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  • Gunmen open fire at Sri Lanka rally, one dead

    COLOMBO (Reuters) -- One person was killed and 15 wounded on Friday in a drive-by shooting at a Sri Lankan election rally attended by the finance minister, police said, the latest political violence to hit the nation still recovering from civil war.

    July 31, 2015 08:55 pm JST
  • Blazing a trail

    Mitsui Sumitomo buys into major Sri Lanka insurer

    TOKYO -- Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has purchased a stake in Sri Lanka's Ceylinco Insurance, becoming the first Japanese insurer to make a foray into the island nation with a growing economy. The casualty insurance arm of MS&AD Insurance Group Ho

    July 30, 2015 01:00 am JST
  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak

    Greek drama presents moral lesson for developing Asia

    The Greek crisis highlights the emerging reality that established international institutions and power structures dating back to the second half of the 20th century are no longer capable of dealing with global demands and expectations. For Asia, thi

    July 29, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • U.S. upgrades Malaysia, Cuba in trafficking report

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States upgraded Malaysia in an annual report on human trafficking on Monday despite calls by human rights groups and nearly 180 U.S. lawmakers to keep the Southeast Asian country on a list of worst offenders in fai

    July 27, 2015 10:20 pm JST
  • WTO members seal trillion-dollar IT trade deal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- World Trade Organization (WTO) members finalized a deal on Friday to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth of information technology products in a boost for producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment. The

    July 24, 2015 01:12 pm JST
  • Sri Lanka holds rates at record lows, inflation seen lower

    COLOMBO (Reuters) -- Sri Lanka's central bank kept key policy rates steady at record lows on Friday, as expected, with inflation seen lower in the next few months and ahead of an Aug. 17 parliamentary election. The central bank left the standing

    July 24, 2015 11:45 am JST
  • Hot, dry and desperate

    El Nino should have faded out in spring, but it now looks like the world's most formidable "little boy" will hang around his Pacific playground through autumn. The weather phenomenon is causing deadly heat waves in South Asia, while Southeast As

    July 23, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Brahma Chellaney: Water (problems), water (problems) everywhere

    The centrality of water is a recurring theme in various religions. The Bible -- largely written amid water scarcity -- associates drought with the wrath of God. "By means of water," says the Quran, "we give life to everything." Hindu gods and goddes

    July 23, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Bad omens

    Global market turbulence is a wake-up call

    TOKYO -- "I can't sell my stocks even if I want to, damn it!" Liu Guang Kun, a 60-year-old man, cut a desperate figure as he ranted July 10 at a brokerage in China's northeastern city of Dalian, Liaoning Province. Trading in the stocks Liu h

    July 19, 2015 09:30 pm JST
  • Well-positioned

    Sri Lanka becoming global distribution hub

    TOKYO -- Sri Lanka's strategic location has allowed it to grow into a key international distribution base. Its free trade agreement with populous neighbor India has made the once war-torn island nation attractive to logistics companies and manufactu

    July 17, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Quality over quantity

    Sony making durable TVs for developing countries

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Sony has created televisions for developing countries that can withstand dust, moisture and fluctuating power in a bid to regain footing in those markets. The company plans to exit straight price competition and rebuild its brand

    July 16, 2015 10:20 pm JST
  • Finance-oriented startups set to rattle old-fashioned banking

    TOKYO -- Startups providing financial services via the Internet have achieved strong growth in the U.S. and around the world in recent years. Many believe this emerging industry, recently referred to as fintech, will go on to become a major provider

    July 16, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Storm clouds on the economic horizon

    Uncertainty has engulfed the global financial markets. After stocks plunged in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Chinese authorities are taking drastic -- some say ill-advised -- measures to reinflate prices. The eurozone remains exposed to grave risks st

    July 16, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Little to cheer in the global economy

    TOKYO -- "I can't sell my stocks even if I want to, damn it!" Liu Guang Kun, a 60-year-old man, cut a desperate figure as he ranted July 10 at a brokerage in China's northeastern city of Dalian, Liaoning Province. Trading in the stocks Liu h

    July 16, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Pakistan's military holds key to improving relations

    UFA, Russia -- Pakistan's military could sour attempts to improve relations with neighboring India, despite promising talks between the two nations' prime ministers. After the July 10 meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his P

    July 16, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Modi's planned Pakistan visit signals thaw

    UFA, Russia -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Pakistan next year. It will be the first trip by a sitting Indian prime minister in 12 years and signals a thaw in long-fraught bilateral relations. Modi accepted an invitation from P

    July 16, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Vested interests

    Pakistan's military key to improving relations with India

    UFA, Russia -- Pakistan's military could sour attempts to improve relations with neighboring India, despite promising talks Friday between the two nations' prime ministers. After a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan

    July 11, 2015 01:57 am JST
  • Thawing out cool relations

    India's prime minister to visit Pakistan next year

    UFA, Russia -- Narendra Modi has agreed to visit Pakistan next year, setting the stage for the first trip by a sitting Indian prime minister in 12 years and signaling a thaw in long-fraught bilateral relations. Modi accepted an invitation from P

    July 10, 2015 11:22 pm JST
  • India, Pakistan start process of joining China security bloc

    UFA, Russia (Kyodo) -- A security bloc led by China and Russia began Friday the process of accepting India and Pakistan as members, a move seen as part of its efforts to counter terrorism and extremism in the region. The Shanghai Cooperation Org

    July 10, 2015 08:44 pm JST
  • ASEAN emergency meeting

    Trust fund set up to tackle human trafficking

    KUALA LUMPUR -- A regional trust fund will be established to support the humanitarian and relief efforts aimed at tackling human trafficking, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said on Thursday. ASEAN ministers in charge of transnational

    July 2, 2015 09:32 pm JST