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South China Morning Post Breaking news, analysis and opinion from the SCMP's Asia edition.

  • Plastic pollution plagues Southeast Asia amid Covid-19 lockdowns
    by Tashny Sukumaran on 9. august 2020 at 06:00

    Adam Reza is among those for whom environmental awareness took a back seat to health concerns during Malaysia’s national lockdown earlier this year to curb the spread of Covid-19. Despite making a conscious effort to be mindful, he estimates his use of plastics increased by up to 80 per cent as people were confined indoors for more than 90 days as the pandemic raged.“I’m not exactly a green conscious guy, but before the lockdown I did make a conscious effort to be mindful,” said management…

  • Coronavirus: Australia has deadliest day as New Zealand records 100 days without a domestic case
    by Agencies on 9. august 2020 at 04:58

    New Zealand on Sunday marked 100 days since it stamped out the spread of the coronavirus, a rare bright spot in a world that continues to be ravaged by the disease.Across the Tasman Sea, a different situation was emerging in Australia as the second-most populous state, Victoria, reported its deadliest day of the Covid-19 outbreak, with 17 people dying. Ten of the deaths were related to elderly care centres, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said. The new deaths bring the state’s total to 210.The…

  • E-sports stars in Southeast Asia’s US$4.3 billion gaming industry train like athletes, battle like gladiators and get paid like bosses
    by Ignatius Koh on 9. august 2020 at 04:15

    Every morning, Brizio Adi Putra wakes at 9 o’clock and enjoys a quick breakfast before settling into his chair for a gruelling 10- to 12-hour shift at work.The work is so tough his company has hired a psychologist to help him and his colleagues deal with the stress.But unlike many of his fellow graduates in Indonesia who are hunched over their desks in 9-to-5 office jobs, churning out reports and sending dozens of emails a day, the 23-year-old professional gamer – who goes by the alias “Hyde” –…

  • Threat of nuclear conflict hangs over 75th anniversary of Nagasaki attack
    by Associated Press on 9. august 2020 at 04:10

    The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday marked its 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing, with the mayor and dwindling survivors urging world leaders including their own to do more for a nuclear weapons ban.At 11:02am, the moment the B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped a 4.5-tonne plutonium bomb dubbed “Fat Man”, Nagasaki survivors and other participants stood in a minute of silence to honour more than 70,000 dead.The threat of nuclear weapons being used is increasingly becoming realTomihisa…

  • Malaysia’s Sabah state urged to consider postal voting for election due to coronavirus
    by Tashny Sukumaran on 9. august 2020 at 01:00

    As election fever builds in Malaysia’s Bornean state of Sabah, voters and democracy watchdogs have urged authorities to allow postal votes in light of the coronavirus pandemic.There are 73 state constituencies and an estimated 250,000 Sabah voters living in Peninsular Malaysia. The Election Commission has said it will announce dates for the state polls on August 17.An online petition by Malaysian electoral watchdog Global Bersih calls for Sabahans living outside the state to be given postal…

  • South Korea’s soaring property prices dash home ownership dreams for ‘dirt spoons’
    by Park Chan-kyong on 8. august 2020 at 16:00

    When John Chung bought his first flat in the Seoul subdistrict of Banpodong in 1987, he never could have imagined what a stellar investment it would turn out to be.The 53 square-metre space in an old, low-lying flat block south of the Han River cost him and his wife 27.5 million won – or about 90.6 million won (US$76,400) today, adjusted for inflation.What made Chung’s flat so valuable, however, was its trade-in value. In 2009, the building in which it stood was torn down to be replaced by a…

  • Survivors of deadly Air India crash describe how plane swayed, nosedived after landing
    by Associated Press,Reuters on 8. august 2020 at 13:46

    Seated on the last row of the plane, Muhammed Junaid sensed something was amiss when Air India Express flight IX 1344 from Dubai was jerked around by strong winds as it approached the southern Indian city of Kozhikode late on Friday.After an aborted attempt, the aircraft swung around and touched down on the runway, said Junaid, who like many others on-board worked in the Middle East but was forced to return home when his salary halved because of the Covid-19 pandemic.But instead of slowing down…

  • Coronavirus: Japan’s Bon summer holiday season off to a quiet start as people stay home
    by Kyodo on 8. august 2020 at 13:02

    Japan’s summer holiday season started quietly on Saturday, with no congestion at stations and airports after local governments asked residents to avoid travelling to help keep the coronavirus spread from worsening.This came as the country reported 1,564 new infections on Saturday, down from the daily record high of 1,598 logged on Friday. The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed 429 new cases, surpassing the 400 mark for the second straight day, while Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures saw…

  • Think telemarketers are a pest? Wait till China’s AI versions call
    by Maria Siow on 8. august 2020 at 09:30

    Shanghai resident Fan Kaiyi has been on the receiving end of unsolicited calls for as long as she can remember.Whether at home or on her mobile phone, the digital project coordinator, 38, is bombarded by sales representatives trying to sell her everything from property, insurance policies and pharmaceutical products to fitness classes and emigration services. Others try to convince her to take out bank loans requiring no background checks or collaterals.Lately, the calls have taken a new twist…

  • Republic of Ram: India’s Modi lays foundation for Hindu state with grand temple
    by Debasish Roy Chowdhury on 8. august 2020 at 08:00

    Indian news channels had buzzed with anticipation since Wednesday morning. Within hours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to arrive at the ancient temple town of Ayodhya to lay the foundation stone for a grand temple to Hindu warrior-god Ram. Talking heads analysed the significance of the day. Reporters on the ground relayed the mood across the nation. News anchors provided constant updates on the prime minister’s journey from the capital New Delhi to Ayodhya. As the countdown began for his…