Asia Minute

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South Korea is changing the way it sells coffee — at least when you buy it at a coffee shop. Starting next month, if you drink your coffee in a café, you won’t be using a disposable cup. And that’s already stirring some controversy.

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Fireworks are always part of July 4th activities in the United States, but they’re also a key part of other celebrations around the world. That’s true in New Zealand, where some holiday fireworks planned for this weekend have been postponed for an unusual reason.

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It’s been a little more than a year since bike sharing hit the streets of Honolulu. The practice has been in operation for a little longer in Singapore, but recent changes in the law have led to some dramatic changes.

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On this Independence Day, there’s an unusual event marking the day on the Korean peninsula. It’s a basketball game involving teams from North Korea and South Korea—and a date that is significant for both sides.

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This Sunday, stores around Oahu began charging 15 cents for plastic bags. Most people realized this change was coming, and it hasn’t been a big deal. But a similar change in Australia is having a very different result.

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The Trump Administration is reviewing rules about foreign investment in the United States. But it’s not the only government taking a closer look at how foreign businesses operate in other countries. And last week, that sparked some confusion in Indonesia.

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Most office spaces around the world include break rooms. That’s generally where people can have lunch or a snack, and chat casually with colleagues. But in Australia, a different kind of “break room” is growing in popularity.

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The government of New Zealand is looking at a proposal to tax its tourists. The measure would tack on an arrival charge for most international visitors, but the proceeds would go beyond well marketing.

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It’s summer break for many students around the world. In China, last week marked an important event for high school students with plans for college. And this week there’s a new development involving the United States.

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School violence in the United States has led to a broader debate about arming teachers. Florida has passed a law allowing teachers to carry handguns. Texas lawmakers are considering a similar measure. But in the Philippines, an even more dramatic proposal is under consideration.

Senior Airman Dana Hill / U.S. Air Force

Government officials from the United States and South Korea are still trying to figure out the details of President Trump’s promise to pull back from military exercises on the Korean peninsula. The development surprised military officials in both Washington and Seoul.

President of Russia /

Much of the world’s attention has been focused on the Singapore meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But another summit meeting in Asia has also produced a series of regional headlines.

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Much of the coverage of President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has focused on nuclear weapons and missiles. But for the host city of Singapore, some local businesses have focused on less serious topics — including food.

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We’re just a few days away from President Trump’s scheduled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore. And while global attention has been focused on these two leaders, several others will be affected by whatever takes place in Singapore.

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What to do about vacation rentals is an issue around the state. But while Hawaii’s legislature has not been able to agree on state-wide measures, in Japan a new national law takes effect a week from tomorrow. And it’s already having an impact.

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What’s in a name? When it comes to the destination for an airline — it can be a lot — especially if the destination is Taiwan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Two of the largest grocery store chains in Australia are taking new steps to cut down on the amount of waste they produce. It’s the latest development in a series of moves aimed at curbing waste in Australia. HPR’S Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Food preparation and space travel are two pursuits that have some unexpected links. That’s especially true for a new experiment that Thailand plans to try this summer. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute. / Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s visitor industry reported another strong month in April, although any impact of the Kilauea Volcano won’t show up until the May figures come out next month. While authorities continue to encourage visitors to Hawaii, there’s another location in the Asia Pacific that is taking a different approach. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

President of Indonesia / Wikimedia Commons

As you’ve been hearing on NPR, there’s a lot of attention swirling around a potential summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But another top-level meeting in Asia this week may also have significant strategic importance. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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A new report out this week says flooding related to climate change will cost China nearly 400-billion dollars over the next twenty years. But there will also be high costs to the United States — and not just because of the weather. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

A multi-billion dollar rail project may be headed for extinction. The news has nothing to do with Honolulu, but it’s making headlines in Malaysia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s been a difficult month for Taiwan. The government there has faced increasing pressure from Beijing on a number of fronts, and it’s been having an international impact. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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There is news out this week about the amount of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the ocean. Researchers say this variety of tuna has been overfished for many years. But the latest numbers have drawn different interpretations from various groups, depending on their agendas. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate is currently at a record low: 2-percent. That makes hiring tough for certain positions—but that situation is not limited to Hawai‘i. In New Zealand, there’s an industry that has such a severe worker shortage that many are calling it a crisis. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Thailand has now been under military rule for four years. Several hundred protestors marked that anniversary yesterday in Bangkok—but the police had an even bigger presence. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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There has been lots of reaction in recent days to trade talks between the United States and China. But much less attention is being paid to another diplomatic mission from China. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Coral reefs are a focus for many scientists here in Hawai‘i and around the world. A new government study of Japan’s largest coral reef confirms what scientists have been saying. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute. via CC

Malaysia has had one of the most dramatic shifts of leadership since the nation’s creation. While the new administration will take some time to put together, authorities are wasting no time investigating the former prime minister. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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A little more than an hour’s flight from Hong Kong is a tropical island that likes to market itself as “China’s Hawai‘i.” But unlike Hawai‘i, this location is looking for a population explosion. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.