By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian companies are shedding jobs as they grapple with the weakest economic growth in six years, adding to the troubles facing President Joko Widodo, who was elected last year on pledges to dig the country out of a rut. Government data might suggest no cause for alarm – unemployment was 5.81 percent in February, up only slightly from 5.70 percent a year earlier – but the official numbers are notoriously unreliable and don’t adequately cover the informal sector, which is two-thirds of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Recent reports of heavy lay-offs …read more
Category Archives: Asia
The United States is vowing not to “paper over” differences with China at key talks this week weighed down by thorny issues of trade, cyber spying and tensions in the South China Sea. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will host China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang for a private dinner on Monday, before the talks kick off at the State Department the next day. The world’s two leading economies remain at odds over China’s claims to much of the South China Sea and Washington has repeatedly urged Beijing to stop …read more
By Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that senior Obama administration officials had raised U.S. concerns with him about India’s handling of intellectual property rights during his U.S. visit this week. Jaitley held talks with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during a tour that has taken him to New York and Washington, including meetings with CEOs and think tanks. While offering a mostly upbeat assessment of his trip so far, Jaitley said discussions with U.S. counterparts had also touched upon contentious issues between the two countries.
A total of 175 people were exposed to Thailand’s only case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the patient’s condition has improved, the health ministry said on Saturday. In a statement, the ministry said it had been in touch with all 175 and had instructed them to stay away from public spaces and for medical personnel to monitor their health. In South Korea, the health ministry said that no new cases of the disease had been recorded in the country for the first time in 16 days.
South Korea on Saturday said that there had been no new cases of MERS reported for the first time in 16 days, raising hopes the country is winning the battle to contain the deadly virus. The number of fatalities also remained unchanged at 24, while confirmed cases were stable at 166 over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. Six more patients had recovered and were released from hospital, cutting to 106 the number now undergoing treatment, while restrictions on more than 700 people were lifted Saturday, leaving some 5,200 people in quarantine.
Vietnam’s marine police on Saturday said they were questioning eight foreigners suspected of being the escaped pirates who commandeered a Malaysian-flagged tanker in the South China Sea for a week. The unarmed men docked on Tho Chu island, off southwest Vietnam, on a lifeboat Friday morning after “saying they encountered an accident at sea”, Major General Ngo Ngoc Thu, deputy commander of the Vietnam Marine Police, told AFP. Malaysian authorities have been searching for eight men since Friday when they escaped the MT Orkim Harmony in a lifeboat.
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — The latest from the U.S. Open (all times local):
Two Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers and a wildlife conservation guard have been shot dead in Garamba National Park while attempting to protect elephants from poachers, the park’s management said Friday. The three men died Thursday “when they were ambushed by a group of heavily-armed poachers, believed to be South Sudanese,” the African Parks NGO said in a statement. “The three men sustained multiple bullet wounds and died instantly,” added African Parks which runs the national park along with the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature.
Islamic jihadists fuelled a major spike in terror attacks last year, with the global death toll soaring 81 percent in more than 1,100 assaults a month, the United States said Friday. There were 13,463 attacks in 95 countries in 2014 — up by a third from 9,700 the year before — with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan bearing the brunt of extremist violence, the State Department said in a report. Most of the attacks were carried out by Islamic State (IS) militants, who unleashed 1,083 assaults last year as part of a deadly march across Iraq and Syria.
BEIJING (AP) — Often the target of U.S. human rights accusations, China wasted little time returning such charges following the shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina that left nine people dead. Elsewhere in Asia, the attack renewed perceptions that Americans have too many guns and have yet to overcome racial tensions.