Martial law to stay in Thailand – minister

(Reuters) – Thailand’s martial law will not be lifted for the foreseeable future, the justice minister said on Friday, despite an earlier pledge to lift the law in some provinces to help the tourism industry which has struggled since a military coup in May. The announcement comes as Thailand prepares to enter its peak tourism season, over the Christmas and New Year period. The tourism sector accounts for nearly 10 percent of GDP.Thailand expects around 25 million tourists […]

U.N. panel calls for Nokor referral to international court

(Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly committee dealing with human rights on Tuesday called for the U.N. Security Council to consider referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity. The vote followed a U.N. Commission of Inquiry report published in February detailing wide-ranging abuses in North Korea, including prison camps, systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities. The resolution passed by the U.N. Third Committee linked the alleged abuses to […]

Hong Kong protesters break into government building as tensions flare again

(Reuters) – A small group of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters broke into the city’s legislature via a side door early on Wednesday, and police stopped others forcing their way in as tensions in the Chinese-controlled city escalated following a period of calm. The flare-up came just hours after court bailiffs managed to clear part of a protest camp in the heart of the city that has been occupied by pro-democracy demonstrators for nearly two months, […]

Japan PM to seek fresh mandate for ‘Abenomics’ with snap poll

(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that he would call an early election to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies, and postpone an unpopular sales tax rise, a day after data showed the economy had slipped back into recession. The world’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly shrank for a second consecutive quarter in July-September, a sign the pain from an initial rise in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent in April was […]

Hong Kong clears part of protest site, as students stand by

(Reuters) – Hong Kong on Tuesday started to clear part of a protest camp in the heart of the city that has been occupied by pro-democracy demonstrators for nearly two months, leaving most of the main protest site intact. About 30 court bailiffs arrived at the 33-storey Citic Tower in Admiralty, next to government buildings, to enforce an injunction against street barricades after a request from the building’s owners, witnesses said. Authorities stood by as […]

Americans suspected of trying to ship baby body parts flee Thailand – police

(Reuters) – Thai police said on Monday two Americans suspected of trying to send infant and adult body parts in parcels to the United States had fled the country. A baby’s head, a baby’s foot sliced into three parts, a heart and a “sheet of skin” with tattoo markings were found in parcels on Saturday after staff at a shipping office in Bangkok scanned the packages, police said. The parts were stored in plastic containers […]

Eartquake triggers panic but little damage in Indonesia’s Sulawesi

(Reuters) A magnitude 7.3 earthquake on Saturday (November 15) sent people scurrying in panic in Indonesia, but caused little damage. A tsunami warning was issued after the tremour hit off Moluccas in Indonesia but was later lifted. In northern Sulawesi’s Gorontalo city, college students ran out of their university building after feeling the strong jolt which was measured at a depth of 47 km (34 miles), with epicenter 134 km (83 miles) northwest of Ternate, an island in eastern Indonesia‘s Moluccas. Another […]

Hong Kong student leaders blocked from taking democracy fight to Beijing

(Reuters) – Three Hong Kong student leaders were stopped from boarding a flight to Beijing on Saturday to take their fight for greater democracy directly to the Chinese government after airline authorities said their travel permits were invalid. The students, led by Hong Kong Federation of Students’ leader Alex Chow, had planned to go to Beijing with the intention of meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as efforts to reach agreement with officials in Hong Kong […]

Indonesia quake sparks tsunami warning, no major damage

(Reuters) – A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 was recorded off the Moluccas in Indonesia on Saturday, the national disaster mitigation agency said, causing residents near the quake to flee their homes after a tsunami warning was issued. The earthquake was felt strongly on the Sitaro islands, where authorities also warned people to stay away from beaches and riverbanks, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at Indonesian agency, said in a statement. There were no reports […]