Asia - The Irrawaddy
Chinese Police Net Over 60,000 People in Drug Sweep

Police in China have arrested tens of thousands for drug-related crimes and seized more than 11 tonnes of narcotics in a vast, multi-city sweep.

Pope Tells Philippines Leaders to End Corruption, Hear Cries of the Poor

Pope Francis calls on the Philippine government to tackle corruption and help the poor suffering from “scandalous social inequalities” in Asia’s most Catholic country.

Asia Maritime Piracy Attacks Now 75% of Global Total

Asia accounted for three-quarters of global maritime piracy last year after a surge in tanker hijackings in the region.

In Catholic Philippines, Father-Priests Seek Papal Blessing

Filipino priest Jess Siva is a father in two senses of the word, a fact that the Catholic Church continues to take issue with.

New Sri Lanka Government Calls for Rajapaksa ‘Conspiracy’ Probe

Sri Lanka’s new government asks police to investigate what it called a “diabolical conspiracy” by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold on to power.

Japan Proposes Record $42b Military Budget to Counter China’s Rise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government approved a record $42 billion military budget on Wednesday to counter China’s rising military might.

Critics Dog Cambodia’s Hun Sen as He Marks 30 Years in Power 

Hun Sen, Cambodia’s tough and wily prime minister, is one of a handful of political strongmen worldwide who have managed to rule for three decades.

Activists, Executives Advise Thailand How to Tackle Trafficking

Thailand must empower victims to complain and must crack down on corrupt officials if it wants to tackle its human trafficking problem, activists say.

Police in China Shoot Dead 6 in Restive Xinjiang

A group of “mobsters” tries to set off an explosive device in China’s troubled region of Xinjiang, prompting police to shoot six of them dead.

Pope Calls for Pursuit of Truth Over Sri Lanka’s Violent Past

Pope Francis says Sri Lanka needs to find out the truth its long civil war in order to heal scars between religious communities.

Divers Retrieve 2nd Black Box From AirAsia Crash

Divers recover the crashed AirAsia plane’s second black box, giving investigators the essential tools they need to start piecing together what brought Flight 8501 down.

Dozens of Children Among 98 Rohingya Smuggling Victims Found in Thailand

Dozens of children are among 98 suspected Rohingya trafficking victims from Burma discovered in pickup trucks in southern Thailand.

Divers Retrieve 1 of 2 Black Boxes from Crashed AirAsia Jet

Divers retrieve one of the black boxes from the AirAsia plane that plummeted more than two weeks ago into the Java Sea.

Pope’s Asia Trip to Address Poverty, Dialogue, Climate Change

Pope Francis returns to Asia, traveling to Sri Lanka and the Philippines to underscore his concern for inter-religious dialogue, poverty and the environment.

Pro-Democracy Hong Kong Media Tycoon’s Home Firebombed

The home of Jimmy Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing who also played a prominent role in recent pro-democracy protests, were firebombed on Monday.

Thailand Begins Impeachment Hearing of Ousted PM

Thailand’s military-appointed legislature begins impeachment hearings against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a move analysts say is aimed at ensuring she stays out of politics.

No Living in Fear: ‘I Am Charlie’ Rallies Back Free Speech 

From Berlin to Bangkok, tens of thousands stand against living in fear, as rallies honor the victims of a Paris newspaper attack.

Indonesia Says Pings Detected in Search for AirAsia Jet’s Black Box

Indonesia search and rescue teams detect pings in their efforts to find the black box recorders of an AirAsia plane that went missing Dec. 28.

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Concedes Defeat in Presidential Vote

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has conceded defeat in his bid for a third term in office, according to his spokesman.

China’s Xi Woos Latin America With $250B Investments

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledges $250 billion in investment in Latin America to boost Beijing’s influence in a region dominated by the United States.