TOKYO: Early in the morning after Tokyo’s first really big Friday night in months, I passed the comforting sight of an elegantly suited salaryman facedown and comatose in the gutter. His briefcase, slightly ajar, revealed an un-stolen laptop; you could hear his phone ringing; his hip pocket bulged with an un-pilfered wallet. To businesses across Japan, the sight of white-collar customers out of lockdown and back on the tiles will come as a blessed relief. To a certain segment of the country, the man’s unstolen chattels and the cultural norms that protected them explain – obliquely but instinctively – the “Japan model” of relative COVID-19 resilience and how the nation clawed its way back to recovery. READ: Commentary: COVID-19 has shown that we can be gracious. How do we make it last? READ: Commentary: COVID-19 reveals how low-tech Japan actually is - and has chosen to be THE MINDO THEORY Taro Aso, finance minister and deputy prime minister, put this train … [Read more...] about Commentary: Japan sure is smug about beating COVID-19
Resurrection at talcott
LONDON: Italian side Napoli's San Paolo stadium has been officially renamed the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium after the late Argentina striker who led them to their only two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup, the city's council said on Friday. Maradona died last week after suffering a heart attack at his home in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, less than a month after his 60th birthday. The city council approved the resolution proposed by Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris to change the stadium's name to honour the World Cup-winning great who scored 115 goals in seven years at the club. "I've been in talks with local authorities for the past 17 years, I've always asked to buy the stadium and rename it 'Diego Armando Maradona'," Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis told Sky in Italy. "If then, for tradition, we will need to call it both 'San Paolo' and 'Maradona' so be it. It won't change much, but it's only right that Maradona has this recognition. Even if we were to build a whole … [Read more...] about Football: Napoli’s San Paolo stadium renamed to honour Maradona
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump swept into office nearly four years ago as an outsider who promised to get things done quickly on behalf of the American people through sheer force of will and unrivaled knowledge about the art of the deal. He has checked off some items on his to-do list. Trump pushed through the most significant overhaul of the US tax system since President Ronald Reagan. Trump, as he said he would, tilted the Supreme Court further to the right with confirmation of two conservative justices and likely a third, Amy Coney Barrett, in the coming days. WATCH: Watch Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off in final US presidential debate READ: No knockouts at Biden, Trump debate 12 days before election His promise to get tough on illegal immigration has resulted in a surge in migrant apprehensions at the US-Mexico border. But Trump has also faced the same hard truth that each of his White House predecessors learned: Governing is rarely easy. A look at … [Read more...] about Four years in, Trump has plenty of unfinished business
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s 2021 budget was passed at the policy stage in parliament on Thursday (Nov 26) following a voice vote. Only 13 out of 220 Members of Parliament (MPs) stood up to protest the vote, short of the 15 required to enforce bloc voting. The parliament has 222 seats but there are currently 220 MPs following the deaths of opposition MP Liew Vui Keong and Barisan Nasional (BN) MP Hasbullah Osman. After the parliamentary session, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin released a statement, lauding the Ministry of Finance for finalising the budget by making “a few refinements” to the original proposal. The RM322.5 billion (US$79 billion) budget, the largest ever tabled in Malaysia, was presented in the parliament on Nov 6 as the country was reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19. Given Mr Muhyiddin's slim parliamentary majority, it was the first time the opposition bloc was consulted in the run-up to the budget presentation. In his Thursday statement, the … [Read more...] about Malaysia budget 2021: Five ‘refinements’ from the initial proposal and possible implications
WandaVision Episode 8 had a mid-credits scene, much like Episode 7. If you missed it, head back to Disney+ and give it a watch, because we're getting into spoiler territory here. If you've already watched the episode in full, it will come as no surprise: we need to talk about what's going on with Vision. The scene shoots us back to SWORD, in one of their compounds just outside the Hex, where Director Hayward has hunkered down--but we quickly learn he's not just twiddling his thumbs or patiently watching the Westview bubble for activity. No, it turns out that everything we'd been shown about Wanda's break-in at SWORD HQ was fabricated. She did enter the building, and she was looking for Vision, but she left without his corpse. Also, whatever Darcy found by hacking Hayward's files was likely doctored or misinterpreted as well--why would he have been tracking Vibranium within the Hex when he already had Vision's Vibranium parts? It turns out that SWORD had already secretly … [Read more...] about WandaVision Episode 8: What’s Up With Vision?
CANBERRA: Why might Beijing have chosen to use anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations as informal economic sanctions? On Monday (Aug 31), the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced it has commenced an investigation into whether Australia has been subsidising winemakers. This follows a parallel investigation launched two weeks ago to examine allegations that Australian winemakers have also been “dumping” their wares into China at artificially low prices in order to expand market share and undercut local competitors, contrary to international trade rules. Despite a plea from China’s foreign ministry spokesperson not to “draw unnecessary associations” when the first investigation was launched, the Australian government quickly declared claims of illegal subsidies and dumping “baseless”, while industry and analysts denounced the investigation as a politically motivated sanction. READ: China warns of 'shadow' over ties with Australia, tells it to stop 'whining' READ: … [Read more...] about Commentary: Why China is turning sour on Australia wines