Asia News

Coronavirus: Singapore tightens testing for all travellers amid Omicron concerns

Singapore, which in recent months was progressively reopening its borders and allowing quarantine free travel, will from Friday tighten its coronavirus testing regime for all travellers amid concerns over the new Omicron variant.All travellers will have to test negative for Covid-19 within two days of their departure for Singapore, and they will also have to undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test on arrival.Ministers told a press briefing on Tuesday that this would buy the country time…

Japan’s crown prince Akishino slams media for ‘slanderous’ coverage of daughter Mako’s marriage

Japan’s crown prince criticised the media on Tuesday for falsities and “terrible things” in its coverage of the engagement of his daughter, former princess Mako, who relinquished her royal status to marry a commoner last month.Mako, 30, postponed her marriage to Kei Komuro, 30, for roughly three years over opposition stemming from a scandal involving his mother.Mako was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder during that period.In accordance with Japanese law, Mako relinquished her royal…

As Singapore sees more Covid-19 deaths than last year, what happens to the bodies of patients without families?

When it comes to death, veteran embalmer Dennis Pedrozo has seen it all in his 24 years of preserving bodies. But nothing prepared him for the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed long-standing funeral practices.While Singapore’s Covid-19 death toll remains one of the lowest in the world, there was a sudden spike in infections and deaths in October, following clusters linked to karaoke lounges and fishery ports.Singapore recorded 30 Covid-19 deaths in the 14 months following the country’s first…

Philippine leader Duterte’s preferred successor Christopher Go quits presidential race

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s chosen successor on Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the 2022 presidential race, saying it was “not yet my time”.Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a close aide to the president, entered the contest for the country’s highest office two days before the November 15 deadline, after previously registering for the vice presidential race.His sudden exit narrows the field of candidates vying to replace Duterte, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a…

Who is Parag Agrawal? The Indian-American Twitter CEO replacing Jack Dorsey

Newly named Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has emerged from behind the scenes to take over one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile and politically volatile jobs.But his prior lack of name recognition coupled with a solid technical background appears to be what some big company backers were looking for to lead Twitter out of its current morass.A 37-year-old immigrant from India, Agrawal comes from outside the ranks of celebrity CEOs, which include the man he’s replacing, Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark…

Coronavirus: Singapore says two visitors with Omicron variant transited Changi Airport

Singapore started contact tracing for airport staff who may have come into contact with two travellers infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 who transited through Changi Airport on their way to Australia from South Africa, the health ministry said on Monday.Two individuals, described as being from southern Africa, flew from Johannesburg to Singapore on a Singapore Airlines flight November 27, and had tested negative for Covid-19 on November 26 in South Africa, the ministry said.They…

Is US-China struggle behind Solomon Islands riots – or ‘just icing on the cake’?

George Seda, a 31-year-old musician living in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, described the last few days on the Pacific island nation as like “walking through hell”.“There was nothing but fear, hunger, and terror,” Seda said, referring to the riots which broke out last Wednesday after protesters stormed the parliament and set fire to buildings and shops, leading to the deaths of three and the arrests of dozens, according to local media.Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare declared a…