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  • Kuwait gives Philippine ambassador one week to leave country amid maid dispute
    by Associated Press on 25. april 2018 at 13:32

    Kuwait on Wednesday gave a one-week deadline for the Philippines ambassador to leave the small, oil-rich Gulf Arab nation over a growing diplomatic dispute regarding the abuse of Filipino housemaids and workers in the country. Kuwait also recalled its own ambassador from Manila over the row, according to a bulletin on the state-run KUNA news agency. The Philippines had no immediate comment on the decision. The announcement came after Kuwait summoned the Philippine ambassador over comments he... […]

  • Sun, sea, sand, Swat team: police prepare for temporary closure of Philippine island of Boracay
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 10:08

    Philippine police preparing to shut down the resort island Boracay staged drills in riot gear on Wednesday, startling the laid-back beach community as workers mounted a last-ditch legal effort to halt the six-month closure. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the holiday destination off-limits to tourists from Thursday, saying the tiny island has become a “cesspool” tainted by dumped sewage. As part of police drills, officers in full riot gear clashed with bottle-throwing people... […]

  • The days when the North’s first family holidayed in the South
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 08:25

    When Kim Jong-un steps over the Military Demarcation Line for a summit on Friday he will be the first member of Pyongyang’s ruling dynasty to set foot in the South since the Korean war. But his grandfather Kim Il-sung used to have a holiday home there. Nestled on a cliff overlooking the white sands of Hwajinpo Beach in Goseong, just a few kilometres from the eastern end of the demilitarised zone that divides the peninsula, stands a small stone villa surrounded by tall pine trees. Now... […]

  • ‘AI tech enables game firms to offer tailored services,’ say South Korean online game giants
    by Korea Times on 25. april 2018 at 07:22

    By Jun Ji-hye Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data technologies are the optimal means for game developers to offer the most tailored services to suit a user’s taste, an executive of one of South Korea’s long-time online game giants say. Kang Dae-hyun, vice-president of Nexon Korea, said there are so many different reasons for users to find enjoyment in games or leave a certain game, noting it is almost too difficult for humans to analyse everything. AI and big data technologies... […]

  • Japan demands Koreas pull dessert from summit menu because it features disputed islands
    by Reuters on 25. april 2018 at 07:05

    Japan has demanded that South Korea rethink a mango mousse dessert it plans to serve at a North-South summit dinner on Friday which features a map of the Korean peninsula, including islands disputed with Japan, a recurring irritant for Tokyo. The mousse, subtitled “Spring of the People” in a publicity photo, features islands known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in Korea, which lie about halfway between the East Asian neighbours in the Sea of Japan, which Seoul refers to as the East... […]

  • Indian guru Asaram Bapu is convicted of raping teenage devotee
    by Associated Press on 25. april 2018 at 06:44

    An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison. The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence. The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fuelled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases... […]

  • Japan plans huge Studio Ghibli theme park, bringing to life the fantasy worlds of Totoro, Kiki and more
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 06:06

    The fantasy world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki will come to life as a theme park set to open in central Japan in 2022, the regional government said Wednesday. Miyazaki is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Japan’s premier animation studio, and renowned internationally for works including Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Studio Ghibli has released a basic concept for the vast park to be built by 2022 near Nagoya in Japan’s Aichi region. It will feature rides and... […]

  • End of polar bear era for Singapore Zoo as it mourns Inuka, the first to be born in the tropics
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 05:30

    Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was put down on Wednesday after a rapid decline in health, with Singapore Zoo mourning the loss of one of its best-loved animals. The bear, whose name means “Silent Stalker” in Inuit, had reached the grand old age of 27 – into his 70s in human years and two years older than the average lifespan of the creatures in captivity. His death marks the end of an era for the zoo, which has said it will not keep any more polar bears in... […]

  • Japan’s education chief denies ‘sexy private yoga’ claims as scandals stack up against Prime Minster Abe
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 05:04

    Japan’s education minister apologised on Wednesday for using an official car to visit a yoga studio, but denied claims that the facility was offering “sexy private yoga”. The row is the latest headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which is already under fire after two cronyism scandals and sexual harassment claims against a top finance ministry bureaucrat. The Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine on Wednesday reported that Education Minister Yoshimasa... […]

  • At least 15 killed in Indonesia’s Aceh province when gushing oil well erupts in flames
    by Agence France-Presse on 25. april 2018 at 04:32

    Fifteen people have been killed and dozens injured in a huge blaze at an illegal oil well in Indonesia, authorities said on Wednesday. Several homes were also destroyed after an oil spill sparked a huge fire at about 1.30am in a residential area on Sumatra island’s Aceh province. It was still burning by early afternoon. “There was a group of people digging in the old well but suddenly a huge fire was sparked and it exploded,” said national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto. At... […]