Asia Pacific Headlines

  • Australia to shut state border as Melbourne infections surge...

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities were preparing to close the border between the country's two largest states, as the country's second-largest city, Melbourne, recorded two deaths

    AP NEWS
  • Shark finning: why the ocean's most barbaric practice continues to boom

    The recent seizure of the biggest shipment of illegal fins in Hong Kong history shows the taste for shark is still going strong In the narrow streets of Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood, the centre of Hong Kong’s dried seafood trade, most window displays give pride of place to a particular item: shark fins. Perched on shelves, stuffed in jars and stacked in bags, shark fins are offered in all shapes and sizes. Several shops even include “shark fin” in their name. Fins are lucrative, fetching as much...

    the Guardian
  • Xu Zhangrun, outspoken critic of Xi Jinping, detained by police in Beijing

    Professor had been under house arrest after writing an essay lambasting the president over his response to coronavirus

    the Guardian
  • US interest in moving to New Zealand jumps amid Covid-19

    Figures show 65% rise in Americans thinking of emigrating to land where coronavirus has been effectively eliminatedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAmerican interest in moving to New Zealand has spiked during the coronavirus crisis, with the number of people seeking information on how to emigrate climbing by 65% during May. New Zealand went into lockdown on 25 March and by May was beginning to loosen restrictions, with the disease effectively eliminated by shutting the...

    the Guardian
  • Rescuers search for survivors of Japan floods as more heavy rain expected

    At least 50 people have been killed after the river Kuma in Kyushu burst its banks, triggering floods and mudslides Rescue workers were combing through the wreckage of houses hit by flooding and landslides in Japan after extreme weather left more than 50 people dead or missing on the southern island of Kyushu. The Kyodo news agency said 40 people had died in the floods and at least 11 were missing. Among the dead were 14 residents of an elderly care home in Kuma village, Kumamoto, where the...

    the Guardian
  • New Zealand's Stuff newspaper group joins Facebook boycott as 'experiment'

    Company says it has ‘paused’ its relationship with the social media company as part of global movement against hate speech New Zealand’s largest newspaper group has temporarily quit Facebook in a bold “experiment” akignment with a global boycott of the social media site, which has been condemned for failing to crack down on escalating hate speech. Stuff is the biggest news media website in New Zealand and owns dozens of newspapers around the country, employing more than 400 journalists. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • Maria Ressa and an attack on the free press in the Philippines – podcast

    One of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines has been convicted of ‘cyberlibel’ in a court process condemned by human rights groups. Journalist Carmela Fonbuena in Manila describes the chilling effect the verdict has had on free expression Maria Ressa is one of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines with decades of experience in print and TV reporting. She is also executive editor of Rappler, an online news site. In June she was convicted in a criminal court of the...

    the Guardian
  • Suspected case of bubonic plague found in city in Inner Mongolia

    Bayan Nur has forbidden the hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague and asked the public to report fever with no clear causes Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have issued a warning after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system, on Sunday. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Global report: second local lockdown in Spain; second wave in Israel

    Part of Galicia under strict orders until Friday; Philippines reports its most daily cases yetCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSpain has ringfenced more than 70,000 people in Galicia in the second local lockdown ordered in as many days, as one of Europe’s worst-affected countries in the Covid-19 pandemic scrambles to contain new flare-ups. Around 3,000 residents of public housing tower blocks in Melbourne, Australia, have also been confined to their apartments with...

    the Guardian
  • Boris Johnson now has 'sound reasons' to keep Huawei out of UK 5G

    Former MI6 chief said US sanctions on Huawei meant Chinese telecoms firm now posed security risks to UK Boris Johnson now has “sound technical reasons” to reverse his decision to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to play a role in building the UK’s 5G infrastructure, a former head of MI6 said on Sunday. Sir John Sawers said new US sanctions imposed on the company meant that allowing Huawei to expand its grip on the UK telecoms market posed security risks that did not apply when the government...

    the Guardian
  • Hongkongers face a Kafkaesque reality as censors outlaw the words of protest

    Opponents of the national security law have been reduced to holding blank sheets of paper to avoid instant arrest Writing about the protest movement in Hong Kong, I began to notice the absences everywhere I went. A moving patchwork of white, black and grey squares decorated walls and pavements, as more and more protest slogans were erased from the public gaze. Now, with Beijing’s enactment of national security legislation in Hong Kong, that void has suddenly gaped wider, swallowing words, ideas,...

    the Guardian
  • 'Alarm bells': how China's assertiveness led to Australia's defence overhaul

    The Morrison government re-centres defence strategy on the Indo-Pacific region – and subtly changes tone on the US It may well be the biggest shift in Australia’s defence strategy in decades. The Australian government has ordered the military to focus mainly on Australia’s backyard, to acquire longer-range missiles to build up its own ability to deter threats from countries such as China, and cautioned the United States not to necessarily expect Australian participation in future coalition...

    the Guardian
  • Record rainfall triggers floods and landslides in Japan – video

    Record heavy rain in western Japan has caused widespread flooding and landslides, forcing authorities to issue evacuation orders for more than 76,000 residents. Television footage shows homes and vehicles in Kumamoto prefecture partly submerged, and several bridges have been washed awayJapan floods: nursing home residents feared deadAt least two people die as record heavy rain lashes Japan Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong protesters use 'hidden language' to dodge security law

    Residents use wordplay and even Chinese Communist Party literature to express dissent against new national security law.

    @AJENews
  • Japan floods: nursing home residents feared dead

    Fourteen victims found in cardio-respiratory arrest in western region after record rainfall Fourteen people were feared dead at a nursing home in western Japan as record rainfall triggered floods and landslides, forcing authorities to issue evacuation advisories for more than 200,000 residents. The victims were found in cardio-respiratory arrest on Saturday at the facility for elderly people. It was flooded after a nearby river broke its banks, governor Ikuo Kabashima from the Kumamoto region...

    the Guardian
  • 'Hidden language': Hongkongers get creative against security law

    Residents use wordplay including repurposed Chinese Communist party dogma to express frustration Hongkongers are finding creative ways to voice dissent after Beijing blanketed the city in a new security law and police began arresting people displaying now forbidden political slogans. Faced with the sudden threat of prosecution for anything that might promote greater autonomy or independence for the restless city, residents are using wordplay and even subverting Chinese Communist party dogma to...

    the Guardian
  • Queenstown: a tourist town with no tourists, fights despair among stranded workers

    Droves of travellers drawn to the southern alps resort to work in restaurants and hotels face hardship amid Covid-19 border closuresCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTwo months after the end of lockdown and the resort hub of Queenstown is slowly showing signs of life. It’s lunchtime at the mall and while many shops and restaurants remain closed, some have begun to trade again, catering to locals and a trickle of domestic travellers. Those braving the winter cold at...

    the Guardian
  • Timor-Leste: court upholds Australian government refusal to release documents on Indonesia's invasion

    Exclusive: ruling says releasing cables and cabinet documents could damage Australia’s security Decades-old documents relating to Australia’s involvement in the Indonesian invasion of Timor-Leste will remain secret after a court upheld the Australian government’s refusal to release them. It took the administrative appeals tribunal more than two years to rule on the case, finding that releasing the documents “could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the security or international relations...

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong journalists and lawyers scramble to adapt to security law

    Accounts deleted and social media erased as members of both professions question – in private – how to operate Journalists and lawyers in Hong Kong are scrambling to adapt as Chinese authorities set up the apparatus to enforce a controversial national security law, including appointing a hardline party official to head a new security agency. Zheng Yanxiong, who is best known for tackling protests on the mainland, is to run the office established under the law that empowers mainland security...

    the Guardian
  • China's stock market closes at highest level in five years

    Caixin/Markit PMI continues to recover from February trough when coronavirus lockdown was most severe Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage China’s stock market has closed at its highest level in five years after the latest data from the world’s second biggest economy showed the service sector expanding at its fastest pace in a decade. Shares in Shanghai were boosted by news that the Caixin/Markit purchasing managers’ index had continued to recover from the trough reached...

    the Guardian
  • 'Our pastures have been taken': Indians rue China's Himalayan land grab

    Exclusive: image obtained by Guardian shows substantial Chinese military structures erected despite agreements to disengage Namgyal Durbuk knows the steep mountainous terrain of Ladakh like the back of his hand. But in the 45 years he has lived here, along the Indian state’s volatile and poorly defined border with neighbouring China, he has watched Indian land disappear before his eyes. “The Indian government is lying that there is no land capture by China,” said Durbuk, a former councillor....

    the Guardian
  • Hong Kong activists planning 'parliament in exile' after China brings in security law

    Campaigner Simon Cheng, granted asylum in UK, says shadow parliament would send ‘clear signal’ to Beijing Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are discussing a plan to create an unofficial parliament-in-exile to preserve democracy and send a message to China that freedom cannot be crushed, campaigner Simon Cheng has said. Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, was convulsed by months of often violent, pro-democracy and anti-China demonstrations last year,...

    the Guardian
  • Delay pregnancy for two years: Papua New Guinea doctor delivers coronavirus warning

    Fears over Covid-19 have seen pregnant women turned away from hospitals, leading to the death of at least one baby, as national army barracks go into lockdown A leading Papua New Guinean obstetrician has advised women in that country not to fall pregnant for up to two years, saying fears of Covid-19 transmission have seen pregnant women turned away from hospitals, resulting in the death of at least one baby. The warning comes as Papua New Guinea’s military headquarters remains in lockdown after...

    the Guardian
  • Global report: WHO official says no large hidden toll in Africa

    African Union says tourism revenues down $55bn; Indonesia reports biggest daily increase in casesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe World Health Organization has said it does not believe African countries are harbouring a significant number of unrecorded coronavirus infections, though it said there may be underestimates in some places. Africa has reported 416,063 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10,297 deaths, according to a Reuters tally based on government...

    the Guardian