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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 2018)
Page 2 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
ASIA / PACIFIC
January 15, 2018
Malaysia approves new search for missing plane
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s government has approved a
new attempt by a private company to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370, nearly four years after its disappearance sparked one of aviation’s
biggest mysteries. The Houston, Texas-based company Ocean Infinity has dis-
patched a search vessel to look in the southern Indian Ocean for debris from the
plane, which disappeared March 8, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bei-
jing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. The governments of Malaysia,
China, and Australia called off a nearly three-year official search last January.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the search conceded
that authorities were no closer to knowing the reasons for the Boeing 777’s
disappearance, or its exact location. “The basis of the offer from Ocean Infinity is
based on ‘no cure, no fee,’” Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said,
meaning that payment will be made only if the company finds the wreckage.
Court says theaters do not have to play Indian anthem
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that
ordered the national anthem to be played before movie screenings while
audiences stood, a ruling that sparked a spate of arrests and attacks on
cinema-goers who refused to rise. The new decision, Indian news outlets
reported, allows theaters to choose whether to play the national anthem. The
2016 ruling, which the court said was designed to instill patriotism, set off a
wave of attacks in theaters, including one on a disabled man in a wheelchair.
The court indicated it might reverse its ruling. During a hearing last year, a
group of justices noted that “citizens cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their
sleeves and courts cannot inculcate patriotism among people through its order,”
the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The court also ordered that a
government commission be established to recommend further decisions on
whether the anthem should be played in theaters.
French president offers Chinese leader Xi special gift horse
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has offered a very special
gift to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during his trip to China — a horse
from France’s famed Garde Republicaine. The nine-year-old gelding bred in
Normandy, named Vesuve de Brekka, is trained and ready for use. A member of
the Garde said in a video on Macron’s Twitter account that Vesuve de Brekka
was among the horses on parade on France’s July 14 Bastille Day when the
Garde Republicaine cavalry prances down the Champs-Elysees. The tweet said
the horse is “a symbol of our friendship.” Macron hopes for big things in return.
On the second day of his visit, Macron said the two nations should “settle on an
economic and geopolitical plan for the affairs of our world.”
38-year ban on women buying, selling alcohol lifted
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has revoked a 38-year ban on selling
alcohol to women and employing them in places where the drinks are produced
and sold. Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera signed the notification
revoking the ban to restore gender equality and promote tourism, a government
statement said. The ban had been in force since 1979, the early years of Sri
Lanka embracing an open market economy. But many businesses had employed
women to sell and serve alcohol and sold alcohol to them in spite of the ban. The
government also decided to allow liquor outlets to stay open an hour later, until
10:00pm. The decision could become politically sensitive with clergy in the
predominantly Buddhist nation opposing liberalizing alcohol consumption.
However, many Sri Lankans consume alcohol.
Putin calls Kim Jong Un “competent” and “mature” leader
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says North Korea’s Kim
Jong Un has shown himself to be a mature leader who is interested in calming
down the tensions over its nuclear and long-range missile programs. Meeting
with top Russian media figures, Putin said Kim “is an absolutely competent and
already mature politician” who has “solved his strategic task — he has a nuclear
warhead and a global-range missile.” Now, in Putin’s view, Kim is “cleaning up
the situation, smoothing it, calming it.” Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump
have engaged in an increasingly sharp war of words as North Korea’s weapons
programs advance, each of them belittling the other.
AMAZING ICE. Visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in
China’s Heilongjiang province. The festival in the frigid northeastern Chinese city is known for massive, elaborate, and
colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters, and landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)
Red Square, Bangkok temple
among ice-festival sculptures
HARBIN, China (AP) — Ice sculptures of
Moscow’s Red Square and Bangkok’s Temple
of the Emerald Buddha are among landmarks
featured in the world’s largest ice festival.
The Harbin International Ice and Snow
Festival in the frigid northeastern Chinese
city is known for massive, elaborate, and
colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals,
cartoon characters, and landmarks.
Some of this year’s displays center on
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s major foreign
policy and trade initiative, the One Belt One
Road, an ambitious plan to link Asia and
Europe with a network of railways, ports, and
Ice sculpture artist Han Zhenkun designed
his work based on the historic Silk Road.
“Back then, through the Silk Road, exquisite
artworks from China like potteries were
transported by camels and horses to the
western world,” Han said.
Main activities started this month and the
festival runs through late February, with
heavy crowds expected during Lunar New
Year celebrations — February 15 to 23.
Temperatures at this time of the year can dip
below zero Fahrenheit.
Last year’s festival drew 18 million visitors
and 28.7 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) in tourism
revenue for Harbin, data from the city’s
tourism bureau show.
One park, the Harbin Ice-Snow World,
features more than 2,000 ice sculptures made
from 240,000 cubic yards of ice collected from
the Songhua River by nearly a thousand
workers. In the evening, sculptures are lit with
In addition to ice-sculpture competitions,
the festival also includes winter swimming, ice
hockey, skiing, and snow biking.
“Art has no borders,” Han said. “It’s an
abstract language. We communicate with our
works in this international competition. It
means a lot.”
Rare Sumatran tiger kills Indonesian palm-oil worker
PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AP) — A rare
Sumatran tiger has killed a woman working at
a palm-oil plantation in western Indonesia,
the latest human-tiger conflict in an area hit
by widespread deforestation, according to
Local police chief Muhammad Rafi said the
tiger mauled the 33-year-old worker in
Indragiri Hilir, a district in Riau province.
Rafi said the tiger ran abruptly into the
plantation owned by PT Tabung Haji Indo
Plantation, causing the woman and two
colleagues, who were collecting data on pests,
to run in panic.
He said the three climbed a nearby palm-oil
tree, but the tiger managed to pull the victim
to the ground where she was mauled to death.
“The two survivors saw how the tiger
mauled her to death, but they could not do
anything to help her,” Rafi said. “It was a
tragic conflict between human and animal.”
Indonesia is home to some 400 Sumatran
tigers, but they are increasingly under threat
as their jungle habitat shrinks.
As their habitat diminishes, many of the
endangered animals roam into villages or
plantations in search of food, setting off
conflict with humans.
Sumatran tigers are the most critically
endangered tiger subspecies. About 400
remain, down from 1,000 in the 1970s, because
of forest destruction and poaching.
BEEF FOR SALE
China’s 2017 movie ticket sales rise 13.5 percent
BEIJING (AP) — Domestic movie ticket sales rose 13.5 percent in 2017 in
China, the world’s second-biggest global film market. The Xinhua News Agency,
citing data from China’s film regulator, said domestic ticket sales totalled 55.9
billion yuan ($8.6 billion) last year. The top-grossing title was the domestically
made action picture Wolf Warrior 2, which took in 5.7 billion yuan ($875
million). China’s film market is narrowing the gap with the top market, the
United States, where last year’s domestic box office is estimated to have declined
2.6 percent from 2016 to $11.1 billion. Xinhua said mainland-made movies
accounted for 54 percent of ticket sales, or 30.1 billion yuan ($4.6 billion).
Vietnam arrests tycoon accused of revealing state secrets
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese police have arrested a business tycoon
wanted for revealing state secrets after he was deported by Singapore. Vietnam-
ese officials said in a statement that Phan Van Anh Vu was arrested and will be
investigated “in accordance with the law.” The 42-year-old Vu is a real estate
developer who also served as a senior officer in the Vietnamese intelligence
service. Police raided his home in the central city of Danang on December 21.
Call (503) 980-5900 for details
GRASS-FED & GRASS-FINISHED BEEF
Farm-raised in Newberg, Oregon
Beef available as:
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Beef is processed by a Portland butcher.
Pickup available January at N.E. Sandy Blvd. location.
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