Asia News

  • Deaths from major heatwave sweeping India top 1,100

    More than 1,100 people have died in a blistering heatwave sweeping India, authorities said Wednesday, as forecasters warned searing temperatures would continue. Southern India has borne the brunt of the hot, dry conditions and many of the victims are construction workers, elderly or homeless…

    AFP
  • UN targets zero hunger in a generation as numbers fall

    The number of hungry people around the world has dropped below 800 million for the first time since the UN started counting, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in an annual report on Wednesday. "The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the…

    AFP
  • Number of starving worldwide drops below 800 million: U.N.

    By Chris Arsenault ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of people worldwide who don't get enough to eat has fallen to 795 million, 10 million less than last year, U.N. officials said on Wednesday. Social investments, including cash transfer programs for the poor and free school meals,…

    Reuters
  • Hundreds rally in Myanmar over 'boat people' crisis

    By Aubrey Belford and Hnin Yadana Zaw YANGON (Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Wednesday to denounce foreign criticism of the country's treatment of stateless Rohingya Muslims. About 300 people, led by about 30 Buddhist monks,…

    Reuters
  • Over 2,500 migrants still adrift, U.N. says ahead of SE Asia meeting

    By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - More than 2,500 migrants could still be stranded on boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, according to estimates by the United Nations, as Thailand prepares to host a regional meeting it said was focused on "immediate action" to tackle the crisis. …

    Reuters
  • Malaysia detains 12 police in people-smuggling camps probe

    By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Twelve Malaysian police officials have been held on suspicion of links to people-smuggling camps where authorities have uncovered nearly 140 graves believed to hold the bodies of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, a government minister said on…

    Reuters
  • Fleeing poverty, Bangladeshis caught in Asian boat crisis

    UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) — The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day.

    Associated Press
  • UN: Fewer hungry people in the world despite wars, poverty

    ROME (AP) — The number of hungry people around the world has dropped to 795 million from over a billion a quarter-century ago despite natural disasters, ongoing conflicts and poverty, the three U.N. food agencies said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Rising worker activism in 'world's workshop' challenges China

    As workers gathered around a table in a cheap restaurant to discuss strike action against their shoe factory bosses, Chinese police barged in and dragged away their leaders. More than 2,000 employees at the plant -- which counts foreign brands including Coach among its customers, according to…

    AFP
  • Asia stocks ruffled by Greece crunch, Fed rate hike views

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were ruffled Wednesday by Greece's impending cash crunch and expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year for the first time in almost a decade.

    Associated Press
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  • UN official: Nepal quake victims need shelter before rains

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official who just returned from Nepal said Tuesday the top priority now is finding temporary housing for hundreds of thousands of people before monsoon rains begin.

    Associated Press
  • Malaysian police reveal grim secrets of jungle trafficking camps

    By Praveen Menon and Andrew R.C. Marshall BUKIT WANG BURMA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysian police forensic teams, digging with hoes and shovels, on Tuesday began pulling out bodies from shallow graves found in abandoned jungle camps where an inter-governmental body said hundreds of victims of…

    Reuters
  • Facing closure of refugee camp, Christmas Island grasps for economic future

    By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) - If the remote Australian outpost of Christmas Island had its way, it would have reopened a local casino that once raked in billions of dollars instead of renting hotel rooms at an ageing resort to refugee camp workers. The tiny island in the Indian Ocean is often…

    Reuters
  • Exclusive: Before Myanmar seized migrant boat, Rohingya whisked away

    By Timothy Mclaughlin and Antoni Slodkowski YANGON/THEK KAY PYIN, Myanmar (Reuters) - When the Myanmar navy seized a boat used by people smugglers last week, it announced that the 200 people found aboard were mostly Bangladeshis seeking better economic prospects in Southeast Asia. The message was…

    Reuters
  • China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters

    By Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - China outlined a strategy to boost its naval reach on Tuesday and announced plans for the construction of two lighthouses in disputed waters, developments likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. In a…

    Reuters
  • El Nino seen bringing drought to Brazil's north, heavy rains to south

    By Caroline Stauffer SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil will likely experience a moderate El Nino by the end of the year, bringing steady rain to the country's main grain producing regions and sustained drought in the arid north, the national meteorological institute, Inmet, said. Inmet meteorologist…

    Reuters
  • For an IS fighter, a paid honeymoon in caliphate's heart

    BEIRUT (AP) — The honeymoon was a brief moment for love, away from the front lines of Syria's war. In the capital of the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed "caliphate," Syrian fighter Abu Bilal al-Homsi was united with his Tunisian bride for the first time after months chatting online. They…

    Associated Press