Hong Kong activists in fightback after China vote decision
1 Sep 2014 | 12:40 pm
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists heckled a top Chinese official Monday, setting the stage for disruptive protests against the mainland's landmark decision to limit voting reforms, but Beijing insisted that there would be no turning back. Li Fei, a member of the top committee of China's rubber-stamp parliament, was forced to speak over the cries of pro-democracy lawmakers and protesters during a meeting with local officials in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Brief scuffles erupted outside the venue as police used pepper spray to stop protesters from storming the hall, where Li told delegates that China will not tolerate a local leader who is disloyal to the mainland. "Anyone who does not love the country, love Hong Kong or is confrontational towards the central government shall not be the chief executive," he said.
Modi visit draws pledges of support from Japan
1 Sep 2014 | 11:32 am
TOKYO (AP) — Japan and India agreed Monday to step up their economic and security cooperation as visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi won pledges of support for his effort to revitalize the lagging Indian economy.
Kenyan commandos on frontline of poaching war
1 Sep 2014 | 9:57 am
With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the "war" against poaching. As the late afternoon sun creeps towards the horizon and shadows lengthen on the sweeping plains dotted with rocky outcrops, Ol Jogi's armed rangers get set for another tough night on patrol. "It sounds crazy, but it's actually a war," said Jamie Gaymer, head of security for the vast reserve. Trained by the Kenya Wildlife Service and police, the 32 men in the security force are also reserve police officers, allowed to carry weapons.
Japan and India vow to boost defense ties during summit
1 Sep 2014 | 7:55 am
By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and India agreed on Monday to strengthen defense ties as Asia's second and third biggest economies keep a wary eye on a rising China, with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashing out at the "expansionism" of some nations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi also agreed to speed up talks on a so-far elusive deal on nuclear energy cooperation, welcoming what they called "significant progress" in the negotiations. "From this day on, Prime Minister Modi and I will work hand-in-hand to dramatically strengthen relations in every field and elevate ties to a special, strategic global partnership," Abe told a joint media event after a summit with Modi. They also agreed to accelerate talks on the possible sale of an amphibious aircraft to India's navy - likely to become Japan's first overseas military sale in nearly 50 years and a result of Abe's more muscular approach to defense in the face of an assertive China.
Australia leans toward buying Japan subs to upgrade fleet: sources
1 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Australia are leaning towards a multibillion-dollar sale by Tokyo of a fleet of stealth submarines to Canberra's military in a move that could rile an increasingly assertive China, people familiar with the talks said. An agreement is still some months away, three people said, but the unprecedented sale of off-the-shelf vessels based on the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force's Soryu class sub is emerging as the likeliest option. Such a deal would signal a major expansion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's controversial drive for a more active military after decades of pacifism. Rival China regularly accuses Abe of reviving Japan's wartime militarism.
AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia
1 Sep 2014 | 2:38 am
In an oddball attempt at sports diplomacy with North Korea, a group of about 20 mixed martial artists from around the world, including former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp, traveled to Pyongyang last week to engage in arm-wrestling and tug-of-war competitions with local children.
Dengue outbreak affects at least 22 in Japan
1 Sep 2014 | 1:56 am
An outbreak of dengue fever in Japan -- the first since World War II -- has affected at least 22 people, the government said Monday, with all cases believed to be linked to a Tokyo park. The health ministry said 19 new infections have been confirmed since last week. All are believed to have visited Tokyo's Yoyogi Park or its environs, one of the major green lungs of the metropolis, popular with residents and tourists alike. The park, one of the largest open spaces in central Tokyo, is believed to be the source of the mosquito-borne disease.
Thailand totters towards waste crisis
1 Sep 2014 | 1:08 am
A blaze at a vast rubbish dump home to six million tonnes of putrefying trash and toxic effluent has kindled fears that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Locals had long pressed for the closure of the foul-smelling Praeksa landfill site, which is wedged between a cluster of industrial estates on the fringes of Bangkok. Bangkok -- a sprawling city of 12 million and counting -- produces around 10,000 tonnes of waste a day, a substantial portion of the 27 million tonnes generated each year across the kingdom. The ruling junta has put waste disposal high on its to-do list, recognising that poorly regulated pits are fast filling up and prone to disaster.
Asia stocks rise on S&P high, China stimulus hopes
31 Aug 2014 | 10:55 pm
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Monday, lifted by another record high on Wall Street and expectations of stimulus in China after its manufacturing growth slowed. Investors looked ahead to this week's U.S. employment figures and a meeting of Europe's central bank for signs of stimulus steps.
Modi seeks Japan's help for 'inclusive vision' on first big trip
30 Aug 2014 | 7:00 pm
By Douglas Busvine NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Japan on Saturday seeking to capitalize on his affinity with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to strengthen security and business ties on his first major foreign visit since his landslide election victory in May. Modi is one of only three people that Abe follows on Twitter, while the Indian leader admires the Japanese premier's brand of nationalist politics. "We will explore how Japan can associate itself productively with my vision of inclusive development in India," Modi said before departing on Saturday for the five-day visit. In his previous role as chief minister of India's fast-growing western state of Gujarat Modi had actively courted Japanese investment. President Barack Obama in Washington as he seeks to carve out a stronger role for India as a global player.
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