Asia

Coronavirus: Myanmar ships 800 freed Rohingya prisoners back to Rakhine
Asia

Coronavirus: Myanmar ships 800 freed Rohingya prisoners back to Rakhine

SITTWE, MYANMAR (AFP) - Myanmar shipped hundreds of recently released Rohingya inmates back to the country's restive western borderlands on Monday (April 20), after fears that its overcrowded prisons could become hotbeds for runaway coronavirus outbreaks. Men, women and children belonging to the stateless and long-persecuted Muslim minority were among nearly 25,000 prisoners freed last week by a presidential pardon to mark the country's April New Year celebrations. A Navy vessel transported the group from Yangon to Rakhine state, where most Rohingya live under tight movement restrictions and in conditions Amnesty International has condemned as "apartheid". More than 600 disembarked near state capital Sittwe, while another 200 were taken further north to townships on the border wi...
Amid Pandemic, UK-Vietnam Cooperation Continues to Deepen
Asia, Business

Amid Pandemic, UK-Vietnam Cooperation Continues to Deepen

A closer look at recent developments between the two countries, both before and during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, two Vietnamese children donated 20,000 facemasks to help the United Kingdom fight the coronavirus pandemic. The British Embassy staff in Hanoi sent the masks, along with 100 stranded British nationals, on a commercial flight back to the UK. With the growing number of deaths in the UK and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers, these gifts are valuable; they further underscore strengthened relations between the UK and Vietnam. As covered at The Diplomat previously, since 2010 the relationship between Vietnam and the United Kingdom has been elevated to a strategic partnership. Tran Ngoc An, Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK, has strongly
Magnitude 5.0 earthquake shakes eastern Indonesia
Asia

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake shakes eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA A magnitude 5.0 earthquake jolted Indonesia's North Sulawesi province Thursday, according to the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG). BMKG said the earthquake’s epicenter was 66 kilometers (41 miles) northeast of Melonguane district in the Talaud Islands. The quake occurred 21 kilometers (13 miles) below the surface, it added. There were no immediate reports of casualties, said officials.
Feeding zoo animals may put NH woman behind bars in Thailand
Asia, Conflict, Opinion, World

Feeding zoo animals may put NH woman behind bars in Thailand

A Chester mother says her daughter faces up to five years in prison in Thailand after she and three others were arrested trying to feed zoo animals they thought were abandoned. “I am hoping that the U.S. officials can help in any way that they have the ability to do so,” said Marie Somers, who has contacted the offices of U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas. Joy Somers, 33, who grew up in Sandown, was charged with a computer crime for posting a video of Phuket Zoo’s conditions on Facebook. Joy Somers said she stumbled across the zoo on April 14 during a walk with friends. Somers, who has lived in Phuket for more than four years and is a CrossFit coach and nutritional counselor, said she lives behind the zoo and heard animals crying over the past month. “We walk
Cambodia: Covid-19 Spurs Bogus ‘Fake News’ Arrests
Asia, Singapore

Cambodia: Covid-19 Spurs Bogus ‘Fake News’ Arrests

(Bangkok) – Cambodian authorities are using the Covid-19 pandemic to carry out arbitrary arrests of opposition supporters and government critics, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have arrested at least 30 people, including 12 linked to the dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), on charges of spreading “fake news” and other offenses since the global outbreak of the pandemic.The Cambodian government should immediately and unconditionally drop the charges against all those accused of crimes in violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association. These arrests come in the context of a renewed government crackdown on civil and political rights. Under the pretext of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government is pushing through a state of emergenc
Southeast Asia’s Grab offers staff no-pay leave as coronavirus saps demand
Asia, Business, Singapore

Southeast Asia’s Grab offers staff no-pay leave as coronavirus saps demand

Senior Grab leaders are reducing salaries by up to 20 percent this year Coronavirus pandemic the single biggest crisis to affect the eight-year-old company SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab said on Thursday it is offering some staff unpaid leave and senior executives are taking salary cuts as it moves to conserve cash amid falling demand because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. “Senior Grab leaders are reducing salaries by up to 20 percent this year and we have given employees across the region, in teams where there is excess capacity — the option to take flexible working arrangements,” Grab, the region’s most valuable start-up, said in a statement.It said such arrangements could include no-pay leave, reduced working hours and sabbaticals. Grab said the steps