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Asia

Asia

North Korean dissident and defector Park Yeon-mi claims North Korean leader Kim Jong Un annually gets a pleasure squad of 25 female virgins to satisfy him, after officials visit every class to not miss someone pretty, but Bangladeshi website Blitz claims she is a pathological liar and employed by South Korean intelligence service

Traditional Zoroastrian burials increasingly difficult to perform in India because of the pharmaceutical pollution-induced 97 percent decline in vultures that is supposed to eat the body placed high on towers whose remains are then collected in a ossuary pit after a year, Hoshang Kapadia, 80, a resident of Karachi, says the purpose of tradition is to take less and give more, not to pollute the world

40-year-old man kills six people and injures three in a shopping center in Sydney, Australia in a knife attack and is shot dead on the spot by a female police, is not suspected to be an act of terrorism as the man previously known to the police

Presenter Alan Titchmarsh's jeans are being blurred in North Korea since the series Garden Secrets began airing on state television in 2022 after being banned in the country since the 90s because of its symbol of US imperialism, the trousers were symbol of resistance in East Germany until the fall of the Berlin wall

Japan's thousand year old festival, Sominsai, which involves nearly naked men purifying themselves in a river, praying for a fruitful harvest and then competing for a talisman, is being held for the last time at the Kokuseki Temple in Oshu because, according to monk Daigo Fujinami, the difficulty of organizing a festival of this size since there are so many rituals and work that must be done behind the scenes and according to the article because of Japan's aging population

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi are sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption shortly before the country holds elections on February 8, Khan is already in prison and his ban on running for office is extended from five to ten years

The Pacific nation of Nauru resumes diplomatic relations with China, causing Taiwan to cut ties with the country, only 12 independent states currently recognize Taiwan while three are island nations in the Pacific Ocean

The candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, William Lai, wins the presidential election in Taiwan, while mainland China views Lai as a separatist and urged Taiwanese voters not to vote for him

More than a third of unmarried Japanese under the age of 50 have never been in a relationship, according to research by Recruit Holdings Co. who since 2017 have conducted research on the topic, among men who do not want to get married the most common reason was the cost involved and for women it was that they did not want to compromise their freedom and independence

Students in Indonesia storm refugee camp for Muslim Rohingya from Burma shouting "kick them out" and "reject Rohingyas in Aceh" and UNHCR says the events were triggered by a coordinated online campaign of misinformation and hate speech, 1,500 Rohingya have arrived in Indonesia since November

Sri Lanka arrests 15,000 people in week-long Operation Yuktiya, which means justice, to crack down on drug trafficking as authorities say the country is being used as a transit country

Artificial rain is being used for the first time in Pakistan to tackle poor air quality with the help of a group from the United Arab Emirates who are increasingly familiar with the method used to create rain in the arid country

Kim Jong Un's daughter Kim Ju-ae heir apparent according to the South Korean intelligence chief, is around 11 years old, has made 19 appearances in the past year and has been named General Morning Star from previously being called a noble child

Four dead and around 50 injured in bombing of Catholic mass in the Philippines on Sunday morning, IS claims responsibility

North Korea will re-establish military on the border with South Korea, which withdrew from parts of the countries' agreement after North Korea's launch of a military satellite into orbit on Tuesday night

The first Asian Gay Games were held in Hong Kong last week and nearly 2,400 gay athletes took part, in contrast to what columnists say is an increasingly hostile environment for gay and transgender people in China

Poppy and opium production in Afghanistan has fallen by more than 90 percent since the US left and the Taliban banned the crop in April 2022, according to a report by the United Nations agency UNODC, leading to USD 1 billion in reduced income for farmers

Riots as pro-palestinians storm Dagestan airport in Russia where a plane from Israel were due to arrive, Russian defense ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says Ukraine helped plan what she calls an externally-led provocation

China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu and former Foreign Minister Qin Gang lose their seats in the cabinet, China's top executive body, it was announced by state broadcaster CCTV but no reason was given, Li has not been seen in public since August 17 on a visit to Belarus

Pakistan's former prime minister, 73-year-old Nawaz Sharif, is returning to Pakistan, after four years in exile in the UK where he stayed after permission to go there for medical care a year into a seven-year prison sentence for corruption, to face Imran Khan in next year's elections

Pakistan announces that the 1.73 million Afghans living illegally in the country have until November 1st to leave, Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti says the government will confiscate their assets and set up a public reporting system for suspected illegal Afghans

The Armenian government says 100,000 people have fled Nagorno-Karabakh since Azerbaijan stepped in and took control of the area which then had a population of 120,000, the ethnic Armenian separatist government says it will dissolve itself by the end of the year after 30 years of trying to gain independence

Japanese parents go to matchmaking meetings to meet other parents with single children to find suitable life partners for them, in 2021 the number of newly registered marriages fell to just over 500,000 which is the lowest number since 1945 and the median age of marriage for men was 34

China bans seafood imports from Japan after Japan began releasing filtered and treated cooling water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, according to a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, it is irresponsible and selfish to shift the risk of contamination to other countries

The son of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, 15-year-old Adam Ramzanovich, allegedly abused 19-year-old Nikita Zhuravel who was arrested in May on suspicion of burning a Koran in public in Volgograd in Russia and then extradited to Chechnya and Adam Delimkhanov in the Russian lower house says considering the heinous crime of this subhuman Zhuravel, Adam acted very humanely by letting him live

Zoo in China's Hangzhou city denies its Malayan bears are humans in costumes after video of bear on two legs goes viral, zoo spokesman says such deception would not happen at a state-run facility and a human in a fur bear suit would not last more than a few minutes before collapsing

India bans the export of rice abroad except for basmati due to concerns about under-harvest, the country accounts for more than 40 percent of the world's rice exports that go to more than 140 countries

China's exports down 12.4 percent and imports down 6.8 percent in dollar terms in June compared to June 2022, in May the decline was 7.5 percent and US imports from China was down 24 percent in June

Thailand's 69-year-old Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha resigns after nearly nine years in office, seized power in 2014 by military coup

China begins to control the export of the rare earth metals gallium and germanium citing national security and now a license is needed to sell abroad, gallium is most common in semiconductors and transistors and germanium in rectifiers and transistors

Europeans and Americans cannot distinguish between Asians and Asians cannot become Westerners and should know where their roots are, said Wang Yi, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, during a meeting of the International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea, the three countries expressed willingness to make efforts to improve cooperation between the countries

Vietnam bans new Barbie movies from cinemas because map in the film shows China's claims to territory in the disputed South China Sea, previously the movie Uncharted has been banned for a similar reason

Monkeypox outbreak among homosexuals in Thailand, 48 infected last month which is more than double compared to May, the head of the agency for disease control Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong says 46 percent of those infected have HIV

Damages appeal by two Japanese women in their 60s and 70s for their sterilization under now-defunct eugenics program gets rejected by court due to 20-year statute of limitations, plaintiffs had sought the equivalent of over USD 500,000 on the grounds that they were deprived of self-determination in giving birth and raising children, something guaranteed by the constitution

China plans manned lunar mission by 2030 and announces it has reached the lunar landing phase of the project, three taikonauts will on Tuesday in another project be sent to its fully operational space base along with its first ever civilian in space

Pakistan's former president Imran Khan is calling for national protests after he was arrested last week, detained and then released after the country's Supreme Court declared his detention illegal, at least nine people have been killed in recent unrest and rioting

The Philippines places navigational buoys in its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea to assert sovereignty over the disputed Spratly Islands, China has in recent years advanced its positions in the area and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has sought closer relations with the United States, China's embassy has yet to comment

Japanese traditional festival where babies dress up in sumo suits and compete to see who screams first takes place again after pandemic break, children are held up by parents in a sumo ring and people wearing demon masks try to scare them, organizer Shigemi Fuji says in Japan it is believed that babies who cries vigorously also grows up healthy

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio escaped unhurt after explosive device detonated shortly before he was to give a speech outside as part of the election rally, 24-year-old suspect arrested on the spot, in May the G-7 summit will be held in Hiroshima

Alibaba founder Jack Ma was spotted in China visiting a school in Hangzhou after being believed to have been out of the country since 2021 as authorities tightened controls on his company over his criticism of the country's regulators and banking sector

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif calls on all ministries and government offices to cut spending by 15 percent and asks his ministers and advisers to forgo salary, allowances, luxury cars, foreign and business-class travel as the government looking to receive a $1 billion IMF loan,

The indigenous Khasi tradition of archery lives on in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya through betting called tim, whose name derives from the English team, and events are held every day in the state capital Shillong except Sundays and public holidays, in one form of the archery

Thai professors pay themselves into research articles through companies such as Science Publisher Company who offers that service and to be accredited in an article related to agricultural research, for example, costs between USD 800 and 1 000, some professors have published 100 articles in a

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen renews threat to seize properties belonging to people who accuse him and the ruling party of stealing last year's local elections where his party secured 80% of the contested seats, Sen who has ruled the country since 1985 comments that the choice is between

Visitors to Thailand again must show proof of at least two Covid-19 vaccinations and those travelling onward from Thailand to a country requiring a negative PCR test result must provide proof of insurance, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the measures are necessary and must be

North Korea closes borders to entry from China after the recent outbreak of covid-19 after China eases restrictions, all travelers that just arrived must undergo 30-day quarantine

China stops reporting daily confirmed covid-19 cases according to a statement from the country's National Health Commission, which it has done since January 21, 2020, no reasons for the change are given but testing is no longer mandatory since the country eased restrictions earlier in

South Korea scraps the two traditional methods of calculating age and the standardized international way is introduced on official documents after a decision in parliament, this may mean that some people's age is written down by two years as one of the traditional ways means being born as a

Citizens of Indonesia face 10 years in prison for associating with Marxist-Leninist organizations and four years for spreading communism after parliament unanimously votes through a package of laws, also includes ban against sex outside of marriage for both citizens and foreigners and outlaws

Thai police raid 50 crypto miners due to theft of electricity, the cyber crime department under the operation codenamed Electric shock investigated 40 buildings in Bangkok and Nonthaburi, each building used electricity for 300 to 2,000 baht per month when the real cost was 500,000 bah

China's former leader Jiang Zemin dies aged 96, was president for a decade until 2003 and ruled the Communist Party for 13 years

All four monks at Buddhist temple in Phetchabun in Thailand test positive for methamphetamine, are being sent to clinic for rehabilitation, new monks will be sent to the temple to allow villagers to practice their religious duties

Videos show hundreds of protesting workers at the world's largest iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou appearing to be confronted by riot police and people in protective suits, company Foxconn says some workers had doubts about pay but that the firm would fulfil pay based on contracts

South Korea and the United States are extending their joint air exercise as North Korea fired more than 30 missiles this week, in a show of military might two American B-1B bombers flew over South Korea, North Korea's foreign ministry says the countries have created instability in the region and that the sustained provocation will be followed by sustained countermeasures

Korea's police chief Yoon Hee-keun bows his head during press conference on the deadly disaster in Seoul and says he feels a great responsibility for the people who must be in great shock, apologies also came from the interior minister, the mayor of Seoul, who said he feels an infinite responsibility, and from the head of Yongsan district who has been criticized for deleting his social media accounts after the accident

Journalist killed after being hit by convoy of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan en route to Islamabad to pressure government to call new elections, march suspended for the day due to the accident

78 people dead and several injured as a recently renovated 100-year-old suspension bridge in the Indian state of Gujarat collapses, officials say the bridge could not bear the weight of the people standing on it, committee formed to probe the incident

At least 146 dead after stampede during Halloween festivities in Seoul as a large crowd pushed forward on a narrow street, around 100,000 people is reported to having headed to Itaewon for the festivities which were the biggest in years following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in recent months

Chinese archaeologist Shi Xingbang dies aged 99, key figure in Terracotta Army excavations and best known for the 1953 discovery of the 6,000-year-old village of Banpo, the first Neolithic settlement ever found in the country, devoted his life to the profession except during the ban during the Cultural Revolution 1966 to 1977, became a member of the Communist Party in 1984

Eight dead after two explosions in the high-security prison Insein in Burma, the largest prison in the country with 10,000 inmates, the former British ambassador Vicky Bowman among them since she is serving a one-year prison sentence because she gave the wrong address, unrest in the country since the former prime minister and peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was deposed and arrested in a military coup in February 2021

Xi Jinping wants peaceful reunification with Taiwan but does not rule out violence and will take all necessary measures to counter any separatist moves, condemns foreign interference and says it is up to the Chinese people to decide, delivers nearly two-hour speech to Communist Party Congress

Malaysia's two-time prime minister, 97-year-old Mahathir bin Mohamad, is running for re-election next month, his last government fell in 2020 and he then started a new party, warning that a win by the ruling UMNO party could lead to the pardoning of jailed ex-prime minister Najib Tun Razak

Five teenagers in Hong Kong are sentenced to detention in a correctional facility for sedition against the Chinese regime, the first such case involving minors since China in 2020 introduced the law that simplified the prosecution of protesters, the convicts were members of the group Returning Valiant which advocates independence

South Korean ballistic missile fails during test and crashes inside air force base near Gangneung, exercise was intended as response to North Korea's latest missile launches and conducted in cooperation with United States

For the first time since 2017 North Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japanese territory, the fifth shooting this week, lands in Pacific Ocean far from shore, inhabitans in the North of Japan wakes up to sirens and text messages with call to take shelter

Indian government bans the Muslim organization the Popular Front of India (PFI) accusing it of funding terrorist activities, providing armed training to its supporters and radicalizing people for anti-India activities, rising tensions between Muslims and and Hindus lately, the government states that PFI operated openly as a normal organization but they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles in fourth launch in a week after joint military drills by South Korea, Japan and the US and Seoul visit by U.S Vice President Kamala Harris

China has 110 overseas police service stations around the globe to monitor its citizens living abroad according to a report by the human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders, Stockholm is being listed

India makes moves to bring semiconductor chips manufacturing to the country, currently has no fabrication plants but investor consortium ISMC Digital plans to build a USD 3 billion manufacturing facility together with Israeli company Tower Semiconductor and Taiwanese firm Foxconn together with Indian mining company Vedanta are to build a USD 19.5 billion chipmaking facility in the country

Mongolia's former President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj asks Buryats, Tuvans and Kalmyks to flee to Mongolia to avoid forced conscription, says they will be met with open arms and hearts, urges Putin not to fight with Ukrainian brothers and sisters

Millions of people in Japan are urged to evacuate their homes since the typhoon Nanmadol strikes the south coast of the country, over 200 000 homes without power

24 Kyrgyz citizens killed and 87 wounded after intense battles on the disputed border between Kyrgyzstan and its central Asian neighbour Tajikistan, more than 136,000 civilians evacuated from the conflict zone, ceasefire and troop pullback agreed between the countries

Solomon Islands suspends all US navy ships from entering its ports, the statement follows a US Coast Guard vessel being blocked from refuelling in Honiara

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe both agree to resign after thousands of demonstrators stormed the president's residence and set the prime minister's private residence on fire, the country is in a crippling economic crisis with a severe shortage of fuel, food and medicine

Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo dead after being shot while giving a speech in Nara during Friday morning, former navy member, Yamagami Tetsuya, arrested and his home-made double-barrelled shotgun seized

Authorities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh demolish homes of people accused of involvement in last week's riots triggered by by two ruling BJP party figures' perceived derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, opposition leaders say state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's government is pursuing unconstitutional tactics to silence protesters

Myanmar junta troops accused of torching hundreds of buildings during three-day raid against the People's Defense Force in the northern Sagaing region, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing says efforts were made to minimise the casualties when performing the counterattacks to terror acts and that the country is now in tranquility

Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warns of food shortage as last year's decision to ban all chemical fertilisers drastically cut crop yields despite the ban then being reversed, promises to obtain enough fertilizer for the next planting season, 29.8% inflation in the country in April with food prices up 46.6% year-on-year

World's second-biggest wheat producer India bans wheat exports after scorching heatwave and record local prices, was prior to the ban targeting to ship out a record 10 million tonnes this year, the country's inflation on an eight-year high in April due to rising food and energy prices

27 dead and over 500,000 people with fever symptoms in North Korea, the country imposed nationwide lockdowns on Thursday after confirming its first Covid-19 infections, experts voice concern as North Korea has so far shunned vaccination offers, Kim Jong-un says they will be following the Chinese model of virus prevention

Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest number since it began recognizing refugees in 1982, Myanmar with 32 refugees constituted the largest group ahead of China's 18

Taiwan's air force scrambles fighter planes on Thursday to warn away eight Chinese J-16 fighters and one Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft flying over an area to the northeast of the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands

Police in Wellington play songs such as Baby Shark, You're Beautiful and Let it Go hoping to disperse the anti-restriction demonstration outside the parliament that has been ongoing since Tuesday, protesters respond by embracing the music and dancing along

Record 88.5% of Japanese "feel friendly" towards US, up 4.5 percentage points from last years survey, 79.0% say they "do not feel friendly" toward China and 62.4% feel that way regarding South Korea, according to survey with 3,000 queried adults

Samsung pulls Singapore drag queen ad after backlash, the ad for wearable tech showed a hijab-wearing woman hugging her drag queen son, activist group We are Against Pinkdot labels the ad an unfortunate attempt to push the LGBT ideology into a largely conservative Muslim community, Samsung comments that they acknowledge they have fallen short

Uigur Gulbahar Haitiwaji releases book about her three years as Number 9 in a Chinese re-education camp where she was tricked to accept a sterilisation jab presented as vaccine and subjected to 11 hours of daily education under military rules, was working as an oil engineer in France but went back to China after a phone call asking her to sign documents to receive her pension

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defends ordered cullings of some 2,000 hamsters and other small mammals after some hamsters were tested positive for Covid-19, says she understands that pet owners are unhappy but that the biggest public interest is to control the pandemic

Twitter suspends more than 300 accounts and hashtags promoting Philippines presidential election candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, says rules on spam and manipulation were violated and that human review as well as technology was used in the deciding process, the 64-year-old veteran politician who is the son of late leader Ferdinand Marcos has emerged as the lead candidate ahead of the May vote

Japan's embassy in Seoul returns President Moon Jae-in's Lunar New Year gift as the gift's box resembles the contested Liancourt Rocks, South Korea has been in effective control of the islets since 1945 but Japan has repeatedly claimed sovereignty

Tonga covered in ash and cut off from communication after massive explosion triggered 7.4-magnitude underwater volcanic eruption and sent huge tsunami waves crashing into homes and buildings, in explosion volcano capable of producing roughly every thousand years, death toll unknown

First babies born from world's first HIV positive sperm bank, the bank launched in New Zealand in 2019 in an effort to reduce the HIV stigma

Rodrigo Duterte withdraws bid to become a senator the same day his preferred successor Senator Christopher Bong Go quit the presidential race after poor opinion poll numbers, withdrawal believed aimed to transfer his support base to his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio and Ferdinand Marcos to secure a victory

North Korea bans leather coats to stop craze copying Kim Jong-un's signature look, police calls it an impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity, follows decision to ban mullets and skinny jeans for representing Western decadence

Yahoo pulls out of China and shuts down all remaining business, cites increasingly challenging business and legal environment, the move is largely symbolic as key Yahoo services has already been blocked by Beijing

Knife-wielding man setting a fire aboard a Tokyo train injures at least 17 people, 24-year-old man dressed as The Joker arrested

Uttar Pradesh police arrest five people of which three Kashmir engineering students for celebrating the Pakistan cricket team's victory over India, comment that anti-national elements used disrespectful words against the Indian cricket team and made anti-India comments which disrupted peace

North Korea starts breeding black swans on an industrial scale to overcome chronic food shortages, follows Kim Jong Un speech telling the citizens to expect to eat less food until the country re-opens its borders with China in 2025

Islam will no longer be the state religion of Bangladesh as the government has decided to revert to its 1972 Constitution, two constitutional amendments during successive military regimes between 1978 and 1990 instituted Islam as the state religion, Bangladesh is battling a spurt of Islamist violence after a picture on social media showed the Holy Quran at the feet of Hindu God Hanuman at a Durga Puja pandal in Comilla town

Teresa Van Lieshout is arrested for allegedly ordering fake police badges as part of preparations to overthrow the Australian government, she is part of a group which discussed forming an alternative federal police force to arrest politicians and public servants

Russian authorities blame Azerbaijan for violating the ceasefire agreement that was signed last November to end the war, clashes have continued between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces despite the ceasefire