Hostage crisis hijacks agenda of Abe’s Mideast tour

The release of yesterday’s online video purporting to show an Islamic State figure demanding USD200 million in ransom for two Japanese hostages ambushed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he was

Myanmar | Street kids turn to sniffing glue to forget hunger

Sweaty hair matted to his pale, emaciated face, Thant Zin Oo starts his days early, winding through small alleyways outside Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon and scavenging through garbage piled up

SOUTH KOREA | Former Korean Air exec pleads not guilty in nut rage case 

  The former Korean Air executive famous for an inflight tantrum over macadamia nuts pleaded not guilty yesterday to violating aviation safety law and three other charges. Lawyers for Cho Hyun-ah did

North Korea | Camp survivor may end rights crusade after lying

A North Korean prison camp survivor whose testimony helped spark UN condemnation of the Kim Jong Un regime says he may end his human rights campaign after revealing he lied

Indonesia | Drug executions trigger recalls of Brazilian, Dutch envoys

Indonesia executed six people for drug trafficking, ignoring a plea for clemency from Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and prompting the Latin American nation and the Netherlands to recall their ambassadors. Rousseff

PHILIPPINES | Record 6 million turn out for pope’s final day in Manila

  A crowd estimated at a record 6 million people by officials poured into Manila’s rain-soaked streets and its biggest park yesterday as Pope Francis ended his Asian pilgrimage with an

Indonesia | Authorities reject foreign appeals, execute 6 drug convicts 

  Indonesia brushed aside last-minute appeals by foreign leaders and executed by firing squad six people, including five foreigners, convicted of drug trafficking, sending a message that the new government will not

Philippines | Pope arrives in Manila on first papal visit in 20 years 

  Ecstatic crowds greeted Pope Francis as he arrived yesterday in the Philippines, Asia’s most populous Catholic nation, for the first papal visit in 20 years. Church bells tolled across the country

FLIGHT 8501 | Divers search AirAsia fuselage for bodies

Indonesian navy divers were trying to find and retrieve bodies yesterday believed to be trapped inside a large chunk of the AirAsia jet›s fuselage, an official said. Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency chief

Japan | Cabinet OKs record military budget with eye on China 

  Japan’s Cabinet approved the country’s largest ever defense budget yesterday, including plans to buy surveillance aircraft, drones and F-35 fighter jets to help counter China’s rising assertiveness in the region. Prime Minister Shinzo

Sri Lanka | Thousands gather as Pope celebrates mass, canonizes saint

Pope Francis pressed his call for Sri Lankan unity and reconciliation yesterday with a Mass in Colombo to canonize the country’s first saint and a visit to the war-ravaged north to

FLIGHT 8501 | Singapore: fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane located

A Singaporean navy ship has located the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia plane in the Java Sea, Singapore’s defense minister said yesterday. Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said on his Facebook

Sri Lanka | Pope arrives on Asian tour, backs search for wartime truth 

  Pope Francis brought calls for reconciliation as well as justice as he arrived yesterday in Sri Lanka at the start of a weeklong Asian tour, saying the island nation can’t fully heal from

FLIGHT 8501 | Divers retrieve 2nd black box from AirAsia crash

  Divers retrieved the crashed AirAsia plane›s second black box from the bottom of the Java Sea yesterday, giving experts essential tools to piece together what brought Flight 8501 down. The cockpit voice recorder

India | Bootleg liquor kills at least 28, 160 hospitalized

A bad batch of bootleg liquor killed at least 28 people and sent 160 others to hospitals in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said yesterday. Many of the

Delhi court charges Uber driver in rape case 

A New Delhi court charged an Uber cab driver yesterday with rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation in a case that has renewed national fury over chronic sexual violence in India. Authorities

Flight 8501 | Divers find black boxes in AirAsia crash, retrieve one of them

  Divers retrieved one black box yesterday and located the other from the AirAsia plane that crashed more than two weeks ago, key developments that should help investigators unravel what caused

Pakistan | School reopens after Taliban massacre of students

  Pakistani children returned yesterday to the school where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers last month, clutching their parents' hands tightly in a poignant symbol of perseverance

Sri Lanka | New government to probe alleged coup attempt by ex-president

Sri Lanka's new government will investigate an alleged attempt by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stage a coup to try to stay in power when results showed he was losing

Flight 8501 | AirAsia flight’s black box found by divers, marked for retrieval

Search teams found the black box from the crashed AirAsia Bhd. jetliner, which will help investigators unlock how QZ8501 plunged into the Java Sea with 162 people on board. Divers identified

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