US restricts visas in latest move on Hong Kong

President Donald Trump's administration said on Friday it was restricting US visas for a number of Chinese officials for infringing on the autonomy of Hong Kong, announcing action as Congress seeks tougher sanctions. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would curb visas for unsp


Thailand plans additional stimulus measures to support virus-hit economy

Thailand plans to introduce additional stimulus measures from the third quarter to spur domestic consumption and tourism as the coronavirus outbreak hits the Southeast Asian country, the finance minister said on Monday.The measures will encourage people with purchasing power to spend more in the thi


100-year-old woman is Indonesia’s oldest survivor of coronavirus

A 100-year-old Indonesian woman has recovered from coronavirus, making her the country’s oldest survivor of the deadly respiratory illness. Kamtim, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, was discharged from hospital this week after a month of treatment in her hometown Surabaya, Indonesia


15 Syrian refugees in east Lebanon test positive

At least 15 Syrian refugees living in the same building in east Lebanon have tested positive for COVID-19, the United Nations said Wednesday, ahead of plans to screen thousands of refugees. “There are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Syrian refugees in Majdal Anjar,” a town in the B


India’s capital reopens public transport as nearby Chinese-owned factory is hit by outbreak

India’s capital New Delhi and some other state governments ordered the re-opening of public transport on Monday in a further easing of a nearly two-month coronavirus shutdown.Under the new rules, buses, taxis and three-wheelers will return to the streets but with restrictions. Buses will not c


India to widen use of coronavirus tracing app, raising privacy concerns

India is aggressively pushing a state-backed contact tracing app to fight the spread of COVID-19, raising fears that the world’s second-most populousnation is on its way to Chinese-style methods of high tech social control. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has touted its app, Aa


In Japan's elder-care homes, coronavirus tests limits of overstretched staff

At the Tokyo elder-care home where 27-year-old Yoshimu works, the coronavirus has stretched already tight staffing, leaving residents to sometimes sit longer in soiled diapers or to steal food from one another.“Everything’s slower. If feeding them takes longer, then things like toileting


Japan, faced with criticism, scrambles to do more coronavirus testing

The Japanese government, under fire for a limited number of coronavirus tests conducted, eased access to such tests on Friday and indicated that a new test supplementing the currently dominant polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test could be approved next week. The Health Ministry said it now wants pe


Why Arabs are speaking out against Islamophobia in India

In the past couple of weeks, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Kuwait government, a royal princess of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as a number of Arab activists have called out Islamophobic hate speech by Indians seen to be accusing the country's Muslims of spreading the


Indian police clash with migrant workers as restrictions ease

Indian police fired tear gas on Monday to scatter migrant workers during clashes in the western state of Gujarat, officials said, as authorities relaxed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.The nationwide lockdown, extended twice since it was adopted on


Pompeo says no sight of North Korea's Kim, real risk of famine in country

The United States has caught no sight of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and is watching reports about his health, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, adding there was a real risk of famine in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.North Korean media has not reported on Kim&rsq


In Japan, Italian cruise ship grapples with coronavirus cluster

More than 30 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture have tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising concern about the impact on the local community.The cluster of infections found on board the Costa Atlantica follows the case of the Diamo


India allows rural poor to work in lockdown

Millions of people in rural India will be allowed back to work next week despite a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the government said Wednesday, as it conceded the hardships of shutting its vital farming economy were too great. Restrictions on movement in the world's second-most populous nation o


Sri Lanka makes cremations compulsory for coronavirus deaths, angering Muslims

Sri Lanka made cremations compulsory for coronavirus victims on Sunday, ignoring protests from the country’s minority Muslims who say it goes against Islamic tradition. Of the seven deaths from the infectious disease so far in the island nation, three were Muslims. The bodies were cremated by


India to go under total coronavirus lockdown: PM Mod

India’s 1.3 billion people will go under “total lockdown” from midnight Tuesday (1830 GMT) for 21 days to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “From 12 midnight today, the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,”


Hong Kong and Tokyo airports are handling coronavirus very differently. Which one has it right?

Passing through airports in Hong Kong and Tokyo this week highlighted the differences in the approaches of the two Asian hubs in dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday, after disembarking directly onto the tarmac we were taken to a qua


Thailand records first coronavirus death: Health official

Thailand has recorded its first coronavirus death as a 35-year-old man, who also had dengue fever, died from the virus, Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said in the news conference on Sunday. Thailand has recorded 42 coronavirus cases since Januar


Soldier kills 20 in shooting rampage in Thailand's northeast

A Thai soldier shot dead at least 20 people Saturday, posting messages on Facebook as he went on the rampage in a northeastern city where he was still holed up in a mall nearly 12 hours after he first struck, authorities said.Several bursts of automatic gunfire could be heard from inside the mall ju





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