Russian opposition politician sentenced to 8.5 years in prison on ‘fake news’ charges

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Russian opposition politician sentenced to 8.5 years in prison on 'fake news' charges

Russian opposition politician sentenced to 8.5 years in prison on ‘fake news’ charges

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2022

Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin was sentenced in court to eight-and-a-half years in prison on Friday on charges of spreading “false information” about the army.

Yashin, 39, was tried over a YouTube video released in April in which he discussed evidence uncovered by Western journalists of Russian atrocities in Bucha, near Kyiv, and cast doubt on the official Moscow version that such reports had been fabricated as a “provocation” against Russia.

Since Russia sent thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls its “special military operation”, it has intensified its clampdown on public dissent, with most prominent opposition figures either in jail or exile.

The legislation was passed days later, providing for jail terms of up to 15 years for disseminating “false information” about the military.

In a defiant post on his Telegram channel, Yashin urged his supporters to continue opposing the military operation.

“With this hysterical verdict, the authorities want to intimidate us all but, in fact, it only shows their weakness. Strong leaders are calm and confident. Only weaklings try to shut everybody up and scorch any kind of dissent,” he wrote.

“We have no reason to be sad – you and I have won this trial, friends …

“We told the truth about war crimes and called for the bloodshed to stop … Today, I can only repeat what I said on the day of my arrest: I am not afraid, and you must not be afraid. Changes are just around the corner.”

Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny slammed the verdict as “shameless and lawless” in a post on his Twitter account, which is managed by his team in exile.

“Ilya Yashin, we are all proud of you. Russia will be free and so will you,” Navalny wrote.

Yashin, a longtime friend and ally of Navalny, rose to prominence during a wave of anti-Kremlin protests in 2011-12 and was elected head of a Moscow district council in 2017. He has been repeatedly blocked from standing for higher office.

As supporters chanted “Freedom for political prisoners!” outside the courtroom, Yashin’s lawyers told them he would appeal.

In his final statement to the court this week, Yashin had appealed directly to President Vladimir Putin, describing him as “the person responsible for this slaughter” and asking him to “look at the consequences of this monstrous war” and “stop this madness.”

“The words ‘death’ and ‘destruction’ are now firmly associated with your name,” he said.

“You have brought terrible misfortune to the Ukrainian people, who will probably never forgive us.”

China’s newly-delivered C919 passenger jet sees 1,000 delivery orders

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China’s newly-delivered C919 passenger jet sees 1,000 delivery orders

China’s newly-delivered C919 passenger jet sees 1,000 delivery orders

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2022

China has seen more than 1,000 orders on its first self-developed C919 passenger jet from 32 airline companies so far.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) delivered the first C919 large passenger aircraft to China Eastern Airlines in Shanghai on Friday morning.

The aircraft features a 164-seat configuration with a two-class cabin layout, including eight business class seats and 156 economy class seats. Cabin interiors, passenger seats, onboard entertainment systems and aircraft exterior livery are custom-designed.

China Eastern Airlines will carry out more than 100 hours of testing flights on this new aircraft to verify and confirm the operational safety, maintenance reliability and various operational support capabilities. The aircraft is expected to get an official operation license if all results and data of the testing flight meet the requirements of the China Civil Aviation Administration.

The plane conducted its successful maiden flight in 2017. It obtained the type certificate in late September, which indicates that the C919’s design meets airworthiness standards and environmental requirements.

The aircraft delivered on Friday is the basic type of the C919 series, and development on C919 aircraft will be continued in the future.

Asean and South Korea pledge closer cooperation on vaccine security

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Asean and South Korea pledge closer cooperation on vaccine security

Asean and South Korea pledge closer cooperation on vaccine security

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Neena M.L.

South Korea has pledged to contribute towards vaccine security in Southeast Asia as part of the South Korea – Asean partnership in the Indo-Pacific Region through cooperation and collectively responding to the challenges of Covid-19 and other diseases.

The South Korea – Asean solidarity initiative has been launched to expand the relationship not only for political, economic and social issues, but also to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic, health security and climate change.

Speaking at the the 2nd Vaccine Cooperation Forum in the Indo-Pacific Region, held in Seoul on December 7, South Korean Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Cho Hyun-dong said, “Over the past three years, we have experienced first-hand the importance of united action against the common threat of Covid-19. We have learned the effectiveness of joint response and the importance of equitable access to vaccines and treatments.”

Southeast Asia acted quickly and launched the Asean Covid-19 Response Fund and the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, making a rapid region-wide response possible. Asean also took leadership in the region’s recovery by adopting the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework. However, the South Korean vice minister stressed: “Further cooperation is still critical to deal effectively with possible future outbreaks. South Korea has provided strong support to Asean members for vaccine security, providing US$6 million [208 million baht] to strengthen detection capabilities. South Korea recognised the importance of sustained financing to prepare for future pandemics by pledging to donate $30 million to the World Bank’s Finance Intermediary Fund.”

Despite many countries currently treating the Covid-19 as an endemic, it continues to disrupt the world with its many variants and sub-variants. Dr Tore Godal, the founding CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance & Special Adviser to the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), emphasised that developing effective and safe vaccines that can tackle the issues is important in terms of sustainability and security, especially in the Indo-Pacific Region to prevent and protect against not just Covid-19 but other diseases that may arise.

Godal, the keynote speaker at the forum, said South Korea and Asean have high potential in this area. “South Korea has a lot to offer. The country has its unique vaccine institutes and companies that are internationally recognised, such as the KBIOHealth [Osong Medical Innovation Foundation] and SK Bioscience; Global Innovative Vaccine and Biotech Company. Both are internationally oriented. While, Asean is very active, for example, Indonesia has Biofarma, Thailand contributes and delivers with high commitment towards research while Vietnam also offers capacities as a good vaccine production base.”

Thailand, as a member of the forum, raised important issues in the global challenges on why vaccine security is crucial and how Asean and South Korea can create a sustained framework.

The representative from Thailand, Dr Sunate Chuenkitmongkol, deputy director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI), talked about the importance of vaccine and immunisation that is well recognised as one of the most cost-effective public health measures in prevention and control of severe infectious diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic, which took millions of lives in the past three years, has raised the demand for vaccines while the world faces vaccine shortages.

Speaking on the issue of vaccine security, Sunate said that it must be conducted in a sustained and uninterrupted way to smoothly supply and ensure the quality of the vaccine.

“It doesn’t mean that every country has to produce vaccines on its own, but every country should be able to access the vaccine whenever it is in demand,” she said.

Asean and South Korea pledge closer cooperation on vaccine security

Thailand’s perspective on ensuring vaccine security involves several key factors:

  • Work on vaccine policy in the country
  • Strengthen research and development, infrastructure in the country
  • Act as information and integrated vaccine knowledge and management centre in the country
  • Networking and training vaccine experts

Among regional initiatives, Asean adopted the Leaders’ Declaration on Asean Vaccine Security and Self-Reliance on November 2, 2019, two months before the Covid-19 pandemic began. This initiative aims to integrate and develop collaboration on vaccine security amongst Asean members.

She said that during the pandemic, the demand far exceeded supplies. She said high-income countries are in a better position to access vaccines than middle- or lower-income countries.

Regarding implementation of the AVSSR Strategic and Action Plans 2021 – 2025, she said the NVI had received financial support last year from the Republic of Korea Mission to Asean and the Asean Secretariat to organise an “Asean-ROK Vaccine Webinar to support Regional Priorities and Advocacy on AVSSR” to find a constructive direction, solution for vaccine security and improve research in a sustained way so as to be prepared for future global challenges.

Related stories:

Neena M.L.

Japan, UK, Italy get together to develop new fighter aircraft

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Japan, UK, Italy get together to develop new fighter aircraft

Japan, UK, Italy get together to develop new fighter aircraft

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy plan to jointly develop a fighter jet for their air forces with the aim of deploying it around 2035. A joint statement was expected on Friday.

Japan’s aim is to introduce a successor to its F-2 fighter in the mid-2030s when the aircraft will be retired, and the UK plans to deploy the Tempest, successor to its mainstay Eurofighter Typhoon, in actual combat by 2035.

Since Japan and Britain have almost the same performance requirements, such as stealth features and high-performance radar, and their development periods overlap, governments decided to make final arrangements for joint development. The UK is joining hands with Italy to develop the Tempest.

The development team is expected to be led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd and BAE Systems, a major British aerospace and defence company. The team will oversee the overall design of the aircraft and system development, and the Japanese side has been able to secure the flexibility in modifications that they had been emphasising. Italy is expected to have Leonardo, another major aerospace and defence company, participate in the project, along with other companies.

The three countries aim to procure a total of about 300 aircraft for themselves and to export the finished product overseas.

In Japan, the Three Principles of Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and operational guidelines have been a stumbling block to exports, and the government and ruling parties have been in close talks to review them.

The Japan News

Asia News Network

ANN news highlights: Fri, Dec 9, 2022

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Friday, December 9, 2022

Friday, December 9, 2022

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Check out what’s hot in the region as The Nation puts together headlines from members of Asia News Network (ANN). Click to read more:

ANN news highlights: Fri, Dec 9, 2022
Bringing Asia Closer

Covid-19 China
Li vows to better balance growth, response to virus – China Daily

China’s economic growth will steadily pick up with the implementation of the 10 newly adopted measures on further optimizing the Covid-19 response, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, vowing to better coordinate the country’s epidemic response and socioeconomic development.

Covid quarantine made voluntary – China Daily

Centralized quarantine for Covid-19 patients has been made voluntary and the rule requiring a negative nucleic acid test result for domestic travel and entry to public venues has been scrapped, as the country takes “small, yet continuous steps” to adjust to the disease.

HK cuts Covid-19 isolation period to 5 days | China Daily

The isolation period for people infected with Covid-19 and their close contacts will be cut to five days starting Friday, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced Thursday.

Diplomacy China-Saudi I
China, Saudi Arabia deepen ties – China Daily

Beijing and Riyadh agreed on Thursday to scale up Belt and Road cooperation, expand bilateral trade and investment and boost coordination on international and regional affairs during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Saudi Arabia.

Diplomacy China-Saudi II
Chinese and Saudi think tanks join hands in petroleum studies | China Daily

A leading advisory think tank in Saudi Arabia signed on Dec 6 a memorandum of understanding to promote cross-regional cooperation in energy research between the country and China.

Military Japan-Philippines
Japan fighters in PH; first since World War II | Inquirer

Japan sent two fighter jets to the Philippines for the first time as part of a bilateral air force exchange program, as the two US allies seek to reinforce military alliances amid regional tensions.

Tensions Japan-China
China to be described as ‘greatest strategic challenge’ in Japan’s latest National Security Strategy – The Japan News

China’s hegemonic moves are described as “the greatest strategic challenge” Japan faces in a draft of the National Security Strategy (NSS), which is set to be revised in mid-December.

Kudo Vietnam
Young scientist becomes first Vietnamese awarded by UK Royal Aeronautical Society – Vietnam News

With the Young Persons’ Achievement Award, Dr Nguyen Huyen Duc has become the first Vietnamese scientist to receive the prize from the United Kingdom’s Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

G20 India
Opinion, India’s G20 presidency and South Asia – Kathmandu Post

India assumed the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) on December 1 for a one-year term with the theme of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One earth, one family, one future”. The theme underlines the interconnectedness of the world that we are living in as the issues are global.
 

Society Indonesia
Editorial: Outlaws now – The Statesman

Four years ago, the Supreme Court struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised adultery. At the time, the apex court had noted that few nations had laws penalising adultery, although many retained some form of a legal injunction against the practise as part of divorce laws. The court took note of the fact that several countries had removed adultery from the list of crimes. Among these are China, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, and most European countries. At that time, it was countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in our neighbourhood and others such as Morocco and the United Arab Emirates that criminalised adultery.

Digital SE Asia
Opinion: Preparing for the next evolution of Southeast Asia’s digital consumers – Jakarta Post

Southeast Asia is adjusting to a new normal with the welcome return of travel and in-person gatherings, be it at work, with family and friends, while shopping, or for play. While it’s easy to slip back into old routines, some habits adopted during the pandemic—such as a heavier reliance on e-commerce—are here to stay.

Finance HK-Singapore
HK and Singapore spar for green finance supremacy – Bloomberg for The Star

Hong Kong and Singapore have long squared off to be the preeminent finance hub for Asia. That battleground is now shifting to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space, with potentially trillions of dollars at stake.

Agriculture Philippines
PH farms getting empty: Agriculture job loss a worrying trend | Inquirer

The country’s agriculture and forestry industry continues to suffer as it had the largest employment drop in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
 

Startup India
Samsung invites Indian startups to build wallet, health solutions for its products – The Statesman

Samsung on Thursday invited local startups to collaborate on technologies around the ‘Digital India’ stack, including unified payments interface (UPI), Digilocker, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) and Unified Health Interface (UHI), among others.

Business S Korea
Korea vows to ease regulatory hurdles for foreign firms – Korea Herald

The South Korean government pledged to make pan-governmental efforts to lift some of the regulations on businesses as part of its drive to draw more foreign-invested companies, the Trade Ministry said Thursday.

Salaries in Southeast Asia Expected to Increase in 2023, Aon Survey Reveals

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Salaries in Southeast Asia Expected to Increase in 2023, Aon Survey Reveals

Salaries in Southeast Asia Expected to Increase in 2023, Aon Survey Reveals

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm, released insights from its 2022 Salary Increase and Turnover Study for Southeast Asia, revealing that salaries in the region are expected to increase slightly for 2023 compared to 2022.

The study was conducted in the third quarter of 2022, surveying the salary changes and turnover rates of more than 700 companies across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Median salary increase budgets are forecasted across industries at 6.8 % for Indonesia 5 .1 % for Malaysia, 6 % for the Philippines, Singapore at 4.7 %, 5.1 % for Thailand and 7.9 % for Vietnam.

While inflation plays a significant role in how salary changes look across the region, they are also driven by supply and demand in the talent market. High attrition rates across southeast Asia in 2022 are putting pressure on firms to use compensation measures to tackle hiring and retention challenges: 15.9 % in Indonesia, 14.9 % in Malaysia, 18 % in the Philippines,19.6 % in Singapore, 15.4 % in Thailand and 15.2 % for Vietnam.

Rahul Chawla, partner and head of Human Capital solutions for southeast Asia at Aon said, “While it is critical for businesses to define and adapt pay for different worker types and the nature of the work, organisations must stay agile as they rethink their pay principles. Businesses need to shape their strategies towards long-term drivers of pay and performance by making changes in a phased manner to optimise pay effectiveness. In addition, companies must define their 2023 salary increase approach in the context of the competitiveness of their current salary levels and employee value proposition. Companies that adopt a skill-based compensation programme will help ensure they can continue to build future skills for their organisation’s resilient workforce.”
 

The survey further revealed that salary increases in 2022 varied across industries across the region, with the retail industry having the highest increases (6.5 %), followed by technology and life sciences (6.1 %) and financial institutions (5.9 %). The ongoing technology and digital skills shortage across the region as a consequence of firms competing to accelerate the transformation and drive their digital initiatives resulted in higher year-on-year increases in salaries and total compensation for technology and data analytics roles compared to others. However, with the recent reports of a potential global economic slowdown, firms are taking a cautious approach and focusing on salary increases for selected employee groups or levels as they navigate a volatile and uncertain environment.

Alina Cheng, senior consultant, Human Capital Solutions for Southeast Asia at Aon said, “With the rise of fintech and digital banks in the region, roles in areas such as risk, compliance and talent acquisition are in demand. Firms are paying a premium to attract new talent at the junior and middle management levels for these roles. As a result, over the past two years, we have seen compensation structures shifting towards lesser variables and pay at risk and an increased focus on salaries. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for developing a salary increase strategy in a volatile environment. Employers must constantly analyse the market, study the available data and contextualise the unique circumstances of their industry and organisation to make better and more informed decisions.”

Across the world, plant species are disappearing fast

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Across the world, plant species are disappearing fast

Across the world, plant species are disappearing fast

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Mankind depends on plants for food, clothing, shelter, and medicine, but little is in fact known about the world’s more than 400,000 plant species.

Unlike animals, botanists can’t track a plant’s footprints through the forest or call them in with whistling songs. As a result, we’re often not even sure what the world is losing until it’s too late.

“I think the greatest threat immediately to the plants in the world is land use change, be that for agriculture or housing, it’s certainly an immediate threat where forests are cut down and pristine grasslands are ploughed,” Dr Carly Cowell, Conservation policy Lead at the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew, told Reuters.

With the world’s remaining jungles and boreal forests still being converted for activities such as livestock farming, palm oil plantations or urban development, at least 40% of the world’s remaining plant species are in trouble and the rate of plant extinctions are at least 500 times higher than the background rate of extinction, according to Kew’s 2020 State of the World’s Plants and Fungi report.

Scientists have now spent decades in sterile laboratories carefully cultivating the remaining individuals of vanishing species and saving seeds in enormous vaults. With an immense array of scientific tools at their disposal, it’s time to start planning for what comes next, scientists said.

As some botanists have even begun discussing outplanting species beyond their known native range as a “hedge against climate change,” Dr Colin Clubbe, a senior researcher at Kew is calling on scientists to look out from the labs to get planting in the wild.

“This is yellow fatu, the Abutilon pitcairnense, found only on the island of Pitcairn in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and this is a plant that was really on the edge of extinction,” Clubbe told Reuters in Kew’s Temperate House which he dubs ‘a cathedral to plants.’

“It was being surrounded and attacked by invasive species and a landslide took the whole population away and destroyed the last remaining plant,” he said.

But the efforts of a local conservation officer mean the plant is still growing, in Kew and the Caymans.

“40,000 seeds were sent back to the Millennium Seed Bank so it’s now safe in ex situ conservation in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank seeds, but also on (Cayman) island now it’s secure in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park where they using it to promote it as a landscaping plant and getting people to grow that in their homes and to secure the future of this plant, that’s unique only to the Cayman Islands,” Clubbe said.

World leaders meeting in Montreal, Canada, to develop a global strategy for protecting and conserving nature, hope to persuade countries to set aside 30% of their land for protection in the next seven years – providing potential safe havens for plants.

Reuters

US basketball star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

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US basketball star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

US basketball star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

US basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia and is on her way back to the United States, President Joe Biden said on Thursday, ending what he called months of “hell.”

The Russian foreign ministry said it traded Griner for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, a former arms dealer. The swap took place at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates, Russian news agencies said.

“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”

Griner, 32, a star of the Women’s National Basketball Association‘s Phoenix Mercury, was arrested on Feb. 17. Talks to secure her release were complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and the subsequent deep souring of ties between Washington and Moscow.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone with Griner from the Oval Office, along with Griner’s wife, Cherelle. The White House released a photo of the telephone call.

“These past few months have been hell for Brittney,” and for her wife, Biden said.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport when vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia, were found in her luggage.

She was sentenced on Aug. 4 to nine years in a penal colony on charges of possessing and smuggling drugs. She had pleaded guilty, but said she had made an “honest mistake” and had not meant to break the law.

Last month she was taken to a penal colony in the Russian region of Mordovia to serve her prison sentence.

Biden said the United States would continue to work to free Paul Whelan, a former Marine, who the president said Russia was treated differently.

“Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s. And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we are not giving up. We will never give up,” Biden said.

Biden thanked the United Arab Emirates for helping facilitate Griner’s return.

Bout, 55, was one of the world’s most wanted men before his arrest and was variously dubbed “the merchant of death” and “the sanctions buster” for his ability to get around arms embargoes.

For almost two decades, Bout became the world’s most notorious arms dealer, selling weaponry to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia and South America. For experts on the Russian security services, Moscow’s lasting interest in Bout hint strongly at Russian intelligence ties.

Reuters

Commentators split on Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series

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Commentators split on Prince Harry and Meghan's Netflix series

Commentators split on Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

From sympathy to criticism, reaction to Prince Harry and his wife’s Meghan Netflix documentary series released on Thursday has been mixed.

The highly-anticipated series has been billed as the couple giving their story, talking about their relationship, royal life and media scrutiny. Netflix released the first three episodes on Thursday, with the rest following next week (December 15).

Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, said he was not impressed.

“I think the new series of Harry and Megan is possibly the most self-serving piece of television I’ve seen in quite a while … I’m not sure I’d call it a documentary I think it’s really a reality show and it is literally me me me me the whole time,” Bullen told Reuters.

“This is (reality TV show) ‘The Kardashians’ on a regal level … I think what people will look at is this beautiful house that they live in, the private jets that they fly … cashmere clothes that they’re all wearing and think they’ve done this for money.”

Lester Holloway, editor of British Black newspaper The Voice – which Harry’s father King Charles recently guest-edited – said he was touched by the first three episodes.

“I was very moved by it obviously it’s a love story but it’s also talking about the story of their struggles as a new couple, the struggles and the challenges they faced together, their journey their romance and of course the battles with the media and the personal cost,” he said.

In the series, Harry said the British royal family had dismissed race-related hounding of Meghan by the press as a rite of passage as the couple delivered a fierce attack on the media.

He drew comparisons between how papers had treated Meghan and the intense media intrusion that his mother Princess Diana had suffered. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 as her limousine sped away from chasing paparazzi photographers.

Harry, who along with Meghan stepped down from royal duties two years ago and moved to California, said it was his duty to expose the “exploitation and bribery” of the media.

“The very fact that they had left for privacy is it’s just blown apart in this,” Bullen said.

“We’re taken really inside their life in a way that I find very surprising because they left seeking privacy and here

they’ve thrown the doors wide open on their lives.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s disclosures included Meghan recalling her first death threat, Harry talking about wearing disguises to their dates, and previously unseen footage of their son Archie.

Harry said the couple had “sacrificed everything”, and that he was terrified of his wife being driven away by the media. Meghan’s father is white and her mother is African American.

“In those early days people really really wanted this to work, I mean just look at the wedding day it was one of the most joyous days in many years in the UK, so I think Harry and Meghan‘s take of the press were against us from the start is simply not correct but did it turn, yes,” Bullen said.

“But I think there is a view that at that point Harry and Meghan were beginning to turn – there were already signs that there were cracks in the relationship between the brothers, there were signs that they were sort of pushing back against the royal family and I think the royal family from what I am told, within the institution, within the press team, were doing everything they could to support them.”

In the documentary, Harry referred to “the pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution” (the royal family).

“It’s interesting that Harry did say … he was told that every new wife coming into the royal family experiences this, we know that that is not quite the case, that actually yes, there was an intrusion into the lives and backgrounds of everyone who has joined the royal family, married into the royal family but this has been on another scale,” Holloway said of Meghan’s experience.

“I think that race has very much to do with it, I think one of the good things about the Netflix documentary is it it actually tries to interweave on many different occasions, the history and the current lived experience.”

The initial episodes held no bombshells for the royal family.

“It was hyped up beforehand as being a full bloodied attack on the royals and certainly, the first three episodes weren’t that,” Holloway said.

“It was largely focused on the media and in many ways the media is a partial reflection on society, so in that sense, I think that this was not just about Meghan and Harry and the media, it was also about us as well. It’s about British society and hopefully, this will be an opportunity for some reflection.”

Reuters

ANN news highlights: Thur, Dec 8, 2022

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Thursday, December 7, 2022

Thursday, December 7, 2022

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

Check out what’s hot in the region as The Nation puts together headlines from members of Asia News Network (ANN). Click to read more:

ANN news highlights: Thur, Dec 8, 2022
Bringing Asia Closer

Oscar Malaysia
Will an Oscar come next for Yeoh? | The Star

In the lead-up to the Academy Awards, Malaysia’s own Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has been chosen as Time magazine’s “Icon of the Year”.

Changing Asia
The “Changing Asia – New Normal” Photography Exhibition opens on Dec 9 in HK – Vientiane Times

Co-organized by China Daily and Asia News Network, a photography exhibition themed “Changing Asia – New Normal” will open in Hong Kong on December 9, 2022. It was held in Bangkok on Nov 16, coinciding with Bangkok’s hosting of a key meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies, which made a great success. The exhibition has attracted 179 photographers from 18 countries, with 1,175 images submitted. Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Group, and publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia will deliver the welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony.

Diplomacy China-Saudi
Xi lands in Riyadh for epoch-making summit, state visit | Article | China Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday afternoon to attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council summit, and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

South China Sea
China taking positions to deny PH access to key WPS areas | Global News

Chinese maritime militia vessels posing as fishing boats are edging closer to Palawan as part of a ploy to restrict access by Filipinos to key areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to a maritime law expert.

Politics India
A rival to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party wins Delhi municipal elections – The Statesman

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed to power in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), ending the 15-year rule of the BJP in the powerful civic body of the National Capital.

Kudo Japan
Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize / Expert recognized for swatting a parasitic disease – The Japan News

Kazuyo Ichimori, a visiting professor at Nagasaki University, has been named as the recipient of the 29th Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize for her commitment to eliminating the mosquito-borne tropical disease lymphatic filariasis in developing countries — particularly during her time as a World Health Organization specialist.

Soccer Japan
Editorial: Japan’s soccer players opened door to new era for national team – The Japan News

Although Japan failed to achieve its long-cherished dream of advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals, a solid mark has been left on Japanese soccer history through the efforts of the Hajime Moriyasu-coached national team, which vanquished major powers of the soccer world.

Media S Korea 
Opinion: President Yoon’s futile war on the press – Korea Herald

President Yoon Suk-yeol’s pushback against the news media is unproductive. Tough media questions accompany the job of leading a democratic state. State leaders cannot muzzle reporters or throw them in prison like a dictator. Nor should they think the silent treatment will work. Questions will only continue and likely sharpen the more a leader hunkers down.

EV Indonesia
Editorial: Driving EV uptake – Jakarta Post

The Indonesian government has exempted electric vehicles (EVs), battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs from sales and luxury sales taxes, plans to subsidize EV purchases and has successfully wooed in EV manufacturing behemoths from South Korea, China and Japan to set up manufacturing plants in the country.

Finance Myanmar
Central Bank of Myanmar and Russian’s central bank sign MOU on banking cooperation | Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd

A memorandum of understanding on banking cooperation between the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) and the Central Bank of Russian Federation was signed on December 5.

Economy Cambodia
WB retains GDP growth forecast for 2022 at 4.8% | Phnom Penh Post

The World Bank (WB) has maintained its 2022 economic growth forecast for Cambodia, issued in September, at 4.8 per cent, highlighting the Kingdom’s remarkable post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

Business S Korea 
SK chief stresses ties with Japan to tackle geopolitical challenges / Korea Herald

South Korea, the United States and Japan should work closely together to address geopolitical challenges pressing Northeast Asia and beyond, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won said at a forum.

Economy China
CPC leadership analyzes economic work for next year, makes arrangements for anti-graft work – China Daily

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee convened a meeting on Tuesday to analyze and study the economic work in 2023, and make arrangements for improving Party conduct and moral integrity, and combating corruption.

Business Japan
Leading Japan advertising firm confesses to illicit bidding for Tokyo Games test events – The Japan News

Major advertising company Hakuhodo Inc. has admitted to participating in bid-rigging for contracts to plan test events for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Crypto Singapore
Super rich folks in wealth hubs, including S’pore, still have their eyes on crypto – Straits Times

The super rich in some of the world’s wealth management hubs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, have not been put off by the recent cryptocurrency crash and continue to look to digital assets to diversify their investments, according to a survey out on Wednesday.