South China Morning Post : International (126)

Australian paedophile stopped at Sydney Airport by sex tourism flight ban

A convicted child molester was prevented from flying overseas from Sydney Airport on Wednesday under new laws aimed at keeping Australian paedophiles from travelling to Southeast Asia for sex tourism. Laws that took effect on Wednesday prevent 20,000 convicted paedophiles listed on the Australian ...

How Vietnam’s answer to WhatsApp, Zalo, began with a hack

Quang Khai, executive vice-president of the Vietnamese conglomerate VNG , made his public debut in a typically “tech” fashion. As a young computer science university student, he managed to hack into the networks of Vietnam’s largest IT conglomerate, FPT. The hack caught the ...

‘We don’t give in to fear’: can Benazir Bhutto’s son breathe new life into his family’s ailing party?

A decade after Pakistan’s first female leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, her son Bilawal is striving to reclaim his mother’s mantle, the latest act in a Shakespearean saga of tragedy and power. But reviving the wilted fortunes of his family’s political dynasty ahead of a ...

Singapore is getting even tougher on free speech and curtailing debate, says Human Rights Watch

Singapore is increasingly using harsh laws to severely restrict freedom of speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, urging authorities to let people publicly debate matters of national interest. A report from the New York-based rights group said that while the financial hub was an ...

Thai nightclub under fire for ‘sex with staff’ promotion

By Gregory Morrissey A nightclub in the Thai province of Maha Sarakham is facing a probe after a post went viral suggesting it was promoting sex with its staff. The social media post apparently offered female customers a free case of whiskey to seduce and have sex with male members of the ...

Nasa scientists searching for signs of life on Mars claim world’s newest island could provide clues

The world’s newest island – formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific four years ago – may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars, Nasa said Wednesday. The island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai rose from the seabed about 65km northwest of the Tongan ...

Kim Jong-un boasts of ‘death-defying struggle’ to build nuclear arsenal as he prepares for showdown against US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” against the US with his rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, state media said on Wednesday, after the country’s latest missile test heightened global tensions. The nuclear-armed North has rattled the international ...

US military helicopter window falls on Japanese school

A window from a US military helicopter fell onto a school sports ground in southern Japan Wednesday, the marines said, apologising for a “regrettable” incident likely to fuel opposition to their presence. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the accident that took place at ...

‘Let’s just meet’: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants talks with North Korea without preconditions, softening US position

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key US demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations. Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly ...

Japanese e-commerce firm to launch programme for tech start-ups in Singapore

Japanese internet company Rakuten on Wednesday said it will launch a three-month accelerator programme in Singapore . The programme, which begins in July, will tap in U.S.-based company Techstars, a firm with more than 1,000 firms with a combined market cap of US$9.6 billion in its accelerator ...

THAAD tensions impede China passage for North Korean defectors: ex-US special envoy

Strained relations between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of a US missile defence system have made it “more difficult” for North Korean refugees or defectors to pass through China before reaching South Korea, a former US special envoy said. Robert King, former US special envoy for ...

Rex Tillerson declares willingness to hold talks with North Korea without preconditions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed confidence on Tuesday that Washington is doing all it can to force North Korea to negotiate its nuclear disarmament and expressed a willingness to hold talks without any preconditions to break the impasse over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile ...

100kg penguins as tall as a man once roamed New Zealand waters

Scientists have unearthed in New Zealand fossilised bones of what might be the heavyweight champion of the penguin world, a bird standing 1.77 metres tall that thrived 55 to 60 million years ago, relatively soon after the demise of the dinosaurs. Researchers said on Tuesday the ancient penguin, ...

Rex Tillerson declares he has failed if US uses force against North Korea

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed confidence on Tuesday that Washington is doing all it can to force North Korea to negotiate its nuclear disarmament. And he added that if diplomacy and sanctions fail and the US military is forced to take pre-emptive action, it will have been a personal ...

‘Inside job and a cover-up’: Philippine bank points finger at Bangladeshis over US$81 million heist

A Philippine bank on Tuesday accused Bangladesh’s central bank of a “massive cover-up” over an US$81 million cyber-heist last year, as it rejected allegations it was mostly to blame. Unidentified hackers shifted US$81 million in February last year from the Bangladesh ...

‘Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are pretty much the same,’ claims Dennis Rodman during visit to Beijing

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman is perhaps the only person in the world to call both US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “friend”. The ex-Chicago Bulls power forward – who has swigged vodka with Kim and been fired by Trump on Celebrity Apprentice ...

Thai police arrest Australian man for smuggling drugs, highlighting growing influence of foreign biker gangs

An Australian man linked to a “Hells Angels” chapter has been arrested in Bangkok for smuggling drugs, police said on Tuesday, as Thai authorities tackle organised crime run by motorcycle gangs in the kingdom. Immigration officials detained 34-year-old Luke Joshua Cook and his Thai wife ...

Indian officials demand answers from Beijing over river’s pollution, blaming vast Chinese construction projects

Officials in India’s northeast are complaining that Chinese construction activity on the upper reaches of one of the largest rivers that flows into India are likely turning the waters downstream turbid and unfit for human consumption. Over the weekend, Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief minister of ...

European Union withdraws support for Cambodia’s election after opposition party dissolved

The European Union on Tuesday pulled support for Cambodia’s election authority, questioning the legitimacy of upcoming polls after the dissolution of the opposition transformed the kingdom into a virtual one-party state under strongman Hun Sen. A Supreme Court ruling last month dissolved the ...

Authorities in Bangladesh try to understand how Akayed Ullah became New York subway bomber

Bangladesh police scrambled on Tuesday for details about alleged New York subway bomber Akayed Ullah, but uncovered few early leads that might shed light on what might have driven him to try and kill commuters with a home-made bomb. US police say the 27-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh set off a ...

Singapore launches electric car-sharing programme in ongoing fight against gridlock on its roads

Singapore on Tuesday launched an electric car-sharing service, the latest transport innovation aimed at encouraging people away from owning vehicles and keeping gridlock at bay in the space-starved city state. BlueSG, a subsidiary of France’s Bollore Group, rolled out the scheme with 80 cars ...

Singaporean scientists want to use coffee waste to help produce biodegradable plastics

By Louisa Tang One day, the waste generated from the cup of coffee you are drinking could be used to make more eco-friendly plastic bags, thanks to a team of scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic . Dr Henry Leung, a senior lecturer and senior specialist at NYP’s School of ...

Singaporean Scientists want to use coffee waste to help produce biodegradable plastics

By Louisa Tang One day, the waste generated from the cup of coffee you are drinking could be used to make more eco-friendly plastic bags, thanks to a team of scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic . Dr Henry Leung, a senior lecturer and senior specialist at NYP’s School of ...

India bans condom ads from prime time TV in crackdown on ‘vulgar’ content

India has slapped a nationwide ban on television ads for condoms during prime time hours, citing rules prohibiting “vulgar” content and concerns over children viewing salacious material. The information and broadcasting ministry ordered India’s estimated 900 television channels to ...

Unlucky groom spends first night in lock-up in Malaysia

By Sharanpal Singh Randhawa A groom in Malaysia had to spend his first night in the lock-up after he helped one of his friends evade arrest during his wedding reception. The 35-year-old groom had created a diversion to distract a police team who were there to arrest a wanted man at a hotel’s ...

South Korea mulls all-out ban on Bitcoin transactions

South Korea is considering banning all kinds of cryptocurrency transactions in the country as a way to cool down the worldwide craze for digital currencies, the top financial regulator said Monday. “I don’t see bitcoin transactions as financial deals,” Financial Services Commission ...

Japan plans to join US-led project to build space station in moon orbit

Japan has approved a plan to join a US-proposed project to build a new space station in the moon’s orbit, hoping for a chance to beat China’s effort to send astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time. Under its basic space policy roadmap, Japan is looking to contribute to the ...

Kim Jong-un’s superpowers: North Korean leader can control weather, cure diseases and make unicorn discoveries

In rare free moments, when Kim Jong-un isn’t calling US President Donald Trump a dotard, launching ballistic missiles or engaging in general dictatoring, he apparently goes on leisurely mountain hikes and flexes his never-before-reported superpower: controlling the weather. The case for the ...

US soldier who deserted to North Korea after drunken night dies in Japan at 77

A US soldier who deserted to North Korea more than half a century ago, but who was eventually allowed to leave the secretive state, has died in Japan aged 77. One of the cold war’s strangest dramas began in 1965 when Charles Robert Jenkins, then a 24-year-old army sergeant nicknamed ...

‘Double agent’ Australian lawmaker Sam Dastyari quits over Chinese political links

An influential Australian opposition lawmaker under fire over his close links to wealthy Chinese political donors announced on Tuesday that he was quitting the Senate for the good of his party as the government moves against foreign interference in politics. Sam Dastyari announced that he would quit ...

‘The Cove’ dolphin hunters break silence over documentary

Taiji is still in darkness when a dozen men gather at the quayside and warm themselves over a brazier. While the rest of the town sleeps, they sip from cans of hot coffee, smoke cigarettes and talk in hushed tones. As soon as the sun edges above the peninsula, they take to their boats, steering out ...

American prisoner on the run after cutting through bars of his cell and escaping Bali’s Kerobokan jail

Indonesian police are hunting for a US citizen who escaped on Monday from an overcrowded prison on the holiday island of Bali by cutting through steel bars in a ceiling, the jail’s second breakout of foreign inmates this year. The Kerobokan prison, about 10km from the main tourist beaches in ...

‘Our alliance is strong’: communist parties win majority in Nepalese elections

An alliance of Nepal’s former Maoist rebels and the main Communist party have won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections and are expected to form the next government, according to preliminary results from the election commission. The Communist CPN-UML and the Maoist Party look set for ...

The effects of digitalisation in Thailand

This year marked a sea change as consumers in Thailand became more accepting of digitalisation, especially regarding purchasing behaviour. From pre-purchase activities through to post-purchase consumption, evaluation and disposal activities, digitalisation affected all those behaviours. Opinion ...

Rape used as a ‘calculated tool of terror’ against Rohingya, investigation finds

The newlyweds were asleep in their home in western Myanmar in June when seven soldiers charged in. The woman, a Rohingya Muslim who agreed to be identified by her first initial, F, knew enough to be terrified. She knew the military had been attacking Rohingya villages, as part of what the United ...

South Korean President Moon Jae-in seeks to reconcile with Beijing after tensions flared over THAAD

South Korean President Moon Jae-in hopes to “normalise” ties with giant neighbour China on his first state visit to the country this week, his office said on Monday, after Beijing was infuriated by a US missile system deployment. Seoul and Washington decided to install the powerful US ...

Dog circus show from China to be staged in Singapore pulled following online outcry

By Sujin Thomas A dog circus show scheduled to run in February next year at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore was cancelled just a day after tickets went on sale, following concerns raised online that it was promoting animal cruelty. Ticketing service Sistic had announced the event on Friday ...

Hardline Indonesian Muslim groups burn US, Israeli flags over Jerusalem move

Hardline Muslim groups in Indonesia burned photos of US President Donald Trump, as well as US and Israeli flags, on Monday during a protest outside the US embassy against Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim ...

Crackdown on English ‘kindergartens’ in South Korea begins

By Park Si-soo The South Korean government has launched a nationwide crackdown on private English institutes for preschoolers that promote themselves as English-teaching “kindergartens.” The education ministry recently sent a warning letter to popular online communities for parents of ...

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seeks to extend martial law for another year in restive south

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress on Monday to extend martial law across the southern third of the country until the end of next year to combat Islamist militants and communists. In a letter to lawmakers released by his office, Duterte said extending martial law was necessary in ...

‘No human rights at all’: Vietnamese drug addicts undergo ‘work therapy’ while authorities collect profits

During four years of compulsory rehab in Vietnam, Trung spent his drug-free days glueing together false eyelashes as part of what authorities billed as valuable “work therapy” for his heroin addiction. But critics say the work of Trung and tens of thousands of others is tantamount to ...

Assaults, rows and coin tosses: airlines miss true scale of air rage as millions fly for first time

Airlines worldwide are likely to have “significantly underestimated” the true scale of air rage, as the incidents of unruly behaviour by first-time travellers are probably being under-reported in China and the rest of Asia, according to the global aviation industry guild. Unruly ...

South Korea investing heavily in arms industry in response to threat from Pyongyang

Faced with constant missile and nuclear threats from its belligerent northern neighbour, South Korea is boosting its arms sales and aims to become a major exporter, a study said on Monday. South Korea’s arms industry accounted for 2.2 per cent of global top 100 producers’ sales in 2016, ...

Funeral held for Thai cadet whose organs were inexplicably removed, triggering army abuse scandal

A Thai army recruit whose death captured national attention after his organs were removed in mysterious circumstances showed signs of being physically assaulted, his family said on Sunday, citing the results of an autopsy ahead of the teenager’s funeral. The army said 18-year-old Pakapong ...

Peace Prize winners issue nuclear warning about North Korea crisis

The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons , on Sunday voiced alarm about an “extremely dangerous situation” in North Korea before receiving the award in Oslo. “We are seeing right now an extremely dangerous situation that makes a ...

Guantanamo prosecutor charges three over Southeast Asia terror plots

A US prosecutor has issued charges against the alleged leader of an al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia, blaming him for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing and adding two Malaysian captives to the proposed case as alleged co-conspirators. A copy of the non-capital charge sheet obtained by The Miami ...

Liberated Philippine city lies in ruins as its people seethe

More than six months after Filipino and foreign fighters claiming allegiance to Islamic State stormed this lakeside city, setting off a months-long war with Philippine troops, liberated Marawi lies in ruins and its people seethe. The heart of the city has been bombed and burned beyond recognition, ...

India facing an energy and environmental crisis as dirty coal worsens pollution and renewables remain too pricey

Subedar Singh bears the scars of India’s painful reliance on dirty power and its struggle to pay for the costly transition to the brave new world of solar and renewable electricity. Last year, the farmer walked into a field in his village and suffered 70 per cent burns to his feet and ankles ...

Hiroshima survivor accuses West of disarmament sabotage as Nobel Prize is awarded to anti-nuclear group

A Hiroshima bombing survivor, who is to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons , on Saturday accused Western nuclear powers of “sabotaging” disarmament efforts. While Sunday’s Nobel ceremony in Oslo will bring together ...

‘Time is of the essence’: UN envoy warns North Korea miscalculation could trigger conflict after rare visit

A senior UN envoy warned there was a grave risk of a miscalculation that could trigger conflict with North Korea as he urged Pyongyang to keep channels open after a rare visit to the reclusive state. Jeffrey Feltman’s four-day trip to the North – the first by such a high-ranking UN ...