Asia - The Irrawaddy
Hong Kong Protesters Plan March After Fruitless Talks With Government

Hong Kong protesters plan to march to the home of the city’s Beijing-backed leader to push their case for greater democracy.

North Korea Unexpectedly Frees American Jeffrey Fowle

North Korea frees Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans detained by the country, amid growing international pressure on Pyongyang over its human rights record.

Sri Lanka Announces Early Presidential Poll in January

Sri Lanka will hold a presidential election in January, nearly two years ahead of schedule, with Mahinda Rajapaksa expected to seek a third six-year term.

Kerry Urges Stepped-Up Asian Effort Against Islamic State

US Secretary of State John Kerry urges Asia-Pacific leaders to do more to stem flows of foreign fighters to Islamic State in the Middle East.

Despite Costly US Effort, Afghan Poppy Cultivation Hits New High

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013 despite years of counter-narcotics efforts that have cost the United States $7.6 billion.

British Police to Join Thai Investigation Into Koh Tao Murders

Thailand agrees to allow British police to join an investigation into the murder of two British backpackers, after local authorities came under criticism.

Hopes Fade for 40 Missing After Nepal Blizzard

Hopes fade for survivors of one of Nepal’s worst mountain disasters as the search continues for about 40 people missing after a blizzard killed 39.

Hong Kong Crisis Deepens After Weekend Clashes, Talks Set for Tuesday

A deepening sense of impasse grips Hong Kong as pro-democracy protests enter their fourth week.

Reform-Minded Outsider Widodo Takes Over as Indonesia’s President

Joko Widodo takes over as president of Indonesia with supporters’ hopes high but economic problems and skeptical rivals set to test the former furniture businessman.

US Seeks More From China, Asian Muslim Nations, on Islamic State

The United States will seek greater cooperation from China and Southeast Asia’s main Muslim states, Indonesia and Malaysia, in the campaign against Islamic State.

Thai Soaps Trigger Outcry Over Romanticizing Rape 

In Thai TV soaps rape is often romanticized and equated with expressions of love, but calls for change to the plotlines are growing.

Hong Kong Police Clear Protesters, Barricades at Key Site

Hundreds of Hong Kong police clear out pro-democracy activists and road barricades in a pre-dawn raid of a key protest site.

China Says Some Victims of Yunnan Land Clash Burned Alive

Chinese villagers kidnap construction workers, tie them up, douse them in gasoline and set it ablaze when a land dispute turns violent.

Japan Jets Scrambling to Counter Rising Russian Incursions

The number of times Japanese fighter jets scrambled to ward off Russian military aircraft rose sharply in the last six months, amid rising diplomatic tensions.

China Expresses Concern About Indian Border Road Plan

China expresses concern after India announces plans to build a road along the remote eastern part of their disputed border.

China Blocks BBC Website as Hong Kong Tensions Rise

Chinese censors have blocked the website of Britain’s national broadcaster, the BBC, as tensions rise in Hong Kong between pro-democracy protesters and police.

Protesters Demand Philippine Custody of US Marine

Dozens of activists demand that Washington hand over to the Philippines a US Marine suspected in the killing of a transgender Filipino.

Tensions Rise as HK Police Use Pepper Spray on Protesters, Arrest 45

Hong Kong police use pepper spray on pro-democracy protesters as they clear a major road that had been barricaded with concrete slabs.

Record Bust in Cambodia Signals Thai Dollar Counterfeiting Boom

A huge bust of fake US dollars in Cambodia points to a well-oiled and growing counterfeit operation in neighboring Thailand.

Britain Summons Thai Envoy Over Backpacker Murders

Britain summons the Thai charge d’affaires in London to raise concerns over the police investigation into the murder of two British backpackers in Thailand.