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Asia

Asia

Two monks killed and two injured after group of 10 men dressed like soldiers riding motorcycles attacked Narathiwat temple, violence escalating in the three southernmost provinces this year after death toll dropped to a record low last year

Australian heatwave in November deemed responsible for deaths of 23,000 bats, researchers and animal rescuers estimate nearly 1/3rd of spectacled flying fox species succumbed over two day period seeing temperatures up to 42C

Change in Japanese law lowers age of adulthood from 20 to 18 but many cities will continue to observe 20, Coming-of-Age Day tradition began in 1948, modern rhythms of college entrance exams and workforce participation make 18 a difficult age to celebrate adulthood for young Japanese

Philippine President Duterte calls on Catholic Church to end priest celibacy, claims "most priests are gay" and should be openly allowed to have boyfriends, the Church has criticized his drug war policy and Duterte has told he was abused by clergy as a child

Pseudoscience moves from fringe to mainstream in India, academics and scientists at Indian Science Congress claim stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago, a demon king had 24 types of aircraft, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were both wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed "Narendra Modi Waves"

Taiwanese president challenges international community to support its independence from China, Tsai Ing-wen asked "which country might be next?" if Taiwanese democracy is not protected, follows Chinese threats using force to bring the island under its control

16-year-old in custody after lethal stabbing at Chatswood Scientology headquarters, a 24-year-old Taiwanese man dies in hospital and another man injured after an altercation

Riots and partial government shutdown as two fertile females enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala, a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling lifted the ban on menstruating women entering the bachelor god's grounds, ruling Hindu nationalist party BJP supports protests

Xi Jinping reiterates "reunification" with Taiwan as goal of Communist regime, Taiwanese officials reject the term saying Taiwan has never been under Chinese rule, Xi claims military solution not ruled out in statements made on 40th anniversary of 1979 armistice

Chinese naval railgun spotted on ship at sea raising fears of arms race, both US and China have been developing hypersonic artillery that enables "hemispheric" combat zones

Chinese military memo cites need for training and war-readiness in 2019, military analysts claim this rhetoric is typical of PLA and does not connote war-footing, Xi Jinping has toppled numerous generals in recent corruption scandals and promoted 38 colonels to general to form "Xi force"

Survey finds all-time high 25.3% of Japanese students have worse than 20/20 eyesight, the government report blames increased mobile phone use and gaming trends amongst youth, Japan is the 3rd largest market for mobile gaming behind China whose government has sounded similar alarm

Thailand first country in Southeast Asia to approve cannabis for medical use and research, "a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people," says the drafting committee

Tsunami leaves at least 168 dead and hundreds injured on Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano

Thai National Council for Peace and Order lifts prohibition on political gatherings and support for political activities ahead of the February 24 elections, won't affect earlier violators of the ban

100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church arrested in China, state authorities have deemed the group to be an illegal social organization, undetained members vow to continue practicing their faith openly

"Iron Horse" train reconnects North and South Korea by rail, the two countries hope to break ground on a new rail line by years end, existing US sanctions against North Korea inhibit economic unification and development

Japan to retrofit Izumo-class helicopter transport ships to perform as aircraft carriers, first time since World War II the Self-Defense Forces can launch short-range fighters, aims to upset balance of power with China

145 pilot whales strand themselves on a beach in New Zealand, local conservationists euthanized those who had not expired naturally lacking means to save them

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen resigns as leader of ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, after losing mayoral elections in second-most populous city Taichung and key battleground of Kaohsiung to China-friendly Kuomintang, does not accept resignation of PM William Lai

American missionary killed by native tribesmen on North Sentinel Island, John Allen Chau paid local fishermen to transport him to the island illegally before being shot full of arrows

6,000 endangered Chinese sturgeon fish die during construction of nearby eco-resort, officials blamed noise, shock and changing water conditions on the Yangtze River related to Jinan Eco-cultural Tourism Zone

Chinese marathon runner loses race after track official tries to hand her Chinese flag, He Yenli was later criticized on Chinese social media for disgracing the national symbol after she dropped it

Chinese broadcast of Golden Horse Awards censors director Fu Yue's call for independent Taiwan, the Taiwanese documentary-maker made the comments during a tearful acceptance speech

Suicide bomber kills 50 at Islamic convention in Kabul, hundreds of scholars had gathered at a banquet hall to celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi festival

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen rejects claims of Chinese naval base on south coast, the Asian nation has recently benefitted from US 100 million in military improvement funds from China

Two former senior leaders of Khmer Rouge found guilty of genocide by UN court, former communist regime of Cambodia killed 25% of country's population, court found evidence that there was a special policy targeting Cham muslims and Vietnamese

15 Western diplomats led by Canada petition China for information about Uighur persecution, the official letter states ambassadors are "deeply troubled" over detainment of 800,000-2M ethnic Muslims

Chinese Communist Party policing Peking University against pro-labor rights leftist student movements, measures seen as further consolidation of President Xi Jinping's power under one party rule

Japanese minister for cybersecurity admits he has never personally used a PC, internet users mocked the comments from a session of parliament, a government minister who doesn't use computers may be "strongest kind of security"

Chinese government revenue falls 3.1% to USD 230 billion year-over-year, fiscal watchers blame imposition of tax cuts, non-tax revenue increased 10.8%

China developing deep water naval base in Gulf of Thailand, 45,000 acre Koh Kong concession granted in 2008 represents 20% of Cambodian coastline

Japan drowning in abandoned wooden boats, 89 so far this year, some with deceased crew still on board, is presumed to be illegal North Korean fishing vessels that weren't able to make it back home after illegally fishing on Japanese waters

Chinese schoolmaster fired after accumulating USD 2,100 electricity bill operating secret cryptomining rig, the hardware was used to mine Ethereum at the school in Hunan after the teacher realized how much energy it consumed at his home

Somali-born ISIS agent stabs 1 to death and injures 2 in Melbourne, Australia attack, the 31-year-old perpetrator's 21-year-old brother stands accused of plotting a mass casualty attack on New Year's Eve last year

South Korean administration declares mushroom gift from Kim Jong-un free of radioactivity, the North's prized pine mushroom crop is located near a nuclear test site, the North Korean regime bartered 22 lbs of flour per 2.2 lbs of mushrooms collected by villagers in order to present the 2 ton gift

18 dead and 168 injured as train carrying 366 passengers derails at high speed in Taiwan, the Puyama Express accident is the worst of its kind in 37 years following 1981 derailment that killed 30

Afghan voters defy threats of violence by Taliban in bid to influence national election, a suicide bombing killed 15 but most voters hindered by technological glitches and long queues

50 dead and scores wounded as commuter train strikes festival goers in India, Dussehra celebration includes fireworks and other loud spectacles which obscured the sound of the oncoming train from those seated on the tracks

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister arrested in ongoing "1MDB" corruption scandal, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had served under disgraced PM Najib Razak and recently headed up the country's leading UMNO party

Plans are in place to open North-South Korea DMZ border to tourism visits from both countries, guard stations will be created to prevent defections and illegal immigration

Young tourist couple arrested for vandalism after admitting to public graffiti in Chiang Mai, the Briton and Canadian appeared intoxicated and face a 10 year prison sentence and hefty fine

The golden hall at the Kofukuji temple in Nara reopened 301 years after it burnt down, was first built in 714 and has since burnt down 7 times

Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq assassinated in Taliban-instigated mass shooting, US General Scott Miller also present but unhurt

Thai army chief Gen. Kongsompong open to coup during transition to civilian rule, Thailand's most recent coup was May 2014 and has been under military rule since then

Taliban bombing kills former Communist general ahead of Afghanistan elections, Abdul Jabar Qahraman was the 10th electoral candidate to be assassinated ahead of upcoming elections

Chinese woman murders two children and commits suicide in the wake of husband's faked death, the father had recently taken out an life insurance policy to cover some personal debts, #ManFakesDeathLeadingtoWifesDeath trending on Weibo blog site with 29 million views

Indian minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar resigns in global #MeToo moment, he has been accused of sexual harrassment and stepped down to defend his reputation in court, Akbar filed defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani who is his accuser

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan resigns aiming at forcing early elections, hopes to consolidate his power as many current members of parliament sympathizes with predecessor Serzh Sargsyan

Australian PM indicates government may be willing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the ruling PM's party faces a by election for the Wentworth seat in Sydney which threatens their hold on power, 12.5% of the Wentworth population is recorded as Jewish

Nepalese tiger population almost doubled since 2009 due to conservation efforts, "tiger nation" leaders met in 2010 and pledged to double their tiger populations by 2022

Former South Korean president jailed for 15 years on corruption charges, Lee Myung-bak is the fourth former leader to be tried and imprisoned and also faces a personal fine of KRW 13 billion

North and South Korea commit to landmine clearance at DMZ beginning October 1, the effort comes on the heels of September's Pyongyang Declaration as the two countries move to disarm the DMZ and withdraw troops

832 confirmed dead on Indonesian island of Sulawesi after 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, waves up to 6 meters high destroyed a mall and hotels in Palu, thousands feared dead as power outages and destroyed communication networks inhibit rescue operations

Chinese officials destroy crosses, burn bibles, close churches and force Christians to sign papers renouncing faith as crackdown on religious congregations intensifies in Beijing and several provinces

India nears completion of world's tallest statue at 182m and USD 430 million in cost, the statue celebrates nationalist figure "Iron Man of India" Sardar Patel who was almost first Indian prime minister in 1947, will exceed Spring Temple Buddha in China at 128m

Chinese pig farmers cull 38,000 hogs as fears of greater African swine flu pandemic grow, 6 outbreaks across 5 provinces as far as 1,000km away now reported in past month, China is the world's largest pork consumer per capita

EU issues demand for the immediate release of Myanmar journalists working for Reuters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were imprisoned after news coverage of Rohingya conflict violated state secrets law

South Korean national government pledges public toilet checks to stem "spy cam porn", 6,000 cases reported last year of primarily female victims, 5,400 arrests led to 2% incarceration rate for the crime

Applications for asylum fall in Japan first time in eight years, the Justice Ministry cites stricter asylum laws which limited applicants' ability to work while being processed, granted asylum permits increased from 2 to 20 in 2017

Chinese regulators plan further limits to online video game production to protect children's eyesight, shares of publicly traded game publishers dropped as government steps up its efforts to reduce availability of games, government watchdogs claim Chinese youth have increasing incidence of myopia at young ages

Malaysian doctor in Hong Kong poisons wife and daughter with carbon monoxide-filled yoga ball, the man was recently estranged from his wife and having an affair with a student, he obtained the carbon monoxide at a local teaching hospital under the excuse of pest control

China culls over 20,000 pigs to halt outbreak of deadly African swine fever, panic among farmers in world's largest pig market while US-China trade row also pushes up cost of livestock feed

Two Vietnamese-Americans jailed for 14 years on terrorism charges in Vietnam, the Vietnamese government accused them of masterminding several bomb plots on major Vietnamese holidays, the two individuals serve California-based "Provisional Government of Vietnam" interested in counter-revolutionary politics

Historic monsoon floods in Kerala, India, leave at least 324 dead and 220,000 homeless, extensive flooding has submerged over 10,000km of roads and knocked out power and mobile infrastructure, meteorologists estimate the region has seen 37.5% more rainfall than average as Indian armed forces respond to emergency

Indian prime minister Modi pledges a manned mission to space by 2022 in Independence Day speech, would be the fourth country to achieve this after Russia, USA and China, the space-bound government's leader also touted progress on rural electrification and toilet plumbing and announced a "Modicare" health insurance scheme

Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan sign an agreement on use of the Caspian Sea, "Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea" governs resource exploitation and presence of foreign militaries, designates special legal status neither lake nor sea with surface water shared by all, "seabed" and its minerals divided up amongst the five powers

New rules allow for rainbow trout to be sold under the name of salmon in China, Chinese government authorities chose to legitimize a market-driven practice after it was revealed by state media earlier this year

Chinese Communist Party argues its police procedures against Muslim Uighurs has prevented "China's Syria", the official editorial in Global Times defends mass incarceration of suspected militants in internment camps, claims Western policy of support for recent rebellions "has destroyed numerous countries and regions"

Australian government strips five dual nationals of citizenship after investigating ISIS ties, first such incident was Khaled Sharrouf who posted picture of 7yo son with severed head on social media, the three men and two women in their 20s and 30s had flown to Syria and Iraq to support Islamic State

Mazda, Suzuki and Yamaha are accused by Japanese government of improper emissions testing, the vehicles involved were designated for sale in Japan, executives apologized but no recalls are planned

30 hours of interview recordings with the crew of the atomic bomber Enola Gay long thought lost have been recovered and donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, along with typed manuscripts the tapes provide an inside account of the mission that left an estimated 100,000 dead from the blast and fallout of the first nuclear bomb used in warfare on a city

Taliban suicide bomber kills 3 Czech soldiers on patrol with NATO in Afghanistan, the nation is embroiled in the most dangerous turmoil since 2014 as 16,000 NATO troops remain in the country "for training and counter-terrorism operations"

Chinese artist and dissident social critic Ai Weiwei's studio demolished "without warning" after rental agreement elapsed one year earlier, the artist had emigrated to Berlin in 2015 and claims he was unable to remove a large number of remaining works promptly, he is known for designing Beijing's "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium in 2008 but has since been arrested and had his passport confiscated for social commentary

At least 82 people were killed by falling rubble and other dangers in the wake of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Indonesian island of Lombok, the tremblor was part of a series of recent seismic disturbances and threw islanders and resort-goers into a panic about the risk of a tsunami

The Chinese government is building four more Type-055 guided-missile destroyers as escorts for its aircraft carrier fleet after already building four of the 12,000 ton displacement craft, the ships feature advanced anti-aircraft and anti-submarine combat capabilities but are still considered second in power to US Zumwalt-class destroyers, the ships represent a threat to South Korean and Japanese peers as China prepares a more robust naval presence in the Pacific Ocean

At least 115 injured in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka after police allegedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesting students, police spokesman denies all allegations, protests concerning road safety after two teenagers were killed by speeding bus

India effectively strips four million mainly Muslim people of citizenship in northeastern state of Assam by excluding them from National Register of Citizens for not being able to prove they were in the state before 1971, Home Minister Rajnath Singh says no need to panic as "no coercive action will be taken against anyone"

Chinese Jiangxi Provincial Government seizes and publicly destroys 5,000 coffins, province only allows "more eco-friendly" cremation, at least one illegally buried body exhumed

Hundreds of Indonesian villagers storm crocodile farm and kill all 292 protected saltwater and New Guinea crocodile as revenge for crocodiles killing local man who gathered vegetables on their breeding sanctuary

15 people sentenced to public caning for violating Sharia law in Indonesia's Aceh province – two men sentenced to 87 lashes each for gay sex, nine people sentenced for adultery and four people for being drunk

Sri Lanka resumes executions of drug dealers after commuting death sentences to life in prison since 1976, President Maithripala Sirisena says he is "ready to sign the death warrants" and officials promise to "replicate the success" of the Philippines drug war

All twelve boys including coach saved after two weeks trapped in Thai cave, elite team of Thai Navy SEALs and foreign rescue divers brought out final four boys and soccer coach, divers and support team of 100 took nine hours in this second rescue phase

Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia injured in car accident, his wife Ouk Phalla dead

Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah killed in US drone attack in Afghanistan's northeast Kunar province, according to Afghan defence ministry

Indian veteran journalist and editor Shujaat Bukhari and one of his personal security officers shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside newspaper Rising Kashmir's office in state capital Srinagar, policeman and civilian also critically injured

Saudi Arabia and Softbank to invest USD 60-100 billion in solar energy project in India, already cooperating in Saudia Arabia

Man in Zhaoqing sentenced to six months in prison after stepping on Chinese flag during opening of his new martial arts center, third case in last six months when Chinese citizens are jailed for insulting the flag

Australian Wildlife Conservancy finishes 44-kilometre long electrified fence to create 9,400 hectares predator-free area 350 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs to save native wildlife and vegetation, project to be extended in 2020 to cover 100,000 hectares – western quoll, numbat, bilby and central rock-rat among species to be reintroduced in area

Mob of over 600 Muslim men destroys historic Ahmadiyya mosque in Sialkot, Pakistan – Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974 and the community is often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics

Malaysian police raid apartments owned by former PM Najib Razak’s family as part of investigation into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, seize luxury bags, cash and jewellery

Japanese commuter train departs 25 seconds early due to mistake by train conductor, operator apologises for inconvenience

School in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou installs cameras to monitor facial expressions in classroom in order to help teachers identify which students are concentrating, unnamed student says he believes everyone’s concentration has improved

Chinese tourists cause anger in Vietnam as they arrive in Cam Ranh dressed in t-shirts with illustration of South China Sea territorial claims, forced to take off offending shirts before being allowed to leave airport

Several police officers and civilians wounded by yet another suicide bomb in Indonesian city of Surabaya, suicide bombers rode two motorbikes up to checkpoint outside police station

Cambodian school director arrested for insulting King Norodom Sihamoni by suggesting monarch was behind decision to disband main opposition party, first person to face charges after law was passed in February

Suicide bombings in Indonesian Surabaya with at least 13 dead and 40 injured carried out by family where sons 18 and 16 years old rode motorcycles into church, mother and daughters 12 and 9 years old forced way inside other church with bombs strapped to waists and father drove bomb-laden car into third church facade, IS-affiliated family recently returned from Syria

North Korea says it will dismantle nuclear test site according to state news agency KCNA, tunnels will be collapsed with explosions during ceremony which journalists across world will be invited to cover, to take place between May 23 and 25 depending on weather

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to meet on June 12th in Singapore, will be special moment for world peace according to Trump

Rockhampton Regional Council in Queensland covers up Taiwanese flag on bull statue in order for it to reflect Australian government's one-China policy, statue had been painted by school students for event hosted by country's beef industry which has China as one of largest export markets