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

Blast kills dozens at election rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Separate attacks claimed by the Taliban killed scores on Tuesday, including a blast at an election rally for President Ashraf Ghani that left 26 people dead. A second attack targeting an army base in central Kabul killed 22 people.

New Zealand: Six months after Christchurch massacre, a farewell to firearms?

Six months ago, New Zealand was rocked by a devastating terrorist attack – a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch which claimed the lives of 51 people. The government moved quickly to overhaul the country’s gun laws and as part of a nationwide buyback scheme, New Zealanders have until December 20 to hand over their weapons. While the reforms have won widespread support, they’ve also sparked anger among some licensed gun owners, such as hunters and farmers. Our regional correspondents report.

Hong Kong protesters sing ‘God Save the Queen’, call for UK support

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied Sunday outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong, stepping up calls for international support in their months-long campaign for democratic reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Turkish court orders release of former Cumhuriyet journalists

Turkey’s top appeals court on Thursday ordered the release of five former journalists from the Cumhuriyet newspaper, including prominent cartoonist Musa Kart, in a case that has highlighted the threat to press freedom in the country.

China summons German ambassador over Hong Kong activist’s Berlin visit

Beijing summoned the German ambassador after a meeting between Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and Germany’s foreign minister, China’s envoy said Wednesday, as a row between the trading giants escalated.

America’s longest war shows no sign of ending

As the US marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Donald Trump’s promise to end America’s longest war seems unlikely. But many Afghans have welcomed Trump’s recent pullout of US-Taliban talks. While experts were slamming Trump’s latest Twitter adventures, many Afghans cautiously welcomed the US president’s decision to call off negotiations that lacked transparency, did not include their democratically elected government, and was turbocharged to meet unrealistic international troop withdrawal timelines ahead of the 2020 US presidential election.

Trump’s art of quitting a bad deal wins some Afghan support

As the US marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Donald Trump’s promise to end America’s longest war seems unlikely. But many Afghans have welcomed Trump’s recent pullout of US-Taliban talks.

Dumping Fukushima water into sea ‘the only option’, says Japan minister

Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it, the environment minister said on Tuesday.

In Afghanistan, child amputees struggle to adapt to new life

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump cancelled secret peace talks with the Taliban. In the meantime, violence continues in Afghanistan, with children often caught in the crosshairs, whether in US air strikes or extremist attacks. In 2018, ten children from an Afghan family picked up unexploded mortar bomb. Three of them were killed and the remaining seven lost at least one limb each. One year on, the survivors are struggling to adapt to their new reality.

After summer of protests, thousands of Hong Kong students boycott classes

After a summer of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the movement shows little sign of abating. From primary schools to universities, nearly 200 schools remain closed and more than 10,000 students have refused to return to class. As the Chinese central government intends to make Hong Kong’s school curriculum more patriotic, many Hong Kong students and professors are wary of what they see as Beijing’s attempts to take full control of the territory’s education system. Our correspondents report.

North Korea fires projectiles hours after offering to restart nuclear talks with US

North Korea launched two projectiles toward the sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, hours after the North offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

Impossible deal? Trump’s aborted Afghanistan peace plan

What to make of Donald Trump’s aborted deal of the century for Afghanistan? The whole region is scrambling after a stunning eleventh-hour cancellation of a secret summit at Camp David. The Afghan president is up for reelection, the Taliban insurgency has never stopped fighting, and the US administration has vowed to withdraw troops. Who can fill the void and prevent a drawdown of US troops from resulting in more bloodshed, a possible partition of the country or a return to Taliban rule?

Powerful typhoon makes landfall in Japan, snarling traffic in Tokyo

One of the strongest typhoons to hit the Japanese capital in recent years made landfall just east of Tokyo on Monday, bringing record-breaking winds, stinging rain and sending some rivers close to the top of their banks.