World

Water wars: Mekong River another front in U.S.-China rivalry
World

Water wars: Mekong River another front in U.S.-China rivalry

The Mekong River has become a new front in the U.S.-China rivalry, environmentalists and officials say, with Beijing overtaking Washington in both spending and influence over downstream countries at the mercy of its control of the river’s waters. It’s a confrontation in which the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump — which has largely maintained funding for Barack Obama-era environmental and development programs in the Lower Mekong — is losing ground. The two powers’ struggle recently moved into the realm of science — with the U.S. and Chinese governments each touting different reports about whether China’s 11 dams on the river were harming nations downstream. China’s dams have given it extensive control of the waters that flow down to Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vie...
Thousands of Thai protesters take to street, calling for government to resign
USA, World

Thousands of Thai protesters take to street, calling for government to resign

BANGKOK: Thousands of mainly young and black-clad Thai protesters converged on Saturday (Jul 18) at Bangkok's Democracy Monument as the city's largest and rowdiest protest in years stretched deep into the night. Thailand, a kingdom whose rambunctious politics is defined by coups and often deadly street protests, is facing an unprecedented economic shock due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the economy in freefall, anger is boiling against a government stacked with elderly former generals and supporters of the royalist establishment. The crowd of students sang vitriolic rap songs and waved placards denouncing the administration of former army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha - and calling for the abolition of the Thailand's strict royal defamation law. "The government doesn't care about us,...
Indonesia wants to grow its fishery industry amid slowdown, but needs better infrastructure and manpower
World

Indonesia wants to grow its fishery industry amid slowdown, but needs better infrastructure and manpower

JAKARTA: Fisherman Iwan, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, has been in the industry for the last 10 years. Mr Iwan was born and raised in Natuna islands at Indonesia’s outermost area near the South China Sea, which is rich in fishery resources. Despite an abundance of fishes in the sea, the 44-year-old said he has never benefitted economically in a big way. There were times when Mr Iwan, who works together with two other fishermen on a 6GT (Gross Tonnage) wooden fishing boat, could earn about 5 million rupiah (US$355) per month. But nowadays he usually only earns about 1 million rupiah. “It is now harder to find fish, and the prices are getting cheaper,” Mr Iwan told CNA. He claimed that illegal fishing activities by foreign vessels has played role in depleting the ava...
GE2020: SingCERT issues tips on staying safe in cyberspace during election period
Singapore, World

GE2020: SingCERT issues tips on staying safe in cyberspace during election period

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT) has warned that cyber-related threats could go up this election season, affecting not just political parties, but the general public and businesses as well. "During the elections held in other countries, there have been reports of increased malicious cyber activities. This could happen in Singapore, too," SingCERT said in an advisory on Sunday (Jun 28). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and work-from-home arrangements have also increased the opportunities for cyberthreat actors to carry out attacks, SingCERT said. "Political parties will rely more heavily on online platforms such as social media, messaging apps and websites to reach out to voters," it added. Voters could be lured into downloading malicious software ...
US finalising federal contract ban for companies that use Huawei, others
World

US finalising federal contract ban for companies that use Huawei, others

related media assets (image or videos) available. Click to see the gallery. 2 related media assets (image or videos) available. Click to see the gallery. WASHINGTON: The Trump administration plans to finalize regulations this week that will bar the US government from buying goods or services from any company that uses products from five Chinese companies including Huawei, Hikvision and Dahua, a US official said. The rule, which was prompted by a 2019 law, could have far-ranging implications for companies that sell goods and services to the US government since they will now need to certify they do not use products from Dahua or Hikvision, even though both are among the top sellers of surveillance equipment and cameras worldwide. The same goes for two-way radios from Hytera Communica...
How COVID-19 is reshaping the way we’ll fly
Singapore, World

How COVID-19 is reshaping the way we’ll fly

From mandatory swab tests to empty middle seats to limited inflight meals, flying could look very different when air travel rebounds. The programme Insight finds out more. SINGAPORE: Airlines round the world are expected to face a long and painful road to recovery. Border closures and curbs on air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with lingering concerns over travelling in crowded and confined spaces, will make it difficult for travel demand to surge, at least in the near future. So what can airlines do to ensure their continued survival beyond tapping government support, accessing credit facilities and even considering mergers? Experts believe the answer lies in airlines restoring public confidence by making the travel experience as safe as possible. This means, howeve...
Google bans ads for products and services that secretly track or monitor people
USA, World

Google bans ads for products and services that secretly track or monitor people

Google says it will no longer allow ads for products or services marketed for tracking or monitoring another person without their authorization. In an ad policy update, Google said this will apply to spyware and technology used for intimate partner surveillance, including tech used to monitor texts, phone calls or browsing history. It also applies to GPS trackers marketed to spy on someone without their consent, along with surveillance equipment such as cameras, audio recorders, dash cams and nanny cams marketed for the purpose of spying. Google said private investigation services and products and services for parents to track or monitor their underage children will not apply. The "Enabling Dishonest Behavior" policy update will be enforced beginning Aug. 11. In 2018, a group of researc...
China landslides leave at least 14 dead or missing
World

China landslides leave at least 14 dead or missing

BEIJING: Heavy rains and landslides in China have left at least 14 people dead or missing over the past day, burying houses and causing scenic areas to temporarily shut. Six people have been unreachable since a landslide in southwestern Guizhou province hit three villages on Wednesday (Jul 8), local authorities said. At least 156 people have been relocated, and six who were trapped had to be rescued after the incident. Photos from the scene showed rescue workers clad in bright orange uniforms combing through mud and rubble in the mountainous regions of Tongren city, where infrastructure had been reduced to a heap. Authorities said 19 houses were buried and 60 others were damaged. Aerial footage showed a vast swathe of greenery replaced by mud. At least 120 people have died or...
China says it is not afraid of any US sanctions over South China Sea
World

China says it is not afraid of any US sanctions over South China Sea

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday (Jul 15) it was not afraid of any sanctions the United States might impose over the situation in the South China Sea, and accused Washington of stirring up trouble and destabilising the region. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a briefing that Beijing hopes the US will not go further down the wrong path. The remarks came after the top US diplomat for East Asia warned on Tuesday of possible sanctions against Chinese officials and companies involved in what Washington calls coercion in the South China Sea. "Nothing is off the table ... there is room for that. This is a language the Chinese understand - demonstrative and tangible action," David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Washingto...
US seeks Warhol, Monet paintings linked to 1MDB scandal
World

US seeks Warhol, Monet paintings linked to 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States is seeking to seize another US$96 million in assets allegedly linked to Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal, including Claude Monet and Andy Warhol paintings, officials said. Billions of dollars were looted from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in a fraud allegedly involving the country's ex-leader and his cronies, and used to bankroll a worldwide spending spree. The US Department of Justice said its latest legal action to recover 1MDB-linked items means it has now sought to claw back over US$1.8 billion in assets. The latest items include artworks "Vetheuil Au Soleil" by French Impressionist master Monet and "Colored Campbell's Soup Can (Emerald Green), 1965" by pop artist Warhol, according to court documents released by the DoJ. They also includ...