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Edition: CHINAASIAUSAEUROPEAFRICA

HK continues to be world's freest economy

The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom Report revealed that HK has been ranked the world's freest economy for 21 consecutive ye...

Greece halts port sale to China

Transportation giant COSCO Group won a 35-year concession to expand two main container terminals at the Piraeus port in 2008.

Interim MH370 report on March 7

The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 passengers and crew went missing on March 8.

What does Apple do next?

Apple CEO Cook and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri say they're optimistic about other products in Apple's portfolio.

Yuan one of world's top 5 payment currencies

The yuan reached a record high share of 2.17 percent in global payments by value.

Obama to seek US$38-b defense hike

The Pentagon's base budget is currently US$496 billion.

DPRK's Kim 'confirms Russia visit'

The trip, confirmed by a Kremlin spokesman, would be Kim Jong-un's first foreign visit.

Change weighs on manufacturers

The industrial slowdown in China has dealt a severe blow to global commodity suppliers.

Opinion

Harilela set example to business leaders

The most famous Indian in Hong Kong, Hari Harilela, recently passed away at 92.

Delicate balance needed to maintain HK’s uniqueness

For many decades I have helped organizations resolve conflict, generally through a process of deep dialogue.

What Obama's India visit means to China

India may be pushed back against China once again.

GDP gives way to growth quality

Instead of giving a specific GDP target for Shanghai this year, the mayor said in his report to the city's People's Congress on Sunday ...

Move for better law enforcement

At long last, the performance assessment mechanisms for law enforcement agencies are to be adjusted.

Nation

Man compensated for wrongful custody

A man who was acquitted after spending five years in prison in Hunan will receive compensation from the state.

Top Taiwan affairs official to visit Kinmen

Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, will meet Taiwan's mainland affairs chief, Wang Yu-chi.

Man admits setting fire on bus in China

A Chinese court says a man has admitted deliberately starting a bus fire that injured 33 people including himself other people and says it...

Coal official's corruption probe concludes

A probe into suspected corruption by Wei Pengyuan, former vice director of the National Energy Administration's coal department, has concl...

Making the pole their goal

Pole dancing is growing in popularity in China, where it's regarded as a good form of exercise with an image far removed from the sleazy activity associated with seedy nightclubs in the West.

The years of living dangerously

It's 15 years since China first participated in UN peacekeeping missions, but despite the late start, the country is now a leading light.

C-section is no longer cutting edge

Changes to the rules governing family planning prompted hundreds of thousands of couples to register to have a second child, but a former reliance on cesarean deliveries is causing misery for many, as Yang Wanli reports.

HK

ATV fined HK$200,000 as licence fee unpaid

Asia Television's licence may be suspended for a month if it fails to pay its licence fee by March 18.

HK continues to be world's freest economy

The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom Report revealed that Hong Kong has been ranked the world's freest economy for 21 consecutive years.

Hong Kong shares rise on Fed hopes

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent, to 24,861.81, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.6 percent, to 11,963.64 points.

Illegal protests take toll on Tramways revenue

Hong Kong Tramways revenue fell by a third during weeks of illegal protests which cleaved the city's oldest mass transit network in two.

Focus HK

Investor blues

With the CE deciding to suspend a 12-year-old program that allowed millionaires from the mainland to run tax-free operations in HK, perhaps it’s time to review what went wrong.

Backstage at the forefront

Those who toil behind the theatrical props and the tools they use to create magic on stage, are getting their chance to take a bow, during an exhibition at the HK Arts Centre this week.

Raising standards

More than 73,000 runners, swept up in the annual bout of marathon fever, took part in the city’s largest participatory sporting event on Sunday.

Asia

Thailand warns US to mind its own business

Thailand warned US against meddling in its political affairs on Wednesday, saying many Thais had been hurt by the remarks of a visiting US envoy.

Mother of IS hostage makes appeal to Japan PM

Junko Ishido, mother of journalist Kenji Goto who is being held by Islamic State group extremists, said his son has "little time left".

Commander of group that killed Swedish scribe held

Nils Horner, 51, who worked for Swedish Radio and held dual British-Swedish nationality, was shot dead in Kabul last March.

Pakistan wary of Indo-US civilian nuclear deal

Pakistan has expressed serious concerns about the finalization of a nuclear deal between the United States and India.

Chinese oil giants under pressure

Major companies expect lower profits after price drop while those with stockpiles are likely to suffer the most.

Australian firms feeling the chill

As share prices fall and forecasts are slashed, oil companies mull asset sales and cost cutting.

Asia Weekly

Business

Singapore to slow appreciation of currency

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will continue with the policy of a modest and gradual appreciation of the Singapore Dollar Nominal Effective Exchange Rate policy band.

China's property sales to see narrower decline: Moody's

A Moody's research note said that the China's property sales will decline by between 0% and 5% in 2015, compared to a 7.8% decline in 2014.

Asian stocks tumble

Global stocks drifted Wednesday after weak earnings from several US companies added to global growth concerns.

Eye on Asia

'Zombies' haunt Vietnam's trade bid

Nguyen Nam owns an engineering services firm in Ho Chi Minh City that pays no taxes nor any salaries. The flip side is it earns no revenue either.

Marathon, a growing fashion in Japan

More than 420 people took part in the 34th Osaka International Women's Marathon on Jan. 25, and about 6,000 people ran the Osaka Half Marathon on the same day.

Tale of an Afghan female journalist

Life for female journalists in Afghanistan has never been easy but not for Farahnaz, a 22-year- old news presenter of ATN News, in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Sport

Conca denies move to CSL just for money

Fluminense's Argentine midfielder Conca said money was not the main factor in his decision to return to the Chinese league.

Wawrinka through to semifinals of Australian Open

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori on Wednesday.

Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Aussie Open

Madison Keys overcame a left thigh injury to beat No 18-ranked Venus Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and advance to the last four against top-ranked and 18-time major winner Serena.

Filling the plate

Maxim’s chairman has revamped the popular Hong Kong restaurant brand into a hugely successful collection of diverse dining outlets.

Power to transform

Overcoming the skeptics to build UAE's thriving Free Trade Zone was just a first step for intrepid leader who is now ready for a new challenge.

Streets ahead

Malaysian enterpreneur survived numerous setbacks before finding success as a leading auto parts maker in Thailand.

Life Style

Astronomers find oldest known solar system

An international team of astronomers announced Tuesday that a newly discovered solar system, which is the oldest star with close-to-Earth-size planets was found.

Taylor Swift's Twitter, Instagram accounts hacked

Pop star Taylor Swift said her Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked on Tuesday, but the rogue posts were quickly removed from the social media services.

Quirky News

Still single? Adopt a scorpion

Feeling the sting of rejection? The San Francisco Zoo is offering the chance to "adopt" a hissing cockroach or giant scorpion in honor of that special ex-someone for Valentine's Day.

Smoker fined $15,000 for tossing out butts

Singapore has fined a smoker S$19,800 ($15,000) for throwing cigarette butts out of his flat window, the highest ever such fine.

Chinese official blames smoked bacon for smog

While experts point to car emissions for causing foul air, a Sichuan official has laid the blame on people making smoked bacon.

Video

Hope on wheels

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2015 held on Jan 25 attracted more than 70,000 participants from all over the world. Other than mainstream runners, there was a dedicated contingent that rose to the wheelchair challenge. chinadailyasia.com finds out from a few how they did it.

Expert calls for protection for retirees

Nelson Chow, who wrote the latest retirement protection report, believes the introduction of a universal pension scheme will improve the government’s popularity, Joseph Li writes

Strike a balance in standard working hours

It is too early to talk about standard working hour legislation, said chairman of the Standard Working Hours Committee Leong Che-hung.

Special

Reviving the Ru

2014, the Year of the Horse in Chinese lunar calendar, has proved to be yet another successful year for Han Qin. Her application for a national scientific and technological cooperation project on research and development of Ru wares got approved.

Roundtable

Ideal gateway for overseas ventures

Mainland outbound direct investment (ODI) is for the first time set to exceed inbound figures, underscoring a trend where the world’s second-biggest economy is poised to become a net outbound investment destination.

If you build it, they will come

The importance of Qianhai Cooperation Zone lies not only in its pilot role of spearheading financial innovation, but also in its key role in correcting the misalignment of the country’s economic structure, said Edward Chen Kwan-yiu, president of the Qianhai Institute for Innovative Research.