Russian diplomats use hand-pulled trolley to cross N Korea border

It took a group of eight, including a three-year-old, 32 hours by train and two hours by bus to reach the border on a ‘long and difficult’ journey home. A group of Russian diplomats and family members used a hand-pushed rail trolley to leave North Korea this week, amid Pyongyang’s strict anti-coronavirus measures, which include […]

Facebook signs deals with three more Australian media firms

Australia’s parliament passed landmark legislation on Thursday requiring global tech giants to pay for news content. Facebook Inc says it has signed preliminary deals with three Australian media firms, a day after the country’s Parliament passed a law forcing it to pay media companies for using content on its platform. Facebook said it signed partnership […]

Biden’s trade nominee vows ‘worker-centric’ model to protect jobs

Katherine Tai, United States President Joe Biden’s top trade nominee, backed tariffs as a “legitimate tool” to counter China’s state-driven economic model and promised to hold Beijing to its prior commitments while promising a sweeping new approach to US trade. At her Senate confirmation hearing to become the US Trade Representative (USTR), Tai also called […]

UK imposes new sanctions on generals, Myanmar tensions mount

Six generals cited over rights abuses and companies told not to work with military-linked businesses following the February 1 coup. The United Kingdom has announced new sanctions on the Myanmar generals behind the February 1 coup and said British companies should not be doing business with military-linked firms, as tensions rose in Myanmar amid mass […]

Dutch parliament says China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide

The Dutch motion says China’s actions in Xinjiang, including birth control measures, fall under UN genocide convention. The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a non-binding motion saying the treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority in China amounted to genocide, the first such move by a European country. “A genocide on the Uighur minority is occurring […]

Michael Somare, PNG’s ‘father of the nation’, dead at 84

Pacific island nation’s four-time prime minister, who led the independence from Australia, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February. Papua New Guinea’s first Prime Minister Michael Somare has died aged 84, his daughter announced on Friday. Known as the “father of the nation”, Somare led the Pacific archipelago to independence from Australia in 1975 and […]

Follow the money: Myanmar coup puts pressure on army businesses

From SIM cards to beer, skydiving and jade mining, there are few areas of Myanmar’s economy that escape the long arm of its military, the Tatmadaw. But after Senior General Min Aung Hlaing led a coup on February 1 that scuppered a 10-year experiment with democracy, campaigners have once again set their sights on the […]

China denies asking US diplomats to undergo COVID anal tests

Chinese foreign ministry denial follows reports from Washington that some of its personnel were being made to undergo the test. China has denied subjecting United States diplomats to COVID-19 anal tests following reports in US media that some US personnel reported being made to undergo the procedure. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters […]

Indonesia searches for missing after gold mine collapse kills six

At least 15 survivors pulled out while search under way for the missing after an illegal mine in central Sulawesi province collapsed. Rescue teams in Indonesia’s central Sulawesi province are searching for survivors after a landslide in an illegal gold mining area killed six people, the search and rescue agency said on Thursday. Teams comprising […]

China’s Xi declares ‘complete victory’ against rural poverty

China says about 98.99 million people in countryside have been lifted out of poverty in the last eight years. China’s President Xi Jinping has declared “complete victory” in his government’s effort to eradicate rural poverty, lifting the income of nearly 100 million people over the past eight years. The Chinese leader made the announcement at […]

Global shares jump on hopes that US interest rates will stay low

Global stocks jumped on Thursday after United States Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed interest rates would stay low for a long time, calming market fears that higher inflation might prompt the central bank to tighten monetary policy. Powell’s reassurance gave a fresh impetus to investors expecting the world’s largest economy to rebound strongly and […]

Scuffles in Yangon as Facebook bans all Myanmar military accounts

Scuffles broke out between opponents and supporters of Myanmar’s coup on Thursday, as Facebook took down all accounts linked to the country’s military and banned advertisements from military-controlled companies on its platforms. Pro-military demonstrators rallying in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, punched several bystanders, according to local media, after anti-coup demonstrators and residents banged pots […]

Australia’s Qantas delays target date for international flights

The airline now says it is aiming to resume international flights in October, as it reported a 75 percent plunge in revenue. Qantas Airways Ltd says it has pushed back its target for a widespread resumption of international travel from Australia by four months until the end of October when the country’s vaccination programme is […]

US transport department faults aviation body over Boeing 737 MAX

In new report, US Transportation Department says ‘much work remains’ in fixing how aviation body certifies new planes. The United States Department of Transportation inspector general has faulted “weaknesses” in US government certification of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that was grounded for 20 months after two crashes killed 346 people, according to a new […]

Two dead in shootout between Philippine police, narcotics agents

Two Philippine police officers were killed and one injured in an attack with a narcotics enforcement squad, following a bungled entrapment operation outside a busy shopping mall in Metro Manila, raising more questions over the continuing deadly drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte. The attack on Wednesday evening also injured three agents of the Philippine […]

Australia passes law making Facebook and Google pay for news

The legislation could provide a framework for other countries looking to address platforms’ dominant position. Australia’s parliament passed landmark legislation on Thursday requiring global technology giants to pay for the news content shared on their platforms, in a move that is being closely watched around the world. The law was passed after a last-gasp deal […]

Facebook to invest $1bn in news business after Australia dispute

Facebook restored Australian news pages Tuesday, ending an unprecedented weeklong blackout over a proposed law that would require tech giants to pay traditional media companies for their content. Facebook Inc on Wednesday pledged to invest at least $1bn in the news industry over the next three years, days after a high-profile standoff with the Australian government over paying news […]

Malaysia court: Stop deporting remaining 114 Myanmar nationals

The High Court of Kuala Lumpur has issued an order to stay the deportation of 114 Myanmar migrants, the only ones left of a group of 1,200 people the Malaysian government sent back to Myanmar in defiance of an earlier ruling. The court’s decision on Wednesday was welcomed by the rights groups Amnesty International and […]

‘Utterly inhumane’: Singaporean admits to abusing, killing maid

Having suffered torturous abuse, Piang Ngaih Don lost almost 40 percent of her weight and was just 24kg at the time of her death. A Singaporean woman has admitted to starving, assaulting and ultimately killing her domestic worker from Myanmar in what prosecutors called one of the worst cases of maid abuse in the city-state. […]

China targets Uighurs with more prosecutions, prison terms: HRW

China has increased its prosecution of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, handing out longer jail terms, an HRW report has found. China has dramatically increased its prosecution of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang through the formal court system, handing out long prison terms for dubious charges such as “picking quarrels” and giving gifts to overseas relatives, a […]

Fears of new COVID variants lead to lengthier travel quarantines

Quarantines continue to frustrate travelers and strangle airlines a year into the pandemic, with the threat from highly infectious coronavirus variants meaning enforced isolations are mostly getting longer and stricter rather than easing up. Even as vaccines embolden countries like Israel and the U.K. to plot paths to reopening, authorities around the world are tightening […]

US aviation body orders urgent probes of some Boeing 777 engines

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it is ordering immediate inspections of Boeing 777 planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines after one of the jets failed on a United Airlines flight on Saturday. Operators must conduct a thermal-acoustic image inspection of the large titanium fan blades – essentially a way of […]

‘Crisis within a crisis’: Violence against women surges in Fiji

Suva, Fiji – Much of archipelagic Fiji was forced indoors by lockdowns and a nationwide curfew in March last year when the South Pacific nation recorded its first case of COVID-19. The quick and decisive action by legislators was successful in helping contain the spread of a highly contagious virus and received international praise. But […]