Category Archives: Asia Pacific

Trump says North Korea nuclear crisis 'long way from conclusion'

Donald Trump strikes cautious note a day after the North’s pledge to end nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits

Donald Trump said on Sunday the North Korean nuclear crisis was far from conclusion, striking a cautious note a day after the North’s pledge to end nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits with South Korea and the US.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site, and instead pursuing economic growth and peace.

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Source: gad

'Nut rage': Korean Air boss apologises as daughters resign

Cho Yang-ho sorry for ‘immature actions’ including disruption on flight in 2014 over a bag of nuts

The chair of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, has apologised for what he called the immature behaviour of his two daughters and said they would both immediately resign from their company posts following separate controversies.

Cho Hyun-min, the younger daughter, who is a marketing executive at the South Korean flag carrier, is under police investigation for assault after she was accused of throwing water in a man’s face at a business meeting.

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Source: gad

North Korea's nuclear pause: grist for both doves and hawks | Robert E Kelly

A win for security, but real acid test of Pyongyang’s intentions is whether it will give up the weapons it has already built

North Korea has announced it will cease testing nuclear devices and missiles, and promised to shut down its primary nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. If this is genuine, it is a serious step forward, but we should greet it with cautious optimism.

We have been on the cusp of a breakthrough with North Korea before, only to be disappointed. There will be a lot of questions. But there is no need to be recalcitrantly hawkish about this. Within the limits of North Korea’s strained credibility, this is a win for allied security.

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Source: gad

No joke: have China's censors gone too far with ban on humour app?

End of Neihan Duanzi, which united strangers around funny memes, has driven users underground where they openly question controls over society

There is a not-so-secret club in China. Members find each other in traffic by honking their horn – one long honk, followed by two short ones. Others identify each other by completing nonsensical couplets: “The son of heaven covers the tiger” – to which the correct response is “chicken stew with mushrooms”.

They call themselves duanyou after the app Neihan Duanzi, or “implied jokes”, where until recently some 30 million users could watch short videos, comedy sketches and follow dirty jokes and memes. Fans also organise offline meet-ups. At one gathering in Hunan province earlier this month, a group posed in a parking lot with little red flags and a sign describing themselves as the “duanyou coalition”.

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Source: gad

Island of no return: Vanuatu evacuates entire population of volcanic Ambae

Thousands of south Pacific islanders will leave for permanent resettlement, government says, as Manaro spews ash 30cm deep

Thousands of south Pacific islanders at the mercy of an active volcano will be permanently resettled by the end of May, the Vanuatu government has said.

Ambae Island is home to 11,000 people, and for the second time in six months Ambae’s Manaro volcano on top of Mount Lombenben has started rumbling, spewing torrents of ash and gas from its crater and burying vegetable plots and crops, causing breathing and health problems for locals, and threatening their lives and livelihoods.

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Source: gad

Japan's renewable energy puzzle: solar push threatens environment

As the country rushes to cut carbon emissions by 26%, campaigners worry that forests and wildlife are being trampled

The tens of thousands of solar panels resting on the surface of the Yamakura dam reservoir have finally begun to earn their keep.

This floating solar farm in Chiba prefecture is the biggest of its kind in Japan – and one of the largest in the world – covering 180,000 square metres, or roughly equivalent to 25 Wembley stadium pitches.

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Source: gad

Rodrigo Duterte says he personally ordered arrest of Australian nun

Philippine president tells soldiers he had Sister Patricia Fox, 71, detained after she insulted him

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The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has said that he personally ordered the detention of an Australian Catholic nun, warning that any foreign critics of his government face deportation.

Sister Patricia Fox, 71, a longtime resident of the Philippines, was detained by the immigration bureau on Monday on suspicion of engaging in political activities. She was released without charges the next day.

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Source: gad

China defiant after new US security regulations target telecoms firms

State media calls for Chinese citizens to stand up for phone makers ZTE and Huawei as backlash grows

New US regulations affecting Chinese technology companies have raised the stakes of an ongoing trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

After banning US companies from selling parts, software or services to mobile phone maker ZTE, US regulators said on Tuesday they would also bar government programs from buying from any company deemed a security threat. The measure is likely to affect ZTE as well as the Chinese smartphone maker, Huawei, two of China’s largest telecommunication companies.

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Source: gadt

Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand – podcast

How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific

Read the text version here

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Source: gadt