Asia tightens borders as Omicron clouds region’s return to travel

Hwaseong, South Korea – Asia-Pacific countries are tightening borders and delaying reopening plans in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant, dealing a blow to the region’s already sluggish resumption of international travel. Japan on Monday announced the country would bar foreign arrivals from Tuesday, only weeks after easing restrictions for visa holders including short-term business … Read more

Macau police arrest 11 for alleged gambling

Arrests come a day after junket mogul Alvin Chau is questioned by police in the special administrative region. Macau police said they had arrested 11 people in an investigation into an illegal gambling and money-laundering syndicate, a day after businessman Alvin Chau, who organises trips to Asian casinos for big-spending gamblers, was questioned at a … Read more

Turkish lira crisis hits Idlib in Syria

Jamil Barakat says it was never easy to sustain a living in Syria’s northwestern Idlib town. But the Turkish lira crisis next door and skyrocketing inflation have made running his small business a nightmare. “Produce prices change every day, and customers are in disbelief,” Barakat tells Al Jazeera. “And of course you have to take … Read more

Malls hoping for big holiday season of sales as some struggle to stay relevant

LONE TREE, Colo. — At malls across Colorado, thousands of shoppers headed to the stores this Black Friday on the hunt for a good deal. Brick and mortar stores are hoping for a busy holiday season after the pandemic took a toll on their bottom lines last year when they were forced to close temporarily. … Read more

Black Friday shopping trends are changing

The National Retail Federation expects over 158 million Americans to shop this weekend. But waiting in long lines, camping out overnight, and fighting for that great deal might be a thing of the past for Black Friday shoppers. “I feel like the pandemic has slightly changed this trend,” said Ali Besharat, associate professor at the … Read more

Germany is giving nearly two million workers a 25% pay rise

Three German political parties agreed to form a new government on Wednesday, with left-leaning Social Democrat Olaf Scholz set to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor following lengthy coalition negotiations. As part of the coalition agreement, the country plans to raise its minimum wage to €12 ($13.46) an hour, from the current rate of €9.60 ($10.77) … Read more