Category Archives: Asia Pacific

Malaysian PM Najib lambasted for preferring expensive quinoa over rice

‘Election will be quinoa versus rice, clean government versus kleptocracy, and Najib versus people of Malaysia,’ opponent says

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has sparked storm of criticism after saying he had stopped eating rice in favour of more expensive quinoa.

Najib, who is facing a general election within months under a cloud of a corruption scandal, has been blamed for a rising cost of living since launching a goods and services tax in 2015.

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Source: gad

Ivanka Trump calls for 'maximum pressure' on North Korea

Experts say North’s diplomatic overtures aimed at driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul

Ivanka Trump is leading a US delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in an effort to show a softer side of US diplomacy on the peninsula while calling for maximum pressure to be put on North Korea.

Trump watched snowboarding events in Pyeongchang with South Korea’s first lady, Kim Jung-sook, and foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha. Wearing a Team USA hat and red snowsuit, she captured the attention of local media. Her trip comes less than two weeks after Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, visited the South and largely overshadowed US vice president Mike Pence.

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Source: gad

Bali hopes to regain paradise island status with mass cleanup

Thousands will join the One Island One Voice cleanup of beaches, rivers and jungles

Overwhelmed by tides of waste and decades of mass tourism, to some, the Indonesian island of Bali is a paradise long lost.

This weekend, however, thousands of people will join in an effort to rid its coastline, rivers and jungles of rubbish and restore its natural beauty.

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Source: gad

North Korea’s graphic artistry – in pictures

Everyday objects, such as sweet wrappers and posters, will be exhibited for the first time outside the communist republic at a London show to showcase the country’s graphic art. Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK is at the House of Illustration until 13 May

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Source: gad

Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme

An innovative exchange of sovereign debt for marine conservation, backed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, could pave the way to saving large swaths of the world’s oceans

The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.

The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.

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Source: gad

Hun Sen vows to 'shame' Australia if pressured over political crackdown

Cambodian PM claims he will ‘beat up’ demonstrators, ahead of Asean summit in Sydney

The Cambodian prime minister has vowed to beat up protesters if they burn effigies of him at a summit of South-East Asian leaders in Sydney next month.

Hundreds of Cambodians living in Australia are expected to rally against Hun Sen when he attends the summit between Australia and the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations [Asean] in mid-March.

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Source: gad

'A very scary movie': how China snatched Gui Minhai on the 11.10 train to Beijing

Revealed: details of the extraordinary detention of the Hong Kong bookseller as he sought help from Swedish diplomats

The 11.10am to Beijing left on time, gliding out of Shanghai’s cavernous high-speed rail terminal and darting north through the cheerless suburban sprawl.

On board the sleek, white bullet train sat an unlikely trio of Europeans, one of whom held the key to a real-life political thriller so frightening and tangled it has left all those trying to decipher it both gripped and unnerved.

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Source: gad

Blue-sky thinking: how China's crackdown on pollution is paying off

Clear skies above Beijing again – but some fear the problem is just being pushed elsewhere

The photographs on display at Wu Di’s Beijing studio imagine China and Beijing at their dystopian worst.

Naked, expectant mothers stare out from the walls, their bellies exposed but their faces hidden behind green gas masks.

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Source: gad

China is no threat to Australia, Turnbull says before visit to US

Beijing has enormous capability but lacks hostile intent, Australian PM says

China is not a threat to Australia because it lacks “any hostile intent”, Malcolm Turnbull has said as he embarks on his US visit.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, the Australian prime minister sought to play down a more hostile approach to China by the US, rejecting the “out-of-date cold-war prism” of seeing the two superpowers as in competition.

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Source: gad

Meet the Winter Olympians making big strides for diversity

Simidele Adeagbo and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian are part of a wider movement at competition that has been predominantly white

Simidele Adeagbo spent a decade training in the hopes of heading to the Olympics for the triple jump, missing out on a coveted spot by just eight inches. Then she spent five months training for the Winter Games and made history.

Adeagbo is one of three women representing Nigeria in Pyeongchang, the country’s first ever team at the Winter Olympics, and part of a wider movement among black athletes seeking to increase diversity at a competition that has been predominantly white for much of its history.

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Source: gad