Welcome to the latest edition of News in Asia. This week we have badass women cyclists in Afghanistan and John Oliver calling out the mainstream media’s lack of Indian election coverage.
I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this in a previous column, but it deserves a repeat. NPR has a story on the women of the Afghan National Cycling Federation and the obstacles they face from chaotic traffic to conservative cultural norms.
In bad news out of Afghanistan, a massive landslide in the northern part of the country buried hundreds of villagers, though some estimates say that over 2,000 are missing. Officials have officially shifted from rescue efforts to recovery.
In some more depressing news, despite the presence of badass women cyclists, honor killings in Afghanistan still continue despite laws against them.
China’s premier, Li Keqiang, is set to visit four African countries on a diplomatic tour in support of several deals that are in the works with the road, railway, aviation, and electrical power sectors. Li is set to visit Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya.
Thailand is expected to hold new elections on July 20th.
South Korean president Park Geun-Hye visited with the families of Sewol ferry disaster victims. She apologized for the poor handling of the rescue efforts and the serious lack of safety standards. President Park also accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Chung Hong-won in the wake of the tragedy.
An Indonesian man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for professing his atheism online. According to the courts, he was guilty of blasphemy and violating Internet laws.
The US and the Philippines signed an agreement that would allow US troops greater access to military bases in the country.
Does this make anyone else nervous? China will conduct naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea.
Finally, on his new show for HBO, John Oliver criticized the US media for all but ignoring the Indian elections and what it might mean if Narendra Modi is elected.