Asia

Indonesian girl, 7, found dead after day-long quake rescue effort

CIANJUR, Indonesia (AFP) – A seven-year-old Indonesian girl who was the subject of a day-long rescue effort after an earthquake killed 272 people in West Java has been found dead, rescuers told AFP on Friday. Emergency workers found the body of Ashika Nur Fauziah, also known as Cika, under rubble in the worst-hit district of Cianjur town, epicenter of the quake that triggered landslides, collapsed roofs, walls and buried victims in mounds of earth Monday. “The […]

Malaysia’s new PM Anwar: from prison to power, a dream fulfilled

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AFP) by Martin ABBUGAO / M JEGATHESAN It has been a bumpy road to the pinnacle of power for Anwar Ibrahim, who on Thursday achieved his dream of the Malaysian premiership. In his decades-long quest for the top job, the 75-year-old has tasted political triumph and defeat, led street protests for democratic reforms and strung together a multi-ethnic opposition coalition while behind bars. He was named prime minister by Malaysia’s king after […]

South Korea truckers strike again, threatening supply chains

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) – South Korean truckers staged their second major strike in less than six months Thursday, in an action that could disrupt critical global supply chains in sectors from cars to steel. All 25,000 members of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union stopped working, as part of a long-running protest against the ending of a minimum wage guarantee, Park Yeon-su of the organization told AFP. With fuel prices rising, the drivers have been demanding […]

China’s ‘iPhone city’ tightens Covid rules after violent protests

  Beijing, China  (AFP) China has ordered six million people into lockdown in a city where violent protests broke out at an iPhone factory over Covid isolation policies and working conditions. Hundreds of workers took to the streets around the vast iPhone factory in Zhengzhou on Wednesday, confronting hazmat-clad personnel wielding batons in a rare display of public anger in China. In the wake of the unrest, Zhengzhou authorities ordered mass testing and an effective […]

Opposition leader Anwar named Malaysia PM: palace

  Malaysia’s perennial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was named prime minister on Thursday, ending a days-long political impasse after inconclusive polls. His ascension — making him the country’s fourth leader in as many years — caps a turbulent political life for Anwar, during which he served jail time on corruption and sodomy charges. “After taking into consideration the views of Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers, His Majesty has given consent to appoint Anwar Ibrahim […]

China’s ‘iPhone city’ tightens Covid rules after violent protests

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China has ordered six million people into lockdown in a city where violent protests broke out at an iPhone factory over Covid isolation policies and working conditions. Hundreds of workers took to the streets around the vast iPhone factory in Zhengzhou on Wednesday, confronting hazmat-clad personnel wielding batons in a rare display of public anger in China. In the wake of the unrest, Zhengzhou authorities ordered mass testing and an effective […]

Singapore warns slower economic growth in 2023

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) – Singapore warned on Wednesday that economic growth could slow to a trickle next year owing to weakness in key export markets including the United States, Europe and China, as rising interest rates and the Ukraine war cause headwinds. The city-state’s economic performance is often seen as a useful barometer of the global environment because of its reliance on trade with the rest of the world. The trade ministry said it expected growth […]

Protests erupt at largest iPhone factory in China

BEIJING, China (AFP) – Large-scale protests broke out at Foxconn’s vast iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, central China, images circulating on Weibo and Twitter on Wednesday showed. Videos showed hundreds of workers marching on a road in daylight, with some being confronted by a row of people in hazmat suits and riot police. Another clip from a livestream video showed dozens of workers at night confronting a row of police officers and a police vehicle with flashing […]

Indonesia quake survivors appeal for supplies as rescuers trawl rubble

by Dessy SAGITA Agence France-Presse CIANJUR, Indonesia (AFP) — Survivors of an Indonesian earthquake that killed at least 268 people appealed for food and water Wednesday, as rescuers picked through devastated villages with hopes of finding anyone alive fading. The calls for help came as authorities warned that debris from landslides caused by the strong quake near the town of Cianjur in West Java needed to be cleared ahead of heavy rains forecast in the […]

Dubai airport traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels: statement

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) – Passenger traffic at Dubai international airport returned to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter, a statement said on Tuesday, with volumes nearing 18.5 million at the major aviation hub. Dubai, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers before the Covid-19 pandemic, had 18,455,938 visitors in the three months to September, the biggest number since 17.8 million in the first quarter of 2020. “The growth in passenger traffic has been terrific […]

US, China defense chiefs meet in Cambodia

by W.G. Dunlop Agence France-Presse SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AFP) — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Cambodia on Tuesday as the two sides move to keep tensions in check. The meeting on the sidelines of a conference of defense ministers in Siem Reap — which lasted for an hour and a half — was the first between Austin and Wei since June, before a visit by US House Speaker […]

38 killed in central China fire

BEIJING, China (AFP) – Thirty-eight people were killed and two were injured after a fire at a plant in central China, state media said Tuesday, citing local authorities. The fire broke out at a plant in Anyang City in Henan Province on Monday afternoon, news agency Xinhua reported. State media said rescue services first received reports of a fire at 4:22 pm (0822 GMT) at Kaixinda Trading Co., Ltd. “After receiving the alarm, the municipal fire […]