close

ASIANS (ET)

ASIANS (ET)

Coronavirus: China reports surprising rail freight growth in February despite factory activity tumbling

no thumb



China’s official railway operator has said that rail freight rose in February, despite the coronavirus outbreak forcing large parts of the country into lockdown, and the official purchasing managers’ indices for manufacturing and services tumbling to all-time lows.China Railway, the state-owned railway operator, said in a statement on Sunday that total railway freight amounted to 310 million tonnes in February, a rise of 4.5 per cent from a year earlier, just a day after the National Bureau of…



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Disgruntled Ex-Guard Wounds a Man, Takes Hostages in Manila Mall

no thumb



In the Philippines a former security guard opened fire Monday at a mall in Manila, wounding a man and taking about 30 other people hostage.

The gunman shot the man as he entered the administration office of the Virra shopping complex in San Juan City, an upscale section of Manila, mayor Francis Zamora said, adding that the victim was in stable condition at a nearby hospital.

Zamora said a police negotiator was trying to end the standoff peacefully by talking to the gunman, who was demanding to speak by video to his former guard colleagues and the media. The gunman had been fired by the company that provides security for the shopping mall.

A SWAT team of commandos with assault rifles at the ready was seen at the four-story mall, which has more than 100 shops. Police orders the evacuation of the mall and cordoned it off. Other policemen were on stand-by outside. An ambulance was there as well.



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Korean Sect Leader Apologizes for the Spread of the Coronavirus

no thumb



The leader of a South Korean sect linked to more than half the country’s 4,000-plus coronavirus cases apologized Monday for the spread of the disease.

“I would like to offer my sincere apology to the people on behalf of the members,” said Shincheonji head Lee Man-hee, his voice breaking.

The 88-year-old twice got down on his knees to bow before reporters in Gapyeong, his head to the floor.

“Although it was not intentional, many people have been infected,” he said. “We put our utmost efforts but were unable to prevent it all. I seek the forgiveness of the people.”

“I am very thankful to the government for its efforts. I also seek the forgiveness of the government,” Lee Man-hee continued. 

Lee Man-hee is revered by his followers as the “Promised Pastor” who will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the Day of Judgement, and his group is often condemned as a cult.

A 61-year-old female member developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services in Daegu — the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million at the center of the outbreak — before being diagnosed.

South Korea’s case numbers are expected to rise further as authorities carry out checks on more than 260,000 people associated Shincheonji.

Seoul’s city government has asked prosecutors to press charges, including murder, against him and 11 other sect leaders for failing to cooperate in containing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Lee insisted that the group was “actively cooperating with the government.”

“We will do our best and not spare human and material support,” he added, pausing occasionally to wipe tears from his eyes as protesters shouted abuse.



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Hong Kong’s retail sales plummet 21 per cent in January as mainland visitors slow to a trickle amid coronavirus battle

no thumb




Hong Kong’s retail sector, battered by a steep drop in mainland tourists attributed to the coronavirus battle, plunged by 21.4 per cent year to year in January, with the government warning of dire repercussions to the overall economy and joblessnessThe decrease to HK$37.8 billion (US$4.8 billion) was even worse than December’s revised year-to-year drop of 19.4 per cent, the Census and Statistics Department said on Monday.A government spokesman noted that the sharp drop in retail sales continued…



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Even Amid Virus Scare, N. Korea Continues Weapons Tests

no thumb


North Korea launched two short-range projectiles Monday, South Korea’s military said — a move that comes as the North scrambles to prevent a potentially disastrous coronavirus outbreak within its borders.

The two weapons were fired from the Wonsan area toward the sea off North Korea’s east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The projectiles traveled approximately 240 kilometers at a maximum height of 35 kilometers, it added.

North Korea has not commented on the launch. But officials in Seoul say the test was likely part of North Korean military drills that started last week. South Korea’s National Security Council expressed “strong concern” about the moves, which it said do not help military tensions.

North Korea last year launched 13 rounds of short- or medium-range missiles or rockets, amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States. But this is North Korea’s first detected launch since the beginning of the year.

In recent weeks, North Korea has focused on emergency coronavirus prevention efforts, which authorities have called a matter of “national survival.”

Though North Korea continues to insist it has found no coronavirus cases, authorities have shut down foreign tourism, quarantined all arriving foreigners, and even prevented foreign diplomats from leaving their compounds. State media say nearly 7,000 people are being medically monitored.

Some experts said the coronavirus concerns could help reduce military tensions, especially after the United States and South Korea last week indefinitely postponed joint military drills that North Korea sees as a provocation.

In this Feb. 21, 2020, photo, a South Korean marine wearing a mask stands in front of the Navy Base after a soldier of the unit was confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus on Jeju Island, South Korea.

But the latest launch suggests North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sees little benefit in restarting diplomacy and instead intends to raise the stakes ahead of important elections in both the United States and South Korea, says Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

“North Korea is making clear with these missile tests it will continue to improve military capabilities and make outsized demands, despite the political and public health preoccupations of Beijing, Seoul and Washington,” Easley said.

Kim has kept a low-profile during the coronavirus scare. But on Friday he led a military exercise alongside other top military officials — all of whom, unlike Kim, wore face masks. It is not clear what weapons North Korea used in the drill, but state media said a “target islet” was reduced to “a sea of flames.”

Bigger tests could be coming. In a New Year’s speech, Kim said he no longer felt bound by his self-imposed suspension on long-range missile and nuclear tests. He also warned the world would soon witness a “new strategic weapon.”

The weapons tests appear designed in part to increase North Korean leverage in nuclear talks add to help build deterrence against U.S. military power.

But the launches also could serve as an attempt to shore up domestic political strength, stressed Park Won-gon, professor of international politics at Handong Global University. 

“The purpose of the test has more to do with the outbreak of the coronavirus in North Korea and less to do with it being a provocation,” Park said. He says North Korea may be “showing off deterrence to its people” as a precursor to accepting international emergency aid. 

“With the spread of the virus, North Korea has to strengthen its solidarity and convince its people,” he said. “It is very typical North Korean behavior — to provoke and raise tensions just before accepting external aid.”

There have been recent signs of domestic political friction in North Korea. On Saturday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim dismissed a pair of senior political leaders following what officials characterized as a corruption scandal.

KCNA did not describe the scandal in detail, but spoke of “unpopular and anti-socialist acts.” The article seemed to link the alleged corruption to coronavirus prevention efforts, saying “no special cases must be allowed within the state anti-epidemic system.”

Experts have warned that North Korea, parts of which are impoverished, does not have adequate medical supplies to deal with a serious disease outbreak.

Several international aid groups are preparing to deliver emergency medical supplies to North Korea. Some have had to apply for special exemptions, since interaction with North Korea is tightly restricted due to international sanctions.



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

North Korea Launches Two Projectiles: Seoul

no thumb



North Korea has launched two unknown projectiles, South Korea’s military reported Monday — apparently the North’s first rocket launches of the year.

The projectiles were fired from the Wonsan area toward the sea off North Korea’s east coast, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It did not say what type of weapons were launched or how far they traveled.

The launch suggests North Korea will continue provocations, even as it implements emergency measures to prevent or contain a coronavirus outbreak. North Korean authorities have warned those virus containment measures are a matter of “national survival.”

North Korea last conducted a projectile launch in late November. That test came as North Korea was warning of its end-of-year deadline for the United States to offer more concessions in nuclear talks.



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Coronavirus: Indonesia confirms first cases, says they are linked to Japanese citizen in Malaysia

no thumb




Two Indonesians have tested positive for the coronavirus after being in contact with an infected Japanese national, Indonesian President Joko Widodo revealed on Monday, marking the first confirmed cases in the world’s fourth most populous country.The two had been hospitalised in Jakarta, Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital.The president said a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter had tested positive after being in contact with a Japanese national who lived…



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

S. Korea's Military: N. Korea Fires Unidentified Projectiles

no thumb



North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles from a coastal area Monday as it resumed weapons demonstrations following a months-long hiatus.

The launches came two days after North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised an artillery drill aimed at testing the combat readiness of units in front-line and eastern areas.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launches in a statement but couldn’t immediately confirm how far the projectiles flew or whether the weapons were ballistic or rocket artillery.   

During a key ruling party meeting in late December, Kim expressed deep frustration over deadlocked diplomacy with the United States and said he won’t denuclearize if the U.S. persists with its hostile policy on his country. He also said he would unveil a new “strategic weapon” soon and no longer be bound by a self-imposed weapons test moratorium that coincided with his diplomacy with Trump.   

Nuclear diplomacy between North Korea and the U.S. has largely stalled since the breakdown of Kim’s second summit with Trump in February 2019 in Vietnam. That summit collapsed because Trump rejected Kim’s demands for broad sanctions relief in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex, a limited disarmament step. Subsequent talks between Pyongyang and Washington reported little progress.   

After the failed Hanoi summit, North Korea carried out a slew of short-range missile and other weapons tests. Trump downplayed them saying there were short-range weapons that didn’t pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland.



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo floating restaurant that feted Queen, Tom Cruise, to close ‘until further notice’ as viral outbreak dents revival efforts

no thumb




Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant will close its doors from this week “until further notice” as the outbreak of coronavirus continues to slam the food and beverage industry that was already reeling from social unrest since last year.“As of March 3 and until further notice, Jumbo Kingdom will suspend its day-to-day operation,” said Hong Kong-listed owner and conglomerate Melco International Development, in a statement on Monday. “This decision has been taken in light of the severe…



Source link

read more
ASIANS (ET)

Coronavirus: critically ill Chinese patient saved by stem cell therapy, study says

no thumb




A 65-year-old Chinese woman who fell seriously ill after being infected with the coronavirus made a startling recovery after being given stem cell therapy, according to a new study by Chinese scientists.The patient had been fighting for her life in the intensive care unit at Baoshan Hospital in Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, for nearly two weeks after contracting Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.But according to a paper published by a team of researchers…



Source link

read more
1 2 3 200
Page 1 of 200