World

For China’s aggressive new diplomacy, coronavirus is both a crisis and an opportunity
China, World

For China’s aggressive new diplomacy, coronavirus is both a crisis and an opportunity

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, China has struggled to control the narrative around its role in the crisis. Is Beijing a noble victim, ably controlling an unforeseeable viral outbreak and now assisting other countries in their own efforts, or the villain, ultimately to blame for the misery spreading around the world?Considerable effort has been expended in pushing the first line. China has donated large amounts of medical supplies to parts of Europe and Africa. China's state media, which has an outsized influence in much of the developing world, has also played up praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) and others of its response to and recovery from the initial outbreak, in stark contrast to many parts of the world now struggling to cope.The coronavirus crisis pre
Responding to COVID-19 in Southeast Asia
Asia, World

Responding to COVID-19 in Southeast Asia

Countries in Southeast Asia have mobilized a wide range of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic—with some better-prepared than others. Without a swift response, countries in the region risk a severe outbreak, especially among the more vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons. The U.S. should examine its current aid portfolios—especially for poorer countries in the region—and consider whether it can offer additional assistance to its friends in Southeast Asia. It should also seek to safeguard liberty in the midst of a crisis that some countries could see as a carte blanche to expand government power. Southeast Asia has a broad spectrum of responses to the coronavirus, from the well-prepared in Singapore to the woefully inadequate in Cambodia. The U.S. should examine its current ai
Tribes along India-Myanmar border dream of a ‘united Nagaland’
Asia, Business, Politics, World

Tribes along India-Myanmar border dream of a ‘united Nagaland’

Dozens of Naga tribes yearn to reunite the 3 million living in India with their 400,000 estranged cousins in Myanmar.The king of the Konyak tribe sleeps in Myanmar, but eats in India - his house, village and people divided by a mountain border which serves as a vulnerable lifeline now severed by a coronavirus lockdown. The Konyak are just one of dozens of Naga tribes, a people yearning to reunite the 3 million living in India with their 400,000 estranged - and much poorer - cousins in Myanmar's isolated far north.Many from Myanmar cross the border to attend school, sell vegetables or visit a hospital, as it is a days-long journey by foot to the nearest town in Myanmar. Even in normal times, they live at the mercy of Indian soldiers guarding checkpoints against the threat of armed groups fi
Millions of people in Indonesia could be at risk
Business, World

Millions of people in Indonesia could be at risk

Some parts of Indonesia that do not have early warning systems in place for earthquakes could be at increased risk of tsunamis, according to a new study.    Analysis of more than 2.5million years' worth of geological data revealed 19 enormous ancient underwater landslides around the island nation.  The submarine landslides happened, on average, once every 160,000 years.   Should one of these events happen in the modern world, the most at-risk locations would be the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda, with a combined population of over 1.6 million people. Researchers say the proposed new capital city of Indonesia at Balikpapan Bay would also be heavily affected.  The research team, led by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, said the findings suggest coastal communities in the country witho
COVID-19: Could food security in Southeast Asia be in jeopardy?
Asia, World

COVID-19: Could food security in Southeast Asia be in jeopardy?

Countries and cities across Southeast Asia have been on different versions of lockdown for over a month, with heightened border restrictions and controls on the movement of labor. Last month, the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2019 Asia Pacific regional report was released. It revealed the state of food security systems in the region by measuring the three core pillars of food security: affordability, availability, and quality and safety. The GFSI was developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit providing a common framework for understanding the root causes of food insecurity. For the second consecutive year, Singapore maintained its position as the most food secure country in Asia Pacific, and globally. However, the report showed significant disparity in food security across the region
Virus Surge in Southeast Asia Migrant Workers Serves as Warning
Politics, Singapore, World

Virus Surge in Southeast Asia Migrant Workers Serves as Warning

Virus flareups among migrant workers are fueling a second wave of infections in Southeast Asia, forcing governments to shift direction to contain resurgent outbreaks, and serving as a warning to other countries looking to ease restrictions as cases ease. Singapore and Thailand have been caught out by infections among foreign workers, who come from other parts of the region to work on building sites, in low-wage industries and as domestic labor. The countries are now scaling up testing of these communities, with the cramped dormitory-style or temporary accommodation they’re often housed in leaving them vulnerable to infection from the highly contagious coronavirus. An explosion in cases among Singapore’s 1-million strong migrant worker population has seen it become Asia’s most-infected nati
China bristles at Australia’s call for investigation into coronavirus origin
Singapore, World

China bristles at Australia’s call for investigation into coronavirus origin

Beijing warns relationship could be damaged ‘beyond repair’ after Australian prime minister Scott Morrison cites ‘extraordinary’ impact of Covid-19 The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has defied China and defended the “entirely reasonable and sensible” call for an investigation into the origins of coronavirus, as the international political fallout over the pandemic deepened. China has been pushing back against criticism from other governments about how it handled the outbreak of Covid-19, which is believed to have started in Wuhan and which has now infected 3 million people worldwide and killed 200,000. Donald Trump’s accusation at the weekend that Beijing could have done more to prevent the deadly spread of the disease was met with fierce criticism from China’s state media. Wh
Missouri is suing China over coronavirus
Business, World

Missouri is suing China over coronavirus

Missouri is suing the Chinese government and other top institutions for the role they played in the coronavirus pandemic and the effects it has had on the state, accusing the country of covering up information, silencing whistleblowers and doing little to stop the spread of the disease, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Tuesday. At least 6,105 people have been confirmed to have the virus in Missouri and at least 229 have died, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. Schmitt, in his official role as attorney general of Missouri, filed the civil lawsuit in federal court in the eastern district of Missouri.The lawsuit, the first of its kind, claims "Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, arrested whistleblowers, denied human-to-huma
U.S. Views of China Increasingly Negative Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Conflict, World

U.S. Views of China Increasingly Negative Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Republicans more negative than Democrats toward China, though unfavorable ratings have climbed among both parties Since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, his approach to U.S.-China relations has included increased pressure via tariffs and trade war rhetoric, and now, with the onset of an unprecedented pandemic, the stage has been set for both sides to cast aspersions on the other. Against this backdrop, negative views of China have continued to grow, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of Americans conducted in March. Roughly two-thirds now say they have an unfavorable view of China, the most negative rating for the country since the Center began asking the question in 2005, and up nearly 20 percentage points since the start of the Trump administration. Positive vie...
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