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Asian stocks perked by record US close
11 November 2014 - Asian stock markets edged higher Tuesday as investor sentiment got a boost from another record close on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, and China's Shanghai Composite all rose. Although Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3 per cent, markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose. US stocks are trading at record levels, rebounding on the back of solid company earnings and signs the world's Number 1 economy is on a growth track. (more)

APEC summit gets underway outside Beijing
10 November 2014 - A summit of 21 Asia-Pacific economies is underway outside Beijing amid China's efforts to boost its status as a regional leader in trade and finance. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among leaders joining Chinese President Xi Jinping at Tuesday's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. (more)

APEC countries agree to establish network to curb corruption
8 November 2014 - Asia Pacific countries agreed on Saturday to cooperate on the extradition of corrupt officials, enhance asset recovery efforts and establish an anti-corruption transparency network to share intelligence on graft. (more)

Asia: Greening the skies
16 August 2014 - Cathay Pacific Airways announced last week that it has become the first airline investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc, a US-based sustainable biofuel developer. This is part of the airline's biofuel strategy to help it achieve a target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. 'We are well aware of the impact the aviation industry has on the environment, and have been doing a great deal to minimise our own impact. These fuels are an important component of our sustainable development strategy,' says Cathay Pacific chief executive Ivan Chu. (more)

Annual UN Asia-Pacific policy forum spotlights 'regional connectivity for shared prosperity'
4 August 2014 - Asia-Pacific countries will gather in Bangkok this week for the annual policy session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), focusing on the role of regional connectivity in supporting economic growth and development. (more)

China's factories spring to life as global trade reawakens
1 August 2014 - Activity in China's vast factory sector expanded at the fastest pace in 27 months in July, while industry surveys across Asia showed a pick up in export orders that hinted at a long-awaited revival in global trade. China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in July -- the strongest since April 2012 and up from 51 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. China was not alone in scenting better times ahead. India, Taiwan, and South Korea all had increased output. (more)

Asia stocks reach 3-year peak, China on the rise
29 July 2014 - Asian shares touched fresh three-year highs on Tuesday as investors in the region drew encouragement from a rally in Chinese markets. Hong Kong's key stock index rose to its loftiest level in over 3-1/2 years on optimism that the economy has turned a corner and as investors wagered on more growth-friendly policies from Beijing. Japan's Nikkei rose to a six-month high as investors focused on the positive in mixed economic news. (more)

Asian shares push ahead on hopeful signs for global growth
24 June 2014 - Asian shares ticked higher on Tuesday as improved manufacturing data from China, Japan, and the United States augured well for global growth, despite a disappointing result from the euro zone. The performance of manufacturing surveys (PMI) tend to be reliable, and timely, leading indicators of output trends and are closely watched by economists. There was relief that readings from the US, China, and Japan all rose strongly in the month. The United States PMI was a particularly pleasant surprise as it climbed to a four-year peak. (more)

Business sentiment among Asia's top companies soars
18 June 2014 - Business sentiment among Asia's top companies hit its highest level in more than two years in the second quarter of 2014, rising sharply on supportive political changes around the region and positive signs from China, a ThomsonReuters/INSEAD survey showed. Of the 124 companies that responded 52.42 per cent said they had a neutral outlook and 47.58 per cent said they had a positive outlook in the second quarter of 2014. None reported a negative outlook, the first time ever in the survey's history. (more)

Sustainable energy hub for Asia launched
18 June 2014 - The Asian Development Bank and two UN agencies launched a hub Wednesday to mobilize investments and innovation to bring clean energy to the Asia Pacific region. 'We can overcome energy poverty through sustainable, low-carbon energy means, and through this new hub we are gathering together investors, innovators, and experts to make this happen,' said ADB Vice President Bindu Lohani. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Southeast Asia: Maharishi Vastu schools, homes, and Peace Palace under development
17 July 2013 - In several countries in Southeast Asia--Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar--schools, homes, and other buildings including a Maharishi Peace Palace are being developed and built, designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. In Thailand alone about 5,000 square metres of Vastu buildings are under construction this year. (more)

India, Nepal: Universities learn about integration of modern science and health care with ancient Vedic Science
28 January 2013 - During the first stage of his Total Health World Tour, Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, was invited to speak in a graduate and faculty seminar at Apeejay Stya University, a large private university dedicated to science, research, and technology in Delhi. India. He went on to address a conference on 'Integrative Medicine for the 21st Century for Nepal' at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. (more)

Buddhist monks in Asia learn Transcendental Meditation with support from Japan
24 December 2011 - Over the last nine years several thousand Buddhist monks in southeast Asia have been learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Japan has played an important role in the project's continuing success, through the leadership of Reverend Koji Oshima, a Buddhist monk from Japan, and also through the generous support of many Japanese people. (more)

Thousands of Buddhist monks in Asia learn Transcendental Meditation
31 October 2011 - More than 3,000 Buddhist monks in 100 monasteries throughout Southeast Asia have learned the Transcendental Meditation Technique, as a result of the work by a revered Japanese Buddhist monk, Reverend Koji Oshima, who is a longtime TM practitioner and certified TM teacher. According to Rev Oshima, the Buddhist monks appreciate the simplicity, effortlessness, and profound experience of transcendence, which is gained almost immediately after starting Transcendental Meditation practice. (more)

Asian nations applying Maharishi's technologies of consciousness
3 September 2011 - In Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, interest is rising in applications of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes and technologies of consciousness in education, health, agriculture, and world peace. (more)

Buddhist monk in Japan brings Transcendental Meditation to monks in Thailand and Sri Lanka
10 July 2011 - For the last eight years, an initiative that originated with a Buddhist monk in Japan has been bringing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's technologies of consciousness to monks in other Asian countries. Since 2003, 4,000 Buddhist monks have been inspired to learn the Transcendental Meditation Technique--1,500 in Sri Lanka, and 2,500 in Thailand. (more)

Women and girls' Consciousness-Based programmes flourishing in Asia and Pacific
19 January 2011 - Consciousness-Based programmes for women and girls in education and health are proving popular in many countries in Asia and the Pacific region. (more)

Global Mother Divine Organization reports achievements in Asia
23 July 2010 - Reports from many Asian nations--including Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Taiwan, and Vietnam--were featured during the Global Mother Divine Organization's Third International Congress. The organization has been very active in each country, with projects and initiatives in Total Knowledge Based, Consciousness-Based programmes for women and girls. These are often being accomplished with the support of newly qualified Teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Programme--who in some cases are the first such Teachers in their countries. (more)

Global Country of World Peace programmes bringing Transcendental Meditation to Vietnam and Laos
13 June 2010 - Interest in Transcendental Meditation and Consciousness-Based Education is rapidly growing in Vietnam, and new avenues are also developing in the Lao People's Democratic Republic to help make Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes widely available. (more)

Global Mother Divine Organization celebrates bright year of achievements in Asia
14 March 2010 - Throughout Asia, ladies, mothers and girls are enjoying courses and programmes of the Global Mother Divine Organization, which was inaugurated in many countries across the continent during the past year. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor
12 August 2014 - At a conference in the Indian capital, executives say the asbestos industry saves lives and brings roofs, walls, and pipes to some of the world's poorest people. A largely outlawed scourge to the developed world, asbestos is still going strong in the developing one, and killing tens of thousands of people each year. In India, the world's biggest asbestos importer, it's a $2 billion industry with double-digit annual growth, at least 100 manufacturing plants and some 300,000 jobs. The International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, the wider medical community and more than 50 countries say the mineral should be banned. Asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs and cause many diseases. The ILO estimates 100,000 people die every year from workplace exposure, and experts believe thousands more die from exposure outside the workplace. But one could say manufacturers have gone back in time to defend their products. The Indian asbestos lobby's website refers to 1998 WHO guidelines for controlled use of chrysotile, but skips updated WHO advice from 2007 suggesting that all asbestos be banned. The lobby also ignores the ILO's 2006 recommendation to ban asbestos, and refers only to its 1996 suggestion of strict regulations. (more)

Tiger, tiger, dying out - a majestic animal on its knees
27 July 2014 - Tigers once covered a vast stretch of Asia. They could be found in the tip of India, all the way across to Bali and even into eastern Turkey. Now they survive in a few pockets, primarily in India, South-east Asia, and here in Russia's eastern Primorsky region. Worldwide numbers are estimated at little more than 3,000. In every one of these locations, they are under mortal threat. A key reason is depressingly predictable: the demand for exotic animal parts. Partly this is for traditional medicines that have no recognised medicinal value. It is also for tiger pelts and tiger-bone wine seen as exotic luxury items. In Russia, local hunters can receive £10,000 for a dead tiger from the middlemen who smuggle it to the black markets across the Chinese border. In the 1940s, Russia had been the first country to grant the tiger full protection and an effective conservation effort allowed its numbers to grow. The collapse of the USSR saw that end almost overnight. Rangers' salaries were not paid, leading to their abandoning their posts, and Chinese traders looking for tiger parts moved north across the newly opened border. Illegal loggers also took their chainsaws to vast stretches of Korean pine forests, felling trees for the Asian markets. This decimated parts of the tigers' habitat and reduced the number of deer and wild boar that the big cats feed on. (more)

Xi rebukes Japan for brutality in China, Koreas
4 July 2014 - The leaders of China and South Korea expressed concern Friday about Japan's recent reinterpretation of its war-renouncing constitution and its re-examination of a past apology for wartime atrocities, a South Korean official said. Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula and occupied parts of China, often brutally, before and during World War II. Many people in China and South Korea still harbour a strong resentment against Japan, and there are concerns in both countries about growing nationalism in Tokyo. Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean President Park Geun-hye had 'lots of discussions' about Japan, and shared worries about its 'revisionist attitude' and reinterpretation of its constitution to allow its military a larger international role, senior South Korean presidential official Ju Chul-ki told reporters. (more)

Global warming damages corals vital to small islands: UN
5 June 2014 - Global warming is causing trillions of dollars of damage to coral reefs, aggravating risks to tropical small island states threatened by rising sea levels, a UN report said on Thursday. The rise in sea levels off some islands in the Western Pacific was four times the global average, with gains of 1.2 cms (0.5 inch) a year from 1993 to 2012, due to shifts in winds and currents, said the United Nations' Environment Program (UNEP). The study, released to mark the UN's World Environment Day on 5 June, said a warming of waters from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean was damaging reefs by killing the tiny animals that form corals with their stony skeletons. 'These 52 nations, home to over 62 million people, emit less than one per cent of global greenhouse gases, yet they suffer disproportionately from the climate change that global emissions cause,' said Achim Steiner, head of UNEP. (more)

South Asian arms race raises risk of nuclear war - IISS think tank
12 September 2013 - An arms race in South Asia and Pakistan's development of tactical 'battlefield' nuclear weapons are increasing the risk of any conflict there becoming a nuclear war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said on Thursday. Noting that Pakistan looks set to overtake Britain as the owner of the world's fifth-largest nuclear weapons stockpile, it urged India and Pakistan to improve their communications to avoid any fatal misunderstandings during a crisis. The think tank cited Pakistan's development of short-range tactical nuclear weapons -- which in theory could be used to stop any conventional Indian armoured advance into Pakistani territory -- as a particular cause of concern. Tactical nuclear arms -- which can be used at close range on a battlefield -- can increase the chance of an escalation, particularly if generals feel forced to use them to avoid them falling into the hands of advancing enemy troops. India has said it will never start a nuclear conflict but has threatened a massive retaliation if Pakistan fires first. (more)

China and India 'water grab' dams put ecology of Himalayas in danger
10 August 2013 - The future of the world's most famous mountain range could be endangered by a vast dam-building project, as a risky regional race for water resources takes place in Asia. New academic research shows that India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan are engaged in a huge 'water grab' in the Himalayas, as they seek new sources of electricity to power their economies. Taken together, the countries have plans for more than 400 hydro dams which, if built, could together provide more than 160,000MW of electricity -- three times more than the UK uses. (more)

Asia driving 'explosion' in global arms trade - study
25 June 2013 - Asian powers are outpacing the United States to become the biggest spenders on defence by 2021 and are fuelling an 'explosion' in the global arms trade, a study showed. The global arms trade jumped by 30 per cent to $73.5 billion between 2008-2012 in spite of the economic downturn, driven by surging exports from China and demand from countries like India, and is set to more than double by 2020, defence and security consultancy IHS Jane's said on Tuesday. Military spending in the Asia Pacific region -- which includes China, India, and Indonesia -- will rise 35 per cent to $501 billion in the next eight years, compared to a 28 per cent fall in US spending to $472 billion over the same period, IHS Jane's said. (more)

Sharp fall in breastfeeding figures makes Asia Pacific 'biggest cause for concern'
23 March 2013 - Only one third of women are breastfeeding in the Asia-Pacific region compared with almost half of women six years ago, Save the Children said on Monday, noting the sharp drop may be linked to the aggressive marketing of infant formulas. Countries such as India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam 'have made no progress on improving exclusive breastfeeding, despite having some of the highest burdens of child mortality,' said the report. The report specifically highlighted what it calls 'questionable marketing practices adopted by some breast milk substitute companies,' saying it found evidence of companies violating the International Code of Marketing of Breast­‐Milk Substitutes. Aid agencies say mothers sometimes spend a lot of money buying formula milk, putting a strain on the family budget and reducing spending on items such as education and healthcare in the belief that formula milk is better for their children than natural milk, which is free. (more)

China, Japan engage in new invective over disputed isles
8 February 2013 - China and Japan engaged on Friday in a fresh round of invective over military movements near a disputed group of uninhabited islands, fuelling tension that for months has bedevilled relations between the Asian powers. An increasingly muscular China has been repeatedly at odds with others in the region over rival claims to small clusters of islands, most recently with fellow economic giant Japan which accused a Chinese navy vessel of locking radar normally used to aim weapons on a Japanese naval ship in the East China Sea. China's Defence Ministry rejected Japan's complaint about the radar, its first comment on the Jan. 30 incident. It said Japan's intrusive tracking of Chinese vessels was the 'root cause' of the renewed tension. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led his conservative party to a landslide election victory in December, promising to beef up the military and stand tough in territorial disputes. (more)

Asian powers double defence spending in a decade
15 October 2012 - Asia's top powers have doubled defence spending in the past decade, spurred by the explosion in military expenditure by China, new research shows. While troop numbers have remained constant, overall annual spending has grown to $224 billion in 2011. Spending particularly accelerated in the second half of the decade. The research covers China, Japan, India, South Korea and Taiwan, which account for some 87 per cent of Asia's defence spending. China's share of the total spending has risen from about 20 per cent in 2000 to 40 per cent in 2011. The report's authors noted that the official figures they cite likely underestimate how much China actually spends, perhaps by a margin of around 60 per cent. Only the United States spends more on defence. (more)

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