Domestic helper agency in Hong Kong places more than 2,000 Filipino maids without charging them fees

The co-founder of the Fair Employment Agency believes that Hong Kong is on the right track to eradicate the exploitation of domestic workers by 2024, noting his organisation has placed more than 2,000 Filipino helpers at no cost to them. Studies have shown that indebtedness arising from excessive agency fees is a major reason why the workers remain vulnerable to abuse in a city that has no anti-human trafficking laws and where forced labour is technically not a crime. More employment…

‘Assassinated by the hand of treachery’: Palestinian ‘rocket building’ expert linked to Hamas gunned down in Malaysia

A Palestinian man linked to Islamic group Hamas was shot dead in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday by two suspects believed to be connected to foreign intelligence services, authorities said.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim said two men on a motorcycle fired 10 shots at the 35-year-old victim, killing him on the spot.
“Preliminary investigations found four gunshot wounds on the victim’s body. Two bullet slugs were found at the scene of the incident,” Mazlan said in a statement….

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…