Hong Kong announces record surplus and large tax reductions, city state has only three direct taxes, income tax capped at 15% 

Thousands of police officers in Hong Kong gather to show support for recently imprisoned colleagues, aftermath of case in which seven police officers were convicted of beating activist Ken Tsang in 2014 

Larry Ong: Multiple possible explanations for Chinese stop to coal imports from North Korea, may be revenge for assassination of Kim Jong Nam who was under protection by China regime, Jiang Zemin faction has documented ties to North Korean leaders 

Market for male escorts growing in Japan, business women tired of unattentive Japanese men pay up to USD 100,000 per night for professional courtship 

South Korea holds North Korea responsible for murder of Kim Jong Nam, calls incident terror attack, warns neighbor may use military provocations to divert attention from assassination 

India's only volcano erupts for first time in 150 years, ash plume and lava observed at Barren Island east of Andamans 

Childcare benefits withheld for 140,000 families in Australia for not vaccinating children, new rules have led to 200,000 additional vaccinations 

50 suspected rhino poachers killed in Kaziranga National Park since 2014, Indian government has given park guards authority to shoot and kill poachers without having to worry about legal consequences 

Court upholds prosecutor's second request to detain Samsung's vice chairman Lee Jae Yong for bribery, money said to have ensured State approval of merger of two Samsung companies 

Second robot attempts to investigate Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi, fails and get stuck in debris, TEPCO reports important clues for next step collected 

Filipino senator publishes bank statements claimed to belong to Duterte, says president's credibility as fighter against corruption undermined by USD 47 million in undeclared assets 

Three men risk prison sentences for killing and eating orangutan on Borneo 

Hedge-fund industry grows rapidly in China, capital under management tripled in two years, has private city for managers one hour from Shanghai 

Hedge-fund industry grows rapidly in China, capital under management tripled in two years, has private city for managers one hour from Shanghai 

4,000 Thai police in operation against temple outside Bangkok in bid to arrest abbot Phra Dhammajayo suspected of money laundering, singled out 72-year-old rejects accusations and claims political motive 

800,000 Indians voluntarily planting 50 million trees in one day, effort is part of country's international climate commitments 

China postpones USD 1.1 billion investment in Sri Lankan port, awaits end of dispute where island country's former president Rajapaksa and trade unions oppose plans to create Chinese industrial zone 

Eight dead in knife attack in western Chinese Xinjiang - Uighur Muslim separatists believed to be perpetrators, three of the dead participate in attack and shot by police 

Thousands of dead bats in Casino and Singleton, New South Wales, after temperatures hit 46 degrees Celsius (115 F) 

International crime syndicate Mara Salvatrucha begins to operate in Australia, according to the Federal Police a result of the booming drug market 

Tomato potato psyllids that carries viruses and bacteria discovered in Perth, could threaten the cultivation of sweet potatoes, potatoes and tomatoes, affected farms quarantined 

Australian Sunni Muslim leaders wish to ban the burka to prevent crime, believe more Muslims would advocate ban if debate had not been led by right-wing politicians 

Crustaceans in Mariana Trench contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs in heavily polluted rivers in China 

IS terrorist Khaled Sharrouf stripped of Australian citizenship, first case of terror crimes leading to loss of citizenship 

India water resources minister Uma Bharti claims to have ordered police to torture rape suspects, says torture in front of victim is correct treatment 

At least 18 injured by fire bomb in Hong Kong subway, man arrested alleges personal reasons 

Robot built to examine Fukushima meltdown fails, camera malfunction likely due to unexpectedly high levels of radiation which is estimated to 650 Sieverts 

Rodrigo Duterte claims two out of five of his statements are true while rest are just jokes, laments media not being attuned to his character 

Japan accepted 28 refugees during 2016, almost 11,000 applied for asylum, 44% more than previous year when 27 were received 

Malaysia may regain island Pedra Branca which the International Court of Justice awarded to Singapore in 2008, new evidence includes letters and maps from 50s and 60s 

1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed by Myanmar military, 70,000 have fled to Bangladesh in recent months, UN official warns that persecutions are more extensive than previously suspected 

South Pacific islands New Caledonia prepare referendum on independence from France – might conclude long and sometimes violent struggle for sovereignty  

3.4 tons of pangolin scales seized by Shanghai customs, smuggled with timber from Africa by three people now arrested on suspicions of multi-year smuggling operation 

7% of Catholic priests in Australia have been accused of child sexual abuse since 1980, according to hearing of royal commission investigating issue since 2013 

Homeless artists getting own exhibition in Sydney gallery as well as 70% of profits from sales and recurring use 

Three children in Perth, Australia catch measles from child of non-vaccinating family in hospital, virus was allegedly brought to country from Bali 

Singapore court sentences Saudi diplomat to caning and 26 months in jail for molesting hotel intern while on holiday 

Highest radiation levels to date detected in Fukushima reactor, 530 sieverts per hour enough to kill humans at brief exposure, 7 times higher than previous top measurement 

Thai bill to require journalists to be licensed, creates council to penalize news outlets, media organizations deliver protest letter against restrictions of already very limited freedom of press  

Heroin flows in election campaign in Indian Punjab, given away to users in exchange for votes, opposition accuses ruling party Akali Dal of being driving force 

Japanese National Police admit to having covered up use of GPS to track suspects, said to have been done since 2006 without court permission, judiciary divided on whether tracking is to be considered legal or illegal, since 2015 court order is required 

Duterte's war on drugs creates murder economy, police and professional assassins earn USD 160-300 per person killed, no bonus paid for arresting suspects, some police officers earn additional income by taking bribes from funeral homes as well as stealing from murder victims, according to report from Amnesty International 

Sri Lankan astrologer predicts death of President Maithripala Sirisena, is arrested on charges of fake predictions and misleading the public, astrology deeply rooted in country 

Xiao Jianhua abducted by police from Hong Kong apartment, billionaire with strong ties to Xi Jinxing said to be held by mainland police, case has similarities with last year's kidnappings of book dealers 

Highest Islamic organization in Indonesia makes fatwa against fake news, considered big problem before gubernatorial election 

Australian government intensifying the fight against smoking, plans to increase price to 40 AUD per package, design and package branding have been almost entirely banned 

Taiwan could become first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage, proposal has support of president and large parts of parliament 

Man killed by tiger after scaling three meter wall to avoid paying 20 USD entrance fee at zoo in China's Zhejiang province 

Philippines dissolves special forces in war against drugs in order to clean up corrupt police force 

Russian mafia said to be behind asbestos lobbying in Australia, accused of intimidation and bribery by union representative at senate inquiry 

112 acquitted in trial on arson of hundreds of Christian homes in Lahore  

Ko Ni, lawyer and close advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi, shot dead at Yangon airport 

Only 13% of inhabitants have returned to area around failed nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan as restricted zone decreased from 2014 to 2016, fear of exposing children to radiation said to be primary cause 

Bougainville to hold referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea – preliminary date 15th of June 2019 

Duterte accuses Catholic church of corruption, offers to resign if country's bishops do the same 

North Korea resumes operation of reactor at Yongbyon suspended since 2015, according to US think tank — located at main site used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons program 

New Zealand could have become US state in the 1800s, history repeats itself as wealthy Americans purchase real estate in concern for social collapse, Peter Thiel has also become citizen 

Hong Kong returns nine Singapore armored vehicles previously confiscated, unclear if concessions had to be made  

Philippines apologizes to South Korea for police kidnapping and killing South Korean man, criticized police chief Ronald Dela Rosa still has Duterte's support 

Japan launches first of three communication satellites to increase emergency response capabilities in event of escalated conflict with China or North Korea 

China closes 111 golf courses and warn 88 million Communist party members against playing, golf viewed as connected with extravagant living and has been in focus during anti-corruption campaigns 

Chinese authorities launches campaign against unauthorized internet service providers and VPN services, aims to strengthen censorship 

Female Tokyo fortuneteller sentenced to pay JPY 100 million in reparations to woman she allegedly controlled and forced into prostitution 

Philippines and Maoist rebels in country's southern parts close to cease-fire after long conflict, peace talks explicit part of Duterte's program 

Mauritius' 86-year-old prime minister Anerood Jugnauth resigns in favor of his son and finance minister Pravind, will continue to serve in government 

Indian government lifts ban on bull wrestling following popular protests in Tamil Nadu where it is important tradition in celebration of harvest festival Thai Pongal 

Six Chinese women arrested for organizing Bible studies in Hubei province, officials interrupted ongoing session and also seized church property 

Tajik farmers working overtime at deforestation in order to ensure heating during record-cold winter, country has lost 70% of its forest last 50 years 

Four dead, 20 injured as car intentionally driven into crowd in Melbourne – not terror attack says official statement from local police 

Governor of China's Liaoning province admits to fabricating economic figures and reports, confirms what has for a long time been generally accepted truth among investors and analysts 

Hong Kong's resigning leader CY Leung says there is absolutely no room for independence movements in country as it is inalienable part of China 

Samsung's vice chairman Jay Y. Lee released by South Korean court after one day in custody, arrest not necessary for continuation of bribery investigation 

Naruhito's ascendancy to the Japanese throne on January 1, 2019 difficult, yearly events and rituals related to Imperial family's New Year’s celebration would hinder government's plan, senior Imperial Household Agency official says 

Head of Samsung Jay Y. Lee may get arrested on charges of paying USD 36.4 million to Choi Soon-sil, suspected bribe to guarantee merger of two companies 

India considers banning foreign investments in tobacco industry, already banned in cigarette manufacturing, cites public health concerns 

China gives two patrol vessels to Pakistan in order to secure new trade route between countries, expected to hand over two more 

India's foreign minister threatens Amazon with tough measures if they do not remove flip-flops with Mahatma Gandhi's face from product range - a few hours later product vanishes 

Japan and Australia seek to enhance military cooperation in South China Sea, relationship between countries stronger than ever according to Australian PM Turnbull 

Shinzo Abe first foreign leader to visit Philippines since Duterte took office, promises to support brutal repression against drug users 

Interests of local communities are ignored as Myanmar is inviting foreign business interests, states report - state allows cultivation of oil palm on land farmed by displaced minorities 

Anti-government activists in Pakistan reported missing, leftist poet and anti-conservative tweeter among the dissappeared, intelligence service has reputation of harassing dissidents 

22,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh last week, says UN, total of 65,000 have fled in last three months of targeted army action against grouping 

At least twelve dead in southern Thailand as heavy rains cause flooding, for season unusual rainfall is expected to continue another two days 

Traditional calligraphy contest takes place in Japan, attracts almost 5,000 participants between 3 and 93 years of age 

Japan recalls two top diplomats from South Korea and suspends negotiation on economic policy in protest against statue of comfort women outside Japanese consulate in Busan 

Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of Choi Soon-Sil, arrested in Denmark, accused of residing illegally in country, mother under indictment for involvement in Korean corruption scandal 

Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of Choi Soon-Sil, arrested in Denmark, accused of residing illegally in country, mother under indictment for involvement in Korean corruption scandal 

China bans trade in ivory in 2017, is believed to account for 70 percent of market with price per kilo approximately 1.100 USD 

New Thai King Vajiralongkorn calls for unity in first New Year's speech and only second public appearance since he took power 

The world's oldest male panda, Pan Pan, dies at age 31, hailed as a hero in China for his 130 descendants 

Australian police seizes 500 kg of cocaine, local cartels with international networks have smuggled drugs through commercial fishing boats, 2.1 percent of the country's population is estimated to have used the drug in the past year 

Duterte vows to catch corrupt government employees by helicopter and toss them off from great height, says he gave kidnappers such helicopter ride as mayor in Davao 

India tests ICBM Agni V for fourth time, successful launch makes every Indian proud according to PM Narendra Modi 

China to increase growth by investing 290 billion USD in tourism until 2020, industrial cities told to develop travel industry, 100,000 toilets to be upgraded in tourist areas 

Taiwanese students choose nazi theme for Christmas parade, headmaster resigns after criticism from Israel, boost to educational program to increase knowledge about Holocaust 

South Koreans protest on ninth consecutive weekend against corruption accused President Park Geun-hye, hundreds dressed as gnomes demanding her resignation, with music and spirited atmosphere characterizing manifestation 

General Motors fined USD 29 million in China as GM corrected Chinese retailers for selling cars too cheaply 

Christmas train with snowmen and Christmas lights from Islamabad to Peshawar to promote tolerance for religious minorities in Pakistan, the 1.6% Christians particularly vulnerable 

Australian police thwart planned Christmas Day terrorist attack, five self-radicalized arrested, threat involved explosives and firearms 

Japan plans to increase defense spending for fifth consecutive year as tension increases with China over conflict regarding East China Sea islands