Asia News

Aukus submarine deal ‘tricky’ for nuclear inspectors, says IAEA chief

The head of the United Nations atomic agency has said the Aukus deal in which Australia will obtain nuclear submarine technology from the United States is a “very tricky” issue in terms of inspections but it can be managed.The submarine deal is part of a three-way defence agreement announced by Washington, London and Canberra last month which infuriated France because Australia said it would cancel an existing order for French diesel-powered submarines.It would also be the first time that a…

South Korea, US envoys to meet after North Korea’s latest missile test

South Korea’s top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, and US special representative for North Korea Sung Kim on Tuesday spoke on the phone and arranged to meet in person on Thursday to discuss ways to cooperate in dealing with the nuclear-armed North, the foreign ministry said.Noh and Kim decided to meet in person in Indonesia on Thursday for further discussions. Kim currently doubles as the US ambassador to Jakarta.This came hours after North Korea fired what is believed to be a short-range ballistic…

Philippine taxman probes 250 social media stars, seeking revenue for Covid-19 battered economy

Being the centre of attention is usually a lucrative prospect for a social media star. But scores of influencers in the Philippines may be about to find out that the spotlight can be costly too.The country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue is investigating 250 social media influencers to see if they are paying their taxes, in a development Manila has described as “clarifying” the tax obligations of influencers and “reminding” them of the consequences of tax evasion.The move, which the government…

Japan’s media frenzy over Princess Mako’s fiancé Kei Komuro has shades of Harry and Meghan

Kei Komuro walked through the sliding doors at Narita Airport in Monday and straight back into the media circus that he has largely managed to avoid in the three years since he relocated to New York. And the shouted questions, the flashes of countless cameras, the press pack tailgating his car from the airport – by helicopter as well as on the streets of Tokyo – is certain to have cemented his conviction that he is right to move back to the United States just as soon as he completes his on-off…

How artificial clouds may help save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

To slow the speed at which high temperatures and warm waters bleach the corals of the Great Barrier Reef, Australian scientists are spraying droplets of ocean water into the sky to form clouds to protect the environmental treasure.Researchers working on the so-called Cloud Brightening project said they use a turbine to spray microscopic sea particles to thicken existing clouds and reduce sunlight on the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem located off Australia’s northeast coast.The water…

Australia watchdog calls for curbs on Google’s power to use data for targeted ads

Australia’s antitrust watchdog has called for powers to curb Google’s use of internet data to sell targeted ads, joining other regulators in saying the firm dominates the market to the point of hurting publishers, advertisers and consumers.The comments, in a report published on Tuesday, puts Australia alongside Europe and Britain where regulators want to stop the Alphabet Inc unit trouncing rival advertisers by using the data it collects from people’s online searches – including on maps and…

Japan protests South Korean court’s order for Mitsubishi Heavy to sell assets over wartime labour

Japan has protested a South Korean court order that assets seized from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries be sold to pay compensation to two women subjected to forced labour for the company during Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula.A support group for the South Korean forced labour victims welcomed the court decision as a “step forward” on compensation, but top Japanese officials warned of serious impacts to already strained diplomatic ties.Japan’s foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, on…