News in Asia

Welcome to another week of news!

The big news this week is that China has officially lifted its one-child policy. Couples are now allowed to have two children. Chinese citizens responded to the announcement with snark on the Internet and there are dozens of pieces on the aftermath of the policy, most concluding that it was a disaster.

The Afghan Taliban says that it won’t interfere with relief efforts to help those affected by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the region last week; however, the promise is questionable as the Taliban and Pakistani army fought at the border.

The U.S. Army and intelligence community is still being shady as fuck about the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz.

The U.S. Navy, in the meantime, will send ships to patrol around the artificial islands that China has built in contested waters.

In related news, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (honestly didn’t know that this existed) rejected China’s argument that it has sovereignty over the South China Sea. This allows a case to be brought forth by the Philippines, who have said for the last year that China is encroaching on their territory. Whether any ruling against China will affect change is anybody’s guess.

Oh hey, North Korea is digging a tunnel under a nuclear test site to, well, test nuclear devices. This should end well.

It’s also been discovered that 50,000 North Koreans were sent abroad to forced labor.

The smoke caused by massive forest fires in Indonesia has abated, thanks to rains. The fires and smoke were caused by farmers illegally burning to clear land. According to the story, Singapore citizens were thankful they could see the sky again.

The Pentagon has opened an investigation into allegations of the sexual abuse of boys by U.S. allies in Afghanistan. (This article contains a trigger warning for rape and sexual abuse.)

Finally, the other big news story is from Nepal, which just elected its first woman president. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, deputy leader of Nepal’s Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist and a champion for women’s rights in Nepal, was elected by a 327-214 vote. The country has deliberately tried to move from a male-dominated society to one with more gender equality. The newly ratified constitution requires that that one-third of the country’s lawmakers be women, and that women be included in all government committees.

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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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