Asia Minute

Awards for bravery and public service are part of the careers of many law enforcement officials around the world. But in one Southeast Asian country, a different sort of award is making headlines. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

In many parts of the world, bribery is part of business as usual.  Sometimes that includes law enforcement officials.  But the government of Indonesia has come up with a novel concept---rewarding honesty—giving national recognition to a policeman who has refused to accept cash bribes.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Financial markets in Asia began the week with a more measured view of events in Britain than the US stock market.  Some of the larger equity markets even began the week with strong gains, while currency markets have had a more complicated reaction.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

When it comes to big money in Asia, it’s still early to fully evaluate the implications of Britain’s exit from the European Union.  After steep sell-offs last week, stock markets across Asia have generally calmed down a bit.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

What’s your relationship with your phone? That may seem like an odd question, but it’s one that psychiatrists in South Korea are increasingly asking some of their patients. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Chi Tranter / Flickr
Chi Tranter / Flickr

Geothermal power has been part of the electricity grid for decades on Hawai‘i Island. In Japan, development of geothermal has been slow—but a recent move might speed things up. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As we’ve been reporting recently on HPR, crystal methamphetamine continues to be a crisis in Hawai‘i. And there is evidence that use of that drug is increasing in New Zealand and Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Police in New Zealand seized more than half a ton of methamphetamine from an abandoned boat on a northern beach this week…with a street value of more than $350 million US dollars.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Sustainable seafood is an important part of Hawai‘i’s local diet.  The Hawai‘i Seafood Council lists sixteen species of wild and sustainable fish that come from waters around the islands.  But the waters around the Philippines are facing new challenges when it comes to sustainable fishing. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Danilo Cedrone / United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
Danilo Cedrone / United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

The South China Sea is a center of territorial disputes involving half a dozen governments. China’s construction activities and military patrols in the region have drawn criticism, but there’s also a growing chorus of protests from another group: environmentalists. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

faerie-angel Via CC Commons
faerie-angel Via CC Commons

In the 1980’s, Japanese investment poured into Hawai‘i—from residential real estate to hotels. Hawai‘i is still a popular destination for Japanese investors…. but they’re increasingly being joined by those from South Korea. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia minute.

South Korea’s central bank cut interest rates to a record low Thursday…one and a quarter percent.  Those low interest rates at home are one factor driving investment money abroad—including here in Hawai‘i.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Hillary Clinton’s email may be a topic that we continue to hear about in this presidential election year. But questions about government workers and their use of technology continue to evolve around the world. And they’ve just taken a sharp turn in Singapore. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Continuing drought conditions in parts of Asia have hit farmers and livestock producers for months. And now there are signs that parched weather is translating to higher prices for rice. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

It may not show up in your plate lunch just yet, but the global price of rice is on the rise.  The Nikkei Financial Review reports the cost of rice from Thailand is up nearly 20% from the start of the year….its biggest jump in eight years.

newsonline / Flickr
newsonline / Flickr

The US Navy has imposed a total ban on alcohol for all sailors in Japan. The more than 18-thousand Navy personnel in the country have also been ordered to stay on military bases, following the latest incident involving drinking and destruction. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

City of Augsburg
City of Augsburg

Hawai‘i is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians—especially for older residents. That’s been the case for several years—even when people are using cross-walks. There’s an experiment planned in Australia that might offer some ideas---but it’s expensive. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The Prime Minister of India is coming to the United States---again. Narendra Modi will be in Washington next week…meeting with President Obama and discussing a variety of issues. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

It’s been just a couple of months since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was last in the United States.  This will be his fourth trip to the US in the two years he’s been in office.  That’s drawn some criticism at home…where some suggest he spend more time focused on domestic issues.

www.publicdomainpictures.net
www.publicdomainpictures.net

The use of solar energy is still growing in Hawai‘i….although more slowly than in recent years. The Solar Energy Industries Association says $331 million was spent on solar installations across the state last year, an increase of 3% from a year earlier. But while solar installations in Hawai‘i tend to focus on residential electricity, in Asia there’s a different story: consumer electronics. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

More than 45 million people around the world are living in slavery.  That’s according to an Australian human rights group which compiled what it calls the “Global Slavery Index.” And it says two-thirds of those modern day slaves live in the Asia Pacific.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Ernie / Flickr
Ernie / Flickr

Hawai‘i is one of the most aggressive states when it comes to restricting smoking. Earlier this year, Hawai‘i became the first state to raise the smoking age to 21, and smoking at beaches and other parks has been banned in recent years. But in one growing Asian nation, efforts to cut back on smoking are going the other way. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The World Health Organization is concerned China may be backsliding in its campaign against tobacco use. The country’s latest five-year plan called for a complete ban on smoking in public places.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

We’re just past the peak season for commencement ceremonies at Hawai‘i’s high schools and universities. While higher education may be part of the plan for some graduates, education of a different kind is getting some attention in South Korea.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Jeff Gunn / Flickr
Jeff Gunn / Flickr

Last week, we told you about an island in Thailand that has been so overrun with tourists that it’s now temporarily closed to visitors. It’s a movement that appears to be growing. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The price of coffee can be a moving target. For local producers, considerations include everything from weather conditions to the state of the coffee borer beetle. But in some parts of Asia, the key factor this year is rain—or the lack of it. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Stories of computer hacking and security breaches have become common around the world. But a case this month in Japan has taken cyber-crime to a new level. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

 

 

This was a hack attack that integrated time zones, international banks, and more than a thousand ATM machines across Japan.

Prince Roy / Flickr
Prince Roy / Flickr

(As you heard earlier on Morning Edition/ATC), President Obama continues his Asian travels today with another day in Vietnam. While the president’s meetings include a focus on political and security issues, trade is another key topic. And it’s one that U.S. companies have been paying attention to for decades. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

23 years ago, the United States still had a trade embargo against Vietnam.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The latest dispute between the United States and China could be a topic of discussion in Hawai‘i this week. The meeting is a regularly-scheduled event focusing on maritime safety, but it follows a potentially dangerous encounter last week in the South China Sea. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The U.S. Defense Department says two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane on “routine patrol” last Tuesday.

Macaroni / Youtube
Macaroni / Youtube

For sports fans in the United States, it’s playoff time for professional basketball and hockey. In Europe, fans of soccer—or football as they would call it—saw the Premier League wrap up its season at the start of this week. And there’s a definite Asian angle to that story. HPR’s Bill Dorman has it in today’s Asia Minute.

Leicester City famously beat the odds this season to win its first ever Premier League Championship—the pinnacle of English soccer.

Tina Franklin / Flickr
Tina Franklin / Flickr

The treatment of overseas workers in Asia is a continuing issue for many governments. Human rights groups say many are mistreated. That’s especially true for domestic workers--those employed as maids. And now the government of Indonesia is taking action. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Indonesia wants to ban its citizens from working as live-in maids in foreign countries.

liverbright / Pixabay
liverbright / Pixabay

The start of peak travel season is still a few weeks away, but it’s already been a strong year so far for Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry.  Visitor arrivals had a record first quarter, and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority expects a strong summer.  In Thailand, a busy period for one island has led to a different result. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

When it comes to tourists, one of Thailand’s popular beach spots is just saying no.

Or no thank you…..at least for the time being.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The waters off Hawai‘i will be the scene of a new kind of military exercise next month. For the first time, forces from the United States, South Korea and Japan will hold a joint missile defense drill. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

This exercise will test an information-sharing network among the United States, Japan and South Korea…in case of a North Korean missile launch.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Many of this year’s political races are coming into clearer focus. From mayoral contests across the state to the presidential election, there will be competition. But the titles of the office holders are not a point of contention. That’s not true everywhere. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Matthieu Sévère / Flickr
Matthieu Sévère / Flickr

Immigration policy continues to be a focus around the world---from Europe’s refugee crisis to the US presidential election. In parts of Asia, another twist on the issue centers on the use of foreign workers. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Nearly 15% of Malaysia’s work force is made up of people from other countries.  That’s according to the government, which puts the number of foreign workers at a little more than 2 million.  Non-profit labor groups estimate as many as 2 million more work in the country without documentation.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

How fast is your internet connection? Of all the charms and wonders of Hawai‘i, speedy broadband access doesn’t make the list.  In fact, according to one survey last year, we rank 46th in the country for average speed of connection.  And the latest tech news about Asia makes the comparison even more sobering.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Ranking technology use by location can be a tricky business.  Several times a year, various groups report on different measures of technological prowess and adoption.

James St. John / Flickr
James St. John / Flickr

The government of Thailand will be closing a controversial gold mine by the end of the year.  It’s a case that involves overseas investment, local jobs, and questions about health.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

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