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 In The News provided by Koinonia House


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Koinonia Institute presents its 2014 Strategic Perspectives IX Conference in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho on DVD, intel and insight to understand the times.


DVD Set - 10 discs
Run time approximately 21 Hours
Dr. Chuck Missler: The Spiritual Entrepreneur
L.A. Marzulli: On the Trail of the Nephilim
Bill Salus: Nuclear Showdown in Iran: Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam
Mark Biltz: The Blood Moons
Joseph Farah: ISIS SHMISIS: God's Mideast Peace Plan
Bob Cornuke: Amazing New Discoveries that Change Everything about the Location of Solomon's Temple
Louis Powell: China - The Sleeping Dragon
Ron Matsen: The Re-emergence of Assyria


Also featuring: Trevor MacDuff, Chris Corlett, Jeff Altus, Gordon McDonald, William Welty, Avi Lipkin, Dan Stolebarger, Kings Highway/Debbie Holland, Steve Elwart, John Loeffler, and Jay Seegert

 

Price R799.00

 

 

Strategic Perspectives Conference

Run time approximately 21 Hours

 

  • Avi Lipkin - Russia, Ukraine, ISIS at the Gates
  • Dr. William Welty - Surviving God’s Discipline of a Nation
  • Dr. Dan Stolebarger - The Future is Now: Koinonia Institute Small Group Fellowship
  • Ron Matsen - The Reemergence of Assyria?
  • The King’s High Way Panel - The King’s High Way Ministries with Debbie Holland and Tim Tyler
  • Louis Powell - China: The Sleeping Dragon
  • Mark Biltz - The Blood Moons 
  • Dr. William Welty - I, Jesus an Autobiography 
  • Steve Elwart - WWIII: A Hundred Year Old Prophecy 
  • Joseph Farah - ISIS-SCMISIS: God’s Middle East Plan 
  • Dr. Chuck Missler - The Spiritual Entrepreneur: The Encroaching Darkness 
  • John Loeffler - Stumbling Toward an Omega Point 
  • Jay Seegert - Evolution: Problem or Problematic 
  • L.A. Marzulli - On the Trail of the Nephilim 
  • Bill Salus - Nuclear Showdown in Iran: Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam
  • Bob Cornuke - Amazing New Discoveries: The Temple

Also featuring bonus workshop sessions:

  • Trevor MacDuff - Discipleship
  • Chris Corlett - Education is an “Everyman” Strategic Perspective
  • Jeff Altus - Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act?
  • Gordon McDonald - Guard Your Heart
  • Louis Powell - Koinonia Institute

Copyright © 2014

 

 

 

Description

With the wealth of information at our fingertips, it is sometimes hard to see the ‘’forest for the trees’’. In this Strategic Briefing, we will give you a current perspective on many of the trends that shape our world and their relevance to Biblical Prophecy. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed about what is really going on.

What is REALLY going on in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt?
Who is going to deal with the nuclear Iran?
Will Israel go it alone?
What about America’s political future and what is on its' 2013 horizon?

Most Americans are totally unaware that the sacred Bill of Rights has been essentially
eliminated; how, when and by whom?

Europe - The State of Dis-Union and its Islamization.

Join Dr. Chuck Missler and Ron Matsen in the Executive Briefing Room of
The River Lodge, New Zealand, in an intensive summary of some of the
Strategic Trends that will impact all of us.

© 2012 Koinonia House Inc.

This briefing pack collection contains 4 hours of teaching

DVD:

2 Disks
4 M4A Files
Color, 16:9, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, Region 0 encoding

 This DVD will be viewable in other countries WITH the proper DVD player and television set.)

Price R 299.00

We are including a PPT slide show with this DVD for use in special presentations for further study and discussion!

Highly recommended for the UN.

&

Mission Outreach.

I

V

 

 

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Japan's Abe, China's Xi hold bilateral meeting: Japanese media

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:27:10 PMGo to full article
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose for a group photo along with leaders from Asia and Africa before the start of the Asian-African Conference in JakartaTOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting in Indonesia on Wednesday, Jiji news agency reported. Tensions between Asia's two biggest economies have flared in recent years due to feuds over wartime history as well as territorial rows and regional rivalry. Memories of Japan's past military aggression run deep in China and Beijing has repeatedly urged Japan to face up to history. But the meeting on Wednesday could promote a cautious rapprochement that began when Abe and Xi met at a summit in Beijing late last year. ...
 
 

EU proposes new GM import approval rules, allowing opt-outs

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:05:14 PMGo to full article
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday a new law allowing individual EU countries to restrict or prohibit imported genetically modified crops even after they have been approved for use in food and feed by the bloc as a whole. The proposal risks upsetting trading partners, particularly the United States, which wants Europe to open its doors fully to U.S. GM crops as part of a planned EU-U.S. free trade deal. It has also already drawn criticism from environmental groups, who fear the new rules will in fact allow in a flood of GM crops, while not providing the legal grounds for national governments to opt out. The Commission said member states that opted out would have to justify their decision to do so.
 

Beijing govt says air had less pollution in 1st part of year

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:02:16 PMGo to full article
BEIJING (AP) — A key measure of air pollutants in China's capital showed a 19 percent drop in the first three months of the year, local authorities said Wednesday.
 

Japanese leader doesn't offer customary apology for WWII

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:43:59 AMGo to full article
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his speech during a plenary session at the Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (Beawiharta/Pool Photo via AP)JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — South Korea expressed deep regret Wednesday that Japan's leader did not repeat his predecessors' apologies for the country's aggression during World War II.
 
 

Japan's Nikkei rises above 20,000 level, Europe stocks down

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:23:32 AMGo to full article
People look at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Asian stocks were mostly higher Wednesday after Japan reported its first trade surplus in three years, adding optimism to regional sentiment despite a fall on Wall Street. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.1 percent to 20,123.37. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — Japan's stock benchmark closed above the 20,000-level for the first time in 15 years Wednesday, encouraged by the country's first monthly trade surplus since 2012. European stocks fell on uncertainty about whether Greece will stay in the euro.
 
 

Earnings, Greece weigh on European stocks

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:09:26 AMGo to full article
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchangeEuropean stocks fell on Wednesday, failing to extend an overnight rally in Asia as investors looked to Greece's debt crisis and lurch towards possible default as an excuse to cash in gains chalked up earlier in the week. Europe's EuroFirst 300 index of leading shares was down 0.2 percent , Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 down a half of one percent. Its shares rose as much as 2.5 percent in early trade after a record 6.4 billion pound that the market bet would mark an end to a run of bad news from Britain's largest retailer. In Asia, China's leading index rose 2.4 percent to a seven-year high and Japan's Nikkei closed above the 20,000 point level for the first time in 15 years.
 
 

Drone with 'minuscule' quantity of radiation found on Japan PM's office roof: media

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:03:58 AMGo to full article
Police and security officers investigate an unidentified drone which was found on the rooftop of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in TokyoA drone marked with a radioactive sign was found on the roof of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office on Wednesday and media said it tested positive for a "minuscule" amount of radiation. Public broadcaster NHK said the bomb squad was called in to take away the drone, which was carrying a small camera and a water bottle. Police would investigate, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, adding that the country may need to consider regulating the devices. "This situation concerns the center of Japanese government, the prime minister's office, and we will take every necessary step, including a detailed investigation by police," said Suga, noting how Japan had began studying the issue after a drone landed in the White House grounds in January.
 
 

South Asia monsoon seen below average in 2015 on El Nino

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:58:42 AMGo to full article
A rickshaw puller waits for passenger in the rain in DhakaBy Ruma Paul DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh and its South Asian neighbors are expected to see below average rainfall in 2015 due to the impact of an El Nino weather pattern, which can bring on a dry spell in the region, a weather expert said on Wednesday. "The entire region is prone to below average rainfall this year except Sri Lanka and Maldives," O.P. Sreejith told Reuters, after releasing the consensus forecast of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum, a group of global weather experts affiliated to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Global models show an El Nino condition has been established in the Pacific Ocean but there is uncertainty about its intensity, Sreejith said. "There is consensus about the potential for adverse impacts of El Nino on the region's monsoon rainfall," said Sreejith, a meteorologist with the Indian weather office.
 
 

Rights group demands protection for Bangladesh workers

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:28:43 AMGo to full article
NEW DELHI (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Wednesday criticized the Bangladeshi government for failing to protect workers, saying not enough is being done to eliminate assault, intimidation and other abuses common in the garment industry.
 

Nurtured by church, Vietnamese immigrants eagerly await pope

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:52:23 AMGo to full article
In this Thursday, April 16, 2015 photo, Vietnamese American Catholic Ly Nguyen poses for a photograph outside of his home in Philadelphia. Nguyen and his family moved to Philadelphia from Vietnam more than 20 years ago and was welcomed and helped by the local Catholic church. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ly Nguyen and his family knew little about Philadelphia when they moved here from Vietnam more than 20 years ago, but they knew where to turn for help — the Roman Catholic Church.
 
 

Asian, African nations challenge 'obsolete' world order

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:28:28 AMGo to full article
Leaders from Asia and Africa pose for a group photo before the start of the Asian-African Conference in JakartaBy Eveline Danubrata and Charlotte Greenfield JAKARTA (Reuters) - Leaders of Asian and African nations called on Wednesday for a new global order that is open to emerging economic powers and leaves the "obsolete ideas" of Bretton Woods institutions in the past. Their calls came at the opening of a meeting of Asian and African nations in Jakarta to mark the 60th anniversary of a conference that made a developing-world stand against colonialism and led to the Cold War era's non-aligned movement. Among the leaders listening were Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who were expected to meet on the sidelines of the conference, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the Asian rivals. Bilateral talks in Jakarta on Wednesday could promote a cautious rapprochement that began when Abe and Xi met at a summit in Beijing late last year.
 
 

US lets in Thai fish caught by slaves despite law

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:57:31 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Nov. 2014, file photo, a security guard talks to detainees inside a cell at the compound of a fishing company in Benjina, Indonesia. The imprisoned men were considered slaves who might run away. They said they lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea. In its first report on trafficking around the world, the U.S. criticized Thailand as a hub for labor abuse. Yet 14 years later, seafood caught by slaves on Thai boats is still slipping into the supply chains of major American stores and supermarkets. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Fourteen years after the U.S. first criticized Thailand for labor abuse in its annual trafficking report, seafood caught by slaves on Thai boats is still slipping into the supply chains of major American stores and supermarkets.
 
 

Japan says PM Abe will meet China's Xi in Indonesia

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:17 AMGo to full article
By Linda Sieg and Randy Fabi TOKYO/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of an Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia on Wednesday, a Japanese government official said, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the Asian rivals. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhide Suga told reporters earlier that he hoped Abe and Xi would meet in Jakarta although precise details of the encounter had not been decided. A Japanese government official, however, told Reuters the two would meet. China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
 

China's choking air pollution goes west: Greenpeace

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:25:32 AMGo to full article
Residents cover their face from dust as they ride their bicycles along a street on a hazy day in ZhengzhouChina's choking air pollution is moving to the country's west, environmental group Greenpeace said, though air quality may have modestly improved in eastern cities such as Beijing in recent months. Provinces in central and western China, including Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan, are now among those with the worst PM2.5 levels in the country, a measure referring to particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter that are hazardous to health, Greenpeace said on Tuesday. Facing mounting public pressure, leaders in Beijing have declared a war on pollution, vowing to abandon a decades-old growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of China's water, skies and soil. "Armed with this information, the government must now ensure that pollution is not simply relocated to other regions, and that the same strict measures enacted in cities like Beijing are actually enforced across the country," Zhang Kai, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said in a statement on the group's website.
 
 

Japanese lawmakers visit shrine honoring war criminals

 
‎22 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:49:00 AMGo to full article
Religious offering dedicated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seen, center in the background, as people pray at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during an annual spring festival Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Abe sent religious offerings Tuesday to the shrine that honors convicted World War II leaders among its war dead. Abe's offerings likely signal that he will not pray at the controversial shrine ahead of trips to Asia and the United States. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)TOKYO (AP) — More than 100 Japanese lawmakers paid respects Wednesday at a Tokyo shrine that honors Japan's war dead, including World War II leaders, but Cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not participate in the spring ritual.
 
 

Boat skipper facing charges over migrant disaster

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:19:15 PMGo to full article
A combination photo shows Mahmud Bikhit and Mohammed Ali Malek, two survivors of Saturday's migrant boat disaster, arrested on suspicion of people trafficking, in these handout pictures taken and released by Italian Police in CataniaThe Tunisian captain of a migrant boat in which 800 people are feared to have drowned is set to be charged with causing the Mediterranean's deadliest disaster in decades. Prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Catania said Tuesday they believed Mohammed Ali Malek, 27, was responsible for steering mistakes and the reckless overcrowding which led to the horrifying shipwreck off Libya on Sunday. He will appear before a judge on Friday along with crew member and Syrian national Mahmud Bikhit, 25, who was also arrested in a probe into a catastrophe that has evoked chilling comparisons with the slave trade, and allegations of callous disregard on the part of European governments.
 
 

Nobel winners to help Asian cities tackle climate change

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:16:06 PMGo to full article
Nine Nobel prize winners in fields ranging from economics to medicine will try to come up with ideas this week to help fast-growing cities in Asia cope with global warming. Organizers of the April 22-25 symposium in Hong Kong, where the laureates will meet, said cities were key to tackling climate change, with more than half the global population living in urban areas. Within 30 years, 21 of a forecast 37 mega-cities of more than 10 million inhabitants worldwide will be in Asia, said the organizers, who include Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
 

Libya condemns 'death smugglers' after migrant shipwreck

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:31:37 PMGo to full article
Illegal migrants sit after they are rescued by the Libyan coastguard in Tripoli, Libya on July 17, 2014The foreign minister of Libya's internationally recognised government on Tuesday condemned "death smugglers" who organised the doomed voyage to Europe that left an estimated 800 dead in a shipwreck. We condemn the acts of these death smugglers," Mohamed al-Dayri told AFP in a telephone interview from Indonesia where he is attending an Asia-Africa summit. Leaders in Europe and Africa have highlighted the chaos in Libya as providing a safe haven for traffickers who lure migrants from all over Africa hoping to make the perilous boat journey to Europe. Libya has been riven by conflict since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival governments and parliaments and armed groups now battling to control its cities and oil wealth.
 
 

Kazakh leader to extend long rule, promises stability

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:01:59 PMGo to full article
Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev waves to audience during an election campaign rally at a stadium in AlmatyBy Raushan Nurshayeva and Dmitry Solovyov ALMATY (Reuters) - President Nursultan Nazarbayev will extend his nearly 26-year rule of Kazakhstan in an election on Sunday which investors hope will maintain stability in the Central Asian state despite criticism of his rights record. The 74-year-old former steelworker has held power since 1989 when the oil-producing nation of 17 million stretching from the border with China to the Caspian Sea was part of the Soviet Union, and has never faced a genuine challenge at the polls. An ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he called the vote a year before his current term is due to end, removing the danger of growing economic pains developing into a full-blown crisis that might dent his chances of victory. Kazakhstan's small and disparate opposition has called for a boycott.
 
 

How countries cope with migrants arriving by boat

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:58:55 PMGo to full article
In this November 30, 1977, file photo, Vietnamese refugee Nguyen Thi Yen, holds her sick child as she asks for help while sitting in a fishing boat carrying her and 48 other refugees as they arrive at Khlong Yai, a village 220 miles southeast of Bangkok, Thailand. The refugees were refused entry by Thai authorities and the boat was towed back to sea. Two recent shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea believed to have taken the lives of as many as 1,300 asylum seekers and migrants has highlighted the escalating flow of people fleeing persecution, war and economic difficulties in their homelands. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)Two recent shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea believed to have taken the lives of as many as 1,300 asylum seekers and migrants highlight the growing number of people fleeing persecution, war and economic difficulties in their homelands.
 
 

World stocks rally on China measures, earnings

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:53:46 PMGo to full article
Women look at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 21, 2015 as Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 274.60 points, or 1.4 percent to finish at 19,909.09. Hong Kong led Asian stocks higher Tuesday as investors shook off initial pessimism over new measures by China's market regulator. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets mostly rose Tuesday, boosted by optimism over recent market reforms in China as well as corporate earnings from U.S. and European companies.
 
 

Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:50:32 PMGo to full article
A U.S. Navy's amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach at a combined assault exercise at a beach facing one of the contested islands in the South China Sea known as the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at the Naval Education and Training Command at San Antonio township, Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines. More than ten thousand troops from both the US and Philippine militaries are taking part in the annual military drill that focuses on regional security, terrorism, disaster preparedness and inter-operability of both countries. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach during a joint exercise at the Naval Education and Training Command center in Zambales province, northwest of Manila. The Zambales shore faces the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese vessels were reported to have driven away Filipino fishermen with a water cannon and seized some of their catch in early April. Philippine military officials say the maneuvers with the U.S. are not directed at China. But the venue of some exercises in waters facing the disputed region and a focus on territorial defense have raised the appearance of a link. More than 10,000 American and Filipino military personnel are participating in the annual combat drills.
 
 

Hun Sen hostility puts decade-old U.N. Khmer Rouge tribunal in doubt

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:33:29 AMGo to full article
Girl looks at the skulls and bones of more than 8,000 victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in a glass case at Choeung Ek, a "Killing Fields" site located on the outskirts of Phnom PenhBy Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Youk Chhang has spent 20 years documenting the horrors of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" regime and his team has provided half a million documents to a U.N.-backed tribunal building cases against those responsible. Millions of Cambodians living with the scars of Pol Pot's 1975-1979 genocidal wave of terror face the possibility the court will be unable to bring to justice those most responsible for the deaths of about 1.8 million people. "Justice is a long and difficult road for all Cambodians," said Youk Chhang, who told of beatings and torture at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. We do not want to do what the Khmer Rouge did to us.
 
 

Ferry anger, corruption charges test South Korean president

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:49:05 AMGo to full article
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan Koo walks on the terrace of his residence in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Lee has offered to resign amid a bribery scandal just two months after he took up the country's No. 2 post, officials said Tuesday, in the latest political crisis to hit President Park Geun-hye. (Kim Bong-kyu/The Hankyoreh via AP) KOREA OUTSEOUL (AP) — First it was the ferry sinking, which a year later still haunts Park Geun-hye's presidency: Seoul saw violent clashes over the weekend as enraged demonstrators accused Park of ignoring the alleged corruption and incompetence that cost South Korea 304 lives, mostly school kids.
 
 

Defiant Hong Kongers resist embrace of mainland China

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:48:26 AMGo to full article
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 photo, a mainland Chinese tourist carries a suitcase as she walks at a shopping district in Hong Kong. Eighteen years after this world financial hub returned from colonial British control to Chinese rule, many say they feel more alienated and less trusting than ever of the central Chinese government and even the people visiting from across the border. The complaints range from the small to the sweeping, from the perceived rudeness of Chinese tourists to fears that leaders in Beijing are sabotaging the freedoms and rule of law that have long distinguished Hong Kong from the rest of China. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)HONG KONG (AP) — All around Chow Tak-yee's neighborhood in the working-class edges of Hong Kong, the 26-year-old can feel the spreading influence of nearby mainland China on the prosperous, open-minded city she's always called home.
 
 

US, Japan say no deal on farm, auto trade but end in sight

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:39:14 AMGo to full article
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, front left, speaks to reporters after talks with Japanese counterpart in Tokyo early Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The U.S. and Japan need further work to resolve differences on autos and farm exports that are hindering progress toward a Pacific Rim trade deal, Froman said Tuesday. (Shigeyuki Inakuma/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDITTOKYO (AP) — U.S. and Japanese trade officials failed to resolve differences on autos and farm exports that are hindering progress toward a Pacific Rim trade deal but say they believe agreement is within reach.
 
 

UN refugee agency says Australia rejected Vietnamese at sea

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:09:08 AMGo to full article
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday that it had raised concerns with Australian authorities that a boatload of Vietnamese asylum seekers had their refugee applications rejected at sea before the Australian navy secretly returned them to Vietnam.
 

Pope condemns killings of Ethiopian Christians in Libya

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:29:47 AMGo to full article
Pope Francis arrives to attend the funeral service for the late Italian Cardinal Roberto Tucci in Saint Peter's Basilica at the VaticanPope Francis condemned the "continuing martyrdom" of Christians on Monday after 30 Ethiopians were shown being shot and beheaded in Libya on a video purportedly made by Islamic State militants. "With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya," Francis said in a message to Patriarch Abuna Matthias of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. The video, in which militants call Christians "crusaders" who are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size being shot in the head in a patch of scrubland.[IDn:nL5N0XH2KO] "I  reach out to you in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia," the pope said in his message released by the Vatican.
 
 

Japanese PM Abe makes ritual offering at Yasukuni shrine

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:47:34 AMGo to full article
Japan's PM Abe and his wife Akie exchange smiles with show-business celebrities during a cherry blossom viewing party in TokyoTOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday sent a ritual offering to a controversial Tokyo shrine for war dead, Jiji news agency said, a day before he makes remarks at an international summit that will be watched for his stance on Japan's wartime history. The tone of his comments at the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta on Wednesday could determine whether he meets Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the conference, the latest sign of a possible thaw in Tokyo's troubled ties with Beijing. ...
 
 

Migrants' bodies brought ashore as EU proposes doubling rescue effort

 
‎21 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:17:08 AMGo to full article
Migrants, who are trying to reach Greece, are rescued by members of the Greek Coast guard and locals near the coast of the southeastern island of RhodesBy James Mackenzie and Robin Emmott CATANIA, Italy/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union proposed doubling the size of its Mediterranean search and rescue operations on Monday, as the first bodies were brought ashore of as many as 900 people feared killed in the deadliest known shipwreck of migrants trying to reach Europe. Three other rescue operations were underway on Monday to save hundreds more migrants in peril on overloaded vessels making the journey from the north coast of Africa to Europe. The mass deaths have caused shock in Europe, where a decision to scale back naval operations last year seems to have increased the risks for migrants without reducing their numbers. "The situation in the Mediterranean is dramatic.
 
 

US and Chinese investors buy Cirque du Soleil

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:39:45 PMGo to full article
Performers from 'Cirque du Soleil', bought by American private equity firm TPG and China's Fosun for an undisclosed sumAmerican private equity firm TPG and China's Fosun on Monday bought Canadian entertainment juggernaut Cirque du Soleil for an undisclosed sum as the carnival looks to expand in Asia. Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang's Fosun, which in February won a bidding war for French holiday company Club Med, gets 20 percent.
 
 

Russia in talks to bid for 2023 basketball World Cup

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:28:39 PMGo to full article
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The Russian sports minister said Monday he is in talks with the governing body of basketball for the country to bid to host the 2023 World Cup.
 

China and Pakistan launch economic corridor plan worth $46 billion

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:07:34 PMGo to full article
A policeman stands guard next to giant portraits of Pakistan's President Hussain, China's President Xi, and Pakistan's PM Sharif, displayed along a road ahead of Xi's visit to IslamabadBy Katharine Houreld ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - China and Pakistan launched a plan on Monday for energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan worth $46 billion, linking their economies and underscoring China's economic ambitions in Asia and beyond. China's President Xi Jinping arrived in Pakistan to oversee the signing of agreements aimed at establishing a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor between Pakistan's southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and China's western Xinjiang region.
 
 

Last Gallipoli warship unravels myths of WWI disaster

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:05:43 PMGo to full article
The front of the newly restored HMS M33 Minerva in Portsmouth's Historic DockyardBritain's last surviving warship from Gallipoli is being restored to mark the bloody campaign's centenary, as a new exhibition tries to counter myths surrounding the disastrous World War I offensive. HMS M33, one of only three British ships remaining from the whole 1914-1918 war, is being painstakingly renovated in a dry dock in Portsmouth, the Royal Navy's home on the English south coast. The rudimentary ship is being conserved to help bring the story of Gallipoli to life -- and attempt to paint a more rounded picture of the costly Allied attempt to seize the Turkish peninsula. "She's a little time capsule," said Nick Hewitt, strategic development executive at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, standing on the upper deck.
 
 

Thailand seizes 4 tons of elephant tusks smuggled from Congo

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:04:56 PMGo to full article
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand seized 4 tons of ivory hidden in bean sacks tracked from Congo in what authorities said was the biggest bust in the country's history, customs officials said Monday.
 

Image of Asia: A rooftop refuge in a New Delhi slum

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:51:51 PMGo to full article
An Indian man sleeps on the roof of his house at a shanty area in New Delhi, India, Monday, April 20, 2015. While hundreds of millions of Indians remained mired in poverty, the International Monetary Fund recently said it expects India’s economy to grow by 7.5 percent in 2015, its strongest growth in five years. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)In this photo by Bernat Armangue, an Indian man sleeps on the roof of his house in New Delhi. As temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Indian capital, slum dwellers take refuge from the heat on rooftop cots known as charpoys. The slum in the center of New Delhi is home to thousands of people. Apart from the heat, summer brings other dangers including swarms of mosquitoes bred in the open sewage lines and standing puddles throughout the shantytown.
 
 

Literary biopic 'Golden Era' garners 5 Hong Kong film awards

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:37:35 PMGo to full article
Hong Kong actor Sean Lau, left, poses with his Best Actor award for the movie “Overhead 3” alongside Chinese actress Zhou Wei with her Best Actress award for the movie “Dearest” during the Hong Kong Film Awards in Hong Kong Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)HONG KONG (AP) — "The Golden Era," a biography of Chinese novelist Xiao Hong, won top honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards, with its director Ann Hui claiming her fifth best director trophy.
 
 

Ivory-smuggling destination Thailand makes 'biggest seizure' of tusks

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:02:54 PMGo to full article
A customs officer arranges confiscated elephant tusks before a news conference at the Port Authority of Thailand in BangkokThai customs officials have seized four tonnes of ivory worth $6 million, authorities said on Monday, in what the department called the largest bust of its kind in Thailand's history. The elephant tusks were hidden in bags containing dried beans in containers originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Thai Customs Department said in a statement, and were bound for Laos. The seizure comes as Thailand - a top destination for African ivory smuggling in Asia - is under increasing pressure to crack down on its illegal ivory trade. Thailand was given until the end of March to take measures to shut down domestic trade in ivory or face sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
 
 

U.S. rebalance to Asia begins with major military drill in Philippines

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:57:46 AMGo to full article
Pio Catapang and Christopher Mahoney attend the opening ceremony of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises between the Philippines and US at the AFP headquaBy Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine and U.S. soldiers began their biggest combined military exercise in 15 years on Monday, in a demonstration of Washington's commitment to its long-time ally as it rebalances to Asia in the face of China's expansion in the South China Sea. "The exercises this week are part of a U.S. rebalance to Asia starting with Balikatan in the Philippines," Major-General Raul del Rosario told Reuters as more than 1,000 US Army troops joined the drills at a jungle army base. Pacific Pathways, which Washington says is part of a plan to establish a "semi-permanent" U.S. presence in Asia, will comprise 29 exercises across 12 countries in the region over the next five years. The exercise comes a few days after the Philippines said it was seeking more "substantive" support from the United States on how to counter China's rapid expansion in the South China Sea.
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia

 
‎20 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:22:59 AMGo to full article
In this April 16, 2015 photo, newborn white tiger cubs look on together at the Saitama Tobu zoo, in Shiraoka, north of Tokyo. Ahead of the grand debut of the four cubs in a week, the zoo went ahead for a trial public appearance to test the cubs’ reactions. The blue-eyed cubs with coats of black stripes on white were born on Jan. 25, - mother Cara’s second time giving birth in the zoo. (AP Photo/Miki Toda, File)White tiger cubs peeked out at a zoo near Tokyo, while Thais and Burmese splashed water on each other during new year's holidays to cool off during the hottest season of the year.

 

 

Hundreds of migrants feared drowned in Mediterranean Sea

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:35:52 PMGo to full article
In this photo taken at the Palermo harbor on April 15 and made available Sunday, April 19, migrants receive relief after disembarking in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. In background, right, is harbored the King Jacob Portuguese cargo vassel, the first ship to arrive near a boat believed to be crowded with 700 migrant in distress, only to see it capsizing in the waters north of Libya, Sunday, April 19, 2015. 24 migrants were confirmed dead, sparking fears for what could become the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant sea disaster, Italy's Coast Guard and other officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini)ROME (AP) — Only a few dozen people were saved Sunday after a fishing boat smuggling hundreds of migrants from Libya to Europe overturned in what could become one of the Mediterranean's deadliest mass drownings.
 
 

Ecclestone says 2016 Azerbaijan Grand Prix going ahead

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:04:49 PMGo to full article
Chief executive of the Formula One Bernie Ecclestone, left, talks to Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene prior to the start of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone says the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will make its debut next season, despite concerns over the country's human rights record.
 
 

Sea of sorrows: Many migrants drown trying to reach Italy

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:56:10 PMGo to full article
Migrants receive first aid upon disembarking from Italian Navy ship "Driade" in Messina's port, Sicily, Italy, Saturday, April 18, 2015. Italian ships have picked up some 10,000 people, many of them refugees of war and persecution, over the past week, an unprecedented number in such a short period. The influx is putting pressure on Italy's shelter system and raising calls for a better response to the emergency. (AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi)ROME (AP) — Migrants seeking a better life in Europe have died by the thousands in the Mediterranean Sea in recent years while fleeing poverty and bloodshed in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
 
 

IS or Taliban? Either way, fear stalks war-weary Afghans

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:32:31 PMGo to full article
A burqa-clad Afghan pedestrian walks past security personnel at the site of a suicide attack outside a bank in Jalalabad on April 18, 2015Claims that the Islamic State group carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan raise questions about whether the culprits are the real deal or Taliban turncoats now waving the IS black flag. The bomb on Saturday ripped through a crowd of government officials waiting to draw their salaries outside the Kabul Bank in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing at least 34 people and wounding more than 100. It was the most lethal bombing in the country to be claimed by insurgents allegedly allied with IS, which has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq but never formally acknowledged having a presence in Afghanistan. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani repeated the claim by the attackers in a speech on Saturday, intensifying fears that the IS's brutal reign of terror was creeping into Afghanistan, already in the grip of a fierce Taliban insurgency.
 
 

Immigrants describe threats in South Africa

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:19:25 PMGo to full article
A man leaves a burnt shop owned by a foreign national in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, April 19, 2015. South Africa's president on Saturday canceled a foreign trip in order to deal with a wave of attacks on immigrants that have killed at least six people. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Fearful immigrants in South Africa who fled their homes because of threats and deadly attacks by South Africans said Sunday they were targeted in some cases by longtime neighbors and people who warned they would assault anyone carrying a foreign passport.
 
 

Belarus defeats Japan 3-2 to advance at Fed Cup

 
‎19 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:39:29 PMGo to full article
TOKYO (AP) — Victoria Azarenka and Olga Govortsova won their doubles match on Sunday as Belarus defeated Japan 3-2 in the Fed Cup World Group II playoff.
 

Yemen government rejects Iranian peace plan

 
‎18 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:39:48 PMGo to full article
A Iranian flag flutters in the winds at the Iranian ambassador's residence in SanaaYemen's government has rejected a four-point peace plan for the country that Iran submitted to the United Nations, a spokesman said on Saturday. Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab coalition partners have been bombing Iranian-allied Houthi rebels for three weeks in order to halt advances that could give the rebels full control of the country. The conflict, though rooted in local rivalries, has been described as a proxy war between predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran, both top OPEC oil producers. The Iranian plan calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and "establishment of an inclusive national unity government." "We reject the Iranian initiative," Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters by telephone from Qatar's capital, Doha.
 
 

Afghan blast kills 33; president blames Islamic State

 
‎18 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:49:43 PMGo to full article
People run for cover after an explosion in JalalabadBy Rafiq Sherzad JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad killed 33 people and injured more than 100 on Saturday, setting off a blast outside a bank where government workers collect salaries, the city's police chief said. President Ashraf Ghani blamed Islamic State militants, without giving further detail. If true, it would be the first such major attack carried out by the group in Afghanistan, marking a significant step in its expansion into South Asia. Up until now militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State in Afghanistan have been widely identified as former Taliban fighters disillusioned with their leadership.
 
 

Pope urges global response to Italy boat people crisis

 
‎18 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:28:15 PMGo to full article
A boat transporting migrants arrives in the port of Messina after a rescue operation at see on April 18, 2015 in SicilyPope Francis on Saturday urged the international community to act over a deadly surge in the numbers of migrants attempting to reach Italy via perilous sea crossings from north Africa. The pontiff's appeal came at the end of a week in which more than 450 people are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean and more than 11,000 other would-be immigrants to Europe have been rescued by Italy's coastguard, merchant ships or vessels involved in a much-criticised European Union maritime border patrol operation. "I want to express my gratitude for Italy's undertaking in welcoming the numerous migrants seeking refuge at the risk of their lives," Francis said. The pope was speaking during his first official meeting with new Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who reiterated Rome's longstanding call for more support from its EU partners in dealing with the humanitarian crisis.
 
 

Judge says FBI ruse violated rights of Vegas hotel guest

 
‎18 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:05:54 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, Wei Seng Phua walks into federal court in Las Vegas. A federal judge says the FBI violated the rights of Phua, a wealthy Malaysian businessman, when agents posed as Internet repairmen to get into his Las Vegas suite during the World Cup soccer tournament last summer. A lawyer for Wei Seng "Paul" Phua is calling the Friday, April 17, 2015 ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon a victory for freedom in the United States. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)LAS VEGAS (AP) — The FBI violated the rights of a wealthy Malaysian businessman when agents posed as Internet repairmen to get into his Las Vegas suite to search for evidence of wrongdoing during the World Cup soccer tournament last summer, a federal judge ruled Friday.
 
 

China: New bank to enhance international finance system

 
‎18 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:36:29 AMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — China's proposed infrastructure bank for Asia is intended to complement and not replace existing lenders dominated by the U.S. and Japan, a senior Chinese official said Friday.
 

Obama: Trade politics difficult, but opposition helps China

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:54:58 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. President Barack Obama defended his efforts to broaden commerce with Asia and Europe and warned on Friday that opposition would give China a leg up in setting the rules for international trade.
 

The globe's record heat keeps on broiling into this year

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:56:46 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — There's been no break from the globe's record heat — the first three months of 2015 have set new high temperature marks.
 

Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:08:57 PMGo to full article
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's ruling party summoned executives from two leading television networks Friday, the latest in a series of actions that opponents say endanger press freedom and intimidate the media.
 

China police shoot dead two 'terrorists' on Vietnam border

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:54 PMGo to full article
Chinese police have shot dead two suspected "terrorists" on the border with Vietnam, part of a group of people trying to sneak out of the country, state media said on Friday. The group was discovered on Friday morning in Dongxing city, which lies on the other side of Vietnam's border in the southern region of Guangxi, the China News Service said on its official microblog. Chinese police have previously captured or killed ethnic Uighurs from the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang who have tried to cross into Vietnam. Exile group the World Uyghur Congress said that growing numbers of Uighurs were trying to "extricate themselves from a life of terror in China".
 

Images show rapid Chinese progress on new South China Sea airstrip

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:26:00 PMGo to full article
Satellite image of dredgers depositing sand on the northern rim of the Mischief ReefBy David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Recent satellite images published on Thursday show China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested territory in the South China Sea's Spratly Islands and may be planning another, moves that have been greeted with concern in the United States and Asia. IHS Jane's Defense Weekly said March 23 images from Airbus Defence and Space showed work on the runway on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, which China contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The report said other images suggested China was working to extend another airstrip to that length in the Paracel Islands further north in the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, a vital shipping route through which $5 trillion of trade passes every year.
 
 

Mexico's 'New Generation' cartel takes police head-on

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:08:42 PMGo to full article
Bullet holes scar the window of a neighbouring house to that where gunmen attacked the police in in OcotlanThe town still bears the scars from the unprecedented offensive launched by a powerful Mexican drug cartel against government forces: bullet-pocked buildings and blood stains on the street. The March 19 ambush that killed five federal gendarmerie officers, three gang suspects and three bystanders in Ocotlan signaled the start of a conflict between the authorities and the Jalisco New Generation Drug Cartel. The well-armed gang took its operation to a new level on April 6 when it surprised a Jalisco state police convoy, gunning down 15 officers in the deadliest single day for Mexico's security forces in years of a bloody drug war. The western state of Jalisco is known as the birthplace of tequila, mariachis and the country's most popular football team, the Chivas of Guadalajara.
 
 

Image of Asia: Incense in memory of the Khmer Rouge victims

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:54:18 AMGo to full article
A Cambodian woman burns incense sticks as she prays in front of a stupa containing hundreds of human skulls and bones of victims in Khmer Rouge regime, at Choeung Ek memorial on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, April 17, 2015. Cambodian main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy on Friday led a Buddhist ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer Rouge. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)In this photo by Heng Sinith, a woman burns incense sticks as she prays in front of a stupa containing hundreds of human skulls and bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, at the Choeung Ek memorial on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Several hundred mourners and Buddhist monks gathered at the former execution ground to remember the day 40 years ago that the country fell to the Khmer Rouge. The regime held power for four years during which an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died from starvation, slave labor and wholesale murder and bloody purges. After the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in January 1979, the burial pits of the execution site were excavated and the skulls of the victims were put in a stupa as a reminder of what the country endured.
 
 

China's Xi Jinping to visit close ally Pakistan

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:12:32 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2014 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping walks during a welcome ceremony for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Xi will travel to ally Pakistan next week for a visit postponed last year amid mass anti-government demonstrations in that country's capital, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, April 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan next week to oversee agreements on pipelines, power plants and other projects as part of a massive $46 billion joint development program that Beijing hopes will stabilize its longtime ally's economy and extend China's influence in western Asia.
 
 

India's rising tiger numbers may be victory only on paper

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:02:47 AMGo to full article
In this April 12, 2015 photo, a tiger walks at the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, India. India’s tiger population has gone up 30 percent in just four years. The government lauded the news as astonishing evidence of victory in conservation. But independent scientists say such an increase - to 2,226 big cats - in so short a time doesn’t make sense. They worry an enthusiastic new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is misinterpreting the numbers, trumpeting false claims of a thriving tiger population that could hurt conservation in the long run. (AP Photo/Satyajeet Singh Rathore)SUNDARBAN TIGER RESERVE, India (AP) — At first, the numbers seem impressive: India's tiger population has gone up 30 percent in just four years. The government lauded the news as astonishing evidence of victory in conservation.
 
 

Migrants 'thrown overboard' in religious row as toll climbs

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:53:18 AMGo to full article
Italian Red Cross personnel prepare to give first aid to shipwrecked migrants as they arrive in the Italian port of Augusta, in Sicily on April 16, 2015Italian police on Thursday said 12 African migrants had died after being thrown overboard by fellow passengers in the latest high-seas tragedy in the Mediterranean, as another 41 boat migrants were feared drowned in a separate incident. Police in the Sicilian port of Palermo said they had arrested 15 Muslim migrants suspected of attacking Christian passengers after a religious row on a boat headed for Italy, which is struggling to cope with a huge spike in illegal migrants arriving on its shores. They were charged with "multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate," according to a police statement. Distraught survivors, who set off from Libya on Tuesday before being rescued by an Italian vessel on Wednesday, told a "dreadful" story of "forcefully resisting attempts to drown them, forming a veritable human chain in some cases," police said.
 
 

Gray whales' Pacific crossing leads to questions of origin

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:57:37 PMGo to full article
This Sept. 13, 2010 photo provided by the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute shows a western Pacific gray whale near Sakhalin Island in Russia. Research by U.S. and Russian scientists who tracked rare western Pacific gray whales across the Bering Sea and all the way to Mexico have led them to question whether they are a separate species or simply California gray whales expanding their feeding grounds. (Craig Hayslip/OSU Marine Mammal Institute via AP)ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A study of the migration of rare western Pacific gray whales has led U.S. and Russian scientists to question whether they're a separate population or simply California gray whales that have expanded their feeding grounds.

 

 

Images show China building airstrip on contested reef: report

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:06:01 PMGo to full article
Recent satellite images show China has begun building its first airstrip in contested territory in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and may be working on another, a leading defense publication reported on Thursday. IHS Jane's Defense Weekly said the images provided by Airbus Defence and Space taken on March 23 showed the construction work on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the archipelago, territory China contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The report said satellite imagery suggested China was also working to extend another airstrip to that length in the Paracel Islands further north in the South China Sea. Images of Fiery Cross Reef showed a paved section of runway 505 meters (552 yards) by 53 meters (58 yards) on the northeastern side of the reef, which China began turning into an island with extensive dredging last year, the report said.
 

Unrest amid pleas to end attacks on immigrants in S. Africa

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:29:09 PMGo to full article
An armed police officer approaching a hostel in Astonville near Johannesburg, Thursday, April 16, 2015, during an anti-immigrant protest. South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday urged South Africans to stop attacking immigrants from the rest of Africa and South Asia, after days of violence have left at least five people dead, escalating fears of violence and sending foreigners to seek refuge in various camps and police stations. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — President Jacob Zuma on Thursday urged South Africans to stop attacking immigrants from Africa and South Asia, but hundreds threatened peace marchers in a city where days of violence have killed at least five people.
 
 

Stocks slip as investors eye US earnings, Greek debt drama

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:21:54 PMGo to full article
A pair of traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, April 16, 2015. U.S. stocks are heading lower as more big companies turn in earnings. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market drifted lower Thursday as investors sifted through the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. Major markets in Europe fell amid renewed concerns that Greece could default on its debts.
 
 

India's die-hard Hindus push to ban beef in blow to poor

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:27:54 PMGo to full article
In this April 2, 2015 photo, traders buy and sell buffaloes at Ghazipur slaughterhouse complex in New Delhi, India. India is the world’s second-largest exporter of beef, but with the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party last year, the industry is facing tougher bans on slaughter. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)NEW DELHI (AP) — Every morning just before dawn, hundreds of trucks loaded with buffaloes trundle into New Delhi's sprawling slaughterhouse complex where young men rush to unload the bellowing cargo. Skidding on heaps of fresh dung, they pull the animals out of the trucks, herding them for the daily auction and eventual slaughter. The work is hard and the money at the end of it, poor.
 
 

South Africa's Brait takes control of gym chain Virgin Active

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:04 PMGo to full article
UK Virgin Chairman Richard Branson (C) and former South African President Nelson Mandela, who was Pollsmoor Prison's most famous former prisoner, in 2002South African investment company Brait on Thursday bought a majority holding in British-based health club chain Virgin Active for £682 million ($1.02 billion, 949 million euros). Virgin Active, owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, said in a statement that Brait has agreed to buy an 80 percent stake. CVC will sell all of its holding, while Virgin Group will retain 20 percent in a deal that remains subject to regulatory approvals. Brait, which is listed in Johannesburg and Luxembourg, added that it had plans to expand the chain further into Africa and Asia.
 
 

Image of Asia: Curious cubs climb, bite, snarl in zoo debut

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:54:17 PMGo to full article
Newborn white tiger cubs look on together at the Saitama Tobu zoo, in Shiraoka, north of Tokyo,Thursday, April 16, 2015. Ahead of the grand debut of the four cubs in a week, the zoo went ahead for a trial public appearance to test the cubs’ reactions. The blue-eyed cubs with coats of black stripes on white were born on Jan. 25, - mother Cara’s second time giving birth in the zoo. (AP Photo/Miki Toda)In this photo by Miki Toda, white Bengal tiger cubs watch visitors at the Saitama Tobu zoo in Shiraoka, Japan, during their introduction to the public Thursday. Their mother, Cara, gave birth to four male cubs on Jan. 25, and the zoo had a trial public appearance to test the cubs' reactions before their grand debut next week. The four cubs were unsure of what to do but were often curious during their few hours on display. They climbed on their mother, mimicked her scratching a tree trunk and bit anything to relieve their itching baby teeth. They stared at the visitors behind the glass, sometimes snarling at them. Zookeeper Yasuhiro Shimo said the cubs are being fed on their mother's milk and raw meat. "Last time I helped out with it, I felt like they have gained so much strength, and these little kitties are turning into real tigers," he said. The cubs' coloring is a genetic anomaly in Bengal tigers, seen in about 250 captive cats worldwide and extremely rare in the wild.
 
 

It's up to Dalai Lama whether he'll be reborn, Buddhist leader says

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:14:19 PMGo to full article
The Dalai Lama waves towards the head table, where U.S. President Barack Obama was seated, during the National Prayer Breakfast in WashingtonIt is up to the Dalai Lama to decide whether he will be reborn, Tibetan Buddhism's third highest religious leader said, after Chinese officials repeatedly said the exiled Dalai Lama had no right to abandon reincarnation. Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who holds the title of Karmapa Lama and lives in exile in India, told Radio Free Asia in an interview in Washington that he had "complete belief" in the ability of the Dalai Lama to decide his fate after death. In my view, it is only the Dalai Lama himself who should decide about his future reincarnation. The Karmapa is close to the Dalai Lama and after him is the most eminent Lama to have fled Chinese rule of Tibet, which Communist forces "peacefully liberated" in 1950.
 
 

Australia will soon pay refugees to resettle in Cambodia

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:29:14 AMGo to full article
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia who are being held on the Pacific atoll of Nauru after being rejected by Australia could soon be paid to resettle in impoverished Cambodia in an arrangement by the Australian government that has been condemned by human rights activists as inhumane and potentially dangerous.
 

Japan jets scramble at Cold-War levels as Chinese and Russian incursions increase

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:30:40 AMGo to full article
(This April 15 story has been corrected to change number of scrambles to 943 from 944 in year through March 31) TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's air force said on Wednesday jet fighter scrambles had reached a level not seen since the height of the Cold War three decades ago as Russian bombers probe its northern skies and Chinese combat aircraft intrude into its southern air space. In the year through March 31, Japanese fighters scrambled 943 times, a 16-percent increase on the same period the previous year, the country's Self Defence Force said. The spokesman said an increased number of Chinese planes had flown through Japanese air space into the Western Pacific. Russia's activity has gathered pace since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year and comes at a time when Japan faces an increasingly assertive China, which boosted its defense spending by more than 10 percent this year after a nearly unbroken two-decade run of double-digit rises.
 

Speedy probe urged over missing Thai environmental activist

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:15:35 AMGo to full article
BANGKOK (AP) — The United Nations human rights office called Thursday on Thailand to speed up an investigation into the disappearance of an ethnic minority environmental activist who has helped villagers report illegal activity in Thailand's largest national park.
 

At Manila's autism-friendly cafe, it's A-OK to be different

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:07 AMGo to full article
In this April 7, 2015, photo, Jose Antonio Canoy arrives at the Puzzle Cafe, which his family co-owns, in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines. Canoy's 20-year-old brother is among seven trainees with autism at the small cafe, which aims to provide its workers a place to assimilate into society, improve social skills and spread awareness of the poorly understood disorder, which the World Health Organization estimates impairs about one child for every 160 worldwide. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Guided by a therapist and cue cards, Jose Canoy carefully removed a waffle from the griddle, turned off the waffle maker and asked for a serving plate from the kitchen staff at Manila's brightly-decorated Puzzle Cafe. Each of Canoy's next moves were similarly laid out in index cards with pictures: A script for greeting customers, offering them the menu, serving the food and finally handing out the bill.
 
 

Navy officer pleads guilty in Asian bribery scandal

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:57:29 PMGo to full article
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Navy lieutenant commander became the eighth person to plead guilty in a bribery scandal Wednesday, admitting he accepted hotel accommodations, cash-stuffed envelopes and a prostitute from a contractor in exchange for classified shipping schedules and other information.
 

More people worldwide are opening bank accounts

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:49:47 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this March 9, 2013 photo, a woman uses her phone as she walks by an advertisement for a 4G telecommunications network in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province. On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, the World Bank said the number of people opening their first bank accounts - either on mobile phones or at bank branches - jumped by 700 million between 2011 and 2014. (CHINATOPIX via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Africans using cellphones, older Chinese, and Indians getting a push from their government have fueled an unprecedented surge of people opening their first bank accounts.
 
 

US: Growing China, Russia military activity in Asia-Pacific

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:33:39 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said Wednesday that major land reclamation by China at outposts in the South China Sea could allow it to exert more influence over the contested area and deploy military assets such as long-range radar and advanced missile systems.
 

Global sports gambling worth 'up to $3 trillion'

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:57:34 PMGo to full article
The global sports betting market is worth up to $3 tn, the vast majority of that generated by illegal gambling, a United Nations conference hearsThe global sports betting market is worth up to $3-trillion, the vast majority of that generated by illegal gambling, a United Nations conference on crime being held in Doha heard on Wednesday. Patrick Jay, a British-based independent betting expert, said around 65 per cent of that global figure was spent on football betting, with the Asian market the centre of sports gambling. Tennis and cricket account for a further 12 per cent each of that $3-trillion, said Jay who was speaking at a session on match-fixing in sport at the week-long UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, currently being held in Doha. Jay told the conference session that a conservative estimate was that the betting market was worth around one trillion.
 
 

List of migrant deaths grows after boat capsizes off Libya

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:33:44 PMGo to full article
ROME (AP) — Fleeing poverty, war or other violence in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, migrants have died by the thousands in the Mediterranean over the years while trying to reach Europe.
 

Nokia aims to become networks giant with Alcatel-Lucent deal

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:44:43 PMGo to full article
FILE - This Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 shows the Nokia head offices in Espoo, Finland. Nokia says it is in advanced discussions to acquire the French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent. In a brief statement Tuesday, the Helsinki-based mobile technology concern said the two companies are in advanced negotiations "with respect to a potential full combination which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent." (Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP, File) FINLAND OUTHELSINKI (AP) — Nokia will buy ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent for around 15.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion) through a public exchange of shares in France and the United States, in a bid to become a leading global networks operator.
 
 

European shares advance as Draghi stays the stimulus course

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:26:30 PMGo to full article
People walk by an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Shares were mixed in Asia on Wednesday as investors absorbed the news that China's economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly six years in the first quarter. Hong Kong and Shanghai recovered losses after slipping into negative territory following the release of data showing the Chinese economy grew at a 7.0 percent pace in January-March. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.2 percent to 19,869.76. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)LONDON (AP) — European shares rose Wednesday as European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi gave few hints that the bank will bring its stimulus earlier than planned. Shares in Asia fell, however, after figures showed China growing at its slowest pace in six years.
 
 

Prosecutors seek custody of $100M in Asian, Indian artifacts

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:54:26 PMGo to full article
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City prosecutors have asked a judge for custody of more than 2,500 artifacts seized during raids of storage facilities affiliated with an imprisoned art dealer.
 

Image of Asia: Opening an account book for the new year

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:39:47 PMGo to full article
A Hindu priest marks a trader’s account book with holy symbols on Bengali New Year day in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Traders consider it auspicious to open their new account books on this day. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)In this photo by Bikas Das, a Hindu priest marks a trader's account book with holy symbols on the Bengali New Year in Kolkata, India. Business owners consider it auspicious to open their new account books on the first day of the new year. In the book pictured, the circles are imprints of rupee coins and the middle symbol is the swastika, an ancient symbol of well-being for Hindus. Several festivals being celebrated in India this week mark the harvest season as well as the new year. In Bengal, the celebration is called Poila Boishakh. In the southern state of Kerala, the festival of Vishu was celebrated on Wednesday, and the main harvest celebration in parts of north India, Baisakhi, was celebrated on Tuesday. Celebrants offer prayers, buy and wear new clothes and cook and eat special foods during the festivals.
 
 

S. Koreans doubt ferry sinking will inspire improved safety

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:33:44 PMGo to full article
In this April 5, 2015, file photo, a relative of the victim of a South Korean ferry sinking cries during a rally demanding to salvage the ferry Sewol off the country's southwest coast before starting the compensation process and thoroughly investigating of truth in Seoul, South Korea. A year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in the ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same. Yet not much has really changed as the first anniversary of the Sewol disaster is marked Thursday, April 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same. Yet not much has really changed as the first anniversary of the Sewol disaster is marked Thursday.
 
 

Rights group accuses Serbia of harassing migrants

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:52:37 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 file photo, Serbian border police officers detain Kosovo migrants near the northern Serbian town of Subotica, not far from the border between Serbia and Hungary. Human Rights Watch said in its report released Wednesday, April 15 that thousands of people fleeing Afghanistan, Syria and other violence-ravaged countries in Asia and Africa have been targets of assaults, threats, insults and extortion as they pass through Serbia on their way to the border with Hungary where they try to sneak into the European Union. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Migrants fleeing wars and persecution are experiencing widespread harassment and abuse by police as they cross Serbia while trying to find shelter in Western European states, a leading rights group said Wednesday.
 
 

Indonesian Islamic parties seek ban on alcohol consumption

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:17:27 AMGo to full article
File photo of a tourist drinking a bottle of beer during sunset at Seminyak beach, near Kuta, on the resort island of BaliBy Eveline Danubrata and Michael Taylor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Two Islamic parties have proposed legislation to ban all consumption of alcoholic drinks and hand jail terms of up to two years to offenders in Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population. "This is not a religious or ideological issue," Abdul Hakim of the Prosperous Justice Party told Reuters. "This is purely for the protection of the children of the nation." The bill aims to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of beverages with an alcohol content exceeding one percent, including local brews such as rice wine popular in many parts of the sprawling archipelago. To become law it would have to be signed by President Joko Widodo, who has adopted a hard line against drug offenders since taking office last October.
 
 

Egypt and Saudi Arabia discuss maneuvers as Yemen battles rage

 
‎15 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:08:23 AMGo to full article
A Saudi artillery unit fires shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with YemenBy Mohamed Mukashaf ADEN (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday imposed an arms embargo targeting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels who now control most of Yemen as battles in the south of the country intensified. Egypt said it and Saudi Arabia had discussed holding a "major military maneuver" in Saudi Arabia with other Gulf states, following talks on the progress of the three-week-old Saudi-led campaign of air strikes against the Houthis in Yemen. Arab states have been bombing the Houthis in support of militias resisting an advance by the group and army units loyal to ousted former president Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The conflict, though rooted in local rivalries, has become a proxy battlefield for Sunni-ruled Saudi and mainly Shi'ite Iran, the main regional powers.
 
 

Chicago-area dog flu cases climb to over 1,100, including six deaths

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:38:38 PMGo to full article
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - At least 1,137 Chicago-area dogs have come down with a highly contagious strain of canine flu, and six have died, in the largest and longest-lasting dog flu outbreak ever seen in the region, county officials said on Tuesday. Veterinarians began reporting cases of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease, or CIRD, in January, said Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan. Symptoms of CIRD include persistent and lingering cough, lethargic behavior, poor appetite and a fever, said Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal & Rabies Control. Humans cannot get dog flu, but they can spread it, so Alexander recommended thorough hand-washing after touching or petting a dog.
 

At least 70 percent chance of El Nino in June: Australia weather bureau

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:53:41 PMGo to full article
A surfer looks at waves as storm clouds move in from Pacific Ocean at Sydney's Manly BeachBy Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Weather models show an El Nino is likely to emerge this year, with at least a 70 percent chance the weather pattern could arrive as early as June, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday. El Nino, or a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, can prompt drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and heavy rains in South America, hitting production of food such as rice, wheat and sugar. "The chances of El Nino occurring in 2015 have increased," the Australian weather bureau said. Tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures are now just shy of El Nino levels, the BOM said.
 
 

Australia sent on long road to start World Cup qualifying

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:15:22 PMGo to full article
Head of FIFA World Cup and Olympic Qualifiers Gordon Savic holds the country name card of Australia for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Asian Cup champion Australia was drawn into a far-flung qualifying group Tuesday to start a long journey toward the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
 
 

World should fear China's actions in South China Sea: Philippine leader

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:50:33 PMGo to full article
Philippine President Benigno Aquino points to a copy of China's nine-dash line map during an interview with AFP at Malacanang Palace in Manila, on April 14, 2015China's efforts to stake its claim to most of the South China Sea should spark fear around the world, with military conflict possible, Philippine President Benigno Aquino told AFP on Tuesday. In an exclusive interview, Aquino also warned that China's increasingly assertive actions raised the spectre of other nations having access cut to vital international shipping lanes and rich fishing grounds in the sea. Aquino said that while he did not believe China intended to engage in a military conflict over the territorial disputes with the Philippines and other Asian nations, there was a possibility of one breaking out. China claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, including areas just off the coasts of other Asian nations, using vague demarcation lines that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s.
 
 

Global stocks subdued after recent gains, oil pushes higher

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:33:07 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 file photo, a pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Stocks are opening slightly higher Monday, April 13, 2015, led by gains in the energy sector as the price of oil moves higher. (AP Photo/Jin Lee, File)TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks were subdued on Tuesday after several indexes in Europe and Asia hit multi-year highs this week, while the price of oil pushed higher.
 
 

Image of Asia: In flight over Everest base camp

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:18:00 PMGo to full article
In this Saturday, April 11, 2015 photo, a bird flies over tents set up for climbers at Everest Base Camp in Nepal. More medical staff has been placed at Mount Everest's base camp, and the government has set up a full-time office tent at the camp, with officials providing security, settling disputes among climbers and monitoring the activities of the hundreds of climbers and guides at the camp. Climbers from four teams have already been issued permits allowing them to climb the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak, another 11 written applications are pending and more applications are expected in the next few days, said Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at Nepal's Mountaineering Department. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa)In this photo by Tashi Sherpa, a bird flies over tents set up for climbers at base camp on Mount Everest in Nepal. The government is operating a full-time office tent at base camp and more medical staff are working there this year, as Nepal works to address concerns and lure back climbers following the deadly avalanche last year. The disaster that killed 16 Sherpa guides forced an early end to last year's climbing season. Mountaineering officials have extended some climbers' permits and cut fees this year, and Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at Nepal's Mountaineering Department, has said more than 40 teams were expected to make Everest summit attempts. The climbing season on Nepal's Himalayan peaks runs from March to May.
 
 

China frees 5 women's rights activists after month detention

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:35:54 PMGo to full article
Chinese lawyer Wang Qiushi who represents Wei Tingting, one of five women activists detained last month, talks to journalists at a cafe in Beijing Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Chinese authorities have released five women's rights campaigners whose detentions for more than a month sparked an international outcry and underscored the government's tight restrictions on independent social activism. Under the conditions of their release, the five remain formally under investigation for the next year and must report their movements to police and be available for interrogation at any time. They are also barred from discussing the case among themselves or gathering as a group, Wang said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have released five women's rights campaigners whose detentions for more than a month sparked an international outcry and underscored the government's tight restrictions on independent social activism.
 
 

South Korea, Japan hold first security talks for 5 years

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:21:52 AMGo to full article
(R-L) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida hold a press conference during the 7th trilateral foreign ministers meeting in Seoul on March 21, 2015South Korea and Japan on Tuesday held their first high-level security talks in more than five years despite simmering tensions over territorial and historical disputes. The talks came at a particularly sensitive time as the region prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and with a rising tide of nationalism in Northeast Asia. South Korea is closely watching a possible change in defence cooperation guidelines between Japan and the United States following Tokyo's decision to exercise its collective self-defence right. Bilateral ties have always been problematic given the bitter legacy of Japan's 1910-45 rule over the Korean peninsula.
 
 

China to strengthen surveillance, security in anti-terror push

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:15:53 AMGo to full article
Police take part in an anti-terrorism exercise in ShanghaiChina will establish a national population database linked to ID information and credit records, state media reported late on Monday, as part of a larger push to beef up surveillance and security in response to violent unrest. China has already taken a series of measures to prevent attacks by extremists, including plans for an anti-terrorism law that would give the government broader surveillance powers and offering to pay for tips about violent plots. The latest steps also include assigning more security forces to public transport, including buses, trains and subways, as well as to schools, financial institutions and hospitals, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement issued by the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee and the State Council, China's cabinet. In addition, China will require identification when registering at hotels, for trade of second-hand goods, for motor refitting and for "recreation services", Xinhua said, without specifying the type of recreation.
 
 

Indonesian Islamic parties seek ban on alcohol consumption

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:43:16 AMGo to full article
File photo of a tourist drinking a bottle of beer during sunset at Seminyak beach, near Kuta, on the resort island of BaliBy Eveline Danubrata and Michael Taylor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Two Islamic parties have proposed legislation that would ban all consumption of alcoholic drinks and bring jail terms of up to two years for offenders in Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population. It was not immediately clear how much support there would be for the parties' bill put to parliament, although previous moves to crack down on alcohol consumption have been seen as posturing to appeal to voters before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. "This is not a religious or ideological issue," Abdul Hakim of the Prosperous Justice Party told Reuters. "This is purely for the protection of the children of the nation." The bill seeks to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of all beverages containing more than one percent of alcohol, including local brews such as rice wine that are popular in many parts of the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.
 
 

Burnley wins admirers, punches above its weight in England

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:28:06 AMGo to full article
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, center, in action with Burnley's Michael Duff, right, and David Jones during the English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Saturday April 11, 2015. (AP Photo/PA, Dave Howarth) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVEBURNLEY, England (AP) — With chimneys rising from the former cotton mills which nestle between tightly-packed houses, Burnley provides a quintessentially English vista for fans at the town's soccer stadium.
 
 

US stock market slips in light trading

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:11:47 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 file photo, a pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Stocks are opening slightly higher Monday, April 13, 2015, led by gains in the energy sector as the price of oil moves higher. (AP Photo/Jin Lee, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market drifted lower Monday as investors looked ahead to a busy week for corporate earnings. Markets in Asia surged after a run of weak economic reports out of China lifted hopes for stimulus in the world's second-largest economy.
 
 

China to surpass U.S. as top cause of modern global warming

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:52:28 PMGo to full article
Birds fly across the sky on a polluted day in WuhanBy Alister, Doyle,, Environment and Correspondent OSLO, April 13 (Reuters) - China is poised to overtake the United States as the main cause of man-made global warming since 1990, the benchmark year for U.N.-led action, in a historic shift that may raise pressure on Beijing to act. China's cumulative greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, when governments were becoming aware of climate change, will outstrip those of the United States in 2015 or 2016, according to separate estimates by experts in Norway and the United States. "A few years ago China's per capita emissions were low, its historical responsibility was low.
 
 

Stocks mostly rise as weak China data boosts stimulus hopes

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎01:18:55 PMGo to full article
A man watches an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo Monday, April 13, 2015. Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday after weak Chinese trade data increased expectations that Beijing will launch new stimulus. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 19,905.46 after briefly passing 20,000 last week. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)BEIJING (AP) — World stocks mostly rose on Monday, with China's index closing at a seven-year high, as a run of weak indicators boosted hopes for stimulus in the world's second-largest economy.
 
 

Image of Asia: Celebrating the new year in Southeast Asia

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:19:46 PMGo to full article
A boy runs as he is sprayed with water during the opening ceremony of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)In this photo by Khin Maung Win, a boy runs as he is sprayed with water during the opening of the Thingyan water festival in Yangon, Myanmar. The water festival, known as Songkran in Thailand, marks the new year across Southeast Asia. Traditionally, people sprinkle water on their family members and elders and pay their respects to Buddha. In the region's big cities, the festival is three days of water-soaked play, with locals and tourists being splashed with buckets of water, hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets.
 
 

Chinese court: Ex-state oil boss admits graft, power abuse

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:00:44 PMGo to full article
FILE- In this Nov. 5, 2007, file photo photo, Jiang Jiemin, chairman of PetroChina, left, is mobbed by journalists after attending an IPO ceremony for PetroChina at the Shanghai Stock Exchange in Shanghai. Jiemin, who led China's biggest petroleum company and later was assigned to oversee state-owned companies, went on trial Monday, April 13, 2015, on charges of corruption and abuse of power. (AP Photo/File) CHINA OUTBEIJING (AP) — A top official who led China's biggest petroleum company and later was assigned to oversee state-owned companies admitted in court Monday that he was guilty of corruption and abuse of power, the court said.
 
 

Indonesia eyes regular navy exercises with U.S. in South China Sea

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:19:15 AMGo to full article
Chinese Coast Guard vessel passes near the Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shi You 981 in the South China SeaBy Kanupriya Kapoor and Randy Fabi JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia wants to hold regular military exercises with the United States near the sparsely populated Natuna archipelago, an area of the South China Sea near China's claims, a navy spokesman said on Monday. Although Indonesia is not a claimant in the South China Sea, the military has accused China of including parts of Natuna within its so called "Nine-Dash Line," the vague boundary used on Chinese maps to lay claim to about 90 percent of the sea. The United States, which raised concerns on Friday about China's rapid reclamation of reefs in the area, held a joint military exercise over the weekend with Indonesia in Batam, about 300 miles (480 km) from Natuna.
 
 

'No tournament safe' from fixing, says badminton star

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:34:29 AMGo to full article
Danish player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus at the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals in Dubai on December 21, 2014A top Danish badminton player who was approached to fix matches told AFP that "no tournament is safe" from corruption and said he was sure some events were being rigged. World number 11 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who was targeted last year by a Malaysian man, said it would be naive to think that all badminton matches were clean. "Money is growing in badminton, which is a positive thing in many ways," Vittinghus said by telephone from Denmark during the Singapore Open, which finished on Sunday. Match-fixing is a problem in many sports, including football and cricket, and Vittinghus's complaint last year rang alarm bells for badminton.
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:36:09 AMGo to full article
In this April 5, 2015, photo, dark clouds partially cover the sun above a church on Easter Sunday, north of Manila, Philippines. Tropical storm Maysak weakened before hitting the Philippines' northeastern coast Sunday, driving away thousands of Lenten holiday vacationers and tourists. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)Across Asia, it was a week of Easter celebrations, family reunions and the Apple Watch's debut. Godzilla even made an appearance in Tokyo.
 
 

China tries former state oil boss on corruption charges

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:53:30 AMGo to full article
FILE- In this Nov. 5, 2007, file photo photo, Jiang Jiemin, chairman of PetroChina, left, is mobbed by journalists after attending an IPO ceremony for PetroChina at the Shanghai Stock Exchange in Shanghai. Jiemin, who led China's biggest petroleum company and later was assigned to oversee state-owned companies, went on trial Monday, April 13, 2015, on charges of corruption and abuse of power. (AP Photo/File) CHINA OUTBEIJING (AP) — A top official who led China's biggest petroleum company and later was assigned to oversee state-owned companies went on trial Monday on charges of corruption and abuse of power.
 
 

On Carter's first Asia trip as Pentagon chief, calm prevails

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:11:26 AMGo to full article
In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Han Min Koo upon his arrival at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea. Carter was on his first visit to Asia since becoming defense secretary in February. He met Friday with President Park Geun-hye and senior members of her government. Earlier in the week he was in Japan. Aides said Carter intended to discuss the South China Sea situation with U.S. officials at Pacific Command in Hawaii on Saturday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)HONOLULU (AP) — No news is good news. That could be the motto for Ash Carter's first tour of Asia as secretary of defense.
 
 

Saudi military spending rose 17 percent in 2014: study

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:03:40 AMGo to full article
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's military spending grew 17 percent in 2014 to $80.8 billion, data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showed on Monday, the biggest annual hike by any of the world's top 15 military spenders. Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia launched air strikes last month on Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen, leading a regional coalition against Shi'ite fighters it says are backed by rival Gulf power Iran. ...
 

Al-Qaida says US drones kill 2 leaders in Pakistan

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:25:12 PMGo to full article
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killed two leaders of al-Qaida's South Asia branch earlier this year, a spokesman for the militants said Sunday, confirming a major blow to the affiliate only months after its creation.
 

Philippine police: 2 Chinese dead in cargo ship violence

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:51:41 AMGo to full article
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Two Chinese men were stabbed to death and another was injured in violence among crew members of a cargo ship that radioed Filipino authorities for medical help, Philippine police said Sunday.
 

Suez will fight to keep its Jakarta water contract

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:44:06 PMGo to full article
By Geert De Clercq PARIS (Reuters) - France's Suez Environnement will fight a court decision that annulled its Jakarta drinking water concession and has blamed water problems in the Indonesian capital on lack of investment and frozen tariffs. Last month, a Jakarta Court ruled in favor of a citizen's group which claimed that a Suez unit and an Indonesian firm had failed to provide sufficient clean water and annulled their contracts. Marie-Ange Debon, head of international operations at Suez, said the 70 million euro ($74.08 million) per year contract has not been suspended by the court decision because the companies will appeal. Losing the Jakarta contract, which accounts for about a sixth of Suez's Asia revenue, means losing a foothold in one of South-East Asia's biggest countries.
 

U.S. targets Iran's record on women's rights at United Nations

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:05:02 PMGo to full article
The United States targeted Iran's record on women's rights on Friday by calling a rare vote on the country's "wholly inappropriate" bid to join the executive board of the United Nations gender equality body. The 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council held a secret ballot on the uncontested Asia-Pacific regional slate for the board of UN Women, which was created by the United Nations in 2010 as a body for gender equality and empowerment of women. Samoa and United Arab Emirates got 53 votes, Turkmenistan 52 votes and Pakistan 49 votes. Iran was elected with 36 votes.
 

Hungary's Jobbik seeks to shun racist image ahead of poll

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:46:36 PMGo to full article
Chairman of Hungary's far-right Jobbik party Gabor Vona talks about the party program in Ajka on April 9, 2015, during an electoral campaign meetingOnce considered a far-right fringe party, Hungary's Jobbik is seeking to clean up its racist image and move towards the centre in an effort to challenge Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz. Already the second largest party in Hungary, Jobbik wants to prove at a by-election on Sunday that with a weak and divided left wing, it represents the only viable alternative to Orban's rule. Jobbik's leader Gabor Vona, 36, who once founded a paramilitary group that preyed on the Roma minority, is toning down the party's rhetoric which stigmatised Roma as criminals. "It is a campaign tactic in style aimed at voters who would like to see Jobbik leaning towards the centre with a more conciliatory tone," Attila Juhasz, analyst with Political Capital Institute, told AFP.
 
 

India orders 36 Rafale fighter jets from France

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:40:11 PMGo to full article
French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a joint statement at the Elysee palace on April 10, 2015, in ParisIndia's prime minister announced Friday that New Delhi had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a multi-billion-euro agreement that has been years in the making. Standing alongside his counterpart Francois Hollande on a visit to France -- the first leg of his maiden trip to Europe -- Narendra Modi finally relieved the frantic speculation over whether tortuous, years-long negotiations on buying the jets would ever bear fruit. "I asked the president (Hollande) to supply us with 36 Rafale jet fighter planes, the ready-to-fly models," Modi said at a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace. Negotiations to buy the planes kicked off in 2012 but had been bogged down over cost and New Delhi's insistence on assembling a portion of the high-tech planes in India.
 
 

Samsung and Apple clash with rollout of new products

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:05:20 PMGo to full article
People queue up to test out the new Apple Watch at a store in Hong Kong on April 10, 2015Samsung rolled out a new smartphone on Friday in a bid to regain market dominance as arch-rival Apple, eyeing the next generation of wearable technology, opened pre-sales for its first watch. Samsung's Galaxy S6 and its curved-edge variant, the Galaxy S6 Edge, went on sale in South Korea, home of the electronics giant, as well as Europe, the United States and markets in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia, Singapore and India. Samsung, labouring under successive quarters of plunging profits and booming sales of Apple's iPhone 6, is hoping the new phone will reverse its fortunes. The range of S6 models has won strong reviews from tech pundits, with the Wall Street Journal calling them "the most beautiful phones Samsung has ever made".
 
 

Image of Asia: Practicing for the Chinese Grand Prix

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:59:33 PMGo to full article
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland returns to his garage during the second practice session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China, Friday, April 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)In this photo by Andy Wong, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland returns to his garage during the second practice session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai. He had the second fastest time in Friday afternoon's practice. Qualifying for the third F1 race of the season is Saturday and the race is Sunday.
 
 

Caroline Kennedy upbeat about economic growth across Asia

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:14:07 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, says surging economic growth presents America with "much opportunity" in Asia.
 

World stocks press higher on corporate deals, stimulus

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:02:06 PMGo to full article
A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, April 10, 2015. Japan's Nikkei retreated from the highest level in 15 years on Friday while other markets in the region advanced ahead of key data news from China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)LONDON (AP) — Global stocks rose Friday, with Japan's market touching a 15-year high and some European indexes pushing further into record territory, on news of more corporate deals and hopes for stimulus in China.
 
 

China cementing reach in South China Sea with civilian infrastructure

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:52:24 PMGo to full article
By Greg Torode HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's plans for islands it is creating in the South China Sea show for the first time the scale of civilian architecture it will extend across the disputed waterway, entrenching its reach in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia, experts say. China's Foreign Ministry gave rare detail on Thursday, saying reclamation and building work in the Spratly archipelago would allow for scientific research, meteorological observation, environmental protection and fisheries services. While the ministry did not specify who would protect the facilities, experts said the job would routinely fall to the coastguard, which is already leading efforts to enforce China's claimed sovereignty over the South China Sea, rather than its navy. The islands and reefs in the Spratlys, the main flashpoint in the South China Sea, would also meet the demands for China's military defense, the ministry said without elaborating.
 

Pentagon chief vows to deploy 'best' US weaponry to Asia

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:46:15 AMGo to full article
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Han Min Koo after a joint news conference at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on April 10, 2015Defence Secretary Ashton Carter promised Friday that the US would deploy state of the art weaponry in Asia, including the latest stealth bombers and cyber warfare units, to counter threats posed by the likes of North Korea. "Our newest and best things are being deployed to this part of the world," Carter said in Seoul -- the second leg of a visit to the two key US military allies in the region, Japan and South Korea. The Pentagon chief said his talks with South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-Koo had included a "candid assessment" of the threat posed to the Korean peninsula -- "and the US homeland" -- by North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme.
 
 

Obama says concerned China bullying others in South China Sea

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:50:54 AMGo to full article
Obama participates in a town hall meeting with young Caribbean leaders at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, JamaicaBy Matt Spetalnick and Ben Blanchard KINGSTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington is concerned China is using its "sheer size and muscle" to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, drawing a swift rebuke from Beijing which accused the United States of being the bully. China's rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed other claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and drawn growing criticism from U.S. government officials and the military.
 
 

Japan forecaster: El Nino likely to emerge by summer

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:31:55 AMGo to full article
Japan's weather bureau said in its monthly outlook on Friday that the possibility of an El Nino weather pattern forming by summer remains high, but gave no probability forecast. The previous El Nino, which emerged last summer, ended over winter and conditions appear to be normal now, the bureau said. Last month, it raised its projections for an El Nino pattern emerging by summer to more than 50 percent. U.S. and Australian weather bureaus have also put the probability for the phenomenon emerging this year at 50-70 percent.
 

Obama says concerned China uses size to bully others in region

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:46:31 AMGo to full article
Obama participates in a town hall meeting with young Caribbean leaders at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, JamaicaPresident Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States is concerned China uses its "sheer size and muscle" to push around smaller countries in the South China Sea. His comments come after China defended its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, saying it is needed to safeguard its sovereignty in the mineral-rich waters where China's territorial claims overlap those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. "Where we get concerned with China is where it is not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions," Obama told town-hall event in Jamaica ahead of a Caribbean summit in Panama, where he hopes to reassert U.S. leadership in Latin America.
 
 

Amnesty condemns 'summary killing' of Ukraine troops by rebels

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎12:18:24 AMGo to full article
A damaged motorbike is seen near a collapsed overpass in the Oktyabrsky district, close to Donetsk's international airport, on March 14, 2015 in UkraineAmnesty International on Thursday said it had new proof of the "summary killings" of Ukrainian soldiers captured by pro-Russian separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine, and demanded a quick impartial probe. The rights group notably cited the case of Ukrainian soldier Igor Branovytsky, who was taken prisoner during fighting at Donetsk airport, saying he was tortured and killed while in captivity. Amnesty said it had also seen videos with pictures of the dead bodies of at least three other members of the Ukrainian armed forces, with signs of bullet wounds to the head and upper parts of their bodies, apparently the result of execution-style killings. They were captured by pro-Russian forces in Debaltseve between February 12 and 18 when the Ukrainian army was encircled there.
 
 

The 'Night Games' _ Many Rio 2016 events end after midnight

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:04:11 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this May 1, 2014 file photo, people play beach volleyball on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is a late-night town, and the schedule for the Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympics are a reflection. The men's and women's beach volleyball finals on famous Copacabana Beach will wrap up about 1:30 a.m., if everything runs on schedule. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro is a late-night town, and the schedule for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil will cater to those who like to be up and about after dark.
 
 

Amnesty International reports killings of captured Ukrainian soldiers

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:45 PMGo to full article
File picture shows a Ukrainian serviceman reacting near a coffin containing the body of his counterpart Branovytsky, who was killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, during a funeral ceremony in KievHuman rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday at least four Ukrainian soldiers had been shot dead in what it described as "execution-style" killings by pro-Russian separatist groups earlier this year. Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the rebel forces, denied all accusations of wrongdoing. More than 6,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out between the Moscow-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces last year, but a fragile ceasefire has taken hold in recent weeks.
 
 

China mounts detailed defense of South China Sea reclamation

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:02:03 PMGo to full article
Satellite image of cargo being unloaded onto the shore of the Mischief ReefBy Sui-Lee Wee and Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday sketched out plans for the islands it is creating in the disputed South China Sea, saying they would be used for military defense as well as to provide civilian services that would benefit other countries. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing that the reclamation and building work in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea was needed partly because of the risk of typhoons in an area with a lot of shipping that is far from land. "We are building shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services" for China and neighboring countries, Hua said. The islands and reefs would also meet the demands for China's military defense, Hua said without elaborating.
 
 

Exclusive: Shipping lines pull back from Yemen as conflict escalates

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:51:15 PMGo to full article
People walk at site of airstrike in SanaaBy Jonathan Saul LONDON (Reuters) - International shipping lines are being forced to scale back or suspend port calls to Yemen as the conflict gets worse, putting pressure on supplies of food as prices rise in local markets. Yemen imports more than 90 percent of its food, including most of its wheat and all its rice, to feed a population of 25 million.
 
 

Dollar may be next screw for US to tighten on North Korea

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎04:22:14 PMGo to full article
FILE -- In this March 11, 2014 file photo, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, speaks to reporters after an all-member classified briefing on Ukraine, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress, and being watched closely in Pyongyang, is designed to shut off North Korea, and anyone who deals with it, from the U.S. dollar, the world’s most important currency. Royce said after the act was introduced in February and updated after the massive cyberattack on Sony Entertainment, would "step up the targeting of those financial institutions in Asia and beyond that are supporting this brutal and dangerous regime." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)TOKYO (AP) — The last time the United States tried the military option on North Korea, more than a million died, a hostile and unexpectedly resilient adversary emerged and instead of regime change it got three generations of the Kim family. Understandably, there is little appetite in Washington to try that again. But if sending in the Marines is off the table, what's an administration to do?
 
 

Image of Asia: A hug for a child after a long separation

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:44:49 PMGo to full article
Aileen Tatualia hugs her only child Prinz Leenbert, 5, whom she has not seen since he was 10-month-old, shortly upon her arrival with the first batch of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from Yemen Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The 90 OFWs became the first group to arrive in the Philippines after being repatriated from Yemen following the Saudi-led airstrikes the past few weeks. Hundreds more are awaiting repatriation from the Philippine Embassy-led land evacuation. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)In this photo by Bullit Marquez, Aileen Tatualia hugs her only child, Prinz Leenbert, 5, whom she has not seen since he was 10 months old, shortly after she arrived home in the Philippines from Yemen. She was among 90 Filipinos in the first group of overseas workers repatriated from Yemen, hit by Saudi-led airstrikes the past two weeks. Millions of Filipinos work abroad, many in the Middle East, and the Philippine government often hails the workers as "new heroes." Hundreds more Filipinos are awaiting repatriation from Yemen.
 
 

World stocks keep rising on greater optimism

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:04:19 PMGo to full article
A man walks by an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, April 9, 2015, showing Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index that rose 131.41 points to 19,921.22, tapping fresh 15-year highs as the Japanese yen softened against the U.S. dollar. Asian shares were mixed Thursday, with gains supported by lower oil prices, firmness in U.S. markets and strong buying in Hong Kong by mainland Chinese investors. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — Shares rose Thursday as a rebound in oil prices helped energy companies and corporate deal-making bolstered confidence. A buying spree by mainland Chinese investors pushed Hong Kong's benchmark sharply higher.
 
 

LNG, oil tankers diverted from Yemen amid turmoil: sources

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:52:40 AMGo to full article
By Jessica Jaganathan and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - At least four oil and natural gas tankers that were headed to Yemen have been diverted as chaos mounts in the country after the launch of Saudi-led air strikes last month, according to industry sources and ship tracking data. Fighting in Yemen is scaring off shippers and has forced the country's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant to take one of its production plants, or trains, off line. Yemen's Aden Refinery was supposed to issue a tender last week to seek oil product imports for May, but has now suspended the tender process and is waiting for the situation in the country to stabilize, an industry source in Yemen told Reuters. This is expected to weigh on profit margins for oil products in Asia and the Middle East, which have had to cope with increasing supply from new refineries, traders said.
 

Community radio brings forecasts to Kenya’s most climate vulnerable

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:49:10 AMGo to full article
A man walks in the early morning to start his day picking tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi HillsBy Pius Sawa EMUHAYA, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - It is the top of the hour at ten o’clock in the morning and, broadcasting from the top of Esibila hill in Western Kenya, Moses Ombogo is telling farmers to prepare for early rains. Down the slope, 80-year-old Mariam Omulama is holding a blue radio with a long aerial. Nganyi RANET - it stands for “Radio Internet” – is a community radio station set up by the Kenya Meteorological Service to target communities particularly vulnerable to climate extremes. Each station can broadcast in a range of 25-30 kilometers (15-19 miles), and listeners within the zone are given free radio sets.
 
 

Amnesty says Ukraine rebels killed captive soldiers

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:46:20 AMGo to full article
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Amnesty International said Thursday that it has evidence that Russian-backed separatists in east Ukraine have killed several captured government soldiers in gross violation of international humanitarian law.
 

Belgium rises to No. 3 in FIFA rankings led by Germany

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:37:38 AMGo to full article
ZURICH (AP) — Belgium rose to its highest-ever spot at No. 3 in the latest FIFA monthly rankings, which are still led by World Cup winner Germany.
 

Asian shares mixed; Hong Kong, Japan benchmarks surge

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:48:04 AMGo to full article
A man walks by an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, April 9, 2015, showing Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index that rose 131.41 points to 19,921.22, tapping fresh 15-year highs as the Japanese yen softened against the U.S. dollar. Asian shares were mixed Thursday, with gains supported by lower oil prices, firmness in U.S. markets and strong buying in Hong Kong by mainland Chinese investors. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Thursday, with gains supported by lower oil prices, firmness in U.S. markets and strong buying in Hong Kong by mainland Chinese investors.
 
 

Ambush that killed 15 police in western Mexico a rarity

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:32:49 AMGo to full article
Mourners comfort each other during a ceremony to honor slain policemen in Tlaquepaque, Mexico, Wednesday, April 8, 2015. On Monday, the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel stopped a police convoy on a rural highway and opened fire, killing 15 officers and wounding five in the bloodiest single attack on Mexican law enforcement in recent memory. (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz)MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on Mexico's violent and growing Jalisco New Generation cartel a day after the gang mounted a bloody ambush that killed 15 Mexican police officers.
 
 

Factbox: Winners and losers in the race to get children into school

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:13:43 AMGo to full article
Schools and teachers were attacked, no girls were in secondary school and only 4 percent attended primary. In 1999 India had almost 17 million children out of school and around 8 girls for every 10 boys in school. The number of out-of-school children has fallen to just over a million, universal primary education has been achieved and this year India is predicted to be the only country in South and West Asia to have an equal number of girls and boys in both primary and secondary education. NEPAL: Nepal has achieved universal pre-primary and primary education, despite a relatively recent conflict in which schools were targets.
 

Asia's LGBT people migrate to escape violence at home

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎02:11:26 AMGo to full article
By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Long before Joe Wong surgically removed his breasts and uterus, he was Joleen, who once used an entire roll of brown duct tape to flatten her chest in an effort to look less feminine at her new secondary school in Singapore. "When you get beaten every day, you no longer feel the pain, you just feel numb," said Wong, now a 31-year-old transgender man working with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network rights group in Bangkok. Across Asia, which is largely patriarchal and conservative, the violence lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face is often from their own families, who beat them to make them conform and maintain the social balance, experts say. Such laws drive stigma and discrimination, and essentially condone family violence, though the problem remains hidden, glimpsed through many anecdotes but little data, activists say.
 

In Indonesia, a power plant impasse and a faltering president

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎11:02:49 PMGo to full article
By Fergus Jensen and Michael Taylor PONOWARENG, Indonesia/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia announced with great fanfare in 2011 that it would build Southeast Asia's biggest coal-fired power plant on the island of Java, but the $4 billion project is yet to be launched and President Joko Widodo is on the horns of a dilemma. There is no sign yet of what Widodo will do about the coal plant in the Batang region of Java. "There are political pressures dragging down the economic reforms," said a senior official at the presidential office, who asked not to be named.
 

Enel Green Power looks to Asia for next phase of growth

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎06:21:31 PMGo to full article
By Stephen Jewkes MILAN (Reuters) - Enel Green Power (EGP) is stepping up its expansion in Africa and will turn to Asia next as it chases growing energy demand in emerging economies, the head of Italy's biggest renewable energy company told Reuters. In recent years EGP, controlled by Europe's No. 2 utility Enel, has invested heavily in Latin America, shifting its focus from mature European markets to fast-growing emerging markets with clear regulations and abundant natural resources. "Asia is the next step for us," Francesco Venturini told Reuters, without providing figures on future investments.
 

Lurking landmines threaten lives, livelihoods in Ukraine

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:47:46 PMGo to full article
An unexploded rocket is seen in a field near the village of Dmitrivka, eastern UkraineAs a tenuous ceasefire brings a lull to Ukraine's yearlong conflict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops, the lurking danger of landmines threatens lives as well as economic recovery, particularly on once rich agricultural lands. "There are plenty of fields here where it's best not to walk, they're peppered with mines and unexploded shells," said Nikolai Utrimenko who runs a farm in Dmitrivka in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.
 
 
 

World Watch List Countries

 

 

 

1.     North Korea  

2.     Somalia  

3.     Syria  

4.     Iraq  

5.     Afghanistan  

6.     Saudi Arabia  

7.     Maldives  

8.     Pakistan  

9.     Iran  

10.  Yemen  

11.  Sudan  

12.  Eritrea  

13.  Libya  

14.  Nigeria  

15.  Uzbekistan  

16.  Central African Republic  

17.  Ethiopia  

18.  Vietnam  

19.  Qatar  

20.  Turkmenistan  

21.  Laos  

22.  Egypt  

23.  Myanmar (Burma)  

24.  Brunei  

25.  Colombia  

26.  Jordan  

27.  Oman  

28.  India  

29.  Sri Lanka  

30.  Tunisia  

31.  Bhutan  

32.  Algeria  

33.  Mali  

34.  Palestinian Territories  

35.  United Arab Emirates  

36.  Mauritania  

37.  China  

38.  Kuwait  

39.  Kazakhstan  

40.  Malaysia  

41.  Bahrain  

42.  Comoros  

43.  Kenya  

44.  Morocco  

45.  Tajikistan  

46.  Djibouti  

47.  Indonesia  

48.  Bangladesh  

49.  Tanzania  

50.  Niger  

 

 

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