Sun, 09 May 2021

JAKARTA -- The death toll from tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province rose to 177, with 45 other people still missing and several villages remaining isolated as land routes were cut off due to rock slides, a local official said on Sunday.

"The villages are still isolated including those in Kupang district. Tomorrow we will deploy helicopters and ferries to distribute aid to these areas," the province's Deputy Governor Josef Nae Soi said in a virtual press conference jointly held with the National Disaster Management Agency. (Indonesia-Cyclone Seroja-Death Toll)

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HONG KONG -- Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Sunday stressed the significance of safeguarding national security ahead of the National Security Education Day that falls on April 15.

Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government, said in an online article that every Hong Kong resident has the responsibility of safeguarding national security.

National security is the cornerstone of peace and stability, as well as guarantee for the happy life of people, he said, adding that the HKSAR government will adopt a multi-pronged approach to encouraging the public to realize the significance of national security and think about their role. (Hong Kong Official-National Security-Education)

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TOKYO -- The number of Japan's eateries that went bankrupt in fiscal 2020 stood at 715, the third largest in two decades, local media reported Sunday.

The bankruptcies took place largely due to the government's requests for shorter opening hours to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a survey on firms that went bankrupt with debts of 10 million yen (about 91,000 U.S. dollars) or more.

Teikoku Databank, a credit research firm, said in its survey report that 183 failures were reported for the bar and beer hall sector, the largest number since fiscal 2000 when comparative data became available. (Japan-Eateries-Bankruptcies)

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MANILA -- The Philippines on Sunday received the second batch of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccines purchased from China.

The Philippine Airlines, which flew the vaccines to Manila, handed over the shipment to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, the official in charge of the Philippines' vaccine procurement efforts.

The Philippines is ramping up its vaccination efforts as it continues combating a surge of COVID-19 infections fuelled by the more infectious coronavirus variants. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity, starting with health care workers and the elderly. (Philippines-Vaccines-China)

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