What to Make of Kim Yo Jong’s Twisted COVID ‘Revenge’ Threat Against South Korea

SEOUL—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s kid sister Kim Yo Jong is brandishing the threat of germ warfare in retaliation for balloon launches from South Korea that she blames for spreading COVID-19 in the North. Kim Yo Jong, in a speech carried on North Korean state TV, said, after having considered “various counteraction plans, our … Read more

Indian travelers more confident than Japanese, Aussies

For the most part, residents of Asia-Pacific can travel again. But some are more confident about packing their bags than others. Travel confidence is “diverse and nuanced” in the region, according to a new survey commissioned by the travel website Booking.com. Some 11,000 people in the region were polled about their comfort levels and concerns, … Read more

North Korea claims disputed victory over virus, blames Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In a striking speech before thousands of North Koreans, leader Kim Jong Un’s sister said he suffered a fever while guiding the country to victory over the coronavirus. She blamed rival South Korea for the outbreak and vowed “deadly” retaliation. Kim Yo Jong, a powerful official in charge of inter-Korean … Read more

Japan PM purges Cabinet after support falls over church ties

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday in an apparent bid to distance his administration from the conservative Unification Church over its ties to the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party members. The reshuffle, second in just 10 months since Kishida took office, followed his July election … Read more

China’s youth face bleak job market as COVID slows economy

BEIJING (AP) — Liu Qian, job-hunting with a new master’s degree, said two employers interviewed her and then said the positions had been eliminated. Others asked her to take lower pay. She is one of 11 million new graduates desperate for work in a bleak job market as anti-virus controls force factories, restaurants and other … Read more

Is Japan open to travelers? It’s where Singaporeans want to travel

Some 49% of Singaporeans say they are considering Japan for their next vacation abroad, according to the market research firm YouGov. Interest may be even higher among young citizens. Some 68% of Singaporeans aged 16 to 24 years old indicated they are considering Japan for their “next vacation,” compared to 37% of those aged 55 … Read more

Is Japan open to travelers? It’s where Singaporeans want to travel

Some 49% of Singaporeans say they are considering Japan for their next vacation abroad, according to the market research firm YouGov. Interest may be even higher among young citizens. Some 68% of Singaporeans aged 16 to 24 years old indicated they are considering Japan for their “next vacation,” compared to 37% of those aged 55 … Read more

One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot towards China

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China. The CIA drone attack that killed … Read more

Biden steps out of the room and finds legacy-defining wins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Over five decades in Washington, Joe Biden knew that the way to influence was to be in the room where it happens. But in the second year of his presidency, some of Biden’s most striking, legacy-defining legislative victories came about by staying out of it. A summer lawmaking blitz has sent bipartisan … Read more

Bumps, bipartisanship in long fight for semiconductor bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five weeks ago, senior Biden administration aides gathered for their regular Thursday morning meeting about passing a bill to revive the US computer chip sector, worried that it could be in peril. After 18 months, the bipartisan effort to provide $52 billion for semiconductors was getting close to the finish line. But … Read more