Asia - The Irrawaddy
Big Turnout in HK Democracy Vote as Beijing Fumes

An informal referendum aimed at bolstering support for greater democracy in Hong Kong draws nearly 800,000 votes and the ire of Beijing.

China Looks to Gain by Joining Big US-led Pacific Naval Drills

Analysts say the maneuvers may only help Beijing strengthen its growing naval capability by observing the forces of the United States and its allies.

Cambodian PM Says 250,000 Workers Returned Home

Hun Sen said the influx of returnees hit Cambodia like a “flash flood,” with no advance warning given by Thailand.

Malaysia Jet Most Likely on Autopilot When It Crashed, Australia Says

Australian officials say Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was most likely on autopilot when it crashed into the Indian Ocean further south than previously thought.

Southeast Asia Fears Militant Fallout as Mideast Conflict Widens

Security officials worry that the conflict in Syria and Iraq could further radicalize local Islamist militants, some of whom are joining the fight.

Chinese Tycoon Treats New York’s Homeless to Lunch

Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao’s effort to treat homeless New Yorkers to a fancy lunch fall apart when they find out he wasn’t giving them cash.

Inspection Tensions Add to Bangladesh Garment Industry’s Woes

Export growth slows as buyers turn to Burma, India, Vietnam and Cambodia because of concerns over workshop safety, higher wages and political instability.

Big Tobacco Ignores Indonesia Health Warning Law

Tobacco companies ignore a deadline to put graphic health warnings on all cigarette packs in Indonesia, home to the world’s highest rate of male smokers.

US Says Thai Military Rule Likely to Last Longer than Expected

A senior US official rules out “business as usual” until elected government is restored in Thailand, a key regional ally of the United States.

China Confirms Attack on Militia in Tense Far West

Chinese authorities report an attack on security personnel in the restive region of Xinjiang, confirming a days-old report that said five people were killed.

Thai Junta Gets Tough on World Cup Gambling

Thailand’s military leaders crack down on illegal gambling during the World Cup as part of a campaign to restore the country’s image.

US Professors Troubled by Confucius Institutes

Professors in the United States and Canada urge universities to cut ties with Beijing-run Confucius Institutes unless they can guarantee their academic freedom.

Wear White to Protest Singapore Pink Gay Rally, Religious Groups Say

Christians and Muslims in Singapore urge followers to wear white this weekend to protest the sixth annual “Pink Dot” gay rights rally.

Thai Police Detain 8 Anti-coup Protesters

Undercover officers detain one man for reading a copy of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and others for handing out “sandwiches for democracy” at an upscale mall.

Hong Kong Irks Beijing with Democracy Vote

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers cast ballots in an unofficial referendum on democratic reform that Beijing has blasted as a farce.

Thai Telcos ‘On Hold’: Interventionist Junta’s First Economic Casualty

The suspension could lead to US$4 billion in investment and revenue losses in a sector that accounts for a tenth of Thailand’s GDP.

US says Thailand, Malaysia Among Worst Human Trafficking Centers

The US State Department downgrades Thailand and Malaysia to its list of the world’s worst human trafficking centers, opening up the countries to possible sanctions.

Migrant Exodus Puts Strain on Ailing Thai Economy

The clumsy rhetoric that precipitated many migrant workers’ departure may be the first misstep in efforts by the ruling junta to revive Thailand’s economy.

China Jails Anti-Corruption Activists After High-Profile Trial

Three Chinese activists who campaigned for government officials to disclose their wealth were jailed after a high-profile trial that underscores Beijing’s resolve to crush dissent.

Indonesia Presidential Candidate Hit by Human Rights Accusations

Prabowo Subianto faces fresh accusations of criminal behavior after the release of details of his discharge from the army 16 years ago.