Fighting cancer in Singapore, eating plastic in Indonesia: is Southeast Asia the next Silicon Valley?

Charles Guinot’s journey to building a multimillion-dollar business started ordinarily enough. He was at a conference in China in 2015 when he first had an idea on how to use blockchain technology to solve his “painful” problem of filing taxes in Indonesia. To turn this idea into reality, the then 30-year-old robotics engineer from France decided to reprogram himself to become a blockchain developer because such developers were practically unheard of at the time. His…

Reformasi sweep: Indonesia’s elections prove ‘people power’ has legs

Reformasi, the people-power movement that dumped a dictator and started Indonesia on the road to democracy 20 years ago, was renewed this week as more than a 150 million voters turned their backs on dynastic politics opting for competence over connection. On Wednesday, voters in three of the country’s biggest provinces elected reformers with proven track records over powerful incumbents. Ridwan Kamil, the architect-turned-mayor of Indonesia’s third city of Bandung, who spent big on…

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘to visit North Korea next week’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to travel to North Korea next week to discuss the country’s denuclearisation plans, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing four people familiar with his plans.
A State Department official said Pompeo had postponed a meeting with his Indian counterpart in Washington on July 6 but would not confirm that he did so in order to fly to Pyongyang, saying there were “no travels plans to announce at this time”.
Donald Trump and Vladimir…

Murky floodwaters, narrow passages and limited tech: here’s why rescuing 12 Thai boys trapped in a cave is so tricky

A team of Thai soccer players – 12 boys aged 11 to 16 and their coach – have been missing inside a flooded cave in the country’s far north since June 23. Rescuers led by elite navy divers have found signs of the boys inside but have been unable to locate them. Here’s a look at what’s complicating the search.
Huge cave complex
Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province has an impressive entrance area that is easily walkable and has become a tourist attraction….

Satellite imagery suggests ‘rapid’ upgrades at North Korea nuclear site and uranium enrichment, says monitoring group

North Korea appears to be enriching uranium at its nuclear research site, where improvements have progressed at a “rapid pace” in recent months, a monitoring group said in a report on Wednesday, but the level of current operations at the facility remains unclear.
Analysis of satellite images by the group 38 North, which closely follows North Korea affairs, offered a snapshot of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre on June 21 – nine days after North Korean leader Kim…