Asia

Frontline fight: Indonesia locked in epic battle against jungle blazes

by Dessy SAGITA PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AFP) — Working around the clock, thousands of firefighters are struggling to contain smog-belching blazes raging across rainforests and farmland in Indonesia, one of the frontlines against fires blamed for aggravating global warming. Those leading …

Read More »

Saudi Arabia battles market jitters after oil plant attacks

by Anuj Chopra RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi energy giant Aramco is battling to reassure markets after devastating attacks on two oil plants, where a prolonged shutdown risks roiling investor confidence ahead of the state-owned giant’s mega stock listing, …

Read More »

Indonesians choked by forest fire haze pray for rain

PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AFP) — Hundreds of people held a mass prayer for rain in a smoke-filled Indonesian city on Friday, desperately hoping that downpours will extinguish forest fires and wash away the toxic haze covering wide swathes of the country. …

Read More »

US finds N.Korean readiness for talks ‘encouraging’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States said Wednesday it was encouraged by North Korea’s stated willingness to resume negotiations but criticized its latest firing of projectiles as counterproductive. “It was an encouraging sign that they would like to …

Read More »

Former Indonesian president Habibie dies at 83

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie, who ushered in an era of democratic reforms after the downfall of long-time dictator Suharto, died on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Jakarta, his family and officials said. Habibie …

Read More »

New era at Alibaba as Jack Ma rides into the sunset

by Dan Martin SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Jack Ma steps aside on Tuesday as chairman of Alibaba, ending a spectacularly successful 20-year run during which the charismatic former English teacher’s e-commerce company left a profound impact on China’s economy. Ma, …

Read More »

Hong Kong leader tells US not to ‘interfere’ after fresh protests

by Jasmine LEUNG / Sean GLEESON HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong’s embattled leader warned the United States on Tuesday not to “interfere” with her government’s response to the city’s pro-democracy movement, after fresh protests called on Washington to …

Read More »

Typhoon stranded 17,000 at Tokyo airport: operator

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Around 17,000 passengers were stranded overnight at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, an official said Tuesday, after it took a direct hit from a powerful typhoon that caused transport chaos throughout the capital. The typhoon caused more than …

Read More »

Orphan goes from sniffing ‘Rugby’ glue to playing for the Philippines

    By Joshua Melvin Agence France-Presse MANILA (AFP) — Long before Lito Ramirez was one of the Philippines’ first homegrown rugby stars he was a six-year-old orphan addicted to sniffing glue, who survived on trash and begging. If there …

Read More »

N. Korea fires ‘projectiles’ after offering talks with US

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea on Tuesday fired projectiles toward the sea, South Korea’s military said, hours after Pyongyang said it is willing to hold working-level talks with the United States in late September. Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington …

Read More »

Nissan board announces CEO Saikawa stepping down

  YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (AFP) — Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa will step down next week, the company’s board said Monday, amid accusations of financial irregularities as the carmaker reels from the arrest and ouster of former boss Carlos Ghosn. “After the …

Read More »

One dead after powerful typhoon hits Tokyo

by Kyoko HASEGAWA TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A powerful typhoon that battered Tokyo overnight with ferocious winds killed one person, police said Monday, as halted trains caused commuter chaos and more than 100 flights were cancelled. Typhoon Faxai, packing record …

Read More »