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The road to net-zero transport could cost Asia over $12 trillion, report finds
World

The road to net-zero transport could cost Asia over $12 trillion, report finds

An overpass during the rush hour in the north district of Qingdao City, in China's Shandong province. Cheunghyo | Moment | Getty Images Three of Asia's largest economies will spend an estimated $12 trillion to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in their transport industries, according to Dutch bank ING. China, Japan and South Korea account for almost two-thirds of all carbon dioxide emissions in Asia-Pacific, and approximately a third of global emissions, said the bank. Both Japan and South Korea have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and China by 2060. Net-zero emissions refer to removing more greenhouses gases from the atmosphere than produced. The $12.4 trillion cost estimate is "equivalent to more than 90% of China's 2020 GDP," according to Robert Carnell, ING's Asi...
Japan’s convenience stores look to the future
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Japan’s convenience stores look to the future

Japan’s first Family Mart convenience store sits on a busy stretch of road in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, without much fanfare. Aside from an assortment of flowers that sit on display next to a Showa Era (1926-89) telephone box near the entrance, it looks just like any other of the franchise’s 17,000-plus outlets nationwide. An extensive array of food, drinks and household items sits on the shelves, while a freshly cooked batch of the chain’s signature fried chicken sits in a warming cabinet on the counter. Two rival franchises — 7-Eleven and Lawson — also operate in the neighborhood a short distance away. When it opened in September 1973, the Family Mart store in Sayama was something of an experiment at the time. When Family Mart opened its first store in Japan in September 1973, the...
Superfans across China lie low as government cracks down on ‘false idols’
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Superfans across China lie low as government cracks down on ‘false idols’

"I used to upvote posts in his Weibo fan forum and buy products he promoted," Chen, 16, told AFP in a busy downtown shopping district. "It was pretty exhausting trying to keep him trending at number one every day." Fans power China's lucrative idol economy, previously forecast by state media to be worth 140 billion yuan (S$30 billion) by 2022. In a country where young people have few other means of influencing public life, full-time fan content creators – dubbed "zhanjie" or "station sisters" – can propel a star's rise from obscurity by creating viral images of them. Critics say fan culture is an exploitative industry aimed at profiting from minors, built on artificially inflated social media engagement – something the government wants to eliminate through the new regulations. Authori...
Lethal kids games drive viral fame of Netflix series Squid Game
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Lethal kids games drive viral fame of Netflix series Squid Game

The hit Netflix series Squid Game from South Korea has gone viral across the world and online by morphing childhood games popular before the digital era such as "Red Light, Green Light" into deadly survival challenges. The playground game where players stop and go at a tagger's command is one of six kids games with fatal consequences depicted in the gory thriller named after a South Korean variation of tag played in the 1970s and 80s using a board drawn in the dirt. In the "Red Light, Green Light" episode, the show's first, players are shot for failing to stand still at the red light call. The Squid Game is the last one the 456 cash-strapped contestants on the show, ranging from a North Korean defector to a fund manager charged with embezzlement, must compete in for a prize of 45.6 billi...
Panasonic retrenching 700 workers, to stop manufacturing refrigeration compressors in Singapore
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Panasonic retrenching 700 workers, to stop manufacturing refrigeration compressors in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Panasonic is laying off 700 workers in Singapore as it moves to shut its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in the country. This is due to the "challenging global business outlook" and Panasonic's "long-term business strategic review of the refrigeration compressor business portfolio", said the Japanese firm in a media release on Thursday (Sep 23). Operations of the affected unit will cease by the end of September next year. The layoffs represent about one-third of its workforce in Singapore. Panasonic said it will consolidate the compressor manufacturing operations to existing facilities in Malaysia and China. Casting operations will be done at its Malaysian factory in Melaka. The company's research and development department will continue to operate in Singa...
UK warship makes rare transit through Taiwan Strait
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UK warship makes rare transit through Taiwan Strait

TAIPEI: The Royal Navy said a British warship was sailing through the Taiwan Strait on Monday (Sep 27), a move that challenges Beijing's claim to the sensitive waterway and marks a rare voyage by a non-US military vessel. "After a busy period working with partners and allies in the East China Sea, we are now en route through the Taiwan Strait to visit Vietnam and the Vietnam People's Navy," read a tweet from the official account for HMS Richmond, a frigate deployed with Britain's aircraft carrier strike group. Local media said it was the first time a British warship had transited through the narrow waterway separating Taiwan and mainland China. The British navy survey ship HMS Enterprise transited through the strait in 2019. The UK's defence ministry did not respond to a request for com...
Boeing showcases eco-friendly tech as industry faces pressure
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Boeing showcases eco-friendly tech as industry faces pressure

SEATTLE : Boeing Co showcased efforts to boost efficiency in its aircraft on Monday, a week after rival Airbus staged a similar conference, as global aviation faces growing political pressure to cut emissions and demands by environmental groups for curbs to air travel. The U.S. planemaker is just one of many companies in the industry playing up its efforts to make its products more environmentally friendly, though there is debate over the speed at which new technology will be adopted. Boeing's event at its flight test hangar in Seattle was anchored by an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 flying demonstrator equipped with potential upgrades like a drag-reducing warning light and cabin sidewalls made from recycled carbon fiber. "Many of our improvements come with a lot of small things at once," B...
Dollar choppy after Fed statement, Evergrande exhale lifts risk-sensitive currencies
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Dollar choppy after Fed statement, Evergrande exhale lifts risk-sensitive currencies

(Updates with Fed policy statement) By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK : The U.S. dollar was choppy on the heels of the latest policy announcement by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, while risk-sensitive currencies such as the Australian dollar and Chinese yuan strengthened after China's Evergrande said it would make a bond coupon payment. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cleared the way to reduce its monthly bond purchases "soon" and signaled interest rate increases may follow more quickly than expected, with half of the 18 U.S. central bank policymakers projecting borrowing costs will need to rise in 2022. "The tapering of quantitative easing seems very likely now in November but this was something of a given and remains couched in a lot of qualifying criteria in the event that various r...
Dollar edges down as traders await US jobs data
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Dollar edges down as traders await US jobs data

NEW YORK :The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies on Monday, pulling back from the 1-year high hit last week, as traders looked to U.S. jobs data at the end of the week for clues to the Federal Reserve's next move. The U.S. Dollar Currency Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was 0.2per cent lower at 93.802. The index rose 0.8per cent last week to its highest since late September 2020. With Chinese mainland markets closed until Thursday for the National Day holiday and South Korean markets also shut on Monday, investor attention was firmly on the upcoming U.S. data. "Nonfarm payrolls will be the big focus for markets this week," Brad Bechtel, global head of FX at Jefferies in New York. Friday's data is expected to show continued improvement ...
China’s neighbors worry Australia sub deal will destabilize region
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China’s neighbors worry Australia sub deal will destabilize region

France isn’t the only country upset about a new security pact between the U.S., U.K. and Australia: Some Southeast Asian nations are also worried the partnership could provoke China and spur a regional arms race. The so-called AUKUS partnership, which will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, prompted China last week to warn of an arms race in a region riven by maritime territorial disputes. Since then, two key members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Indonesia and Malaysia — have voiced similar concerns. That wariness in ASEAN is significant, particularly as both President Joe Biden and Australian leader Scott Morrison last week touted the arrangement as necessary for Indo-Pacific stability and mentioned a desire to work with the 10-nation bloc of Southeast ...