News in Asia: Year-End Roundup

As 2015 comes to a close, here’s a round-up of some of the biggest news stories.

The Political Notebook‘s “Year in War” covers events globally, but it’s divided by region so you can see the stories from South and East Asia.

China announced this year that it was ending its one child policy and this week, signed into law a bill that would allow couples to have two children.

While most of the world is still focusing on refugees fleeing Syria and Afghanistan, Southeast Asia had its own refugee crisis as Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar were stuck out in the water after being denied entry into Malaysia, Thailand, and other countries.

In better news for both the country of Myanmar and (hopefully) the Rohingya Muslims, the nation held its first democratic election in 25 years. Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party won by a landslide.

Over 9,000 people were killed and most of Nepal’s infrastructure was destroyed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country in May.

Another 7.5 magnitude earthquake on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border killed 360 people.

A US-led airstrike destroyed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan run by Doctors Without Borders, killing both staff and patients.

North Korea made a bunch of threats and its citizens are still trying to flee.

An explosion at a chemical warhouse in Tianjin was deemed the worst industrial catastrophe in China’s history. An estimated 173 people died and people who lived near the factory experienced a wide array of health-related problems.

The last several months have seen massive protests in South Korea against President Park Geun-hye because of high youth unemployment and anti-labor policies.

There were so many other stories this year, but those were the big ones. Hope you have a great New Year!


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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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