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News in Asia

Welcome to another edition of “News in Asia.”

Afghanistan

There has been no breakthrough in the BSA impasse. Basically, lots of conversation and no action.

An Afghan policewoman named Masooma (many Afghans use only one name) was killed by two gunmen; the fourth in six months. Conditions for female police officers are grim, though their advancement is seen as critical for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Pakistan

The prime minister has issued orders for protests against the drone program to stop.

The new anthem for Pakistan Idol premiered this week to great fanfare and trending on Twitter.

India

India’s opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which picked Narendra Modi as its choice for prime minister, is set to win four out of five state elections.

A mark in the win column in the fight against sexual harassment: A three-judge panel found another judge guilty of harassing a young intern working in his courtroom.

In its listing of the top international stories of the past year, Time magazine listed “India’s Rape Epidemic” as the ninth top story this year. While the stories are horrific, it should be pointed out that violence against women in a problem everywhere.

In a similar vein, India’s IT department is presenting technologies that can increase women’s safety, including installing panic buttons on basic phones and developing apps that can alert police if a woman is in danger.

China

In his official visit to Beijing, Vice President Joe Biden criticized China for its crackdown on the foreign press and its refusal to renew the visas of 12 journalists. Another cause of tension during the visit was the criticism lobbed by the US and others over China’s newest aggression over air defense.

North and South Korea

Vice President Biden is also visiting South Korea and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the region.

A Korean War veteran, arrested while touring North Korea, has returned home.

Thailand

Protestors are at the make-or-break stage in efforts to topple the current government.

Flood waters are receding in seven southern provinces, though a few are still underwater.

Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra intends to dissolve parliament and seek elections. (via BBC)

Vietnam

This story talks about the hardships that Vietnamese farmers face in modern times, specifically since they don’t play a role in modernization or industrialization.

Philippines

News on the recovery from Typhoon Haiyan has slowed to a trickle, but Al Jazeera reports that despite millions of dollars in aid, the recovery will take at least three years.

Singapore

In any given travel guide for Asia, advice on how to have a cheap night out usually includes sticking with the local beer. That advice is null and void in Singapore, where it costs more to buy a beer at a bar than anywhere else in Asia.

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Stephens

Florida girl, would-be world traveler and semi-permanent expat. Her main strategy of life is to throw out the nets and hope something useful comes back, but many times it's just an old shoe. She also really, really hates winter and people who are consistently late.

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