In today’s bulletin: Typhoons, haze and bushfires cause concern, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reshuffle Cabinet tomorrow, problems in building the world’s biggest regional trade pact, and more.
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TYPHOON, HAZE, BUSHFIRES – CLIMATE WORRIES ASIA
Hundreds of thousands of people across East Asia struggled to cope with the aftermath of Typhoon Lingling, that left many dead, battered cities and left several stranded at airports. Meanwhile, concerns grew over spread of haze in the region and raging bushfires in Australia. Here’s a quick overview:
Typhoon Lingling : Close to 455,000 people were affected in China, the Ministry of Emergency Management said. It has forced the relocation of over 2,800 people and destroyed 215,800 hectares of crops worth over US$131 million. In Japan, around 17,000 people were left stranded at Tokyo’s Narita airport after over a 100 flights were cancelled. The powerful typhoon left 8 dead in the Korean peninsula .
Haze in Southeast Asia : Hundreds of schools were shutdown in Indonesia because of toxic smoke from raging fires in Indonesia‘s rain forests in Kalimantan and Sumatra. Malaysia, meanwhile, offered assistance to Indonesia as the smoke spread to its eastern state of Sarawak on Borneo island. In Singapore, concern is growing that the winds would bring haze to the country and persist for weeks.
Bushfires in Australia : Several hundred people f led homes in Queensland as over 60 bushfires persisted for the fifth day . The popular tourist seaside town of Noosa was on high alert.
ABE’S UPCOMING CABINET RESHUFFLE
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to reshuffle his cabinet tomorrow and speculation has been mounting about Ministers that will have new portfolios. Japan watchers are also keen to see if the PM will hand a post to Shinjiro Koizumi, son of ex-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. Read some of our reports here:
Japan‘s Abe seeks stability in Cabinet rejig
Japan‘s Foreign Minister Taro Kono may move to defence in Cabinet shuffle: Report
Japan‘s Cabinet reshuffle: Who’s expected to stay or go?
GAME-CHANGING TRADE PACT AWAITS INDIA’S NOD
Singapore urged India to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement, now entering the final stretch of negotiations. But India has misgivings and the country’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar explained why here yesterday. The pact, when signed by the 10 Asean countries as well as China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, will make this the world’s biggest regional trade agreement, covering a third of the world’s economy. Read more here:
Singapore urges India to join ‘game-changing’ trade pact
RCEP negotiations in ‘final stages’, should be completed by 2019 or early 2020: Chan Chun Sing
RCEP: More delays will be a mistake for India
POUND UP, ASIAN STOCKS STRUGGLE
The pound lifted a bit and Asian equities drifted after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to get MPs to back a snap election and the risk of Britain leaving the EU without a deal remained in place. What‘s next? Read below:
Pound lifted by Boris Johnson‘s latest defeat as Asian stocks struggle
Brexit in brief: What happens next?
British PM Boris Johnson weighs his options on the way forward – and these are very few
RACE FOR 5G REVENUE
A new report, by Cisco and A.T. Kearney, has said there will be new revenue opportunities generated by 5G technology and Singapore is best-placed to benefit from this. The revenue of Singapore telcos could increase by up to US$510 million ($704 million) by 2025, it said. Read the full report here:
Singapore telcos could make up to $704m from 5G by 2025: Report
STPODCAST : In the latest edition, The Straits Times’ associate editor Vikram Khanna chats to Howard Yu , Lego Professor of Management and Innovation at the IMD Business School in Switzerland. They discuss how companies are being affected by the US-China trade war, and issues relating to digital taxes.
TOKYO TO DUMP RADIOACTIVE WATER: Tokyo Electric Power will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan‘s environment minister Yoshiaki Harada said. The company has collected more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. But it will run out of space by 2022.
CANADIAN FRIGATE IN TAIWAN STRAIT: A Canadian frigate was passing through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, Taipei’s Defence Ministry said, in the latest of a string of such voyages that could provoke Beijing. The ministry said in a statement it was closely monitoring as the Canadian warship sailed through the narrow waterway separating the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in a “freedom of navigation” operation.
BEIJING – China‘s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has dropped a lawsuit against the US government after Washington released telecommunications equipment it had seized on suspicion of violations of export controls. Huawei, which has been placed on a US trade blacklist since May, had sued the Commerce Department and other US government agencies for seizing its equipment in Alaska in 2017 en route back to China after a lab test in California.
That’s it for today, We’ll be back with more reports, tomorrow.
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