Suspect in beheading of US journalist Daniel Pearl released

BBC, October 24

One of the suspects in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl has been set free by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan.

Qari Hashim was arrested in 2007 and held in jail in Hyderabad, a southern city in Pakistan, during his trial.

The court acquitted Mr Hashim because of a lack of [...]

Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesian president

BBC, October 20 Joko Widodo, the charismatic outsider who won Indonesia’s presidency, made a call for national reconciliation and unity as he was sworn in.

Popularly known as Jokowi, the 53-year-old took the oath of office at a ceremony held at parliament in Jakarta.

He was then cheered through the streets as he made his [...]

Typhoon Vongfong injures dozens in Japan

BBC, October 12 Typhoon Vongfong, the strongest storm to hit Japan this year, is moving north towards the country’s main islands, leaving at least 30 injured in Okinawa.

Flights were cancelled amid pounding winds and rain, while hundreds of thousands had to evacuate their homes.

The storm is due to make landfall on Kyushu island [...]

300,000 Evacuated as Cyclone Hudhud approaches Indian coast

ste.india   BBC, October 11

A mass evacuation is taking place in India’s south-eastern coast a day before Cyclone Hudhud is expected to hit land.

Around 150,000 people have already left their homes in the coastal state of Andhra Pradesh. The cyclone, classed as “very severe” by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), is expected [...]

Cave Paintings in Indonesia May Be Among the Oldest Known

New York Times, By John Noble Wilford, October 8

There is nothing like a blank stone surface to inspire a widely shared urge to make art.

A team of researchers reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday that paintings of hands and animals in seven limestone caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi may be [...]

Narendra Modi calls for International Yoga Day

TNN, By Chidanand Rajghatta, September 28

New York – Yoga got a strong leg up on the world stage when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for observing an International Yoga Day, describing the ancient science as “India’s gift to the world.”

Modi’s unexpected reference to yoga during in his UN General Assembly speech came when [...]

Fukushima nuclear meltdown worse than initially reported – TEPCO

Russia Today, August 7

The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s third reactor building was even worse than initially believed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has announced.

In fact, the power company’s new appraisal of the Fukushima No. 3 reactor building shows that all – or nearly all – of the fuel rods [...]

Japanese cabinet may agree on conditions to collective self-defense

CCTV.com, By Terrence Terashima, June 30

Japan’s ruling coalition is expected to reach an agreement over the conditions of the country’s right to exercise collective self-defense, and change the interpretation of its pacifist constitution to allow that right.

It has been Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambition, for Japan to reinterpret its pacifist constitution and adopt [...]

Rate of deforestation in Indonesia overtakes Brazil, says study

Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, despite its forest being a quarter the size of the Amazon rainforest.

The Guardian, By John Vidal, June 29

Indonesia has greatly under-reported how much primary rainforest it is cutting down, according to the government’s former head of forestry data gathering.

[...]

Half The Population Cannot Remain Silent Forever

I need some help from the ladies.

How does one extrapolate, infer, or deduct and induct the role of women in a society 1,000 years old with pretty much nothing but textile fragments, kitchen and cooking utensils and a very, very thin literary record to go on?

I know I am missing something. And I [...]

Cambodia slams Thailand as workers flee out of fear of military junta

AFP, June 17

Bankok – The dramatic departure of nearly 190,000 Cambodian migrant workers from Thailand threatens to hit labour-intensive industries from seafood to construction, damaging the Thai economy just as it teeters on the verge of recession.

Panicked labourers — who help keep major Thai businesses afloat but often lack official work permits — [...]

The China Syndrome

Well, the Chinese seem to be taking the name “China Sea” seriously. First came the dispute with Vietnam, the Philippines, and probably any nation with a couple of dinghies and a drunk captain over the South China Sea.

[...]

Indian president lays out new economic agenda

Pranab Mukherjee tells parliament government will encourage foreign investment and engage energetically with neighbours.

Al Jazeera, June 9

India’s new government will pursue an economic reform agenda that foresees introducing a general sales tax, encouraging foreign investment and speeding approvals for major business projects, the president has told parliament.

Pranab Mukherjee also said on Monday [...]

India likely to ease restrictions for foreign online retailers in July

Reuters, By Nandita Bose & Rajesh Kumar Singh, June 4

Mumbai, New Delhi – India could allow global online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) to sell their own products as early as next month, removing restrictions that have held back competition in one of the world’s biggest, and most price-sensitive, retail markets.

The decision, [...]

China plan to cap CO2 emissions seen turning point in climate talks

Reuters, By Kathy Chen & Stian Reklev, June 3

Beijing – China said on Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016 just a day after the United States announced new targets for its power sector, signalling a potential breakthrough in tough U.N. climate talks.

Progress in global climate negotiations [...]

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