Asia - The Irrawaddy
2 British Tourists Found Dead on Beach in Thailand

Two British tourists are found battered to death on a southern Thai resort island that is one of the country’s most popular diving destinations.

Ghosts of Ethnic Conflicts Past Haunt Fiji Vote

When voters in Fiji head to the polls they will vote for a leader and judge their military junta’s claim of having ended ethnic conflict.

India Tightens Vietnam Defense, Oil Ties Ahead of China Xi’s Visit

India extends a US$100 million export credit to Vietnam for defense deals and tightens energy ties ahead of a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping.

Burma’s Rohingya Stuck in Refugee Limbo in India

Some 9,000 Rohingya who fled Burma’s Arakan State live in India, where they eke out a meager existence doing manual work, often underpaid and exploited.

US Man in North Korea Given 6 Years of Hard Labor

North Korea’s Supreme Court convicts a 24-year-old American man of entering the country illegally to commit espionage, sentencing him to six years of hard labor.

Philippines Starts Inquiry Into Filipino Militants in Syria

The Philippines investigates the involvement of Filipino Islamists in the Syrian civil war after two locals were reported killed fighting for Islamic State militant group.

With Eye on China, Modi’s India to Develop Disputed Border Region

India pushes development along its disputed border with China as the new government seeks to close the gap on its neighbor’s superior transport network.

China Turns Up Heat on Ex-Security Chief With Crash Probe

Investigators look into the death of Zhou Yongkang’s wife as they look to strengthen their case against the highest-ranking target of an anti-corruption campaign.

Singapore Bans Documentary on Political Exiles

Singapore bans a documentary on political exiles who live abroad, saying it undermines national security. The move highlights Singapore’s uneasiness over public debate on politics.

Asia Arms Up to Counter Growing Chinese Might

As China boldly asserts its territorial claims along the East Asian coast, several Asian nations are scrambling to spend more defense dollars.

Thai Junta Tells Rights Group to ‘Get Its Facts Straight’

Amnesty International issued a scathing appraisal of the first 100 days of military rule in Thailand, highlighting repression, human rights violations and arbitrary detention.

Philippines Plans to Give Muslims Autonomous Zone 

The Philippines president proposed to give Muslims in the south the ability to run their own government as part of a peace plan.

China Asserts Paternal Rights Over Hong Kong in Democracy Clash

China’s Communist Party and pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong are set for a long battle over what it means to have “one country, two systems.”

Squirrel-like Jurassic Critters Shed Light on Mammal Origins

Scientists announce the discovery in China of fossils belonging to three squirrel-like mammals that thrived in the trees of the Jurassic Period.

Al-Qaeda’s Shadowy New ‘Emir’ in South Asia Handed Tough Job

Pakistani militant Asim Umar will spearhead the jihadist group’s campaign to spread its activities across the subcontinent, including into Burma.

Japan, US Discussing Offensive Military Capability for Tokyo, Officials Say

Japan and the United States are exploring the possibility of Tokyo acquiring offensive weapons that would allow Japan to project power far beyond its borders.

Indonesia Parliament Mulls Ending Direct Elections for Local Leaders

Lawmakers are expected to vote this week on legislation that ends direct elections for governors and mayors, amid concerns about weakening the democratic system.

Water Shortages Lead to ‘Tanker Mafia’ in India

The shortages affects people from both upscale gated communities and dust-blown slums, as every day, the city’s supply falls more than 160 million gallons short.

New Thai PM Uses Holy Water, Feng Shui to Ward off Occult

As he prepares to move in to Bangkok’s Government House, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is making efforts to sweep away any occult challenge.

Killings by China Anti-Terror Cops Raise Concerns

State media has reported the deaths of 323 people in violence related to the far western Xinjiang region, nearly half of them inflicted by police.