News in Asia

Welcome! Hope your weekend was fun or at least relaxing. We’ve got a bunch of news this week.

At least 39 are dead in Bangladesh after a ferry collided with a trawler and capsized on Sunday, though more than 50 people were rescued and the search is on for more survivors.

There are a couple of stories about China’s efforts to expand their maritime strength. This story talks about the uptick of construction on disputed reefs in the South China Sea, which worries the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam (not to mention being horrible for the environment).

Sri Lanka is reconsidering a deal to sell a large parcel of land to China because of fears it will be used for Chinese naval activities.

In a story that ties into the piece Moretta wrote about international adoption, the Thai government has banned commercial surrogacy for foreigners. The ban was sparked by two cases: an Australian couple abandoning a boy with Down Syndrome while returning home with his healthy sister, and a Japanese man who had fathered a dozen children by Thai surrogates. Now, only married Thai couples and couples with one Thai partner who have been married for three years can seek a surrogate.

In other news from Thailand, the attorney general has pressed charges against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Also, Thai students are the last remaining group committed to openly defying Thailand’s military regime.

A Nobel Laureate for Economics, Amartya Sen, resigned as chancellor of the reopened Nalanda University, which has been closed for 800 years, because of supposed interference in higher education by Modi’s government.

In lessons no child should have to learn anywhere, ever: Pakistani students are receiving training in how to survive and defend against a terrorist attack. Trigger warning for guns and general awfulness.

Like many in the community around the world, the transgender community in Pakistan is forced into the margins of society, though the country’s Supreme Court has recognized a third gender on ID cards.

A Taliban suicide bomber killed five and injured 23 in the city of Lahore.

A new study found that families in Afghanistan hide the incidents of rape and sexual harassment of women in their families. There have been 4000 incidents of violence against women reported this year. Given the findings, it’s safe to say that number is much higher.

Thousands have fled the border region in northeast Myanmar as the army fights the Kokang rebels.

A leading member of Bangladesh’s main Islamist party has been sentenced to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would uphold the apology given for the damage and suffering the country visited upon its neighbors during World War II during commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the war this summer.

Finally, India’s longest running movie, the Bollywood romantic comedy, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Brave-Hearted Will Take The Bride) is ending its 1,009 week run. The film originally premiered in 1995.

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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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