Asia Minute

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China is starting to crack open its market a little further to foreign automakers. The Beijing government announced this week that it will phase out requirements for outside companies to have local partners. But undoing some of those long-standing agreements may not make immediate business sense for the foreign companies. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

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Investigators in Singapore have uncovered what they call a “highly sophisticated” cheating scandal involving standardized school tests. The case involves allegations of a network of organizers and half a dozen clients. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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President Trump is considering re-engaging with what was once called the Trans Pacific Partnership. But that process may not be a simple one. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The western side of the Big Island of Hawai‘i is getting some extra attention this week at an unlikely location. Kona is making headlines in South Korea—but not for reasons you might expect. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The Trump Administration has proposed a number of policy changes when it comes to offshore leases for oil and gas exploration and drilling. This week, New Zealand announced that it is taking a dramatically different approach to the same issue. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

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Election Day is approaching in a country where the leader is lashing out against what he calls “fake news.” He’s also calling to make his country “great.” The themes may sound familiar, but the country is far from U.S. shores. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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One of the most popular island destinations in Asia is closing its beaches. And its airports. The plan is to shut down the island to visitors for six months, and it’s already causing disruptions not only on the island but also thousands of miles away. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Hawai‘i’s state legislature is in recess today, but a number of bills will be returning for consideration and discussion later this week. One issue that is NOT going anywhere this session is casino gambling. But on that topic, it’s a very different story in Japan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has it in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s a city on the water, where tourism plays an important role and housing costs have spiraled beyond affordability for many residents. But government officials are floating new ideas to deal with the housing crisis. The city is not Honolulu, but Hong Kong. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The way people get around in Southeast Asia is about to change. Not for everyone, but for those who have become used to using an app to get a ride. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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This week marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for some companies. It’s also the first week that the United States is accepting applications for the next round of H-1B immigrant visas. Those are working visas for high-skilled professionals, and this year the process is coming under increased scrutiny. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The United States and China are continuing their trade dispute by exchanging threats and specifics on tariffs. China says it will raise tariffs on a variety of U.S. products, including pork. The Trump Administration is expected to release further details on its plans later this week. But so far one export has not been mentioned—and it doesn’t fit on a container ship. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The number of foreign residents living in Japan has hit a new record. More than 2.5 million foreigners live in Japan, and the fastest-growing part of that population may surprise you. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Major League Baseball is underway with a new season, but another game with bats and balls has captured attention around the Asia-Pacific. A cricket scandal involving Australia’s national team is the topic of news and social media from Sydney to New Delhi. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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As you’ve heard on NPR over the last couple of days, the United States and South Korea this week agreed on a new trade deal. It’s a revised version of the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement. But despite that arrangement, a major American company may be pulling out of the country. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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State tourism officials expect 2018 to be another record year for visitors to Hawai‘i. And while there’s a growing global market for travel and hospitality, parts of Southeast Asia are going in another direction: restricting tourism. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

House of Representatives of the Philippines / Wikimedia Commons

This is a busy period for many of the world’s major religions. Over the next few weeks, there are observances for Muslims and Hindus, while Friday is Passover for those of the Jewish faith and for Christians, next Sunday is Easter. That is particularly significant in the Philippines, where according to the national census more than 80-percent of the population is Roman Catholic. It’s also delicate timing for a continuing political debate in that country. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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President Trump’s recent talk about trade tariffs has focused on China. But another trade dispute looks like it will take a toll on a country very important to Hawaii. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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There is more news today about what scientists have called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” A team of researchers has found that the mass of floating trash is even bigger than previously estimated. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Work-life balance is a familiar phrase in the modern workplace. While it sometimes is more a theoretical goal than a practical reality, one city in Asia is taking steps to improve its chances. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s been nearly 175 years since the Kingdom of Hawai‘i adopted an official flag. That same flag is now the flag of the state of Hawai‘i. A much younger flag is at the heart of a controversy involving an Asian country, a terrorist organization, and an American courtroom. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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President Trump’s evolving cabinet continues to be a focus of attention in Washington. But Trump is not the only president making adjustments to a government’s leadership team. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Hong Kong’s wealthiest business figure is retiring. The news may not come as a shock; the man the local media call “Superman” is soon going to be 90-years old. But it definitely marks the end of an era. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day. And while there are celebrations around the islands, there are also a growing number of people marking the day in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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New figures out this week show that homelessness is a growing problem in Australia. The latest information shows the country’s homeless population has jumped by about 14-percent in the five years leading up to the latest survey. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump will have a new Secretary of State advising him ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this spring. But while the headlines in the United States are focused on these bi-lateral talks, some coverage in Asia is already looking at another possible high-level meeting. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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2018 is an election year not just here in Hawaii, but also for a number of congressional races around the country. Overseas, this past weekend saw an important election in Hong Kong—with significant results. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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One issue moving through Hawai‘i’s legislature this session concerns what supporters call “death with dignity.” It would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients. Late last week, India’s Supreme Court issued a ruling that stops far short of that, but still marks a big change. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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When it comes to news about trade, most of the focus this week has been on President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Elsewhere, a number of other countries signed a multi-lateral trade deal that will actually REDUCE tariffs in the Asia Pacific. But the United States is not part of it. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The National Weather Service says a cool air mass is lingering over the islands—keeping temperatures a bit lower than usual in Hawai‘i. It’s a very different story in New Zealand—where seasonal temperatures are setting new highs. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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