Asia | Corax



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

Kim Jong-nam carried bottles of atropine in his backpack when he was killed according to reports, antidote to nerve agent VX which was used in killing

Two American citizens held in Thailand after posting online picture of themselves with their buttocks exposed at Wat Arun temple in Bangkok, fine of USD 153 and deportation could be followed by more serious charges

Pakistan's law minister resigns after weeks of protests against perceived softening of country’s blasphemy laws, resignation latest in series of government concessions to Islamists

Indian police use elephants to evict people who legally and unknowingly bought land in elephant sanctuary, authorities plan to demolish about 1,000 bamboo and tin huts in remote north-east area

Pakistan calls in army to disperse protest where main road to Islamabad has been blocked for two weeks by Islamists demanding law minister's arrest for blasphemy, dozens injured so far after clashes between police and activists, private TV stations ordered off the air

Singapore plans to introduce driverless buses by 2022, vehicles to be piloted in three neighbourhoods designed to accomodate them, country hopes to become leader in driverless technologies

Police in Papua New Guinea attempt to move approximately 420 asylum seekers who remain in former Australian-run detention centre on Manus, US has agreed to take up to 1,200 migrants, New Zealand's offer to take 150 met with hostility by Canberra as it could be back door to Australia

Indian police use drone to stop open defecation near water reservoir, say exercise has yielded excellent results within three days

All 58 Sumatran Orang Rimba Celitai families rounded up and bussed to nearest city for forced Islam conversion, indigenous tribe's faith and nomadic way of life not recognised by Indonesian state

Train departs 20 seconds early, Japanese Tsukuba Express line apologizes

Cambodia's supreme court agrees with government-filed lawsuit dissolving opposition party CNRP and banning 118 individuals from doing political activities for five years for conspiring to stage revolution, party rejects charges as politically motivated

Singapore ends trade relations with North Korea as part of toughening UN sanctions over weapons programme, North Korea's seventh largest trading partner

Delhi's smog-fighting water-sprinkling state-owned helicopters stuck on ground as smog too thick for aircraft to operate – another hitch is city's many strictly no-fly zones, particularly its southern quarters where parliament, presidency and prime minister are based

Mob of 20,000 Muslims burns down Hindu village in Bangladesh after accusations that villager had insulted Prophet Mohammed on Facebook

Visual-effects museum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, removes Hitler wax statue after protests by Jewish and human rights groups, waxwork displayed in front of Auschwitz backdrop since 2014 claimed to have been "very popular" among selfie-taking visitors

Public emergency declared in Delhi as toxic smog continues to engulf city with level of tiny matter ten times higher than safe limit, water cannons to be used as countermeasure

Duterte halts construction work near disputed island in South China Sea after pressure from Beijing which defends alleged right to territory around China's artificial islands

Cambodian PM Hun Sen advices opposition lawmakers to defect to his party to avoid being banned from politics for five years if their party is dissolved in court, opposition leader Kem Sokha charged with treason

Japanese marketing company Piala Inc gives non-smoking employees six extra vacation days to compensate for smoker's breaks

Japan's deputy prime minister Taro Aso thanks North Korea for help in landslide victory in recent lower house elections, reaffirms that North Korean threat showed Japanese people need for strong leadership which only LDP can provide

Police guard tomb of Pakistani student who was beaten to death after being accused of blasphemy since Islamists have threatened to blow up grave, party that has made punishing blasphemers its main rallying cry on rise in country

Vietnam could run out of sand within five years according to experts, high demand due to infrastructure projects, prices skyrocket and authorities are looking at artificial production

New Zealand's prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern (Labour) wants to ban foreigners from buying existing houses to counteract increasing prices

Prime minister of New Zealand distances herself from capitalism and calls it a blatant failure, referring to the fact that the country has a large number of homeless people in comparison with other capitalist countries

Israel arrests 15 members of the Lehava movement after secret intelligence work, the movement wants to ban marriage between Jews and Arabs

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wins landslide victory, hopes to reform the constitution with regard to military regulations introduced after the defeat in 1945

Militant group linked to the IS terrorists defeated in the city of Marawi in southern Philippines, declares the country's defense minister

76-year-old Chinese lady arrested after throwing coins into jet engine before boarding Lucky Air flight, second incident this year

1st of April 2019 set as date of Emperor Akihito's abdication according to government sources, chosen instead of more natural January 1st in order to avoid conflict with important religious ceremonies and 30th anniversary of passing of former Emperor Hirohito

McDonald's in Singapore offers guests lockable cellular storage cabinets, will stimulate families to interact under the slogan "Phone Off, Fun On"

Three Pakistanis put to death for blasphemy four days before Pakistan wins seat on UN Human Rights Council; fourth man shot to death in police custody; they were arrested for removing posters from their mosque which called for social boycott of their Ahmadi Muslim faith

Betle nut chewing is believed to be cause of mouth cancer epidemic in Papua New Guinea, previously only used for religious ceremonies but has now become a common practice also among young children, effects are similar to those of nicotine and the nut is highly addictive

Unsent text message draft accepted as valid will by Brisbane Supreme Court, less formal wills accepted after law was changed in 2006

Kobe Steel admits to falsifying dimensions and strength of 20,000 tons of aluminium and copper during last year, products have been used in cars, trains, rockets and aircraft

Thailand bans smoking on several popular tourist beaches after littering, punishment up to a year in prison or equivalent of USD 3,000

Temple in Nagano, Japan, vandalized with more than 100 small white crosses, the incident is being investigated by police, leaders of the temple promise to increase security patrols, other visitors dismayed by the incident and call the actions unforgivable

Kin Jong-un promotes sister Kim Yo-jong to alternate member of politburo at celebration of 20th anniversary of Kim Jong-il accepting title as general secretary of party, indicates family line from Jong-un and Yo-jongs mother Ko Yong-hi established as order of succession

84-year-old Thai historian says he will be taken to military court for lèse-majesté for doubting historical accuracy regarding 1593 royal elephant duel

31-year-old Japanese journalist died of heart failure in 2013 after working 159 hours of overtime the month before, Shinzo Abe proposes capping overtime at 100 hours a month

Over 70% of West Papua's population sign petition to UN for independence vote despite it being banned by Indonesia and blocked online so that the petition had to be smuggled across land

Myanmar says government takes over land of over 400 burnt Rohingya villages according to disaster management law, says redevelopment will be very effective but does not elaborate on any plan or what access any returning Rohingya could expect

Intruder armed with a knife is stopped at the home of Australian farmer, drives the intruder to the police station where the gun of the farmer is confiscated

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (DPP) facing increasing internal party pressure to pardon ex-President Chen Shui-bian who currently is serving 19 year jail sentence for bribery, considered unlikely to happen by anonymous source from Presidential Office according to United Daily News

Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo faces allegations of drug trafficking, Philippine president says he would approve son's killing if claims are true

Uzbekistan ends forced labor for cotton harvest, work officially voluntary but extortion a common experience for those who abstain, many students and state employees must bribe officials to avoid expulsion or dismissal

China limits refined petroleum and natural gas trade to North Korea and bans textile trade following North Korea's nuclear test

Six civilians killed and 30 wounded in shelling along disputed border between India and Pakistan, most of casualties were reported on Pakistani side

Sri Lanka admits at least 11,000 babies adopted by foreign couples in 1980s were either bought or stolen from their biological parents, health minister says government takes matter very seriously and will set up DNA database to help families search for relatives

Japanese man to be arrested by Chinese authorities on espionage charges, details of the case or the identity of the man not yet made official

Australian party company owner fires employee who posted on Facebook that it was OK to vote no to legalizing same-sex marriage, views post as open homophobia which she sees as bad for business and damaging for children the company works with

Hong Kong leader Lam urges immediate end to independence debates in region, says issue harms relationship with China and violates constitution's "one country, two systems"

Decline in demand and population creates problems for gas stations in rural Japan, local governments launch subsidies to incentivise re-openings

Shinzo Abe places the first stone at the start of construction of a new 500 km long high speed railroad between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, financed mainly though beneficial Japanese loans, part of strategy to tie the countries closer together to counter growing Chinese ambitions in the region

China imposes restrictions on bank accounts held by North Koreans, prevents clients from making deposits or remittances

The kangaroo population in Australia is increasing dramatically, causing damage to fences and crops, many are killed in traffic, experts urge people to hunt and eat kangaroo

Rohingya insurgents declare month-long unilateral ceasefire to enable aid groups to help ease humanitarian crisis in northwest Myanmar, nearly 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25

Beijing bans new shared bikes deliveries, 15 companies already have 2.4 million bikes in city, cleaning projects and new regulations in pipeline

Japan's princess Mako formally announces engagement to Kei Komuro, law firm employee Komuro describes princess as someone who watched over him like the moon

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha arrested accused of treason, video shows him discussing overthrowing PM Hun Sen with support from "the Americans" according to pro-government website

Uzbekistan removes 16,000 people from blacklist of 17,000 potential Islamist extremists, President Mirziyoyev says it is time to educate and bring them into society, delisted people not required to report their location or submit a request to leave town

About 400 dead after week's fighting between Myanmar's army and Rohingya Muslim insurgents after attack against military base and police posts, 38,000 Rohingya's fled country for Bangladesh according to UN sources

Information that Russian authorities request 1,500 citizens living near the North Korean border to leave the area, continued tension in the region

Australian government introduces drug tests for 5,000 unemployed benefit recipients in two-year trial period, if positive, the recipient receives 80% of the premium locked in "BasicsCard" with which only basic items can be purchased

Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brazil chooses to leave country after human rights group files lawsuit, former general accused of overseeing bombings and torture during war against Tamils in 2009

Japan and US to call for international embargo on oil exports to North Korea, tighter sanctions will be discussed during emergency UN Security Council meeting

38 dead and more than 100 injured in riots in Panchkula after Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for two cases of rape in 2002, the influential guru claims to have 50 million followers

North Korea fires missile which passes over northern Japan and falls into waters off Hokkaido, Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down projectile according to defense minister Itsunori Onodera

Philippine president Duterte fires sniper rifle at enemy position while visiting soldiers battling Jihadists, wanted to show support for fight against Islamists hiding in Marawi City

Nepal to introduce laws against religious conversions and "hurting religious sentiment", several Christian groups worried about increasingly totalitarian trend, law passed by parliament and expected to be signed by president next week

At least 12 police killed after Rohingya Muslims stage coordinated attack on 30 police posts in Myanmar, 150 Rohingya men also repelled trying to break into military base, 59 militants killed

Justice minister Rajapakshe sacked by Sri Lanka's president Sirisena for speaking out against deal to sell stake in Hambantota port to China

Christian 16-year-old in Pakistan narrowly avoids being beaten to death after Muslim mob breaks into police station, accused of blasphemy after allegedly burning Quran

North Korea ranked "most oppressive place in the world for Christians" 16 years in a row, estimated 70,000 Christians imprisoned in country's concentration camps, 36% of the population practices Christianity.

Muslim terrorists in southern Thailand stole two cars from rental car dealership, later used the cars in bomb attacks, employee at the car company held hostage and was later murdered

Chinese teenager dies two days after being sent to internet addiction treatment centre, examining doctors find he sustained more than 20 external and several internal injuries

China bans all imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead concentrates, lead and seafood from North Korea as part of UN sanctions after country's missile tests, could cost North Korea up to USD 1 billion a year

Nearly 3.5 million North Koreans volunteer joining or rejoining army since Monday to resist new U.N. sanctions and to fight against U.S., according to North Korean state media

South Korean district court orders Mitsubishi to pay USD 108,000 to elderly woman and to relative of deceased woman for years spent as forced laborers during World War II, Japanese professor of international relations calls ruling outrageous deviation from 1965 bilateral agreement

Liu Xia, Chinese poet and widow of peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, has disappeared since 26 days ago - in house arrest since 2010 despite protests from the UN, US and EU

KCNA says North Korea has released Canadian pastor Rim Hyon Su, frequent North Korea visitor was sentenced to hard labour for life in 2015 for alleged attempt to overthrow regime, humanitarian reasons said to be behind release

Local council together with Land and Environment Court in Australian Bondi ban synagogue construction due to risk of building being targeted in terror attack, Jewish leaders call move caving in to Islamic extremism and creating dangerous precedent

Duterte signs law granting taxpayer-funded tuition fees for state universities, economic managers adviced rejecting measure as government not expected able to handle estimated USD 2 billion yearly cost

More than half of Australian university students say they were sexually harassed in 2016, 7% were sexually assaulted in 2015 or 2016, according to study of 39 universities and 31,000 students