert at up to 61/2 times face value

Eleven people from mainland China were arrested over the weekend in Hong Kong in an operation by plain-clothes police to tackle ticket touts at superstar Andy Lau Tak-wah’s concerts. Six men and five women, aged between 26 and 53, tried to sell tickets to officers posing as clients outside the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung […]

Former HK undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui remembered as a good daughter, mother, wife, worker and devoted public servant at memorial service

Friends, family, acquaintances and Hong Kong government officials past and present paid their last respects to former home affairs undersecretary Florence Hui Hiu-fai at a memorial service on Sunday. Hui was understood to have been battling breast cancer. She succumbed to complications from the disease and died on December 3, aged 44. Around 500 mourners […]

Taiwan

Additional 17 passengers fined for bringing meat products into Taiwan

A total of 17 cases of travellers attempting to bring meat products into Taiwan have been caught in the third day of heavier fines that came into force, according to the latest Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) data released Sunday. The data, which was collected between Saturday 4 p.m. and […]

Shanghai and Taipei rebuild city-to-city cross-strait ties after Taiwan’s local elections

Mainland China is sending its largest delegation in two years to the self-ruled island of Taiwan for a city-to-city forum which has been rejuvenated after a period of rising cross-strait tensions. A record 250 local scholars, industry experts, and municipal officials from Taipei will join 135 delegates from Shanghai at the forum, which in past […]

STRONG 5.1 magnitude earthquake STRIKES TaiwanRing of Fire hit

A STRONG 5.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off Hualien County in Taiwan, causing ripples to be felt across the Asian country, according to the United States Geological Survey. One local, who was woken up by the quake, said on Twitter: “That felt like a big earthquake despite being only a 5.6 on the Richter Scale. […]

Vietnam

Business Briefs 18 Dec 2018

* Thanh Thanh Cong – Bien Hoa Company (SBT) has announced a plan to issue 44.47 million shares in a private placement. The sugar enterprise will sell the shares to foreign strategic investors at between VND30,000 and VND45,000 per share. * Khang An Investment Real Estate Company (KAC) is collecting opinions from its shareholders to […]

Data management important in 4.0 era

Data management is a challenge for humanity amid Industry 4.0 era. If data is controlled, firms can develop well, but if it is otherwise, the impacts could be disastrous. Experts made the warning at a conference titled ‘Data Management The new challenge beyond the Industry 4.0′, held by Orchestra Network Vietnam and Smart-Up in Hanoi […]

Farm exports face CPTPP challenges

Though the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce many tariffs to zero in member countries, Vietnamse farm exports could face non-tariff barriers, according to local experts. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural […]