August 08, 2020

Asia

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What Makes Singapore's National Day 2020 Celebration Remarkable? | On The Red Dot | Full Episode
Asia

This year, Singapore's National Day Parade is facing its greatest challenge ever. As the country turns 55 in the wake of a global pandemic, social-distancing measures mean there will be no mass displays, no grand platforms and no spectators in the thousands. Instead, it's being scaled back and split up, with the iconic state flag flypast taken into the heartlands. How will the participants pull together and deliver a show to remember of the times today? On The Red Dot playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkMf14VQEvTYbQaR9ddxnJmJRangPrY5f =========== About On The Red Dot: CNA's weekly programme documents the stories of ordinary Singaporeans and celebrates their resilience, identity and sense of belonging. =========== #CNAInsider #OnTheRedDot #AloneTogetherCNA
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Rescuers shaken by 'blood and death' of Air India Express disaster
Asia

KOZHIKODE, India: Indian authorities had practised for years for a jet overshooting the "table-top" runway at Kozhikode airport, but local resident Fazal Puthiyakath was not prepared for the "blood and death" of the real thing.The 32-year-old businessman and his neighbours were first on the scene after an Air India Express plane crashed over the runway down a 10m bank and broke in two during a fierce storm late Friday (Aug 7), killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 120.Puthiyakath and others rushed out after hearing "a blast-like" roar."All that we could hear were screams all around. People were soaked in blood everywhere, some had fractures, some were unconscious," he told AFP.The impact was so brutal that the nose of the Boeing 737 finished about 20m from the back half of the jet.
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Think telemarketers are a pest? Wait till China’s AI versions call
Asia

Shanghai resident Fan Kaiyi has been on the receiving end of unsolicited calls for as long as she can remember.Whether at home or on her mobile phone, the digital project coordinator, 38, is bombarded by sales representatives trying to sell her everything from property, insurance policies and pharmaceutical products to fitness classes and emigration services. Others try to convince her to take out bank loans requiring no background checks or collaterals.Lately, the calls have taken a new twist…
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South Korea floods, landslides kill 21 as heavy rains continue
Asia

SEOUL: At least 21 people have died after 46 days of heavy rains in South Korea, with the country's longest monsoon in seven years causing more flooding, landslides and evacuations on Saturday (Aug 8).More than 3,000 people had been evacuated as of 6am local time on Saturday, according to Ministry of the Interior and Safety data, as rains battered the southern part of the Korean peninsula. Eleven people are missing.About 100m of levee collapsed at the Seomjin River in the southern edge of the peninsula on Saturday and flooded the area, an official at the South Jeolla province said, with about 1,900 people evacuated in the province including about 500 from around the river.The country's forestry agency has raised landslide warnings to its highest level in every region except the holiday island of Jeju.
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Thai protesters demand the release of anti-government activists
Asia

BANGKOK: Dozens of protesters gathered in front of a Bangkok court on Saturday (Aug 8) to demand the release of activist leaders, vowing to escalate anti-government demonstrations with a call for a protest in the Thai capital.Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 35, and student activist Panupong Jasnok, 23, were arrested on Friday and held overnight in connection with recent protests demanding greater democracy."Whom does the court serve in this country?" Parit Cheewarak, a student leader widely known by the nickname Penguin, told 60 to 100 protesters in front of Bangkok's Criminal Court."No matter how senior you are, you are not above the taxes that pay your salaries," he said as police watched.Protesters have returned to Thailand's streets to call for the ouster of the government of 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-o-cha after a disputed general election last year that activists say was engineered to ensure his hold on power.
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Philippines confirms 4,226 new COVID-19 cases, 41 more deaths
Asia

MANILA: The Philippines' health ministry on Saturday (Aug 8) reported 4,226 new COVID-19 infections and 41 additional deaths.In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections have risen to 126,885 while deaths have reached 2,209, with bulk of cases and casualties reported in the capital.The Philippines, with a population of 107 million, leads Southeast Asian nations in the most number of cases and is second to Indonesia in deaths.The presidential spokesperson on Friday said the country has seen a jump in coronavirus infections due to intensified testing.The Philippines has overtaken Indonesia to record the most cases in Southeast Asia. Infections have surged nearly seven-fold while deaths have more than doubled since a strict lockdown was lifted in June.
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Vietnam cat cafe offers perfect pick-me-up for rescued felines
Asia

HANOI: If your idea of the perfect day is spending it curled up with convalescent rescue cats and a coffee, then one cafe in Vietnam has you covered.Ngao's Home Cafe in Hanoi is a loving home for 15 felines, many of whom were abandoned or found injured after being bitten by dogs or suffering serious accidents."I try to help cats with difficult backgrounds, to heal their physical and mental wounds," said 24-year-old cafe owner Nguyen Thanh Binh ahead of International Cat Day on Saturday. The cafe has clawed its way up the favourite list of many cat lovers since it opened last month, offering coffee and cuddles but also the chance to give the animals medicine and even engage with them on a deeper level.
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COVID-19 deaths in Latin America hit global high
Asia

MONTEVIDEO: Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed Europe on Friday (Aug 7) to become the region hardest-hit by coronavirus deaths, as India passed the sombre step of recording over two million infections.The world's worst-hit region had reported 213,120 fatalities, 460 more than Europe, according to an AFP tally based on official data.Worldwide there have been more than 19 million cases and over 715,000 deaths from the virus first reported in China at the end of last year.The virus has flared up again in areas where it appeared to have been curbed, but it has steadily spread across sprawling territories in India and Africa.India's cases have doubled in three weeks, reaching two million on Friday following a record daily jump of more than 60,000 new infections.
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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern begins re-election campaign after successful coronavirus response
Asia

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kicked off her Labour Party’s election campaign on Saturday riding high in the opinion polls after a successful response to the coronavirus outbreak.Ardern’s popularity as preferred prime minister – often referred to as “Jacindamania” – topped 60 per cent in the latest surveys following her leadership through the Christchurch mosque attacks, the White Island volcanic eruption and the pandemic.Before the virus forced New Zealand to seal its borders, the…
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China reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in mainland
Asia

BEIJING: China reported 31 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Aug 7, down from 37 a day earlier, the country's health authority said on Saturday (Aug 8).Of the new cases, six were imported infections involving travellers from overseas compared with 10 such cases reported a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement published on its website.There were also 14 new asymptomatic cases, same as a day earlier.Total number of infections in mainland China now stand at 84,596, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634. Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram
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Alibaba and Tencent’s investments this week
Asia

Every day, 100k+ smart people read our newsletter. You can sign up here. Hello readers, Two familiar names were spotted making investments this week: Tencent and Alibaba. 👀 The intense rivalry between these Chinese giants isn’t dying down anytime soon. This week, the two unknowingly brought their clash to the companies they invested in, which […]
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Coronavirus: India is turning to faster tests to meet targets
Asia

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has pledged to ramp up testing to one million per day over the next few weeks to tackle one of the world's worst outbreaks of the coronavirus. But can he achieve this, and are the tests being used reliable?At the start of August, around half a million tests were being carried out each day across India on a week's average, according to the international comparison site, Our World in Data. Daily figures released by the Indian government are slightly higher than this.This is a large number but should be put in the context of the size of India's population.It carries out around 36 tests each day for every 100,000 people. In comparison, the figure for South Africa is 69, for Pakistan it's eight, and for the United Kingdom it's 192.
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Republic of Ram: India’s Modi lays foundation for Hindu state with grand temple
Asia

Indian news channels had buzzed with anticipation since Wednesday morning. Within hours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to arrive at the ancient temple town of Ayodhya to lay the foundation stone for a grand temple to Hindu warrior-god Ram. Talking heads analysed the significance of the day. Reporters on the ground relayed the mood across the nation. News anchors provided constant updates on the prime minister’s journey from the capital New Delhi to Ayodhya. As the countdown began for his…
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Trump moves on China apps may create new Internet 'firewall'
Asia

WASHINGTON: A ban by President Donald Trump's administration on Chinese mobile apps such as TikTok and WeChat risks fragmenting an already fragile global Internet and creating an American version of China's "Great Firewall."Fears about the global Internet ecosystem intensified this week with Trump's executive orders banning the popular video app TikTok and Chinese social network WeChat, following a US government directive to prohibit the use of other "untrusted" applications and services from China.The restrictions announced on the basis of what Trump called national security threats move further away from the long-promoted American ideal of a global, open Internet and could invite other countries to follow suit, analysts said.
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The "foster daddy" of Jurong Bird Park
Asia

Baby birds like macaws, lorikeets, and cockatoos are hand-raised by a team of four "foster parents" at Singapore's Jurong Bird Park. From feeding baby chicks to watching their poo, here’s what it’s like to be (almost) a papa bird.
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Making Room: A new 700 sq ft BTO flat that feels like “old Singapore” | CNA Lifestyle
Asia

CNA Lifestyle’s Making Room series look at small homes with big transformations. This week, step back in time as we check out the home of a couple that loves all things nostalgic and filled it with vintage charm and local flavour.
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Coronavirus Vietnam: The mysterious resurgence of Covid-19
Asia

In mid-July, Vietnam still shone as a Covid-19 outlier. No reported deaths, and months without a locally transmitted case.Fans packed into football stadiums, schools had reopened, and customers returned to their favourite cafes."We were already back to normal life," said Mai Xuan Tu, a 27-year-old from Da Nang in central Vietnam. Like many in the coastal city wildly popular with domestic visitors, she works in the tourism industry and was slowly resuming bookings for the tour company she founded.But by the end of July, Da Nang was the epicentre of a new coronavirus outbreak, the source of which has stumped scientists. Cases suddenly surged after 99 straight days with no local transmissions. Last week the city saw the country's first Covid-19 death, a toll that has since risen to 10.
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Carrie Lam: Hong Kong's divisive leader now sanctioned by US
Asia

HONG KONG: Carrie Lam vowed to heal divisions when she became Hong Kong's leader, but her tenure has been marred by massive protests and a crackdown by Beijing that prompted the United States to sanction her.The 63-year-old devout Catholic took over in March 2017, becoming the first woman elevated to the city's top job.But she was not popularly elected. Hong Kong's leaders are instead chosen by a 1,200-strong committee stacked with Beijing loyalists, and Lam secured 777 votes.She vowed to be more responsive to the city's youngsters, who have been at the forefront of a campaign for greater democratic freedoms and measures to combat rising inequality."My priority will be to heal the divide," she said, adding that she would resign if she lost popularity.
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Sushant Singh Rajput: Mystery and voyeurism around Bollywood star's death
Asia

Sushant Singh Rajput lived an extraordinary life - just like some of the characters he played in his hit Bollywood films.But his fairy tale journey, from humble beginnings to stardom, ended on 14 June when he was found dead in his flat at the age of 34. The police in Mumbai, where he lived, said he took his own life. The news devastated millions of his fans, who saw his success as their own.Sushant grew up in Bihar, one of India's poorest states. He worked hard and was admitted to one of India's top engineering colleges - a sure way of securing a bright future for middle class families.But his heart was set on acting. So he dropped out of college and went to Mumbai, a city that makes and breaks thousands of dreams every day.
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From Hakka noodles to satay: What to eat at the new Xin Tekka food hall | CNA Lifestyle
Asia

There’s a new foodie spot in Singapore and it’s at Tekka Place – the new food court features comeback restaurateurs, legacy brands and next-generation hawkers. We tried out a few of the best, from Eurasian-Peranakan food to satay and kentang ball to traditional Hakka noodles.
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China's once-booming mask makers struggle after price drop
Asia

BEIJING: Tens of thousands of mask-making companies mushroomed across China at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but many are struggling to survive as they face stricter quality control measures and falling domestic demand.China launched a huge effort to produce protective gear to meet shortages during the outbreak, which first emerged in the country late last year before spreading across the globe.More than 73,000 companies registered as mask makers in the first half of the year - including over 36,000 new companies in April alone - as prices and demand soared.But the influx of new companies led to a "dilution in quality and a surge in scams", according to China-based researchers at Daxue Consulting, as firms from carmakers to diaper producers converted production lines to make masks.
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Staycations and weekend getaways: Can domestic travel spark a revival of Southeast Asia’s tourism industry?
Asia

SINGAPORE: Mentari Primananti, 41, spent last week’s Idul Adha holiday at a resort in Bandung, Indonesia. The two nights of accommodation cost around 1 million rupiah (US$68.56), half of what it would usually cost.“The resort had a great view, a lot of outdoor facilities and activities … We have been staying in our house for months, so it was great to be outdoors,” she recounted.The housewife also liked the fact that the resort was quiet and they could get there by car.“We didn’t want to be somewhere crowded or required us to travel by airplanes. This is what matters to me right now when choosing somewhere to go.”She added: “Actually, I am still afraid of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, especially since I have a 68 year-old mother and two young kids. But the offer was too nice to pass.”
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Is A Safe COVID-19 Vaccine By 2021 Really Possible?
Asia

It typically takes 10 years to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective. But with countries from India to the US racing to find an answer to the coronavirus - like the closely-watched University of Oxford and AstraZeneca human vaccine trials - some are expecting a vaccine to be available for emergency use by end-2020 or next year. How much immunity will it really give? Will a fast-tracked vaccine be less safe? WATCH the full episodes: #Insight The Search For A 'Silver Bullet' Vaccine: https://youtu.be/v8R_z_5q8Js #InConversation The Race To Secure Vaccine Doses: https://youtu.be/LeI5slXLpmQ #InConversation Access to COVID-19 Vaccines: https://youtu.be/HTTjzOuPFn0
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Singapore coronavirus cases to ‘taper down significantly’ as migrant workers’ testing ends
Asia

Singapore’s daily coronavirus case count is set to dip significantly in the coming weeks, authorities say, turning a corner as the testing of some 300,000 migrant workers living in cramped dormitories – once the epicentre of the city state’s outbreak – is completed.From a peak of 1,426 new cases in one 24-hour period on April 20, Singapore now records between 200 and 400 new infections each day, on average. Occasional spikes, such as the 908 cases reported on Wednesday, have been caused by a…
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