In today’s bulletin: Mixed signals on US-China trade talks, Hong Kong faces recession, IS radical attacks Indonesia's security chief and more
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MIXED SIGNALS AHEAD OF US-CHINA FACE-TO-FACE TALKS
Observers are keenly watching the start of the next round of negotiations between China and America in Washington and hoping for a trade deal. However, mixed signals were emerging from both sides, on the eve of talks. This follows Washington's announcement of visa bans for Chinese officials linked to mass detentions of Muslims in Xinjiang, which upset the Chinese. Here are some of our stories:
HONG KONG FACES ITS FIRST RECESSION
Weeks of violent protests are beginning to tell on Hong Kong's economy, with the city set to face its first recession, since the global financial crisis. Hotels are reporting a drop in the number of people, shops are closing early and anxiety is mounting with no certainty about when the protests will end. Here are the latest updates:
IS RADICAL STABS INDONESIA'S CHIEF SECURITY MINISTER WIRANTO
Indonesia's top security official Wiranto was attacked by two assailants, one of them a woman, in Banten province in Java earlier today as he was alighting from a vehicle. The incident has raised alarm as the male attacker was reportedly "exposed to IS radicalism".
ASIAN INSIDER EP 7: US - NORTH KOREA TALKS
North Korea recently test-fired another missile. This time it was launched from the sea in what the North Koreans claim was from their submarine. But the US said it was from a water-platform of sorts. So where does this leave the US goal of a denuclearised Korean Peninsular? To find out, The Straits Times US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh spoke to Dr Sung-Yoon Lee from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
This is a series by The Straits Times every Friday. Together with our stable of 30 correspondents based around the world, we give you an Asian perspective on the global talking points of the week.
JAPAN PREPARES FOR SUPER TYPHOON; RUGBY WORLD CUP GAMES CANCELLED
Two Rugby World Cup games have been cancelled in Japan, which was preparing for a super typhoon in the Pacific Ocean that could cause grave damage in Tokyo. The storm, which was roughly 1,529 km south of Tokyo, was moving at a speed of about 14.5 kmh to the north and is expected to pass along the east coast of Japan on Saturday evening, a meteorologist said.
SINGAPORE'S WAR ON DIABETES
Singapore will ban advertisements on packaged drinks with very high sugar content as part of its effort against diabetes, making the Republic the first country in the world to do so. Such drinks as well as those with medium-to-high sugar content must also carry a label on the front of the pack to signal it is unhealthy. More announcements will follow.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Seoul to acquire submarines: South Korea's navy is considering acquiring nuclear-powered submarines, it said on Thursday, in a surprise announcement that could change the balance of power in North-east Asia. This follows Pyongyang's test last week of what it said was a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which the US said seemed to have been fired from a "sea-based platform”.
India to join RCEP talks: India's Trade Minister Piyush Goyal will join Indian delegates on the weekend for direct talks with his counterparts from China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore for talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, to be held in the Thai capital Bangkok this week.
Malaysia scraps anti-fake news bill: The Malaysian Parliament on Wednesday voted to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act (AFNA), the second time the Lower House had done so in just 14 months. The Lower House, which is controlled by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, had attempted to repeal the controversial AFNA - which makes "fake news" a crime - last year. But Malaysia's Upper House, or the Senate, which is controlled by the opposition Barisan Nasional coalition, had blocked the Bill.
That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow. Thanks for reading.