News in Asia

This week’s edition of “News in Asia” is having computer problems. Actually, it’s having Internet connectivity problems. One of the things I miss most about living in South Korea is Internet speed. I could download an episode of Scandal in 3 minutes and an entire season of a show in about 10-15. Ah well, enough of the whining, onto the news.

Since we were on the subject of the Korean peninsula, North Korea decided that now would be a good time to test some weapons. The military fired three short range missiles into the sea earlier this week and another projectile early on Sunday. This comes after tentative talks between the North and the South aimed at easing tensions after daily threats from North Korea earlier in the year.

Relations between South Korea and Japan have become more tense over statements about Japan’s use of “comfort women” during the Japanese occupation of South Korea. Osaka mayor and major political party leader, Toru Hashimoto, has refused to back down from his controversial statement that the comfort women system was a “necessity.” The popular blog, “Ask a Korean,” has a post explaining why many Koreans still harbor anger towards the Japanese, even today. The blog has a series on the history of Japanese/Korean relations, but it’s not entirely objective given that this is still a highly emotional issue for many Koreans.

NPR has a story about filmmaker Debbie Lum’s documentary, Seeking Asian Female, about the troubling phenomenon called, “yellow fever.”

China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, is visiting India during his first foreign tour, hoping to expand relations between the two most densely populated countries.

In Bangladesh, the owner of the garment factory where a fire occurred, killing 111 workers six months ago, has been barred from leaving the country and has been ordered to appear before a court. In other news, the government has imposed a month-long ban on rallies after one organized by Muslim protesters left dozens dead.

The Afghan parliament halted debate over a law that would protect women against violence when conservatives predictably made a scene and called for the law to be scrapped altogether. In particular, the “traditionalists” wanted a change in the law so that men could avoid prosecution for marital rape.

Finally, in women who are kick-ass news, a 25 year old graphic design graduate became the first Saudi woman to climb Mt. Everest.

By 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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