Author: Desk Team

12 killed in Myanmar military plane crash
World

12 killed in Myanmar military plane crash

12 killed in Myanmar military plane crash Twelve people were killed when a Myanmar military plane crashed in a central region of the country Thursday, a spokesman for the junta said. The plane, which was carrying six crew and eight passengers, crashed near the city of Pyin Oo Lwin, the spokesperson said in a statement to journalists, blaming the cause on "bad weather". "It lost communications when it was 400 metres away from a steel factory near the airport," Zaw Min Tun said in a statement. A senior monk was among those on board, the statement said, adding a team had been able to rescue a boy and a sergeant, who had been sent to a nearby military hospital. Emergency workers were still on the scene, it continued. A picture posted on social media showed the twisted body of a plane lyi...
Japan to probe China-funded Confucius Institutes amid propaganda, spy threat
Business, China, World

Japan to probe China-funded Confucius Institutes amid propaganda, spy threat

TOKYO - Japan is set to open a probe into the Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes in the country, following warnings from its security partners that the purported cultural centres may be a conduit for Chinese propaganda and even espionage. At the same time, it is toughening visa checks on Chinese students and tightening access to sensitive technology for all researchers, especially those involved in Beijing's Thousand Talents Plan to woo scholars. "There is growing concern among regions that share common values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law - including our ally the US as well as in European countries - that the Confucius Institutes should be abolished or be required to fully disclose their operations," Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda told the Diet last month in announc...
Hi-tech hub Shenzhen gears up for steady economic expansion
Business, China, World

Hi-tech hub Shenzhen gears up for steady economic expansion

Hi-tech hub Shenzhen gears up for steady economic expansion People are seen in front of the Tencent company headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China. (Reuters file photo) HONG KONG: Shenzhen, China's Silicon Valley and the richest city in southern Guangdong province, expects to achieve steady economic expansion through 2025 under a new five-year plan, helping cement the metropolis' role as the "core engine" of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The city's 14th five-year plan from 2021 to 2025, released by the Shenzhen government this week, expects the local economy to reach 4 trillion yuan (US$626 billion) by the end of that period, up from 2.8 trillion yuan in 2020. Under that plan, Shenzhen's per capita gross domestic product is forecast to hit 215,000 yuan in 2025, or US$33,629,...
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics
Business, China, Politics, World

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Groups alleging human-rights abuses against minorities in China are calling for a full-blown boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a move likely to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors and sports federations. A coalition representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others issued a statement Monday calling for the boycott, eschewing lesser measures that had been floated like “diplomatic boycotts“ and further negotiations with the IOC or China. “The time for talking with the IOC is over,” Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. “This cannot be games as usual or business as usual; not for the IOC and not for the international community.” The Beijing Games are set
Govt steps up border patrols
Business, World

Govt steps up border patrols

A soldier from the Naresuan task force stands guard on the Thai side of the border with Myanmar in tambon Tha Sai Luad, Mae Sot district, Tak province. (File photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut) The government on Monday ordered border security agencies to increase their patrols and suppression measures to prevent people entering Thailand illegally and spreading Covid-19 around the country. The order was issued immediately after Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who oversees national security, finished a virtual meeting with fellow ministers, border provincial governors and senior government officials. The meeting was concerned that the highly-contagious Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa had been detected in the deep South on Saturday. Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep T...
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to go on trial next week
Asia, World

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to go on trial next week

Myanmar's Suu Kyi to go on trial next week In this combination of file photos created on Nov 14, 2019, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Bangkok on Nov 4, 2019 (left) and Myanmar military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends the 71st anniversary of Martyrs' Day in Yangon on July 19, 2018. (AFP photos) Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will go on trial next week, her lawyer said Monday, with the Nobel laureate facing an eclectic raft of charges, from possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies to flouting coronavirus restrictions during elections last year. Myanmar has been in uproar since Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) government were ousted in a Feb 1 coup, with near-daily prote...
WHO approves China’s Sinovac Covid jab
China, World

WHO approves China’s Sinovac Covid jab

WHO approves China's Sinovac Covid jab A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Bang Sue Grand Station on May 26, 2021. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut) The World Health Organization on Tuesday approved the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use -- the second Chinese jab to receive the WHO's green light. The UN health agency signed off on the Beijing-based firm Sinovac's two-dose vaccine CoronaVac, which is already being deployed in several countries around the world. "I'm happy to announce that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine has been given WHO emergency use listing after being found to be safe, effective, and quality-assured," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference. "The easy storage requirements of CoronaVac make it very suitable...
2 kindergartens at Grace Assembly of God to remain open, church premises to be cleaned and disinfected
Singapore, World

2 kindergartens at Grace Assembly of God to remain open, church premises to be cleaned and disinfected

SINGAPORE - The two Grace House kindergartens at the Grace Assembly of God church premises will continue to remain open, as the pastor from the church who tested positive for Covid-19 had no contact with the schools. Arrangements have been made to clean and disinfect all the church premises as a precautionary measure, including the kindergartens, though a church spokesman could not confirm when this will be carried out. This comes after a pastor at the church tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday (May 26). Grace House, which is at both church premises in Tanglin and Bukit Batok, has a third school in Thomson. The kindergartens are not operated by the church. The church spokesman confirmed with The Straits Times that all its pastors operate from both premises as needed. She said th...
Regional vaccine approach is imperative
Asia, China, Politics, Singapore, World

Regional vaccine approach is imperative

Regional vaccine approach is imperative A shipment of 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines donated by China arrives at Phnom Penh International Airport in February. (Photo: Reuters) As vaccine diplomacy thrives and vaccine nationalism rears its head, it has become clear that the ideal global solution to the collective action problem of the coronavirus pandemic is for all countries to put their eggs in the same basket. If all countries are forced to rely on the global vaccine alliances' and the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Global Vaccines Access (Covax) plan, whereby any vaccine for one means an available antidote for all, the post-pandemic recovery would arrive faster and smoother with more promising prospects. But short of the ideal solution, the global health system is largely ba...
EXPORTS REMAIN RESILIENT IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC
Asia, China, Singapore, World

EXPORTS REMAIN RESILIENT IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC

EXPORTS REMAIN RESILIENT IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC Thailand’s food exporters have found opportunities in the midst of the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers worldwide visit supermarkets and dine in restaurants less often, they are buying more processed and canned foods to cook at home as well as more ready-to-eat foods. Thailand recorded a healthy growth in the export of processed foods such as fruits and vegetables and canned seafood, which is in part attributed to economic recovery in those buying countries. The trend has highlighted the strength and diversity of Thailand’s food supply chain, which is serving the country’s goal of producing foods to cater to the growing demand among global consumers for nutritious and functional foods that serve their s