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[January 15, 2014]
Top Asian News at 4:00 a.m. GMT
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Chinese police take away outspoken Uighur activistBEIJING (AP) — The wife of an outspoken scholar of China's Turkic Uighur ethnic minority says police took her husband away and raided their home, seizing computers, cellphones and even his students' theses. Economics professor Ilham Tohti's wife Guzaili Nu'er said Thursday that around 30 police officers raided their apartment in Beijing in a six-hour operation on Wednesday afternoon after taking away the academic.
US lawmaker opposes advanced nuke tech for SKoreaWASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has endorsed a two-year extension of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, but a key lawmaker is opposing a Korean proposal to allow reprocessing of spent fuel. The committee's top-ranking Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, said Wednesday he couldn't support Seoul's request for advanced technologies because they can be used to produce material for a nuclear weapon.
Group says Myanmar army uses rape as weapon of warYANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A soldier in full uniform saw the 7-year-old in her front yard soon after her parents left to tend to their rice paddies in Myanmar's restive state of Shan. She said he ordered her inside the family's bamboo hut. "He hit me and told me to take off my clothes," the girl told the tightly packed courtroom in a whisper, as her alleged assailant, Maung Win Htwe, looked on, stone-faced.
Thai premier says Feb. 2 election to go aheadBANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's prime minister said Wednesday that elections due in less than three weeks will go ahead despite intense pressure by her opponents to postpone the vote. The vow came after an overnight shooting attack on anti-government protesters in Bangkok wounded two people and ratcheted up tensions in the country's deepening political crisis. Yingluck had had offered to meet with rivals Wednesday to discuss an Election Commission proposal to delay the Feb. 2 ballot. But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban and the opposition Democrat Party refused to take part, saying reform to get rid of corruption in politics must happen first.
Danish tourist gang-raped, Indian police sayNEW DELHI (AP) — A 51-year-old Danish tourist was gang-raped near a popular shopping area in New Delhi after she got lost and approached a group of men for directions back to her hotel, police said Wednesday. Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said two people were arrested after a daylong search for the suspects. Details were not immediately available.
Beijing air pollution at dangerously high levelsBEIJING (AP) — Beijing's skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with the concentration of toxic small particles registering more than two dozen times the level considered safe. The air took on an acrid odor, and many of the city's commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.
US has video of captured US soldierWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have received a new video of captured U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that they believe was taken within the last month, showing that the soldier is alive. The video came to light several days ago, said one senior defense official. Another official said that Bergdahl appeared in poorer health than previous videos, showing the signs of his nearly five years in captivity.
Vietnam delays building 1st nuclear power plantHANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam will delay the construction of its first nuclear power plant by six years, state media reported Thursday, amid concerns over safety and efficiency. Faced with increased demand for power, Vietnam needs to develop new energy sources as its domestic coal and hydropower production is levelling off. The Asian Development Bank has said domestic electricity demand may rise by up to 14 percent per year until 2015 and plateau at 11 percent growth until 2020.
Report: US uses covert chips on foreign computersWASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world — but not in the United States — that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported. The Times cited NSA documents, computer experts and U.S. officials in its report about the use of secret technology using radio waves to gain access to computers that other countries have tried to protect from spying or cyberattacks. The software network could also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks, the Times reported Tuesday.
China magazine: PLA official probed for corruptionBEIJING (AP) — Under the cover of night, investigators last year hauled away four truckloads of plunder including gold statues and boxes of high-end liquor that were allegedly part of the ill-gotten gains of a Chinese general under investigation for corruption, a financial magazine reported. The investigation, corroborated in an online forum by a Defense University professor in what was considered an official confirmation, highlights rampant corruption within the Chinese military, although details of the case against Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan may never be announced publicly because it most likely will go before a military court.
Tiger prowling for food kills 7 in northern IndiaLUCKNOW, India (AP) — A tiger prowling for food has killed seven people in northern India in the past two weeks, forcing thousands of terrified villagers to stay inside while hunters try to kill the animal, authorities said Wednesday. The tiger's latest victim was a woman whose body was found in a forest Tuesday in Uttar Pradesh state, said Rupak De, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. The tiger, a female, has been on the prowl across an area spanning some 80 miles (130 kilometers).
Philippine to stop using checks in antigraft driveMANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines launched anti-corruption reforms Wednesday including cashless and checkless government transactions that President Benigno Aquino III said will improve budget management and make it harder to misappropriate funds. Aquino, the son of revered pro-democracy champions who was elected president in 2010 on promises to fight corruption and poverty, unveiled the programs at the start of a three-day conference on good governance.
Dozens of fires strike across southern AustraliaCANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Dozens of wildfires sparked by lightning strikes overnight were raging in heat wave conditions across rural southern Australia on Wednesday. Firefighters were able to contain most of the fires in South Australia and Victoria. But authorities warned of worsening fire conditions on Friday, when winds were expected to gather pace.
NATO says service member killed in AfghanistanKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — NATO says one its service members has been shot and killed by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. A statement by the U.S.-led coalition says the shooting took place on Wednesday but provided no other details on the attack or the nationality of the service member.
Road accident kills 18 kids, 2 adults in PakistanKARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani government official says a road accident has killed at least 20 people, including 18 schoolchildren in the country's south. Deputy Commissioner Aleem Lashari says a school bus on a day trip collided head on with a garbage truck in Nawab Shah district on Wednesday.
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