Welcome to another edition of news from Asia. This week, we have the good, the bad, the uplifting, and the depressing — so lets get started.
Breaking news as of Sunday night Eastern Standard Time, armed gunmen disguised as security officials stormed the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. The gunmen apparently used forged ID badges and laid siege to the airport for five hours with machine guns and rocket launchers. The estimate right now stands at 18 dead and many wounded, and a huge fire broke out during the fighting. The attack takes place as peace talks with the Taliban have floundered.
The frontrunner in the presidential Afghan election escaped an assassination attempt last week when an explosion hit his campaign motorcade.
Newly elected leader Narendra Modi will meet with President Obama in September now that the US is willing to issue him a visa.
Sikh groups were involved in clashes at India’s Golden Temple on a day to commemorate a deadly military offensive.
More details are emerging about the release of several Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in exchange for prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. Of course, the move is controversial, but as always, Fox News focuses on the things that are so, so important to the story.
Authorities have suspended have suspended Pakistan’s largest and most influential TV station, Geo TV, over a defamation case involving the ISI intelligence agency. The network has accused the ISI of attacking a Geo host.
Shout out to Thai protesters who, when told they would face jail time if they got too “strident,” started handing out “sandwiches for democracy.” They’ve also taken to reading passages aloud from George Orwell’s 1984 and using the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games.
Remember missing Malaysia flight 370? After being inundated with repetitive news and hilarious analysis, the story dropped off the face of the 24 hour news cycle. Well, a report has leaked that an oil rig worker saw a fire in the sky on the night the plane disappeared.
The Chinese government is pissed over a statement issued by the White House, which urged the government to give an account for the protesters killed in the massacre at Tiananmen Square. The Chinese government would rather not acknowledge the event happened and has arrested activists and dissidents in the weeks leading up to the anniversary.
Here are photos of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and today. I visited the Square when I was in Beijing and it’s a surreal experience.
Finally, while not related to current Asia news, the last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers, Chester Nez has passed at the age of 93. Much of the focus this week is on the 70th anniversary of the D Day invasion of Normandy, but the contributions of the code talkers in the Pacific theater cannot go unremarked. The code, based on the Navajo language, was unbreakable to the Japanese and was a major factor in the war in the Pacific. Unfortunately, the men who served such a vital role came home to virtually no recognition and many succumbed to the effects of PTSD and alcohol. Nez was hospitalized due to his PTSD and he considered himself one of the lucky ones. He is survived by two sons, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.