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Weighty agenda for Asean meet

Published June 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371207

File photo : Asean summit 2018
File photo : Asean summit 2018

Weighty agenda for Asean meet

ASEAN+ June 17, 2019 07:08

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
The Nation

Security plans include 10,000 police on alert around central Bangkok

Southeast Asian leaders assembling for the Asean Summit in Bangkok this coming weekend will discuss a range of issues including Indo-Pacific strategy and the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP), and possibly Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, Thai officials have said.

The summit on Saturday and Sunday has as its theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”. It is expected to generate a string of policy statements including direction on marine debris and an “Indo-Pacific Outlook”.

Prayut Chan-o-cha, royally endorsed as prime minister last week, will chair the summit despite not yet having a Cabinet in place.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, who has served in the military-backed government since August 2015, will assist Prayut on both the substance and protocols of the gathering. He has hinted he might leave office after the summit.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of national security affairs, is expected to complete security plans for the summit today.

They will include the deployment 10,000 police officers at key locales in the capital, said deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul. Srivara declined to say whether intelligence officials had detected any cause for concern.

The leaders of Asean and its regional partners will not soon forget the summit held in Pattaya a decade ago, when anti-government red-shirt protesters stormed into the meeting venue, forcing a hasty evacuation.

Srivara said traffic intersections on Wireless, Phloen Chit and Sarasin roads would be closed over the weekend to facilitate the movements and security of summit participants.

Suriya Chindawongse, director general of Asean affairs at the Foreign Ministry, confirmed that the leaders of all 10 member-nations would attend.

He described the gathering as an “in-house summit”, with no leaders of partner states in attendance. He could not say whether Myanmar’s troubles regarding Rakhine state will be among the issues discussed.

“What we can say is that Asean, notably under Thai chairmanship, gives importance to the situation in Rakhine,” Suriya told reporters.

“At the retreat meeting in Chiang Mai in January, it was agreed for the first time that the group’s role in providing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar, facilitating the repatriation of [refugees] and fostering sustainable development in Rakhine should be enhanced.”

The regional bloc, of which Myanmar is a member, has worked out tentative plans for the repatriation of the Rohingya who fled violence at home and took refuge in Bangladesh.

Asean Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi led an assessment team on a visit to Rakhine late last year, resulting in a report circulating among Asean ministers. Further instruction is awaited, an Asean source said.

As to Indo-Pacific strategy, Asean will issue its “Outlook” paper at the end of the summit, taking into account competing efforts by both China and the United States, the world’s major powers, to expand their influence in the region.

Suriya said Asean was striving to secure shared benefit for all stakeholders amid the shifting geopolitics straddling both the Pacific and Indian oceans.

He cited the bloc’s leading role in formulating the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and its firm stance in advocating connectivity and sustainability in linking the oceans.

On the economic front, Asean is seeking to conclude negotiations over the RCEP, the world’s biggest economic bloc, under Thailand’s chairmanship by the end of this year. But an economics official said the prospects for doing so are not promising.

Established in 2013, the RCEP has representation from 16 economies – all 10 Asean countries plus Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea. They have formalised 20 chapters of a pact aimed at liberalising trade and services but have found agreement on only seven, said Oramon Sapthaweetham, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations.

“Since the member-countries are determined to reach a conclusion this year, we remain hopeful that we can at least complete a significant portion during the next summit in November,” she said. In Bangkok this weekend, the Asean leaders will seek common ground on how to move the RCEP process forward, Oramon said.

PROGRESS ON POLICY 

Documents to be noted

Asean Framework of Action on Marine Debris

Chiang Mai Statement of Asean Ministers Responsible for CITES and Wildlife Enforcement on Illegal Wildlife Trade

Concept Note and Terms of Reference for the Network of Asean Associations of Asean State Members

Asean Labour Ministers’ Statement on Future Work: Embracing Technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

Report of the Secretary General of Asean on Asean Work

Report of Executive Director of the Asean Foundation

Report of APSC Council

Report of AEC Council

Report of ASCC Council

Documents to be adopted

Asean Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability

Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in Asean

Region

Asean Leaders’ Statement on the Asean Cultural Year 2019

An Asean Indo-Pacific Outlook

Documents to be issued

Chairman’s Statement of the 34th Asean Summit

Press Statement on Asean Centre for Military Medicine

Press Statement on the Launch of Asean Satellite Warehouse in Chai Nat Province under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for Asean (DELSA)

Source: Compiled by The Nation

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Huge Hong Kong rally kicks off as public anger boils

Published June 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371181

Photo/AFP
Photo/AFP

Huge Hong Kong rally kicks off as public anger boils

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 14:52

By Agence France-Presse
Hong Kong

2,272 Viewed

Tens of thousands of people rallied in central Hong Kong on Sunday as public anger seethed following unprecedented clashes between protesters and police over an extradition law, despite a climbdown by the city’s embattled leader.

 

Protesters chanted “Scrap the evil la!” as they marched through the streets to pile more pressure on chief executive Carrie Lam, who paused work on the hugely divisive bill Saturday after days of mounting pressure, saying she had misjudged the public mood.

Crowds of black-clad protesters were marching from a park on the main island to the city’s parliament — a repeat of a massive demonstration a week earlier that organisers said more than a million people attended.

Critics fear the Beijing-backed law will tangle-up people in China’s notoriously opaque and politicised courts and damage the city’s reputation as a safe business hub.

“Carrie Lam’s response is very insincere. Knowing that the government won’t withdraw the bill, I decided to come out today,” said protester Terence Shek, 39, who had brought his children on the march.

The city was rocked by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to China on Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

“You’re supposed to protect us not shoot at us” read one banner carried on Sunday, addressing the city’s police force, while others marching held photos of police breaking up crowds in Wednesday’s clashes.

Lam stopped short of committing to permanently scrap the proposal Saturday and the concession was swiftly rejected by protest leaders, who called on her to resign, permanently shelve the bill and apologise for police tactics.

“The extradition bill being suspended only means it can be revived any time Carrie Lam wants,” said activist Lee Cheuk-yan.

Nearly 80 people were injured in this week’s unrest, including 22 police officers, and one man died late Saturday when he fell from a building where he had been holding an hours-long anti-extradition protest.

He had unfurled a banner saying: “Entirely withdraw China extradition bill. We were not rioting. Released students and the injured”.

Huge queues formed outside the high-end Pacific Place mall with flowers and written tributes piling up as demonstrators paid their respects.

Suspending the bill has done little to defuse simmering public anger and protest organisers have called for a city-wide strike Monday as well as Sunday’s rally.

Jimmy Sham, from the main protest group the Civil Human Rights Front, likened Lam’s offer to a “knife” that had been plunged into the city.

“Carrie Lam’s speech yesterday in no way calmed down public anger,” he said.

 ‘Restore calm to the community’ 

Lam’s decision to press ahead with tabling the bill for debate in the legislature on Wednesday — ignoring the record-breaking crowds three days earlier — triggered fresh protests, which brought key parts of the city to a standstill and led to violent clashes with police.

Opposition to the bill united an unusually wide cross-section of Hong Kong, from influential legal and business bodies to religious leaders, as well as Western nations.

The protest movement has morphed in recent days from one specifically aimed at scrapping the extradition bill to a wider display of anger at Lam and Beijing over years of sliding freedoms.

A huge banner hanging from the city’s Lion Rock mountain on Sunday read “Defend Hong Kong”.

Lam had been increasingly isolated in her support for the bill, with even pro-Beijing lawmakers distancing themselves from the extradition proposals in recent days.

The Chinese government said suspending the bill was a good decision to “listen more widely to the views of the community and restore calm to the community as soon as possible”.

 

– ‘Keep the heat on’ –

 

Critics were also angry that Lam missed repeated opportunities to apologise for what many saw as heavy-handed police tactics.

Police said they had no choice but to use force to meet violent protesters who besieged their lines outside the city’s parliament on Wednesday.

But critics — including legal and rights groups — say officers used the actions of a tiny group of violent protesters as an excuse to unleash a sweeping crackdown on the predominantly young, peaceful protesters.

“The pro-democracy group will not stop at this point, they want to build on the momentum against Carrie Lam,” political analyst Willy Lam told AFP. “They will keep the heat on and ride the momentum.”

Protest leaders have called for police to drop charges against anyone arrested for rioting and other offences linked to Wednesday’s clashes.

Activist Lee said opponents feared reprisals by the government and wanted assurances “that our Hong Kong people, our protesters, are not being harassed and politically prosecuted by this government”.

Lam has argued that Hong Kong needs to reach an extradition agreement with the mainland, and says safeguards were in place to ensure dissidents or political cases would not be accepted.

The ‘richest black nation’: Papua New Guinea sets audacious goal

Published June 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371179

New prime minister James Marape promises that within ten years his compatriots will live in "the richest black Christian nation" in the world. Photo/AFP
New prime minister James Marape promises that within ten years his compatriots will live in “the richest black Christian nation” in the world. Photo/AFP

The ‘richest black nation’: Papua New Guinea sets audacious goal

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 14:00

By Agence France-Presse
Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister has an ambitious – cynics would say far-fetched – objective of turning one of the world’s poorest countries into the “richest black nation” on earth in just a decade.

If national economies were like football teams, then Papua New Guinea would be near the bottom of the table struggling to avoid a relegation dogfight.

Violent crime and corruption are endemic, reliable electricity is rare, and population centres sit like isolated city-states, surrounded by trackless jungle and mountain ridges that soar into the equatorial sky.

As rich as Papua New Guinea is in culture, language and beauty, it is the 153rd most developed country in the world out of 189, according to the United Nations – doing slightly better than Syria, marginally worse than Myanmar.

New prime minister James Marape wants to change that. He has promised that within ten years his compatriots will live in “the richest black Christian nation” in the world.

That is not going to be easy. The current titleholder is the highly industrialised economy of Trinidad and Tobago, where the average resident earns around 833% more than Papua New Guinea.

If the British territory of Bermuda were also included in the rankings, the task would be even more daunting.

Papua New Guinea’s economy would have to grow at a world-beating rate of around 30 percent per year, every year for the next ten years just to catch up.

“PNG has never experienced 30 per cent growth in the past; nor has any other country for that matter, at least not for any sustained period of time,” said Maholopa Laveil, a lecturer in economics at the University of Papua New Guinea.

To reach his lofty goal, Marape appears to be betting on a surge in gas revenues and more of that cash staying in the country.

He has hinted that he may look to renegotiate a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract with Total and ExxonMobil that would double national production to better benefit the local economy.

He has also promised to stop the export of unprocessed hardwoods and tackle corruption.

But the strategy comes with risks.

 

– Dashed expectations –

 

The World Bank has warned that even before a second LNG project comes online, the economy has “become increasingly concentrated in petroleum and gas-related activities”.

That, the bank warned, raises Papua New Guinea’s vulnerability to the vagaries of international energy markets and natural disasters — like the 7.5 magnitude quake that froze production and stalled the economy in 2018.

Even the country’s existing PNG LNG project — which started to flow in 2014 — has failed to live up to expectations.

It required a controversial public loan worth more than a billion Australian dollars ($700 million) and helped national debt spike.

The project was forecast to increase GDP by over 97 percent, but according to Paul Flanagan — a former Australian government official who runs the influential PNG Economics blog — the increase has been closer to six percent.

“Overall, the PNG LNG project massively over-promised and then failed to deliver,” one of his recent blog posts read. “For household disposable income, the prediction was an 84 percent improvement. The outcome is a decline of 9 percent.”

Flanagan believes that regardless of any energy boom, Marape — a former finance minister — will need to undertake difficult currency and trade reforms if the country has any hope of growing sustainably.

“Time will tell if the new government will tackle such difficult political economy challenges, challenges that must be addressed to make PNG a much richer black Christian nation,” he said.

Hong Kong braces for huge rally as public anger boils

Published June 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371174

File photo/AFP
File photo/AFP

Hong Kong braces for huge rally as public anger boils

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 11:08

By Agence France-Presse
Hong Kong

Hong Kong was braced for another mass rally Sunday as public anger seethed following unprecedented clashes between protesters and police over an extradition law, despite a climbdown by the city’s embattled leader in suspending the bill.

Organisers were hoping for another mammoth turnout as they vowed to keep pressure on chief executive Carrie Lam, who paused work on the hugely divisive bill Saturday after days of mounting pressure, saying she had misjudged the public mood.

Critics fear the Beijing-backed law will tangle people up in China’s notoriously opaque and politicised courts and damage the city’s reputation as a safe business hub.

The city was rocked by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to China on Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Lam stopped short of committing to permanently scrapping the proposal Saturday and the concession was swiftly rejected by protest leaders, who called on her to resign, permanently shelve the bill and apologise for police tactics.

Jimmy Sham, from the main protest group the Civil Human Rights Front, likened Lam’s offer to a “knife” that had been plunged into the city.

“It’s almost reached our heart. Now the government said they won’t push it, but they also refuse to pull it out,” he told reporters.

 ‘Restore calm to the community’ 

On Sunday afternoon, protesters are set to march from a park on the main island to the city’s parliament — a repeat of a massive rally a week earlier that organisers said more than a million people attended.

Lam’s decision to ignore that record-breaking turnout and press ahead with tabling the bill for debate in the legislature on Wednesday then triggered fresh protests, which brought key parts of the city to a standstill and led to violent clashes with police.

Opposition to the bill united an unusually wide cross-section of Hong Kong, from influential legal and business bodies to religious leaders, as well as Western nations.

Suspending the bill has done little to defuse simmering public anger. The protest movement has morphed in recent days from one specifically aimed at scrapping the extradition bill to a wider display of anger at Lam and Beijing over years of sliding freedoms.

“We remain an enclave of human rights and civil liberties at the footsteps of a country whose leadership do not share our values or beliefs,” lawmaker Dennis Kwok told local broadcaster RTHK ahead of Sunday’s rally.

Lam had been increasingly isolated in her support for the bill, with even pro-Beijing lawmakers distancing themselves from the extradition proposals in recent days.

The Chinese government said suspending the bill was a good decision to “listen more widely to the views of the community and restore calm to the community as soon as possible”.

 ‘Keep the heat on’ 

Critics were also angry that Lam missed repeated opportunities to apologise for what many saw as heavy-handed police tactics to disperse protesters who surrounded the city’s legislature.

Police said they had no choice but to use force to meet violent protesters who besieged their lines outside the city’s parliament on Wednesday.

But critics — including legal and rights groups — say officers used the actions of a tiny group of violent protesters as an excuse to unleash a sweeping crackdown on the predominantly young, peaceful protesters.

“The pro-democracy group will not stop at this point, they want to build on the momentum against Carrie Lam,” political analyst Willy Lam told AFP. “They will keep the heat on and ride the momentum.”

Anger has also been fanned by Lam and senior officers calling the street demonstrators “rioters”.

Protest leaders have called for police to drop charges against anyone arrested for rioting and other offences linked to Wednesday’s clashes.

Lam has argued that Hong Kong needs to reach an extradition agreement with the mainland, and says safeguards were in place to ensure dissidents or political cases would not be accepted.

US Fed leans toward a cut; don’t expect one this week

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/world/30371167

File photo/AFP
File photo/AFP

US Fed leans toward a cut; don’t expect one this week

Breaking News June 16, 2019 09:26

By Agence France-Presse
Washington

As President Donald Trump’s trade wars drag on, and the global economy weakens, the US Federal Reserve is inching closer to its first interest rate cut in more than a decade.

But investors hoping to see the benchmark lending rate begin to drop this week are almost certain to be disappointed.

After preaching patience and leaving rates untouched since December, financial markets will be watching closely for a change of tone from the central bank and its chairman, Jerome Powell, and a sign the Fed is ready to step in to boost the economy.

Policymakers will hold two days of deliberations starting Tuesday, and for now are expected to keep the key interest rate in a range of 2.25-2.5 percent.

The Fed raised rates nine times in the last three years as the economy recovered and put millions of Americans back to work, and officials repeatedly said they expected the growth to continue.

But Trump’s aggressive tariff policies have shaken confidence, and some central bankers have begun to acknowledge a chill in the air.

The consensus is that the Fed is poised to switch directions and begin cutting rates. The only question is when.

James Bullard, president of the Fed’s St Louis regional branch, was the first to make the move, saying early this month that a rate cut could be needed “soon.”

Just days later, Powell himself opened the door to a possible move, saying the Fed would do whatever necessary “to sustain the expansion” — a noticeable shift in posture.

Then Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida added to the mix the possibility of “insurance cuts” — preemptively lowering rates just in case the economic outlook starts to deteriorate.

Wall Street welcomed this dovish talk, which drove a recovery in stocks after the rout in May. Futures markets as of Friday were forecasting as many as three cuts for this year, in July, September and December.

“In the old days, we’d have used the language the Fed has an easing bias,” John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, told AFP.

“They are predisposed to cut.”

 It’s complicated 

Since the Fed’s last announcement at the end of May, the world’s largest economy has continued to send mixed signals.

But beyond the strictly economic factors are the political ones as Trump continues to flout tradition, repeatedly hammering Powell and the Fed on Twitter and in public comments for undermining his bid to supercharge the US economy.

In an interview with ABC, Trump acknowledged that his vocal criticism puts Powell in a box but said he would persist because he disagrees “entirely” with the Fed’s policy.

“I’m gonna do it anyway because I’ve waited long enough,” Trump said in the interview due to be aired Sunday.

Powell steadfastly repeated that central bankers pay no attention to political pressure. But criticism of the independent Fed can backfire, pushing officials to resist Trump’s preferred course in order to prove they cannot be browbeaten — even if a rate cut is justified.

In the absence of inflation pressures, the Fed has room to cut interest rates. But the timing remains in question, especially as most policymakers have said they expect the economy to pick up later this year.

Walking a tightrope 

Surveys of consumer confidence and business activity are running hot, unemployment is still near 50-year lows, and consumer spending continues apace.

But elsewhere the news has not been so good. Economic growth in the second quarter could be half the pace of the first, the manufacturing sector has continued to weaken and business investment has declined.

And Trump warned he could jack up tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods, something that would no doubt send shockwaves through the global economy.

At the same time, recession indicators are flashing.

The New York Fed puts the odds of a recession in the coming year at about one in three — the highest since May 2008.

Oxford Economics said there is a 53 percent chance in the next six months, but warns that markets may be “excessively pessimistic.”

However, many of these readings are noisy and could reverse course in the coming months.

This leaves the Fed walking a tricky line, showing a willingness to cut rates if needed without committing to it.

“I think that Fed officials have done the right thing,” Kathy Bostjancic, chief US financial economist at Oxford Economics, told AFP, noting there are no “hard data” yet that clearly call for a cut.

“They essentially said they were listening to the markets and opened the door to a rate cut without promising one.”

Getting to zero: the Japan town trying to recycle all its waste

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371173

Photo/AFP
Photo/AFP

Getting to zero: the Japan town trying to recycle all its waste

Breaking News June 16, 2019 10:59

By Agence France-Presse
Kamikatsu, Japan

Plastic, paper, metal? In Japan’s Kamikatsu, sorting rubbish isn’t that simple. Residents face a mind-boggling 45 separate categories for their garbage as the town aims to be “zero-waste” by 2020.

And that’s not all: there isn’t even trash collection. The 1,500 residents of the town in western Japan have to transport their waste themselves to a local facility.

“Yes, it’s complicated,” said Naoko Yokoyama, a 39-year-old resident who had brought her trash to the town’s waste centre.

“But I have become more environmentally conscious since I moved here a year ago,” she told AFP.

The categories cover everything from pillows to toothbrushes as the town aims to recycle all its waste, sending nothing to incinerators, by next year.

The process can be onerous — not only are there dozens of separate categories, but items like plastic bags and bottles must be washed and dried to facilitate recycling.

At the town’s waste facility, there are dozens of different boxes for each category. If the parts of an item fall into different categories for recycling, residents are expected to take them apart and send each bit to the right container.

One man who had brought in a shelf had to use a hammer to prise the wood from the metal, while elsewhere workers chopped up a thick, long rubber tube so it would fit into a sorting box.

Many parts of Japan already require separation of rubbish, but most areas have just a few categories, with the bulk of household waste going to incinerators.

 ‘Let’s recycle’ 

Kamikatsu was not much different until an ultimatum: in 2000, the town was ordered to shut down one of its incinerators because it no longer met stricter emissions standards.

That left the town with just one incinerator that couldn’t handle all of Kamikatsu’s waste, and there wasn’t enough money for a new one or to pay a neighbouring town for use of theirs.

“We thought, ‘If we can’t burn waste in the town, then let’s recycle.’ It’s cheaper to recycle waste than burn it,” said town official Midori Suga.

Kamikatsu is already close to achieving its goal, recycling about 80 percent of the 286 tonnes of waste it produced in 2017, far more than the national average of 20 percent.

The remainder, like most waste in Japan, is incinerated, as the country’s mountainous terrain considered unsuitable for landfills.

The nation produces less general waste per person than most developed countries, but it generates more plastic waste per capita than anywhere except the United States.

In the past, some plastic was exported for recycling, particularly to China, but a ban by Beijing on imports has left plastic recyclables piling up in parts of Japan.

Still, not all residents think the initiative could work elsewhere.

“It works because we’re only 1,500 people here,” said Yokoyama, who moved from Kyoto.

“It would be difficult in a big town with a larger population,” she added, because authorities would struggle to enforce it.

Reduce consumption

But other residents say the policy is just common sense.

“I understand it’s convenient to just burn waste,” said 71-year-old local Saeko Takahashi, as she washed milk cartons and tied newspapers together.

“It’s better to recycle, it’s such a waste otherwise,” she explained.

She uses a compost bin for food waste such as fish and meat and throws vegetable waste directly into her garden.

“Food lasts longer when it’s shipped in plastic packaging. So it’s not all bad, but multiple layers of plastic aren’t necessary,” added Takahashi.

Kazuyuki Kiyohara, manager of the waste centre, said plastic makes up the majority of the residents’ waste — and despite the scheme there has been little reduction in consumption.

“Our lifestyle depends mainly on plastic,” the 38-year-old said, adding: “Consumers can reduce plastic waste to a certain extent, but we’ll still have waste if producers keep making plastic products.”

In 2018, Japan’s government unveiled a proposal to tackle plastic waste, with the goal of reducing the 9.4 million tonnes produced by the country each year by a quarter by 2030.

The plan proposes that retailers should charge for plastic bags — a measure already widely adopted around the world — but that isn’t expected to come into effect before 2020 and other types of plastic packaging won’t be covered.

Town official Suga said even Kamikatsu will struggle to achieve zero-waste without stronger efforts to reduce consumption.

She said: “We have made efforts to achieve zero incineration and zero landfill disposal goals, but it’s not enough.”

She explained: “We shouldn’t focus just on how to dispose of trash. We need to come up with policies that prevent the production of waste.”

Wan Azizah sympathises with Azmin’s family

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371172

Wan Azizah sympathises with Azmin’s family

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 10:55

By The Star

PORT DICKSON (Bernama): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has expressed sympathy for the family of Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has been linked to a sex video scandal.

She said she rejected any practice of gutter politics as she had experienced it before.

“I reject ‘gutter politics’ because I have been through it (and) I sympathise with Azmin’s family,” she said when commenting on the confession by Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz that it was him in the sex video.

He also alleged that Azmin was the other man in the video, but the minister has categorically denied the allegation.

Dr Wan Azizah stressed that there was no place for dirty politics as all parties needed to focus on developing the country.

“We Malaysians have to think more about everything because we want to develop our country,” she told reporters after the Aidilfitri open house hosted by her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also Port Dickson MP, here Saturday night (June 15).

Meanwhile, Anwar, when asked about claims that the video was created by him and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, said such talk was slander.

“What’s the reason for us to do such a thing? Some say it was due to threat, what threat?” said Anwar, who is PKR president. – Bernama

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/06/16/wan-azizah-sympathises-with-azmins-family/#Q48qCxZdSoa2BwTg.99

Jakarta university offers special entrance scheme for YouTubers with 10k subscribers

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371169

File photo/AFP
File photo/AFP

Jakarta university offers special entrance scheme for YouTubers with 10k subscribers

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 09:54

By Gisela Swaragita
The Jakarta Post
Asia News Network

National Development University Veteran Jakarta (UPNVJ) took the internet by storm this week after announcing that YouTubers who have at least 10,000 subscribers may enroll at the university through a special admissions scheme.

Instagram account @infomasukptn, which is dedicated to sharing admissions information from Indonesian universities, shared a post on Wednesday about UPNVJ’s jalur prestasi (achievement path) program, which is both for YouTubers and students with sporting achievements in high school or were part of their school’s student council for at least a year, as well as hafiz (someone who has memorized the Quran).

The post has gained more than 26,000 likes as of Friday evening.

UPNVJ rector Erna Hernawati confirmed that the university had added YouTubers to its jalur prestasi program this year.

“We think YouTube is a great media to convey positive messages effectively to society,” Erna told The Jakarta Post on Friday. “We want those accepted in the university to convey positive messages and influence society for the better.”

However, Erna said that YouTubers who want to apply through the special admissions scheme would be screened by a committee to ensure their channels only publish positive content.

“We will not accept those uploading provocative content. We will also test the applicants’ skills by requiring them to make a two-to three-minute video on campus. So, if you have 10,000 subscribers, you are not automatically admitted,” she said.

A similar test will be given to hafiz and athletes applying for the scheme, she said.

Those who pass would then have to take a computer-based written test (UTBK) to measure their academic knowledge.

“So, admission is based on a combination of their skills and the UTBK,” Erna said.

The special admission scheme, which is open for registration from July 12 to 21 at the UPNVJ’s official website, only applies to five of the universities departments.

“[The scheme] does not apply to the medical and pharmaceutical department,” she said.

Hong Kong braces for huge rally after leader climbdown

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371162

People pray outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 15, 2019. - Hong Kong's embattled leader on June 15 suspended a hugely divisive bill that would allow extraditions to China in a major climbdown after a week of protests./AFP
People pray outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 15, 2019. – Hong Kong’s embattled leader on June 15 suspended a hugely divisive bill that would allow extraditions to China in a major climbdown after a week of protests./AFP

Hong Kong braces for huge rally after leader climbdown

Breaking News June 16, 2019 01:00

By Agence France-Presse
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is bracing for another mass rally Sunday as public anger seethes following unprecedented clashes between protesters and police over a controversial extradition law, despite a climbdown by the city’s embattled leader.

Organisers are hoping for another mammoth turnout as they vowed to keep pressure on chief executive Carrie Lam, who suspended work on the hugely divisive bill Saturday after days of mounting pressure, saying she had misjudged the public mood.

Critics fear the Beijing-backed law will tangle people up in China’s notoriously opaque and politicised courts as well as hammer the city’s reputation as a safe business hub.

The international finance hub was rocked by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to China on Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Lam stopped short of committing to permanently scrapping the proposal and the concession was swiftly rejected by protest leaders, who called on her to resign, permanently shelve the bill and apologise for police tactics.

On Sunday afternoon, protesters will march from a park on the main island to the city’s parliament — a repeat of a massive rally a week earlier in which organisers said more than a million people turned out.

Lam’s decision to ignore that record-breaking turnout and press ahead with tabling the bill for debate in the legislature on Wednesday was the spark that lit the clashes which brought parts of the financial hub to a standstill.

The protest movement has morphed in recent days from one specifically aimed at scrapping the extradition bill, to a wider movement of anger at Lam and Beijing over years of sliding freedoms.

“The pro-democracy group will not stop at this point, they want to build on the momentum against Carrie Lam,” political analyst Willy Lam, told AFP. “They will keep the heat on and ride the momentum.”

Police said they had no choice but to use force to meet hardcore violent protesters who had besieged their lines outside the city’s parliament on Wednesday.

But critics — including legal and rights groups — say officers used a small minority of violent protesters to launch a sweeping security crackdown against predominantly young, peaceful protesters and clear the streets.

Anger has also been fanned by Lam and senior officers calling those in the streets “rioters”.

Protest leaders have called for police to drop charges against anyone arrested for rioting and other offences linked to Wednesday’s clashes.

Lam has argued that Hong Kong needs to end the lack of an extradition agreement with the mainland and says safeguards were in place to ensure dissidents or political cases would not be accepted.

Opposition to the bill united an unusually wide cross-section of Hong Kong from influential legal and business bodies, to religious leaders and western nations.

Beijing denies ‘hit-and-run’ in South China Sea collision

Published June 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30371164

Activists and progressive legislators raise clinched fists during a protest in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila on June 12, 2019, against the Asian superpower's growing sway in the Philippines./AFP
Activists and progressive legislators raise clinched fists during a protest in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila on June 12, 2019, against the Asian superpower’s growing sway in the Philippines./AFP

Beijing denies ‘hit-and-run’ in South China Sea collision

ASEAN+ June 16, 2019 01:00

By Agence-France-Presse
Manila

Beijing confirmed Saturday that a Chinese vessel hit a Philippine fishing boat in a collision which has increased tensions in the disputed South China Sea, but denied claims it was a “hit and run”.

The Chinese trawler sailed away after the incident Sunday near Reed Bank that sank the fishing boat, sparking outrage from Philippine authorities and media.

While President Rodrigo Duterte has largely set aside the once tense stand-off with China over the resource-rich waterway, many in the Philippines bristle at Beijing’s actions in the sea.

The Chinese embassy in Manila said the crew of trawler Yuemaobinyu 42212 “bumped into” the Philippine boat and then left due to safety fears.

“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fisherman, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,” the statement said.

It went on to say the incident was not a “hit-and-run”, as some Philippine authorities had claimed, because the trawler “confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued”.

However, the 22 fishermen told a very different story, saying they had spent hours in the water awaiting help.

They were eventually picked up by a Vietnamese boat and brought home Friday aboard a Philippine navy vessel.

The Philippine coast guard has started an investigation of the incident which Duterte’s spokesman branded as “outrageous and barbaric”.

Opposition lawmaker Francis Pangilinan branded China’s version of events “as fake as its territorial claims,” and called for Philippine leaders to stand up to Beijing.

“Now is the time to show real grit and toughness,” Pangilinan said. “There is never a time to be meek and submissive before a foreign power that endangers our own people.”

Duterte has yet to make any public comment but he recently criticised China’s assertive stance over the sea.

“I love China… but it behoves upon us to ask, ‘Is it right for a country to claim the whole ocean?'” he said in a speech last month.

Manila’s Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said this week that he had lodged a diplomatic protest with China over the sinking.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday called the incident “an ordinary maritime traffic accident”.

Geng said it was irresponsible for the Philippines to “politicise the incident without verification”.

Competing claims over the South China Sea are a point of regional contention because trillions of dollars of goods pass through it, and rich petroleum reserves are thought to sit deep beneath its waters.

Reed Bank, an area claimed by Manila and Beijing, is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and far from China’s nearest major landmass.

Manila won a key 2016 ruling against China’s claims in the waterway, but Duterte opted to set it aside in exchange for Chinese investments.

Opposition politicians as well as segments of the public and media charge that Duterte has bartered away Philippine sovereignty with little to show in return.

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