Asia Pacific Headlines

  • 'I'm tan, it's pretty obvious': Naomi Osaka responds to 'whitewashing' in advert – video

    Naomi Osaka said she does not think one of her sponsors are guilty of 'whitewashing' after the player, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, was depicted with pale skin in an advertisement. Nissin, who featured the US Open champion in an advert for instant ramen, has apologised saying: 'We accept that we are not sensitive enough and will pay more attention to diversity issues in the future.'Australian Open 2019: Naomi Osaka sets up final against Petra Kvitova Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Renault to name new bosses as Carlos Ghosn quits

    French carmaker’s board meets to appoint new chair and a CEO to end Renault-Nissan leadership crisis Renault’s board was meeting on Thursday to appoint new leadership, after the chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn resigned. The French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, confirmed the board was being asked to name outgoing Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and Ghosn’s deputy Thierry Bollore as chief executive. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Rodrigo Duterte seeks to cut age of criminal responsibility to 12 as part of drug war

    Philippines president originally wanted children as young as nine to be culpable as part of brutal war on drugs President Rodrigo Duterte has pushed for the legal age of criminal responsibility in the Philippines to be lowered to just 12, leading to fears children will be increasingly targeted in his violent war on drugs. Duterte has led the campaign for children to be held culpable as adults for crimes after claiming that drug lords were using children as mules for their illegal trade and that...

    the Guardian
  • Songs of innocence: Najib Razak uses ballad to set record straight on 1MDB scandal

    Malaysian former prime minister does his own version of The Manhattans’ Kiss and Say Goodbye, complete with choir He is facing trial for the biggest corruption case in Malaysia’s history but former prime minister Najib Razak appears to have found an outlet to ease the pressure: song. Hiring out a recording studio, and recruiting a young choir of back-up singers, Najib has recorded a version of the 1970s hit soul ballad by The Manhattans, Kiss and Say Goodbye, translating the lyrics into...

    the Guardian
  • China blocks Microsoft's Bing search engine

    Company says service – the only major foreign search engine available inside Great Firewall – is inaccessible Microsoft’s Bing search engine has been blocked in China, the company says, making it the latest foreign technology service to be shut down behind the country’s Great Firewall. “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” the company said in a statement. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • ‘No connection’ between detention of Yang Hengjun and Canadians, says Marise Payne

    Australia’s foreign minister calls on China to act ‘fairly and transparently’ over detention of popular blogger and writer Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne believes there is no connection between the detention of Australian writer Yang Hengjun in China, and the cases of two Canadians in custody. Australian embassy officials in Beijing had an initial meeting with Chinese authorities on Thursday. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Ahok, Jakarta's former governor, released after jail term for blasphemy

    Indonesian politician Basuki Tjahaja Purnama freed amid rumours he may seek to resurrect his political fortunes Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, best known as “Ahok”, has been released from prison after serving out his controversial two-year sentence for insulting Islam. The Indonesian politician was controversially jailed in May 2017 after a court found him guilty of blasphemy for a comment he made while campaigning for re-election. Continue reading

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  • Kim Jong-un expresses 'great satisfaction' at Trump letter ahead of talks

    North Korea’s leader is making ‘good technical preparations’ for February summit, official news agency reports North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has expressed “great satisfaction” after receiving a letter from Donald Trump ahead of a second summit between the two leaders, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Thursday. Kim is making “good technical preparations” for the meeting, the official KCNA news agency said, in the country’s first comments on the talks scheduled for February. Continue reading

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  • 'Please help me': refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi tells of his Thai jail ordeal

    Exclusive: In an interview with the Guardian he pleads for his release and says he fears torture and jail if extradited to Bahrain Hakeem al-Araibi, the refugee footballer from Bahrain who was detained in Thailand while on his honeymoon, has said he is “losing hope” and believes he will be tortured again or even killed if he is deported to Bahrain. Speaking to the Guardian from Bangkok Remand Prison, a visibly distressed Al-Araibi said he was “terrified ” and that his fear was “getting worse...

    the Guardian
  • Trump's remarks could stymie US extradition of Huawei CFO from Canada

    Canada’s ambassador to China said Meng Wanzhou had ‘good arguments on her side,’ in part because of Trump’s remarks A top Huawei executive detained in Canada can make a good case against being extradited to the United States – in part because of remarks made by US president Donald Trump, according to Canada’s ambassador to China. John McCallum’s remarks to Chinese-language media on Tuesday were the most explicit indication yet from a Canadian official that Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial...

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong unveils bill making mocking of China's anthem a crime

    Critics say proposal that includes jail terms of up to three years and hefty fines raises fears over freedom of speech.

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  • Thailand marks stilted return to democracy with March election

    The election, to be held on 24 March, will be the first since the 2014 military coup Thailand will hold its long-awaited general election, the first since the 2014 military coup, on 24 March. The official announcement of the date, which came hours after King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed a royal decree formalising the election, marks a significant moment in Thailand’s stilted return to democracy. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • How tobacco industry donations cloud debates over cigarette controls

    Free-market thinktanks from Malaysia to Chile and Australia received funding from the industry alongside governments as they argued against tobacco controlsRevealed: the free-market groups helping the tobacco industrySmoking kills more than 27,200 Malaysians every year. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Inside China's leading 'sponge city': Wuhan's war with water

    The next 15 megacities #9: Known as ‘the city of a hundred lakes’ until most got paved over, Wuhan has a flooding problem. Can permeable pavements and artificial wetlands soak it up? Take a stroll down the central Chinese city’s Fan Lake Road or Fruit Lake Street and despite their names you won’t see any large bodies of water – unless it has been raining very hard, that is. Wuhan was once known as “the city of a hundred lakes”. It had 127 lakes in its central area alone in the 1980s, but decades...

    the Guardian
  • South Korea unveils biggest ever investigation into abuse in sport

    Human rights commission to interview possibly thousands of adults and children in wake of allegations South Korea’s human rights commission plans to interview possibly thousands of adult and child athletes about a culture of abuse in sports after a wave of female athletes came forward to allege they had been raped or assaulted by their coaches. The year-long investigation will cover 50 sports and include children competing from primary schools upwards, Park Hong-geun, an official from the...

    the Guardian
  • Naomi Osaka sponsor apologises for 'whitewashing' tennis star in ad

    Noodle company Nissin says it will ‘pay more attention to diversity issues in the future’ One of Naomi Osaka’s sponsors has been forced to apologise after depicting the Japanese tennis star, who is half-Haitian, with pale skin in an advertisement. Nissin featured Osaka in an ad for its Cup Noodle range of instant ramen. It depicts Osaka, who holds dual Japanese and American citizenship, with pale skin, wavy brown hair and Caucasian facial features. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Friends fear Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been detained in China

    The novelist, blogger and former Chinese diplomat did not complete the second leg of his travel plans from Guangzhou to Shanghai The Australian government is investigating the fate of a citizen who is reportedly being detained in China. Yang Hengjun is a former Chinese diplomat, a novelist and blogger who obtained a PhD at the University of Technology Sydney and later became an Australian citizen. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong: bill seeks to make insulting Chinese anthem a crime

    Those breaking the rule could be jailed for up to three years and fined under proposed legislation Hong Kong is set to introduce a controversial bill on Wednesday that would make disrespecting the Chinese national anthem a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, raising fresh fears about freedom of expression in the city. Chinese authorities have sought to instil greater patriotism in the former British colony at a time of heightened tension between democracy activists and forces loyal...

    the Guardian
  • 'I'm being watched': Anne-Marie Brady, the China critic living in fear of Beijing

    New Zealand academic says Chinese intimidation tactics she has studied are now being used against her It’s just gone midday at Canterbury University and Professor Anne-Marie Brady is rock-hopping across a crystal clear stream. The life-long academic takes an overgrown bush track to reach the Okeover community gardens, her eyes scanning the sky for native birds.. It’s the height of summer in Christchurch and the garden is filled with rhubarb plants, clumps of chewy spinach and spring onions whose...

    the Guardian
  • Abu Bakar Bashir must renounce radicalism before release, says Indonesia

    President changes tack after agreeing to release alleged mastermind behind Bali bombings on humanitarian grounds Indonesia’s president says the alleged mastermind behind the Bali bombings won’t be released from prison unless he renounces radicalism, backing down from plans to free him without conditions. President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday that Abu Bakar Bashir must fulfil conditions such as loyalty to the state and the national ideology to be eligible for release. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Anger in New Zealand over interview with leader of gang accused of sexually assaulting girls

    Joseph Parker, who led ‘Roast Busters’ group that boasted of sex with underage girls, has also launched fundraiser for his music career Women’s advocacy groups have criticised the decision to broadcast a TV interview with the ringleader of a gang that bragged about having sex with underage, intoxicated girls in New Zealand. The interview coincided with an attempt to crowdfund his music career. Joseph Parker told Newshub he was not a “monster”, adding: “we didn’t do all the things that people...

    the Guardian
  • Dyson to move company HQ to Singapore

    CEO says far east relocation is more about ‘future-proofing’ business than anything to do with Brexit Sir James Dyson, the British billionaire inventor and outspoken Brexiter, is moving the headquarters of his vacuum cleaner and hair dryer technology company to Singapore. The company’s chief executive, Jim Rowan, said the move from Wiltshire to Singapore had “nothing to do with Brexit” but was about “future-proofing” the business. The move of Dyson’s legal entity from the UK to Singapore “will...

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong from the skies – in pictures

    An urban photo essay of the Chinese territory made between October and December 2018 Continue reading

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  • Xi warns China to maintain political security against 'black swans' of economic volatility

    President focuses on party’s ideological discipline as economic growth slows to weakest in nearly 30 years Chinese president Xi Jinping has warned officials to be vigilant against any threats to the party’s “political security”, underlining uncertainty in Beijing as the economy falters. Xi spoke at a study session for top provincial leaders, ministers, and other party leaders on Monday, the same day official economic data showed the Chinese economy last year grew at its weakest pace in almost 30...

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