Australian adviser to Suu Kyi jailed for 3 years in Myanmar

An Australian professor and former adviser to Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been jailed for three years by military authorities. Sean Turnell was detained in Yangon in February 2021, days after the junta arrested Ms Suu Kyi and overthrew her elected government in a coup. Along with Ms Suu Kyi, he was charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act – which they both denied. They were sentenced on Thursday in trials criticised by rights groups. Australia also said it rejected the court’s ruling, noting their citizen had been tried in a closed court run by the junta. … Continue reading Australian adviser to Suu Kyi jailed for 3 years in Myanmar

North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into sea

North Korea has fired a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast, its first known test since June, South Korean military officials have said. It came after a US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea to participate in joint drills, and ahead of a planned visit by Vice President Kamala Harris. Seoul said the launch was an “act of grave provocation”. The UN prohibits North Korea from ballistic and nuclear weapons tests. South Korea’s military said it detected a short range missile fired at just before 07:00 local time (23:00 GMT) close to Taechon, more than 100 km (60 miles) … Continue reading North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into sea

Japan man sets himself on fire in apparent protest of Abe funeral

A Japanese man has set himself alight reportedly to protest a state funeral for ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July. Hundreds of foreign dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral on 27 September. On Wednesday, witnesses called police after spotting a man on fire near the prime minister’s office in Tokyo. Officers put out the blaze, and took the still-conscious man to hospital, local media reported. The extent of his injuries and his current condition is unknown. Japanese media reports say the man is believed to be in his 70s. The government is yet to comment on … Continue reading Japan man sets himself on fire in apparent protest of Abe funeral

Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border fighting claimed nearly 100 lives

At least 94 people have been killed in clashes on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border – the deadliest clashes in years. Fighting between the two Central Asian states broke out on Wednesday, before a ceasefire was brokered on Friday. Clashes regularly erupt between the two former Soviet republics, whose border remains contested. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appealed to the two countries to resolve their differences peacefully. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan share a 1,000-km (600-mile) border, a third of which is disputed. Clashes on the border led to unprecedented fighting between the two countries in 2021, when almost 50 people were killed. But the violence … Continue reading Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border fighting claimed nearly 100 lives

LOL: Activist jailed for dressing like Thai queen at protest

An activist in Thailand has been jailed for two years after a court found she insulted the monarchy by dressing like the Thai queen. Jatuporn ‘New’ Saeoueng, 25, wore a pink dress at a political demonstration in Bangkok in 2020. She denied the royal insult charge, saying she had just worn a traditional dress. But Thailand has notoriously strict laws which effectively ban criticism of the king and other royals. Since King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in 2019, rights groups say authorities have increasingly exercised lèse-majesté laws to quash a protest movement that had demanded reform of the powerful … Continue reading LOL: Activist jailed for dressing like Thai queen at protest

Viral Vietnam noodle seller arrested over Salt Bae parody

A noodle seller who parodied Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe, known as Salt Bae, has been arrested for anti-state propaganda in Vietnam. Bui Tuan Lam, 38, posted a video last year which was widely viewed as mocking a senior government minister. The official was filmed being handfed gold-encrusted steak by Salt Bae, whose steaks cost up to £1,500 ($1,725). The price raised eyebrows as many live in poverty in Vietnam, a one-party state which frequently jails critics. Bui Tuan Lam’s wife said that Lam was “abducted” on Wednesday afternoon by police, who returned with him hours later with a warrant … Continue reading Viral Vietnam noodle seller arrested over Salt Bae parody

North Korea declares itself a nuclear weapons state

North Korea has passed a law declaring itself to be a nuclear weapons state, according to state news agency KCNA. The country’s leader Kim Jong-un called the decision “irreversible” and ruled out the possibility of any talks on denuclearisation, it said. The law also enshrines the country’s right to use a pre-emptive nuclear strike to protect itself. Despite crippling sanctions, Pyongyang has conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017. It has continued to advance its military capability, in breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions – to threaten its neighbours and potentially even bring the US mainland within striking … Continue reading North Korea declares itself a nuclear weapons state

Tragic: Karaoke bar fire kills 12 people in Vietnam

At least twelve people have died and several others were injured after a huge fire at a karaoke bar complex in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The fire broke out on the upper floor of the establishment on Tuesday night, quickly trapping several customers. To escape, four people jumped from the second and third floors, local media said. They were injured but survived. Firefighters reached the scene shortly after alarms went off. Crews say the blaze took just under an hour to bring under control. Investigators are still determining the cause. The An Phu karaoke bar, located in the Binh … Continue reading Tragic: Karaoke bar fire kills 12 people in Vietnam

Seven drown in South Korean car park in the aftermath of Typhoon Hinnamnor

Seven people in South Korea have died after they were trapped in an underground car park during floods caused by Typhoon Hinnamnor. They had gone down to move their cars but got caught by the incoming torrents. Crew said they rescued two people, who reportedly survived by clinging to ceiling pipes for more than 12 hours. Typhoon Hinnamnor, the strongest cyclonic storm this year so far, hit South Korea earlier this week. Rescuers had to wade through metres of brown water to enter the almost completely submerged basement on Tuesday night. According to news site Yonhap, all nine people were … Continue reading Seven drown in South Korean car park in the aftermath of Typhoon Hinnamnor

Dozens dead after earthquake hits Sichuan province in China

At least 65 people have been killed after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern China, state media said. The quake struck at 13:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Monday in Sichuan province at a depth of 10km (6 miles). The impact severed telecommunications lines and triggered mountain landslides that caused “serious damage”, local media reports say. Some 21 million people in Sichuan’s capital Chengdu were last week ordered to stay at home because of Covid rules. The epicentre of the quake was at Luding, a town in a remote mountain region located about 226km southwest of Chengdu, according to the … Continue reading Dozens dead after earthquake hits Sichuan province in China

Update: UK former ambassador jailed in Myanmar

The UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar and her husband have each been sentenced to one year in prison by the country’s military authorities. Vicky Bowman and Htein Lin, a former political prisoner, were charged with breaching immigration laws. The couple were arrested last week in their home in Yangon. The case is likely to be about wider political concerns than immigration offences, for which foreigners are rarely prosecuted in Myanmar. Ms Bowman, a fluent Burmese speaker, is a well-known member of Myanmar’s small international community. She first served in what was then called Burma in 1990 as a junior diplomat and … Continue reading Update: UK former ambassador jailed in Myanmar

Taiwan fires live rounds at unidentified drones near outlying islands

Taiwan has fired warning shots at three unidentified drones that flew near its outlying islands. It is not clear who was flying the drones, but all three were seen flying back towards the Chinese mainland, said Taiwan’s defence ministry. It comes as Taipei has over the past weeks complained of Chinese drones flying close to Taiwan-controlled islets near the Chinese coast. It is the first time warning shots have been fired at such drones. The Kinmen Defense Command said three civilian drones were spotted on Tuesday evening in Dadan, Erdan and Shiyu – three Kinmen County islets that are just … Continue reading Taiwan fires live rounds at unidentified drones near outlying islands