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Vice President Mike Pence: US Supercarrier Carl Vinson to arrive in the Sea of Japan within days

Posted by AFP on Saturday, April 22, 2017, In : Asia 
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US supercarrier Carl Vinson will arrive in the Sea of Japan in days, Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday, on a visit to Australia aimed at mending fences following a testy first call between the countries' leaders.

Pence sought to put to rest the surly telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in January, which rattled a long-standing alliance between the two powers.

Trump reportedly exploded and cut short the call when he was to...

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China reacts angrily over South Korea Decision to deploy U.S missile defense system

Posted by Reuters on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, In : Asia 
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Chinese state media has reacted with anger and threats of boycotts after the board of an affiliate of South Korea's Lotte Group approved a land swap with the government that will enable authorities to deploy a U.S. missile defence system.

The government decided last year to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, in response to the North Korean missile threat, on land that is part of a golf course owned by Lotte in the Seongju region, southeast of Seoul.

The board of...

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Taiwan: 32 dead after tour bus flipped on highway

Posted by AP on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, In : Asia 
Rescuers gather around a crashed bus in Taipei, Taiwan February 13, 2017.

A bus carrying Taiwanese tourists on a trip to view cherry blossoms flipped over on an expressway ramp in Taiwan's capital on Monday, killing 32 people and injuring many others, officials said.

The bus was carrying 44 people when it crashed Monday evening on the No. 5 expressway, the Taipei city fire department said. It said authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the accident.

"It happened on a curve, so the bus flipped and that could be due to excess speed," said Tu Bing-cheng...

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South Korean President refuses to testify in impeachment trial

Posted by AP on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, In : Asia 
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South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to testify Tuesday in the impeachment trial that will decide her future, prompting the prosecutors to question why she has publicly denied the charges of corruption but will not do so before the court.

After Park's refusal, the Constitutional Court delayed the start of oral arguments and asked her to testify on Thursday, when some of her current and former aides are also scheduled to testify. The court cannot force her to appear but can proceed with...

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China warns Donald Trump over comments on Taiwan status

Posted by Reuters on Monday, December 12, 2016, In : Asia 
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Image credit: newsweek

China expressed "serious concern" on Monday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held stance that Taiwan is part of "one China", calling it the basis for relations.

Trump's comments on "Fox News Sunday", questioning nearly four decades of U.S. policy, came after he prompted a diplomatic protest from China over his decision to accept a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2.


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South Korea's Parliament has impeached president Park Geun-hye

Posted by AP on Friday, December 9, 2016, In : Asia 
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South Korea’s parliament impeached President Park Geun-hye on Friday for her role in an influence-peddling scandal, with well over the required two-thirds majority of lawmakers – including dozens of members of her own party – voting to oust her. 

The decision was greeted rapturously by thousands of protestors who had gathered outside of the national assembly over the past week to demand the president’s dismissal and reforms that would cut away at ties between the government and a deepl...

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Breaking News: Powerful earthquake in Indonesia kills 97

Posted by AFP on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, In : Asia 
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Image credit: Financial Express

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck western Indonesia Wednesday has nearly doubled to 97, the military said, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of scores of shattered buildings.

The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake struck Pidie Jaya district in Aceh province at dawn as many in the mainly Muslim region on Sumatra island were preparing for morning prayers.

The death toll has steadily climbed as rescue crews search, often by hand, through the hom...

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to make first Pearl Harbor visit by Japan leader

Posted by AFP on Monday, December 5, 2016, In : Asia 
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to become the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor, announcing Monday a trip to Hawaii this month for talks with US President Barack Obama.

Abe, who will be in Hawaii on December 26 and 27, will visit the site of the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941, that began World War II in the Pacific.

The Hawaii visit comes after Obama in May journeyed to Hiroshima, the Japanese city where a US plane dropped the world's first atom bomb in the closing chapter ...

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South Korean parliament will vote this week to impeach President Park Guen-hye

Posted by NPR on Monday, December 5, 2016, In : Asia 

The next few days could be significant for South Korea's political future, as an impeachment vote is set for Friday to begin a process of removing the embattled president from office. President Park Geun-hye has been mired in a complicated influence peddling scandal that's brought on weeks of political paralysis and record-sized protests in the streets of Seoul.

"We need to get her out of the Blue House," demonstrator Woosuk Lee said, referring to South Korea's presidential residence and offic...

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American woman said she was gang-raped in Indian capital

Posted by AFP on Sunday, December 4, 2016, In : Asia 
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A US woman has told police she was gang-raped at a top hotel in the Indian capital during a visit earlier this year -- the latest in a series of alleged sexual assaults against tourists.

Delhi police launched a formal investigation Saturday after receiving a direct complaint from the woman, who is in the United States and had initially contacted them through an email by a US-based NGO.

"The police have registered a case of rape and will now verify all aspects of the woman's complaint," Joint Co...

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China is furious over call between Donald Trump and Tawain president Tsai Ing-wen

Posted by The Guardian on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : Asia 
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China has lodged “solemn representations” with the US over a call between the president-elect, Donald Trump, and Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen.
Trump looked to have sparked a potentially damaging diplomatic row with Beijing on Friday after speaking to the Taiwanese president on the telephone.

The call, first reported by the Taipei Times and confirmed by the Financial Times, is thought to be the first between the leader of the island and a US president or president-elect since ties betwee...

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China's Supreme Court finds man executed 21 years ago innocent

Posted by AFP on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : Asia 
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China's top court on Friday cleared a man executed 21 years ago for murder -- more than a decade after another man confessed to the killing -- in the latest miscarriage of justice in the Communist-ruled country.

Nie Shubin was 20 years old when he faced a firing squad in 1995, two days after being convicted of rape and murder.

"The Supreme People’s Court believes that the facts used in the original trial were unclear and the evidence insufficient, and so changes the original sentence to one o...

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South Korea ruling party urges President Park to resign in April, or face impeachment

Posted by AFP on Thursday, December 1, 2016, In : Asia 
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Image credit: Al-jazeera

South Korea's ruling party on Thursday urged scandal-hit President Park Geun-Hye to step down in April next year, giving her a week to accept their ultimatum or risk impeachment.

Park this week said she would be willing to step down early after coming under huge pressure to quit over an influence peddling scandal that has drawn more than a million people onto the streets in protest.

The ruling Saenuri Party's 128 lawmakers unanimously agreed to demand Park resign in late...

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UN imposes new sanctions on North Korea

Posted by AP on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, In : Asia 
 The U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to further tighten sanctions on North Korea following months of diplomatic wrangling over how best to respond to North Korea's latest nuclear test in September and their repeated defiance of international sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

The council unanimously approved the sanctions resolution with diplomats hailing it as a major step forward in its efforts to get the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon its nuclear ambitions.


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Japan orders major poultry cull after bird flu outbreak

Posted by Reuters on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, In : Asia 
Wearing anti-virus suits, soldiers of the Ground Self Defense Force head for chicken farm in Sekikawa, Niigata prefecture, on November 29, 2016. Japan has begun slaughtering more than 330,000 farm birds to contain its first outbreaks of a highly contagious strain of avian flu in nearly two years.

Japan has started culling more than 300,000 chickens and ducks after the discovery of a highly contagious form of bird flu on farms in the north of the country, local officials said.

The bird flu outbreaks are the first in nearly two years in Japan and news of the cullings boosted shares in some infection-control product makers.

In Niigata prefecture north of Tokyo, authorities on Tuesday started culling about 310,000 chickens at a farm in the village of Sekikawa after 40 birds were found dead ...

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Manila police detonate improvised bomb near US Embassy

Posted by AP on Monday, November 28, 2016, In : Asia 
 Members of police bomb disposal unit prepare a water bomb disruptor to be used to detonate a suspicious package, along Roxas boulevard near the US embassy in Manila on November 28, 2016.

An improvised bomb found Monday in a trash bin near the U.S. Embassy and detonated by police has the same design as one used by local sympathizers of the Islamic State group in a Sept. 2 bomb attack that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, the Philippine police chief said.

National police chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa told a news conference that police are theorizing that Maute militants could be behind Monday's "attempted act of terrorism" that appeared to target the U.S. Emba...

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1,200 Chinese citizens detained in Philippines for illegal gambling operations

Posted by Reuters on Monday, November 28, 2016, In : Asia 
China is concerned over the Philippines' detention of more than a thousand Chinese nationals during a crackdown on online gambling, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, in what could be a strain for ties that have warmed in recent months.

The Philippines immigration bureau last week detained about 1,200 Chinese people working in call center-like facilities suspected of running online gambling operations out of a former U.S. air base, Clark Field.

The detentions marked the government's biggest s...

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U.N. close to sanctions deal to slash North Korea export earnings

Posted by Reuters on Saturday, November 26, 2016, In : Asia 

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The U.N. Security Council's five veto powers are close to approving new sanctions on North Korea to cut the isolated state's earnings from exports by more than a quarter, principally by targeting its coal exports to China, diplomats said on Friday.

The U.S.-drafted resolution, in response to North Korea's fifth nuclear test in September, would set a U.N. cap on North Korean coal exports with the aim of cutting hard currency revenues by at least $700 million.

The resolution would also restrict N...

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India and Pakistan to expel each other's diplomat over Kashmir disputes

Posted by Reuters on Thursday, October 27, 2016, In : Asia 
Indian police officials walk with Subhash Jangir (C/L)and Maulana Ramzan (C/R) in New Delhi on October 27, 2016, after they were arrested for alleged espionage activities for South Asian neighbour Pakistan. India has announced that it was expelling a Pakistani visa official for suspected spying after he was briefly detained carrying sensitive defence documents, with tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours already running high. The official was detained at the Delhi zoo where he had arranged to meet two alleged Indian co-conspirators to exchange information including troop deployment along the border. The two Indian nationals have been charged under the Official Secrets Act and been remanded into custody. One of the men told reporters outside court that he was only 'teaching children'.

India and Pakistan on Thursday announced they would each expel one of the other's diplomats amid growing tension between the nuclear-armed arch-foes over the disputed region of Kashmir.

India said it would expel a Pakistani diplomat based in New Delhi who allegedly ran a spy ring that collected sensitive information about Indian security operations along its border.

Late on Thursday night, Pakistan's foreign ministry said it had declared an Indian diplomat, Surjeet Singh, persona non grata and ...

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Iconic 'Afghan girl' from 'National Geographic' arrested in Pakistan

Posted by USAToday on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, In : Asia 

National Geographic's iconic, green-eyed Afghan Girl was arrested Wednesday at her home in Peshawar, Pakistan, on charges she possessed a forged national identification card, authorities said.

Shahid Ilyas, an official of the Federal Investigation Agency's National Database Registration Authority, told AFP that Sharbat Gula was arrested following a two-year investigation and could face up to 14 years in prison.

Pakistan, and particularly the Peshawar area along the Afghan border, has been home ...

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Philippine's president says he wants foreign troops out

Posted by AP on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, In : Asia 

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking in a country that is a staunch U.S. ally and hosts 50,000 American troops, said Wednesday that he wants his country to be free of foreign troops, possibly within two years.

"I want to be friends to China," he told an audience of businesspeople in Tokyo. "I do not need the arms. I do not want missiles established in my country. I do not need to have the airports to host the bombers."

He was referring to visiting U.S. troops, whose presence in five P...

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US says that North Korea had failed missile launch

Posted by foxnews on Thursday, October 20, 2016, In : Asia 
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North Korea attempted to launch another intermediate-range ballistic missile early Thursday morning local time, but the U.S. military reported that the launch failed, the second failure in the past five days.

The launch came hours before the last presidential debate and while South Korea's top diplomat and defense minister were in Washington for talks with their American counterparts. North Korea launched the missile, believed to be a Musudan intermediate-range missile, near the northwestern c...

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Russian Guards Fire on North Korean Ship, Kill 1 Fisherman

Posted by AP on Saturday, October 15, 2016, In : Asia 
Russia says one North Korean fisherman was killed and eight others injured when Russian border guards opened fire on a fishing trawler.

The Federal Security Service, which includes coastal and border guards, says the clash took place Saturday after the trawler Dae Yong No. 10 entered Russian waters in the Sea of Japan.

The security service, known by its acronym FSB, said in a statement that border guards detained the boat and found "illegally obtained aquatic bio-resources."

The statement says t...

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India and Russia signed multi-billion dollars energy and defense pacts

Posted by AFP on Saturday, October 15, 2016, In : Asia 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Indo-Russia Annual Summit in Goa on October 15, 2016 (AFP Photo/Prakash Singh)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed multi-billion dollar energy and defense pacts on Saturday following talks aimed at reinvigorating ties between the traditional allies.

Modi hailed Putin as an "old friend" after their meeting in the Indian state of Goa, where leaders of the other BRICS emerging nations were also gathering for a summit.

"Your leadership has provided stability and substance to our strategic partnership," Modi said alongside Putin at a...

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India: Stampede kills 24 at religious gathering

Posted by AFP on Saturday, October 15, 2016, In : Asia 
Indian bystanders gather near discarded belongings at the roadside following a fatal stampede in Varanasi on October 15, 2016 (AFP Photo/STR)

A stampede at a religious gathering in northern India killed at least 24 people Saturday as thousands of devotees of a controversial guru tried to cross a bridge at once, police said.

The followers of Jai Gurudev, a leader of a local religious sect, had gathered on the outskirts of Varanasi, a Hindu holy town in Uttar Pradesh state, when the deadly stampede broke out.

"We can confirm that 24 people have died in the incident. Nineteen of the dead are women," Hari Ram Sharma, police inspector gen...

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