Asia Minute

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.

Yi Chen / Flickr
Yi Chen / Flickr

Wildfires in Canada are blowing smoky air into parts of the United States this week. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air pollution health advisory over the weekend because of smoke coming from Ontario. In Asia, there’s a big debate in many countries about how much air pollution blows in from Mainland China. But in Taiwan, there’s a new movement to reduce homegrown air pollution. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  Facial drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, and time- that's the meaning behind FAST, the pneumonic to remember the signs of someone having a stroke. Learn more with Dr. Matt Koenig.

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Wikipedia Commons

Geography is not always a strong subject for Americans.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress consistently finds US students’ score poorly on geography tests, and other studies find many parents don’t do much better. But if you have any dealings with a map of India, you’ll want to pay closer attention.  HPR’s Bill Dorman explains why in today’s Asia Minute. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

  Now that Donald Trump appears to be headed for the Republican nomination, international attention is shifting to what that might mean beyond America’s borders. Trump’s very presence in the November election means certain assumptions about U.S. foreign policy may come under question—including in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

In the United States, political attention is shifting from the primaries to this fall’s general election.  In the Philippines, this coming Monday is Election Day—with more than the presidency at stake.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The front-runner in the presidential election in the Philippines remains a right-wing mayor campaigning on an anti-crime message….including the return of public executions. 

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

Thousands of residents in southern Japan remain homeless—nearly three weeks after the region was struck by a series of powerful earthquakes. Local authorities are still working on improving refugee shelters, amid concerns that many families will be living there for some time. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Craig Morey / Flickr
Craig Morey / Flickr

National forecasters say Hawai‘i faces an increased chance of wildfires this summer, in part because drought conditions worsened last month. Dry conditions are also causing fire worries in Southeast Asia, but one government is taking some steps that may lead to a safer summer. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Several organizations are trying to increase the number of business start-ups in Hawai‘i. From seed funding to business incubators, more resources are slowly becoming available. Across the Pacific, governments are floating some other ideas to achieve the same goals. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

If you’re a technology entrepreneur with an idea that can create jobs, the government of New Zealand would love to hear from you.  And there might be a visa in it for you.

Stirling Noyes / Flickr
Stirling Noyes / Flickr

Coffee can be a challenging crop—whether it’s grown here in Hawai‘i or anywhere else in the world. And while local farmers are battling the borer beetle…in parts of Asia, the enemy is the weather. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A South Korean official says North Korea test-fired two missiles today….and both of them failed.  It’s the latest development in what has been an active time in the region. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Tensions are even higher than usual these days on the Korean peninsula.  Thursday’s failed missile launches are the latest in a series of test firings.  This past weekend, North Korean military officials said they launched a ballistic missile from a submarine…while western observers say an attempted launch a couple of weeks ago failed.

Keith Bacongco / Flickr
Keith Bacongco / Flickr

Election news in the United States remains focused on primary elections and the nomination process for presidential candidates.  In the Philippines, the presidential election is less than two weeks away—and recent polls have taken a new turn.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Rikki's Refuge / Flickr
Rikki's Refuge / Flickr

A number of Japanese sports and games are popular in Hawai‘i. There was a time when Hawaiian-born sumo wrestlers dominated the top ranks of the sport.  And other games from Hanafuda to Sudoku have caught on in the islands. But one particular sport that’s been developed in Japan hasn’t yet made it to Hawai‘i---although it’s spreading across Asia.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

midnightcomm / Flickr
midnightcomm / Flickr

One of the biggest abalone farms in the world is located in Hawai‘i. It’s on Hawai‘i Island—run by the Big Island Abalone Corporation. Across the Pacific, a different method of raising abalone is sparking new interest. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

In the waters off Western Australia, artificial reefs are home to a growing crop of abalone.  Those behind the project call it the world’s first sea ranch for abalone.  That’s a delicacy in many Asian countries—and demand is rising fast—especially in China.

Daisuke TSUDA / Flickr
Daisuke TSUDA / Flickr

It’s been more than a week since the first of two earthquakes shook southern Japan. Nearly fifty people died in the quakes, and tens of thousands of residents are still struggling to put their lives back together. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Rain is in the forecast this weekend for Kumamoto Prefecture in southern Japan…a little more than a week after two earthquakes shook the region.  Government officials say nearly 100-thousand people remain in and around overcrowded evacuation centers, some are sleeping outside as nighttime temperatures hover in the 40’s.

Danumurthi Mahendra / Flickr
Danumurthi Mahendra / Flickr

More than half of Hawai‘i’s population is currently living under drought conditions. That’s according to the latest weekly reading from the U.S. Drought Monitor—put together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But in parts of the Asia Pacific, conditions remain much worse. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

It’s been nearly three years since Edward Snowden revealed the extent of certain U.S. intelligence gathering efforts around the world. Since that time, one focus of espionage has been on telephone and computer surveillance. But this month in China, there’s a different focus. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Yuichi Kosio / Flickr
Yuichi Kosio / Flickr

When it comes to tourism in Hawai‘i, the Asia Pacific is a growth market. Airlines are continuing to increase flights from the region---and that’s creating another challenge.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Boeing and Airbus are fierce competitors who don’t see eye to eye on a lot…but they agree the Asia Pacific is running short on airline pilots.  Both companies forecast the region will be the world’s largest travel market within two decades.

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Wikipedia Commons

There’s a financial debate underway in many countries around the world. It’s not about interest rates or taxes, but about coins—and whether it’s time to drop them. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

South Korea plans to phase out coins entirely by the year 2020.  The Bank of Korea has already cut back on the number of coins it mints—reducing them by nearly a third over the past ten years.

The U.S. Army / Flickr
The U.S. Army / Flickr

Last week, we told you about annual military exercises underway in the Philippines. The maneuvers involve US and Filipino forces—and this week there are new developments. HPR’s Bill Dorman has them in today’s Asia Minute.

republic of Korea / Flickr
republic of Korea / Flickr

While the presidential campaign remains a focus in the United States, this was a big week for elections of a different kind in South Korea. Voters cast ballots for the national legislature—and the results surprised a lot of observers. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Congress is gridlocked, and time is running out on the president’s term.  Sounds like the United States, but now it’s also true in South Korea.  President Park Geun-hye still has more than a year and a half left in office…but her legislative outlook just became a lot more challenging.

pixabay Commons
pixabay Commons

The global economy should continue on a growth path for the next several years, but at a slower pace. That’s the word from the International Monetary Fund, which has revised its world economic outlook. But when it comes to regions of the world, Asia is still generally a strong performer. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Phalinn Ooi / Flickr
Phalinn Ooi / Flickr

Cooling classrooms in public schools is a topic under discussion at Hawai‘i’s legislature this session. It’s also a timely issue across parts of Southeast Asia this week—as temperatures are soaring. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Malaysia’s government shut down more than 250 schools on Monday…because it was just too hot.  Temperatures climbed to nearly 100-degrees farenheit….and authorities cancelled classes for some 100,000 students.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Tourism brings more than 8-million visitors to Hawai‘i each year--a fact that has attracted a number of international businesses looking to capitalize on brand exposure.  That includes companies selling Korean cosmetics.  It’s a niche that has led to several new stores in the state over the past few years—and continues to be a growing part of Korea’s international trade. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Military exercises are a routine part of life for personnel stationed in Hawai‘i---and for those around the Asia Pacific. Right now, Operation Foal Eagle is continuing in South Korea—part of operations that involved more than 300-thousand Korean forces at its peak….along with 17-thousand from the United States. And in the Philippines, another annual exercise quietly got underway this week. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

About 5,000 US forces and another 4,000 from the Philippines are taking part in Balikatan 2016.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Today is World Health Day—which marks the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. This year, the WHO has issued a call to action on diabetes—a condition it says has exploded over the past several decades …and is taking an especially heavy toll in Asia.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

One measure working its way through Hawai‘i’s current legislative session would ban the sale of ivory in the state. This week, authorities announced they’d seized nearly a million dollars of elephant tusks in a Southeast Asian country that’s long been a part of the illegal ivory trade. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

thierry ehrmann / Flickr
thierry ehrmann / Flickr

The so-called “Panama Papers” have sparked a series of reactions around the world. The disclosure of financial transactions linked to a Panamanian law firm includes a wide range of political and business leaders. And some of the most explosive ties involve China. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Perfect Zero / Flickr
Perfect Zero / Flickr

The National Weather Service says drought conditions on Hawai‘i Island and Maui are likely to continue during the summer, and may spread elsewhere across the islands. Forecasters blame a strong El Nino—which is likely to have a different impact in China. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Water levels are already high along parts of Asia’s longest river…and government officials are warning of spring floods that could be “catastrophic.” 

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