Book Reviews

Special A.C.E. Stories

Online Paper (PDF)

Bids & Public Notices

NW Job Market


Special Sections

Asian Reporter Info

About Us

Advertising Info.

Contact Us
Subscription Info. & Back Issues





Currency Exchange

Time Zones
More Asian Links

Copyright © 1990 - 2020
AR Home


International News

Rare deer-like species photographed for first time in wild


Top of Tokyo: Observation decks offer panoramic city views


Afghan capital’s air pollution may be even deadlier than war


Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid


China tests Mars lander in international cooperation push


Bespoke silk robes await Pope Francis on Thailand visit


From The Asian Reporter, V29, #22 (November 18, 2019), page 2.

U.S. woos Asia with plan to rival China’s "Belt and Road"

BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross says the U.S. will invest and trade more in Asia as it rolls out an American plan to support "sustainable" projects in Asia. The plan announced at a U.S. business forum in Bangkok is meant to rival China’s own multibillion dollar "Belt and Road" infrastructure program. Ross led a high-powered trade mission in Asia and attended a regional summit. As he was talking up U.S. trade and investment, China opened a lavish import expo in Shanghai showcasing its own eagerness to do business. Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to open Chinese markets further and clinked wine glasses with French President Emmanuel Macron, who urged Beijing and Washington to end the trade war that is clouding an already murky global economic outlook.

Farmers blamed for Delhi’s pollution say they are helpless

AMRITSAR, India (AP) — Indian farmers said they’re being unfairly criticized for causing the worst air pollution in the capital because of the burning of stubbles in fields. A recent air quality index registered at 273. Authorities had declared a health emergency when the index crossed 500 — 10 times the level considered healthy by WHO standards. Despite a ban on stubble burning, farmers say they have no choice but to set fire to the crop residue. Farmers in Haryana and Punjab states, bordering New Delhi, traditionally resort to stubble burning during the months of October and November as a cheap way of clearing their fields after harvesting the crops. This year’s record pollution has also been aggravated by smog from festival fireworks. In an effort to tackle the high pollution levels, the New Delhi government is experimenting at limiting the number of cars on the road and halting construction activity. New Delhi’s top elected official, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, said his government had played its part and blamed farmers for setting the fires. The farmers, reluctant to stop stubble burning, criticize the government for blaming them. "We are helpless," said Balwinder Singh Chabba, a farmer in northern Punjab state. He said he cannot afford any delay in getting his fields clear of stubble from the previous crop before sowing the next one. State and central governments, often led by rival political parties, also blame each other for the pollution crisis.

Angkor temple complex ending elephant rides

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Officials in Cambodia have ordered elephants that serve as tourist attractions at the country’s famed Angkor temple complex be moved to a new home in a suitable jungle area. The agency that oversees the Angkor site said in a statement that it is important for the animals to be able to live in their natural habitat, and there are other ways to provide attractions and rides for tourists. Some of the 14 elephants officially at the site are old and in ill health. They have been providing rides for tourists since 2001. A female elephant there died of heart failure in the heat after giving a tourist a ride. The agency said tourists will be allowed to see the elephants at their new location but not ride them.

Vietnam court convicts music teacher of anti-state actions

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A Vietnamese court sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in jail for "anti-state" Facebook posts, state media reported. The official Nghe An newspaper said Nguyen Nang Tinh was found guilty of publishing photos, videos, and comments on his personal Facebook page with messages to instigate demonstrations and oppose the government. The newspaper, published in Nghe An province, where the trial occurred, said Tinh frequently held meetings with members of Viet Tan, an overseas-based political group that the government has branded "terrorist," to discuss "reactionary" activities, although he was not an official member of the group. It said Tinh, as a musical teacher, also taught his students anti-state songs. The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said the half-day trial ended with a predetermined sentence. "This long prison sentence, and the show trial that produced it, demonstrate precisely why Vietnam’s courts are the biggest jokes in ASEAN when it comes to justice for the accused," Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asian director, said in a statement. Vietnam, a member of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), does not tolerate dissent or criticism of its ruling Communist Party. Authorities arrested a human-rights activist at Hanoi’s airport as she returned home after four years, Human Rights Watch said. A court in Ho Chi Minh City also sentenced three Viet Tan members, including one Australian, to 10 to 12 years in jail. Viet Tan says it is working for social justice and democratic change through peaceful means.

Chinese company in vaccine scandal declared bankrupt

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese maker of rabies vaccine that was fined 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) in a quality scandal that set off a crackdown on the industry said it has been declared bankrupt. Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Ltd., which lost its production licenses last year, said in a statement that a court issued the ruling after concluding the company was insolvent and couldn’t pay its debts. Revelations that authorities failed to act immediately after finding the company might have falsified production records led to an outcry among a public already upset over deaths and injuries due to fake or shoddy medicines, milk, toys, and other products. The company used expired materials, mixed different batches of products, and failed to test them properly, according to regulators. The company destroyed records to conceal its misconduct, they said. The country’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Keqiang, said the company "violated a moral bottom line." No injuries were reported but authorities recalled the company’s products from China and foreign markets. Rabies is endemic in parts of China.

Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <>!