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Asia

Asia

North and South Korea establish direct phone line between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in ahead of summit, civil servants successfully complete test call lasting 4 minutes and 17 seconds

Serious risk of nuclear accident in North Korea according to report from Russian professor of physics and chemistry, reactor model developed in country similar to Soviet-era RBMK-1000 used in Chernobyl 1986, political pressure could lead to lower safety standards to accelerate construction

Chief minister of Tripura claims internet was invented in India thousands of years ago, references depiction of battle of Kurukshetra in Hindu epic Mahabharata which supposedly also gives proof of ancient satellite technology, becomes target of ridicule on social media

China and Nepal agree on multi-year plan to develop economic corridor over Himalayas after foreign minister summit, increasingly close ties between Beijing and Kathmandu

CIA chief and secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo has met Kim Jong-un to lay groundwork for upcoming meeting with Donald Trump, say sources to Washington Post

World Surf League cancels last two days of surfing tournament Margaret River Pro in Western Australia after two separate shark attacks, presence of aggressive sharks in area possibly due to beached whales

Two Christians killed and six others injured in Pakistani Quetta as unknown gunmen opened fire on group that had left local church, earlier this month four members of Christian family were killed in same city in what police officials call targeted attack

Singapore to set up surveillance cameras linked to facial recognition software on 100,000 lampposts, says project part of broader "Smart Nation" plan to use cutting-edge technology to improve people’s lives and has pledged to be sensitive to privacy

Chinese man at pop concert with 60,000 goers identified by facial recognition technology and arrested suspected of economic crimes, country has 170 million CCTV cameras and some 400 million new ones are expected to be installed in next three years

Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif permanently banned from running for office in Supreme Court decision, has previously handed leadership of PML-N party to his brother Shahbaz after previous court ruling, denies corruption allegations

Child born in China four years after biological parents die in car accident, grandparents transported frozen embryos to Laos where surrogacy is allowed, birth mother travelled to China on tourist visa to give birth

Duterte orders mining companies to plant trees, considers banning all open pit mining for environmental reasons

More than 100 people dead this month after drinking toxic bootleg liquor in Indonesia, country's high taxes and limited legal alcohol sales fuels thriving bootleg business

Japan gets its first Marine Corps soldiers since WWII as it activates 2,100 soldier amphibious brigade that primarily shall defend islands in East China Sea, increasingly difficult security situation in county's surroundings has made defense of these islands critical issue according to vice defense minister Tomohiro Yamamoto

South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye sentenced to 24 years in prison for corruption-related crimes and fined equivalent of USD 17 million

Six Vietnamese activists sentenced to between 7 and 15 years in prison accused of trying to overthrow communist government, at least 97 political prisoners are currently serving jail sentences across country according to Amnesty International

China regime seems to have banned sales of bibles which are now impossible to find online as well as in book stores

Philippines closes Boracay to tourists for six months beginning on 26 April, President Duterte has previously accused tourism industry of turning island into cesspool

At least 20 killed in clashes in Kashmir, many of them civilians trying to prevent Indian army from carrying out operations against suspected militants

Japan might have conducted sterilizations through radioactivity despite it being illegal, made legal through an exception signed in 1949 by head of health ministry, raises question if potentially lethal experiments have been conducted on mentally handicapped persons forcefully enrolled in program

Japanese whaling vessels return after this year's expedition, have captured 333 minke whales in Antarctic Ocean, no protests from anti-whaling groups reported

Schedule for coronation of next emperor of Japan now finalized, will take place in ceremony on May 1 2019 where imperial regalia will be handed over to new emperor to solidify his legitimacy, will only be attended by male members of imperial family, in November same year most important ceremony will be held when new emperor will eat rice from that year's harvest

Catholic bishop Guo Xijin detained by Chinese authorities after declining to officiate mass together with government-appointed colleague not recognised by Vatican, negotiations between China and Holy See concerning resumption of diplomatic relations ongoing

China confirms Kim Jong-un has visited country, subject of speculation due to unusual sightings in Beijing, first foreign visit for North Korean leader since coming to power

Kim Jong-un on secret visit to China according to multiple reports, would be his first known trip abroad since taking power in 2011, visit intended to improve ties between Beijing and Pyongyang

At least 64 dead, many of whom children, as fire sweeps through shopping center in city of Kemerovo in central Russia, fire started in upper floors that included cinema and children's play area

Dalai Lama cancels public engagements abroad during rest of year, spokesperson says Tibetan leader is exhausted after teaching for long period of time

Pakistani court acquits 20 people suspected of involvement in lynching and burning alive of Christian couple accused of blasphemy in 2014, five people sentenced to death and ten jailed for the crime in November 2016, couple accused of desecrating the Quran

Hikmawan Saefullah: Increasing authoritarianism and religious conservatism in Indonesian punk scene result of state weakening left-wing ideologies through repression, punk artists denounces democracy with reference to it being incompatible with Islam

New Zealand eradicates 200,000 mice from uninhabited Antipodes Islands as animals have threatened species of insects and sea birds, rodents arrived on shipwrecks and sealing ships in 1800s

At least 32 dead and dozens injured in suicide attack outside Shiite mosque in Kabul where Persian new year Nowruz was celebrated

Myanmar president Htin Kyaw resigns, military appointee vice president Myint Swe thought to become interim successor on post which has become increasingly ceremonial since Aung San Suu Kyi became de facto leader of country

China's President Xi Jinping delivers nationalistic closing speech to parliament, issues strong warning to separatists in Taiwan and Hong Kong and says any attempt to divide country is doomed to fail, also points at Chinese global ambitions

Increased production of halal products in China leads to debate and online protests, many Chinese see normalization of halal food as threat, media warns against islamic rituals penetrating into secular life

At least 9 killed and 35 injured in suicide attack on police check post in Pakistani town of Raiwind on outskirts of Lahore, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claims to have carried out bombing

Japan PM Shinzo Abe denies involvement in property deal where school company with ties to his wife, Akie Abe, bought government land to price far below market value

Hong Kong government-owned incubator Cyberport get 6 million USD earmark to build venue for video game tournaments, bureaucrats worried about neighboring countries having stronger brands in e-sports

Setback for Hong Kong democracy movement as parliamentary seats of dismissed democrats filled by Beijing loyalists, leads to democracy activists losing veto power over legislation

At least 48 dead as Bombardier Q400 of US-Bangla Airlines with 80 aboard crashes during landing in Kathmandu

Wild boars growing problem in Japanese countryside, decreasing population and interest in getting gun licenses among causes, on Kakara island boars are three times as numerous as 100 human inhabitants, the latter avoid taking walks and do not let children play outside, about 50 animals caught per year which is insufficient to stop growth

Chinese parliament votes to abolish presidential term limit clearing way for Xi Jinping to be dictator for life, 2,958 members voted in favor of proposition, 2 voted against and 3 abstained

New medicine-resistant version of HIV discovered in Philippines where number of infected by virus is up tenfold since 2006, more research on subtype AE called for, current medicines adapted to subtype B which is most common in Europe

Shenzen introduces priority spaces for women on all subway lines, reserves first and last car for purpose and marks them with pink signs at platforms

Two doctors in Uttar Pradesh suspended as severed leg was used as headrest for patient who had limb amputated after bus accident, patient's relatives bought proper pillow at local market

Plans for Muslim prayer room near Shinto Ise Jingu shrine in Japan scrapped after complaints from public, city to explore possibility of setting up prayer space at privately run facility instead

Sri Lanka's government imposes nation-wide state of emergency to counter communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims, riots and arson attacks as unrest spreads throughout country

China to develop technologies to build nuclear-powered aircraft carrier according to state-backed Global Times, part of plan to turn country's military into world-class fighting force by 2050, first home-built aircraft carrier which was launched in 2017 expected to enter service in 2020

Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il used Brazilian passports with names Josef Pwag and Ijong Tchoi for visa applications to Western countries during 1990s according to sources in European intelligence agencies

Taliban announce willingness to negotiate with US, have been pushed back by intensified air raids since last year

Fire in overhead storage on Chinese domestic flight before take off, believed to have been caused by lithium batteries, put out before anyone hurt

Japanese billionaire Mitsutoki Shigeta awarded custody of 13 children he fathered with Thai surrogate mothers, concern over his motives as he has expressed wish to have more than 1,000 babies, commercial surrogacy banned in Thailand since 2015 but is still allowed in nearby Laos

China Communist Party proposes removing constitutional clause limiting presidential service to two five year consecutive terms, could allow Xi Jinping to rule beyond 2023

Indian actress Sridevi Kapoor dies of heart attack at age 54, was considered to be one of few women capable of huge box office success in Bollywood

30-fold increase in HIV cases in Philippines during last 10 years, 11,000 new cases in 2017, president Duterte mocks condom use by publicly eating candy without removing wrapper

Two men suspected of having murdered five-year-old girl beaten to death in Indian state Arunachal Pradesh after police station where they were being held was attacked by nearly 1,000 people, 15 members of police force injured

Top of Gunung Sinabung mountain in western Indonesia disappears as volcano erupts and ejects 7 km tall ash cloud, volcano was dormant for 400 years but has had several eruptions since 2010

Nearly 2,000 North Korean asylum seekers deported from Canada to South Korea since 2013, falsely claimed on application forms that they defected to China, say South Korea is not safe as North Korean spies can track them down

Fire damages Jokhang temple in Lhasa, difficult to assess extent of destruction as Chinese media report restrictively from Tibet and foreign journalists are barred from working

66 dead after ATR72 from Aseman Airlines crashes in southern Iran, sanctions have made country's airplane fleets particularly old and unsafe, Aseman is only airline in world which still has Boeing 727 in regular passenger traffic

Japan to further restrict immigration, out of 19,628 applicants 20 were given asylum during 2017, possibility of working during asylum process to be removed after being exploited by Filipinos, Sinhalese and Vietnamese according to justice department

Entire parliament building of Tonga destroyed by cyclone Gita along with significant other devastation, wind speeds over 200 km/h highest ever recorded in country

North Korea invites South Korea president Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-un, would be third time leaders of the two countries met, last time was in 2007 when Kim Jong-il met Roh Moo-hyun

Anger in Iran as special edition Samsung phones given to all Olympic athletes except Iranians and North Koreans due to UN sanctions, IOC clarifies that all competitors will receive phones although the North Korean are likely not allowed to bring them back to home country

Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee accused of holding assets in names of employees to avoid millions of USD in taxes, cannot be interrogated due to failing health, son Lee Jae-yong released earlier in week after prison sentence was postponed four years

Chinese police begin to use sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology, seven suspects arrested at Zhengzhou train station, fears equipment will be used to track political dissidents

Pakistani court sentences one accused to death and 30 to prison over lynching of university student accused of blasphemy, at least 67 people have been killed over unproven blasphemy allegations in country since 1990

Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong to visit opening of Olympics in Pyeongchang, first time member of Kim dynasty visits South Korea

At least 33 infected with HIV in Uttar Pradesh as fake doctor uses same syringe on all his patients, local police said to be looking for 35-year-old man selling low-price medical service from bicycle

41 security guards at Olympics in South Korea taken to hospital and 1,200 taken out of service after norovirus outbreak, replaced by 900 military personnel, not clear how guards caught disease

Satellite images show North Korea is developing bases for fleet of assault hovercraft on its west coast, could be used to invade South Korean-held islands in Yellow Sea

Maldives government declares state of emergency and country's ex-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is arrested, political crisis grows as President Abdulla Yameen refuses to accept Supreme Court ruling that jailed opposition leaders should be freed

Two crew members deceased as military helicopter crashes into empty house in Kanzaki, Japan, military flight security hot topic after several incidents with US helicopters on Okinawa

At least 11 soldiers killed and 13 wounded in suicide attack near military base in northern Pakistan, Pakistani Taliban claim to have carried out bombing

Taliban openly active in two thirds of Afghanistan, control 4% of country outright according to study by BBC based on interview with 1,200 people in all 399 districts, group have furthered positions since 2014 when foreign troops were withdrawn

Top secret Australia government papers found in file cabinet in Canberra second-hand store, according to ABC which is using documents as sources for reporting

Western tourists in Cambodia face pornography charges and risk a year in prison, accused of having taken photographs with clothes on demonstrating different sexual positions, member of groups says none of those arrested were in photographs

Hong Kong authorities evacuate 1,500 people in Wan Chai district and successfully defuse 450-kg bomb from World War II, 145 centimeters long explosive probably dropped by US military in fall of 1942 or later

IS terrorists kill 11 Afghan soldiers and injure 15 in attack against military academy in Kabul

New Zealand defence force finds seven survivors from ferry MV Butiraoi which went missing on January 20 with 50 passengers during trip between Nonouti and Betio in Kiribati, unclear why it took Kiribati authorities so long to ask for assistance

Bomb hidden in ambulance kills at least 95 and injures 158 at police checkpoint in central Kabul, Taliban claim to be behind deadliest attack since 150 were killed in explosion last May near German embassy

Statue of James Cook vandalised in Melbourne ahead of Australia Day, aborigines have protested celebrations for decades and argue that date of national holiday should be changed from January 26 which marks date when British settlers arrived in 1788

At least 3 dead and 20 wounded as four gunmen storm office of Save the Children in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad after detonating bomb outside building, IS terrorists behind attack

More than 30 killed and many injured as gunmen in uniforms attack Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel, all five terrorists killed by security forces, Taliban claim to have carried out attack

928 kg of cocaine worth USD 108 million destroyed in public by Sri Lankan authorities, drugs found in timber container on Colombian ship bound for India, country increasingly becoming transit hub favored by drug smugglers in Asia

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena orders government to withdraw reform allowing women to buy alcohol and work in bars without permit, majority of country's women traditionally choose not to drink alcohol

1,500 people being evacuated from islands off Papua New Guinea after volcano eruption on Kadovar island, no confirmed records of previous large-scale eruption on island

Fibre optic link across Himalaya mountains connecting Nepal to Chinese internet via Hong Kong bandwidth inaugurated, landlocked country previosly had all connections via India but is developing relations with Beijing after coalition of two pro-China communist parties won last month's election

Chinese paramilitary People's Armed Police uses dynamite and excavators to destroy Golden Lampstand Church in Shaanxi province, building constructed with nearly USD 2.6m in contributions from local worshippers in one of China's poorest regions, church has congregation of more than 50,000 and has faced repeated persecution by the Chinese government

South Korea looks into offering North Korea joint march into Winter Olympics ceremony under unified flag and shared women’s ice hockey team, offer not confirmed by North Korea

Sri Lanka to allow women over age of 18 to buy alcohol and without prior approval work in places that sell alcoholic beverages, ban was enacted in 1955 and has not always been strictly enforced despite cultural taboo concerning women drinking

Japanese canoeist Yasuhiro Suzuki gets eight year competition ban after confessing to putting anabolic steroid methandienone in water bottle of competitor Seiji Komatsu, both athlets were contenders for medals at 2020 Olympics in home country

North Korea accepts South Korea's request to take part in this year's Winter Olympics after first high-level talks between countries in more than two years, sends high-level delegation, performing arts group, athletes, cheerleading teams, media and others, requires IOC agreement as key registration deadline passed

China builds bunkers and military infrastructure for Pakistan in Rajasthan along Indian border, said to make commodity transports easier and follows speculation that Chinese companies have discovered significant oil deposits in area

Takeshi Imamura, mayor of Nishinomiya, Japan, yells at reporter that he will kill him after the reporter entered private property to ask questions, apologizes for his choice of words but has no intentions to resign

43-year-old Chinese respiratory illness specialist collapses in front of patient after working 18 hours straight, dies of subarachnoid hemorrhage after 20 hours of rescue efforts

China limits annual personal overseas bank card withdrawals to USD 15,000, restrictions necessary to curb money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion according to regulator

Vietnam unveils 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit to counter unwanted views on the Internet, unit already in operation in several sectors according to deputy head of military’s political department

One dead and 36 presumed dead after fire breaks out in shopping mall in Davao in the Philippines, the mall was closed to the public after a recent flooding, probably preventing an even bigger tragedy

Nagako Tomioka, chief priestess at the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo, stabbed to death by her brother in front of the shrine, the brother then commits suicide, Tomioka's driver also injured in the attack but not life threatening

Philippines suspends school-based dengue fever immunisation programme after clinical data show vaccine could worsen disease for those previously not infected, 733,000 children already immunised