Asia Minute

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For people who celebrate Easter this weekend, ham could be on the menu. It’s one food item that’s likely to see prices move higher in coming months — mostly because of what’s going on in China.

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How much cash do you carry? For many people, the answer to that question has changed over time. And in parts of Asia, it’s changing at different speeds.

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Infrastructure spending is an issue before both the state legislature and the U.S. congress. It’s also the topic of an international gathering next week in China.

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This is campaign season in several places around Asia. India has already started voting in elections that will last for a month.  And in Indonesia, voters go to the polls tomorrow in one of the most complicated elections in the world.

There’s a new project that’s opening this week in Southeast Asia. It includes a botanical garden, a boutique hotel and the world’s largest indoor waterfall. And it’s opening at the airport.

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According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hawaii and New York share the highest rate of homelessness in the country. 46 of every 10,000 residents of Hawaii experienced homelessness at some point last year. The issue is also a point of growing concern in the capital city of New Zealand.

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Australia's prime minister has just called for an election. That means that Australians will be going to the polls at a time when economic growth is slowing and political differences are growing.

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This fall will mark five years since massive protests choked the streets of Hong Kong. This week, several leaders of that movement have been convicted of criminal charges.

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The president of South Korea is coming to the White House this week. Moon Jae-in will in Washington for two days, and the focus will be on what comes next with North Korea.

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Air travel in China has been disrupted several times recently by an unusual factor. It has nothing to do with bad weather or overcrowding of flights—it’s more a matter of luck. 

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A small piece of forgotten history is being remembered today in the Asia Pacific. It’s a story that involves New Zealanders, Australians, and the Vietnam War.

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Hawaiʻi's state legislature has been looking at Singapore as a possible model for certain kinds of publicly-supported housing. But this week, there are new developments when it comes to another part of Singapore's urban planning.

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Members of U.S. Forces Korea can now wear masks to guard against air pollution. That’s a new policy, and it shows just how bad conditions have gotten on the Korean peninsula.

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Japan marks a new period of its history in in four weeks and a day. That’s when a new emperor will take the throne and a period of time will get a name.

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These are challenging times for the city of Hong Kong. A recent survey found residents the least optimistic about the future in 25 years. And that’s not all.

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A new round of trade talks gets underway this week between the United States and China. One of the many topics covered by trade agreements is the movie industry. And in China, that business is undergoing some changes.

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While U.S. politicians are already lining up for next year’s presidential election, there are a series of elections coming up much sooner in Asia. And they start this weekend in Thailand.

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Immigration remains a political issue in the United States, and that trend has spread elsewhere in the world. In Australia, the government announced some immigration policy changes this week.

President of Russia /

One of the most powerful rulers in Asia is resigning. He has led the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan for nearly three decades — and what comes next is not clear.

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There is a business news story from India this week about a pair of famous brothers who appear to have reached a truce in their long-time feud.

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One of the largest cities in Southeast Asia has been suffering through a water crisis. While the worst of Manila’s water crisis is over, questions still remain.

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A new report out this week from the United Nations shows growing concern about air pollution. The problem is getting markedly worse in many areas — especially in parts of Asia.

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The United States is far from the only country to be facing a presidential election next year. One of the more interesting races may turn out to be Taiwan — where not all the influences on the campaign are domestic.

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The United States and China are continuing trade talks, and the outcome remains uncertain. On Tuesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a Senate panel “our hope is that we are in the final weeks” of the talks. But in the meantime, one area that’s experiencing some volatility is China’s auto sector.

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International safety officials are in Ethiopia, still investigating that tragic air crash over the weekend. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration is keeping the Boeing 737 Max 8 in the air. But some countries have temporarily grounded that airplan including at least two in Asia.

President of Russia /

One of Southeast Asia’s longest serving prime ministers met last week with one of the region’s most controversial leaders. Their talks were wide-ranging, and included some advice about immigration.

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South Korea is wrapping up a difficult period for air quality. Earlier this week, some measures of air pollution in the national capital hit their worst levels in several years. And something else is in the air: politics.


One of the largest suppliers of electricity for the island of O‘ahu is a coal-fired power plant. While Hawai‘i is committed to reduce its use of fossil fuels in coming years, it’s a different story for another location in the Asia Pacific.

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The United States and China are still negotiating about trade. While businesses and markets wait for developments on that front, another trading partner in the region is facing a disruption.

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Several shootings involving officers from the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Public Safety have taken place in the last few weeks. While internal investigations are continuing, recent violence elsewhere in the Asia Pacific is drawing attention to a significant difference when it comes to police departments.