China coronavirus: Singapore confirms first case from Wuhan; second case suspected

Singapore on Thursday confirmed its first case of the China coronavirus that has so far infected more than 600 and killed 17.The ministry of health (MOH) said a Chinese national who arrived in Singapore on January 20 with his family had tested positive for the virus.The patient, a 66-year-old man, was warded in an isolation room in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). He was in a stable condition.The man was a resident of Wuhan, a Chinese city of 11 million that is ground zero of the outbreak…

International court orders Myanmar to create laws to protect Rohingya Muslims

The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect its Rohingya Muslim population from persecution and atrocities, and preserve evidence of alleged crimes against them.In a unanimous ruling by a panel of 17 judges, the court said Myanmar must now take all steps within its power to prevent serious harm to Rohingya, and report back within four months.The court’s president, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, said the ICJ was “of the opinion that the…

Singapore PM’s estranged nephew Li Shengwu will not ‘participate’ in contempt case, will unfriend cousin on Facebook

A grandson of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew says he will no longer take part in a contempt of court case brought against him by the city state’s Attorney General’s Chambers.Li Shengwu in a public Facebook post on Wednesday said the AGC had recently sought to strike out parts of his defence affidavit and this meant part of his court filings would not be considered at the trial. The AGC also wanted those parts to be sealed in the court record and not made public, he claimed.“This is…

Wuhan virus: North Korea bans tourists as Asia braces for Lunar New Year rush

North Korea’s decision to ban all foreign visitors as a precaution against China’s coronavirus outbreak will hit its economy hard as tourists from the mainland account for 85 per cent of its 100,000 tourists each year, analysts say.Tourist earnings contribute US$45 million to Pyongyang’s economy, which has limited sources of foreign exchange due to sanctions over its nuclear programme.“This is bad news for North Korea but I suspect the greater concern is the public health risk,” said Daniel…

Species of lizards, geckos and frogs could be made extinct in aftermath of Australia bush fires

Australian animals living in specific habitats, such as mountain lizards, leaf-tailed geckos and pear-shaped frogs, are battling the threat of extinction after fierce bush fires razed large areas of their homes, a new Reuters analysis shows.Fire has destroyed more than two-thirds of a northeastern zone sprawling over 12 sq km (5 sq miles) where a type of lizard, the Mount Surprise Litter-skink, lives, the analysis of known habitats and satellite-detected fire activity shows.“The Mount Surprise…

Asian health officials fear Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is larger than China’s letting on

Health authorities across Asia are concerned the outbreak of the mysterious new coronavirus is larger than Chinese authorities have stated, amid a surge in the number of people infected in mainland China and as three other countries in the region confirm cases.The number of people confirmed to have contracted the disease on the mainland jumped from 41 to more than 300 this week, with six deaths so far, while Thailand has reported two cases and Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have reported one…

Singaporean start-up’s portable ‘kidney’ could shrink dialysis machines, giving patients their freedom back

For the past seven years, 70-year-old Singaporean Julia Lee has rarely travelled overseas. Her most recent trip was one night away, in neighbouring Malaysia.Since being diagnosed with kidney disease, Lee has spent 10 hours each day hooked up to a 20-kilogram machine, making it difficult to move around.Chronic renal disease results in a loss of kidney function, meaning the patient’s body is unable to clear the blood of waste and excess fluids. Dialysis – the treatment Lee goes through which…

China coronavirus: all travellers from China to undergo temperature screening at Singapore’s Changi Airport

From Wednesday, all inbound travellers arriving at Changi Airport on flights from China will have to undergo temperature screening.The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Monday it is taking this precautionary measure in light of the increase in cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan and exported cases to other cities and countries, as well as the anticipated increase in travel volume ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.Individuals with pneumonia and travel history to Wuhan…

Trump, Abe seek stronger alliance as they mark 60th anniversary of US-Japan security treaty

US President Donald Trump marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the security treaty between the United States and Japan with a call for a stronger and deeper alliance between the two countries, despite criticising the pact six months ago.“As the security environment continues to evolve and new challenges arise, it is essential that our alliance further strengthen and deepen,” Trump said in a statement dated January 18.“I am confident that in the months and years ahead, Japan’s…

China looms large even in its absence at India’s Raisina Dialogue, as experts discuss trade and security

During a panel discussion at last week’s Raisina Dialogue featuring top military officials from India, Australia, France and Japan, the moderator turned to the Indian navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and asked: “How true is the statement that the number one, two and three concerns of this [Indo-Pacific] region are China, China and China?” There was stifled laughter from the audience in New Delhi but Singh calmly listed India’s concerns. The Chinese presence in the region, he said, had grown…