Asia Briefs: US warships pass through Taiwan Strait

US warships pass through Taiwan Strait

WASHINGTON/TAIPEI • Two US warships passed through the Taiwan Strait last Saturday on a voyage that will likely be viewed in the self-ruled island as a sign of support by United States President Donald Trump amid heightened tension with China.

The passage through the Taiwan Strait, the first by a US Navy ship in about a year, follows a series of Chinese military drills around the island that have stoked tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

Earlier, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said the ships were moving in a north-eastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.


US, Afghan forces clear ISIS from remote district

DEH BALA (Afghanistan) • United States and Afghan Special Forces are completing an operation to clear Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters from a remote district in Nangarhar, the eastern province where they have their main stronghold in Afghanistan, officials said last Saturday.

The operation in Deh Bala, on the border with Pakistan, began at the end of April and was largely complete early last month but final mine clearance operations are still under way.


IT firm developing 'flying umbrella'

OYAMA (Japan) • An information technology company is developing a drone-based "flying umbrella" that users do not have to hold.

Essentially a small unmanned aircraft, the umbrella utilises artificial intelligence to hover above users as they walk.

The technology is the work of Asahi Power Service, a company based in Oyama, Tochigi prefecture, that develops telecommunication systems, among other services.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe