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Visitor counts are gradually increasing across the state and the vast majority are domestic passengers—a trend that’s true around the world. But in parts of the Asia Pacific, preparations are underway to welcome more international travelers.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

While Hawai‘i leads the country in its goals for clean energy, most of the state’s electricity still comes from fossil fuels. That includes a coal-fired power plant on O‘ahu—a technology that’s a long-time target of environmental activists. It’s also an area where Japan may be shifting its policy.

Jason Tong / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

More students are returning to classrooms, here in Hawai‘i and around the country. But one group of college students remains in low numbers: those from overseas. And in Australia, some government officials are looking to boost those numbers.

Suez Canal Authority via AP

The Suez Canal remains closed Friday—as crews work to free a huge container ship that got stuck in a sandstorm. While the incident has sent ripples of concern around the world, it has particular impact for some in the Asia Pacific.

Nurse Together / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

It’s been more than a year since the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus was a global pandemic. Part of the new reality since then has been the widespread use of disposable masks. Now a team in Indonesia is experimenting with recycling them—not as masks, but as part of other products.

Manu Minute: The Long-lived Laysan Albatross

Mar 24, 2021
Alex Wang

Special thanks to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for today's field recordings.

Mōlī, or Laysan albatrosses, breed in large numbers across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with nearly a million birds counted on Midway island alone.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Hawai‘i’s Department of Health continues to administer the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines—the same ones in use for the rest of the United States. But in many parts of Asia, one of the key vaccines in play is the one from AstraZeneca—and the pace is picking up this week.

New cases of COVID-19 have risen in recent days here in Hawai‘i—along with a number of other states. They’re rising even faster in several locations overseas—including part of South Asia. Health officials in India are warning the country could be in the early stages of a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

More people are making travel plans for the future, but right now international trips remain difficult. Many countries are not even accepting visitors, while others require lengthy quarantines. But in Southeast Asia, one long-planned alternative has now opened for business.

cc commons
cc commons

Pineapples are playing a growing role in Asia Pacific politics—at least when it comes to China and Taiwan. A dispute over the fruit has now gone international.

Jss367 / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists hundreds of threatened and endangered species around Hawaii---from plants and snails to reptiles and birds. In Australia, scientists are trying to save one bird by helping to preserve its song.

AP Photo/Aaron Favila

While cases of COVID-19 are falling in many parts of the world, in certain areas they continue to rise. And that includes the Philippines, which is now imposing new restrictions to reverse the trend.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

While much of the state has been hit with a lot of wet weather lately, a different kind of storm is causing issues in northern China. It’s the worst sandstorm in a decade, and the impact is stretching beyond the country.

dirkvermeylen from Pixabay

As vaccinations increase across the state and around the country, the thoughts of some are turning to travel plans. But for many in the hospitality industry, the shorter-term targets are still a domestic market.

Senior Airman Dana Hill / U.S. Air Force

You may have seen the headline this week that Washington and Seoul have reached an agreement on a cost-sharing agreement for U.S. troops based in South Korea. But there’s a deeper story behind the numbers.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

The Biden Administration is sending its first official overseas delegation to the Asia Pacific. Next week’s trip will include stops in Japan and South Korea. It will also mark the first visit of a Biden cabinet secretary to Hawaii.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Hawaii’s Department of Health says that more than 416,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed across the state. Around the world, vaccinations rolled out faster in the United States and Europe than other regions. In the Asia Pacific, it’s been slower — and the pace is varying in different locations.

AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

The Hawaii Department of Health says more than 60,000 COVID-19 vaccines are heading for the islands this week. The vaccination process continues through priority lists — now open to those 70 and older. But in one Asian countries, vaccine distribution is taking another course.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

Life is back to normal for residents of coastal New Zealand this week. Late last week, a series of powerful earthquakes struck the South Pacific — leading to tsunami warnings around the region. And while the waves were not as high as feared, for some they were a wake-up call.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-Man, file

It’s been another eventful week for news, but not all of it concerns the coronavirus. South Korea marked a pair of events this week that show its growing “soft power”-or influence on the global stage.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Hawaii's state legislature gets back into session today following a five-day recess. A different sort of legislative gathering starts today in China. These meetings take place each year, but this year is being watched closely both inside and outside the country.

AP Photo/Vincent Thian

In states from Texas to Michigan, government officials are loosening some restrictions linked to the pandemic. That’s also the case in a Southeast Asian nation where the increasing use of vaccines around the world is having an unusual impact.

NickyPe from Pixabay

There’s a dispute going on this week across the Taiwan Strait. It’s not related to any military exercises or weapons sales. This dispute is all about fruit. 

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Some movie theaters are open around the state, while others remain closed. That’s the case in much of the country, but in parts of Asia more movie theaters are in use – and not just for films.

Herbert Bieser from Pixabay

Here’s a news story that goes back tens of thousands of years. It’s about a development this week involving an indigenous culture in the Asia Pacific, a rock painting, and a kangaroo.

Free-Photos from Pixabay

A court ruling in China is getting a lot of attention around the Asia Pacific this week. The case involves a divorce, and a decision about whether the ex-wife deserves compensation for housework she did during the marriage.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

It’s been nearly six months since Hawaii started its “Safe Travels” program, which now allows visitors on most islands to skip quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test. Other locations are more cautious with entry requirements, but some are considering easing certain restrictions. And that includes Thailand.

Joey Dalumpines/Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP

Communities around the world are debating whether to ease certain restrictions as new cases of COVID-19 decline or stabilize. In the Philippines, that discussion has ended — at least for the time being.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, FILE

State health officials say vaccine distribution programs should be back on track this week following some disruptions because of severe winter weather on the continental United States. Overseas, this is a big week for vaccinations in two locations in the Asia Pacific that are just getting started with vaccine rollouts.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

Tourists are still trickling into Hawaii in relatively small numbers under the Safe Travels Program. That allows visitors with a negative Covid test to bypass quarantine. But another location in the Pacific is rampin gup a different kind of visitor program.