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Cyber capabilities report: US dominant in cyber realm, but China catching up
China, Conflict, Singapore, World

Cyber capabilities report: US dominant in cyber realm, but China catching up

The United States has no peer when it comes to capabilities in the realm of cyberspace, but China is rapidly gaining ground in terms of strategic competition, according to a new report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The report released yesterday evaluates the cyber capabilities of 15 countries and how this intersects with international security, economic cooperation and military affairs. The US' dominance in the cyber realm can be gauged from the 2013 leak that revealed the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance system. The country has also demonstrated its ability to bring down critical civilian and military networks, such as when it disrupted Iranian nuclear enrichment activities. In addition to its clear superiority in information and communica...
Trade pact faces day of reckoning
Singapore, World

Trade pact faces day of reckoning

Cabinet to mull report on whether to join CPTPP agreement, though critics say it must make out a strong case first Tanee: Concerns remain From time to time over the past few years, the government was asked whether it had secretly given the green light for Thailand to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Once again last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, chairman of the International Economic Policy Committee studying the kingdom's readiness, said the cabinet had not decided. The committee would need another 50 days to study a report prepared by an ad hoc House committee and talk to various stakeholders, he said. The new deadline passed on Thursday and the committee, which met on Tuesday, is preparing to...
End misery in Myanmar
China, Singapore, World

End misery in Myanmar

End misery in Myanmar Thailand's decision to abstain from voting to adopt the United Nations' General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the situation in Myanmar on Friday was not surprising. The kingdom joined 36 other nations -- which included Brunei, Cambodia, China, Laos and Russia -- in not voting on the resolution. Meanwhile, 119 other countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, along with the US and the EU, voted in favour of a non-binding resolution which called for a halt to arms sales to Myanmar, a ban on lethal weapons being used against civilians, and urged the military to swiftly implement a five-point agreement it had forged with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in April, which was intended to facilitate a dialogue between riv...
Google takes down maps targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposing king
Singapore, World

Google takes down maps targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposing king

Google takes down maps targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposing king Capt Songklod "Capt Poo Kem" Chuenchoopol (Bangkok Post file photo) SINGAPORE/BANGKOK: Google took down two Google Maps documents on Monday that had listed the names and addresses of hundreds of activists who were accused by royalists of opposing the monarchy, the technology company said. Royalist activist Songklod "Capt Poo Kem" Chuenchoopol told Reuters he and a team of 80 volunteers had created the maps and planned to report everyone named on them to police on accusations of insulting the monarchy. A spokesperson for Alphabet's Google said by email "the issue is now fixed", and noted: "We have clear policies about what's acceptable for user generated My Maps content. We remove user generated maps that violat...
Asia’s air travel may take three years to recover from Covid-19
Asia, Singapore, World

Asia’s air travel may take three years to recover from Covid-19

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Asian air travel may take another three years to recover fully from the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, lagging behind rebounds in other regions and offering a stern headwind for refiners making jet fuel. It will take until 2024 for international air travel across the region to reach pre-virus levels, a year after global traffic hits that milestone, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Similarly, consultancy Energy Aspects says jet fuel consumption will reach pre-pandemic volumes only in 2023-2024. Low rates of vaccination in many countries, the challenge posed by the fast-spreading Delta variant and persistent lockdowns have all set back the recovery even as the United States and Europe press on. All that means Asia's av...
Mega project restarted in 2019 again stopped with mutual consents of the parties
Business, China, Singapore, World

Mega project restarted in 2019 again stopped with mutual consents of the parties

KUALA LUMPUR – Somehow begun $2.4 million mega project again came to an end when the parties involved in the project mutually decided to stop the project. The agreement on a RM7.41 billion ringgit (S$2.4 billion) acquisition for 60 per cent equity in the Bandar Malaysia mixed commercial project by IWH and its partner China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) lapsed on May 6 after a failure to meet conditions, the statement issued on Wednesday (July 14) said. Bandar Malaysia was due to house the terminal for the now-scrapped high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The project, owned by TRX City, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance, was initially announced in 2011, cancelled in 2017 and reinstated in April, 2019. The statement said parties had been w
Palestinian refugees hope Gaza solidarity boosts cause
Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

Palestinian refugees hope Gaza solidarity boosts cause

Palestinian refugees hope Gaza solidarity boosts cause Palestinian student Mira Krayem, in the refugee camp of Shatila in Beirut, where she has been busy protesting and gathering support for the Palestinian cause. SHATILA CAMP, Lebanon: From marching in rallies to posting live updates on social media, Palestinian refugee Mira Krayem has barely slept since conflict gripped her ancestral homeland earlier this month. But the 24-year-old university student, who lives in Lebanon, said she felt solidarity messages for the Palestinian cause from across the world have made her and fellow activists feel reenergised after years of crushing defeat. "It makes us feel like we have a voice," said Krayem, on a rooftop overlooking Shatila, the tightly packed refugee camp in Beirut where she was born, ...
Myanmar Covid-19 outbreak hits health system shattered after coup
Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

Myanmar Covid-19 outbreak hits health system shattered after coup

YANGON (REUTERS) - Breathless, fevered and without the extra oxygen that could help keep them alive, the new coronavirus patients at a hospital near Myanmar's border with India highlight the threat to a health system near collapse since February's coup. To help her tend the seven Covid-19 patients at Cikha hospital, day and night, chief nurse Lun Za En has a lab technician and a pharmacist's assistant. Mostly, they offer kind words and paracetamol. "We don't have enough oxygen, enough medical equipment, enough electricity, enough doctors or enough ambulances," Lun Za En, 45, told Reuters from the town of just over 10,000. "We are operating with three staff instead of 11." Myanmar's anti-Covid-19 campaign foundered along with the rest of the health system after the military seized power...
Staging Olympics ‘a suicide mission’, says Japanese exec
Business, China, Opinion, Singapore, World

Staging Olympics ‘a suicide mission’, says Japanese exec

A man looks at his phone as he walks by billboards promoting the Olympics on Friday in Tokyo. (Reuters Photo) Holding the Olympics as planned in Tokyo in two months would be like a “suicide mission” because Japan has been so late in vaccinating its population, a Japanese business leader has warned. Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive of the online retailer Rakuten Group and an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of the pandemic, made the comment in an interview with CNN. “It’s dangerous to host the big international event from all over the world,” he said. “So, the risk is too big and … I’m against having the Tokyo Olympics this year,” he said, describing the Games as “a suicide mission”. His comments came as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterated that he was confident that
ASEAN envoys meet Myanmar junta leader to press for dialogue
Asia, Singapore, World

ASEAN envoys meet Myanmar junta leader to press for dialogue

BANGKOK (AP) — Representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met with Myanmar’s junta leader on Friday, six weeks after an emergency regional summit on the coup in the country drew promises of progress toward a solution but produced no tangible results. State broadcaster MRTV showed Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing meeting with Brunei Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, but provided only a broad outline of their discussions. Earlier this week, an Indonesian diplomat said the delegation’s purpose was to seek Myanmar’s approval of an ASEAN special envoy for the crisis, who is yet to be named. He said the choice of the envoy involved both sides, making progress slow. Friday’s meeting received a cool response from members of Myanmar’s op