Reconnected: North and South Korean leaders get new hotline as stage is set for historic summit

A hotline between the leaders of North and South Korea went live on Friday, a week before they are due to hold a historic summit on the border that has separated their countries for more than six decades.
As preparations for the meeting gathered pace, South Korean media reported that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, would talk over the phone before they meet next Friday. The summit will take place on the southern side of the demilitarised zone…

Mahathir’s wife urges Malaysian women to be ‘queenmakers’ in May’s general election

The wife of former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad urged women on Friday to support the opposition coalition in next month’s general election for a better future.
Women are nearly half of the nearly 15 million people eligible to vote in the May 9 polls that will pit Prime Minister Najib Razak’s long-ruling coalition against an opposition coalition lead by his former mentor Mahathir, one of Asia’s longest serving premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003.
Siti Hasmah…

What will happen to the Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s, and why does it matter?

The recent whirlwind of diplomacy over North Korea has sparked hopes in Japan of a breakthrough in the painful decades-long issue of citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang.
US President Donald Trump pledged after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to work “very, very hard” to “try and bring these folks back.”
Trump also met relatives of the abductees during his last visit to Tokyo, the emotional high point of his trip as grieving families clutched pictures of…

Google Home can understand Singaporean English, but does it know Singlish?

By Jonathan Loh
Finally, the Google Home and Home Mini have officially landed in Singapore, priced at S$189 (US$144.38) and S$79 respectively on the Google Store.
Singaporeans will be glad to know that Google Home and Home Mini devices sold here are fitted with the tech giant’s “Singaporean English” voice command support, which was first introduced in November last year.
According to Google, this means that made-in-Singapore terms such as “kopitiam”, Paya Lebar and…

Angry protesters confront Indian Prime Minister Modi in London over spate of sexual violence and brutal rapes

Hundreds of noisy protesters greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in London on Wednesday, demonstrating over a rising tide of sexual violence at home including two particularly brutal rapes.
Holding placards reading “Modi go home” and “we stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed,” they gathered outside Downing Street and parliament as Modi arrived for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sexual violence against women is a highly…

Philippines President Duterte is investigating a 71-year-old Australian nun for ‘disorderly conduct’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he ordered the investigation into a 71-year-old Australian nun for “disorderly conduct”, justifying it as a legal move against “undesirable” foreigners.
Sister Patricia Fox, a coordinator of a Philippine congregation of Catholic nuns called Notre Dame de Sion, was taken from her house this week and detained at the immigration bureau in Manila for almost 24 hours.
She was released on Tuesday pending further…

South and North Korea ‘may announce an end to their 68-year-long war next week’

South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict that has existed between the two countries since 1950, the South Korean Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
At next week’s summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the two neighbours may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the…