Asia - The Irrawaddy
DNA Retests Available in Thailand Backpackers Murder Trial: Lawyer

A Thai court grants access to evidence for DNA testing in the trial of two Burmese workers accused of murdering two British tourists in Thailand.

Cartoon Capers: Japan’s PM Uses Offbeat PR Blitz to Rescue Ratings

Shinzo Abe is using “anime” cartoons, Internet chats and even an unusual show-and-tell TV appearance to persuade wary voters of his bolder defense policy.

US Blacklists Singapore Shipping Company over North Korea Links

The Treasury Department blacklisted a Singapore-based shipping company on Thursday for allegedly supporting a North Korean firm accused of weapon shipments.

Paychecks Aplenty as Ghosts Haunt Cambodia’s Lax Bureaucracy

Phantom workers in Cambodia are sapping taxpayers’ money with jobs they don’t actually do, or by pocketing salaries paid to people who don’t even exist.

North Korea’s Very Bad Year and China’s Role in It

Of all the pressures North Korea faces, none is perhaps as threatening as the prospect of a full-blown recession in China.

Burma Sentences Chinese Nationals to Life for Illegal Logging

China lodges a diplomatic protest with Burma after a court in Myitkyina, Kachin State, sentenced 153 Chinese nationals to life imprisonment for illegal logging.

China Returns Passport to Ai Weiwei, Who Plans Europe Trip

Artist and government critic Ai Weiwei gets his passport back four years after it was confiscated by Chinese authorities and plans to visit Europe.

Thailand Backpackers Murder Trial Resumes, Focus on DNA Evidence

The reliability of DNA evidence will be in the spotlight on Wednesday as the trial of two Burmese men accused of killing two backpackers last year resumes.

Cambodian Opposition Party Members Sentenced for Insurrection

Eleven members of the Cambodian opposition have been sentenced to long prison terms after a court convicted them over a 2014 protest that turned violent.

India’s Top Court Rejects Appeal of 1993 Bombay Blasts Convict

India’s Supreme Court rejects a last-minute appeal by Yakub Memon, the only person to be condemned for a series of bombings in Mumbai in 1993.

Protests Over Nepal Constitution Injure Dozens, Police Say

Protesters clash with police in southern Nepal as the government tries to collect the public’s suggestions on the draft of the country’s long-overdue constitution.

Uniqlo Sex Video: Beijing Police Detain 4 People

The four were detained on suspicion of spreading obscene content, according to a police statement late Sunday.

Japan Ratchets up Criticism of China in Revised Defense Paper

Japan ramps up criticism of China’s land reclamation and offshore platforms in disputed seas in a hastily revised annual defense report.

Two Women to Vie in Taiwan Presidential Election for 1st Time

Taiwan’s top two political parties have each nominated a woman for president in 2016, a historic first signaling acceptance of female leadership.

South Korea Spy Found Dead with Note Denying Agency Targeted Citizens

A South Korean intelligence agent found dead in an apparent suicide leaves a note denying his team had used spyware to target private citizens.

Jailed Tibetan Monk Died of Heart Attack: China’s State Media

A prominent Tibetan monk, who died in jail in China last week, suffered a heart attack after refusing to see doctors, state media reports.

No Hanky Panky: SEAsia Apps Woo Investors with Local Expertise

Peekawoo is one of several dating apps set up by Southeast Asian start-ups to cater to tech-savvy, time-poor millenials living in largely conservative societies.

Separatist Yearning of Hong Kong Youth Spurs Mainland Bridge-Building

A new front uses increasingly aggressive tactics to demand an independent Hong Kong free from mainland China’s grip.

Coal Mine Collapses in Central Philippines, 3 Dead, 6 Missing

Three people are killed and six others are unaccounted for as an open pit coal mine in the Philippines collapses due to heavy monsoon rain.

Abe to Push Japan Security Bills Through Lower House, Despite Protests

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition aims to approve legislation that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War II.