Asia - The Irrawaddy
Singapore’s Founder Sedated, on Life Support

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s 91-year-old founding father, is on life support in intensive care while being treated for severe pneumonia.

China Bans Ivory Imports for 1 Year to Protect Elephants

China imposes a one-year ban on ivory imports amid criticism that its citizens’ appetite for ivory fuels poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants.

Stuck in Limbo, Bangkok’s Hidden Urban Refugees Scrape By

A growing number of refugees live in cities and towns around the world, where they lead lives of tenuous legality and struggle to survive.

Thai Bill to Restrict Protests Sails Through First Reading

Thailand’s parliament votes in favor of a bill that restricts political demonstrations, something critics fear will be used to smother dissent after martial law ends.

UN: North Korean Company Renames Ships to Evade Sanctions

A shipping company that famously tried to hide fighter jets under a cargo of sugar later sought to evade UN sanctions by renaming its vessels.

Overfishing Driving Slavery on Thailand’s Seafood Boats 

A sophisticated network of brokers and agents recruits Burmese and Cambodia laborers through trickery and kidnapping to work on Thai fishing vessels in slave-like conditions.

Philippine Troops Attack Abu Sayyaf Militants, 7 Killed

Philippine troops battled about 300 Abu Sayyaf rebels in fighting Wednesday that left two soldiers and five militants dead in the country’s restive south.

Reunions and Ransoms: A Day Online in Burma’s Rohingya Camps

In a camp for displaced Rohingya Muslims, it’s easy to overlook the Internet huts. The raw emotion they generate is much harder to ignore.

Japanese Media Self-Censorship Growing under Abe’s Reign

Journalists and experts say news organisations are toning down criticism of Prime Minister Abe’s government for fear of sparking ire and losing access to sources.

Indonesia Says Executions Won’t Be Delayed Despite Mercy Pleas

Indonesia’s president says the planned execution of 11 convicts on death row, most on drugs charges, won’t be delayed, warning foreign countries not to intervene.

Cambodia PM Says Work on Mega-Dam Will Not Start Until 2018

Construction of a massive dam in Cambodia will not start until at least 2018, in an apparent effort to stop heavy opposition to the project.

Death Toll Rises to At Least 70 in Bangladesh Ferry Disaster 

The death toll from a ferry disaster in Bangladesh rises to 70, as divers finish their search after the vessel was lifted to the surface.

Thai Theater Duo Found Guilty of Insulting Monarchy

A court in Thailand sentenced two theater activists to prison on Monday over a play commemorating the anniversary of a student uprising.

Maldives Ex-President’s Detention Extended; India, US Concerned

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed will stay in police custody until his terrorism trial is completed, prompting expressions of concern from neighbor India and Washington.

India Bets on GM Crops for Second Green Revolution

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is banking on genetically modified crops to reduce India’s reliance on imported agricultural goods.

Curses Protected Indian River, But Now It Faces Modern World 

For centuries, a curse saved the Chambal River, but now the modern world is making an impact in this isolated part of northern India

Hong Kong ‘Radicals’ up Ante in Democracy Push Against China

Nearly three months after police cleared away Hong Kong’s pro-democracy street protests, lingering anger stokes a new front of radical activism.

Drug-Resistant Malaria Found Close to Burma Border With India

Malaria with total resistance to treatment has taken hold in Burma and spread close to the border with India, threatening to render crucial medicines useless.

China to Project Power From Artificial Islands in South China Sea

Chinese reclamation in the South China Sea will enable Beijing to extend the range of its navy, air force, coastguard and fishing fleets before long.

Thailand Bans Surrogacy for Foreigners in Bid to End ‘Rent-a-Womb’ Tourism

Thailand passes a law banning foreigners from seeking surrogacy services to end a “rent-a-womb” industry that made the country a top destination for fertility tourism.