Asia

Afghan girls to return to school ‘soon as possible’: Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AFP) — Girls in Afghanistan will be allowed to return to school as soon as possible, the Taliban said Tuesday, after announcing the remaining positions in its all-male cabinet. “We are finalising things… it will happen as soon as possible,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on girls’ education. It comes after the education ministry ordered male teachers and students back to secondary school at the weekend, but made no mention of the country’s women […]

At least eight dead in Russian campus shooting

A student opened fire on a¬†university campus in central Russia on Monday killing at least eight people, investigators said, in the second mass shooting at an education facility this year. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said several people were also injured in the attack at Perm State University and that the suspect had been wounded while being detained. Investigators previously said that five people were killed and another six wounded. Russia has relatively […]

N.Korea says US submarine deal, alliance could trigger ‘nuclear arms race’

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea’s foreign ministry on Monday said a new US alliance in the Indo-Pacific and recent US submarine contract with Australia could trigger a “nuclear arms race” in the region. Last week the United States announced a new three-way security pact with Australia and Britain, as part of a strategic partnership under which US nuclear submarines will be supplied to Canberra. “These are extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will […]

IS-linked terror group leader shot dead in Indonesia’s jungle

The leader of an Islamic State-linked militant network in Indonesia was killed in a shootout with security forces, police said Sunday. Ali Kalora, head of the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), was shot dead Saturday in Sulawesi island’s jungle along with another member identified as Jaka Ramadhan. Police said they have launched a manhunt for four more MIT militants. “We will keep looking until we get them,” Rudy Sufahriadi, police chief of Central Sulawesi province, said […]

Putin’s party set to retain parliament majority after polls

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party was set Sunday to retain a majority in parliament on the last day of three-day elections in which most Kremlin critics were barred from running. The vote comes in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition this year, with Russian authorities jailing Putin’s best-known domestic foe Alexei Navalny and banning his organisations as “extremist”. In the lead-up to this weekend’s vote, all of his top allies were arrested […]

Australia rejects French accusations of lying over subs deal

¬† Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday rejected France’s accusations Canberra lied about plans to cancel a contract to buy French submarines, saying he had raised concerns over the deal “some months ago”. Australia’s decision to tear up a deal for the French submarines in favour of American nuclear-powered vessels sparked outrage in Paris, with President Emmanuel Macron recalling France’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington in an unprecedented move. Canberra has stood firm as […]

Myanmar military convoy hit by roadside bomb near Yangon: junta

Myanmar anti-junta dissidents have carried out a bomb attack on security forces near Yangon, with several killed in an ensuing firefight, the military and media said. The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since the military toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February, sparking mass pro-democracy protests and a bloody crackdown by the military. Various townships across Myanmar have formed so-called “people defence forces” to fight back against the junta, although the […]

Living with Alzheimer’s: China’s health time bomb

The first time Chen Shaohua went missing and was picked up by police, the 68-year-old’s family put it down to confusion. When he disappeared a second time, they realised he was deeply unwell — but it was already too late. “We missed the early signs,” daughter Chen Yuanyuan explained, adding: “For several years our mother complained he was lying… but we couldn’t judge because we haven’t lived with them for years.” Doctors diagnosed Chen with […]

US admits strike in Kabul killed 10 civilians, including 7 children, not IS militants

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A top general admitted the United States had made a “mistake” when it launched a drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants in Kabul, killing 10 civilians including children instead during the frenzied final days of the US pullout from Afghanistan last month. The strike, a macabre coda to the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, was meant to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence had “reasonable certainty” […]

Cambodia begins covid jabs for kids as young as six

by Suy SE PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP) — Cambodia on Friday began inoculating children as young as six against coronavirus, even though the World Health Organisation has yet to approve a vaccine for the under-12s. The southeast Asian country has won praise for its swift vaccination programme, which has seen more than 98 percent of the adult population receive at least one dose, according to the health ministry. The latest phase of the drive began […]

Race for Japan’s new prime minister kicks off

by Katie Forster TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The campaign to become Japan’s next prime minister kicks off on Friday, with four candidates vying for leadership of the ruling party in an unusually close race. The candidates include two women hoping to lead a country that has never had a female prime minister, though both are considered long shots. The race follows Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s shock announcement last month that he would not run for […]

Japan issues alert after volcano erupts

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan issued an alert on Friday after a volcano in the southwest of the country erupted, jettisoning large rocks hundreds of metres away from the crater, Kyodo news agency reported. There were no immediate reports of injuries after the eruption of Mount Otake in Kagoshima prefecture, according to Kyodo. The Japan Meteorological Agency set the alert level at three — on a scale of five, where five triggers evacuation — to […]