Hong Kong

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As the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States and elsewhere, some locations are experiencing new waves of cases. And this week, that includes Hong Kong and South Korea.

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Rules on international travel still vary around the world in the time of this pandemic. Hong Kong is moving slowly to ease some of its restrictions, but it's also considering a tougher approach on testing.

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The Four Seasons at Ko Olina apparently has a new owner. According to reports in several media outlets, developer Jeff Stone announced his firm The Resort Group has sold its interest in the property to a partner in the project, Hong Kong-based Hender Land Group.

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The same day that Hawaii started its pre-travel testing program, two of Asia’s leading cities announced a travel agreement of their own. It’s a “travel bubble” involving Hong Kong and Singapore. That means residents will be able to skip a quarantine when traveling between the two cities — as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

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As Oahu starts to slowly re-open businesses on the island, many areas around the world are gradually easing some restrictions put in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19. That includes the Asia-Pacific — where it’s already been a week of change.

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As surge testing for COVID-19 continues around Oahu, a similar effort is taking place elsewhere in the Pacific, but on an even bigger scale. Hong Kong’s government wants to give a test to every resident who wants one, but so far, the response has been mixed.

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Restaurants on Oahu are now once again reduced to take out service, as part of the latest “Stay at Home” order. But a major city in the Asia Pacific is now letting restaurants stay open a bit longer than before.

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Testing is one of the many issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. While the ability to get a test varies in different locations, one city in Asia is about to offer tests to all of its residents who want one.

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It’s been six weeks since China passed a new security law covering Hong Kong — and one day since a new round of high-profile arrests. One of those arrests underlines how far the practice of journalism is now under threat in the city.

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The start of the school year will take the form of distance learning for students on Oahu. That’s also the case in many places around the country and the world – including Hong Kong.

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong authorities broadened their enforcement of a new national security law on Monday, arresting media tycoon Jimmy Lai, searching the publisher's headquarters and carting away boxes of what they said was evidence, in a blow to one of the territory's leading pro-democracy newspapers.

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Updated 7/30/20, 9:35 a.m.

Hawaii is not the only place that has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases after having relatively low numbers. The situation is more dramatic in Hong Kong, where government officials are aggressively addressing an increase in cases.

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Hong Kong’s new security law is a source of concern for a growing number of international companies — and several are taking action. That includes groups ranging from the New York Times to a company some call the “Google of South Korea.”

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Public health professionals around the world continue to call for people to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But whether that appeal turns into a mandatory rule depends on government leadership in different communities, states, and countries. And that includes parts of the Asia Pacific.

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Several states that have loosened restrictions are now tightening them again because of an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19. A number of other locations around the world are doing the same, and that includes Hong Kong.

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Governments around the world are still reacting to China's latest move in Hong Kong. Last week's announcement of a new security law has led to some new policies from other national capitals — including Australia's.

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Chinese authorities wasted no time this week enforcing a new security law on the streets of Hong Kong.  Nearly 400 people were arrested in protests Wednesday. That includes ten charged under the new law, in a move that begins a different era for the city. 

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong media are reporting that China has approved a contentious law that would allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong, sparking fears that it would be used to curb opposition voices in the semi-autonomous territory.

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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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HONG KONG — Hong Kong police fired tear gas and a water cannon at protesters in a popular shopping district Sunday, as thousands took to the streets to march against China's move to impose national security legislation on the city.

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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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As we come to the close of another week, more businesses are opening, but that does not include the travel industry. In Hong Kong, government officials say they’re looking at a possible return to travelers at some point this summer.

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Attention is increasingly shifting to the cautious and limited re-opening of some areas around the world. And there’s great interest on research and development that can help with that goal. A lot of that work is being done in the Asia Pacific.

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BEIJING — China said Tuesday the number of infections from a new virus surpassed 20,000 as medical workers and patients arrived at a new hospital and President Xi Jinping said “we have launched a people's war of prevention of the epidemic.”

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Protests have continued this week in Hong Kong. And while demonstrators have gathered this week from the harbor side to shopping malls, there’s also a group that has moved to online video games.

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New Year’s celebrations in Hong Kong will be a bit more subdued than usual this year. A large show of fireworks over the harbor was canceled this week, because police say they are concerned about crowd safety. And if trends continue, there will be many fewer visitors.

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Protests in Hong Kong are continuing this week. Although they’ve been smaller in scale and more peaceful than in recent weeks. But the economy continues to sputter, and city officials are spending more money to try to improve the situation.

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