March 29, 2020

Asia

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Thailand reports 136 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 1,524
Asia

BANGKOK: Thailand saw 136 new coronavirus cases on Monday (Mar 30), raising the total number of infections to 1,524, said the spokesman of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).Infections in Thailand are likely to keep rising, and recently new cases have been reported more in the provinces than in the Thai capital, Bangkok, spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin said.No new deaths were reported, and the overall death toll stood at seven since the outbreak began in January. The Thai government on Friday ordered the closing down of more public facilities and businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus, and has extended existing closures until the end of April.The provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani in southern Thailand are in lockdown while several other provinces have issued orders to restrict the opening and closing times of 24-hour convenience stores.
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BYD’s blade-shaped battery could redefine EV safety
Asia

Imagine an electrical vehicle battery that can increase energy density per unit of volume by 50%, improve safety and enable a car to travel up to 600 kilometres on a single charge. It appears the l…
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North Korea hails 'super large' launcher test as virus timing condemned
Asia

North Korea hailed a test of "super large" rocket launchers, just hours after the South condemned the state as "inappropriate" for pursing tests amid the global coronavirus outbreakOn Sunday, South Korea said two short-range missiles had been fired, the latest in a flurry of tests this month.The North generally ramps up missile tests in the spring and the global virus outbreak has not deterred it.It has reported no virus cases, but experts have cast doubt on this.Sunday's test was of two short-range ballistic missiles fired from the eastern city of Wonsan. They flew for 410km (255 miles) with a maximum altitude of around 50km before falling into the sea, the South Korean military said.Then on Monday, North Korean state media outlet KCNA reported that it had successfully tested "super large" multiple rocket launchers.
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China’s economy rushed into intensive care
Asia

It used to be said in treasury circles that when the United States sneezed, the rest of the world caught a cold. But in 2020, when China suffered a severe viral infection, the planet ended up in in…
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Trump ditches hopes of quick bounce-back for US
Asia

Live version of coronavirus map President Donald Trump on Sunday abandoned his timetable for life returning to normal in the United States, extending emergency coronavirus restrictions for another …
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Singapore eases monetary policy as economy is hit
Asia

Singapore’s central bank eased monetary policy Monday as the city-state, seen as a bellwether for the health of global trade, heads for a deep recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. The e…
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US and China swapping insults, blaming each other for COVID-19 won’t help solve the problem: PM Lee
Asia

SINGAPORE: US-China ties were already “complicated” before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the blame game between them over the outbreak will not help "solve the problem sooner", particularly in a time when countries need to work together, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.Mr Lee was speaking on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, which aired on Sunday (Mar 29).“It is a most unfortunate situation to be in,” he said.“US-China relations have been complicated even before this. But if we are going to deal with this virus, you have got to get all the countries to be working together, in particular, US and China.“Under the best of circumstances, it is going to be a very difficult challenge for mankind. But if the US and the Chinese are swapping insults and blaming one another for inventing the virus and letting it loose on the world, I do not think that that is going to help us solve the problem sooner.”
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Indonesia seeks to pre-empt Covid-19 social unrest
Asia

JAKARTA – The importance of a new spending package is growing by the day as the Indonesian government seeks to head off potential unrest on the streets and prevent Jakarta’s unemployed f…
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Gulf's massive migrant workforce fears virus limbo
Asia

DOHA: Millions of migrant workers across the Gulf face uncertainty as host countries lock down, employers withhold wages or mull redundancies, and strict coronavirus containment measures lead to deportations and confinement."We've been in lockdown for the last eight to 10 days, we don't know when it will end," said a 27-year-old Pakistani engineer in Qatar beginning a second week under mandatory quarantine."The basic issue we are facing now is groceries. The government is providing us with food but only after some days - and little things only."He is among tens of thousands of workers strictly confined to Doha's Industrial Area after dozens in the blue-collar district tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
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Coronavirus: for crazy rich Asians, private islands offer the ultimate quarantine (and they’re cheaper than you think)
Asia

While the coronavirus outbreak has left many people self-quarantining in flats of just a few hundred square feet, super-rich Asians have a more appealing option for refuge: their own private island. Sales agents say they have been flooded with enquiries from Asia’s wealthiest seeking an investment that can serve as both a bolt-hole from the raging pandemic and a long-term investment. What is more, while some of these private idylls sell for up to US$100 million, some go for as little as US$55…
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South Korea COVID-19 cases rise steadily, more financial aid expected
Asia

SEOUL: South Korea reported 78 new coronavirus cases on Monday (Mar 30), keeping the rate of infections fairly steady, as President Moon Jae-in held an emergency meeting with economic policymakers to discuss financial support for the public.The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the national tally stood at 9,661, while the death toll rose by 6 to 158. It added that 195 more people had recovered from the virus for a total of 5,228.The daily number of new infections in South Korea has been hovering around 100 or less for the past three weeks, but authorities have tightened border checks as small outbreaks continued to emerge and the number of imported cases rose. At least 13 of the latest cases were overseas travellers, KCDC data showed.
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China reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in mainland
Asia

BEIJING: Mainland China reported 31 new coronavirus cases on Sunday (Mar 29), including one locally transmitted infection, the country's National Health Commission said, dropping from 45 cases a day earlier.The commission said in a statement on Monday that four new deaths were reported, putting the cumulative death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in the mainland at 3,304 at the end on March 29. Total number of infections to date rose to 81,470.Hubei province, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged in late 2019, reported no new cases for the sixth consecutive day on Sunday after the province of 60 million people lifted its traffic restrictions and resumed some domestic flights to other parts of China.
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Australia limits public gatherings to 2 in toughest measures yet to contain COVID-19 spread
Asia

In parts of Australia, gatherings of more than 2 people in public may incur an on-the-spot fine of A$1,600. Correspondent Roger Maynard explains why the government is imposing such strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more: https://cna.asia/3dArqHX #coronavirus #COVID19
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Why recruitment startup Glints is focusing on education
Asia

Glints, which just launched a coding bootcamp last year, wants to be a comprehensive platform for recruitment and education.
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Coronavirus cluster emerges at another South Korean church, as others press ahead with Sunday services
Asia

Another controversial religious sect in South Korea has come under public scrutiny with a cluster of at least 22 coronavirus cases, as some protestant churches went ahead with worship services on Sunday despite a government order for social distancing.Health authorities have been tracing close contacts of at least 200 church-goers after a member of the Manmin Central Church in Seoul’s western district of Guro tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.As of Sunday afternoon, 22 people linked to…
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Singapore’s central bank in unprecedented easing action as deep recession looms
Asia

Singapore’s central bank took unprecedented easing steps Monday to support an economy on track for its worst recession in years due to the rapid global spread of the coronavirus.The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which uses the exchange rate as its main policy tool rather than a benchmark interest rate, recentered the currency band downwards and reduced the slope to zero. All economists surveyed by Reuters and Bloomberg this month expected the central bank to ease as policymakers worldwide…
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Coronavirus tsunami could drown Southeast Asia, with its effects rippling across the globe
Asia

In Southeast Asia, a region of some 655 million people, a humanitarian catastrophe looms as the Covid-19 pandemic advances and economies falter. The number of officially confirmed cases across the region is lower than the hardest-hit parts of the world. But these numbers are accelerating and the reported figures will represent only a fraction of the true number of infections. Even if the virus proves to do less well in warm climates, Southeast Asia has all the ingredients for larger-scale…
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'No farewells, no ceremonies': China's Hubei cremates coronavirus dead
Asia

JINGZHOU, China: Ten unclaimed urns sit in the crematorium in Jingzhou, a city in central China's Hubei province hard-hit by coronavirus.Not only are funerals banned across China, in places like Jingzhou bereaved relatives who are stuck in their homes must wait even to retrieve the remains of their loved ones.The ashes of the dead "are under our care for now because their family members are in quarantine, or they're away and can't come back yet," said the director of the Jingzhou crematorium, who gave only his surname, Sheng, as he was not permitted to speak to the media."No farewells, no ceremonies are allowed," Sheng told Reuters matter-of-factly in his office in the bare, off-white building.
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China’s portable Red Arrow 12 delivers powerful punch
Asia

The HJ-12E Red Arrow 12 is a portable, fire-and-forget anti-tank missile capable of hitting tanks, bunkers, ships and helicopters, with a penetration capability of 1,100 millimeters — in other word…
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Coronavirus: as quarantine measures bite in South Korea, working class takes hardest hit
Asia

Jung Mi-kyeong, 52, stands by the counter inside her sporting goods store drinking coffee. This past week was supposed to be one of the busiest of the year for her store, which specialises in hiking and camping equipment, as South Koreans geared up for spring outings. But on this day, like so many others during the past month, the only sound coming out of her store was music from her playlist. In her 25 years of selling clothes in the city of Paju, northwest of Seoul, she has never faced a…
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North Korea says it conducted successful test of multiple rocket launchers
Asia

SEOUL: North Korea's latest test of super-large multiple rocket launchers a day earlier was a success, state media said on Monday (Mar 30).North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Sunday, the latest in a flurry of launches that South Korea decried as "inappropriate" amid the coronavirus pandemic.The North's official KCNA news agency said the launch was aimed at examining the strategic and technical features of the "super-large multiple rocket launchers," which has been tested multiple times since last August overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, ahead of deployment.KCNA did not mention Kim's attendance at the latest test, led by ruling party vice chairman Ri Pyong Chol and conducted at the Academy of National Defense Science.
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Japanese comedian Ken Shimura dies from coronavirus
Asia

TOKYO: Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, who had been hospitalised after being infected with COVID-19, has died, becoming the first Japanese celebrity to die of the virus.His death, late on Sunday, set off widespread grief among fans.Shimura, 70, one of Japan's best-known comedians with a career dating back to the early 1970s, reportedly had lung cancer surgery in 2016. He developed a fever and respiratory problems on Mar 19 and was hospitalised, media said.Dominating the television comedy scene in the 1970s and 1980s, one of his best-known acts was a clueless feudal lord with a face painted white with thick black eyebrows.He was also previously a member of rock ’n’ roll band and comedy group The Drifters, which opened for the Beatles' first ever concert in Japan in 1966.
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