Bill Dorman

Vice President & News Director

Bill Dorman has been the news director of Hawai‘i Public Radio since February 2011. Born in New York City, he spent 21 years at CNN in various positions behind the scenes and on the air in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, and Tokyo, Japan. He was also managing editor of Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg News for five years before moving to Hawai‘i in 2009. He’s covered stories from more than twenty countries and territories.

Ways to Connect

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The gradual loosening of some travel restrictions in different parts of the world will have an impact on airlines. But in the Asia Pacific, shifting conditions are already forcing changes in the business.

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Governor David Ige says he’s close to announcing details of a plan to re-open trans-Pacific travel to Hawaii. Other locations in the region are taking a cautious approach, but moving to a new phase this week.

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The number of coronavirus cases in Hawaii saw some sharp daily increases at the end of last week. Cases are growing steadily in several other parts of the United States. One overseas country that had early success with the virus is now facing a new challenge.

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One of many questions about the phased re-openings of communities around the world concerns education. It’s not just about the plans for local schools, there are still a lot of issues concerning international students. And that includes in the Asia Pacific.

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This weekend, President Trump plans to address a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Organizers say face masks will be optional. Elsewhere, rules are very different when it comes to political gatherings — including one of the economic centers of Southeast Asia.

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This week the state lifted quarantine restrictions on inter-island travel. Government officials are still looking at what will be needed to resume limited trans-Pacific travel. But the timing of travel from at least one Asia Pacific destination may be delayed.

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Interisland travel without quarantine is now underway. And on Friday, bars will be allowed to re-open on Oahu. Friday also marks a new phase for looser restrictions for two important economies in Asia.

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Statues have become part of the story of protests against racial injustice in this country, and in many other parts of the world. That includes Australia.

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Updated 06/16/20, 12:48 p.m.

Starting today, residents of Hawaii will be able to travel between islands without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. But when it comes to longer-distance travel, the timeline is much less certain.

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Police reform in Hawaii; Newsroom cuts to Honolulu's only newspaper; Marshallese stranded at consulate

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The most heavily populated urban area in the world is lifting restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is the first day that Tokyo will move to a new phase of reopening.

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Clinical trials are underway around the world in the search for a treatment for COVID-19. They are in various stages of research. And in Singapore, one is about to launch human clinical trials.

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Lab work is continuing in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic – from expanded testing to the pursuit of a vaccine. But there are political aspects to this story as well, and that includes growing tension between two important trading partners in the Asia Pacific.

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While many businesses are slowly re-opening, questions linger about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on other activities. That includes voting. And in one democracy in Asia, despite uncertainty, planning is underway.

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Government officials in Hawaii and many other travel destinations are trying to figure out how to safely encourage tourism. In southeast Asia, the short-term answer is closer to home.

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Developments related to the coronavirus and to protests after the death of George Floyd have dominated recent news. But there have been other developments this week—including an organizational idea from President Trump: expanding the Group of Seven nations to include a broader piece of the Asia Pacific.

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Many businesses are re-opening in the state and across the country, and they are all adjusting to change. That includes the auto industry in the Asia Pacific.

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From restaurants to beauty salons, this week brings a loosening of some restrictions here in Hawaii and elsewhere. In parts of the Asia Pacific, that includes going back to school – on different timetables.

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Governor David Ige says he’s “having discussions” about international air travel to Hawaii — including what he calls “safe travel corridors.” Those are also called “travel bubbles” which has become a buzz phrase for a growing number of locations in the Asia Pacific.

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Hawaii is far from the only place in the world that’s debating what to do about tourism. There’s another oceanfront destination that’s making some small moves this week, and still considering possibilities over the longer term.

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Communities around the state and the country are slowly re-opening after an extended shutdown. That includes one part of the Asia Pacific that has been under one of the longest lockdowns in the world.

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The gradual process of re-opening is continuing across the state and in differing degrees around the world. Some countries are starting to look at possible ways to allow certain visitors, with careful controls — and that includes China.

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Japan has moved into a new phase of re-opening this week – including its largest city.

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States are taking different approaches on slowly re-opening businesses. That’s also true for countries, where two key economies in Southeast Asia are moving into a new phase.

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Any talk about lifting travel quarantines in Hawaii starts with neighbor island travel. But more work is planned before opening the gates to immediate entry to out of state visitors. Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, a similar way of thinking is leading to consideration of what some are calling “travel bubbles.”

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Travel quarantines are getting more attention around the world. The two-week isolations help block the spread of the coronavirus, but they also bring their own challenges. Some of those have popped up this week in the Asia Pacific.

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The number of visitors to Hawaii has been creeping higher in recent weeks, and there’s a growing focus on how to enforce the 14-day quarantine. South Korea has been using a method for months that’s now moving to a new level.

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Hawaii’s legislature has been meeting at the capitol for the last couple of weeks at a distance from each other and from the public. Proceedings are televised, but safety remains a focus. That’s also true for a much larger gathering of lawmakers coming together this week in China.

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The World Health Organization has been meeting for the last two days by video conference. It’s a shortened annual meeting, and of course it’s all about COVID-19.  That means discussion has been postponed on at least one controversial issue in the Asia Pacific.

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Governments around the world are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the economic freeze that has followed the coronavirus pandemic. Debates are still continuing about whether to spend more — as well as the pace of reopening business.

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