Beijing hits back at New Zealand’s Ardern after Nato comments

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – China has responded to New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern’s warning at the Nato summit that Beijing is becoming increasingly assertive and more willing to challenge international norms. “We have taken note of the relevant comment made by the New Zealand side at the Nato session, which includes some misguided accusations against China,” […]

China responds to ‘provocations’ of Australian, Canadian military aircraft

BEIJING (XINHUA, REUTERS) – A Chinese defence spokesman on Thursday (June 30) responded to provocative acts of Australian and Canadian military aircraft, and warned that those who come uninvited would bear the consequences. Mr Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence, made the remarks in response to Australia and Canada’s hyping up […]

Bhutan to welcome tourists ‘who can spend’ for first time since Covid-19

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) – Bhutan will reopen for international tourists from September for the first time since the pandemic began more than two years ago, officials said on Thursday (June 30), as the tiny Himalayan kingdom looks to revive its economy. Wedged between China and India, the country with scenic natural beauty and ancient Buddhist culture, […]

North Korea blames ‘alien things’ near border with South for Covid-19 outbreak

SEOUL (REUTERS) – North Korea claimed on Friday (July 1) the country’s first Covid-19 outbreak began with patients touching “alien things” near the border with South Korea, apparently shifting blame to the neighbour for the wave of infections that hit the isolated country. Announcing its probe results, the North ordered its people to “vigilantly deal […]

Indonesia passes law to create more provinces in Papua

JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia’s parliament passed on Thursday (June 30) legislation to create three new provinces in its underdeveloped region of Papua, a move critics fear could undermine the standing of the area’s indigenous population and threaten special autonomy powers. The South-east Asian nation’s easternmost region, currently split between Papua and West Papua, will now […]

Taliban must protect the lives of its citizens with support from international community: Japan News

TOKYO (THE JAPAN NEWS/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – All governments have a responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens. The Islamist Taliban that governs Afghanistan must cooperate with the international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis. More than 1,000 people were killed and many more were injured when an earthquake struck a […]

Thousands gather at all-male meeting to rubber-stamp Taliban rule

KABUL (AFP) – Obedience to the leadership was the most important principle of Afghanistan’s Islamic system, a senior Taliban official said on Thursday (June 30), as thousands of religious scholars gathered in the capital for a men-only meeting to discuss the group’s hardline rule. Officials have provided scant details of the “jirga” – a traditional […]

Australia bets on clean power to avoid another market failure

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – Australia’s biggest grid has released a multibillion-dollar plan to ease its transition away from coal and avoid pitfalls that earlier this month led to the unprecedented step of temporarily taking over the spot power market. An A$12.7 billion (S$12.2 billion) investment in transmission projects would double its value in net market benefits, […]