Asia Minute

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One of the world’s most ambitious recycling programs is getting underway in Australia. A new government policy aims to cut the export of plastic waste and at the same time boost local business.

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It’s been a volatile week on world stock markets. Investors have focused on slowdowns in China and Europe, but other economic developments are taking place in the Asia Pacific.

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Flights have resumed at the Hong Kong airport following a couple of days of protests — including some violent confrontations with police. Targeting the airport has generated international publicity for demonstrators, but also something more.

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As protests in Hong Kong continue this week, they are getting attention from around the world. But they are a particular focus in the politics of a neighboring location in Asia: Taiwan.

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As you kick off another work week today, how are you feeling about your work-life balance? According to a recent study, some of the lowest scores in the world are in Asia.

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As we approach another weekend, residents of Hong Kong are bracing for another set of protests. Demonstrations have been growing for the past two months, and apart from concerns about safety and civil rights, this week there is new evidence that they are taking a toll on business.

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Homelessness in Hawaii remains a challenge on every island. As authorities and nonprofit groups work together trying to improve the situation, one country across the Pacific is considering a new approach.

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Now that August has arrived, many households in Hawaii are making back-to-school plans. But in some places, graduation ceremonies are not that far in the past. In Australia, the University of Melbourne recently held a commencement ceremony with a record-setting graduate.

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President Trump has announced a new round of trade tariffs against China. The 10% charge on another 300-billion dollars of Chinese goods will go into effect next month. It’s another escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China, but what’s the impact on the rest of Asia?

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For many people, August is a time for vacation and for travel. But for many residents of China, those travel options have been reduced effective today.

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Here in Hawai’i we’re in the annual season of possible tropical storms and even hurricanes. But elsewhere in the Pacific, there’s another weather-related concern. In parts of Southeast Asia, it’s fire season — and emergency workers are trying to get ahead it.

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This morning’s commute in Hong Kong was disrupted by protestors. It’s the latest development in a series of demonstrations that are continuing – with a widening impact.

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North Korean government media say last week’s launch of two short-range missiles was a warning to South Korea not to proceed with military exercises next month. But those actions are on track to continue — while the launches have drawn different reactions in Seoul and Washington.

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This week the International Monetary Fund again cut its outlook for world economic growth—blaming trade tensions as one reason. But there’s one part of the economy that’s showing surprising growth in Asia—and it’s related to media.

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Stalled trade talks between the United States and China will resume next week in Shanghai. The Treasury Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative are heading to China, but one group to watch back home are American farmers.

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In the Asia Pacific, China and Russia have held an unusual joint aerial mission. Yesterday, the two countries carried out what they described as their first shared long-range air patrol in Asia — drawing a sharp reaction from two U.S. allies.

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Summer is a popular season for blockbuster movies and for promotion of upcoming attractions. The sequel to the movie Top Gun won’t be out for nearly a year, but it’s already sparking some controversy in parts of Asia.

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One concern that Hawaii shares with other island nations is the sustainability of ocean fish. Overfishing is a concern in many areas of the Pacific, but last week eight economies agreed to set limits for one kind of fish.

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Single use plastic bags are banned in Hawaiʻi — or at least they require an additional cash payment. Dozens of locations around the world now restrict the use of plastic bags, and one of the latest is New Zealand.

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Several islands across the state are facing drought conditions this summer – especially parts of Maui County and Hawai’i Island. More severe drought is plaguing parts of India, where several major cities are reporting water shortages. And now drought is on its way to Thailand.

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Protestors involved in a long-running dispute are talking with law enforcement officials about how to keep demonstrations peaceful. While that headline might come from Hawaii Island and Mauna Kea, it actually originates from the other side of the Pacific.

Indian Space Research Organisation

Fifty years ago today, the Apollo Eleven mission lifted off from Florida — heading for the moon. This week, another moon mission starting from the other side of the world suffered a setback.

AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon

An escalating dispute between Japan and South Korea is moving into a new phase this week. South Korean officials are coming to Washington to ask for help from the United States.

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One area where most of Hawaii scores well compared to many other locations in the world is air quality. It’s an increasing focus for many cities in the Asia Pacific, and in one place residents are actually suing the government.

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It’s been eight years since a state law took effect recognizing Native Hawaiians as “the only indigenous . . . population of Hawai’i.” In Australia, the government is promising to move ahead with a different kind of recognition for its own native people.

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It’s been nearly three months since the Hōkūleʻa returned from its latest ocean voyage. But elsewhere in the Pacific, another group has just completed a much shorter voyage – navigating by nature and paddling as a team.

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There’s a new trend underway in many developing countries across the Asia Pacific. It’s about shipping — but with an unusual twist.

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The world’s largest democracy has a new budget. India’s Finance Minister presented her first budget to parliament Friday, but it wasn’t just the numbers that got attention.

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If you have travel plans this summer and you hold an American passport, you can go to more than 180 countries without needing a visa. But that doesn't top the list of the world's most powerful passports. That distinction goes to a pair of countries in Asia.

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As the United States celebrates Independence Day today, a focus remains on a developing situation in another former British colony: Hong Kong. Large demonstrations began less than a month ago, some became violent earlier this week, and now there are warnings coming from Beijing.

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