News in Asia

Hello! This week’s edition of “News in Asia” includes McCain visiting Modi, Modi jumping fully on the social media bandwagon, and China shifting their policy a bit in regards to the Korean peninsula. We’ve also got some cool science news for fun.

Senator John McCain visited India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi this week to jump start a U.S.-India partnership ahead of Modi’s visit to the U.S. in September. Frankly, I’m leery of sending McCain to do anything.

However, the visit was marred, not because of a gaffe by McCain, but because it was revealed that the NSA was spying on Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (the meddlesome kid Snowden!). When asked if the spying could affect bilateral relations with India, a State Department spokesperson stated, “We certainly hope not.”


Meanwhile, like President Obama, Modi realizes that social media can be a powerful tool, particularly Facebook, which in his words could be used for, “governance and better interaction between the people.” He even went so far as to meet with Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandburg (she of Lean In infamy). It’s arguable that this is the making on an unholy alliance.

The group Human Rights Watch is asking the Sri Lankan government to halt the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers, most from minority groups.

Meanwhile, Pakistanis fleeing the military offensive in North Waziristan region are pouring across the border into Afghanistan.

In a surprising break from tradition, the newest Chinese president has stopped in Seoul, South Korea before visiting the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in what could signal a shifting of alliances.

Since China has been in a pissing match with the rest of Asia (metaphorically speaking because they do actually have scary weapons), Japan has announced that it’s moving from a pacifist stance with its military. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now says Japanese troops can come to the aid of friendly countries under attack, including the United States.

The citizens of Hong Kong continue to challenge Beijing for their right to free and open elections. Thousands protested this week, though 500 protesters were arrested at a pro-democracy sit-in.

Finally, in interesting science news, a gene that allows Tibetans to live in high altitude regions was inherited from an extinct species of humans.

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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