Philippines businesses seek clear policies ahead of ASEAN integration

By Wed, Aug 20, 2014 10:11AM UTC ASEAN memebrs Philippines and Thailand are two of the worlds top canned tuna producers.Pic by Edwin Espejo

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Businessmen from all over Mindanao are seeking clear cut government policies on five major agenda as the country prepares for economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

Japan rated Asia’s most peaceful country, China falters

By Tue, Aug 19, 2014 1:47PM UTC Police officers stand guard near a blast site in downtown Urumqi, Xinjiang, Thursday. Pic: AP.

Japan is the most peaceful country in Asia, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) 2014 Global Peace Index. Its fellow Asian powerhouse China, however, dropped in the rankings amid terrorist threats, international tensions and rapid militarisation.

Financial exclusion keeps Asia’s poor shackled to debt

By Thu, Aug 14, 2014 11:56AM UTC A Thai woman walks past a poster advertising Krungsri Ayudhya Bank in Bangkok. Millions in Thailand and throughout the region have no access to banking services. Pic: AP.

Many people in Asia, however, have no choice and the consequences of using illegal and unscrupulous lenders are catastrophic, resulting in spiralling interest payments, violence and, tragically, slavery.

Kerry to outline new ‘Asia pivot’ priorities

By Thu, Aug 14, 2014 9:24AM UTC U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: AP.

HONOLULU (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is wrapping up an eight-day, round-the-world diplomatic trip in Hawaii with a speech outlining the Obama administration’s new priorities in its much-touted “pivot to Asia.”

International rights groups back labor activist ahead of Thailand trial

By Wed, Aug 13, 2014 6:03PM UTC Labor rights activist Andy Hall, center, with members of the  Migrant Worker Rights Network. Pic: AP.

Members of the international human rights community have affirmed their support for labor activist Andy Hall, who will face trial in Thailand next month. Nearly 100 organizations submitted a joint letter to the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA) last week, insisting that criminal and civil suits brought against Hall by the Natural Fruit company be dropped.

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