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Hawaii is approaching its first weekend of the pre-travel testing program, and the state has already seen a bump in arriving passengers. But elsewhere in the world, there are some further complications when it comes to air travel — including Australia.

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Thailand’s Prime Minister says he’ll make “the first move to de-escalate” a growing protest movement in his country. He made that comment in a nationally televised address last night, on the same day the country welcomed its first tourists in more than six months.

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Tomorrow is the day when government leaders on Oahu could mark the island's movement to "tier two" — loosening certain restrictions on businesses and activities. Several governments in the Asia Pacific are considering what it will take to move to the next stages of their own gradual reopening.

Nhac Nguyen/Pool Photo via AP

While vacation travel remains slow to non-existent in many parts of the world, diplomatic visits are continuing. And that’s true this week in Asia — where Japan’s new prime minister is on his first overseas trip since taking office just about a month ago.

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As Hawaii continues with its pre-travel testing program, some countries in the Asia Pacific are making plans to gradually ease travel restrictions. But the pace of change is cautious — and uneven.

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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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Thailand’s government has declared a state of emergency because of continuing protests in the capital city of Bangkok. It’s the latest development in a movement that has been going on for months.

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Tomorrow, Hawaii will start the state’s new pre-travel testing program — a first step to increase the number of visitors.  Some locations in the Asia Pacific are slowly loosening certain restrictions related to the virus, and that includes South Korea.

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There has been a dramatic increase in extreme weather events over the past twenty years. That’s according to the United Nations, which says the region hit hardest by these developments is Asia.

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Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program is on track to start this Thursday — opening the way to a gradually rising number of visitors. But if you were planning a trip to Australia anytime soon, you’ll have to make some adjustments.

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Thousands of protestors have turned out this week in city streets across Indonesia. They oppose a new law that went into effect this week affecting many parts of the country’s economy.

AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

Hawaii is a week away from welcoming tourists who undergo pre-travel testing. And the race is on to develop faster ways to reliably detect the coronavirus. Local company Oceanit has been working on a rapid test using saliva, and trials are underway for other tests.

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If you have a laptop computer, chances are it was made in China. But according to a new report, that’s not likely to be the case in another ten years.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

Leaders of one of the world’s most popular airports say the business is facing a “daunting” future. It’s an important transit hub in Asia, but as with airlines and airports around the world, it’s been hit hard by the coronavirus. 

AP Photo/Aaron Favila

Beach cleaning is usually a regular group activity around the islands. While the pandemic has disrupted that local routine, a different kind of beach cleanup is going on in the Philippines. And it's sparked some controversy.

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We’re now less than two weeks away from the date when Hawaii will open the door to visitors a bit wider. As the state continues to refine the points of pre-travel testing, other destinations are finding some complications when it comes to visitors.

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The next U.S. presidential debate is scheduled for two weeks from tonight. In the Asia Pacific, many who watched the first one are still voicing their reactions.

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Airlines here in Hawaii and around the world are continuing to struggle. The decline in travel because of the pandemic has led some airlines to cut jobs by the thousands. Others are looking for different ways to use their airplanes — including a new idea this week from Southeast Asia.

AP photo/Wally Santana

Hawaii is not the only tourist destination preparing for the eventual return of visitors. Thailand is moving ahead with plans to accept visitors, but very gradually.

AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File

The prime minister of Japan says his country is determined to host the Olympic Games next summer. The latest planning includes dozens of changes, but many residents remain skeptical.

AP Photo/Aaron Favila

It’s been another week of serious news. From COVID-19 to national politics, there’s been a lot to keep up with in recent days. But there’s a big headline in the Philippines that’s a little less serious, and something that you may have missed.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

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.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

South Korea has been making progress in its continuing battle against the coronavirus. The country was hit early, reduced the number of cases and saw them spike again. The numbers are declining once more, but health officials are worried about next week.

AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn

Police in Thailand are filing charges against more than a dozen individuals following protests this past weekend in Bangkok.

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Airlines are making plans to increase their flights to Hawaii as pre-travel COVID testing begins next month. Many people are still hesitant to get on an airplane, but in parts of the Asia Pacific, a number of carriers are offering flights that don’t go anywhere.

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Anti-government protestors in Thailand are planning their biggest rally to date this weekend. Organizers say they expect as many as a hundred thousand people to show up in the streets of Bangkok. So far, the government is reacting with caution.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

For the first time in nearly eight years, Japan has a new Prime Minister. While Shinzo Abe has left the government, his influence remains — including in the cabinet of his successor.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

One of the most influential financial groups in the Asia Pacific warns that tens of millions of people in the region may be pushed below the poverty level by the coronavirus. The Asian Development Bank expects improvements next year, but prospects vary from country to country.

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The timing of a broad return of tourism to Hawaii remains a question mark.  Some airlines are betting that by next summer demand will increase for mainland routes to the islands. But airlines around the world are struggling—and some in the Asia Pacific are announcing new plans for survival.

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One of the world’s largest mining companies is changing some of its top management following the destruction of sites sacred to Indigenous people in Australia. The move comes after months of criticism — including from some of the company’s top shareholders.

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