Behind closed doors: Filipina workers trapped by the pandemic | News

Anushka Asthana talks to the journalist Corinne Redfern from The Fuller Project about the impact the pandemic has had on the thousands of Filipino women who are stranded overseas. The Philippine government says that approximately one third of its 10 million citizens overseas are women working in “elementary” jobs – a term widely interpreted as … Read more

China’s Big Tech clampdown: Why some businesses stand to benefit | E-Commerce News

Shenzhen, China – For Nicole Gao, Taobao Live is a lifeline. The Shenzhen-based businesswoman uses the live-streaming platform owned by Alibaba, China’s dominant e-commerce company, to sell beauty products such as facial masks, skin tightening creams, and moisturisers to online audiences of up to 30,000 at a time. That may sound like a lot, but … Read more

Taiwan air force flexes muscles after latest Chinese incursion | Military News

Self-ruled island is beefing up its military as China becomes increasingly assertive. Armed and ready to go, Taiwan air force jets screamed into the sky on Tuesday in a drill to simulate a war scenario, showing its fleet’s battle readiness after dozens of Chinese warplanes flew into the island’s air defence zone over the weekend. Taiwan, claimed … Read more

Shipping companies join hands to help sailors stuck at sea | Coronavirus pandemic News

More than 300 firms agree to work together to help the hundreds of thousands of sailors stuck due to COVID restrictions. More than 300 top shipping, mining and trading companies say they plan to work together to help hundreds of thousands of merchant sailors stuck on ships for many months due to COVID-19 in a … Read more

Asia football body axes tournaments, centralises Champions League | Football News

Forty-team Champions League will stage group games in one West Asian and one East Asian hub from mid-April amid COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has cancelled several tournaments and announced centralised group stages for the Asian Champions League (ACL) and AFC Cup club tournaments as it continues to battle disruptions caused by the … Read more

New Zealand’s new COVID case is the South African variant | Coronavirus pandemic News

Genome testing indicates woman who got sick caught virus from another returning traveller just before leaving quarantine. New Zealand’s first case of coronavirus in the community in months has been identified as the South African variant, health minister Chris Hipkins said on Monday, adding that the 56-year-old woman probably caught it from another returning traveller … Read more

China rescues first of 22 trapped miners from Shandong gold mine | China News

State media says the rescued miner was ‘in extremely weak physical condition’ after 14 days trapped below ground. The first of 22 people trapped in a gold mine in northern China has been lifted out, state media said, 14 days after becoming trapped below the ground following an explosion. The man, discovered on Sunday, was … Read more

Sriwijaya crash puts Indonesian transport safety in the spotlight | Aviation News

Jakarta, Indonesia – Investigators are yet to determine the cause of this month’s Sriwijaya Air plane crash in Indonesia that killed all 63 people on board, but the disaster has once again put the spotlight on maintenance, training and safety across the country’s transport system. “There are correlations between the poor safety records of different … Read more

Japan insists Olympics will go ahead after cancellation report | Olympics News

State of emergency in Tokyo and chief cities over pandemic raise doubts about delayed Games that have been rescheduled for July. Japan has denied a report that there is an agreement among officials that the Tokyo Olympics, which have already been delayed for a year, are “doomed” because of the still-raging coronavirus pandemic and that … Read more

‘No plan B’: Postponed Tokyo Olympic Games set to go ahead this year | Olympics News

With just more than six months to go until the postponed Games, doubts have grown over the event with the pandemic still raging across much of the world. The Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead this year after being postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach … Read more

The 39-year-old woman breaking barriers in Mindanao | Politics News

Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba remembers being unable to step out of her home to play with the other children in their neighbourhood on the conflict-ridden southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. She grew up as part of the Muslim minority on the island, in Cotabato City, a resource-rich marshland between two rivers that is now the … Read more

Chinese telecoms firms seek review of US delisting move | Regulation News

New York Stock Exchange had removed three China telecoms firms after former US President Trump’s executive order barring investments in military-linked companies. China’s three biggest telecommunications firms said they requested a review of the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to delist their shares more than a week ago, a move triggered by an executive order … Read more

Coronavirus live news: WHO says ‘don’t panic’, all will get Covid vaccine; new US CDC director sworn in | World news

11.56pm GMT23:56 New US CDC director sworn in In the US, a new CDC director is arriving to a mammoth task: reasserting the agency while the pandemic is in its deadliest phase yet and the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign is wracked by confusion and delays, AP reports. Dr Rochelle Walensky, 51, an infectious-diseases specialist at … Read more

China sanctions Pompeo, other Trump administration officials | Business and Economy News

China’s foreign ministry said the sanctioned US citizens showed no regard for the interests of the people of China and the US. China imposed sanctions on 28 individuals from the United States, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, over “crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs”. A statement from China’s foreign … Read more

Over 350 million in Asia going hungry due to coronavirus pandemic, UN says – National

United Nations agencies are warning that more than 350 million people in the Asia-Pacific region are going hungry as the coronavirus pandemic destroys jobs and pushes food prices higher. The report issued Wednesday by four agencies says the pandemic is making it difficult for 1.9 billion people to afford healthy diets. It follows an earlier … Read more

Coronavirus live news: Germany extends partial lockdown as UK suffers record daily Covid deaths | World news

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Germany is extending its pandemic restrictions, including the closure of schools and stores, until mid-February amid concerns that new mutations of the coronavirus could trigger a fresh surge in cases. AP: Germany’s infection rate has stabilised in recent days, indicating that existing restrictions may have been effective in bringing … Read more

‘Chilling’ crackdown on dissent in Vietnam ahead of key congress | Vietnam News

As Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party gears up for its most important meeting in years, its leadership has presided over an intensified crackdown on dissent, according to rights groups, activists and data collated by Reuters news agency. A record number of political prisoners, longer jail terms, and increased harassment of activists in recent years have contributed … Read more

China’s economy grew faster than expected in 2020 | Business and Economy News

China is likely to have been the only large economy to grow last year as it rebounded from COVID lockdowns. While much of the world struggles with the resurgent coronavirus, and the economic pain it is bringing, China has recorded a positive growth rate for 2020, likely making it the only large economy to do … Read more

Australia may not open borders in 2021, even with vaccines | Coronavirus pandemic News

Health authorities say there’s a need for caution because it is now known whether the vaccines will prevent transmission. Australia may not fully reopen its international borders this year even if most of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus, the head of its health department said on Monday, as the country recorded no new local … Read more

Coronavirus live news: Brazil approves two Covid vaccines for emergency use as US nears 400,000 deaths | World news

12.58am GMT00:58 US nears 400,000 deaths, as additional 100,000 predicted in first five weeks of Biden administration Victoria Bekiempis Joe Biden’s promise to carry out 100m coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in power is “absolutely a doable thing”, Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday. The president-elect has announced ambitious initiatives to combat Covid-19 … Read more

Indonesia quake toll hits 56 as rescuers race to find survivors | Earthquakes News

The death toll from a powerful earthquake on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has jumped to 56, authorities said on Sunday, with thousands left homeless as rescuers raced to find anyone still alive under mountains of rubble. More than 820 people were injured and about 15,000 left their homes after the 6.2-magnitude quake struck in the early … Read more

Five Hong Kong democracy protesters seek asylum in the US | Hong Kong News

Five Hong Kong democracy protesters who reportedly fled to Taiwan have arrived in the United States intending to seek asylum, an activist group said on Saturday. Their escape follows the mass arrest of democracy figures in Hong Kong under a new national security law that is part of a mounting crackdown by China on the … Read more

Buildings destroyed as deadly quake hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi | Indonesia News

DEVELOPING STORY At least seven people killed, dozens trapped in collapsed buildings after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Majene. At least seven people have been killed and hundreds injured after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck and toppled buildings in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island in the early hours of Friday morning, the country’s … Read more

‘The world’s most powerful weapon’: N Korea parades new missile | Military News

North Korea displayed what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at a parade on Thursday night, state media reported, marking the end of a political congress at which leader Kim Jong Un admitted severe failings but pledged to boost the country’s military might. Clad in a black leather coat, gloves and fur … Read more

‘Dead heat’: 2020 tied for warmest year on record, NASA finds | Climate News

When it comes to the Earth’s global surface temperature, 2020 came in hot — tying 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to a climate analysis published Thursday by NASA and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Earth’s average temperature was 1.02 degrees Celsius (1.84 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the … Read more

Indonesia’s struggle to identify the Sriwijaya plane crash dead | Aviation News

Jakarta, Indonesia – Yudi Qurbani has spent the last few days in an unexpected and unwanted role. He has become the family representative at the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) centre at Kramat Jati Police Hospital in Jakarta, coordinating with the team trying to locate the five members of his family who were on the Sriwijaya … Read more

First COVID death in China in eight months amid new lockdowns | Coronavirus pandemic News

China on Thursday reported its first death from COVID-19 in eight months as the country battles to contain a resurgence in cases – the most in 10 months – and welcomes the arrival of an expert team from the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 20 million people are under lockdown in the north of … Read more

South Korean sect leader acquitted over COVID case surge | Coronavirus pandemic News

The secretive Shincheonji Church of Jesus was at the centre of public anger early last year over a surge in cases traced to its followers. The elderly leader of a secretive religious sect at the centre of an early coronavirus outbreak in South Korea has been found not guilty of hindering the government’s virus prevention … Read more

Coronavirus live news: New York pleads for more Covid vaccine as global daily deaths pass 17,000 for first time | World news

12.54am GMT00:54 US state leaders are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic, AP reports. Ohio’s governor offered to give vaccinations to teachers at the start of February, provided their school districts agree to resume at … Read more

New COVID-19 lockdowns imperil global economy’s recovery | Business and Economy News

A major chunk of the global recovery in companies’ earnings – recovery expected in the first quarter of 2021 – is at risk of being pushed back further as coronavirus lockdowns and mobility restrictions in several countries cloud hopes of a swifter economic rebound, investment banks said. China announced lockdowns in four cities and European … Read more

Trump scraps plan to ban China’s Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu: Sources | Donald Trump News

Senior US officials had been considering plans to add the firms to a list of alleged Chinese military companies, which would have subjected them to a US investment ban. The administration of United States President Donald Trump has scrapped plans to blacklist Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, four people familiar with the matter … Read more

UK, South Africa COVID variants found in dozens of countries: WHO | Coronavirus pandemic News

A highly infectious mutation of the novel coronavirus first recorded in the United Kingdom last month has spread to dozens of countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Since being reported to the WHO on December 14, the UK-identified variant VOC 202012/01 has been found in 50 countries, territories and areas, the United Nations … Read more

US unveils plans to counter China’s rise in Asia | Business and Economy News

In a new document, the US says it wants to counter China’s ‘predatory economic practices’, ‘accelerate India’s rise’ and help Taiwan ensure its ‘freedom from coercion’. The Trump administration declassified its strategy to ensure continued dominance over China, which focuses on accelerating India’s rise as a counterweight to Beijing and the ability to defend Taiwan … Read more

Use pandemic to protect forests, WWF urges consumers, politicians | Climate Change News

The world has lost tropical forest equivalent to the size of California over a 13-year period, environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said on Wednesday, calling for COVID-19 recovery plans to revitalise conservation efforts. In a new report, WWF analysed 24 deforestation hotspots across Asia, Latin America and Africa, and found that more … Read more

Brazil trial finds efficacy of Sinovac vaccine at 50.4 percent | Coronavirus pandemic News

A coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech was found to be just 50.4 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections of COVID-19 in a Brazilian trial, researchers said on Tuesday, barely enough for regulatory approval and well below the rate announced last week. The latest results are a substantial disappointment for Brazil, as the Chinese … Read more

UK condemns China’s ‘horrific barbarism’ against Uighur minority | Uighur News

Foreign secretary slams rights abuses and outlines new rules banning imports of goods suspected of using forced labour. The United Kingdom has accused China of human rights violations amounting to “barbarism” against its Uighur minority, as it announced, on Tuesday, new rules to ban imports of goods suspected of using forced labour. The abuses were … Read more

Indonesia’s Sriwijaya Air built its empire on old, cheap planes | Aviation News

Starting with just one plane in 2003, Indonesia’s Sriwijaya Air has become the country’s third-largest airline group, aided by its strategy of acquiring old planes at cheap prices and serving routes neglected by competitors. The mid-market airline, which has few international flights, was thrust into the spotlight this week when a nearly 27-year old Boeing … Read more