Week in Focus: Journalists Killed in Afghanistan, Malaysia Vote Begins

Week in Focus: Journalists Killed in Afghanistan, Malaysia Vote Begins
Photo Credit: Anjum Naveed/Associated Press
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A weekly roundup of the most important news from around the region.

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China:

A Chinese equipment maker in a wealthy province has turned to the local government for help to ease its multi-billion-dollar debt burden, the latest example of private businesses feeling the squeeze of Beijing’s campaign to control debt. — The Wall Street Journal

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photo credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville/達志影像

Liu Xia, a poet, and artist and the widow of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and died under police guard in July, is now under house arrest in Beijing. — The New York Times

China on Friday (May 4) hit back at French President Emmanuel Macron's warnings against allowing a single nation to dominate the Indo-Pacific region, where many countries fear Beijing's growing might. — Channel News Asia

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Credit: AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein

Tensions between the United States and China flared on two military fronts as Washington accused the Chinese of harassing American pilots flying over the African nation of Djibouti and warned of consequences to the deployment of missiles on artificial islands China has built in disputed waters in the South China Sea. — The New York Times

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Photo credit:Reuters /達志影像

When Keziah Daum wore a Chinese-style dress to her high school prom in Utah, it set off an uproar. A Twitter user named Jeremy Lam responded in a post saying, " My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress," which the post has been retweeted nearly 42,000 times. — The New York Times

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Photo Credit: Twitter @daumkeziah

The government in China, long suspicious of internet companies, now sees ambitious titans like Tencent and Alibaba as useful partners. — The New York Times

Personnel on US military bases can no longer buy phones and other gear manufactured by Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE, after the Pentagon said the devices pose an "unacceptable" security risk. — Channel News Asia

First, they came for Winnie the Pooh. Now it appears China’s censors may have their sights on another cuddly cartoon character turned subversive symbol: Peppa Pig. — The New York Times

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Taiwan:

The Dominican Republic says it has established ties with China, a move that furthers the international isolation of Taiwan, with which it simultaneously severed diplomatic relations. — The New York Times

Death metal singer Freddy Lim aims to breathe new life into Taiwanese, and Asian, democracy. — The Washington Post

Hong Kong:

Xiaomi, the Chinese gadget maker, opens the floodgates for Hong Kong I.P.O.s after a loosening of rules by the city’s stock exchange. . — The New York Times

Japan:

In an era of increasing foreign investment in the United States, few have been as acquisitive — or disruptive — as Masayoshi Son, the billionaire Japanese founder of SoftBank. — The New York Times

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
India:

Two teenagers have been gang-raped in separate incidents in India in the past four days, highlighting a rape epidemic that shows no sign of abating despite tougher penalties introduced last month. — Channel News Asia

Photo: AFP

When Modi came to power, 300 million people in India lived by candlelight. Electrification has been on government agendas since the country’s independence from colonial rule, but it faces huge logistical challenges of bringing electricity to faraway settlements in difficult terrain.

Now, The government’s definition of 'electrified' is very limited, what it means is there are wires from power plants to every village. It doesn’t mean that there are electrons flowing through those wires. — The Washington Post

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Walmart is leading a group that will invest about US$15 billion for a roughly 75 percent stake in Flipkart Group, India’s largest e-commerce company, according to people familiar with the matter. Google parent Alphabet Inc. is planning to invest in Flipkart as part of the deal, other people familiar with the situation said. — The Wall Street Journal

North Korea:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated a commitment to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula at a meeting with a senior Chinese envoy in Pyongyang, China’s Foreign Ministry said. — The Wall Street Journal

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down American troops in South Korea, just weeks before he holds a landmark meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

The officials said Reduced troop levels are not intended to be a bargaining chip for the talks but that a peace treaty between the two Koreas could diminish the need for the 28,500 soldiers currently stationed on the peninsula. — The New York Times

President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to release three detained U.S. citizens, but the White House cautioned that no deal had been finalized and declined to discuss negotiations for the prisoners. — The Wall Street Journal

South Korea:

South Korea said on Monday (May 30) that it would begin this week to dismantle the loudspeakers that have broadcast propaganda across the border into North Korea for decades, the first step toward implementing an agreement the country’s leaders reached during their summit meeting on Friday (May 4). — The New York Times

Afghan:
Nine journalists were among at least 25 people killed in twin bombings in Kabul on Monday. One BBC journalist was also killed in a separate incident in the eastern province of Khost, making it the deadliest day for media workers in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. — The Guardian
Philippines:

Thousands of workers marched in Labor Day rallies in Manila Tuesday (May 1), using burning effigies and chants to voice anger over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's economic policies. — Channel News Asia

Taking the stage at a transgender beauty pageant this month in Maria Respondo, a village in Minglanilla, Philippines. The heavily Catholic country is known for its conservatism, yet remarkably tolerant of its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. — The New York Times

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
Myanmar:
In the first significant ruling in favor of two jailed Reuters reporters, the judge in the case announced Wednesday (May 2) that he would accept evidence from a police captain who testified that an officer was ordered to entrap one of the journalists. — The New York Times
Indonesia:

Indonesia is trying to capture a bigger share of the vast wealth from its natural resources by seeking more favorable deals and building state-owned firms into industrial behemoths, a strategy that risks alienating foreign investors and has already spooked Freeport-McMoRan Inc. shareholders. — The Wall Street Journal

Malaysia:
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Opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad dared Malaysian authorities on Thursday (May 3) to charge him in court under a harsh new law against “fake news” after police placed him under investigation as election campaigning heats up. — The Wall Street Journal

Malaysia’s navy and police personnel have been told they are free to vote for any political party of their choice in an unprecedented move as they begun early voting on Saturday (May 5) ahead of the general election on May 9. — Channel News Asia

TNL Editor: Morley J Weston