SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Updated: 15 sec ago

In Singapore, Qoo10 took on Lazada and won. Can it do the same to Tokopedia in Indonesia?


exactly at 3 hours 26 min ago
In the relatively young, fast-growing and dynamic world of online shopping, Ku Young-bae is considered an industry veteran.The South Korean serial entrepreneur is best known for launching Gmarket in 1999 – the country’s answer to eBay at the time.A decade later, he had sold the business to eBay itself and pivoted to Singapore with his latest e-commerce success story Qoo10. Pronounced Q-10, the platform enables consumers to shop for everything from cosmetics to powdered milk, clothing and…
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Bangladesh factory safety monitors introduced after deadly Rana Plaza disaster given court extension


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 14:22
Global clothing brands including H&M, Primark and Tesco won a Bangladesh Supreme Court case on Sunday, allowing international factory safety monitors to operate in the country which has had a string of industrial disasters.The top court in the South Asian nation – that became notorious after the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in which 1,138 people died – ruled that the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety could continue its oversight of clothing factories for one more year.Bangladesh is the…
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Indonesian police round-up more suspects linked to election terror plots, prompting Western embassies to issue travel alerts


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 13:43
As Indonesian police continue to uncover terrorist plots linked to next week’s announcement of the country’s election results, the United States and Australia have issued travel alerts to their citizens calling on them to exercise a “high degree of caution”.On Friday, counterterrorism police arrested a parking attendant in Bogor, West Java who had assembled six bombs in his home.The suspect, known as “E” and “Mr Moustache”, is believed to be a member of Firqoh Abu Hamza, a splinter group of the…
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There is one clear winner in Philippine midterm elections: Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 10:23
Five points stand out to me from the just-concluded Philippine midterm elections, particularly its main event: the Senate race.First, the polls reinforce the notion that President Rodrigo Duterte is the most popular Philippine politician today – if not in recent memory.With at least eight out of the 12 Senate seats up for grabs set to be won by candidates backed by Duterte and the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party of his daughter, Sara, the elections were a triumph for the president and his…
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Praise from Donald Trump caps off Australia PM’s ‘miracle’ election win


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 08:53
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday basked in the glow of a “miracle” election victory that sparked praise from the US president, soul searching on the left and speculation about what policies he will pursue.Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition bucked the polls to secure a victory for the ages, but it remained unclear if he would garner enough votes to have a parliamentary majority or need to govern with the help of independents.The coalition has won or is leading in 76 seats,…
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Singapore start-up chips away at Facebook and Google’s online ad dominance, one click at a time


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 08:00
Tucked away in a refurbished factory building in the southwest of Singapore, Shopback’s headquarters houses only 50 people, just a quarter of its workforce. The affiliate marketing firm may only have a fraction of the employees giants like Facebook and Google have, but Shopback has big dreams – to offer businesses a more efficient way of reaching their customers.In Southeast Asia, Shopback has gained traction thanks to its cashback app, with more than 8 million users and 2,000 merchants. When…
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Indonesian President Jokowi’s second term: free as a bird or a lame-duck president?


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 06:15
Before Joko Widodo became president in 2014, foreign investors wanting to pump money into power-generation projects in Indonesia needed no fewer than 259 permits.Over the course of the next five years, the former furniture businessman slashed that requirement to 58.Still, despite his efforts, the country’s infamous tangle of red tape remains a significant obstacle to investment, so much so that Widodo has made tackling it a priority for his second, and final, five-year term in power. “I’m so…
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‘I want to protect other students’: Malaysian woman in University of Hong Kong sex harassment case on why she spoke up on Facebook


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 05:45
The Malaysian woman who recently made claims of sexual harassment against her former dentistry tutor from the University of Hong Kong said she went public on social media to “protect other students, to make sure their safety is not jeopardised”.The woman, who attended HKU between 2015 and last year, and who only wanted to be known as “L”, spoke to the South China Morning Post and elaborated on the experience she had first posted about on Facebook on May 5.HKU said it was investigating the…
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Gujarat riots: they raped me, butchered my child because we were Muslims. 17 years on, I have justice – and faith in Indian law


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 04:00
When the cargo truck carrying Bilkis Bano and her family shuddered to a halt in the Dahod district of Gujarat, India, the young mother was so afraid of what was about to happen that her shivering woke her three-year-old daughter, Saleha.Bano, still just a teenager herself, rocked the wailing child but could not comfort her. Within seconds a mob of men armed with swords and sickles tore Saleha from her arms and smashed her skull against a rock, silencing her forever.“Here are the Muslims, kill…
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India election: how will the Chinese community factor play out in Kolkata?


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 03:00
Restaurateur Monica Liu, 66, is an ethnic Chinese but has lived in the Indian city of Kolkata all her life.She and her family are among the estimated 6,000 Indian citizens of Chinese origin living in the country – with about 5,000 of them living in Kolkata, many with Hakka heritage.They are mostly descendants of those who fled to India in the middle of the 19th century to escape turmoil caused by the clash between British forces and Qing dynasty troops known as the Opium Wars and the bloody…
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School of WeChat: the China study tours teaching tech to Singapore


exactly at Sun, 05/19/2019 - 02:15
When Singaporean restaurant owner Tan Hock Yong visited Shanghai on a WeChat study trip, he was amazed at how easily Chinese shoppers paid bills using the app, even at traditional wet markets and street stalls.Over the five-day visit in 2017, he attended talks by Chinese e-commerce experts, who opened his eyes to some of the opportunities for his business.“It was far more than I had imagined,” says Tan, 48, the managing director of Kim’s Place Seafood in Singapore’s eastern Joo Chiat…
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Disabled dog rescues baby buried alive in Thailand by teenage mother


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 18:10
A disabled dog named Ping Pong has become the pride of his village in northeast Thailand, after rescuing a baby boy who had been buried alive by his teenage mother.On Wednesday, the canine’s sniffing and digging attracted the attention of farmers to a spot of ground in Ban Nong Kham village, in Cham Phuang district, north east of Bangkok. According to Ping Pong’s owner, the dog’s digging exposed the child’s legs, prompting locals to haul the infant to safety.A 15-year-old girl, who has not been…
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As last polls close in Indian election, vast Uttar Pradesh may yet prove decisive


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 17:45
If Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be one of the world’s most populous. And this poverty-stricken northern melting pot of over 200 million people is the biggest prize in India’s election ending on Sunday.Uttar Pradesh (UP) has 80 parliamentary seats, the most of any state, and at the 2014 election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept up 71 of them.This helped give BJP a three-decade record of 282 seats in the 545-seat parliament to oust…
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What’s behind South Korea’s attraction to fringe churches?


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 10:45
When Ahn So-young was 27, her parents became concerned about her all-consuming commitment to a fringe church group called Shincheonji. They enrolled her in a counselling programme to help her break her attachment to the group. Ahn became so dejected she tried to kill herself by swallowing soap and shampoo.Anh had been a member of Shincheonji for five years. She spent all her time with the group, even handing out surveys at university to attract potential new members, and eventually quit her…
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The Indian election, explained: how Narendra Modi’s ‘good days’ turned bad


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 08:15
India has been holding its general elections in stages since April 11. The seventh and final phase will take place on Sunday.The primary contest is for the 543 seats in India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.This is one of the largest democratic exercises in the world, with 900 million voters deciding on a new central government for the 1.3 billion-strong South Asian giant. The results are expected on Thursday.WHAT IS AT STAKE?Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist…
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India elections: BJP may need the allies Narendra Modi drove away


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 06:30
The political heat reached boiling point in India’s eastern state of West Bengal this week as Prime Minister Narendra Modi locked horns with powerful regional leader Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.On Tuesday the fierce rivalry between their supporters spilled onto the streets, resulting in violence in Kolkata. The unrest forced the country’s election authorities to ban all rallies planned for Friday, the last day of campaigning.But 1,500km northwest of the city, a much more significant…
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Is the palm oil industry going up in smoke as market forces and environmental concerns collide?


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 05:00
The setting should have been one of pure, unadulterated, luxury – walking down from my poolside room at one of my favourite hotels, the Goodwood Park in Singapore, dropping my towel and slipping into the pool to swim lazy laps surrounded by tropical plants. Instead, the air was thick with a smoky haze and the hotel was deserted. This was June 2013, when millions of hectares of Sumatran forest were ablaze in the annual “slash and burn” to clear land for palm oil plantations.In Singapore,…
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Ignore the bravado, a US-China trade deal is still possible. But it’ll take a Xi-Trump one-on-one


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 03:30
DOOM AND GLOOM are clouding the China-United States trade relationship once more. Until two weeks ago, both Beijing and Washington had been saying a trade deal was within reach after 10 rounds of intense negotiations since the temporary truce agreed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Donald Trump in December.But Washington and Beijing are now at it again, raising tariffs on each other after Trump accused China of reneging on its commitments. The US hiked import duties on US…
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A week before Thailand’s parliament opens, Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit launches uphill bid to be prime minister


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 03:00
The unexpected announcement this week by upstart politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who threw his hat into the ring to be prime minister, has added yet another twist in junta-ruled Thailand’s long road towards a civilian government.Although the first democratically-elected parliament since the 2014 coup is set to open next week, it remains to be seen which of the two main rival factions will govern.In the latest development, Thanathorn – whose millennial-friendly Future Forward Party…
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Trump’s Huawei ‘ban’ gives Asian tech firms 70 billion reasons to worry


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 02:45
The United States’ move to blacklist Huawei sent ripples through supply chains in Asia this week, as companies scrambled to assess how the effective ban would impact the US$70 billion global market for components used by the Chinese telecommunications giant.In Japan, Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday said Washington’s fresh salvo against the beleaguered tech firm could impact the country’s firms and economic growth.US war on Huawei shows China’s belt and road needs a rebrand – and quick“There…
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Australia heads to polls in election likely to be shaped by climate change policy


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 02:44
An estimated 17 million Australians go to the polls Saturday, capping a close-run election race that may be the first anywhere decided on climate policy.Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative Liberals have closed the gap on Labor on the eve of the vote, but differences over climate may prove the difference between the two parties.A season of record floods, wildfires and droughts has brought the issue has been front and centre of the campaign.The Chinese-Australian community’s votes are a…
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Donald Trump calls car imports a national security threat but delays tariffs on Japan and EU for six months


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 01:14
US President Donald Trump on Friday declared that some imported vehicles and parts pose a national security threat but delayed a decision for as long as six months on whether to impose tariffs to allow for more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan.The unprecedented designation of foreign vehicles imported to the United States from some of its closest allies sparked anger from carmakers, dealers and foreign governments after a White House document hinted it would seek voluntary…
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The spoils of trade war: Asia’s winners and losers in US-China clash


exactly at Sat, 05/18/2019 - 01:00
For Bangladeshi garment maker Viyellatex Group, the spiralling trade tensions between China and the United States that have roiled global markets have instead been a boon for business.US tariffs have pushed up the cost of Chinese-made products so buyers have turned to the company, a leading producer in Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.“Until recently much of our exports were to the European market, but since the US-China trade war began, we are getting more…
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Japanese man gets 5½ years’ jail for stealing China state secrets


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:49
A Chinese court on Friday sentenced a Japanese man in his 70s to five-and-a-half years in prison for stealing state secrets, sources well-informed about Sino-Japanese relations said.The Intermediate People’s Court in northeastern China’s Shandong province also ordered the man, an executive of NC Geophysical Survey Co. in Funabashi, near Tokyo, to forfeit personal assets totalling 30,000 yuan (about US$4,300), the sources said.China, Japan ‘must work together to defend global trade’He was…
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US rapper Pras Michel denies links with Jho Low, to confront 1MDB charges in new album


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 16:20
Former Fugees rapper Prakazrel “Pras” Michel appeared in court on Thursday and told reporters he is innocent of criminal charges that he conspired to funnel foreign funds into Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election, while also plugging his upcoming album.Michel and Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, a wealthy Malaysian businessman with a tabloid partying reputation, are alleged of conspiring to steer foreign campaign contributions into Obama’s 2012 campaign. Last week, the Justice…
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China’s Huawei outraged as Pakistan authorities tear down security barriers at its Islamabad office


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 14:30
Embattled Chinese firm Huawei has been caught in the crosshairs of Pakistan’s crackdown on illegal structures after authorities tore down security barriers at the telecommunications giant’s offices in Islamabad, saying they encroached on state land.Enforcement teams from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on May 15 removed the barriers and other structures from high-rise buildings in the Blue Area business hub.The management of Huawei’s Pakistani operations reacted furiously, pointing to…
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Park Geun-hye is ‘metal’, Xi Jinping is ‘earth’, so bilateral ties are smooth: fortune-tellers’ political advice to disgraced South Korean president revealed


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 11:54
Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was predicted to have good ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but less so with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. And South Korea should have reached the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, instead of being eliminated in the group stages. Why? Because South Korea is “tree” and Brazil is “water” by nature, according to the traditional Chinese philosophy of Wu Xing, which uses the interaction of elements to explain and predict everything…
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Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong says fake news law won’t muzzle free speech


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 11:44
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday rejected allegations the city state’s new law to combat fake news is aimed at stifling free speech, following criticism from rights groups and tech giants.The legislation, approved by parliament last week, gives government ministers powers to order social media sites such as Facebook to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false, and in extreme cases get them taken down.If an action is judged to be malicious and damaging to…
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North Korea seeing worst drought in a century as UN warns of ‘serious concerns’ for food, people


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:36
North Korea is experiencing its worst drought in over a century, official media reported on Friday, days after the World Food Programme expressed “very serious concerns” about the situation in the country.The isolated, impoverished North – which is under several sets of sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes – has long struggled to feed itself, and suffers chronic food shortages.It recorded its worst harvest for a decade last year, according to the United Nations,…
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Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war ended 10 years ago, but many in former Tamil capital still search for missing family


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 08:35
Many of Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamils are still searching for missing relatives and family members 10 years after the bloody civil war came to an end in 2009.Krishnakutty Kalawati has been waiting in vain for the reappearance of her son Sukumaran and daughter-in-law Karunadevi, who were both taken away by the Sri Lankan Army on May 19, 2009, just one day after the long-running war ended.Sukumaran surrendered because he had worked as an administrative officer for the mini-state run by the Liberation…
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Millions of pieces of plastic waste found on remote Indian Ocean islands considered ‘Australia’s last unspoilt paradise’


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 06:51
On the beaches of the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, population 600, marine scientists found 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.A comprehensive survey of debris on the islands – among the most remote places on Earth, in the Indian Ocean – has found a staggering amount of rubbish washed ashore. This included 414 million pieces of plastic, weighing 238 tonnes.The study, published in the journal Nature, concluded the volume of debris points to the exponential increase of global plastic…
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India’s women must hold politicians to their promises in this election – their power at the ballot box is rising


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 06:11
As India votes in general elections, its parties are keeping a close eye on the role women will play. When both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Indian National Congress (INC) released their election manifestos, it was clear the power of the female voting bloc was finally being taken seriously. For starters, they both promised a parliament that would be 33 per cent women.This group could be the key to winning this election. In 2014, some 16 of India’s 29 states saw an…
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Southeast Asia’s fight against paedophiles hits live-streaming sites where ‘nothing is recorded, everything is encrypted’


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 05:36
Southeast Asia is in the grip of a fresh surge of paedophile activity with predators orchestrating and watching abuse on live-streaming websites and webcams, and paying for it with near-untraceable cryptocurrency, victims and children’s charities warn.With widespread poverty, lax laws and creaking judicial systems, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and the Philippines have long been seen as soft spots by foreign and local paedophiles seeking out underage sex in person.Tougher policing and…
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Air of unease hangs over Indonesia amid disputed election, provoking Prabowo supporters and awakening dormant terror cells


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 04:00
A suspected terrorist cell made up of men with experience fighting in Syria has been broken up, Indonesian police said on Thursday, as part of a crackdown following the discovery of a plot to launch attacks during the announcement of the country’s election results next week.The men are allegedly members of the Islamic State-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group, which has been responsible for a string of terror attacks throughout Indonesia over the past four years.“The suspects were…
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In the Philippines, China needs to work harder to sell its narrative of being a good neighbour


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 03:00
The Chinese saying “a close neighbour is better than a distant relative” would make for a good slogan for China’s neighbourhood diplomacy. It could be a fulcrum on which Beijing anchors its public relations strategy as it tries to address concerns over the flow of its people, investments and technologies abroad.The Philippines, a country that has witnessed a transformation of its ties with China over the past three years, presents an interesting case. In this Southeast Asian country with long…
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In the Philippines’ intense 600km homing pigeon race, birds face the threats of searing heat, being eaten and even kidnapping


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 02:00
It is a brutal 600km gauntlet during which competitors face searing heat, wild seas, vicious predators, and the threat of kidnapping.Only one in 10 will finish.This is the MacArthur competition: the Philippines’ longest homing pigeon race. It’s a tough challenge for the birds and a tense affair for the owners.“Compared to Europe and the United States, we have lots of predators here and a lot of people who shoot these birds,” said Jaime Lim, one of the Philippines’ best-known pigeon fanciers –…
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The Chinese-Australian community’s votes are a hot ticket, so why are politicians keeping them at arm’s length?


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 01:30
Asked on the campaign trail this week how Australia could balance its relations with the United States and China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison replied there was no need to choose between a “friend” and a “customer”.The remarks by the leader of the centre-right Liberal Party – who is hoping for a return to the top office in Australia’s May 18 federal election – tanked with Chinese-Australian social media users.The comments served to remind Chinese-Australians of how they have long been treated…
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How Twitter became ubiquitous in Japan


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 01:00
When Japan suffered a huge earthquake in 2011, Twitter was one of the only ways many Japanese could communicate amid mass confusion and damaged infrastructure.The social media platform’s popularity started growing in the country after that. So it was a surprise to Yu Sasamoto, who joined Twitter as head of Japan in 2014, when he learnt that revenue figures there were trailing other markets.That changed when the platform in 2014 began to let advertisers promote mobile apps that encouraged users…
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New Zealand beefs up on Omega lambs and Fitbit cows to fight fake meat trend


exactly at Fri, 05/17/2019 - 00:00
At Dave Harper’s family farm in New Zealand’s scenic Canterbury region, a painstakingly bred flock of lambs is grazing – not on grass, but on a field of herbs selected to unlock healthy omega-3 fatty acids in the animals’ meat.Known as “Te Mana lambs”, they are part of an effort by the island nation to future-proof its agricultural sector from the threat of meat and dairy substitutes based on synthetic proteins or plant-based alternatives.Aimed at occupying a similar niche as premium Wagyu beef…
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Malaysian economy: a boost for Mahathir, but US-China trade war threatens to spoil Pakatan Harapan’s party


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:08
News that the Malaysian economy expanded more than expected in the first quarter of the year will be welcomed by the new Pakatan Harapan government – but it shouldn’t get too carried away with the celebrations.The US-China trade war together with domestic issues such as the expected transition of power from current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar Ibrahim are among the factors that could spoil the party, experts have warned.Figures released by the Malaysian central bank on Thursday show…
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Communism in India: dead or just waiting for young saviours?


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 14:49
At an election rally last Thursday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of nepotism. Just 8km away, at her own event, Banerjee retorted that Modi had no right to talk about family given his estrangement from his wife, who for years he refused to acknowledge.The escalating war of words is part of efforts to wrest control of crucial West Bengal – the state with the third most seats in the Indian parliament’s lower house.But amid the frenzy of…
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Nuclear waste from US atomic bomb tests leaking into the Pacific Ocean, UN chief says


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 14:45
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised concerns on Thursday that a concrete dome built last century to contain waste from atomic bomb tests is leaking radioactive material into the Pacific.Speaking to students in Fiji, Guterres described the structure on Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands as “a kind of coffin” and said it was a legacy of cold war-era nuclear tests in the Pacific.“The Pacific was victimised in the past as we all know,” he said, referring to nuclear…
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‘The Chinese are our No 1 enemy’: why Beijing’s US$62 billion investment in Pakistan is the top target for Balochistan separatists


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 13:21
As the three gunmen forced their way into Pakistan’s Zaver Pearl Continental Hotel on May 12, the management of the only five-star hotel in the city of Gwadar, Balochistan province – where China is building a multibillion-dollar port – had a prompt response.They contacted Pakistan’s Special Security Division (SSD), which dispatched a team of commandos within seven minutes of the call. The team killed the assailants, but one member, from the Pakistani Navy, and four hotel employees lost their…
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Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke dies, aged 89


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:11
Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, one of the nation’s longest serving premiers, died on Thursday just days ahead of a federal election, the opposition Labor party said.Hawke, 89, served from 1983 to 1991 as the country’s 23rd prime minister.“With his passing, the labour movement salutes our greatest son … and Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply,” Labor leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.Hawke was noted…
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Mother of Japanese girl who died in home toilet pleads guilty to complicity in assault


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:19
A mother of a girl who died from suspected abuse in her home toilet in January pleaded guilty on Thursday to complicity in her husband’s assaults on their child.Nagisa Kurihara, 32, was accused of failing to stop her husband Yuichiro Kurihara, 41, from assaulting their daughter Mia and following his instructions not to feed her from around January 22.Mia was found dead inside the bathroom of their home in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, two days later.In the first hearing at the Chiba District Court,…
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The truth about ‘tawhid’: how a violent strain of Islam is linked to the Sri Lanka bombings


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:58
A violent strain of an exclusionary version of Islam known as “tawhid” and sometimes spelt as “thowheed” has come under the spotlight as Sri Lankan police continue to investigate the perpetrators responsible for the Easter Sunday bombings on churches and hotels.About 100 people have been arrested since last month’s attacks, which have been blamed on two groups – the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) and the Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI). Both have been outlawed by authorities.Not much was known…
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Twitter suspends account of Myanmar’s top general Min Aung Hlaing over genocide against Rohingya


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:52
A Myanmar army general accused of masterminding genocide against the country’s Muslim Rohingya people has had his Twitter account suspended, following complaints about him using the social media platform for hate speech.Min Aung Hlaing, the Southeast Asian country’s top-ranking general, had his @sgminaunghlaing account taken offline this week.The move against the commander-in-chief, who claims his army did not use “excessive force” when about 700,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar in 2017, was hailed…
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Hundreds of Pakistanis infected with HIV after doctor used contaminated dirty syringes


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:37
Parents nervously watch as their children wait to be tested for HIV in a village in southern Pakistan, where hundreds of people have been allegedly infected by a doctor using a contaminated syringe.Dispatched to keep order, police scan the anxious crowd as families hustle into one of five different screening rooms set up in the last month in the village of Wasayo, on the outskirts of Larkana in Sindh province.Health officials say more than 400 people, many of them children, have tested HIV…
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Philippines recalls ambassador to Canada as diplomatic rift over dumped rubbish deepens


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 06:05
The Philippines has recalled its ambassador to Canada, Manila’s foreign minister said on Thursday, in an escalation of a festering diplomatic row over tonnes of trash shipped to the Southeast Asian nation.Ties have been deteriorating since a Canadian company sent around 100 shipping containers that included rotting rubbish wrongly labelled as recyclables to Philippine ports in 2013 and 2014.Manila set a May 15 deadline for Canada to take the rotting trash back, after President Rodrigo Duterte…
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Is golf the key for Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to capitalise on country’s aviation boom?


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:43
As Vietnam’s aviation sector booms and passenger numbers rise at double-digit rates, local upstart Bamboo Airways is embracing what it hopes will be a novel way of standing out in a crowded market: golf.Competition among airlines in Vietnam has intensified since Bamboo launched in January. Malaysia’s AirAsia Group recently cancelled its foray into the Vietnamese market, and increased traffic has placed strain on Vietnam’s ageing infrastructure.But Bamboo chief executive Trinh Van Quyet is…
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What Taiwan’s slow march towards legalising gay marriage means for LGBT rights in Asia


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:30
To many outside the LGBT community, the May 2017 ruling of the Taiwan Constitutional Court legalising same-sex marriage settled the question. However, outside the public consciousness, there has been a continuous struggle for same-sex couples to attain equal rights, despite being promised them by the highest court on the island.The vote against amending the Civil Code to legalise same-sex marriage in a November 2018 referendum was a setback not only for the LGBT community, but also President…
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Australia reportedly resettled two Rwandans accused of murder as part of secret deal with US


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:03
The Australian government has reportedly resettled as humanitarian migrants two Rwandan men who had been charged with murder, on request from the US government.Under the secret deal, reported by US outlet Politico on Thursday, Australia accepted Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani, essentially as refugees, in November.At the same time the Australian government was arguing against proposed legislation for evacuating sick refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to…
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North Korea’s latest missiles may be copies of Russian designs able to evade US-made defence systems, officials say


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 02:29
A newly tested North Korean short-range ballistic missile appears to be a copy of an advanced Russian design that could greatly improve Pyongyang’s ability to evade US missile defence systems, according to US officials.US President Donald Trump, who has sought unsuccessfully for the last year to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons, has dismissed the new missile as “very standard stuff.” But military and national security officials see a potential threat to US…
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Fears of China and WeChat as Australia heads to the polls


exactly at Thu, 05/16/2019 - 01:00
When a Sydney council chose Chinese-language newspaper Vision China Times to sponsor its Lunar New Year celebrations last year, the Chinese consulate in the city warned the inclusion of the “anti-China” newspaper would harm China-Australia relations.Correspondence seen by Australian media outlets, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, showed a political affairs official had written to the council, which covers Sydney’s southern suburbs, a day before a council official confirmed it…
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Too soon? New Zealand terror attack to be turned into feature film called Hello Brother


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 18:03
The New Zealand terror attack, in which a white supremacist slaughtered 51 Muslims, is to be turned into a feature film, its producer said on Wednesday, in an announcement that prompted a Christchurch Muslim group to raise concerns over the “dignity and privacy” of its community.The project, to be called Hello Brother, will be about a family of refugees that flees Afghanistan for the safety of Christchurch, only to get caught up in the carnage, Egyptian producer Moez Masoud told Variety…
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Cambodia releases 11 surrogate mothers from jail after they agree to keep babies


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 16:55
A group of women allegedly paid to be surrogate mothers have been released on bail after agreeing to keep the babies, Cambodia’s trafficking tsar said on Wednesday.The 11 women were charged in November with human trafficking and acting as intermediaries for surrogacy agents after they were discovered in a raid on a house in the capital Phnom Penh.They have been in custody since the raid, with some giving birth behind bars.Cambodia issued a snap ban on commercial surrogacy in 2016 after…
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Philippine midterm elections: Mocha Uson, ‘queen of fake news’, fails to win House seat


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:45
With 5.78 million Facebook followers and a video endorsement from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, blogger and social media influencer Mocha Uson probably thought she could sweep into the lower house in the midterm elections.But the unofficial vote count as of May 15 showed that AA-Kasosyo, the party list group she joined, received 114,956 votes – accounting for 0.61 per cent of votes cast. A party list is a special interest group that runs to get up to three seats each in Congress.Several…
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How Indians living overseas are working to get Narendra Modi re-elected


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 12:15
Arvind Patel, a US citizen who owns a popular sweetshop in New Jersey, has spent US$1,000 travelling to the Indian states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Assam this election season to campaign for incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The 53-year-old, who hails from Modi’s home state of Gujarat, knows that he cannot vote in the country’s marathon elections, which end on Sunday. No foreign citizen of Indian origin has that right.But that has not deterred him, or the hundreds of other like him,…
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US troops relocating to Guam but scepticism in Okinawa lingers. And even some in the US military are unconvinced


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 09:57
The long-delayed relocation of US troops from Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture to the Pacific island of Guam could commence in October 2024 and be completed within 18 months, although the transfer has been criticised by opponents of US bases in the region and even questioned by the US military itself.A spokesman for the US Marine Corps in Guam told Japan’s Kyodo News that about 5,000 troops based in Japan’s most southerly prefecture will be moving, with about 1,700 to be based permanently in Guam and…
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In Thailand, farming revolution rescued entire communities from opium addiction. But it can’t happen without land rights for villagers


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 08:16
Somchai Sophonsookpaiboon does not remember much about his younger years, except that they were spent in an opium haze.It’s how all the men in his mountain village on the Thai-Myanmar border spent their time. Stateless, with little access to education, jobs or health care, their only options were trading opium or walking to the nearest town for odd jobs.Somchai’s life turned around after the late Princess Srinagarindra, grandmother of Thailand’s current king, set up a development project in…
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Asia must be ‘moderate voice’ in US-China rivalry, and help them to be frenemies: Singapore’s Goh Chok Tong


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 08:09
Asia’s smaller countries must avoid taking sides in the intensifying United States-China rivalry and instead urge the two world powers to “moderate their positions”, Singapore’s former prime minister Goh Chok Tong has said.Goh, who boosted the Lion City’s ties with both Washington and Beijing during his 1990-2004 stint in power, said regional countries needed to band together to be a “moderate voice” and help avert a “catastrophic clash between the US and China”.“This ‘moderate voice’ is not a…
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Death by Instagram: Malaysian teen commits suicide after 70 per cent of poll respondents voted for her to kill herself


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 07:52
A 16 year-old girl has reportedly killed herself in Malaysia, after posting a poll on her Instagram account asking followers if she should die or not, and 69 per cent of responders voting that she should.Police in the east Malaysia state Sarawak said the girl, who has not been named, posted the poll on the photo sharing app with the message: “Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L”. After most responders voted for “death”, she killed herself.Her death prompted a lawyer to suggest that those who…
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Baloch versus Beijing: how Chinese investment in Pakistan has energised a violent separatist movement


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 05:41
A vast Chinese-funded infrastructure project in Pakistan has become a major trigger for separatist insurgents, galvanising their movement as they employ new tactics – including suicide attacks – in an escalation that could rattle Beijing, observers say.A deadly weekend attack by gunmen who stormed the luxury Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar, a port on Pakistan’s southern coast, was the latest high-profile assault linked to the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).CPEC –…
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In Japan, 8.46 million homes lie empty, and number only set to rise


exactly at Wed, 05/15/2019 - 01:45
When Mitsue Nagasaku was a child, the three small flats in front of her parents’ home in the Negishi district of Yokohama were occupied, and the owner of the largest could often be seen tending the vegetables in her garden.The last of the three residents died about a decade ago, and the flats – despite being in a desirable district with direct railway links to central Tokyo – have since remained empty.While other old houses have been pulled down and new homes have sprung up, these three have…
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A third US-North Korea summit is the last best chance for resolving nuclear crisis


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 20:00
Despite Pyongyang’s recent provocative missile launches, Washington’s public line is that little has changed since the Hanoi summit: it is a question of time before Pyongyang sees sense and comes back to the table. The US seems oblivious to the possibility that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might abandon the process, or that his statement that the US has until end of the year to change its approach could be a real cut-off point.While the missile tests do not violate Kim’s April 2018 ordinance…
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End of a dynasty? House of Estrada the biggest loser in Philippine midterm elections


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:57
Powerful families, not parties, are the building blocks of Philippine politics. Monday’s midterm elections saw some of those blocks tumble spectacularly.In Manila, disgraced former president Joseph Estrada, 82, lost his bid for a third term as mayor – a defeat that looked set to be shared by all the rest of his family members contesting in the elections.Jerika Ejercito, Estrada’s daughter by his common-law wife, lost a run for Manila councillor. Granddaughter Janella Ejercito Estrada failed to…
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Thailand election: junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha a shoo-in for prime minister? Not quite, analysts say


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 15:42
Post-election political machinations in Thailand put on hold for the kingdom’s once-in-a-generation coronation ceremony are stirring once again, but observers say they remain none the wiser on who will emerge prime minister following March’s disputed poll.Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, prime minister since a 2014 coup, is still odds-on to keep his job in a civilian government set to take power in the coming weeks.However, the messy outcome of the March 24 vote, which failed to give the pro…
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Don’t drink and drone: Japan prepares to tighten laws to prohibit flying vehicles while under the influence of alcohol


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 11:15
Drinking and droning? It could soon cost you up to a year in jail in Japan, where an amendment to the country’s civil aeronautics law being debated in the Diet would make it illegal to operate unmanned aerial vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.According to the transport ministry, there were 79 incidents involving drones in the last financial year. None of them involved a drunk operator but tighter restrictions were nonetheless regarded as a necessary pre-emptive move.“There are lots…
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North Korean slams ‘unlawful, outrageous’ seizure of ship and claims it violates the spirit of Trump-Kim summits


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 09:39
North Korea said on Tuesday the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit between the two countries’ leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.The North’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it rejected UN Security Council resolutions against it which the United States cited in impounding the vessel, as a violation of its sovereignty.“The United States committed an unlawful and outrageous act of…
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Philippine election: vote counting ‘glitch’ as Rodrigo Duterte clinches Senate race


exactly at Tue, 05/14/2019 - 09:25
The battle for the last four of 12 Senate seats contested in the Philippine midterm elections has come down to the wire, with just 6 per cent of votes – about 2.5 million nationwide – still to be counted.Unofficial counts on Tuesday suggested allies of President Rodrigo Duterte were clear winners in all of the first eight seats, while in the remaining four, Senator Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV appeared to be the only candidate from the main opposition Liberal Party in with a chance of victory…
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