Wealthy Asians consider private jets to avoid swine flu risks

Wealthy Asians consider private jets to avoid swine flu risksHong Kong - Wealthy Asian travellers are considering flying by private jet to avoid the risk of swine flu exposure on commercial flights, a news report said Wednesday.

Private jet service Asia Jet has seen a 40-per-cent rise in inquiries about its flights, at a cost of 5,900 US dollars an hour, since the swine flu scare spread Monday to Asia, the South China Morning Post reported.

Enquiries had come from across the region for the Hong Kong-based company's fleet of Gulfstream jets, said chief executive Justin Lee Firestone.

WHO vows to intensify fight against malaria in Asia-Pacific

World Health Organization (WHO)Manila- The World Health Organization (WHO) vowed on Friday to intensify the fight against malaria in Asia and the Pacific amid growing signs of the disease developing greater resistance to commonly used drugs.

The Manila-based WHO Western Pacific Office expressed concern over the situation in the Thai-Cambodian border where a strain of malaria that is increasingly resistant to artemisinin, the most effective drug available to fight the disease, has proliferated.

Oxfam: Climate crises to affect 375 million by 2015

global warmingBangkok - Natural disasters caused by climate change are expected to affect 375 million people by the year 2015, threatening to overwhelm the current humanitarian aid system, a confederation of internatonal aid groups warned Tuesday.

Oxfam International Tuesday launched its report entitled The Right to Survive, studying the potential impact of climate change on the current humanitarian aid system.

60 companies in polluted Hong Kong sign up for carbon reduction

low-carbon lifestylesHong Kong - Sixty companies in energy-hungry Hong Kong have signed up for a programme to promote low-carbon lifestyles, a environmental conference heard Monday.

The government-backed campaign run by environment activists the Climate Group aims to find ways to lower high-rise Hong Kong's carbon footprint, which is reckoned to be one of the world's biggest.

Speaking at the launch of the one-year campaign Monday, environment secretary Edward Yau appealed to businesses and individuals to help make it a success.

Big fish "tortured" in Asian seafood restaurants

Asian seafood Hong Kong - The waiter serves up a generous helping of hyperbole with his sales patter as he points to a giant garoupa gawping out of the glass of a neon-lit fish tank on the pavement outside a seafront restaurant in Hong Kong.

"This is a very special fish - it is more than 100 years old," he says, gesturing to the fish struggling to turn its metre-long body in the confines of the tank.

"If you want to eat it, it will cost you around HK$500,000 (64,500 US dollars). You will need a very big party."

China announces 10-billion-dollar regional investment fund

ChinaBeijing- China announced a 10-billion-dollar investment fund Saturday for supporting infrastructure development in the 10-nation South-East Asia region.

Addressing the opening of the Bo'ao Forum for Asia, a regional economic meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Premier Wen Jiabao said the world economic crisis requires Asian nations to build confidence and strengthen cooperation.

"We should accelerate the development of regional and subregional transport, power and communication infrastructure to gradually achieve interconnectivity and form a network," Wen said.