Bill Dorman

Vice President & News Director

Bill Dorman has been the news director of Hawai‘i Public Radio since February 2011. Born in New York City, he spent 21 years at CNN in various positions behind the scenes and on the air in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, and Tokyo, Japan. He was also managing editor of Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg News for five years before moving to Hawai‘i in 2009. He’s covered stories from more than twenty countries and territories.

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International students make up an important slice of campus life in Hawai‘i. New figures out this week show the United States remains the top destination in the world for international students. But two countries with Pacific coastlines are making a new push for those who want to study overseas.

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If a morning commute is part of your work life, it’s probably not your favorite part of the day. But it definitely could be worse. In one Asian city, the government is stepping in to try to help — especially during the summer.

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A multi-billion dollar rail project is running into unexpected problems, and may require some extra money. This is not a story about the Honolulu rail project — it’s about an enterprise that’s underway thousands of miles from Hawai‘i. 

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Hawaii is one of 18 states that raised its minimum wage this year to $10.10 an hour. That’s an increase of about nine-percent from last year. In South Korea, the minimum wage rose nearly twice as much this year and is headed higher — but the politics have become complicated.

© CEphoto, Uwe Arana / Wikimedia Commons

Hawai‘i has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the United States. About 13 percent of local residents smoke, compared to a little more than 17 percent nationally. Several Asian countries have some of the highest smoking rates in the world, but in one place they’re taking new steps to reduce it.

Bill Branson / National Cancer Institute

Most of the news about trade this week has focused on increasing tension between China and the United States. But there’s another trade story this week: involving a case where China is lowering tariffs.

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President Trump is in Europe this week, but on the policy front it’s been another week of trade talk about China. His administration has listed another 200-billion dollars of Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs. So far, most of this dispute has not directly touched Hawaii—but that could change.

CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / Wikimedia Commons

The Prime Minister of Malaysia has promised a series of political reforms — and he’s starting at the top. He’s creating new rules for cabinet ministers, and warning about cautionary tales of political influence in the United States.

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As you may have heard earlier on NPR, President Trump heads to Europe today for a week of diplomatic meetings. He’ll be talking with allies and will also spend time in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But another high-level diplomatic meeting is taking place this week thousands of miles from Europe.

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South Korea is changing the way it sells coffee — at least when you buy it at a coffee shop. Starting next month, if you drink your coffee in a café, you won’t be using a disposable cup. And that’s already stirring some controversy.

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Fireworks are always part of July 4th activities in the United States, but they’re also a key part of other celebrations around the world. That’s true in New Zealand, where some holiday fireworks planned for this weekend have been postponed for an unusual reason.

そらみみ / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a little more than a year since bike sharing hit the streets of Honolulu. The practice has been in operation for a little longer in Singapore, but recent changes in the law have led to some dramatic changes.

Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm / U.S. Air Force

On this Independence Day, there’s an unusual event marking the day on the Korean peninsula. It’s a basketball game involving teams from North Korea and South Korea—and a date that is significant for both sides.

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This Sunday, stores around Oahu began charging 15 cents for plastic bags. Most people realized this change was coming, and it hasn’t been a big deal. But a similar change in Australia is having a very different result.

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The Trump Administration is reviewing rules about foreign investment in the United States. But it’s not the only government taking a closer look at how foreign businesses operate in other countries. And last week, that sparked some confusion in Indonesia.

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Most office spaces around the world include break rooms. That’s generally where people can have lunch or a snack, and chat casually with colleagues. But in Australia, a different kind of “break room” is growing in popularity.

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The government of New Zealand is looking at a proposal to tax its tourists. The measure would tack on an arrival charge for most international visitors, but the proceeds would go beyond well marketing.

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It’s summer break for many students around the world. In China, last week marked an important event for high school students with plans for college. And this week there’s a new development involving the United States.

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School violence in the United States has led to a broader debate about arming teachers. Florida has passed a law allowing teachers to carry handguns. Texas lawmakers are considering a similar measure. But in the Philippines, an even more dramatic proposal is under consideration.

Wikipedia

Promises were made, but will they be kept? Have we forged a new relationship with a potentially dangerous nuclear adversary? Or have we weakened our position in the Asia-Pacific by cancelling joint military exercises with South Korea?

Senior Airman Dana Hill / U.S. Air Force

Government officials from the United States and South Korea are still trying to figure out the details of President Trump’s promise to pull back from military exercises on the Korean peninsula. The development surprised military officials in both Washington and Seoul.

President of Russia / en.kremlin.ru

Much of the world’s attention has been focused on the Singapore meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But another summit meeting in Asia has also produced a series of regional headlines.

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Much of the coverage of President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has focused on nuclear weapons and missiles. But for the host city of Singapore, some local businesses have focused on less serious topics — including food.

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We’re just a few days away from President Trump’s scheduled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore. And while global attention has been focused on these two leaders, several others will be affected by whatever takes place in Singapore.

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What to do about vacation rentals is an issue around the state. But while Hawaii’s legislature has not been able to agree on state-wide measures, in Japan a new national law takes effect a week from tomorrow. And it’s already having an impact.

Raf Jabri / Pexels

What’s in a name? When it comes to the destination for an airline — it can be a lot — especially if the destination is Taiwan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Two of the largest grocery store chains in Australia are taking new steps to cut down on the amount of waste they produce. It’s the latest development in a series of moves aimed at curbing waste in Australia. HPR’S Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Food preparation and space travel are two pursuits that have some unexpected links. That’s especially true for a new experiment that Thailand plans to try this summer. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

www.travelanddestinations.com / Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s visitor industry reported another strong month in April, although any impact of the Kilauea Volcano won’t show up until the May figures come out next month. While authorities continue to encourage visitors to Hawaii, there’s another location in the Asia Pacific that is taking a different approach. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

President of Indonesia / Wikimedia Commons

As you’ve been hearing on NPR, there’s a lot of attention swirling around a potential summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But another top-level meeting in Asia this week may also have significant strategic importance. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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