SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Vietnam’s new ‘Golden Bridge’ is a tourism and viral hit

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 07:45
Nestled in the forested hills of central Vietnam two giant concrete hands emerge from the trees, holding up a glimmering golden bridge crowded with gleeful visitors taking selfies at the country’s latest eccentric tourist draw. Designed to make visitors feel like they’re taking a stroll on a shimmering thread stretching across the hands of gods, the “Golden Bridge” has attracted hordes of guests since it opened in the Ba Na Hills near Da Nang in June. Images of the...

Myanmar to allow visa-free entry for Japanese and Korean tourists, but Chinese must still pay US$50

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 07:20
Myanmar will start granting visa-free entry to tourists from Japan and South Korea in October to attract more visitors from Asia – but travellers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau will still have to pay US$50 for visas upon arrival. Despite the fee, Myanmar’s government is easing visa requirements for Chinese tourist groups, seeing a potential for growth in their number, said Myo Win Nyunt, a director of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Last week, the ministry sent a...

Cambodia strongman Hun Sen takes selfies, then a boat ride in first appearance since election

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 06:19
Cambodia’s long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen, 65, whose party claimed victory in a general election that many have said was neither free nor fair, met with supporters for the first time since the vote on Wednesday. The former Khmer Rouge commander, who has ruled Cambodia for nearly 33 years, took “selfies” with supporters and enjoyed a boat ride following Sunday’s election in which his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said it had won all 125 parliamentary seats,...

Return of Mahathir Mohamad to Asean may put a third power in the picture – Japan

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 00:01
When the top diplomats from 10 Southeast Asian countries gather in Singapore later this week for their annual meeting, rivalry between China and the United States will again be in the spotlight. But this year, the return of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has put a third power in the picture – Japan, a nation increasingly seen in the region as a more reliable partner as competition between Beijing and Washington intensifies. “...

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved back to prison from hospital

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 23:57
Pakistan’s jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was moved back to prison from hospital on Tuesday evening after doctors signalled an improvement in his health, a minister said. Sharif was shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad two days ago after he reportedly fell sick inside prison. Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were jailed on July 13 after a court sentenced them to 10 and seven years respectively over properties in Britain which emerged in the...

Ex-colonel known as ‘Little Baldy’ convicted in Vietnam corruption crackdown

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 21:36
A Vietnamese military court in Hanoi on Tuesday sentenced the first military official to go on trial in the communist-ruled country’s crackdown against corruption to 12 years in jail. Dinh Ngoc He, a former colonel known by his nickname “Little Baldy”, was convicted of “abusing power in performance of official duties” and “using fake documents”, the news website of state radio Voice Of Vietnam reported. “The court said the case nature is very...

Japan asks Russia to reduce military activity on disputed Kuril islands

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 21:34
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Tuesday that Tokyo had asked Russia to reduce its military activity on a disputed island chain in the Pacific after Moscow beefed up its forces there in response to what it sees as a potential threat. The territorial dispute over the islands, known as the Kuril islands in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, is so acrimonious that Moscow and Tokyo have not yet signed a peace treaty to mark the end of the second world war. Russian Prime...

North Korea tops US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s agenda at Asean security meeting as fears over nukes grow again

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 19:52
North Korea will top Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s agenda as he heads to an Asian security meeting in Singapore this week amid new concerns over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile programme and commitment to denuclearisation. Pompeo and North Korea’s foreign minister are both set to attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum on Saturday, and US officials say a meeting between the two of them is possible, although not confirmed. North Korea is...

Thailand asks Britain to extradite fugitive former PM Yingluck

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:51
The Thai government has sought the extradition of former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from Britain, where she is believed to have been based since fleeing Thailand last year to avoid a jail sentence, the BBC reported on Tuesday. The BBC’s Thai-language website said the Thai embassy in London has submitted a letter along with copies of relevant judgment documents and an arrest warrant requesting British authorities extradite Yingluck so she can face justice at home. “The...

Malaysia’s aviation chief quits over MH370 probe findings

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:31
The head of Malaysia’s civil aviation regulator resigned Tuesday after an official report found failings in air traffic control when flight MH370 disappeared. In a long-awaited report released on Monday, the official investigation team pointed to numerous lapses by air traffic controllers in both Malaysia and Vietnam. These included failing to initiate “emergency phases” as required after the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board vanished from radar...

Bank of Japan tweaks monetary policy with inflation target distant

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:23
Japan’s central bank revised down inflation forecasts on Tuesday, making only minor tweaks to a monetary policy that has so far fallen short of lifting prices and boosting the world’s third-largest economy. There was widespread speculation in the run-up to the Bank of Japan’s two-day meeting that it would adjust its ultra-loose policy, seeking to offset the effects of negative interest rates and its massive bond and asset buying. But the bank offered only marginal adjustments...

That eel you’re eating in Japan: it may have been smuggled from Spain and farmed in China

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 08:03
A large quantity of young European eels smuggled to China is raised in the country for about half a year before being shipped to the Japanese market, particularly when demand for the snakelike fish peaks every summer, according to a senior Spanish police officer. The details came to light after Spanish police in April arrested 10 people, including Spanish and Chinese nationals, on suspicion of smuggling a huge amount of European juvenile eels – banned from being exported by the European...

Indonesia bans JAD, local IS-affiliated group behind suicide attacks

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 07:36
An Indonesian court on Tuesday banned a local extremist network responsible for a series of deadly terror attacks on home soil, significantly expanding police powers to charge members and freeze funding. Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS), was involved in a deadly 2016 Jakarta attack and a wave of suicide bombings in May in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya, according to authorities. Two families – including girls aged nine and 12...

Powerful bomb in van kills at least 10 in southern Philippines

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 07:25
A Filipino soldier, five militiamen and four villagers were killed by a powerful bomb that exploded in a van the troops were inspecting Tuesday amid threats of bombings in a southern province, military officials said. Regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana said one other government militiaman was wounded in the blast after dawn that shattered a part of the barricades surrounding an army militia outpost in the village of Colonia on the island province of Basilan. Besana, who...

Indonesia earthquake: more than 500 hikers evacuated from Lombok's Mount Rinjani volcano after quake

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 05:36
More than 500 hikers and their guides have been successfully evacuated from an Indonesian volcano after a deadly earthquake triggered landslides that trapped them on the mountain, officials said Tuesday. Tonnes of rock and mud were dislodged on Mount Rinjani in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck early Sunday and was followed by scores of aftershocks, blocking the hiking routes that criss-cross the mountain. Some 560 trekkers were originally thought to have been stranded, including citizens...

Australia and Japan join US infrastructure push in Asia to counter China

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 05:10
Australia and Japan have joined the United States in a push to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region, at a time when China is spending billions of dollars on its Belt and Road Initiative across Asia. The move is part of a broader effort by the United States and its allies to reassert their influence in the Pacific amid fears that the region is increasingly susceptible to diplomatic pressure from Beijing. “The United States, Japan and Australia have formed a...

Mike Pompeo demands that IMF reject Pakistan bailout if money goes to Chinese creditors

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 03:46
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Monday that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders. In an interview with CNBC television, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan. “Make no mistake....

Summer offensive: at beaches and swimming pools, South Korea wages war on spycam voyeurs

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 03:08
It’s been an excruciatingly hot summer in South Korea, but those heading to the beach or the swimming pool to relax may find themselves burned by something else: hidden spy cameras that film them in a state of undress. In response to a growing outcry, teams organised by the police have sprang into action. Armed with infrared scanners that can spot a lens and devices that detect electrical charges, they spend hours hunting for cameras installed by Peeping Toms in changing rooms and public...

North Korea appears to be building new ballistic missiles, despite pledges to Trump, report claims

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 02:03
North Korea appears to be building one or two new liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first missiles capable of reaching the United States, The Washington Post reported on Monday. The newspaper, citing unidentified officials familiar with intelligence reporting, said US spy agencies were seeing signs of the construction at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang. The findings are the latest to suggest...

Philippines raises concern over Chinese radio warnings to stay away from South China Sea islands

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 20:53
The Philippines has expressed concern to China over an increasing number of Chinese radio messages warning Philippine aircraft and ships to stay away from newly fortified islands and other territories in the South China Sea claimed by both countries, officials said Monday. A Philippine government report showed that in the second half of last year alone, Philippine military aircraft received such Chinese radio warnings at least 46 times while patrolling near artificial islands built by China in...

Protests demanding job quotas for Indian minority group Maratha turn violent

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 19:47
Hundreds of people demanding quotas in employment and education for India’s Maratha minority burned buses, blocked a motorway and attacked police with rocks on Monday. An unknown number were injured, police said. Police reinforcements dispersed the angry protesters belonging to the Maratha Revolutionary Front in western Maharashtra state, whose capital is Mumbai. The violence occurred in Chakan, 145 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of Mumbai. Why 4 million people in this Indian state risk...

Vietnam imprisons fugitive spy after swift, secret conviction for espionage

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 19:04
A fugitive spy was jailed for nine years in Vietnam on Monday for “divulging state secrets” after he tried to flee to Europe holding a forged passport in a rare case involving a high-ranking intelligence officer. The runaway spy, Phan Van Anh Vu, was arrested in Singapore in January with two passports – one fake, one real – and swiftly deported back to Vietnam, where he was charged with espionage. His lawyer said he was trying to reach Germany to offer information on a...

Australian bishop convicted of covering up sex abuse resigns

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:10
Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of an Australian archbishop convicted in a criminal court of covering up the sexual abuse of children by a priest, after coming under mounting pressure from Catholics, priests and even the Australian prime minister. It was the second sex abuse-related resignation in three days. Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was convicted in May of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by a paedophile priest in the Hunter Valley...

Indonesia’s ex-president Yudhoyono endorses Widodo’s rival for presidency

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 12:54
Setting the stage for a re-run of Indonesia’s 2014 election, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Monday he would support an opposition leader to challenge President Joko Widodo in polls due next year. Indonesians are due to vote for members of parliament and the president in April, but tensions are already mounting because candidates for the presidency have until August 10 to register with the election commission. “We came here with one understanding that Mr Prabowo is...

Japan’s new missile defence system deployment will take six years

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 11:49
Japan is expected to take about six years to finish deploying one of the new US-developed land-based missile defence systems Tokyo says it needs to protect the country against North Korean missile attacks, officials said on Monday. The schedule for installing an Aegis Ashore missile battery suggested by the US is one year behind Japan’s plan and the Defence Ministry is expected to call on Washington for help to set it up earlier. Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that the...

Malaysia drops sedition case against political cartoonist

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 11:34
A Malaysian political cartoonist said on Monday that nine sedition charges against him had been dropped after the scandal-mired government that he frequently lampooned was booted out of power. Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque – who goes by the pen-name Zunar – was repeatedly targeted under the former government for his cartoons, which often mocked ex-prime minister Najib Razak and his luxury-loving wife. Some of his collections were banned. He was hit with nine counts of sedition in 2015,...

Unanswered questions leave MH370 families angry at official ‘safety report’ on missing plane

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 10:04
A long-awaited official report into the disappearance of flight MH370 gave no new clues about why the plane vanished, relatives of those on board the aircraft said on Monday, expressing anger and disappointment. Family members had been hoping that the official investigation team’s report could provide them with some closure, more than four years after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people went missing. But grieving relatives said the technical document appeared to contain...

India excludes 4 million from citizen list in Assam state, sparking fears of mass deportations

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 10:00
India said on Monday it had excluded more than 4 million people from a draft list of citizens in the border state of Assam who could not produce valid documents, a move that has sparked fears about the future of thousands in the region. Security has been tightened across the state, which borders Bangladesh, as thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims worry about being sent to detention centres or deported. The tea-rich state of Assam has long been the centre of social and communal tensions with...

As Aum cultists are hanged, Japan asks if it still needs the death penalty. For most, the answer remains clear

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:50
The execution of the last members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult on death row last week has triggered debate in Japan over the use of the death penalty, with the left-leaning Asahi newspaper demanding that Tokyo follow the lead of European nations and abolish hanging and author Haruki Murakami weighing in on the discussion. The vast majority of Japanese people, however, appear to be solidly behind the death penalty for those convicted of serious crimes, such as the sarin gas attack that Aum members...

South Korea to probe if North Korean waitresses in China were forced or tricked into defecting

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:05
A South Korean human rights commission said on Monday it will investigate whether a dozen North Korean restaurant workers who defected to the South two years ago came of their own free will or were tricked or coerced by an intelligence agent. The 12 waitresses and their manager left a North Korean state-run restaurant in China to come via Malaysia to South Korea in April 2016. Seoul promptly announced their defection, but North Korea says they were abducted by South Korean agents and demands...

Cambodia rejects US criticism of ‘flawed’ election as strongman Hun Sen retains power

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 06:27
Cambodia woke to another chapter of rule by strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday, a day after his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) declared victory in a general election that rights groups said was neither free nor fair. The White House said it would consider steps, including an expansion of visa restrictions placed on some Cambodian government members, in response to “flawed elections” in which there was no significant challenger to Hun Sen. CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said...

More than 500 hikers stranded on mountain after Lombok earthquake

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 06:08
Efforts were underway Monday to rescue hundreds of climbers stranded on Mount Rinjani on Indonesia’s Lombok Island, a day after a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist destination. Helicopters and rescue teams on foot have been deployed to scour the slopes of Mount Rinjani, which is criss-crossed with hiking routes popular with tourists. “The latest information from the team in the field is that today all the families stuck on Mount Rinjani will be evacuated...

China donates small boats and RPG launchers to Philippines

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 05:50
China has donated four 12-metre-long boats and 30 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers to the Philippines, continuing the closer relations between the two countries under President Rodrigo Duterte. The donation, which follows the provision last year of about 6,000 assault rifles and hundreds of sniper rifles, also included small arms and ammunition, said Navy spokesman Commander Jonathan Zata. “They are brand new equipment,” he told reporters, adding the military was assessing...

Australia’s foreign minister visits East Timor to repair relations after spy row

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 05:28
Australia’s foreign minister was visiting East Timor on Monday to repair bilateral tries after a bitter dispute over energy revenue and spying allegations. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she is the national capital Dili to meet newly elected leaders. She is the first Australian minister to visit the near neighbour in five years. Australia, a wealthy nation of 25 million people, ended an acrimonious dispute with the poor, half-island nation of 1.5 million people in March with the...

Will Japan’s baseball fans come back? Author Robert Whiting thinks so

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 02:00
Baseball has suffered a gradual slump in popularity in Japan in recent years, but the author of four bestselling books on the sport is convinced it remains the nation’s favourite game and believes a new “spike” in its popularity could come as soon as August. “When I first came to Japan in the 1960s and right up to the 1990s, there was a game on nationwide television in that ‘golden hour’ slot every night. And every night, they would get 25 million viewers...

Myanmar floods kill at least 10 and force 54,000 from homes

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 17:24
Surging floodwaters have killed at least 10 people and forced tens of thousands from their homes across swathes of Myanmar, a government official said on Sunday as more heavy monsoon rain battered the region. Vast areas of farmland have been submerged by muddy water stretching to the horizon, with only the rooftops of some houses visible. Some stranded people were plucked from the churning waters by rescuers in boats, while volunteers used rafts made from barrels and pieces of wood. Other...

Ditching Ohtani for Ronaldo? Baseball’s striking out in Japan

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 14:00
Jun Shigeno hung up his baseball glove because he was tired of having to shave his hair almost to the scalp just to fit in with the rest of the players on the team. Similarly, Kazuma Suzuki stopped playing because of the demands for uniformity and the criticism that would be heaped upon any member of the team who showed the slightest hint of individuality. Once virtually the only sport accessible to most Japanese, baseball is now in a gradual but seemingly inexorable decline, with the Japan...

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to be greeted like ‘old friend’ in Beijing despite suspension of major projects

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:16
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will be welcomed as an “old friend” of China when he visits President Xi Jinping next month, according to Daim Zainuddin, the 93-year-old leader’s special envoy to Beijing. The two governments have accelerated preparatory work for the highly anticipated meeting. Guo Yezhou, a senior official of the Chinese Communist Party, met Mahathir on Sunday, ahead of a scheduled visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday. Mahathir...

Philippine Muslim rebels hope new law makes their ‘dream of peace’ a reality

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 11:00
Members or supporters of the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group gathered in their tens of thousands on Sunday to discuss a landmark law granting them autonomy, with one expressing hope it would make their “dream of peace” a reality. President Rodrigo Duterte last week signed the law, a key step to ending a Muslim rebellion in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines that had claimed about 150,000 lives since the 1970s. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members,...

Hong Kong handover took almost 20 years. Brexit’s taking two. A UK self-esteem issue?

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 10:00
For anyone joining the British Foreign Office in 1998, as I did, and having an interest in China as part of their life before they became a diplomat, working alongside veterans of the almost two decade negotiations over the handover of Hong Kong, which had happened the previous year, in 1997, was hard to avoid. The main sections dealing with China in London, the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, and most of the posts in the People’s Republic itself, right up to the most senior level...

North Korea enjoying tourism boom after summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 09:47
The number of foreign visitors to Pyongyang has been drastically increasing since the historic inter-Korean summit in April, with the image of North Korea becoming a peaceful and safe country, locals say. In particular, Okryu-gwan – which offered Pyongyang’s traditional delicacy of cold noodles to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their summit dinner – has had a long queue everyday due to attracting a lot of foreigners. With more foreign...

Bank of Japan, caught between Trump and a hard place, must also confront ghosts of its past

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 05:30
The Bank of Japan won’t shock global markets this week, no matter what rabid speculation you read in the financial pages. To understand why, let’s play a game of back to the future. Our first stop is 1994, when Yasuo Matsushita became the 27th BOJ governor. Matsushita, who died July 20 at 92, was at ground zero of the same “deflationary mindset” that the incumbent governor Haruhiko Kuroda is still struggling to defeat. Matsushita arrived four years after the 1980s...

Can Vietnam take Singapore’s stock market crown?

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 04:46
Just three years ago, Vietnam was still a cipher in the global financial system. The Southeast Asian nation had only ten US$1 billion listed companies, while daily trading volume on the stock market came in at around US$100 million. That picture, however, is vastly different today. It is not quite Wall Street, but the country’s financial centre, Ho Chi Minh, is fast heating up. Last year, the country’s benchmark Vietnam Index soared to a 10-year high with a 47 per cent gain –...

Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull dealt blow as opposition sweeps ‘Super Saturday’ elections

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 04:41
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was dealt a blow by Australian voters in by-elections that boosted the main opposition Labor Party. Labor was returned in four of the five electorates up for grabs Saturday even after polls showed that Turnbull’s Liberal-National coalition had a chance to win two. A minor party retained the one seat it already held. The bulk of the by-elections were triggered because incumbent Labor candidates were deemed ineligible due to holding citizenship of other...

Deaths reported after magnitude 6.4 earthquake strikes Indonesian resort island of Lombok near Bali

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 03:47
At least three people died after a powerful 6.4 magnitude quake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, said the country’s disaster mitigation agency. The three victims are from the northern and eastern side of the island which is popular with foreign tourists. The quake hit early in the morning when many people were still sleeping. Many houses were damaged in the quake. It struck 50km (30 miles) northeast of the island’s main city Mataram, the United States Geological Survey...

‘Islamic extremists persecuted us, now we’re trapped in Hong Kong’

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 03:31
Their faith put them behind bars and in a mental hospital. They endured torture and threats from Muslim radical groups – including Islamic State – for being Coptic Christians. But their love pulled them together in a journey from Egypt to Hong Kong, where they thought they would find safety – but instead found themselves thrown in detention. Hani Shalaby, a high-profile Coptic Christian, and Sawsan Elshafey, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, carry the weight of belonging...

Voting underway in Cambodia’s election, with strongman Hun Sen set to extend his 33-year rule

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 02:48
Cambodian voters are heading to the polls Sunday in a general election in which no viable opposition party is taking part, virtually guaranteeing victory by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Voting ends at 3pm and preliminary results are expected on Sunday night. Some 8.3 million people have registered to vote in the election. Besides the CPP, 19 small, mostly newly formed parties are also contesting, none of which won a seat in the last election in 2013. The main opposition Cambodia...

Hun Sen’s Cambodia election: like a World Cup, with just one team

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 02:30
As voters trudge to Cambodia’s polling stations, with the threat of public services being withheld if they don’t tick the ruling party’s box, they’d be forgiven for thinking “what’s the point of all this?” Prime Minister Hun Sen authorised up to 50,000 election observers, but there’s nothing to see other than a political farce. Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) have been ruling with an iron fist for 33 years, ever since the...

Are e-sports sports? Overwatch players sure act the part

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 23:42
Seung-Tae Choi does not look the part of a traditional athlete, not with his shaggy hair, smallish build and an expression that says ready to nap rather than game on. During all the hours he spends playing video games, though, the 21-year-old from South Korea certainly acts it. “We’re not here to have fun,” he said through a translator. Choi – better known to his fans as Bdosin – and his teammates with the London Spitfire like to think they are making a statement...

Typhoon slams into Japan: ‘We are seriously worried’

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 20:45
A powerful typhoon slammed into central Japan early on Sunday, prompting local authorities to issue evacuation orders, with western areas recently devastated by floods and landslides in the storm’s crosshairs. Typhoon Jongdari, packing winds of up to 110 miles an hour (180 kilometres), made landfall in Ise in Mie prefecture. The storm, which had already dumped torrential rain over eastern Japan, was moving west maintaining its strength, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. TV...

At least 33 dead after bus in India plunges off mountain road

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 16:52
A bus carrying university workers plunged off a mountain road into a valley in western India on Saturday killing at least 33 people, police said. Only one passenger is believed to have survived the accident in Raigad district of Maharashtra state. The bus was taking staff at Dapoli Agriculture University to the popular hill station of Mahabaleshwar for a picnic, said a senior Raigad district administrator, Vijay Suryawanshi. “We have confirmed 33 deaths and only one person managed to...

Foreign populist parties observe controversial Cambodia poll

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 15:00
A mishmash of populist and far-right party members from Europe and Asia are serving as election observers in Cambodia’s vote on Sunday while many western governments are keeping their distance. With mainly obscure groups on the ballot, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party is all but assured of victory, extending prime minister Hun Sen’s 33 years in power and solidifying the drift towards a virtual one-party state. Hun Sen backed a crackdown on the his political opponents last...

Hong Kong and Islamabad considering chartered flights to deport Pakistani asylum seekers, top envoy says

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 14:30
Hong Kong and Islamabad are considering deploying chartered flights to send back hundreds of Pakistani asylum seekers, the country’s top envoy in the city has revealed. In a sign that it could become the norm for others, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong government also said authorities were discussing strategies with other countries to quickly remove those who had their claims rejected. As of June, there are 2,997 claimants waiting to have their cases screened, with 655 of them from...

Flights cancelled as disaster-battered Japan braces for powerful typhoon

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:17
A powerful typhoon hurtled towards Japan on Saturday, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders, with western areas recently devastated by floods and landslides in the storm’s crosshairs. Typhoon Jongdari, packing winds of up to 180km/h (110mph), is forecast to make landfall on the country’s main island on Saturday night or early Sunday, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency. Many flights were delayed or cancelled at Narita and Haneda, the two main airports serving...

Australia hosts one of Asia-Pacific’s largest air force exercises

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 11:10
The skies over Australia’s northern coastline were filled with air force pilot top guns from 16 nations on Saturday in one of Asia-Pacific’s largest air force training exercises. The tropical northern city of Darwin is hosting 4,000 personnel and 140 aircraft over the next three weeks as air forces from around the world take part in Exercise Pitch Black. The training includes night flying and aerial refuelling and is said to give different nations a chance to learn from each other...

Turkish teacher kidnapped in Mongolia freed after authorities ground flight

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 10:53
A Turkish teacher, who was allegedly kidnapped in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator and taken to the city’s airport, has been released after authorities temporarily grounded an aeroplane, according to local media and a social media post by the man. Veysel Akcay, who thanked Mongolians for their support on Saturday, was abducted in front of his flat on Friday morning according to friends and family, who circulated details of the abduction on the internet. Akcay, who has lived in Mongolia...

Hundreds missing after dam collapses in Laos as thick mud hinders rescue operations

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 10:44
Rescuers battled thick mud and floodwaters across a swathe of remote southern Laos to find survivors of a dam burst that submerged entire villages, as an official suggested more than 1,100 people may still be unaccounted for. The exact number of dead and missing from Monday’s dam collapse remains a mystery because of the complexity of the rescue operation in an inaccessible area and the secretive reflexes of Laos’s Communist authorities in the face of an unprecedented crisis....

X-ray to DNA: US military has a variety of tools to verify remains

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 10:18
The US military remains released by North Korea on Friday will be sent to a military lab in Hawaii, where they’ll enter a system that routinely identifies service members from decades-old conflicts. Identifications depend on combining multiple lines of evidence, and they can take time: Some cases are not resolved for decades. Dog tags found with the remains can help, and even scraps of clothing can be traced to the material used in uniforms. Teeth can be matched with dental records and...

Cambodian election: what chance does the opposition have?

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 10:01
“It will be difficult to win this month,” lamented Sarath, a member of the Grassroots Democratic Party, one of Cambodia’s 19 minor political parties that will compete in a general election on Sunday against Hun Sen’s long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party. “But, maybe in 2023, we have a chance,” he added, walking by a motorcade during a party rally in Phnom Penh this month. His scepticism is well justified. The CPP, which has been in power since 1979...

Cambodia’s election: against Hun Sen, only way to win is to not vote

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 07:15
With his own son leading an “election monitoring group” that is strong-arming villagers to vote for him, it’s clear Prime Minister Hun Sen now owns a rigged election – a pyrrhic victory in the making – unless he can somehow claim legitimacy through a healthy-looking turnout at the polls. Radio Free Asia has reported that members of the Union of Youth Federation of Cambodia (UYFC), chaired by Hun Sen’s son Hun Many, threatened villagers in the rural Mondulkiri...

Pakistani parties reject election results and demand new vote after Imran Khan prevails

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 07:12
Pakistan’s main parties rejected the outcome of elections won by cricket star Imran Khan and announced protests demanding new polls on Friday, after the pivotal vote was criticised by foreign observers over allegations of rigging. The announcement by the All Parties Conference (APC), including the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is a fresh obstacle to power for Khan on a day when delayed results finally showed he had won an emphatic victory – though he will need to...

China: the real reason Australia’s pumping cash into the Pacific?

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 06:16
When the leaders of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands this month signed off on a deal to link the three countries via an undersea internet cable, Canberra positioned itself as a thoughtful neighbour, eager to help developing nations in its own backyard. “We spend billions of dollars a year on foreign aid and this is a very practical way of investing in the future economic growth of our neighbours in the Pacific,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,...

Will Duterte’s sharia gift bring lasting peace to southern Philippines?

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 04:18
At long last, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law new autonomous powers for his country’s restive and poverty stricken Muslim-majority south, which observers hope will defuse one of Asia’s long-running conflicts, stem extremism and kick-start a vital economic revival. Thursday’s signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law is the culmination of a drawn-out process that had appeared on the verge of collapse on multiple occasions, including in the immediate...

What will Pakistan’s new leader Imran Khan deliver for China?

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 02:33
The umpire was on his side and the field had been set in his favour – there was little that stood between Imran Khan and power. And China took no chances. Even as Khan was taking his run-up to this week’s much discredited election, Beijing took its guard, preparing against any nasty inswingers the former pace bowler might spring on Pakistan’s staunchest ally. The prospects for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship of President Xi Jinping’s B elt and...

500 Macau canidrome dogs to live in lap of canine luxury courtesy of unlikely partnership

Sat, 07/28/2018 - 01:02
The meteoric rise of Macau to the top of world gaming – in a fraction of the time it took Las Vegas to pull off the same trick – indicates it is a city where pretty much anything is possible. But the former Portuguese enclave, which has seen its fair share of risky relationships and unlikely partnerships, on Friday witnessed the coming together of two public figures which only weeks ago no sane bookmaker would have offered you odds on. At a well-heeled press conference in a five-...

65 years after the armistice, veterans see vital role for China in ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 15:00
The battle wounds on South Korean veteran Park Myung-ho’s body give away his close encounters with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army during the Korean war nearly 70 years ago. The war was paused when an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, but the real peace that Park and his comrades-in-arms have desired for decades is still far away today, with the two Koreas split and a long-standing nuclear threat from the North. In a Korean war veteran association office in Seoul, Park...

Asia in 3 minutes: no appetite for Ninjas in Japan, but for tasty looking dogs in Korea …

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 14:47
Put away the sword and throwing stars, Iga doesn’t need Ninjas after all A major misunderstanding has led aspiring ninjas from around the world to inundate the city of Iga with inquiries about work opportunities after an interview with a local official was lost in translation. Famous for being the home of the feudal mercenary group, the city in western Japan was forced to issue a statement in English, Japanese and three other languages on Tuesday saying it was not recruiting ninja...

Why is Modi’s ‘clean energy’ India bankrolling dirty coal?

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 13:31
Two days before President Donald Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned him that “playing with the well-being of future generations would be an immoral and criminal act”. But as much as India has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and move towards renewable energy sources, Modi’s government hasn’t put its money where its mouth is. The Delhi-based non-profit Centre...

Is age-fuelled road rage responsible for increase in fatal car crashes in Japan?

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 10:37
A study by scientists at Nagoya University has found that elderly drivers are significantly more likely to express anger and aggression when they have to stop at a red traffic light, a discovery that may go some way towards explaining the soaring number of crashes caused by older drivers in Japan. A team led by Nobuyuki Kawai, an associate professor of cognitive science, used a driving simulator to monitor levels of anger and annoyance among two groups of people when they had to stop at four...

New research documents hundreds of massacres of Australian Aboriginals

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 09:15
An online map which has so far documented 250 massacres of indigenous peoples after Australia was colonised by the British is set to be expanded, researchers said on Friday, as they seek to uncover the country’s dark past. The native Aboriginal population, who have occupied Australia for 50,000 years, were dispossessed of their lands by the arrival of settlers two centuries ago. As the colonisers pushed into the vast interior of the island continent, historians said they were resisted by...

Newly released memo sheds light on Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s support for attack on Pearl Harbour, which drew US into second world war

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 07:53
A newly released memo by a wartime Japanese official provides what a historian says is the first look at the thinking of Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Hideki Tojo on the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour that thrust the US into second world war. While far from conclusive, the five-page document lends credence to the view that Hirohito bears at least some responsibility for starting the war. At 8.30pm in Tokyo, just hours before the attack, Tojo summoned two top aides for a...

Decades after sarin gas attack, the appeal of Japanese cults persists

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 07:12
Japan’s execution of a doomsday cult leader and his disciples over a 1995 sarin gas attack may draw a line under the horrific saga, but hundreds of people are still signing up to Aum Shinrikyo’s successor groups each year, authorities say. The last six members of the cult on death row were hanged on Thursday for crimes including the Tokyo subway attack that killed 13, just weeks after the group’s near-blind “guru” Shoko Asahara was executed along with six other...

North Koreans frustrated about delay to end-of-war declaration, says son of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 05:01
North Korean officials are frustrated about the delay of an official declaration ending the Korean war, and China will need to join peace talks to stabilise the denuclearisation process, according to a son of a former South Korean president. Kim Hong-gul, chairman of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation and son of the late Kim Dae-jung – who introduced South Korea’s “Sunshine Policy”, designed to soften Pyongyang’s attitude towards Seoul –...

US plane leaves for North Korea to pick up war remains, fulfilling deal struck by Trump and Kim: report

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 03:39
A US military plane left from Osan Air Base for North Korea on Friday to pick up the remains of what are believed to be US servicemen killed during the Korean war, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. The US military and South Korean government couldn’t immediately confirm the report, which was based on an unnamed South Korean government source. But there were signs Friday morning of preparations to receive the remains at the base south of Seoul. If a transfer takes place,...

Five dead, 40 hurt as blaze erupts at construction site in Tokyo and choking black smoke engulfs workers

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 01:35
Five people died and around 40 were injured after a fire broke out at a construction site in suburban Tokyo and smoke engulfed workers. One of the five died after failing to escape from the basement of the building that was under construction in the city of Tama. Of the injured, about 30 were in a serious condition, according to the Tokyo Fire Department. About 320 workers were at the construction site of the seven-story structure, with three stories above ground and four underground....

Inside the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, where North Korea trains its next generation of leaders

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 15:21
Not many schools have classrooms equipped with tanks, jet fighter simulators, and grenade launchers. But North Korea’s Mangyongdae Revolutionary School for boys is no ordinary establishment. Originally set up by the North’s founder Kim Il-sung to educate the orphans of those killed in the fight against Japanese colonial rule, it has evolved to become the country’s top school, and one of the institutions that knits the ruling elite together. A bronze statue of Kim and his son...

Cambodian activist who investigated genocide and Indian doctor who rescued homeless recognised with ‘Asia’s Nobel Prize’

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 13:51
A Cambodian genocide survivor who helped document the Khmer Rouge atrocities and an Indian psychiatrist who led the rescue of thousands of mentally ill street paupers to treat and reunite them with their families are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize. The other recipients named Thursday are a Filipino who led peace talks with communist insurgents, a polio-stricken Vietnamese who fought discrimination against...

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to meet Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 10:02
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday, government sources have said, adding to a recent diplomatic flurry between the two sides after the suspension of several Beijing-backed projects in the Southeast Asian country. Wang’s meeting with Mahathir will be the first by a top Chinese leader since the 93-year-old returned to power for a second time after his shock defeat of his ex-protégé Najib Razak in the May 9...

Palau asks US and Japan for help after China imposes ‘tourist ban’ over tiny island’s ties with Taiwan

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 09:35
Palau’s president has asked the US and Japan to help its tourism industry after Beijing reportedly barred Chinese citizens from visiting the tiny Pacific island due to its diplomatic links with Taiwan. President Tommy Remengesau said Palau had not received official confirmation of a ban but there had been a fall in visitors from China, one of his country’s largest tourism markets, with one airline forced to suspend operations due to the plunge in demand. China sees Taiwan as part of...

South Korean firm backflips on buried treasure ‘worth US$133 billion’ after discovering Russian warship that was scuttled in 1905

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 09:10
A South Korean company on Thursday backed off its claim to have found a sunken Russian warship with an enormous cargo of gold as financial regulators began investigating whether the outlandish treasure tale involved stock market fraud. The Seoul-based Shinil Group said it did not know if any gold coins and bars would be found inside the sunken ship it identified as the Dmitrii Donskoi, which sank 113 years ago. Company officials previously claimed 200 tons of gold worth 150 trillion won (US$133...

Fearless corruption-busting grandmother who clashed with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte retires

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 07:47
The Philippines’ top anti-corruption prosecutor, a fearless grandmother who was one of the few remaining critics of President Rodrigo Duterte in government, retired on Thursday, appealing for “strong institutions” over strong leaders. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, 77, finishes her seven-year term during which she earned Duterte’s ire for criticising his brutal drug war and for her office’s investigation into his alleged secret bank accounts. Duterte, who...

Germany jails man who helped Vietnam kidnap oil executive from Berlin park, in cold-war-style plot

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 06:49
A German court on Wednesday sentenced a Vietnamese man to nearly four years in jail for taking part in a brazen cold-war-style kidnapping of an oil executive from a Berlin park, on the orders of Hanoi. Judges at the Berlin court said the 47-year-old Czech-Vietnamese national, identified as Long NH, was guilty of aiding an abduction and working for a foreign intelligence service. But they handed him a relatively mild sentence of three years and 10 months after he confessed to his involvement....

Australian media giants Fairfax and Nine to merge

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 06:33
Publisher Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment announced plans to merge Thursday, creating an integrated Australian media giant across television, online video streaming, print, and digital. Under the deal, Nine will effectively be the dominant partner, with its shareholders owning 51.1 per cent of the combined entity and Fairfax shareholders owning the rest. The new company will include Nine’s free-to-air television network, Fairfax’s radio interests and mastheads – including...

China deploys People’s Liberation Army team to assist with relief efforts after Laos dam collapse

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 06:04
Rescuers battled fresh rains Thursday to reach scores of people still missing after a dam collapse in southern Laos that unleashed a torrent of water, washing away whole villages and killing at least 26 people. The search for survivors has been hampered by monsoon weather in the remote southern corner of Laos where the Xe-Namnoy dam collapsed on Monday. Panicked residents took flight, taking refuge on rooftops or making their way to evacuation centres where some said they were given just a few...

Korean war: 65 years after the armistice, veterans recall the horrors

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 04:30
Bombs so powerful they lit up the night sky. Countless bodies strewn on the battlefields. They are memories from more than six decades ago that are still crystal clear in the minds of the men and women who served in the Korean war. An estimated 2.8 million people were killed during the three years of fighting. Sixty-five years after the signing of the armistice that ended hostilities, we speak to South Korean and Chinese veterans about their memories of the war, what they think about...

Japan executes 6 more cult members of deadly sarin attack

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 03:33
Japan executed six more members of the doomsday cult group Aum Shinrikyo on Thursday that perpetrated the deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, public broadcaster NHK said. All 13 members of the cult that were on death row have now been executed, after Chizuo Matsumoto, the cult’s former leader who went by the name Shoko Asahara, and six other members of the group were hanged on July 6. The attack killed 13 people and injured at least 5,800 people, shattering the nation...

Cricket star Imran Khan leads Pakistan election, but results are delayed and opponents cry foul

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 02:49
Pakistani authorities said on Thursday that full results of a general election would be delayed as cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan led in a partial count that opponents said was rigged. The party of Khan’s jailed chief rival, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called the count an assault on democracy in the nuclear-armed, Muslim country which has a history of military rule. Any potential delays in forming a government would be worrisome, as Pakistan faces a mounting economic...

Head of Pakistan’s former ruling party dismisses ‘tampered with’ results before they’ve even been announced

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 22:34
The head of Pakistan’s former ruling party has rejected the results of the country’s parliamentary elections before the results are announced, claiming that the vote was rigged. Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League party, said the results of Wednesday’s vote were being tampered with. He didn’t provide any evidence or elaborate. Pakistan election: here are the five biggest challenges for the winner His allegation came hours after the closing of polls on...

North Korean denuclearisation ‘will not drag out’, vows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 21:43
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs to fall through his denuclearisation commitments made during the US-North Korea summit in Singapore last month. Pompeo vowed that the US will not let the current slow pace of Pyongyang’s progress towards denuclearisation “drag out for no end”. The US state secretary urged “every single nation” to remain on the maximum pressure campaign through the United Nations’...

China ‘can count on Pakistan’ for key infrastructure project whoever wins election

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 15:02
Whatever the election outcome, Pakistan’s next government will remain committed to the country’s ongoing infrastructure projects with China despite concerns over rising debt levels, Pakistan’s consulate general in Hong Kong said on Wednesday. “The new government, when they will start deliberations with mainland China, are going to receive assurances about the continuity of the policies on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will be given – I have no...

Philippines has become Asia’s deadliest country for land rights activists, according to watchdog

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 13:58
Murders of land and environmental activists are surging in the Philippines, making it the deadliest country in Asia, according to campaigners who said the government has failed to provide protection. The Philippines-based rights group Karapatan recorded at least 63 killings of land and environmental activists last year, more than double the previous year. “There is a climate of impunity and a total lack of access to justice for victims,” said the group’s secretary general,...

Narendra Modi reiterates India’s commitment to Africa while in Uganda, promising to open 18 embassies

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 13:23
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Wednesday to “intensify and deepen” the Asian country’s engagement with Africa, saying his government will do more to support African governments. In remarks to Uganda’s legislature, Modi said that “Africa will be at the top of our priorities,” and that India intends to open 18 embassies in Africa. “India is proud to be Africa’s partner,” he said. “Our development partnership will be...

Why Singapore won’t be repeating Malaysia’s political dramas any time soon

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 12:21
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is Asia’s most quotable leader. In May, soon after the surprise victory of his Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance in elections, he quipped that Singaporeans “must be tired of having the same government, the same party since independence”, a clear reference to the republic’s ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) almost six-decade monopoly on power. Mahathir, as history will tell us, is no fan of Singapore. Understandably,...

In North Korea, consumption of dog meat soars during hottest months

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 12:15
In North Korea, summer is not a good time to be a dog. With the sizzling heat upon the country, North Korea’s biggest brewery is pumping out twice as much beer as usual, Pyongyang residents are queuing up to get their bingsu – a syrupy treat made with shaved ice – and restaurants are serving up bowl after bowl of the season’s biggest culinary attraction: spicy dog meat soup. Euphemistically known as dangogi, or sweet meat, dog has long been believed to be a stamina food...

‘Shoplifters’ director Hirokazu Kore-eda won top prize at Cannes, then faced fury for shaming Japan

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 11:22
The Japanese director who won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes international film festival in May is fighting off criticism that his film Shoplifters portrays Japan in a humiliating light and encourages people to commit petty crimes. Hirokazu Kore-eda was feted when he became the first Japanese director to lift the award in 21 years, with an editorial in the Sankei newspaper declaring:“The film impressed the rest of the world with the power and depth of Japanese cinema, not only evoking...

Suicide bomber kills at least 18 on Pakistan election day

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:36
A blast killed at least 18 people in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta on Wednesday in an attack targeting a police van, media said, as the South Asian nation holds general elections. Geo TV put the death toll at 18, while rival Samaa TV put it at 20, adding a “suicide attacker” was responsible. More to follow

At least 27 feared dead in landslide at Myanmar jade mine

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:24
At least 27 people are feared dead following a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar, police said Wednesday, as heavy rains hampered the search for survivors. The poorly-regulated and notoriously corrupt multibillion-dollar industry in remote Kachin state is frequently hit by fatal disasters, and the victims often come from poor ethnic communities. The latest disaster hit remote Set Mu sub-township early Tuesday following heavy rains in the area, burying at least 27 people, mostly from...

Malaysia to be ‘firm’ in South China Sea row after PM Mahathir Mohamad said warships create tension

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:02
Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Wednesday that Malaysia’s new government will adopt a firmer stand in tackling a decades-old territorial row in the South China Sea amid China’s aggressive expansion in the disputed area. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who won a stunning electoral victory in May, has said warships should be removed from the South China Sea. “I think there should not be too many warships. Warships create tension,” the 93-year-old leader told the...

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un wants his troops to have tasty and nutritious food

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 07:13
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country should feed its soldiers better, according to state media KCNA on Wednesday, after a defected North Korean soldier’s health last year highlighted nutrition problems in the isolated state. On a visit to a military rations factory, Kim said it should produce tasty and nutritious food to “substantially contribute to improving the diet of the servicepersons”, according to KCNA. Kim said “officials and employees of the factory...

Cambodia forces in show of power ahead of Sunday’s election

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 06:38
Cambodia’s armed forces put on a show of power on Wednesday, displaying anti-riot gear and assault rifles at a sports stadium in the capital Phnom Penh ahead of a general election this weekend which some have criticised as a sham. Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the Southeast Asian nation for more than 30 years, is expected to win easily on Sunday after the main opposition party was dissolved last year and following a crackdown on dissent, including civil society and independent...

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