Asia - The Irrawaddy
American Freed by North Korea Wanted Pizza

Kenneth Bae arrives home after years of imprisonment in North Korea, thanking the US government and revealing that his time there offered lessons.

In China, Obama Tests Global Clout Post-Election

His influence at home quickly fading, the US president makes a three-country tour that will test his ability to play a commanding role internationally.

China, South Korea “Effectively” Conclude Free Trade Deal

Leaders of the two trading powerhouses have announced the “effective” conclusion of a free trade agreement after more than two years of negotiations.

Japanese Woman Abducted by North Korea Died of Drug Overdose

Megumi Yokota, a Japanese national abducted by North Korean agents decades ago as a schoolgirl, died from an overdose in 1994 and was buried in a pit with other corpses, according to a South Korean newspaper.

Tanzania Probes Alleged Ivory Smuggling During Chinese State Visit

Tanzania studies a report alleging that Chinese officials bought illegal ivory during President Xi Jinping’s visit and smuggled it out in diplomatic bags.

Indian Intelligence Agency on the Cheap Hampers War on Militants

India’s National Investigation Agency works on a shoestring budget and lacks officers specializing in cyber surveillance, explosives or tracing chemicals.

US Defense Chief Hagel Postpones Visits to Vietnam, Burma

United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has postponed a visit to Burma and Vietnam this month due to scheduling issues.

Pirate Bay Co-Founder Arrested at Thai-Lao Border

One of the founders of popular file-sharing website Pirate Bay is arrested under an Interpol warrant as he attempts to cross into Thailand from Laos.

Thai King Undergoing Treatment in Bangkok Hospital

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has been treated for a swollen intestine and remains in hospital after surgery to remove his gall bladder in October, the palace said on Tuesday.

India Plans to Step Up Safety on World’s Most Dangerous Roads

Amid an alarmingly high rate of road fatalities, India’s new government plans an ambitious five-year plan to overhaul the country’s highway laws.

British Banker Charged With Murder of Two Women in Hong Kong

A 29-year-old British banker is charged with murder in a Hong Kong court after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment

Thai Junta Promises Peace ‘Within a Year’ in Insurgency-Hit South

Thailand’s military government vows to bring peace to the Muslim-dominated south within a year, despite stalled peace talks aimed at ending the insurgency.

Trouble Brewing in South Korea’s Plastic Surgery Paradise

South Korea’s booming plastic surgery industry faces backlash, with formal complaints about botched procedures and dodgy doctors doubling in 2013 from a year earlier.

British Banker Charged With Murder of Two Women in Hong Kong

A British banker appears in a Hong Kong court charged with murder after police find the bodies of two women in his apartment.

Bangladesh Power Back on After Nationwide Blackout

Power is back on across Bangladesh after the impoverished, energy-starved nation was plunged into a nationwide blackout when the transmission line from neighboring India failed.

Survey: Asia Finds Money Brings Happiness

Emerging Asian nations find out what developed ones did years ago: Money — and the stuff it buys — brings happiness, or at least satisfaction.

North Korea Cracking Down on a Distant Threat: Ebola

North Korea announces it will quarantine foreigners entering the country for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Hong Kong Protests a ‘National Security Issue’ for China

A Chinese lawmaker says Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have escalated into a national security issue threatening Chinese sovereignty over the Asian financial center.

Thai PM says New DNA Tests Can Be Done in British Probe Into Koh Tao Murders

Thai prime minister says new DNA tests can be done as concern grows that two Burmese men arrested over the killings might have been framed.

From Duck Eggs to Fiscal Deficit, the Journey by Indonesia’s Economics Minister

Indonesia’s new economics minister once sold duck eggs on the street to pay school fees; now he’s managing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.