Asia

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 […]

Obama says barring Suu Kyi from Myanmar presidency ‘doesn’t make much sense’

(Reuters) – Standing next to Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that the law barring her from becoming president “doesn’t make much sense”. It was the clearest statement Obama has made on Suu Kyi’s political future, but he stopped short of explicitly urging that changes be made to allow her to run for the presidency. Washington has pressed for more change in Myanmar, where political and economic reforms launched […]

Captain of South Korean capsized ferry gets 36 years in prison

(Reuters) – The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April killing 304 passengers was jailed for 36 years on Tuesday after a court found him guilty of negligence, but was acquitted of homicide for which prosecutors had sought the death penalty. The court convicted the ship’s chief engineer of homicide for not aiding two injured fellow crew members, making him the only one of four facing homicide charges to be found guilty […]

Obama and Putin are odd couple at Beijing summit

(Reuters) – A few brief encounters between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in China on Tuesday spoke volumes about the chilly state of relations between the United States and Russia. With the two men crossing paths twice this week, first in Beijing and later at a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, there was little chance they could avoid interacting on the international stage – and with the eyes of the world press and fellow leaders upon them. Obama and […]

Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday a successful China was in the interests of the United States and the world but Beijing had to be a partner in underwriting international order, and not undermine it. Speaking to growing concerns among U.S. and other companies about the Chinese business environment after arriving in Beijing, Obama also urged China to reject the use of cyber theft for commercial gain and create a more level playing field where policy is not […]

China’s Xi, Japan’s Abe hold landmark meeting after awkward handshake

(Reuters) – After an awkward handshake, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held formal talks on Monday for the first time since the two leaders took office, a breakthrough in efforts to improve ties between the Asian rivals. Television footage showed Abe waiting for Xi to greet him at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, a departure from usual protocol in which the Chinese leader is on hand waiting for a […]