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Top Asian News at 7:30 p.m. GMT

GORKHA, Nepal (AP) — Helicopters crisscrossed the mountains above a remote district Tuesday near the epicenter of the weekend…

  • Factbox - Foreigners in Nepal at time of deadly earthquake
    Factbox - Foreigners in Nepal at time of deadly earthquake Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    MUMBAI (Reuters) - Here are details released by some foreign governments on citizens who were in Nepal at the time a strong earthquake hit on Saturday, killing more than 3,200 people. The 7.9-magnitude quake struck at midday on Saturday at a busy time of year for tourism-reliant Nepal's trekking and climbing season, with an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in the country, several hundred of those on Mount Everest. Countries are listed in alphabetical order. - AUSTRALIA: 549 Australians registered as travelling in Nepal, 200 confirmed safe. No reports of Australian deaths. ... More »

  • Deadliest earthquakes of the past 30 years
    Deadliest earthquakes of the past 30 years Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    At least 1,170 people are known to have died in Nepal, officials say, after a powerful 7.8 magnitude quake rocked the country on Saturday. Below is a list of some of the world's deadliest earthquakes in the past 30 years. More »

  • The world's strongest earthquakes since 1900
    The world's strongest earthquakes since 1900 Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    A magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday, the worst quake in the Himalayan nation in over 80 years. More »

  • Drone with 'minuscule' quantity of radiation lands on Japan PM's …
    Drone with 'minuscule' quantity of radiation lands on Japan PM's … Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    A drone marked with a radioactive sign landed on the roof of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office on Wednesday and tested positive for a "minuscule" amount of radiation, media reported. Public broadcaster NHK said the bomb squad was called in to cart away the drone, which was carrying a small camera and a water bottle. The ruling was a boost for Abe, who wants to reboot nuclear power to help cut reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports. Japan, which has a proven track record in electronics and robotics, is looking to fast track industry-friendly regulation to give its drone sector an edge over the United States. More »

  • Where is Australia's aid agenda heading?
    Where is Australia's aid agenda heading? Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Australia needs to think again about the way it sees foreign aid. More »

  • Top Asian News at 10:30 a.m. GMT Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The writer, a thin young man who fears the growing interweaving of religion and politics in Bangladesh, knows his turn could come next. What happened earlier this week, when the second secularist blogger in less than a month was hacked to death in the streets of the capital, made it clear he wasn't safe. "Anytime they can hit me or my like-minded friends," said Ananya Azad, a 25-year-old blogger who has written pieces that were critical of Islamic fundamentalism and politics driven by religion. He quit his job as a newspaper columnist and stopped writing blogs in recent months after receiving numerous threats, but still posts critical comments on Facebook. More »

  • Southeast Asia faces increasingly intense climate events - analysts
    Southeast Asia faces increasingly intense climate events - analysts Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    By Joseph D'Urso LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Densely populated Asian islands and countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines and those in Southeast Asia particularly are likely to face more intense climate events in future, analysts said on Thursday. Islands are especially vulnerable when they have large populations and with much of their land exposed to storm surges and sea-level rises, according to research published by risk analysis group Verisk Maplecroft. Researchers found that Taiwan, hit last year by Typhoon Matmo, was most at risk and stressed the need for all sectors to understand the extent of exposure to extreme events and long-term climate change in countries deemed most vulnerable. "The potential impacts of climate change on physical structures, industrial processes, supply chains, and critical infrastructure are potentially devastating," researchers said in the report. More »

  • UPDATE 1-Southeast Asia faces increasingly intense climate events - analysts … Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    (Recasts, adds details) By Joseph D'Urso LONDON, April 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Densely populated Asian islands and countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines and those in Southeast Asia particularly are likely to face more intense climate events in future, analysts said on Thursday. Islands are especially vulnerable when they have large populations and with much of their land exposed to storm surges and sea-level rises, according to research published by risk analysis group Verisk Maplecroft. Researchers found that Taiwan, hit last year by Typhoon Matmo, was most at risk and stressed the need for all sectors to understand the extent of exposure to extreme events and long-term climate change in countries deemed most vulnerable. "The potential impacts of climate change on physical structures, industrial processes, supply chains, and critical infrastructure are potentially devastating," researchers said in the report. More »

  • Southeast Asia faces increasingly intense climate events - analysts - TRFN Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    By Joseph D'Urso LONDON, April 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Densely populated Southeast Asian island states such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines are likely to face more intense climate events in future, analysts said on Thursday. These islands are especially vulnerable because of their large populations and because much of their land is exposed to storm surges and sea-level rises, according to research published by risk analysis group Verisk Maplecroft. Eight of the 10 cities most at risk from such events are in the Philippines, according to a study by the same firm last month, which said the country had "poor institutional and societal capacity to manage, respond and recover from natural hazard events". Typhoon Haiyan killed 6,300 people in the Philippines in 2013, and the country is battered by more than 20 typhoons each year. More »

  • Second Quake As Major Tremor Hits Pacific
    Second Quake As Major Tremor Hits Pacific Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude has struck off Samoa in the Pacific Ocean just hours after a major tremor rattled nearby Papua New Guinea. The epicentre of the second quake was 77 miles (124km) west-southwest of the capital Apia, at a depth of 72.2 miles. Earlier, vast swathes of the Pacific were put on high alert for "hazardous" tsunami waves after a powerful earthquake in Papua New Guinea. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre warned that waves measuring up to 10ft (3m) could hit Papua New Guinea and even reach parts of Russia. More »

  • Top Asian News at 5:30 a.m. GMT Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, generating a small tsunami and frightening locals near the epicenter, but prompting no reports of damage or injuries. A tsunami of half a meter (1.5 feet) was measured in the harbor of Rabaul, a town near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.7 earthquake, said Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center. The quake struck at a depth of 65 kilometers (40 miles), about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the town of Kokopo, near Rabaul, in northeastern Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. More »

  • Earthquake measuring 5.9 magnitude strikes in Moluccas, Indonesia - USGS Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - An undersea earthquake measuring 5.9 magnitude struck in Moluccas, Indonesia on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake, only 10 kms (six miles) deep, was 128 kms (80 miles) northwest of Ternate in the Moluccas. There were no immediate reports of damage. (Reporting by Michael Perry) More »

  • Today in History Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    Today is Saturday, March 28, the 87th day of 2015. There are 278 days left in the year. More »

  • Puzzling Layer of 'Stiff' Rock May Lurk Deep Inside Earth
    Puzzling Layer of 'Stiff' Rock May Lurk Deep Inside Earth Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Earth is made up of a core of metal, an overlying mantle layer of hot rock and a thin crust on top. Oceanic plates collide with continental plates in areas such as the Pacific Rim, triggering earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Subduction is a slow process, with a slab taking about 300 million years on average to descend, said study co-author Lowell Miyagi, a mineral physicist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Mysteriously, prior research that scanned Earth's interior found that many slabs appear to slow down and pool together in the upper part of the lower mantle, at depths of about 930 miles (1,500 km). More »

  • Don't just eat that ramen: Go to a museum and learn about it
    Don't just eat that ramen: Go to a museum and learn about it Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — There are two kinds of ramen in this world. There's the packaged staple of dorm-room cuisine, one of the most processed, industrialized foods ever invented. And then there's the trendy, artisanal, handmade soup that fans line up for hours to try. More »

  • Strong undersea earthquake hits eastern Indonesia
    Strong undersea earthquake hits eastern Indonesia Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong undersea earthquake struck off eastern Indonesia on Wednesday, but there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued. More »

  • How to make women safer in disasters? Attack inequality Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    By Megan Rowling SENDAI, Japan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women's vulnerability to disasters is a sign not of weakness but of inequality, and barriers to women taking the lead in protecting themselves must be removed, top politicians and officials told a U.N. conference on Saturday. Philippine Senator Loren Legarda said statistics showed women face greater risks in times of disaster. Most residents trapped in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina were African-American women and their children, she said. Pregnant and lactating women have special needs that are often neglected, and women are more prone to sexual abuse, trafficking and other forms of violence in the aftermath of disasters, she said. More »

  • Australia offers to pay for 2 prisoners' keep in Indonesia
    Australia offers to pay for 2 prisoners' keep in Indonesia Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has offered to cover Indonesia's costs for keeping two Australian heroin traffickers in prison for life if Jakarta grants permanent stays of execution, the foreign minister said Thursday. More »

  • Indonesia Threatens Oz With A 'Human Tsunami'
    Indonesia Threatens Oz With A 'Human Tsunami' Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    A senior Indonesian minister has warned a "human tsunami" of asylum seekers will be unleashed on Australia if it keeps pursuing clemency for two drug smugglers. Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, are due to be executed by firing squad after being convicted of drug smuggling in Bali 10 years ago. But a growing campaign to save the Australians has angered Indonesia, with security minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno warning its neighbour over asylum seekers. More »

  • Top Asian News at 11:30 a.m. GMT Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — Small clusters of survivors, bundled up against a chilly wind, gathered along Japan's northeast coast Wednesday to remember the nearly 19,000 lives lost in the March 11, 2011, tsunami. Four years later, the region is still struggling to recover. Associated Press photographer Eugene Hoshiko returned to the devastated town of Rikuzentakata last week for the first time since the immediate aftermath of the disaster. More »

  • Richard Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates
    Richard Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    British businessman Richard Branson has joined calls for clemency for convicted foreigners on death row in Indonesia, as an Indonesian minister warned of a renewed influx of asylum seekers into Australia if it continues to push the issue. Virgin founder Branson said on 11 March he and fellow members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy had written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling the planned execution of up to 11 foreigners a barbaric and inhumane form of punishment. More »

  • Virgin's Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates
    Virgin's Branson joins clemency calls for Indonesia death row inmates Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - British businessman Richard Branson has joined calls for clemency for convicted foreigners on death row in Indonesia, as an Indonesian minister warned of a renewed influx of asylum seekers into Australia if it continues to push the issue. Virgin founder Branson said on Wednesday he and fellow members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy had written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling the planned execution of up to 11 foreigners a barbaric and inhumane form of punishment. The planned executions by Indonesia of the death row inmates, most convicted on drug smuggling charges, have been condemned internationally. More »

  • No plane, many discoveries in yearlong search for Flight 370 Sun, Mar 8, 2015

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The yearlong search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has turned up no sign of the plane, but that doesn't mean it's been unproductive. It has yielded lessons and discoveries that could benefit millions, including coastal Australians, air and sea travelers and scientists trying to understand ancient changes to the earth's crust. More »

  • AP Essay: Of a plane still missing, and a planet still vast
    AP Essay: Of a plane still missing, and a planet still vast Sat, Mar 7, 2015

    The towering Danish ship Kobenhavn set sail from Argentina one December day, bound for Australia with five dozen souls aboard. Eight days later, as it traversed the South Atlantic, it radioed a nearby ... More »

  • Indonesia executions show hurdles of death penalty diplomacy
    Indonesia executions show hurdles of death penalty diplomacy Sat, Mar 7, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Inside a remote island prison in Indonesia, two Australians facing death by firing squad await word of their fate. To some, they are ruthless drug smugglers who deserve to die. To others, rehabilitated do-gooders who deserve to live. The question of which characterization is correct has threatened ties between two once-close countries, both convinced they are right. More »

  • Magnitude 6.4 quake strikes off Indonesia, no reports of damage Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    An earthquake measuring 6.4 magnitude struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties. It was felt by people on land but there was no panic, Indonesia's disaster agency said. Indonesia, badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, straddles the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a highly seismically active zone where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes. More »

  • Strong quake strikes off west Indonesia; no injuries, damage Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong earthquake struck off western Indonesia on Tuesday, causing some residents to panic, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued. More »

  • Youth-led disaster alerts protect Sri Lankan tsunami village Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Amantha Perera PERALIYA, Sri Lanka (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When the Indian Ocean tsunami swept ashore on Dec. 26, 2004, Supunsara Methmani was just eight years old. She remembers running to a temple in her village of Peraliya and waiting fearfully until the waters receded. “People didn't know - no one knew what it was or how to get away from it,” said Amini Ashanki, a 20-year-old woman from the same village, around 90 km south of the capital Colombo. It took over two and a half hours for the tsunami generated by a powerful undersea earthquake northwest of Indonesia to reach Sri Lanka’s southern shores. More »

  • AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia
    AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    In glimpses of daily life around Asia last week, a woman gazed out a broken train window at one of New Delhi's busy railway stations, and Sri Lankan fishermen hauled in their catch. More »

  • Top Asian News at 2:30 a.m. GMT Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, South Korea's military said, in a likely show of anger at the start of annual U.S.-South Korean military drills that Pyongyang says are preparation for a northward invasion. North Korea regularly conducts such test firings of missiles, rockets and artillery, and they are often timed to express the country's dissatisfaction with actions by its archrivals, Washington and Seoul. Monday was the start of military drills that will run until the end of April. More »

  • Powerful undersea earthquake shakes southern Indonesia Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A powerful undersea earthquake shook parts of southern Indonesia on Friday, but no major damage or tsunami were expected because of its depth. More »

  • Quake 6.9 strikes off Indonesia, no tsunami threat Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck 182 km (110 miles) northeast of Ende, Indonesia, at a depth of 562 km, on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no reports of significant damage. There was no threat of a tsunami, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. BMKG, Indonesia's meteorological agency, said the quake occurred in the middle of the ocean about 104 km northwest of East Flores. More »

  • Australian PM strikes conciliatory note over Indonesia executions
    Australian PM strikes conciliatory note over Indonesia executions Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    By Jane Wardell and Kanupriya Kapoor SYDNEY/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott struck a conciliatory tone on Thursday after speaking with Indonesian President Joko Widodo about the looming execution of two convicted Australian drug traffickers. Abbott said he spoke with his "friend" Widodo on Wednesday evening, adding that the Indonesian leader "absolutely understands our position ... and I think he is carefully considering Indonesia's position". Widodo has denied clemency to 11 convicts on death row, including Australian, French, and Brazilian nationals, ratcheting up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas for mercy. Abbott had previously angered Jakarta by linking his pleas for clemency for the pair to Australia's aid to Indonesia after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. More »

  • Jakarta court dismisses death row Australians' legal challenge
    Jakarta court dismisses death row Australians' legal challenge Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    An Indonesian court on Tuesday dismissed a bid by two Australian drug traffickers on death row to avoid execution by challenging the president's rejection of their pleas for clemency. More »

  • Indonesia stands firm on executing convicts
    Indonesia stands firm on executing convicts Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    President says planned executions of 11, including two Australians, will not be delayed despite international pressure. More »