Geopolitics

Jakarta Re-Imposes Partial Virus Lockdown

Authorities in the Indonesian capital re-imposed a partial coronavirus lockdown Monday and vowed to strictly isolate anyone testing positive for COVID-19 as infections soared in the metropolis.Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan said the city would resume large-scale social restrictions for two weeks starting Monday, calling it a necessary measure to prevent the health system from collapsing. Non-essential businesses are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, restaurants can onl

15 September 2020
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Manila Cemeteries To Close For Day Of The Dead

Cemeteries in the Philippine capital will be closed on All Saints' Day for the first time, officials said Monday, preventing millions in the Catholic-majority country from visiting their dead loved ones as the coronavirus rages.

15 September 2020
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US Brands Chinese Curbs On Diplomats 'Escalation'

The United States (US) on Saturday called a decision by Beijing to impose restrictions on all American diplomats on Chinese soil an "escalation," the latest rebuke in an ongoing tit-for-tat dispute over foreign missions.Relations between the world's top two economies have deteriorated in recent months, with both sides locked in fierce recriminations over trade disputes, human rights and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.On Friday, China announced "reciprocal restrict

14 September 2020
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Terror At Sea: Migrants Tell Of 200-Day Ordeal

When hundreds of Rohingya refugees paid traffickers to escape their squalid camp in Bangladesh, they were promised a new life in Malaysia after just one week at sea.Instead, the group of mostly women and children suffered more than 200 days of terror on the high seas, until they landed this week on Indonesia's northern coast, where they are now back in refugee tents.Beaten by the traffickers, they battled hunger and thirst as storms lashed their wooden vessel, and watched in horror as th

13 September 2020
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Global Impact After Six Months Of Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on 11 March that the outbreak of COVID-19 had become a pandemic. Six months on the virus has cost the lives of over 900,000 people.Back in March the death toll stood at 4,200 from 120,000 cases, with most of the fatalities in the Wuhan region of China where the virus first came to light last December.Those figures were enough to cause concern back then.

13 September 2020
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Marine Pardon Can Get US Vaccine For Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte's pardon of a United States (US) marine convicted of killing a transgender woman should help the Philippines gain access to coronavirus vaccines being developed by American companies, his spokesman said Thursday."I accept the reality that the president is upholding the higher national interest," spokesman Harry Roque said, although he insisted that he was expressing a personal opinion, and not that of Duterte.Duterte sparked controversy earlier this we

12 September 2020
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Singapore Airport Chairman Quits Over Maid

The chairman of Singapore's airport operator has stepped aside after he faced a public backlash when a judge cleared an Indonesian maid accused of stealing from his family and criticised the case.The scandal involving Liew Mun Leong has sparked a storm of anger and raised questions about how the system treated one of the city-state's best-known businessmen compared with a low-paid domestic helper. With calls mounting for him to quit following last week's ruling, Liew a

12 September 2020
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Army Tries To Discredit Rohingya Abuse Confessions

Myanmar's military has sought to undermine the confessions of two soldiers who said they were ordered to "exterminate" Rohingya Muslims before taking part in the massacre of scores of men, women and children.Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Fortify Rights and the New York Times on Tuesday released details of the filmed interviews - seen by AFP - of Private Myo Win Tun, 33, and Private Zaw Naing Tun, 30, in which they described "wiping out" entire villages.The soldi

11 September 2020
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Pompeo Tells Southeast Asia To Stand Up To China

Washington's top diplomat urged Southeast Asia on Thursday to cut ties with Chinese companies helping build islands in the South China Sea, weeks after the United States (US) blacklisted two dozen firms working in the disputed waters.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comments came at a regional Asian summit overshadowed by the US-China rivalry over a range of issues, from trade to the coronavirus.Tensions are also simmering over the South China Sea, with the US last month sanctioning

11 September 2020
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Can Vietnam Beat A Second Wave?

ASEAN member state Vietnam has been lauded for its successful handling of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. The country confirmed its first two cases on 23 January and had just over 350 total cases of coronavirus nationwide by the end of June.Nevertheless, Vietnam has seen a surge in infections in recent months. As of 9 September, 1,059 people in the country have contracted the disease with 35 COVID-19 related fatalities reported.

10 September 2020
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US-China Tensions Set To Dominate ASEAN Summit

US-China rivalry is set to dominate discussions as the foreign ministers of 10 Southeast Asian countries begin an online summit Wednesday, with Washington's top diplomat ready to take aim at Beijing's "bullying" in the South China Sea.The summit comes just days after China launched ballistic missiles in the flashpoint waters as part of live-fire exercises and as Washington and Beijing clash over a range of issues from trade to the coronavirus.Ministers will be joined by Un

10 September 2020
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Election Countdown Starts In Myanmar

Myanmar's election campaign began Tuesday with Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains widely admired and respected at home despite her tarnished image abroad, hoping for a landslide win to further cement her status as the country's civilian leader.The Nobel laureate's National League for Democracy (NLD) swept to power in 2015 - the first national polls since the Southeast Asian nation emerged from decades of junta rule.Despite the coronavirus threat, campaigns are, for now, under way -

9 September 2020
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