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Edition: CHINAASIAUSAEUROPEAFRICA

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 and is in sight of the Japanese yen.

Foxconn seeks to shrink workforce

The Apple Inc supplier, that employs about 1.3m people, faces declining revenue growth and rising wages on the mainland.

Obama to seek US$38-b defense hike

The Pentagon's base budget is currently US$496 billion, with another US$64 billion for overseas missions.

DPRK's Kim 'confirms Russia visit'

The trip, confirmed by a Kremlin spokesman, would be Kim Jong-un's first foreign visit since taking power in 2011.

HK fund to foster innovative spirit

New assistance signals move to restructure economy away from reliance on services.

Change weighs on manufacturers

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

Internet firms 'must obey rules'

Foreign websites must abide by Chinese laws and its Internet management policies.

Palace Museum plans visitor cap

According to the museum director, the proposed upper limit for daily visitors is 80,000.

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

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.

Cities compete for bullet-train stations

Local governments have been pushing high-speed railway planners to build stations in their jurisdictions.

Cancer patients look to India for lifesaving drugs

Leukemia patient Lu Yong borrowed the idea from the Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club and smuggled unapproved, Indian-made drugs for h...

Alibaba founder opens college for entrepreneurs

Alibaba founder Jack Ma and seven other entrepreneurs opened a school for business startups in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday.

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

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.

‘Occupy’ stopped police solving crimes

The “Occupy Central” movement hindered the Hong Kong Police Force from solving crimes — forcing the number of successful cases to drop by over 2,000 last year

Caution ‘supreme’ as Exchange Fund reels

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) should adopt a cautious defensive asset allocation approach in 2015, recommend investment portfolio strategists, after the Exchange Fund posted its poorest return in three years.

The Link becomes first REIT to acquire govt land

The Link Real Estate Investment Trust purchased a commercial plot from the government in conjunction with a local real estate developer.

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

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.

Interim MH370 report on March 7

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

Indonesia to continue AirAsia search

On Tuesday, the Indonesian military pulled out of the search operation that has been conducted for 31 days.

DPRK's Kim 'confirms Russia visit'

The trip, if it takes place, would be Kim Jong-un's first foreign visit since taking power in 2011.

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

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.

Yuan among world's top five payment currencies

The yuan reached a record high share of 2.17 percent in global payments by value and is in sight of the Japanese yen.

Asian stocks tumble

Asian stock markets were mostly lower Wednesday after Wall Street tumbled on concern about weak corporate earnings.

Eye on Asia

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.

Childcare burden deters S.Korea working moms

22.4 percent of all married women aged 15 to 54 in South Korea quit their jobs due to marriage, childbirth or childcare.

Sport

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.

Neymar vows to help Brazil win 2016 Olympic gold

Barcelona star Neymar showed his determination to help Brazil's footballers end their run of bad luck on home soil by leading the Brazilian team to their first ever Olympic title at the Rio 2016 Games.

Aussie coach calls on a sold-out crowd to bring energy

Australian football coach Ange Postecoglou has called on the 80,000 home crowd to bring "the energy" needed to get Australia over the line in Saturday's Asian Cup final against South Korea.

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.