In pictures: Rescue operation underway after SKorean ferry sinks

A massive search and rescue operation is under way of the Korean coast after a......

LIVE: 295 still missing after ferry sinks off South Korea

IN BRIEF: A passenger ferry capsized and sank of the coast of South Korea today......

Sri Lanka: Canada holding Commonwealth to ransom

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has accused Canada of using its funding of......

Japan pro-whaling lobby vows to continue hunts

TOKYO (AP) — Hundreds of pro-whaling Japanese officials, lawmakers and lobby group members have vowed......

Obama sets date for tricky Malaysia visit

US President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia......

The erosion of democracy and the rise of Thailand’s juristocracy

Academic Paul Chambers has some analysis of the situation and on the rise of Thailand’s......

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Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy

By Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:27AM UTC

LONDON (AP) — Staff at a London hair salon say they had a close shave with North Korean officials after using the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, to promote discount haircuts. M&M Hair Academy says it received a visit by two men from the nearby North Korean embassy after putting up a poster last week featuring a picture of Kim — who sports a distinctive undercut — and the slogan "Bad Hair Day?"...

India’s top court recognizes third gender category

By Tue, Apr 15, 2014 3:45PM UTC

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court has issued a landmark verdict creating a third gender category, saying transgendered people can now identify themselves that way on official documents. Activists say it will give relief to millions of people who face discrimination in India's deeply conservative society....

Canada suspends Commonwealth funding over Sri Lanka

By Tue, Apr 15, 2014 9:14AM UTC

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada is suspending $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns. Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government’s human rights record. Canada is...

Vietnam releases 2 dissidents amid US trade talks

By Mon, Apr 14, 2014 1:28PM UTC

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Lawyers and activists say Vietnam has granted early release to two more high profile dissidents. The unusual moves come as the country is negotiating a free trade deal with the United States. Washington has said that it would be hard to get the deal past Congress unless Vietnam made some meaningful...

Philippine forces kill 1 extremist in new clash

By Mon, Apr 14, 2014 9:45AM UTC

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says marines have clashed with Abu Sayyaf extremists blamed for kidnappings and extortion and killed at least one of the militants. Marine brigade commander Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto says marines were patrolling a wooded area near a hill in Sulu province’s mountainous Patikul town Saturday when they stumbled...

2 Philippine soldiers, 5 militants die in clashes

By Sat, Apr 12, 2014 6:04PM UTC

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says two soldiers and at least five Abu Sayyaf militants have been killed in clashes in a southern island province. Armed forces spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala says the running gunbattles Friday on Basilan Island also wounded 28 soldiers following their assault on a group of Abu Sayyaf fighters led by Puruji Indama....

In pictures: Rescue operation underway after SKorean ferry sinks

By Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:11PM UTC View Comments

A massive search and rescue operation is under way of the Korean coast after a passenger ferry with more than 470 passengers capsized early today. Reports indicate at least 2 people have died and 90 people are still missing. Here are some of the latest pictures from the incident....

Obama sets date for tricky Malaysia visit

By Wed, Apr 16, 2014 9:36AM UTC View Comments

US President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia this month as part of his push to increase US diplomatic, economic and security engagement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. But despite the relative size and strategic importance of the other countries, it is his April 27 trip to Malaysia that arguably gives the president his biggest problems....

The erosion of democracy and the rise of Thailand’s juristocracy

By Wed, Apr 16, 2014 7:33AM UTC View Comments

Academic Paul Chambers has some analysis of the situation and on the rise of Thailand’s juristocracy. Below are some brief excerpts (read the whole thing for the full picture): Perhaps a less visible trend, which has grown over the last decade, has been the rise of Thailand’s judiciary. Indeed, Thailand today possesses a weakly-developed democracy...

Malaysian tour operators count cost of MH370 fallout

By Tue, Apr 15, 2014 2:05PM UTC View Comments

Malaysian tour guides like Xiao Zhong thought 2014 would be their most prosperous year yet. Chinese tourists had been coming in droves to companies like his as the Southeast Asian nation branded itself as an affordable and quieter alternative to neighboring vacation hotspots. ...

Vietnam’s gay population hopeful about future

By Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:44AM UTC View Comments

For many years Vietnam’s gay community has had to put up with harassment and discrimination from much of the country’s society, including even from their own families. However, attitudes appear to be shifting towards a more open and inclusive style of thinking. It is even possible that lawmakers will vote to change the country’s Marriage and Family Law to allow same-sex marriage, or at least make it no longer illegal. ...

Education in Singapore: When Number 1 is not enough

By Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:06AM UTC View Comments

“Who says Singaporean’s are rote learners?” challenged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the notion of the robotic Singaporean, in a Facebook post. At the tail end of March, the OECD released the 2012 PISA results of a worldwide study of the problem solving skills of 15 year olds from 44 education systems. The study saw 85,000 students take part. Singapore came in joint first with South Korea....

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