Category Archives: Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas

China relaxes smog restrictions as economy slows

Blue skies in Beijing are rare these days. Smog has returned to the Chinese capital, despite a concerted government crackdown that had seen air quality improve earlier this year. As China faces a slowing economy, experts say the environment is taking a backseat to economic growth. Our correspondents report.

Tsunami alert after powerful earthquake strikes South Pacific off New Caledonia

A powerful undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 struck off the east coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific on Wednesday, said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, adding tsunmai waves had been observed.

Car bomb rocks Kabul as Afghan president outlines peace plans

A car bomb exploded outside a security contractors’ compound in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, opening the way for gunmen who battled security forces only hours after President Ashraf Ghani outlined plans for peace in Afghanistan.

China scientist defends gene-editing babies, says trial on hold

The Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world’s first genetically-edited babies defended the highly controversial procedure Wednesday, but announced a halt to the trial following an international outcry.

Indonesia says Lion Air jet not airworthy on flight before crash

Indonesian investigators said on Wednesday a Lion Air Boeing 737 jet that plunged into the sea, killing 189 people onboard, was not airworthy on a flight the day before it crashed on Oct. 29.

China to investigate scientist’s claim of gene-edited babies

Beijing has ordered an investigation into claims by a Chinese scientist to have created the world’s first genetically-edited babies, a move that would be a ground-breaking medical first but which has generated a barrage of criticism.

Taiwan ruling party trounced in local elections as Beijing-friendly opposition gains ground

Taiwan Premier William Lai said on Saturday he had offered his resignation to the president, who refused it, after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was trounced in mayoral elections.

Taiwan elections seen as test for ruling pro-independence party

Taiwan began voting on Saturday in local elections, a key test of support for the island’s pro-independence ruling party ahead of presidential polls in just over a year, and will also hold a referendum on same-sex marriage.

Dozens killed as bomb hidden in vegetables tears through Pakistan market

At least 31 people were killed and 50 wounded when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables ripped through a crowded marketplace in Pakistan’s restive northwestern tribal region Friday, officials said.

Policemen killed in attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi

Two policemen were killed on Friday when gunmen stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi, officials said, with the attack claimed by a separatist group which branded Beijing “an oppressor”.

India struggles to recover body of American killed by isolated tribesmen

Indian authorities were struggling Thursday to figure out how to recover the body of an American killed after wading ashore on an isolated island cut off from the modern world.

China’s stolen children, a nationwide scourge

Every year in China, tens of thousands of children are kidnapped. Most of them are sold to families who are seeking to adopt a child, regardless of the cost. This report follows one Chinese father who found his daughter again, 24 years after she was snatched in broad daylight. It’s a rare happy ending amid a nationwide scourge. Our colleagues from France 2 report, with FRANCE 24’s Bryan Quinn.

Indian Railways hiring! World’s largest recruitment drive now underway

The Indian Railways is India’s biggest employer, with 1.3 million people in its workforce. The manpower is necessary to keep one of the world’s biggest networks running. But the ageing infrastructure leads to frequent accidents – over 50,000 people have died on the tracks in the past three years alone. As the Indian Railways organises one of its mammoth recruitment campaigns, we take a look at efforts to boost safety and security standards. Our correspondents report.