Week in Focus: South Korea Jails Park for 24 Years; Sumo Discrimination

Week in Focus: South Korea Jails Park for 24 Years; Sumo Discrimination
Photo Credit: Reuter / 達志影像

What you need to know

A weekly roundup of the most important news from around the region in the week beginning April 1.

South Korea:

South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye has been sentenced to 24 years in jail after she was found guilty of abuse of power and coercion. - BBC

Activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. said Wednesday that it has accumulated more than US$1 billion in shares in three listed affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group, signaling renewed interest in South Korea’s corporate-governance reforms. - Wall Street Journal

North Korea:

South Korean reporters visiting North Korea’s capital to cover a K-pop performance there received a surprise on Monday: an unusually graceful apology from a senior North Korean official. - The New York Times

China:

President Donald Trump on Thursday directed U.S. trade officials to identify tariffs on US$100 billion more Chinese imports, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world’s two largest economies. - Reuters

China's Tiangong-1 space lab burned up in the atmosphere over the southern Pacific Ocean late April 1. - Space.com

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photo credit: REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/達志影像

China will not allow any foreign interference in religious affairs in the country, a senior official said on Tuesday, dousing expectations of an imminent deal with the Vatican over control of the Roman Catholic Church. - The New York Times

The Chinese government has banned online retailers from selling the Bible, moving in the wake of new rules to control the country’s burgeoning religious scene. - The New York Times

After reading the fine print on China's proposed aircraft tariffs, Boeing Co. investors grew less alarmed about the prospect of a trade war. - The Business Times

One of the largest sperm banks in Beijing has set loyalty to the Communist Party as a prerequisite for donors, in a sign that China's increasing emphasis on ideological training is being extended to the womb. - Channel News Asia

The U.S. administration needs to press China harder over the detention of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs in “political education centers,” including dozens of relatives of reporters working for Radio Free Asia in Washington. - The Washington Post

Philippines:

The Philippines government will be closing its most famous holiday island Boracay to tourists for six months in order to clean it up after concerns that rapid development and pollution was threatening its idyllic shores. - Aljazeera

The Philippines' anti-trust agency said on Saturday (Apr 7) it has ordered Uber Technologies Inc. to continue domestic operations as it reviews the ride-hailing firm's deal to sell its money-losing Southeast Asian business to rival Grab. - Channel News Asia

Japan:

A female Japanese mayor was barred from delivering a speech inside a sumo ring Friday, a day after controversy erupted over a longstanding ban on women entering the sport's combat area. - Channel News Asia

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Photo Credit: davidgsteadman@Flickr Public Domain

The head of the Japan Wrestling Federation’s training headquarters has abused his power against four-time Olympic gold medalist Kaori Icho, the federation said Friday, releasing the results of an investigation by a third-party panel. - The Japan Times

For the first time since World War II, Japan’s army is a unified fighting force. On Wednesday, a central command station for Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force opened at a military base here, just north of Tokyo. The headquarters will control Japan’s five regional armies and a new amphibious brigade similar to the U.S. Marine Corps. - The Wall Street Journal

Japanese anime director Isao Takahata, co-founder of the famed Studio Ghibli, has died at the age of 82. - BBC

Myanmar:

As tens of millions of Americans come to grips with revelations that data from Facebook may have been used to sway the 2016 presidential election, on the other side of the world, rights groups say hatemongers have taken advantage of the social network to widely disseminate inflammatory, anti-Muslim speech in Myanmar. - CNN

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Photo credit: reuters/達志影像

The United Nations’ refugee agency warned Friday that more boats carrying Rohingya refugees may be stranded in the Andaman Sea on the eve of the dangerous monsoon season, ratcheting up concern for the Muslim minority following Myanmar military’s expulsion of hundreds of thousands from the country. - The Wall Street Journal

Malaysia:

Malaysia's scandal-tainted prime minister announced Friday that parliament will be dissolved to pave the way for general elections, expected to be held next month, which will pit his long-ruling coalition with a revived opposition led by former strongman Mahathir Mohamad. - ABC News

As Malaysia moves to ban ‘fake news,’ fears persist over who will determine what's fake an what's real. - The New York Times

India:

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in prison by an Indian court on Thursday for killing two rare antelopes nearly two decades ago. - Wall Street Journal

Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes, and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones.- The New York Times

India’s defense minister is visiting Moscow this week to finalize the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, Indian officials say, in a weapons deal that would violate American sanctions against Russia. - The New York Times

Editor: David Green


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