Asia - The Irrawaddy
US Eases Ban on Lethal Arms Sales to Vietnam 

Washington eases its ban on sales of weaponry to Vietnam to help its maritime security in a sign of deepening ties between the former enemies.

North Korea Envoy Says Door Is Open on Nuclear Issues, Rights, Abductees

Pyongyang is ready to resume six-party talks on its nuclear program but must maintain readiness in the face of US threats, a senior envoy says.

Hong Kong Leader Refuses to Resign But Offers Talks With Protesters

Leung Chun-ying defies pro-democracy protesters’ demands to step down, with pressure also increasing from Leung’s backers in Beijing as protests in Hong Kong continue.

Burmese Worker Admits to British Murders in Thailand: Police

A Burmese man has confessed to the murder of two British tourists on a Thai island, Thai police say.

China Tells Foreign Countries Not to Meddle in Hong Kong

“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. All countries should respect China’s sovereignty,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.

Hong Kong Leader Plays Waiting Game, Protesters Demand He Resigns

Hong Kong’s leader is willing to let pro-democracy demonstrations in the city go on for weeks, while defiant protesters vow they will not budge.

India Set to Run Out of Critical Free Drug for HIV/AIDS Program

India could soon run out of a critical HIV/AIDS drug due to bureaucratic bungling, leaving more than 150,000 sufferers without life-saving medicine.

Indonesia’s Widodo Manages Hopes as Hostile Parliament Convenes

Incoming Indonesian president Joko Widodo is trying to manage the expectations as an opposition-dominated parliament likely to obstruct his ambitious reform program convenes.

Obama and Modi Work to Deepen Improving US-India Ties

The two leaders agree to deepen US-Indian cooperation on maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation, seemingly in response to China’s naval muscle-flexing in Asia.

Hong Kong Protests Approach Potential National Day Flashpoint

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters throng the streets of Hong Kong, ratcheting up pressure on the pro-Beijing government as both sides mark uneasy National Day celebrations.

Indian Police Arrests 140 for Hindu-Muslims Clashes

Police in western India have arrested 140 people after two men were stabbed during violence between Hindus and Muslims that left more than a dozen injured.

Death, Hunger Stalk Indian Tea-Estate Workers

Eastern India’s tea industry has changed little since colonial times, with the decisions of individual estate-owners still determining the fates of whole communities.

Hong Kong Protesters Stockpile Supplies, Prepare for Long Haul

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters extend a blockade of city streets, amid speculation that police may seek to clear roads for Chinese National Day.

Thai Police No Closer to an Arrest in Murder of British Tourists

Thai police investigating the murder of two British tourists say they are no closer to an arrest.

Pro-Democracy Protests Expand in Hong Kong 

Pro-democracy protests expanded in Hong Kong on Monday, a day after demonstrators upset over Beijing’s decision to limit political reforms defied orders to go home.

Once-Banned Indian Leader Woos Diaspora at Giant New York Rally

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers an address to tens of thousands of Indian-Americans and US dignitaries in New York.

Indonesia Province to Punish Gay Sex by Caning

The law says gay sex is punishable by up to 100 lashes of the cane, and has been heavily criticized by human rights groups.

Indonesia Votes to Scrap Direct Elections

Indonesia’s outgoing parliament votes to scrap direct elections for local officials in what is widely regarded as a setback to the country’s democracy.

Islamic State ‘Brand’ Gains Ground Among Asian Militants

The Middle East group’s brand of Islamic radicalism is winning recruits in Asia and posing a growing security risk in the region.

Thai Assembly Votes Itself the Power to Impeach Politicians, Sideline Critics

Thailand’s military-dominated legislature gives itself the power to impeach political office holders in an effort to root out fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s remaining influence.