Coronavirus: South Korea grapples with new infection clusters a month after easing social distancing rules

South Korea is braced for a fresh wave of infections centred on the capital Seoul almost a month after coronavirus restrictions were eased, as health officials grapple with newly emerging clusters before some 1.8 million students are set to return to school on Wednesday. The country, which had reported 11,541 cases as of Tuesday, endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the Covid-19 disease outside China, but appeared to have brought it under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and…

Singapore couple divorced after wife became obsessed with cats, husband left after one peed on him

A Singaporean woman’s sudden obsession with cats, which attracted complaints from neighbours and ended up driving her husband out of their home, has become grounds for divorce at a family court. In his decision issued on May 21, District Judge Sheik Mustafa Abu Hassan found that the couple’s 45-year marriage had broken down due to unreasonable behaviour and separation. The wife had contested her husband’s divorce application as she did not want their matrimonial home – a two-storey terrace…

Singaporean food photographer helps restaurants survive coronavirus lockdown by snapping fish soup and curry puffs

When the coronavirus pandemic forced Singapore into partial lockdown in April, Jeryl Tan watched his lifestyle photography business go downhill, his invoices declining 70 per cent. Instead, he has been offering free photography and styling services to help struggling eateries survive by tapping into the growing online market.“Photography in Singapore is expensive and … most businesses would have spent most of their initial capital and costs on rental, manpower and food,” the 28-year-old says. …

Coronavirus highlights Manila’s overcrowding as Philippine government offers to pay residents to leave

The coronavirus pandemic is giving Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte a reason to reduce overcrowding in Manila, which in recent decades has swollen into one of the most heavily populated areas on Earth.Duterte is offering cash and goods to induce city dwellers to move out of the greater capital region in an ambitious programme called “Back to the Province”, one of the most aggressive attempts in decades to lure Filipinos to the countryside.With the pandemic exposing how swift population…

Chinese, Malaysians detained in Philippines raid on online gambling ring

Philippine police have arrested 90 Chinese for running an online gambling hub without permits and for violating quarantine restrictions, officials said on Sunday.Police made the mass arrests on Friday after spotting some of the suspects converging closely without face masks outside a rented flat in violation of quarantine restrictions, in Cavite province south of Manila. The suspects ran into the flat, where police discovered the gambling operation, officials said.Philippines cracks down on…

Singapore NGOs call for rethink of migrant workers’ salaries, health care and recruitment fees

Twelve years ago, when Dhaka-born Aarul completed his secondary school education and was about to join the Bangladesh Army, a family friend introduced him to a recruitment agent in Singapore.The agent promised the 18-year-old an administrative job in the city state, and a S$850 (US$602) monthly salary that was 10 times what he would earn as a soldier.Coronavirus fuels record-breaking philanthropy drive in SingaporeBut there was a catch. Aarul would have to shell out S$8,000 for his flights, an…

Stanley Ho: how the Macau casino tycoon’s love life shaped his success

Gambling tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun was one of those rare characters: a man envied and adored in equal parts. Women wanted him. Men wanted to be him.Charming, elegant and a skilful dancer, the swashbuckling businessman was able to build from scratch an empire that was not limited to gambling. It included a diverse portfolio of investments that ranged from hotels to boats, in addition to his philanthropic work.The Macau casino tycoon who set his sights far beyond the gambling tableWhile…

Online child sex abuse cases triple in the Philippines, as lockdown fuels cybersex trafficking

Cases of online child sex abuse in the Philippines have tripled under coronavirus, the government said, with campaigners warning that the country’s lockdown has left more children vulnerable to exploitation by human traffickers and cash-strapped relatives.The spread of cheap, high-speed internet and the rise in mobile phone ownership has fuelled live-streamed abuse – known as cybersex trafficking – in recent years and the Philippines is considered by charities to be the epicentre of the global…

India denies Trump’s claim that he spoke to Modi about border tensions with China

Did US President Donald Trump speak with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone to discuss the South Asian nation’s border tensions with China?Trump, who reiterated his offer to mediate between New Delhi and Beijing over the rising temperatures at their border, told a reporter in Washington on Thursday that he spoke to Modi. The Indian government says no such conversation took place.“But I can tell you, I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He’s not – he’s not in a good mood about…

Asean and India unlikely to pressure Beijing over Hong Kong national security law: experts

While the United States has tapped its allies to voice their disapproval against China’s move to impose a national security law on Hong Kong, most Asean governments and India are unlikely to take similar positions even if they have concerns about the city’s autonomy.The five analysts and foreign policy experts This Week in Asia spoke to said most governments saw Beijing’s position on Hong Kong as part of its internal affairs.US response over Hong Kong stands out as other nations sidestep hard…