News Headlines - 31 May 2021

China Moves to Three-Child Policy to Boost Falling Birthrate - Bloomberg

China will allow all couples to have a third child, a surprise move aimed at slowing the nation’s declining birthrate as risks to the economy’s long-term prospects mount because of a rapidly aging population.
In a meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping Monday, the Communist Party’s Politburo decided to ease the current two-child restriction, saying “allowing every couple to have three children and implementing related support policies will help improve the population’s structure,” according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency. It wasn’t clear when the move would take effect, although the meeting discussed major policy measures to be implemented in the period to 2025.
China has been gradually reforming its stringent birth policy that for decades limited most families to only having a single child, with a second child allowed since 2016. However, that reform did little to reverse the declining birthrate and further relaxation of the limits is unlikely to lead to a sustained increase.

Malaysia declares total lockdown to stop COVID-19 surge - Nikkei Asia

Malaysia will enter a nationwide lockdown from June 1 to halt rising COVID-19 infections in the country, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Friday.
All areas of economic and social activity will be shut down for two weeks, apart from a few essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants, according to a statement from Muhyiddin's office
If new COVID-19 cases decline, the lockdown could be eased after the initial 14 days to second and third phases of controlled movement.

Japan's seafood production hits record low for 2nd straight year - Xinhua

Production of seafood in Japan has hit a record low for the second consecutive year, owing to falling demand for certain types of seafood amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as changes in water conditions, the government said in a report on Monday.
According to the fisheries ministry, seafood production in 2020 slipped 0.5 percent from the previous year to 4.175 million tons... According to the data, the figure for 2020 marked the lowest number on record since comparable data became available in 1956.

Tokyo tree battle further damps Japanese Olympic enthusiasm | Financial Times

But in mid-2021, with the Olympic spectacle just 50-odd days away and its momentum now seemingly impervious to medical, media or public calls for cancellation, the woodsmen have become convenient villains. The park must be readied as an “Olympic Live Zone”.
A few dozen trees have to be cut back to make space for the site, whose usage, as with everything else, will ultimately be dictated by coronavirus. And however limited the tree-surgeons’ activities may be in practice, to their fiercest online detractors they are vandalous, ecology-hating stooges for an Olympic project that is eroding Japan’s sanity and sovereignty.
The rising indignation at the Olympic tree-cutting offers a neat encapsulation of much (beyond the global pandemic) that has gone wrong with the games at this point.

Copa America has no host: Argentina dropped due to COVID

Copa America is without a host country only two weeks before kickoff after South American soccer body CONMEBOL ruled out Argentina amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The announcement Sunday night casts doubt on a tournament which has faced major hurdles since the start of the pandemic in March of last year.