There’s something in the water

With viruses on everyone's mind, this week we turn to pharmaceuticals fast finding their way into the world's water supplies as people consume (and expel) antibiotics at unprecedented rates in human history. We also delve into the murky history of Cathay Pacific flight 700Z, which was mysteriously downed by a bomb in mid-air after taking off from Bangkok's Don Mueang airport in June 1972. The case remains unsolved to this day – did one alleged culprit, a Thai policeman no less, get away with murder?

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May 4, 2020
There’s something in the water

The sewage pumping drug-resistant bacteria into our waterways

The overuse of antibiotics is spurred on by over-prescribing physicians and over-the-counter access. With the drugs streaming into Southeast Asia’s waterways, animals and humans are getting a heavy dose, with devastating long-term implications for drug-resistance

Singapore, ASEAN and non-alignment in the South China Sea: Time to choose

The South China Sea territorial dispute has pitted Southeast Asian nations against China in a heated standoff for decades. Singaporean defence analyst Andy Wong argues that the city-state should lead ASEAN in aligning with the US on the issue, warding off Beijing’s growing influence.

How to get away with murder in Thailand?

On June 15, 1972, Cathay Pacific flight CX700Z tumbled out of the sky while flying over Vietnam, killing all 81 people on board. While the crash officially remains unsolved, there was one clear suspect – Thai police officer Somchai Chaiyasut. Did he get away with mass murder?

Rappler “stands with ABS-CBN” as Philippines largest network forced off air

The Philippines largest TV network ABS-CBN has been ordered off air by the government’s telecommunications agency. Critics have labelled it a fresh attack on press freedom under President Rodrigo Duterte, while fellow embattled media outlet Rappler say they stand in solidarity.

Lockdown with the monks at Myanmar’s Pa-Auk monastery

As much of the world struggles with enforced isolation to stem the spread of Covid-19, there is one group who are better prepared than most to weather this storm. Buddhist monk Bhante Subhūti gives an insight into how his monastery near Mandalay is coping with this not-so-slow pace of life.

As migrant mental health suffers in Singapore dorms, aid groups rally

As Singapore enters its 5th week of “circuit breaker” mode, the migrant workers quarantined in the city-state’s dormitories are suffering under the psychological toll of isolation in squalid conditions and the ever-looming threat of contracting the virus.

‘Duterte’s dictatorship is complete with closure of major news network’

With the closure of the Philippines largest television network ABS-CBN this week, press freedom looks at its weakest since the Marcos era. Dr Tom Smith argues that the move has merely cemented what many suspected – Rodrigo Duterte has embraced dictatorship.

Emojis, Minecraft and Spotify: How citizens are beating the censors

As we mark World Press Freedom Day 2020, the world’s media outlets are struggling under the pressure of Covid-19 crackdowns. But while the tools available to censors have never been so great, the same is true of the innovative tools available to circumvent them.

On this day in 1954, victory at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu

When the Viet Minh forces captured the fortified French base at Dien Bien Phu on 07 May 1954, it was a spectacular victory. But ultimately, it would not end the fighting immediately or in the long term, with decades of war in Vietnam yet to come.

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