US military to get expanded military base access in the Philippines

CNN  —  The US military will gain access to four more bases in the Philippines under an agreement announced as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Manila on Thursday. In addition, the two allies said projects at five bases already covered in the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) were almost completed. The EDCA allows … Read more

Hong Kong is criminalizing CBD as a ‘dangerous drug’ alongside heroin

Hong Kong CNN  —  Two years ago, cannabidiol was booming in Hong Kong. The compound, known as CBD, was popping up in cafes, restaurants and stores, with businesses eager to join an exciting new market already well-established in countries around the world. That all came to an end on Wednesday, when CBD was criminalized in … Read more

IMF: Global economic outlook slightly ‘less gloomy’ than expected

London CNN  —  The global economy will weaken this year as rising interest rates and Russia’s war in Ukraine continue to weigh on activity. But economists are more optimistic than they were just a few months ago. The International Monetary Fund said Monday that it now expects global growth will slow from 3.4% in 2022 … Read more

Hu Xinyu: Body of a missing Chinese teen found 106 days after he vanished from school

CNN  —  For three months, the disappearance of Hu Xinyu gripped China. The whereabouts of the 15-year-old, who vanished from a boarding school in southern Jiangxi province in October, was for months among the most discussed topics on the Chinese internet. It prompted numerous questions, speculation and round after round of exhaustive police searches – … Read more

Is it Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year? Depends who you ask

Hong Kong CNN  —  Last week, K-pop singer Danielle Marsh asked her online fans what they were doing for Chinese New Year. A profuse apology followed two days later, in which she promised to “try to be more careful” and acknowledged the “hurt” she had caused. Her crime? The “Chinese” that preceded “New Year.” A … Read more

In Japan, pet fish playing Nintendo Switch run up bill on owner’s credit card

CNN  —  Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Pet fish playing a video game in Japan managed to log on to the Nintendo Switch store, change their owner’s avatar, set up a Pay Pal account and rack up a credit card bill. And it was all seemingly livestreamed, in real time, on the internet. The … Read more

Five Russian men fleeing conscription have been living at a South Korean airport for months

Seoul, South Korea CNN  —  Five Russian men who fled the country after Moscow’s military mobilization order last September have been stranded at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport for months after authorities refused to accept them. Three of the men had arrived in October, with the remaining two in November, said their lawyer Lee Jong-chan. … Read more

Western allies to deliver 321 tanks to Ukraine: senior diplomat

CNN  —  Western countries will deliver more than 300 tanks to Ukraine, Kyiv’s ambassador to France said Friday. “As of today, numerous countries have officially confirmed their agreement to deliver 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine,” Vadym Omelchenko told French TV station and CNN affiliate BFM television. He did not specify which countries would provide the … Read more

US extends safe haven program for Hong Kong residents

Washington CNN  —  The Biden administration will continue to grant safe haven to certain Hong Kong residents, extending a program to allow them to remain in the United States without fear of deportation for another two years. President Joe Biden on Thursday issued a memorandum “directing an extension and expansion of the deferral of removal … Read more

Jin Tian cargo ship capsizes off coast of Japan with 22 aboard

Tokyo CNN  —  Nine crew members remain missing after a cargo ship capsized off Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture on Wednesday, the Japan Coast Guard told CNN. The coast guard said it received a distress signal from the Hong Kong-flagged vessel Jin Tian late on Tuesday night as it cruised 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the … Read more