Asia - The Irrawaddy
US, Cuba Patch Torn Relations in Historic Accord 

After decades of Cold War acrimony, the US and Cuba move to restore diplomatic relations, in a historic shift that could revitalize trade and travel.

Thai Junta-Backed Council Recommends Direct Election of PM

Critics say a proposal by the National Reform Council to strip parliament of its power to appoint a cabinet will encourage patronage politics.

Thailand Fails to Clean Poisoned Creek Despite Court Order: Rights Group

Hundreds of families in western Thailand suffer from lead poisoning near a polluted creek that the government failed to clean up, Human Rights Watch says.

Korean Air to Be Sanctioned for ‘Nut Rage’ Cover-Up

Korean Air faces sanctions for pressuring employees to lie during a probe into the nut rage fiasco that highlighted a family business culture of tyranny.

132 Children Killed in Pakistan Attack

Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school on Tuesday and killed 141 people—almost all of them students—before government troops ended the siege.

China’s Dalian Wanda Prepares for the End of Urbanization

The billionaire behind shopping mall developer Dalian Wanda says China’s era of rapid urbanization will come to an end within a decade.

Developing Nations Losing Record $1 Trillion a Year in Dirty Money: Report

Money made from crime and corruption drains a record $1 trillion a year from poor and middle-income nations, hitting the world’s poorest regions hardest.

Death Toll from Indonesian Mudslide Rises to 56

More deaths are feared in the Banjarnegara district landslides, after rains on Monday forced rescuers to halt their search for survivors.

Accused of Rights Abuses, N Korea Urges UN Meeting on CIA Torture

North Korea asks the UN Security Council to add the issue of torture by the US intelligence to its agenda of its meeting next week.

How China Spies on Hong Kong’s Democrats

Mainland China orchestrates surveillance operations in Hong Kong to tail pro-democracy figures, according to retired officers and security professionals in the former British colony.

American in North Korea Denounces US, Seeks Venezuela Asylum: Media

An American who illegally entered North Korea delivers a denunciation of US domestic and foreign policy and says he is seeking political asylum in Venezuela.

Abe Coalition Secures Big Japan Election Win

Amidst a record low turnout and widespread dissatisfaction with his performance, PM Shinzo Abe has secured a fresh mandate from the Japanese public.

Rights Group Opposes Thai Fishing Jobs for Ex-Cons

Human Rights Watch has condemned plans by Thailand’s Labor Ministry to offer former prisoners to work on fishing boats, warning that the industry abuses workers.

As Japan Burns More Coal, Climate Policies Under Pressure

Once at the forefront of the fight against global warming, Japan faces calls from other big economies such as China to set fresh emissions targets.

US ‘Troubled’ That Crimean Leader in India With Putin

To Washington’s dismay, the leader of the former Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia visits India as part of President Vladimir Putin’s delegation.

Hong Kong Begins Clearing Main Pro-Democracy Protest Camp

Hong Kong authorities start clearing the main pro-democracy protest site that has choked roads into the city’s most economically and politically important district.

Youth Suicide on the Rise in Modernizing India

Traditional expectations and a lack of mental health programs are contributing to an alarming suicide rate that disproportionately affects young women.

Hiroshima Survivor Shifts Search for Victims from US to Europe

Shigeaki Mori, a Japanese historian, searches for the families of American POWs who died when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

UN Urges States to Save Boat People as Record Numbers Take to Seas

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more asylum-seekers than ever are imperiled, the United Nations says.

India, Russia to Set Out Energy Vision, Siberian Deals Eyed

India and Russia strike an energy partnership that prepares the way for Siberian oil deals and charts a route for a pipeline between the countries.