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

‘McRefugees’, a symbol of Hong Kong’s housing crisis

A global financial hub and one of the world’s busiest ports, Hong Kong is a highly prosperous city. Its real estate market is systematically ranked as one of the most expensive in the world, meaning that workers with low salaries often have no choice but to rent tiny rooms at vast expense. For some, spending the night at a local fast food restaurant is a more convenient and comfortable option than sleeping at home. They’ve been nicknamed the “McRefugees”. Our France 2 colleagues report.

Kumbh Mela: Millions gather in India for world’s largest religious event

The largest religious gathering anywhere on earth gets under way Tuesday, with tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims congregating in India to bathe in sacred rivers for the Kumbh Mela.

China sentences Canadian citizen to death in drugs case

A Chinese court on Monday sentenced a Canadian man to death for drug smuggling, a ruling sure to aggravate already sour relations between Beijing and Ottawa following the arrest of a senior Chinese executive in Canada.

Ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn suffers ‘harsh treatment’ in jail, says wife

The wife of ousted Nissan Motor Co Ltd chairman Carlos Ghosn has urged New York-based Human Rights Watch to draw attention to his “harsh treatment” during detention in a Japanese jail, a letter seen by Reuters showed on Sunday.

Cockpit voice recorder of crashed Lion Air jet found

Navy divers have located the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, Indonesian officials said Monday, in a possible boost to the accident investigation.

Myanmar court rejects Reuters reporters’ appeal against 7-year sentence

A Myanmar court on Friday rejected the appeal of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail on charges of breaking the Official Secrets Act, saying the defence had not provided sufficient evidence to show they were innocent.

Japanese prosecutors file new charges against former Nissan chair Ghosn

Tokyo prosecutors on Friday filed two new charges of financial misconduct against former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, meaning the auto tycoon is unlikely to leave jail soon. Nissan was also charged with under-reporting his pay.

India’s Modi and BJP face bumpy road to 2019 elections

This spring, general elections will be held in India, with PM Narendra Modi seeking a second term. In December 2018, the ruling party, the BJP, suffered a setback at the polls when it lost three of its stronghold states. The BJP’s losses came not only in rural constituencies, where there is anger among famers, but also in cities and small towns, where the party tends to enjoy support among merchants and the middle class. Our India correspondents report on Modi’s apparent fall in popularity.

Japanese court rejects bid to release former Nissan boss Ghosn

A Japanese court on Wednesday rejected a bid by former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to end his detention over alleged financial misconduct, a day after he denied all accusations in a dramatic court appearance.

UN refugee agency assesses case of Saudi teen who fled to Thailand

The asylum claim of a young Saudi woman who resisted deportation from Thailand in a gripping, live-tweeted ordeal will take “several days” to assess, the UN’s refugee agency in Bangkok said Tuesday.

North Korea’s Kim makes surprise visit to China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Beijing on Tuesday on an unannounced visit for talks with President Xi Jinping, as preparations ramp up for an expected second summit with Donald Trump.

Malaysia’s king abdicates after two years on the throne

Malaysia’s king abdicated on Sunday in a historic first for the country that ended weeks of speculation about his future after he took medical leave and reportedly married a Russian ex-beauty queen.

Thailand picks up the pieces after tropical storm Pabuk

Villagers in southern Thailand have begun to recover and rebuild what is left of their homes and livelihoods after Tropical Storm Pabuk swept through on Friday. FRANCE 24 went to meet those dealing with its aftermath. In the village of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Juritha, a grandmother and wife of a fisherman, was not so lucky. Her home was devastated. “The ceiling is destroyed, everything is damaged,” she told FRANCE 24. Many of her neighbours have also lost their homes. Jom, Juritha’s 63-year-old husband, has spent fifty years working as a fisherman and has seen all kinds of disasters, including tsunamis. But now the weather in January is so bad he cannot get his boat out to sea to make a living. “The waves are too big, but I really need to fish,” said Jom. The fishermen have avoided the worst but they will have to rebuild their houses in the rain and it will be many days before they can get back to sea.

Floods, blackouts but tourist islands spared as Thai storm downgraded

Floods and blackouts caused by Tropical Storm Pabuk left nearly 30,000 people in evacuation shelters across southern Thailand Saturday, as relieved tourists stranded on islands further north were spared the worst and began to plot routes home.

Taiwan president calls for international support to defend democracy

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on Saturday for international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy and way of life in the face of renewed threats from China.