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10 DECEMBER 2018

Taiwan’s former point man on cross-strait ties Chiang Pin-kung dies at 85

Chiang Pin-kung, former vice chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party and Taiwan’s former point man for talks in cross-strait ties, passed away on Monday (Dec 10) in Taipei

Hong Kong Arrests Two Lawmakers Over In-Chamber Protest Last June

Police in Hong Kong on Monday arrested two pro-democracy lawmakers who staged a loud protest in the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) last June, the latest in a string of prosecutions of prominent opposition figures

South Korean prosecutors indict four for importing North Korean coal

South Korean prosecutors have charged four people with illegally importing millions of dollars worth of North Korean coal in violation of international sanctions, by trying to disguise it as imports from Russia, a prosecutors’ office said on Monday (Dec 10)

India Test-Fires its Longest Range Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile Agni-V

Considered a major deterrent against China, Agni-V is expected to join India’s Strategic Forces Command very soon. The missile is capable of hitting targets anywhere in Asia, and parts of Africa and Europe


Bangladesh opposition says hundreds of supporters held before polls

Bangladesh’s opposition party on Sunday said nearly 2,000 of its supporters have been arrested on trumped-up charges in a crackdown aimed at derailing its campaign just weeks before a general election

Maldives applies to rejoin Commonwealth: president’s office

The Maldives has applied to rejoin the Commonwealth, reversing a policy of isolation under autocratic leader Abdulla Yameen who suffered a shock defeat in September–president-s-office-11015428

Hindu monks, activists rally in New Delhi demanding temple to be built at ruins of mosque

Thousands of Hindu monks and activists linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party gathered in the Indian capital New Delhi on Sunday (Dec 9) to urge the government to build a temple at the ruins of a 16th century mosque

Deng Xiaoping’s top aide in Chinese army, Wang Ruilin, dies aged 88

Wang Ruilin, the top military aide to China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, died on Saturday in Beijing at the age of 88, according to people close to the matter

China sends new naval fleet for escort mission in Red Sea

The 31st fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) set sail on Sunday to undertake escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali, reports

Japan’s Military Sees Record Spending, Aims to Buy More US Arms: Nikkei

Japan’s military looks to raise spending over the next five years in response to security challenges and to narrow Japan’s trade surplus with the United States by buying U.S. equipment, the Nikkei business daily reported


Immigration shift in Japan makes way for 345,000 foreign workers

Japan has approved allowing in 345,150 blue-collar workers to fill a labour shortage, a major policy shift in a country where immigration has long been taboo

Thousands in Kuala Lumpur for street protest against UN rights convention

Over 50,000 Malay Muslims gathered at the capital’s Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) on Saturday (Dec 8) afternoon in a celebratory gathering-turned-political rally after Malaysia bowed to their demands not to ratify a United Nations anti-discrimination pact

China launches rover for first landing on far side of the moon

China launched a ground-breaking mission Saturday to land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russia, the European Union and the US


Thousands of women and girls are being trafficked from Myanmar to China and forced to marry, study finds

Thousands of vulnerable women and girls from northern Myanmar are being trafficked to China and forced to marry, a study said on Friday (Dec 7), offering a rare look at an issue that grips the conflict-hit borderlands

Pakistan to expel 18 charities as part of crackdown on international organisations

Pakistan is kicking out 18 international charities after rejecting their final appeal to stay in the country, a move that an aid group spokesman said would affect millions of desperately poor Pakistanis

South Korea Approves $300 Mln Deal to Buy US Missiles for Aegis System

South Korea has decided to purchase a new batch of SM-2 ship-to-air missiles from the United States to equip three new destroyers with the Aegis system, South Korean Defence Ministry’s procurement department said on Friday

Cambodian premier says no to foreign military bases

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Friday that his government will not allow any foreign military bases in its territory and called media reports that China is seeking a naval base there “fake news.”


Singapore extends its own port limits and says it will act firmly if Malaysian vessels continue to intrude

Singapore extended its own port limits in response to intrusions by Malaysian vessels into its waters and also sent out a strong warning: While the Republic has so far responded with restraint against aggressive actions by Malaysian government vessels in its waters, it will not hesitate to act firmly to protect its territory and sovereignty, if necessary

North Korean sends top diplomat to key ally China

North Korea’s foreign minister arrived in key ally China on Thursday for talks amid stalled efforts to persuade his government to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs

New satellite images reveal North Korea is expanding key missile base

North Korea has significantly expanded and upgraded long-range missile sites, according to satellite images published by CNN, highlighting the lack of progress in negotiations with the US in the months since Kim Jong-un met Donald Trump


Hong Kong cardinal defends Occupy protest leaders in court

Outspoken Hong Kong cardinal Zen on Wednesday (Dec 5) defended leading democracy campaigners on trial over massive 2014 rallies which paralysed parts of the city, praising their commitment to peaceful protest

China ‘rejects German human rights delegation’s request’ to visit Xinjiang

China has denied a German human rights delegation access to the far western region of Xinjiang to investigate mass detention centres for Uygurs, according to the German foreign ministry

Philippines’ Duterte: Kill those ‘useless’ Catholic bishops

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his country’s Catholic bishops are « useless fools » and should be « killed » as the controversial leader stepped up his attack on the church, which has opposed his deadly war on drugs in the Southeast Asian archipelago

Seoul voices concerns as more Chinese military aircraft spread their wings in South Korean air defence zone

South Korea has voiced its frustration about repeated intrusions into its air defence identification zone by Chinese military aircraft, moves that analysts say reflect Beijing’s opposition to strengthening ties between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington

Portugal signs agreement with China on Belt and Road Initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping pressed Portugal to formally join Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” during his visit to Lisbon, as the southern European nation signed a memorandum of understanding with China on the massive infrastructure plan


Separatist gunmen kill 31 workers in restive Papua region, Indonesian authorities say

Indonesian authorities say independence supporters in the restive province of Papua have slaughtered up to 31 people who were working at a state-owned construction company

Cambodia mulls law to restore opposition politicians’ rights

Cambodia’s parliament will consider legislation to allow politicians banned from political activity to have the ban lifted, a measure that long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government is touting as a step « to strengthen democracy and political space. »


Trump asks Pakistan PM for help with Afghan peace talks: minister

US President Donald Trump has sought Pakistan’s help with Afghan peace talks in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the South Asian nation’s information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, has said

Sri Lanka court denies former strongman Rajapaksa authority to act as PM

A Sri Lanka court on Monday ruled that former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa could not act as prime minister or hold cabinet meetings while the political crisis that has engulfed the South Asian island continues

Rappler chief Maria Ressa returns to Manila to fight ‘ridiculous’ tax charges

A leading journalist and vocal critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has surrendered to a Manila court after arriving back in the country to fight tax charges that were filed in her absence


Donald Trump and Xi Jinping declare trade truce at G20

Donald Trump has delayed for 90 days his threatened imposition of 25% tariffs on most Chinese imports after a dinner meeting with Xi Jinping, to give time for negotiations on longstanding trade disputes between the two countries, the White House has said

Senior Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Manan killed by US airstrike in Afghanistan

Abdul Manan, the Taliban “shadow governor” in the southern Helmand province, died of wounds sustained late on Saturday. Manan’s death was confirmed by the Taliban as a “big loss”. The group vowed it would not affect military operations

Malaysian Chinese Association president: Party to push for dissolution of BN instead of leaving coalition

The MCA annual general meeting today passed a resolution for the dissolution of Barisan Nasional (BN) and for a more effective coalition to be forged


Pakistani cleric who led protests against Asia Bibi charged with terrorism

A hardline cleric has been charged with terrorism and sedition offences by the Pakistani government, after he led violent protests to oppose the acquittal of a Christian woman from blasphemy charges, a minister said Saturday

Papuan students stage protest for Papua’s independence

Around 300 members of the Papuan Students Alliance in Surabaya, East Java, staged a protest on Saturday, nearly clashing with a separate group that appeared to be staging a counterprotest

Tibet weeps for the death of Palden Gyatso, defender of freedom

The monk spent 33 years in Chinese prisons. He refused to repudiate the Dalai Lama. In exile he denounced the torture committed under Chinese rule

30 NOVEMBER 2018

Two Koreas launch joint study on inter-Korean railways

A South Korean train crossed into North Korea for the first time in a decade on Friday, as the two countries began an 18-day joint study on cross-border railways, the first step toward modernizing and connecting the Koreas’ railroads

29 NOVEMBER 2018

Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killings

A Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president’s deadly crackdown on drugs

Sri Lankan lawmakers bar disputed PM from using state funds

Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan lawmakers on Thursday approved a motion barring disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from using state funds after he lost two no-confidence votes, in an escalation of the country’s political crisis

Li Wenzu, wife of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, wins Human Rights Prize

Li Wenzu, wife of disappeared human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, has been awarded Sweden’s Edelstam Prize for « exceptional courage » in defending human rights, the organizers said

Where is China’s missing photographer Lu Guang? Hong Kong press club calls for answers

Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club has called on Chinese authorities to confirm the whereabouts of missing award-winning Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang, saying it is “deeply concerned” over his disappearance from China’s western Xinjiang region

India successfully launches 31 satellites in space – including ‘Chhota Bheem’

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) launched 31 satellites, including its first hyperspectral imaging satellite (HysIS), this morning from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh–including-chhota-bheem-1.60645726

28 NOVEMBER 2018

Pakistan ready to repair ties with India as shrine corridor opens for Sikhs

In a rare sign of cooperation between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan agreed to set up a visa-free corridor that will allow Sikhs to easily visit their shrines on each side of the border

Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defense Staff Ravindra Wijeguneratne detained over cover-up in disappearance of Tamil youths

After evading arrest for two months, Sri Lanka’s most senior military official appeared in court on Wednesday, charged with helping another suspect in the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in the final phase of the country’s 26-year civil war

Korea successfully test-launched locally developed rocket

South Korea on Wednesday (Nov 28) successfully conducted a rocket engine test launch, officials said, paving the way for the development of its own space launch vehicle

27 NOVEMBER 2018

South Korea to buy Israeli early warning radar to deter North despite thaw

South Korea plans to buy two Israeli early warning radar systems, it said on Tuesday (Nov 27), as it reinforces air defences against North Korea despite fast-improving relations

21 held in melee over Malaysian temple land dispute

Malaysian police said Tuesday that 21 people have been arrested over rioting that broke out amid a dispute over the relocation of an Indian temple outside Kuala Lumpur. They said 12 people were injured, one critically

26 NOVEMBER 2018

India marks 10 years since Mumbai terror attacks

India’s financial capital Mumbai on Monday marked the tenth anniversary of terror attacks that killed 166 people and injured hundreds more across the city. Several memorial services were held for the victims, survivors and their families at the sites of the attacks

Pro-Beijing candidate Rebecca Chan wins Hong Kong legislative seat as democrats fail to regain veto power

The by-election was to fill the seat of ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, whose “slow motion” oath was ruled invalid by a court. She was disqualified from the legislature last year and abandoned her legal appeal this May

South Korean lawmakers land on disputed isle, prompting Japan protest

A group of South Korean lawmakers landed on an islet disputed with Japan in the East China Sea on Monday (Nov 26), prompting a protest from Tokyo and straining ties at a time when stalled talks over North Korea’s nuclear programme call for close coordination

Maldives’ top court cancels jail sentence of former president Mohamed Nasheed

The Maldives Supreme Court on Monday canceled former president Mohamed Nasheed’s 13-year jail sentence after a review of the controversial terrorism conviction

25 NOVEMBER 2018

Tens of thousands protest in India over Ayodhya issue

Ayodhya: Tens of thousands of Hindu hardliners rallied on Sunday to press their demand for a temple to be built at a disputed Indian holy site where an ancient mosque was razed in 1992

Sri Lanka president vows never to reappoint ousted PM

Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday reignited the power struggle that has crippled Sri Lanka’s government for more than a month, vowing never to reappoint arch-rival Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister

24 NOVEMBER 2018

Pakistan arrests cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi whose followers shut down cities over blasphemy

Hours after firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi was himself arrested late on Friday, police said over 300 Tehreek-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party supporters were detained in Punjab province in efforts to “maintain public order”

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen resigns as chair of ruling DPP after losses in local polls

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday (Nov 24) after the pro-independence party suffered major defeats in key mid-term polls, a blow to her prospects for re-election

23 NOVEMBER 2018

Singapore finance minister Heng Swee Keat put in line to be next PM

Singapore’s ruling party on Friday named Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat to a key leadership post, possibly putting him in line to take over as prime minister when current leader Lee Hsien Loong steps down

Malaysia govt says it won’t ratify UN rights treaty after facing anger from Malays and Muslims

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has dumped a pledge to ratify a UN treaty against racial discrimination amid intense pressure from Malays, who claim it would jeopardise controversial race-based affirmative action policies that benefit them

China says it should receive ‘special treatment’ within World Trade Organisation

China should enjoy “special treatment” as a developing member nation of the World Trade Organisation, a senior Chinese official said on Friday, in an apparent rebuke of a White House adviser’s call to expel the world’s most populous nation from the group

22 NOVEMBER 2018

Pakistan to open Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims, Imran Khan to break ground

Pakistan has conveyed to India its decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor for the Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday, a development which could help ease tensions between the two neighbours

Two Koreas link up new cross-border road in DMZ

The dirt road, which is wholly within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides the peninsula, will be used for joint operations next year to recover remains from the 1950-53 Korean War

Vietnam Protests New Building by Beijing in South China Sea

China’s construction of a new platform in a remote part of the disputed South China Sea is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, its foreign ministry said on Nov.22

21 NOVEMBER 2018

Jammu &Kashmir Assembly dissolved after rival alliances stake claim to form government

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has dissolved the state assembly as PDP supremo and former chief minister of the state and J&K’s People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone staked claim to form government in the state

South Korea says it will dissolve Japan-funded ‘comfort women’ foundation

South Korea has said it would close a controversial Japanese-funded foundation set up to help former war-time sex slaves, a decision Japan said risked souring ties between the two countries

20 NOVEMBER 2018

Maldives to rejoin Commonwealth

The new president of the Maldives has decided that the country will rejoin the Commonwealth group of former British colonies after a two-year absence, his office said in a statement

Vietnam Offers India Chance to Get Tougher Against Maritime Rival China

Advances in relations between Vietnam and India will help both countries resist Chinese expansion in Asia including the contested South China Sea, Asia scholars say

China and Philippines sign oil and gas exploration deal as Xi Jinping meets Rodrigo Duterte

Beijing and Manila have agreed to a joint oil and gas exploration deal – one of 29 deals that were signed on Tuesday as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a two-day state visit to the Philippines

19 NOVEMBER 2018

Hong Kong pro-democracy 2014 protest leaders go on trial

Nine activists and politicians involved in Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement pleaded not guilty to their public nuisance charges on Monday

Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan gets tough, snubs Trump

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday rejected US President Donald Trump’s remarks against Pakistan, suggesting that Washington should assess its success in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures

18 NOVEMBER 2018

APEC leaders fail to agree on joint statement amid US-China tensions

It is the first time that world leaders meeting at the APEC summit have been unable to sign a final joint communique. The gathering in Papua New Guinea was dominated by diplomatic sparring between the US and China

17 NOVEMBER 2018

UN resolution condemns Myanmar’s rights violation

Myanmar, China and Russia, seven other countries voted against it and 26 nations — including Japan — abstained, the UN said

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sworn in as new Maldives president

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was inaugurated on Saturday (Nov 17) as the new president of the Maldives after the opposition united to dislodge pro-China strongman leader Abdulla Yameen in September elections

16 NOVEMBER 2018

Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide in landmark ruling

Almost four decades on from the collapse of Pol Pot’s tyrannical communist regime, an international tribunal has ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians

Kim attends his first weapons test in almost a year

North Korea’s state media reported Friday that its leader, Kim Jong-un, supervised “a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon test” at a defense institute, the first time in a year that Kim was officially described as overseeing a weapons experiment

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deepens ties with Australia in historic visit to Darwin

Japan and Australia on Friday (Nov 16) agreed to deepen defence ties and jointly fund regional infrastructure projects, bringing the two nations closer together amid shared concerns about China’s growing regional influence

15 NOVEMBER 2018

US returns ‘Bells of Balangiga’ war trophies to the Philippines a century after clash

The United States on Thursday (Nov 15) formally returned three church bells seized as war trophies from the Philippines following one of the worst defeats of American soldiers more than a century ago

Rohingya return to Myanmar postponed

Thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh were scheduled to be sent back to Myanmar today as part of a voluntary repatriation plan. But the launch has been postponed amid an outbreak of protests from Rohingya

Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam granted bail

Shahidul Alam was not charged when he was arrested on propaganda charges in August. His release on bail comes after international pressure and ahead of elections in Bangladesh in December

Nepal Appoints Ambassador to India After One Year Hiatus

The Nepal embassy in India was without an envoy since the last one year after the resignation of Deep Kumar Upadhyay who resigned last October to join politics

14 NOVEMBER 2018

Sri Lanka parliament rejects new prime minister in latest twist of crisis

Sri Lanka’s parliament on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against the newly-installed but disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the latest twist in the South Asian island’s political crisis

EU to Cambodia: Fix human rights or face economic hardship

Both Cambodia and Myanmar heavily depend on the European Union’s duty and quota free trade agreement. But the European bloc believes it is time that these countries address human rights abuses. Ate Hoekstra reports

US vice-president Pence tells Aung San Suu Kyi persecution of Rohingya inexcusable

US Vice President Mike Pence expressed the Trump administration’s strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims on Wednesday (Nov 14), telling leader Aung San Suu Kyi that « persecution » by her country’s army was « without excuse »

India-US discuss defence and trade cooperation during PM Modi’s Singapore visit

India and the US on Wednesday discussed their roles in a free Indo-Pacific region and cooperation in defence and trade sectors during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit

13 NOVEMBER 2018

Sri Lanka Supreme Court overturns dissolution of Parliament, halts snap elections

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena and ordered to halt preparations for snap elections scheduled for January next year

China’s growing role in South Pacific nations cannot be stopped, says vice-minister Zheng Zeguang

No country should or could stop China cooperating with South Pacific island nations, a Chinese official warned on Tuesday ahead of a summit involving Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders in the region

Dalai Lama: Leaders to discuss successor

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says high priests will soon start discussing how to choose his successor. The Tibetan government-in-exile in India is concerned Beijing could try to pick the next Dalai Lama to tighten control over Tibetans

12 NOVEMBER 2018

Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty International’s highest honor

Amnesty International announced today that it has withdrawn its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, from Aung San Suu Kyi, in light of the Myanmar leader’s shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for

11 NOVEMBER 2018

Bangladesh opposition parties including BNP to contest election

An alliance of opposition parties in Bangladesh, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), said on Sunday it plans to contest the Dec. 23 general election, despite the ruling Awami League rejecting a series of its demands

Britain Finally recognizes India’s WWI Contribution

Until four years ago, virtually nothing had been done in either Britain or India to recognize the sacrifice of more than 74,000 Indian troops who died fighting in World War One. Also ignored was the vital role played in almost all the theaters of the conflict – Europe, the Middle East and East Africa by the 1.3 million-plus servicemen from what was then undivided India

10 NOVEMBER 2018

Former Thai premier Abhisit fends off challengers to retain Democrat Party leadership

Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has fended off challengers to retain his seat as Democrat Party chief, as political parties around the kingdom intensified preparations for an election tentatively set for next February

Philippine news site Rappler has criticised President Rodrigo Duterte – it will now face tax evasion charges

Philippine prosecutors said on Friday they will file tax evasion charges against a news website that has clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte, a case the outlet branded as an “intimidation” effort


Imelda Marcos sentenced to 42 years for corruption 

A Philippine court found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of corruption and ordered her arrest on Friday in a rare conviction among many cases that she plans to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress

Wenzhou’s bishop Shao Zhumin taken by police

Msgr. Shao, 55, belongs to the unofficial community, not recognized by the government, but he is recognized by the Holy See as bishop of Wenzhou. In the last two years, he has been taken away by the police at least 5 times. The last time was in May 2017, he was only released after 7 months

Kabul delegation, Taliban attend Afghan peace talks in Russia

Members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, a body overseeing peace efforts, met Taliban officials at a conference in Moscow on Friday and repeated President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of peace talks without pre-conditions

Sri Lanka power struggle: President Sirisena dissolves Parliament

Evading the resolution of Sri Lanka’s political crisis through Parliament, President Maithripala Sirisena late on Friday dissolved the House, hours after his political front admitted to lacking a majority needed for its controversially-installed prime minister to be declared legitimate


Taiwan Navy Commissions Two US-Made Warships Amid Tensions With China

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has promised that her country would not « concede one step » in self-defence and backed up her claim by adding two former USS frigates to Taiwan’s fleet

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen denies nepotism after promoting sons to high-level government positions

Strongman leader has long shrugged off accusations that he favours relatives, despite his administration being full of officials with links to his family


Thailand’s Shinawatra clan, allies form new party ahead of polls

Relatives and allies of ousted Thai premiers Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, Yingluck, formed a new political party on Wednesday (Nov 7) ahead of a general election set for early next year, seen as a strategy to win more seats

South Korean Defense chief apologizes for military’s sexual assaults during 1980 democracy crackdown

Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo has issued an official apology for the sexual assaults committed by South Korean soldiers during the harsh crackdown on the Pro-Democracy movement in the southwestern city of Gwangju,.. 38 years ago

US abruptly postpones talks with top North Korean official

Talks between President Donald Trump’s top diplomat and the North Korean delegation, which had been due on Thursday, « will now take place at a later date, » State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said


Uyghur crackdown in Xinjiang doubles security spending in one year

Spending on prisons and security-related construction in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang doubled between 2016 and 2017 new research has revealed, undermining China’s denial of the existence of mass internment camps

Despite India’s objection, Pakistan-China bus service flagged off from Lahore

Brushing aside a strong objection by India, the luxury bus service between Pakistan and China was flagged off from Lahore on Tuesday

China says UN criticism of human rights record is ‘politically driven’

China has defended its human rights record after the first UN assessment since 2013 criticised the mass detention of lawyers and the continuing use of internment camps


Sri Lankan President Summons Parliament on November 14 as Pressure Over PM’s Sacking Grows

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the suspended parliament to reconvene on November 14, clearing the way for a vote on his decision to sack the elected prime minister and replace him with wartime nationalist Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka parliament speaker refuses to accept Rajapaksa as PM

Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament said on Monday he would not accept a former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the new prime minister until he proves he commands a majority in parliament


US, South Korea set delayed military drills; North Korea urges end to pressure

The United States and South Korea will begin small-scale military drills on Monday (Nov 5) that were delayed during talks with North Korea, days after Pyongyang threatened to restart work on its nuclear programme if international pressure does not ease–south-korea-set-delayed-military-drills–north-korea-urges-end-to-pressure-10896580

Manmar by-election results deliver setbacks for Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party after series of controversies

The party of Myanmar’s embattled head of state Aung San Suu Kyi said on Sunday they were defeated in 6 of 13 constituencies in a national by-election, showing uneven support for her government after a string of controversies

Godfather of Korean film Shin Sung-il dies of lung cancer

Widely regarded as the « godfather » of Korea film, he was considered a legendary figure in the Korean film industry as he witnessed the rise of the industry and played a key role in it. He also served as a national legislator in the early 2000s, in his efforts to support the Korean movie industry


North Korea threatens to restart nuclear programme unless US lifts sanctions

North Korea has threatened to restart the development of its nuclear weapons programme unless the United States lifts sanctions, underscoring one of the major potential stumbling blocks in Washington’s diplomatic outreach with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Dominican Republic opens new embassy in mainland China after ditching Taiwan as ally

The Dominican Republic opened its new embassy in mainland China on Saturday, months after switching its allegiance to Beijing from the self-ruled island of Taiwan

Vietnam and France businesses ink agreements worth US$10 billion

Vietnam and France support the signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and commit to free trade, the government portal reported during the current visit by the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to Vietnam

Asia Bibi’s lawyer leaves Pakistan as his client stays in jail

The Pakistani woman cleared of blasphemy charges remains in jail, and banned from leaving the country. With an appeal launched against Asia Bibi’s acquittal, her lawyer fled the country after receiving death threats


Raymond Chow Man-wai, Hong Kong movie producer who brought the world martial arts legend Bruce Lee, dies at 91

Raymond Chow Man-wai, the Hong Kong movie producer who introduced the world to martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died on Friday aged 91

Pakistan’s ‘father of the Taliban’ Maulana Sami ul Haq killed in knife attack

Haq was known as the « Father of the Taliban » because he trained some of the leaders of the Islamist movement in Afghanistan. Many of them attended his Haqqania seminary, a well-known Islamist school in northwest Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan

In major policy shift, Japan’s goverment OKs draft bill to open door wider for foreign workers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved draft legislation on Friday to open the door to more overseas blue-collar workers in sectors grappling with labour shortages, a controversial policy shift in immigration-shy Japan’t-OKs-draft-bill-to-open-door-wider-for-foreign-workers

China promises Pakistan support as new PM Imran Khan tells of ‘very difficult’ economy

China on Friday (Nov 2) promised to support Pakistan’s economy as new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke of his country’s « very difficult » economic situation amid a burgeoning financial crisis


Korean top court rules religious belief valid reason for refusing military service

Korea’s top court recognized the right of people to refuse mandatory military service for their religious and conscientious beliefs in a landmark ruling, Thursday, creating a powerful precedent that could spare hundreds of young men from prison sentences every year

Sri Lanka’s president to reconvene parliament on November 5 – new PM

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena will reconvene parliament on November 5, newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Thursday, as international pressure builds to resolve a political crisis

Maldives ex-president Nasheed returns from exile

The first democratically elected president of the Maldives returned home Thursday after more than two years in exile to escape a long prison term


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