Zoom will be local version-only for Chinese users

Zoom will be local version-only for Chinese users

Video-chat service Zoom will stop offering direct services to users based in China, although it will still be accessible through the company’s local partners.Why it matters: Zoom, the US-based company founded by Chinese-born Eric Yuan, has been caught in the crosshairs of the trade war and rising political tensions between the two countries. Removing direct service support in China highlights yet another retreat for the company in the Chinese market.Zoom users surged as a popular choice for business professionals during the global lockdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.Zoom’s move may h… (more…)

9 Tips for a More Eco-Responsible Life in Japan

9 Tips for a More Eco-Responsible Life in Japan

Japan offers a fantastic and comfortable lifestyle, with 24-hour convenience stores, easy transit, and vending machines around just about every corner. But Japan also uses an outrageous number of plastics and products that are harmful to the environment.With a few small adjustments to your daily habits, you can live a more eco-responsible life in Japan without radically changing your routine. Here are a few tips.1. Get the MyMizu appWhen I first set up in Japan, I was amazed by the variety of drinks offered in the vending machines. Once the summer started, I got knocked out by the heat and fou… (more…)

US notches 4 mn virus cases, Europe tops 3 mn amid fresh outbreaks

US notches 4 mn virus cases, Europe tops 3 mn amid fresh outbreaks

Washington (AFP) – The coronavirus pandemic hit grim new milestones Thursday, with cases topping four million in the United States and three million in Europe as fresh spikes from Belgium to Tokyo to Melbourne forced new restrictions on citizens. While EU lawmakers combed through a huge aid package for their economies, the UN called for a basic income for the world’s poorest to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and the Red Cross warned of “massive” new migration caused by the economic devastation.The United States, the hardest-hit country by the virus, added one million new cases in just over … (more…)

Israeli firm developing 30-second coronavirus breath test

Israeli firm developing 30-second coronavirus breath test

Misgav (Israel) (AFP) – An Israeli company is developing a coronavirus breathalyser test that gives results in 30 seconds, billing it as a “front line” tool that can help restore a sense of normality during the pandemic.NanoScent, the firm making the test kits, said an extensive trial in Israel for the presence of live virus delivered results with 85 percent accuracy, and the product could receive regulatory approval within months.Chief executive officer Oren Gavriely told AFP the breathalyser would not replace lab tests, but was a mass screening tool that could help people gain “the confidenc… (more…)

Virus brings two foes together, Japan and China

Virus brings two foes together, Japan and China

Beijing (AFP) – As China faces increasing isolation, with some countries closing off borders over coronavirus fears, an unlikely friend has emerged — historical arch-foe Japan.After decades of war and animosity, donations and Japanese ballet dancers shouting their support are among the gestures that have endeared Japan to Chinese people and state media.News that the Japanese government sent a plane bearing thousands of pieces of protective garments for the hard-hit central city of Wuhan received more than 170 million views on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.The flight, the fifth of its kind c… (more…)

Breaking news and barriers: South Korea’s first female anchor

Breaking news and barriers: South Korea’s first female anchor

Seoul (AFP) – Under gleamingly bright studio lights, Lee So-jeong reads straight from a teleprompter, rehearsing her lines ahead of the primetime newscast for South Korea’s national public broadcaster, KBS.Five times a week, she is beamed into living rooms across the country leading its “News 9” bulletin, after she broke into a decades-old boys’ club in a society that is technologically and economically advanced, but still culturally male-dominated.South Korean television news broadcasts have long followed the same format: a serious-looking older male anchor announcing the day’s major developm… (more…)