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SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

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For all the latest news, features, photographs and videos from Asia
Updated: 3 min 5 sec ago

US bans travel to North Korea by all Americans after case of student jailed and who later dies

3 hours 46 min ago
The US government will ban Americans from travelling to North Korea due to “the serious risk of arrest” after a US student was jailed while on a tour and later died, the State Department said on Friday. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson authorized a “Geographical Travel Restriction” on all Americans’ use of a passport to the country, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “Once in effect, US passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and...

Asia in 3 minutes: ‘Despacito’ loses to prudes in Malaysia, ‘Lipstick Under My Burka’ wins in India

7 hours 41 min ago
Malaysia bans world’s most popular song as it’s ‘not suitable’ for Islam Malaysia has stopped playing the sexually charged song Despacito on public radio, a senior minister said after critics labelled it un-Islamic. Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said his ministry received numerous complaints about the steamy lyrics of the song that has won international popularity. Ruling party official Atriza Umar told The Star newspaper: “I regret that...

Philippines’ Duterte says will never visit ‘lousy’ United States despite Trump invite

8 hours 48 min ago
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back on Friday at US lawmakers opposed to the prospect of his visiting the White House, saying he would never go to the United States, which he called a “lousy” country. Duterte was responding to remarks by Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern, who told a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that he would protest against such a visit if US President Donald Trump followed through on an invitation to the firebrand Philippine...

Is China turning up heat on India through Pakistan flank amid Doklam standoff?

9 hours 41 min ago
While Chinese and Indian troops face off near Bhutan, skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani forces along the disputed border in Kashmir have spiralled dangerously since May, threatening India with hostilities on two flanks. But even though the Pakistani army would like to leverage the Doklam standoff to settle its old scores with India, China has so far been reluctant to pile pressure on the Kashmir front through Pakistan. Despite the Chinese state media’s calls for the government to...

Food shortage fears as North Korea endures worst drought in 15 years: UN

11 hours 10 min ago
North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought in more than 15 years, the UN said, calling for urgent food imports to stop children going hungry. A severe lack of rainfall over the first half of this year has badly damaged vital harvests in a country where malnutrition is already widespread, a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said. Seasonal rainfall has dropped below 2001 levels and could cause “a sharp deterioration in...

Tour operators say US plans to ban citizens from travelling to North Korea

12 hours 6 min ago
Two tourist agencies that operate tours to North Korea said on Friday that the US government would soon ban its citizens from travelling to the country. Koryo Tours said the ban would be announced on July 27 and would go into effect 30 days later. It did not say how long the ban would last. North Korea denies torturing Otto Warmbier and accuses US of ‘smear campaign’ Another tour operator, Young Pioneer Tours, said in a Twitter message that it had also been informed of the ban,...

Female councillors demand Miyagi governor scrap ‘suggestive’ tourism video

12 hours 36 min ago
Seven female members of the Miyagi prefectural assembly on Friday asked the governor of the northeastern Japan prefecture to remove a tourism promotion video it is using on the internet, claiming it portrays women as sex objects. The video, featuring a well-known model and actress in a kimono, showcases attractions and tourist spots in the prefecture but also contains some sexually suggestive scenes, including one in which the camera zooms in on her parting lips. The video uploaded on YouTube...

Underwater robot probe continues inside Fukushima plant's reactor

12 hours 43 min ago
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Friday conducted its second probe in the space of a week on one of three damaged reactors using an underwater robot. The probe to examine the condition of melted fuel inside unit three follows the first on Wednesday inside the reactor’s containment vessel, which houses a damaged pressure vessel and partially filled with contaminated water. The condition of fuel debris inside the damaged reactors remains unknown, even...

British foreign secretary supports Japan efforts to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

14 hours 11 min ago
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday his country stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Japan in efforts to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests. “We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions, and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table,” he said after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida. Johnson called North Korea’s recent...

Supporters turn out for former Thai PM Yingluck as her trial nears end

14 hours 27 min ago
Hundreds of supporters cheered as Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday arrived for the final hearing in her trial on charges she was negligent in overseeing a rice subsidy scheme which wasted billions of dollars. Yingluck, overthrown in a 2014 military coup, faces up to 10 years jail if found guilty. The hearing in the Supreme Court in Bangkok is expected to set a date for a verdict. Yingluck and her Phue Thai Party say the trial is politically motivated and...

Tokyo planners unfazed by quake threat to Olympics 2020

14 hours 35 min ago
For modern Olympic host cities, the twin threats of terrorism and financial ruin constantly loom. But spare a thought for Tokyo 2020 organisers, who face the added risk of a devastating earthquake or tsunami. Japan is already stepping up efforts to reassure top athletes and hundreds of thousands of visitors when they flock to Tokyo for the Games, which begin on July 24, 2020, that safety will be paramount. Tokyo and its surrounding areas sit precariously at the junction of shifting tectonic...

Islamic State galvanised in Asia by Philippine city siege, report claims

15 hours 3 min ago
The attack by Islamic State-linked militants on a Philippine city has galvanised its Southeast Asian supporters and spells trouble for the region, a top terrorism researcher said on Friday as the occupation of Marawi nears two months despite a sustained military offensive. In a new report, Sidney Jones, an expert on militant networks in Southeast Asia at the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said there now may be a higher risk of attacks in other Philippine cities and...

Australian woman shot by junior cop ‘didn't have to die’: Minneapolis police chief

15 hours 12 min ago
The Minneapolis police chief said on Thursday the fatal shooting of an unarmed Australian woman by a junior police officer violated department training and procedures, and that the victim “didn’t have to die.” The death of Justine Damond, 40, from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen fired through an open window of a police patrol car, has outraged her relatives and the public in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it “shocking” and...

Tokyo Olympic stadium builder committed suicide because he was overworked, says family

17 hours 30 sec ago
The family of a builder who worked at the main Tokyo Olympic stadium has asked labour authorities to recognise his death in spring as job-related, claiming he killed himself because of overwork. The 23-year-old Tokyo building firm employee died because of his heavy workload, which exceeded 200 extra hours per month, the family’s lawyer told a press conference on Thursday. Tokyo selects new design for Olympic stadium after cost row Tokyo is rushing to build the stadium before the 2020...

Criminal’s online market network targeted by US after founder dies in Thai jail cell

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 21:05
The US government sued to seize luxury cars, international real estate and bitcoins owned by the alleged mastermind of AlphaBay, the biggest criminal marketplace on the dark web, just days after he reportedly hanged himself in his jail cell in Thailand. AlphaBay was allegedly created in 2014 by Alexandre Cazes, a 26-year-old Canadian living in the Southeast Asian country. It had 200,000 users and 40,000 sellers with about 369,000 listings for drugs, guns, fake IDs, malware and other illegal...

Leadership of Islamic State-linked fighters in Marawi remains largely intact: Duterte

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 19:31
The Philippine president said the leadership of Islamic State-linked militants who have laid siege to a southern city remains largely intact despite nearly two months of military action and has funded diversionary attacks on other cities in the region. President Rodrigo Duterte said in a letter to Congress that even though troops had regained control of much of Marawi city and killed hundreds of militants, “the rebellion persists and a lot more remains to be done to completely quell the...

North Korea hit by worst drought in 16 years, threatening food supplies in the country

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:51
North Korea is facing severe food shortages due to the worst drought since 2001 with food imports needed to ensure children and the elderly do not go hungry, the United Nations’ food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said rainfall in key producing areas fell well below the long-term average between April and June and badly affected staple crops including rice, maize, potatoes and soybean. This disrupted planting activities damaged the 2017 main season...

Border standoff with India be damned, Chinese love for Dangal just keeps growing

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17
The Doklam standoff between Chinese and Indian troops may have begun to permeate the country’s social media, where anti-India sentiment is rising steadily, but none of that hatred seems to have touched Dangal. The Bollywood movie, a true story of a wrestler’s quest to train his daughters as world-class fighters, continues to be wildly popular in China despite the end of its theatre run in early July. Viewers can still watch it on iQiyi, China’s Netflix, and numerous other...

Vietnam is in, France is so not, as 200 million Chinese tourists prepare to hit the road by 2020

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:03
Chinese tourists are expected to make 200 million outbound trips in 2020, a 48 per cent increase from last year’s 135 million, led by Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Japan as the most-visited destinations, according to a Thursday report by CLSA. Vietnam is poised to become more popular than its former colonial master France, after a series of terror attacks last year in Europe deterred Chinese travellers. The cosmetics, gaming, luxury and online sectors are likely to be the biggest...

UN report proclaims ‘scales have tipped’ in battle against Aids with one million deaths in 2016

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:06
Aids claimed one million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of the deadly epidemic, a UN report released Thursday said, proclaiming “the scales have tipped”. Not only are new HIV infections and deaths declining, but more people than ever are on life-saving treatment, according to data published ahead of an Aids science conference opening in Paris on Sunday. “In 2016, 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people living with HIV had access to treatment,...

October leave date in sight for refugees at PNG detention centre despite shaky Australia-US resettlement deal

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 09:54
Hundreds of refugees being held at a remote Papua New Guinea detention camp will be moved by October despite uncertainty over a resettlement deal with the United States, Australia’s immigration minister said on Thursday. Asylum seekers who try to enter Australia by boat are sent to camps on Nauru and on PNG’s Manus Island. Those found to be refugees are barred from resettling in Australia, and are instead relocated to third countries or resettled elsewhere in PNG. But the sudden...

Dylan Voller’s abuse in an Australian juvenile detention facility shocked the world – now he wants a career in politics

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 09:45
Dylan Voller, the former juvenile detainee at the centre of the Northern Territory youth justice crisis, intends to stand for election to the Alice Springs town council. Voller said he wanted to use his experiences to provide a voice for young people in the central desert town, and although he didn’t have any specific policies, he would consult community members and would advocate on youth justice. “I’ve got a pretty good insight into that sort of stuff so I want to be able to...

Despacito is the most-played track in the world – but Malaysians won’t be singing along

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 09:12
Malaysia has banned Despacito on state radio and television, though it might be hard to slow the song’s record-breaking popularity. The ban applies only to government-run radio and TV outlets, not to private stations or YouTube or the music streaming services fuelling the song’s success. Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak said late on Wednesday the song was reviewed and banned because of a public complaint that the lyrics are obscene. He urged private radio stations to...

Outback axes suggest humans reached Australia 18,000 years earlier than thought

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:48
Axeheads and grinding stones from a cave in Australia’s far north suggest humans arrived on the continent about 65,000 years ago, or 18,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to research published on Thursday. A technique called luminescence dating was used to date the ancient tools which were found in a rock shelter at the bottom of a cliff, on the edge of a sandy savannah plain some 300km east of Darwin. The discovery of a new minimum age for the arrival of humans in...

42 Chinese arrested over casino kidnappings in Philippines

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:37
Forty-four Chinese and Malaysian suspects have been detained in the Philippines over the kidnapping and beating of a Singaporean woman abducted at a Manila casino, the authorities said on Thursday. Police found the victim Wu Yan, 48, at a Manila flat on Tuesday, a day after her abduction by two Malaysian members of the gang, Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said in a statement. “[She] was held, deprived of her right to liberty and was beaten and threatened by her kidnappers who...

Thai court prepares to charge disgraced former Buddhist monk with raping underage girl

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:12
A Thai court was scheduled on Thursday to charge a disgraced ex-monk with raping an underage girl, fraud and money laundering after he was extradited from the US. Thailand is an overwhelmingly Buddhist country with around 300,000 men in orange robes, but the clergy are beset by high-profile scandals. Wiraphon Sukphon, 37, was arrested on arrival at Bangkok’s main airport late on Wednesday from the US where he established an unofficial Buddhist teaching centre after fleeing Thailand in...

Thai general sentenced to 27 years in prison in human-trafficking case exposed by SCMP

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:07
A Thai army general was one of dozens of people convicted in a major human-trafficking trial that included 103 defendants accused of involvement in a modern-day slavery trade. Lieutenant General Manus Kongpan was convicted of several offences on Wednesday involving trafficking and taking bribes in the case involving migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison. He had held a position with responsibility for keeping out and expelling migrants who entered Thailand...

Disgraced monk arrives in Bangkok to face charges

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 06:30
By Teddy Fredrickson Disgraced former monk Nen Kham arrived in Bangkok from the United States on Wednesday night with a team of prosecutors and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials. Wirapol Sukphol, 38, formerly Nen Kham, was escorted from California on an airliner to Tokyo and was switched to Thai Airways International flight TG677 for the final leg to Bangkok. He wore Buddhist robes despite having been dismissed from the clergy. DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang...

‘Powerless’ Hirohito opposed Japanese involvement in second world war but was unable to stop it, declassified documents show

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 06:09
Emperor Hirohito was uneasy with Japan’s drift to war in the 1930s and 1940s but was too weak to alter the course of events, according to a declassified British government assessment of the Japanese monarch upon his death in January 1989. Debate has often raged over the extent to which Emperor Hirohito was culpable for Japan’s wartime past with some critics claiming he was complicit in the atrocities. Writing a few weeks after the monarch’s death, John Whitehead, Britain...

Singapore offers drones, urban warfare training to Philippines to help combat militants

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 04:57
Singapore said on Wednesday it has offered surveillance drones and urban warfare training to Philippine troops battling Islamist fighters, to prevent the militants becoming entrenched and threatening the rest of Southeast Asia. Philippine troops have been battling to dislodge militants loyal to Islamic State (IS), which seized parts of the southern city of Marawi on May 23 in a bid to establish a base in the Mindanao region, which shares sea borders with Malaysia and Indonesia. IS has said it...

Vietnam pledges to rescue 1,000 bears in bid to end bile trade

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 04:42
Vietnam has agreed to rescue more than 1,000 bears from illegal farms across the country, in a move to end the traditional medicine trade in the creatures’ bile. Though bile farms are already outlawed in Vietnam, bears are still captured and caged in illicit facilities where their bile is extracted using invasive and painful techniques. Vietnam’s Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) and non-profit group Animals Asia signed an agreement Wednesday to rescue all remaining bears from...

‘It’s been massively disappointing’: Aung San Suu Kyi accused of curtailing press freedom to suppress criticism

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 04:29
In the old, military-ruled Myanmar, it would not have been a surprising scene: three journalists, bound together in chains, raising shackled hands in unison and speaking out against their repressive government. But this moment, captured on video by a local news organisation, the Democratic Voice of Burma, was not from another era. It was recorded Tuesday, and it underscores how little has changed in the Southeast Asian country since the party led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and long-time...

Japanese lawmaker releases her private legal records to prove nationality

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 21:01
A Japanese opposition leader born to a Taiwanese father and Japanese mother released legal documents on Tuesday to prove she only has Japanese nationality. Renho Murata, head of the Democratic Party, said she released the private documents to show she had renounced her earlier Taiwanese citizenship. Public doubts over her status, despite her repeated explanations, have been blamed for her party’s recent election loss in a country where there is strong pressure for conformity and an...

‘Lives worse than animals’: how Thailand’s smuggling crackdown has left many of Myanmar's Rohingya in limbo

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 16:56
Five years have passed since Hla Hla Sein was forced into a ­displacement camp in western Myanmar for Rohingya Muslims, where disease and deprivation are rife and armed guards patrol a barbed-wire perimeter. But after a crackdown on the international smuggling routes that once offered a dangerous – but viable – escape route, she now sees no way out. “We have no idea how many years we will have to live like this,” the 40-year-old widow said inside the tiny bamboo hut...

Singapore will not ‘roll over’ for China

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:07
Singapore’s diplomats aren’t shrinking from any challenge to defend the Lion City’s national interest against major powers such as China, even at the risk of occasional reprisals. In an interview with This Week in Asia, Chan Heng Chee, one of the country’s top envoys, dismissed talk that the foreign ministry was split on this issue after one of its former top guns questioned whether the island state was imprudently stepping on the toes of bigger countries. In a...

Bogus Malaysian cops tie up woman and kill her husband

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 09:50
By Sharanpal Singh Randhawa An Indonesian woman was tied to a tree and watched in horror as five bogus policemen robbed and killed her husband at a hill near the Bukit Bintang Maya housing project in the Malaysian crowd of Sungai Petani. State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mior Farid Alathrash Wahid said they found the body of Myanmar national Min Tun Um, 54, with stab wounds on his abdomen, and his neck slashed.. “The couple had been married for two years. The man was selling drinks at the...

Duterte threatens to end peace talks with rebels after attack on elite protection unit

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 09:22
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end peace talks with communist rebels on Wednesday, hours after suspected guerillas wounded four of his military bodyguards in an ambush. Aides said Duterte, 72, was not in the convoy when gunmen opened fire on two Presidential Security Group vehicles on a road on the main southern island of Mindanao, where martial law is in effect. The government blamed the New People’s Army – the 4,000-member armed wing of the Communist Party of...

Ignoring women jihadis in the ranks of Asia’s Islamic State a fatal mistake

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 08:17
When the local media reported the story of eight Indonesian women who managed to flee Syria last month having decided to join the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria just over a year earlier, the public was yet again served a gentle reminder of the powerful appeal the radical group has for women in Indonesia. This is Islamic State’s instant messaging app of choice Just a few months earlier, the Indonesian police foiled IS-inspired suicide bomb attacks by Dian Yulia Novi in Jakarta on...

Justice served: Thai court hands down guilty verdicts in human-trafficking case involving high-ranking officials exposed by SCMP

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:48
A judge handing down verdicts in Thailand’s biggest human trafficking trial on Wednesday had announced 21 guilty verdicts by mid-morning from 103 defendants, with judgments expected to last late into the day. Some of those found guilty of trafficking were also convicted for taking part in organised transnational crime, forcible detention leading to death, and of rape. The legal process in handing down verdicts is lengthy in Thailand and it may take hours before the judge reveals the exact...

‘Every single day in the South was like hell’: North Korean celebrity defector returns home

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:36
South Korea is investigating the case of a North Korean defector who became a celebrity refugee in Seoul, but recently appeared on Pyongyang television to claim she had returned home from the “hell” of the capitalist South. Lim Ji-hyun, a female defector in her 20s, arrived in Seoul in 2014 and soon became a public figure after starring in several South Korean television programmes featuring escapees from the North. But on Sunday, Lim abruptly appeared in a video on the North’...

Indonesia bans Hizbut group that seeks global caliphate, using decree criticised by rights groups

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 06:47
The Indonesian government on Wednesday banned Hizbut Tahrir, an organisation that wants to establish a global caliphate, under a new presidential decree criticised as draconian by rights groups. Hizbut’s legal status had been revoked to protect national unity, said Freddy Haris, a director-general at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. The decree signed last week by President Joko Widodo gives the government almost unfettered power to ban organisations deemed against the...

Japanese government backs under-siege defence minister over alleged military cover-up

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 06:07
The Japanese government on Wednesday denied a report alleging Defence Minister Tomomi Inada allowed officials to conceal the existence of controversial activity logs of Japanese peacekeepers in South Sudan, following claims by her ministry that the records had been discarded. “Ms Inada has said no such event took place” as reported, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. Inada said the same day she neither authorised the concealment of the logs nor...

Philippine rebel chief refused to mediate ceasefire between government troops and Marawi militants

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 05:55
The leader of the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group claims militants linked to Islamic State (IS) wanted his group to broker their possible withdrawal from Marawi City during the major military offensive against them but he refused to intervene. Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said in an interview on Tuesday that intervening would have been difficult because President Rodrigo Duterte has declared his government would not negotiate with terrorists....

Satellite images identifies up to 40 mass grave sites in North Korea

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 03:03
A Seoul-based NGO has used publicly available satellite imagery and testimony from hundreds of defectors to identify at many as 40 potential mass graves in North Korea. In a 58-page report released on Wednesday, The Transnational Justice Working Group (TJWG) said it believes that more sites have yet to be identified and that it hopes its ongoing research will be used in the future in legal actions against North Korean officials accused of crimes against humanity. Founded by human rights...

Thai police to charge prankster ‘My Mate Nate’

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 11:00
Police in Thailand will charge online prankster Nathan Bartling, 24, over putting coins on the rail tracks for trains to run over and making a cat fight a scorpion on his YouTube channel “My Mate Nate”. Police Colonel Alongkorn Sirisongkram, chief of the Prawet police, said on Tuesday Mr Bartling would be charged with trespassing under a 1921 law on railways and highways and with cruelty to animals. Mr Bartling has been told to report to Prawet police to acknowledge the...

If this is Singapore’s next leader, can he bridge its English-Mandarin divide?

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:29
Coined by my good friend and Straits Times columnist Chua Mui Hoong – the “Age of Contestation” captures the growing intensity of the public debate in once-placid Singapore, especially in the aftermath of Lee Kuan Yew’s death in 2015. The “contestation” arguably reached its peak with the Lee family’s nasty squabble over the late patriarch’s intentions for his 38 Oxley Road residence. In the past, the government-controlled media would have “...

An election like none other, is it time for change in Malaysia?

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:51
Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Prime Minister Najib Razak, caused a ruckus when she allowed others in the government to address her as the “First Lady” as early as 2009. Malaysia does not have such a concept, unlike countries with Republican traditions such as the United States or France. Nevertheless, the honorific stuck. If Anwar and Mahathir have kissed and made up, should Najib be worried? While controversial to some, it barely merits mention on a list of unusual factors as voters...

Rights groups call for justice ahead of major Thailand trafficking verdict

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:36
Thailand should ensure those involved in trafficking migrants are brought to justice, rights groups said on Tuesday, ahead of a verdict in a major trafficking trial involving 103 defendants that has been beset by allegations of intimidation. Thai and Myanmar nationals were arrested in 2015 following the discovery of graves in jungle camps used by traffickers to hold migrants near the Thailand-Malaysia border. The grim discovery prompted a Thai crackdown on smuggling and trafficking networks...

Singapore voids marriage after husband’s sex change

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:24
Singapore has voided the marriage of a couple after the husband underwent a sex change, making their partnership a same-sex union that contravened the city-state’s laws, a report said on Tuesday. The couple married as man and woman in 2015 but the husband underwent a sex change operation and updated his national identity card to read “female”, the Straits Times newspaper reported. But when the unidentified couple tried to buy a government-built apartment, they had to inform...

Australian killed in US: she called 911 to report assault, but cop shot her dead as he sat in his patrol car

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:08
Relatives and neighbours of an Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police over the weekend demanded answers Monday about the mysterious shooting in which the meditation teacher was reportedly killed by an officer who fired from the passenger seat of a squad car as the woman stood outside the driver’s door. Authorities released no details about what led to the shooting of Justine Damond, whose fiance said she had called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault in an...

How ‘baby box’ set up by South Korean church makes it easier for parents to abandon their unwanted newborns

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 08:54
The young woman labours up the steps, past brightly decorated walls akin to a child’s nursery, her daughter in her arms. Opening a hatch in the wall, she puts her inside, turns around and walks away. She runs her hands over her head but does not look back, surveillance camera footage shows. She may never see the girl again. South Korea has risen from the ruins of war to become Asia’s fourth-largest economy and a member of the OECD club of developed countries. It was for a time one...

Jet-setting monk being brought back to Thailand

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 08:30
Disgraced former monk Nen Kham, wanted in Thailand on arrest warrants for public fraud and sex with underage girls, will be escorted back from the US to Thailand, arriving on Wednesday night, to face charges. Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Paisit Wongmuang said on Tuesday that Wirapol Sukphol, 38, formerly Nen Kham, had not filed an appeal after a California court approved his extradition. A team of prosecutors and DSI officials were dispatched to the US to bring Mr Wirapol...

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asks Congress to maintain martial law until end of year

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 07:35
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year to crush rebels inspired by Islamic State (IS), his spokesman said on Tuesday. Mindanao, an island of 22 million people with a history of separatist and Marxist rebellion, was placed under military rule on May 23 after rebels from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups took over parts of Marawi City. The insurgents have put up fierce resistance, with scores of...

Singapore’s 11 critical sectors tested for first time in national cybersecurity exercise

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 07:00
By Tan Weizhen A national cybersecurity exercise held that puts Singapore’s cyber incident management and emergency response plans to the test was expanded to cover all 11 critical information infrastructure (CII) sectors for the first time. Those participating for the first time are the water, land transport, healthcare, aviation, media, security and emergency, and maritime sectors. Both public and private entities were involved, such as Land Transport Authority, national water...

Australia creates counterterror super-ministry in most significant security reform for 40 years

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 06:30
Australia will create a Home Affairs ministry to boost anti-terrorism links between government agencies, in the nation’s biggest security shake-up in more than 40 years, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. To be led by current Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, the portfolio will be based on the UK’s Home Office and have oversight of federal police, intelligence agencies and border forces, Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday in Canberra. “I am...

Indonesian watchdog names parliamentarian as suspect in US$173 million corruption case

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 06:19
Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency is investigating a member of parliament for allegedly causing state losses of at least 2.3 trillion rupiah (US$173 million) during the implementation of a national electronic identity card, it said on Monday. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) identified the politician only by the initials “SN”, which local media took to be Setya Novanto, speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) and chairman of Indonesia’s second-biggest...

Disabled pilot plans to make fastest round-world trip

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:45
Khamaruzaman Mohd Yusof, a former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officer and a person with disabilities, wants to set a world record by flying solo around the world next year. The 57-year-old served the RMAF for 13 years from 1979, where he developed his love for flying. He took up flying courses and received his pilot’s wings from the Southern Illinois University in the United States using his own funds. Khamaruzaman became physically disabled in 2007 after an accident while...

New Zealand prisoners take photos for social media on smuggled contraband phones

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:15
New Zealand prisoners are getting their hands on mobile phones, despite the item being contraband in all New Zealand prisons. Photos showing Auckland South Corrections Facility inmates posing and showing off their tattoos have popped up online. Corrections confirmed to 1News that the surfacing photos had led to ``extensive searches’‘. Five cell phones have been found hidden at Auckland South Corrections Facility since January 2017, with each provided to police for...

22-year record rainfall hits South Korean city

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:00
By Lee Kyung-min   Fifteen households were evacuated and more than 500 rescue reports were filed following record heavy rainfall in South Korea’s Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.  According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), the city had 290.1 millimeters of rain, the most in 22 years since August 1995 when it had 293 millimeters of rain. The amount will exceed the 1995 record as 90 millimeters of rain is falling per hour in the region. The Ministry...

Duterte renews Mindanao peace push amid Marawi stand-off

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:28
President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking to revive a peace accord aimed at ending decades of insurgency in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, where government troops have battled Islamic State-linked militants for two months. As much as 30 per cent of the bill that Duterte’s predecessor failed to pass has been revised, with the draft now providing for other Muslim groups to be included in the process, Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said on Monday at a...

Out of the woods and onto the web: how Thai ‘hermits’ are harnessing tech to generate followers

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 08:32
From communing with forest spirits to whipping up love potions, Thailand’s cave-dwelling hermits once conducted their supernatural endeavours with just ancient magic and ritual as their guide. But today’s sorcerers are more connected than ever. Armed with smart phones, Facebook profiles and business-savvy, the new crop of mystics are harnessing tech to cultivate followings across Asia. “Woah,” Toon says ominously as he peers down at an astrological chart on his...

South Korea seeks rare talks with North to ease military tensions

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 06:40
South Korea on Monday offered to hold rare military talks with the North, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile. The offer of talks, the first since South Korea elected dovish President Moon Jae-in, was announced as the Red Cross in Seoul proposed a separate meeting to discuss reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean war. The South’s defence ministry proposed a meeting to be held on Friday at the border truce village of...

Australia proposes new laws to enable faster military response to ‘terrorist incidents’

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 06:04
Australia’s military will be more readily deployed to respond to “terrorist incidents” on home soil under proposed changes to laws announced by the government on Monday. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said state and territory police forces would remain as the first response to such incidents, but the military would offer support to enhance their capabilities. Under the proposed law changes, state and territory governments would be able to call for military help at...

Why did all 7-Elevens in Jakarta suddenly disappear?

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 02:33
The closure of global convenience chain ­ 7-Eleven in Indonesia underlines the tough economic and regulatory landscape that could deter future investors from taking over the iconic brand’s franchise in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The publicly listed PT Modern Internasional, ­ 7-Eleven’s franchise holder in the country, said in its statement to Jakarta’s bourse that a lack of resources was the main reason it ceased operations at all 7-Eleven outlets...

Singapore gets on board China’s Silk Road push as ties get back on track

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 17:19
Singapore’s rocky relations with China are “on track” with plans for high-level official visits and upgrades to a free-trade pact. Singapore also planned to ­expand its involvement in the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China’s ambitious project to revive trade along ancient Silk Road routes, the city state’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said at the two-day FutureChina business forum last week. Asked about the state of ties between the two countries...

Bollywood's biggest stars take over New York stadium with song, dance, glitz and glamour for 18th annual India film awards

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 11:15
India’s biggest Bollywood stars led a triumphant celebration of dance, music and fashion at the International Indian Film Academy awards on Saturday, cheered by thousands of ecstatic fans just outside New York. The five-hour show at an American football stadium in New Jersey, where the glittering Manhattan skyline was visible from the parking lot, was a riot of colour, glitz and stunning dance routines. Best picture went to Neerja, a thriller based on the true story of a purser who...

Australian foreign minister hits back at Trump over Brigitte Macron remark

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:55
The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has assured voters that the refugee swap agreement between Australia and the United States is still intact, despite US officials abruptly departing Nauru on Friday, two weeks before they were due to leave. She has also criticised the US president, Donald Trump, for telling the first lady of France last week that she was in “such good shape”. “I wonder if she could say the same of him,” Bishop said on Sunday. The viability of...

Three inmates killed as 14 escape Philippine jail in restive south

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:34
Three inmates were killed on Sunday and another was wounded after escaping from jail in a southern Philippine island that is the stronghold of Islamist militants, police said. The casualties were among 14 prisoners who escaped from a police station jail in war-torn Jolo, authorities said. Jolo is a base of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group and some of the inmates were linked to the militants, according to provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Mario Buyuccan. “They cut the...

Russia blocks Hokkaido mayor’s visit to disputed Kurils over Japan’s sanctions

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:05
Russia has denied entry to disputed islands to a mayor from Hokkaido in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Japan over the Ukraine crisis, diplomatic sources said on Saturday. Nemuro Mayor Shunsuke Hasegawa was disallowed to join a five-day study tour through July 1 to assess the potential for joint economic activities on the islands off the northernmost prefecture that are controlled by Moscow but claimed by Tokyo, the sources said. The Russian government introduced the retaliatory measure in...

Red alert: Doubts linger over Interpol’s Chinese boss ahead of Beijing meet

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 07:18
Intrigue, infighting and cynical horse-trading aside, in a one-party state like China the most important meeting of the tightly controlled political calendar is the one which puts in place those at the very top of the ruling structure. That being the case, the 19th Communist Party Congress, expected to convene for its five-yearly deliberations in November, is the only game in town when it comes to events of genuine significance in Beijing this year. But another, much less trumpeted, gathering...

‘Anything is better than the status quo’: Guam eyes end to American colonial rule

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 06:22
As Guam prepares to celebrate Liberation Day this week, political leaders on the Pacific island say it is time to decide whether to remain a US colony or become an independent nation. Debate about independence has raged for decades but legal complications mean plans to take the issue to a vote have stalled several times. Former senator Eddie Duenas said a self-rule plebiscite was long overdue and should be held during a gubernatorial election expected next year. Korean Air passenger in beer...

IDs for Muslims? A Philippine town’s response to terror says a lot about interfaith relations

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 05:02
“It is actually hilarious, if not tragically sad.” That is how Muslim lawyer Laisa Alamia described recent reports that a town on the island of Luzon, far from brutal fighting in the southern Philippines, is now bringing in ID cards exclusively for Muslims. Last week officials in the town of Paniqui, about 150km north of the capital Manila, said they would introduce the system, even though they had never had any problems with local Muslims. On May 23, Philippine President Rodrigo...

Chinese coastguard ships enter Japanese waters north of Kyushu island for the first time

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 03:48
Two Chinese coastguard ships briefly entered Japanese waters on Saturday around two islands off the southwestern main island of Kyushu, in the first confirmed entry by Chinese government vessels into the area, the Japan Coast Guard said. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, vessels of every country have the right to sail through territorial seas as long as they do not harm the safety of the countries concerned. The Japan Coast Guard asked the ships to leave the territorial waters,...

If Anwar and Mahathir have kissed and made up, should Najib be worried?

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 02:33
Nineteen years ago Mahathir Mohamad, while prime minister of Malaysia, denounced his freshly sacked deputy Anwar Ibrahim as “morally unfit” for leadership, following allegations of corruption and sodomy. Now the duo – formerly known for a father-and-son-like closeness – has seemingly reunited to take down a common foe: embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is facing global scrutiny following his alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)...

Singaporean protesters call for inquiry over claims PM Lee abused his power

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 15:15
In an unprecedented show of public anger, hundreds of protesters gathered at Singapore’s Speakers’ Corner on Saturday to call for an independent inquiry into whether Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong abused his power in a battle with his siblings over what to do with their late father’s house. The heirs of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s long-serving first prime minister who died in 2015, are bitterly divided over whether to demolish the family home at 38 Oxley Road, or allow the...

Down on the border, simmering Sino-Indian stand-off raises fears for local lifeline

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 08:03
As an eyeball-to-eyeball stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops high in the Himalayas enters its second month, China’s state-controlled media is adopting a more aggressive stance on border issues. For example, in a lengthy feature published on Monday, the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid, said some residents of Sikkim, the Indian state closest to the site of the stand-off, were experiencing an “identity crisis”. It said most did not identify themselves as Indians, and...

Liverpool, AC Milan, Chelsea, Sevilla...Asia is their new goal

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 07:30
With domestic football seasons across Europe kicking off in just a few weeks, jetting halfway around the world to play friendly matches in Asia’s sweltering summer heat seems like an odd way to prepare for a title run. But top clubs from countries including Britain, Italy and Germany will do just that as they fight for the attentions, and disposable incomes, of the region’s ever-growing legions of football fanatics. Among those heading east, 18-time English league champions...

India’s next president will come from marginalised Dalit caste, strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s re-election bid

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 07:10
India’s next president will emerge from the Dalit caste – a community so marginalised they were once known as “untouchables” – with the victory of the ruling party candidate set to strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s grip on power. Ram Nath Kovind, 71, is hot favourite to be elected on Monday by national and state lawmakers to become titular head of state as the candidate of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It will be only the second time,...

Why Indonesia’s Widodo had to throw Ahok under a bus

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 06:47
Amid the din of a few hundred protestors that he helped assemble in front of the main gate of Indonesia’s parliament, Cecep Supriyanto struggled to make himself heard by a visiting reporter. With the help of no fewer than eight megaphones, the demonstrators belonging to the Silent Majority, an activist group he founded, screamed their support for the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as legislators inside mulled a censure motion that could defang the watchdog panel....

‘I might even congratulate you for having the balls’: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes yet another ‘rape joke’

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 06:44
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a new joke about rape on Friday, saying he would congratulate a rapist who could carry out the crime even knowing he would die. The often-foul mouthed Duterte made the joke in a speech to Filipino diplomats in his southern home town of Davao as he defended his bloody war on crime which has left thousands dead since he took office last year. “What I don’t like are kids [being raped]. You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe. Maybe I will even...

North Korea likely has more plutonium than the world realised, according to monitor

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 05:57
New images of North Korea’s main nuclear facility show that the isolated regime has apparently produced more plutonium for its weapons programme than previously thought, a US monitor said, as tensions soar over Pyongyang’s ambitions. The respected 38 North website, a monitoring project linked to Johns Hopkins university, said on Friday that thermal imagery of the Yongbyon nuclear complex appeared to show that Pyongyang had reprocessed spent fuel rods at least twice between last...

This is India’s China war, Round Two

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 05:00
With India and China interacting over more than 3,000km of undefined frontier, friction is constant and that one day it would break back into border war has seemed inevitable. Two great Indian delusions have created this situation. China, India border dispute bubbles over once more, but no one is quite sure why The lesser of these was the outright falsehood spun in the shock of immediate and utter Indian defeat in 1962’s Round One border war with China, when, after the hesitant launch of...

Torture remains ‘endemic and routine’ in Sri Lanka, according to UN human rights watchdog

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 04:57
A visiting UN envoy said that torture remains “endemic and routine” in Sri Lanka’s counterterrorism methods and a number of persons being detained without trial under a harsh anti-terror law is a stain on the country’s international reputation. Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, said at the end of a five-day visit to Sri Lanka Friday that he is concerned that even those arrested as recently as late last year had been subjected to...

The mystery of China’s eagerness to own the term ‘democracy’

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 03:17
As I walked through central Beijing this week, I passed endless posters promoting “democracy” (minzhu). One might be forgiven for raising one’s eyebrows at a moment when the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover prompts elegies for the fate of democracy in the SAR. Yet it is no longer just greater China where liberal democracy seems in peril. It may be in retreat all across Asia. If so, that political trend would be a reversal of the past three decades. When the Joint...

Philippine ex-president Aquino faces charges over botched raid

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 12:00
The Philippines’ anti-graft agency ordered on Friday the filing of criminal charges against former president Benigno Aquino over a botched raid two years ago on a militant hideout that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos. The mission to arrest two al-Qaeda-linked militants on the southern island of Mindanao went disastrously wrong when police Special Action Force commandos were ambushed and outnumbered by rebel gunmen, in what was the biggest crisis of Aquino’s 2010-2016...

United States’ Russian sanctions getting in the way of Japan’s oil exploration plans, sources say

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:37
A Japanese group’s plans to explore for Russian oil with state-run Rosneft PJSC have been stymied by US intervention over sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter. Washington’s objection to the Japanese oil exploration project in the ocean off Russia’s far east shows the US Treasury is maintaining a firm line on sanctions, even as some international companies press on with Russian energy deals. In April, the US rejected a request from Exxon Mobil for a waiver to...

Indian police probe complaint of domestic worker abuse after protest

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 08:34
Police in India are investigating a complaint of abuse filed by a maid working in a gated community near the Indian capital New Delhi that sparked violence in the upscale neighbourhood. The maid lodged a complaint saying her employers had abused her, beaten her, locked her up and were withholding her salary, police said on Thursday. More than four million people are employed as domestic workers in India, most of them women, according to official data, and they are often exploited in the absence...

Australia to force Facebook, Google to decrypt messages

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 08:17
The Australian government on Friday proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and other criminals. But some experts, as well as Facebook, warned that weakening end-to-end encryption services so that police could eavesdrop would leave the companies vulnerable to hackers. The new law would be modelled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed...

Mentally disabled Japanese man dies after being left in hot car for six hours

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 08:04
A mentally disabled man died on Thursday apparently due to heatstroke or heat exhaustion after being left in a service vehicle at a welfare facility in eastern Japan for about six hours in hot weather, police said. Welfare facility staff likely forgot to help the 19-year-old man out of the van when assisting four other facility users in leaving the vehicle around 9am on Thursday in Ageo, Saitama prefecture, the police said. The police said the man was found collapsed unconscious in the back of...

How fake news is fuelling India’s nationalism

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 07:16
Pro-government websites in India circulated a story in May saying Arundhati Roy, the renowned Indian novelist, had criticised the army’s heavy-handed presence in Kashmir, the disputed territory that is also claimed by Pakistan. India would never gain full control of Kashmir, Roy was quoted as saying, “even if its army deployment increases from 7 lakh to 70 lakh”, numbers equalling 700,000 to 7 million. Indian news media ran the story. Arnab Goswami, the main anchor on a news...

Chinese fishermen under-reporting their catch, Japan scientists say

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 16:45
Japanese scientists believe that Chinese fishermen are dramatically under-reporting their catches of mackerel in the Pacific, potentially affecting broader maritime resources. Scientists of the Yokohama-based Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (JREA) have compiled a study of movements of Chinese fishing vessels in calendar 2016 and concluded that they caught as much as 400,000 tonnes of mackerel. That figure is significantly higher than the 143,000 tonnes that China reported to the...

Rights group slams Japan’s latest executions as ‘inhumane’ as two murderers are hanged

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 16:35
Japan executed two convicted murderers on Thursday, the justice ministry said, ignoring calls from international rights groups to end capital punishment. The hangings of Masakatsu Nishikawa and Koichi Sumida bring the total number of executions since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012 to 19. Nishikawa, 61, was convicted of killing four women in western Japan in 1991, while Sumida, 34, was sentenced to death for killing a female colleague in 2011 and dismembering her body. “Both...

Father arrested in Thailand at drug party with year-old son

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 11:30
Police raided a drug party in the southern Thailand business hub of Hat Yai and arrested six partygoers, including a man who had his baby son with him. Police Capt Thanarak Borriraknarakul, chief of the anti-drug operation, said methamphetamine pills and crystal meth were found in the room at the Pink Resort, in the municipal area, during the pre-dawn raid. Police detained six people after their urine samples tested positive for the drugs. They were charged with possession of illegal...

China’s Silk Road will strengthen ‘lifeblood’ of Singapore, deputy premier says

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 11:04
Freedom of navigation through key choke points in Asian waterways like the Malacca and Singapore straits is crucial to the success of China’s new Silk Road trade plan, the Lion City’s Deputy Premier Teo Chee Hean said Thursday. One observer said Teo’s comments underscored the city state’s cautious but upbeat approach towards the multibillion dollar initiative aimed at boosting trade links between China and the rest of the world through new ports, railways and roads....

Pakistan’s ‘fontgate’: how Calibri becomes key piece of evidence in claims prime minister falsified documents

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 10:46
A typeface has sparked uproar in Pakistan after documents using the font were produced in a corruption case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – despite being dated a year before the design was released. Microsoft’s Calibri font was used to type certified papers naming Sharif’s daughter Maryam as a trustee for several of the family’s high-end London properties. The plush apartments are at the heart of the case against the Sharif family, with authorities and the...

Tackling slavery in the Thai fishing industry, one victim at a time

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 08:22
I n 2009, as the financial crisis swept the world, Samart Senasuk, now 44, lost his job as a secu­rity guard in Bangkok. Unable to find work, he was preparing to return to his hometown, in Isaan, an impoverished region in the north­east of Thailand, when a friendly man invited him for a drink, to talk about a job on a fishing vessel. Samart turned down the job but, after a few sips of his drink, he says, he passed out. When he woke, he was on a boat off Singapore – how he got...

South Korean adoptees call for end to international adoption

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 08:12
By You Soo-sun  Adoptee-led organisations called on the Korean government to immediately end the “industrialised international adoption” system. The joint declaration, written at the University of California Irvine and addressed to the Moon Jae-in administration, was submitted at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul. In light of the recent death of deported Korean adoptee Philip Clay, members further stressed the need to prevent deportation and enhance the protection of rights...

‘Don’t do it in front of others’: gay pride on show in South Korea, despite religious backlash

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 07:12
Thousands of people will march through Seoul to support gay rights in this Saturday’s Pride parade, and probably just as many conservative Christians urging them to “repent” their “sins”. Religious South Koreans have been a loud fixture at the annual parade for years, holding a rival anti-homosexuality rally while trying to physically block the march. Their presence is the most visible display of intolerance towards sexual minorities in the tradition-bound society...

Pyongyang weighing a return to talks as missile launch boosts its bargaining power, US nuclear expert says

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 03:58
Pyongyang’s latest successful intercontinental ballistic missile test has given it confidence in its negotiating power and it is seriously considering a return to talks, a top US nuclear expert who helped organise informal talks between Washington and Pyongyang said. Suzanne DiMaggio, senior fellow at the Washington-based New America Foundation, also told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview that the US should seize the moment with a dual strategy of “maximum...

China detains 35 Japanese for alleged telephone fraud

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 17:00
Chinese authorities have detained 35 Japanese nationals in the southeastern province of Fujian for alleged fraud, the Japanese foreign ministry said on Wednesday, in what was probably one of the worst cases of telephone scams targeting the elderly. Phone-based fraud targeting senior citizens is widespread in Japan, with an impostor, usually posing as a child or grandchild desperately in need of cash, asking an elderly person to make a bank transfer or hand money to a friend or colleague....

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