9 January 2020


  • US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington may have to take preemptive action to protect American lives. Photo: AFP

    Pentagon sees signs Iran or proxies may be planning more attacks

    Jan 3, 2020 8:48am
    US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said there are indications Iran or forces it backs may be planning additional attacks, Reuters reports. He also warned that the “game has changed” and it is possible the United States...
  • A Reuters investigation revealed that US intelligence contractors clandestinely assisted a foreign spying operation in the United Arab Emirates, helping the monarchy to crack down on internal dissent. Photo: Reuters

    US passes legislation on overseas sales of cyber tools

    Jan 3, 2020 8:11am
    Newly passed legislation will push the US State Department to disclose how it polices the sale of cyber tools and services abroad. The move followed a Reuters investigation which revealed that American intelligence contractors clandestinely assisted...
  • Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said he had fled to Lebanon to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system in Japan. Photo: Handout / Representatives for Carlos Ghosn / AFP

    Lebanon receives Interpol arrest warrant for Ghosn

    Jan 3, 2020 7:46am
    Lebanon received an Interpol arrest warrant on Thursday for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, while Turkey launched an investigation into his daring escape from Japan via Istanbul, Reuters reports. Ghosn has become an international fugitive after...
  • Tsai Ing-wen talks to the media on Dec 25 as Taiwan prepares for the Jan 11 presidential contest. For the pan-green coalition, the passage of an anti-infiltration bill on Tuesday was like a big gift for the New Year. Photo: Reuters

    Why anti-infiltration law will help Taiwan’s pan-green coalition

    - Jan 2, 2020 5:38pm
    On the final day of 2019, an anti-infiltration bill proposed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) passed the third reading in Taiwan’s legislature despite a sit-in protest staged by lawmakers of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT)....
  • The People’s Bank of China has referred to its latest RRR cut as a ‘counter-cyclical’ measure to support economic growth and improve the access to financing. Photo: Reuters

    China makes another move to support economic growth

    - Jan 2, 2020 5:06pm
    China’s economy has shown much?resilience last year despite a series of internal and external challenges, including swine flu, trade war, and the unrest in Hong Kong. Though the economic performance is commendable, authorities still need to...
  • Indonesians ride on the back of a truck to travel across a flood-affected area after heavy rains in Jakarta on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Flood death toll rises in Jakarta, tens of thousands evacuated

    Jan 2, 2020 4:32pm
    Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Thursday after flash floods and landslides in the area killed up to 21 people, with more heavy rain forecast, Reuters reports. The flooding, among...
  • The United States sold Taiwan 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in 2010, but it is not clear if the helicopter in Thursday’s incident was one of them. Photo: AFP

    Taiwan military chief among eight dead in helicopter crash

    Jan 2, 2020 3:51pm
    Taiwan’s top military official was among eight people killed on Thursday after the helicopter carrying them made a forced landing in a mountainous area near the capital Taipei, Reuters reports, citing the defense ministry. The main...
  • Cars drive in smog on the road to Cooma from Canberra in Bredbo, Australia on  Wednesday. Photo: Linsay Patterson via Reuters

    Mass evacuation in Australia as wildfires raze holiday towns

    Jan 2, 2020 3:26pm
    Tens of thousands of holiday makers raced to evacuate popular seaside towns on Australia’s east coast on Wednesday, fleeing ahead of advancing bushfires, as military ships and helicopters began rescuing thousands more trapped by the blazes....
  • There are 570 cities, some with populations in excess of 10 million, in areas at risk in the world from rising sea levels. Photo: Reuters

    Sponge Cities – Smart cities for the future

    - Jan 2, 2020 1:26pm
    Companies tackling climate-change solutions for urban areas can deliver environmental benefits and higher shareholder returns Until recently, Wuhan was one of many Chinese cities where a rapidly expanding concrete and asphalt landscape had created severe flooding...
  • Carrie Lam and her master in Beijing, Xi Jinping, have been unmoved by months of protests by Hong Kong people demanding greater democracy, among other things. Photo: Reuters

    The disease of the quasi-dictators

    - Jan 2, 2020 12:57pm
    The world is dancing to the tune of a handful of psychologically flawed men and women. As George Woodcock, biographer of George Orwell wrote, ‘love of power is a sickness that shapes and corrupts not only...
  • Protesters and militia fighters burn tires outside the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, during a demonstration to condemn airstrikes on bases belonging to paramilitary forces. Photo: Reuters

    A decade of dissent: Why we could see more of the same

    - Jan 2, 2020 11:56am
    Like 2019, the new year and perhaps the new decade is likely to be pockmarked by popular protest, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The question is what the protests that last year toppled...
  • A member of Iraqi security forces stands guard during a protest to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), in Baghdad on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    Iran-backed Iraqi militias quit US embassy after protests

    Jan 2, 2020 11:12am
    Supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups who stormed the US Embassy’s perimeter in Baghdad and hurled rocks in two days of protests withdrew on Wednesday after Washington dispatched extra troops and threatened reprisals against Tehran, Reuters...
  • David Stern transformed the NBA, which at one time was largely an unknown commodity outside the United States, into a globally-televised powerhouse. Photo: Reuters

    Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at 77

    Jan 2, 2020 9:02am
    Former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner David Stern, who oversaw the explosive growth in the popularity of the game during his tenure, has died at the age of 77, the league said on Wednesday. Stern, who...
  • Police stand at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 11, 2019. Photo: Reuters

    Major commercial plane crash deaths down over 50% in 2019

    Jan 2, 2020 8:24am
    A Dutch consulting firm said the number of people killed in large commercial airplane crashes fell by more than 50 percent in 2019 despite a high-profile Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia in March, Reuters reports.?...
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes the missile and nuclear tests will not resume, in line with relevant Security Council resolutions. Photo: Xinhua

    UN chief concerned over N Korea plan to resume weapons tests

    Jan 2, 2020 8:07am
    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply concerned” that North Korea has indicated it could resume nuclear and missile tests, Reuters reports, citing a UN spokesman. “The Secretary-General very much hopes that the tests will not resume,...
  • An Indonesian official points at the location of North Natuna Sea on a map of Indonesia. Photo: Reuters

    Indonesia rejects China’s claims over South China Sea

    Jan 2, 2020 7:55am
    Indonesia said it rejects China’s claims over a disputed part of the South China Sea as “having no legal basis”, after earlier protesting to Beijing over the presence of a Chinese coastguard vessel in its territorial...
  • Pope Francis slaps the hand of a woman who grabbed him at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Dec. 31. Photo: Vatican Media/Handout via Reuters

    Pope apologizes for ‘bad example’ of slapping pilgrim’s arm

    Jan 2, 2020 7:46am
    Pope Francis apologized for having angrily slapped a woman’s arm when she had grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him toward her, saying he had lost his patience and set a “bad example”. His unusual...
  • People walk past a house that is believed to belong to Carlos Ghosn in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

    Carlos Ghosn says he fled Japan ‘to escape injustice’

    Dec 31, 2019 5:44pm
    Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn confirmed on Tuesday that he fled to Lebanon, saying he didn’t want to be “held hostage” by a “rigged” justice system in Japan where he had been awaiting trial on financial...
  • Evergrande founder Xu Jiayin is not giving up on a fight with a mainland businessman who had registered the billionaire tycoon's name as a trademark. Photo: Reuters

    A Chinese property tycoon fights an unusual trademark battle

    - Dec 31, 2019 4:58pm
    Mainland property tycoon Xu Jiayin, founder of China Evergrande Group (03333.HK), surprisingly lost in a lawsuit against a company that uses the billionaire’s name as a trademark. In 2013, a Chinese businessman named Chen Huanran registered...
  • A file picture shows former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn leaving a detention house in Tokyo on April 25, 2019. Awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, he is now reported to have left Japan. Photo: Reuters

    Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn leaves Japan, in Beirut now: report

    Dec 31, 2019 10:52am
    Carlos Ghosn, the ousted boss of the Renault-Nissan carmaking alliance who was grounded in Japan while awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct, was in Lebanon as of Monday, a person close to Ghosn told Reuters....