China-Russia remark by Britain’s Liz Truss ‘nothing short of demented’, Australia’s ex-PM Paul Keating says

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ assertion that China might use a Russian invasion of Ukraine as an opportunity to launch aggression of its own in the Indo-Pacific has sparked debate in Australia, with a former prime minister calling Truss’ remarks “nothing short of demented”.Leading the criticism, Paul Keating, in a weekend op-ed, said her remarks after a bilateral security and defence meeting were “not simply irrational, demented”.His comments follow a speech he gave at the National Press…

US man who live-streamed sex abuse of Filipino children receives record prison sentence

Jake Ross paid a mother in the Philippines to sexually abuse her children while he watched it live, 8,800 miles (14,162km) away.Now the US man will be paying with the rest of his life.On Friday, Ross, of McDowell County, North Carolina, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his conviction on a half-dozen child pornography charges.Chief US District Judge Martin Reidinger also added a lifetime of court supervision should the 47-year-old Ross live long enough to serve out his term.The sentence…

On yer bike: personal air mobility is becoming a race between Japan, China and the US

Han Solo stepped on a twig in the forest of Endor, alerting an Imperial scout trooper who promptly jumped on a Speeder bike, kicking off one of the most exciting chase sequences in 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Newly created special effects from Industrial Light and Magic showed Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa chasing down the scout troopers at 100mph through the trees on fictional hover bikes.Glued to the silver screen by the chase, a group of engineering students studying…

Genting Hong Kong: How Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay’s cruise empire imploded

In the 1990s, Lim Kok Thay started a cruiseferry and gambling boat business in Hong Kong and turned it into one of Asia’s biggest cruise operators.It was a labour of love, as well as a way to diversify the casino business set up by his father, Lim Goh Tong, in Malaysia.Under the now 70-year-old Lim, Genting Hong Kong Ltd expanded its fleet of ships, bought other cruise lines and even added a string of German shipyards to build its vessels.Now, more than two years into the coronavirus pandemic,…

Why is anti-Korean racism in Japan on the rise again?

Nearly 20 years ago, after Pyongyang admitted that its agents had abducted Japanese nationals, someone smeared on the walls of Chung Hyon-suk’s Tokyo home: “North Koreans live here. Be careful.”The sense of danger she felt that day has returned.“Japan’s relationship with the two Koreas has always been complicated due to Tokyo’s colonial rule of the peninsula, but things changed for North Korean residents of Japan after they confirmed the abductions,” she said.“Politicians and the Japanese media…

Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk, dies at 95

Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, has died. He was 95.The death was confirmed by a monk at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam who said that Nhat Hanh, known as Thay to his followers, died at midnight on Saturday. The monk declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to media.A post on Nhat Hanh’s verified Twitter page attributed to The International Plum Village Community…

Malaysia’s floods expose depth of government’s inability to handle climate change

For decades, Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast has had more than its fair share of floods during the November to February monsoon season.But as the country now counts the cost of the latest flooding – described by officials as a “once-in-a-century” disaster – victims, observers and climate activists say no other recent natural disaster has exposed just how unprepared it is in tackling climate change.Some degree of damage was expected from the flooding, but a record death toll of at least 54, as…

Dredgers spotted off Cambodia’s Ream naval base where China is funding work, says US think tank

Dredgers have been spotted off Cambodia’s Ream naval base, where China is funding construction work and deeper port facilities would be necessary for the docking of larger military ships, a US think tank said on Friday.The United States, which has sought to push back against Beijing’s extensive territorial claims and military expansion in the South China Sea, reiterated its “serious concerns” about China’s construction and military presence at Ream.“These developments threaten US and partner…