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News in Asia

Welcome, friends. This week’s edition of “News in Asia” does not contain much in the way of happy news (and comes with a trigger warning for discussions of rape), but there are one or two bright spots, including a children’s circus in Afghanistan and the creation of a mega-park in New Delhi.

And now, the news….

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai called his wife “insane” after she testified against him as he stands charged of corruption and fraud in one of the biggest trials in modern Chinese history. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, is in jail for the murder British businessman Neil Heywood.

Staff Sergeant Richard Bales apologized to the families of the 16 unarmed Afghan civilians he shot and killed in March of 2012, but offered no other explanations for his actions. Some witnesses traveled more than 7000 miles in order to testify at his trial. What’s even more disturbing is that this case is not causing more outrage in the wider media, but Chelsea Manning asking to be identified by her preferred name and pronouns causes a firestorm.

Pakistan’s largest by-election took place on Thursday in spite of terror attacks and though it did not make huge political changes, the Election Commission is withholding the results from some provinces because of reports that women were barred from casting a vote.

One of the few projects in Afghanistan that is expanding despite a drop in international aid is the Afghanistan’s Mobile Mini Circus for Children, founded by Danish dance instructor David Mason. The project works within the confines of Afghan life and culture. In some provinces, girls are not allowed to participate and in the most conservative areas, music is not played. The project runs centers in seven provinces and has about 300 regular students.

This was mentioned in Midweek News last week, but it bears repeating that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf was charged in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf pled not guilty.

The Japanese government is contemplating giving unmarried women more control over their own bodies by allowing unmarried women to have their eggs frozen for possible future in-vitro treatments.

A fifth suspect was arrested in the case of a female journalist gang-raped in Mumbai. The crime has reignited protests over women’s safety in India.

Score one for the power of social media! Talk over Facebook and other social media sites have cumulated into calls for rallies to protest the Filipino government’s misuse of state funds.

Violence still continues to plague Myanmar as a fresh wave of violence targets Muslim homes and businesses.

In an effort to create green space in the midst of one of the world’s most populous cities, activists in New Delhi are working to create a park that would rival Central Park in New York City.

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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