North Korea | Gov’t picks army man who led Korean talks as top envoy

North Korea named a former army officer who led military and high-level talks between the two Koreas as its top diplomat, Yonhap News reported, in a move that could change

China’s Xi ends Myanmar visit with flurry of agreements

Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a two-day state visit to Myanmar on Saturday after attending the signing of a raft of agreements buttressing bilateral relations and advancing Beijing’s ambitious Belt

US envoy surprised that N. Korea didn’t give ‘Christmas gift’

The U.S. ambassador to South Korea said yesterday he was surprised and pleased that North Korea did not give the U.S. an unwelcome “Christmas gift” because of stalled nuclear disarmament

Ghosn’s Japan lawyer quits after client’s flight to Lebanon

One of the Japanese lawyers for former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has stepped down from that job after his client fled the country. Junichiro Hironaka had been representing Ghosn in his

Despite risks, villagers made Philippine volcano their home

It’s the second-most active volcano in the Philippines, a designated permanent danger zone long declared off-limits to human settlements. Yet to more than 5,000 people the Taal volcano is home. A

Thai army chief signs intelligence pact with Indonesia

  An intelligence-sharing agreement signed by the army chiefs of Thailand and Indonesia is unlikely to significantly help Thailand end a Muslim separatist insurgency in its deep south, analysts said yesterday. More

Cambodia | Treason trial begins of opposition leader Kem Sokha

The trial of a top Cambodian opposition leader charged with treason began yesterday, more than two years after he was arrested in what is widely seen as a politically motivated

Deputy prime minister calls Japan a nation with single race

Japan’s deputy prime minister described the country as the only one in the world with a single race, language and 2,000-year-old monarchy, sparking criticism that he was ignoring an indigenous

Indonesia: UAE crown prince to lead new capital construction

  Abu Dhabi’s crown prince has agreed to lead a committee that will oversee the construction of a new capital city for Indonesia that is estimated to cost $34 billion, an

Harsh weather kills 70 more people in Pakistan, Afghanistan

Severe winter weather has claimed more lives as avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall killed 55 people in Pakistan-administered Kashmir while 15 died in neighboring Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. The latest deaths

South Korea | Moon could seek exemption of UN sanctions on North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday that he could seek exemptions of U.N. sanctions placed on North Korea to bring about improved inter-Korean relations that he believes would help

Indian state challenges new citizenship law in Supreme Court

The southern Indian state of Kerala yesterday became the first to legally challenge a new citizenship law that has triggered nationwide demonstrations. In a petition to the Supreme Court, the state

Briefs | India’s ruling party lawmaker threatens to shoot protesters

The head of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in the state of West Bengal has threatened to shoot and jail people who protest a

Philippines | Lava gushes from volcano near Manila; tens of thousands flee

Red-hot lava gushed out of a volcano near the Philippine capital yesterday, as tens of thousands of people fled the area through heavy ash and frightening

Australia turns from defense to offense in wildfire battle

Crews battling Australia’s wildfires said yesterday that they have been able to turn from defense to offense for the first time in weeks thanks to a break in the weather. Dale

Philippines | Tiny volcano erupts near Manila, causing villagers to flee

A tiny volcano near the Philippine capital that draws many tourists for its picturesque setting in a lake belched steam, ash and rocks in a huge plume yesterday, prompting thousands

Japan fires back at Ghosn, stoking war of words over trial

Japan battled to restore its image yesterday after former auto executive Carlos Ghosn blasted the country’s legal system in a marathon press conference following his escape to Lebanon. Justice Minister Masako

Philippines | Catholics pray for Mideast peace in huge gathering

A mammoth crowd of mostly barefoot Filipino Catholics prayed for peace in the Middle East yesterday at the start of an annual procession of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus

Commercial airlines reroute flights amid U.S.-Iran tensions

Commercial airlines on yesterday rerouted flights crossing the Middle East to avoid possible danger amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. The flight restrictions reflected fears that the conflict

Malaysia | Graft buster: Voice clips show cover-up by ex-PM

Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday released a series of audio recordings allegedly showing former Prime Minister Najib Razak seeking help from Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and colluding with a former prosecutor

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