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US Vice-President Kamala Harris stepping out of Air Force Two at Paya Lebar Air Base on Aug 22, 2021.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO



This Week's News Spotlight:

Myanmar military arrests more journalists - ST| Vietnam deploys troops to enforce Covid-19 lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City - ST | Demand for Home Improvement During Pandemic Makes Thai DIY Retailer a Billionaire - Bloomberg | Philippines' Duterte agrees to run for vice-president in 2022 - ST | The World’s Hottest Smartphone Brand Is Chinese — and It Isn’t Huawei - WSJ

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Myanmar military arrests more journalists - ST





Human Rights Watch late last month said the army government had arrested 98 journalists since the coup.PHOTO: REUTERS


Myanmar’s military government has arrested two more local journalists, army-owned television reported on Saturday (Aug 21), the latest among dozens of detentions in a sweeping crackdown on the media since a Feb 1 coup.


Sithu Aung Myint, a columnist for news site Frontier Myanmar and commentator with Voice of America radio, and Htet Htet Khine, a freelance producer for BBC Media Action, were arrested on Aug 15, Myawaddy TV reported.


Sithu Aung Myint was charged with sedition and spreading false information that Myawaddy said was critical of the junta and had urged people to join strikes and back outlawed opposition groups.


Htet Htet Khine was accused of harbouring Sithu Aung Myint, a criminal suspect, and working for and supporting a shadow National Unity Government.






Vietnam deploys troops to enforce Covid-19 lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City - ST





Ho Chi Minh City has recorded a total of 176,000 Covid-19 infections and 6,670 deaths.PHOTO: REUTERS


Vietnamese soldiers on Monday (Aug 23) were deployed on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City to help enforce a lockdown in the country’s business hub, which has become the epicentre of its worst coronavirus outbreak so far during the pandemic.


Panic-buying broke out at supermarkets in the city of nine million people over the weekend ahead of the tighter lockdown, which started on Monday and prohibits residents from leaving their homes.


Soldiers on Monday were checking permits of residents on the streets and delivering food, according to witnesses and photographs on state media.


The city began movement restrictions early last month, but infections have continued to surge after authorities said there had not been strict enough enforcement of the curbs.





Demand for Home Improvement During Pandemic Makes Thai DIY Retailer a Billionaire - Bloomberg





A motorcyclist and a cyclist ride past 'House For Sale' signs in Koh Samui, Surat Thani province, Thailand, on Jan. 18, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg


Dohome PCL may not qualify as a “unicorn,” but the home-improvement retailer does possess some rare traits that have made founder Adisak Tangmitrphracha a new member of Thailand’s billionaire club.


Established in Ubon Ratchathani, a rice-growing province about 600 kilometers (375 miles) from Bangkok, Dohome is one of only two Thai exchange-listed companies with a market value of more than $1 billion that started in the rural northeast Isaan region.


The company operates 14 full-service stores nationwide, with a plan to increase outlets to 36 by end of 2025, according to its website. With the onset of the pandemic, the company boosted its online presence and marketing as government restrictions forced the shuttering of several stores in the country’s worst afflicted areas.





Philippines' Duterte agrees to run for vice-president in 2022 - ST





Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has solidified his bid to stay in a top government post once his term ends next year. PHOTO: AF


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to be the ruling party's vice-presidential candidate in next year’s elections, the PDP-Laban party said on Tuesday (Aug 24), laying the groundwork for the leader to stay in power beyond his term.


The PDP-Laban party made the announcement ahead of a national assembly on Sept 8 where it is also expected to endorse Mr Duterte’s aide and incumbent senator Christopher "Bong" Go to be its presidential candidate in the 2022 polls.


In the Philippines, the president is limited to one six-year term and Mr Duterte’s term is due to end by June next year.




The World’s Hottest Smartphone Brand Is Chinese — and It Isn’t Huawei - WSJ





Xiaomi grabbed the top spot in Europe, with its market share almost doubling to 24% from a year earlier. PHOTO: ANGEL GARCIA/BLOOMBERG NEWS


U.S. sanctions have pummeled Huawei Technologies Co.’s smartphone business. A different Chinese tech company is reaping the benefits.


Xiaomi Corp. has filled the gap left by Huawei in markets from Europe to Southeast Asia to China. It is doing so with a playbook familiar to many Chinese consumer brands: offering functional gadgets comparable to upscale rivals at prices that often undercut them.


No company globally sold more phones in the month of June, as Beijing-based Xiaomi surged past Samsung Electronics Co. , according to market researcher Counterpoint Research. For the second quarter, Xiaomi leapfrogged Apple Inc. to become world’s No. 2 for the first time.


In Europe, it grabbed the top spot, with its market share almost doubling to 24% from a year earlier. In price-sensitive markets like Spain, two out of every five phones sold in the second quarter were made by Xiaomi, Counterpoint said. The company was the top vendor in Denmark, Belgium, Ukraine and Russia.



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