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Asia Pacific

US and Philippines condemn the Chinese coast guard’s water cannon blasts on fisheries vessels

The Philippines and its treaty ally, the United States, have separately condemned a high-seas assault by the Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships that repeatedly blasted water cannons to block three Philippine fisheries vessels from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

As Pakistan cracks down on illegal migrants, nearly half a million Afghans have left, minister says

Pakistan’s caretaker interior minister says nearly half a million Afghans who were living in Pakistan without documents have returned home in the past more than two months as part of an ongoing crackdown on foreigners living illegally in the country.

Japan’s leader grilled in parliament over widening fundraising scandal, link to Unification Church

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and several key Cabinet ministers have been grilled by opposition lawmakers in parliament over a widening fundraising scandal that threatens to further drag down the government’s sagging popularity.

Lawmakers seek action against Elf Bar and other fruity e-cigarettes imported from China

House lawmakers are demanding information on federal efforts to stop the influx of kid-appealing electronic cigarettes from China.

Chinese leaders wrap up annual economic planning meeting with scant details on revving up growth

China’s state media say top leaders held an annual planning meeting where they agreed to step up spending to help rev up the economy.

Taiwan’s presidential candidates will hold a televised debate as the race heats up

The three candidates running in Taiwan’s presidential election will hold a televised debate on Dec. 30 as the race heats up under pressure from China.

South Korea defense chief threatens strikes on ‘heart and head’ of North Korea if provoked

South Korea’s defense minister has threatened massive retaliatory missile strikes on “the heart and head” of North Korea in the event of provocation, as the rivals escalate their rhetoric over their respective spy satellite launches in recent days.

Indonesia’s youth clean up trash from waterways, but more permanent solutions are still elusive

Young people have been at the forefront of environmental and climate change movements in recent years: initiatives like school strikes for climate action, protests at United Nations climate talks and around the world, and local clean ups have often been youth-led.

APWeek in Pictures: Asia

Dec. 1-7, 2023

Mount Marapi spews volcanic materials during its eruption in Indonesia, a powerful earthquake struck Saturday off the southern Philippines and a hospital is flooded after heavy rains along the Bay of Bengal coast in Chennai, India.

Myanmar’s army is facing battlefield challenges and grants amnesty to troops jailed for being AWOL

Reports from Myanmar say its military government has been freeing soldiers and police who had been jailed for desertion and absence without leave as authorities seek to get them to return to active duty.

Japan pledges $4.5B more in aid for Ukraine, including $1B in humanitarian funds

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged $4.5 billion to Ukraine, including $1 billion in humanitarian aid to help support the war-torn country’s recovery efforts.

Powerful earthquake shakes South Pacific nation of Vanuatu; no tsunami threat

A powerful earthquake has shaken the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, but countries in the region say there is no threat of a tsunami. The U.S.

Chinese navy ships are first to dock at new pier at Cambodian naval base linked to Beijing

Chinese naval vessels have become the first ships to dock at a new pier at a Cambodian naval base that the United States and some international security experts say is destined to serve as a strategic outpost for Beijing’s navy.

Democracy activist Agnes Chow says she still feels under the watch of Hong Kong police in Canada

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow says she still feels under the watch of the Chinese territory’s police after moving to Toronto.

Australia pushes against China’s Pacific influence through a security pact with Papua New Guinea

The Australian government has signed a security pact with its nearest neighbor Papua New Guinea that strengthens Australia’s place as the preferred security partner in a region where China’s influence is growing.

Indonesian maleo conservation faced setbacks due to development and plans for a new capital city

A critically endangered bird that only exists on a few Indonesian islands is facing a new threat as the country builds a new capital hundreds of miles away.

National security advisers of US, South Korea and Japan will meet to discuss North Korean threat

The national security advisers of the United States, South Korea and Japan will meet in Seoul this week to discuss North Korea’s military threat and other issues as they continue to promote trilateral cooperation in Asia.

Indonesia ends search for victims of eruption at Mount Marapi volcano that killed 23 climbers

Indonesian authorities have ended the search for any more victims among climbers who were caught by a weekend eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano that killed 23 people and injured several others.

Australian Parliament rushes through laws that could see detention of freed dangerous migrants

The Australian government has rushed legislation through Parliament that could place behind bars some of the migrants freed after the High Court ruled their indefinite detention was unconstitutional.

3 killed at massive fire in Pakistan’s largest southern city of Karachi, officials say

Officials say a massive fire has swept through a multi-story commercial building in Pakistan’s largest southern port city of Karachi, killing at least three people and damaging several shops.

Italy reportedly drops out of China Belt and Road initiative that failed to deliver

Media reports say Italy has formally withdrawn from China’s global Belt and Road initiative that seeks to deepen relations with foreign countries through infrastructure investments.

Top US and Chinese diplomats agree to build on recent progress in ties

The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats have agreed to build on recent progress in bilateral ties and work together to keep the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza from spreading.

Volkswagen-commissioned audit finds no signs of forced labor at plant in China’s Xinjiang region

An audit commissioned by Volkswagen has found no indication of forced labor at its plant in China’s Xinjiang region, where Western governments have accused the Chinese government of human rights violations against the Uyghur ethnic minority.

A Year in Power: Malaysian premier Anwar searches for support as frustration rises over slow reform

Marking his first anniversary of coming to power, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahm admitted he was still struggling to win over ethnic Malay votes and acknowledged frustration over the slow pace of reforms.

Arizona man charged over online posts that allegedly incited Australian attack in which 6 died

A U.S. citizen has been charged in Arizona over online posts that allegedly incited what police describe as a “religiously motivated terrorist attack” in Australia a year ago in which six people died.

These men once relied on the Aral Sea. Today, the dry land is a reminder of lost livelihoods

Brushing the dust from his hat and lying on the floor inside his home, Ali Shadilov recalls how he and other fishermen used to laugh at town elders who warned that the enormous sea they relied on was disappearing.

Australian government hopes to rush laws that could detain dangerous migrants

The Australian government hopes to rush legislation through Parliament that could place behind bars some of the migrants who have been freed since the High Court ruled their indefinite detention was unconstitutional.

Taliban’s abusive education policies harm boys as well as girls in Afghanistan, rights group says

A rights group says the Taliban’s education policies are harming boys as well as girls in Afghanistan.

At least 16 dead and 12 injured as passenger bus falls off ravine in central Philippines

Philippine officials say at least 16 people have been killed and 12 others injured when a passenger bus lost control while negotiating a downhill road curve in a central mountain village and plunged into a deep ravine.

Air Force identifies the 8 US crew lost in Osprey crash in Japan and recovers 6 bodies

Air Force Special Operations Command has recovered the remains of six of the eight service members who were lost when their Osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan last week.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says he will sign a security pact with Australia

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he will sign a bilateral security pact with Australia during a visit this week.

Bus crashes in western Thailand, killing 14 people and injuring more than 30 others

A bus has crashed in western Thailand, killing 14 people and injuring more than 30 others. Officials said the accident occurred early Tuesday in Prachuap Khiri Khan province as the bus was traveling from the capital, Bangkok, to Songkhla province in the deep south.

A roadside bombing in the commercial center of Pakistan’s Peshawar city wounds at least 3 people

Pakistani authorities say a roadside bomb went off near a school in the country’s northwest on Tuesday, wounding at least three passersby and damaging windows of a nearby bank and several shops The bombing happened in the commercial center of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bord

Photographers in Asia capture the extraordinary, tragic and wonderful in 2023

Individually, the photographs are the product of a moment, capturing glimpses of joy, grief, rage, hope, and resilience.

Heavy rains leave at least 12 dead before storm Michaung makes landfall on India’s southeast coast

A powerful storm has made landfall along India’s southeast coast, unleashing torrential rains and strong winds.