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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One topic policy makers in Hawai‘i are still struggling with is short-term vacation rentals. Groups like Airbnb operate around the world—but in one location in the Asia Pacific, it’s still facing some very basic challenges. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton / United State Forces Korea

Government officials from the United States and South Korea will be meeting in Hawai‘i this week. They’ll be talking about cost-sharing when it comes to U.S. military forces based in South Korea. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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President Trump says he’ll make a formal announcement this week slapping tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Several U.S. trade partners in Asia produce steel, but the impact is likely to hit one regional economy the hardest. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The Prime Minister of Australia is in Washington today and meeting with President Trump. While the topic of mass shootings and guns continue to dominate news in the U.S., Australia has had a very different experience. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

East Asia and Pacific Media Hub U.S. Department of State / Wikimedia Commons

International negotiators have released the final version of a massive trade deal that does not include the United States. The agreement is on track to be signed in two weeks, and it’s getting renewed attention from some lawmakers in Washington. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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China’s communist party is the center of the country’s political power. The party’s leaders steer foreign and domestic government policies and laws. Other party officials wind up dealing with less sweeping issues—but those sometimes include unusual topics. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says his country and China are talking about the possibility of joint exploration for resources in the South China Sea. Duterte made the remarks on the same day his ambassador to China voiced concerns about rising tensions in the region. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Presidents’ Day is a holiday for many people—including Hawai‘i’s public school students. One issue that public school students here don’t have to worry about is school uniforms. But in Japan, that’s a different story. And for one school, it’s a story that’s drawn international attention. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

The Prime Minister of Australia is heading to the United States next week. Malcolm Turnbull is scheduled to meet President Trump at the White House a week from today. But the prime minister’s coalition government has been hit with a public fight over a personal matter. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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General Motors announced this week it is closing an assembly plant in South Korea. The company says the move is based on economics, but the story also carries a layer of politics. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Valentine’s Day is a western tradition. Certainly encouraged by greeting card companies, among other influences. But it’s also celebrated in many parts of Asia with a surprising twist in Hong Kong. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The Centers for Disease Control says “widespread flu activity” continues in 48 states. While the latest list does NOT include Hawai‘i, the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i says local hospitalizations for flu are 40 to 60 percent higher than last year. The severity of this flu season has brought attention to a Japanese company which says it has a single-treatment pill that can kill the virus in a day. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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2017 was another record year for tourism in Hawai‘i for the sixth year in a row. But another Pacific island destination had an even bigger year last year—thanks in part to Hawai‘i. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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China is changing its recycling policy, and the impacts are being felt all around the world. That includes Hawai‘i because some shipments of recycled material that used to go to China will no longer be accepted. But China’s new policy is already having an immediate effect in a number of places—including Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

spooky_kid / Pixabay

Most headlines from the Korean peninsula these days are focused on the Olympics, tensions with North Korea, or a combination of both. But while the Olympics get underway tomorrow in South Korea, there’s a new product from North Korea that will not be part of the celebrations. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s been a volatile week for global stock markets. That’s also true in the Asia Pacific. Today markets are up again—but in the early part of the week, some markets were hit harder than others—despite what remains an encouraging economic outlook. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s been a little more than two years since Hawai‘i Island was hit with an outbreak of dengue fever. While local cases involving the virus have been quiet since then, dengue is at the center of a controversy in the Philippines. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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The Lunar New Year officially arrives a week from Friday on February 16th. But in China, travel for the holiday period is already underway—along with seasonal complications. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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