Asia

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Gay Marriage Taboo Is About to Fall in Asia

Taiwan poised to be first Asian country to allow it

(Newser) - Despite recent gains for the LGBT community in the US and Europe, same-sex marriage remains banned throughout Asia. But that could soon change. Three bills in the works in Taiwan— under the leadership of its first female head of state, who expressed support for same-sex marriage just last month—would... More »

China's Hunger for Ginseng Is Wiping It Out in Appalachia

The lucrative root is prized by poachers looking for a quick buck

(Newser) - A gold rush of sorts is taking place in Appalachia, but this one involves the plant ginseng. As a story by Suzy Khimm at Foreign Policy lays out in fascinating detail, the root is a hot commodity in China because of its purported medicinal values, but wild ginseng is practically... More »

One of Our Largest Water Sources Is Contaminated

Water in Indo-Gangetic Basin contains toxic salt and arsenic

(Newser) - A river basin in southern Asia is so enormous that 750 million people rely on it for their groundwater. Now, a new study in Nature Geoscience presents an equally staggering stat: 60% of that water is unfit for drinking or farming because it's contaminated by salt or arsenic, reports... More »

Obama to Be First Sitting US President to Visit Hiroshima

He'll visit during Asia trip later this month

(Newser) - It's been more than 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and no serving US president has been to visit the Japanese city since that event, which killed 140,000 people—but President Obama plans to change that during his trip to Asia this month, the... More »

Scary Mistakes on Asia Flights Kept Secret: Report

WSJ reports many air incidents go unreported in Asia

(Newser) - Asia's aviation market is booming, with passenger counts jumping more than 200% over the last 10 years in India and Indonesia and 300% in China. Perhaps passengers are encouraged by the low number of incidents among Asian airlines, but all is not what it seems: A Wall Street Journal... More »

China to Build a Direct Path to Indian Ocean

Chinese to announce $45B investment in Pakistani energy, infrastructure

(Newser) - China doesn't touch the Indian Ocean, but it soon intends to have access to it. Chinese president Xi Jinping is currently on a two-day trip to Pakistan to finalize a big investment in its links with its neighbor: $45 billion to be spent on energy and infrastructure projects, the... More »

This Nut Is Linked to Thousands of Deaths

Stimulating betel nuts are enjoyed by about a tenth of the global population

(Newser) - Nicotine. Caffeine. Betel nuts. You may never have heard of them, but nuts from the Areca palm are hugely popular as a chewable stimulant: Almost a tenth of the global population enjoys them, the BBC reports. A millennia-old tradition, they're the world's fourth-most-popular psychoactive substance, Healthline adds. Their... More »

Swiss Woman Treks 10K Miles Over 3 Years

Sarah Marquis endured dengue fever, sandstorms, Mongolian horsemen

(Newser) - When Sarah Marquis tells people what she's done, they usually tell her she's crazy. But neither those words nor the harsh weather, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, or even intimidating Mongol horsemen can keep the 42-year-old Swiss explorer's wanderlust in check: For three of the past four years, Marquis... More »

Pageant: Beauty Queen Stole $100K Crown

May Myat Noe is accused of lying and cheating

(Newser) - Organizers of an Asian beauty pageant say their now-deposed queen is a rude liar who stole their $100,000 bejewelled crown, Australia's News Network reports. In a statement, the Asia Pacific World pageant accuse May Myat Noe of disrespecting the organization and turning a planned 10-day trip to Seoul... More »

North Korea's Goal: an Army to Beat America's

Kim Jong Un tells officers to prepare for 'impending conflict'

(Newser) - North Korean leaders amped up the rhetoric today, calling President Obama a "pimp" and saying the nation's army must become strong enough to defeat the United States. Leader Kim Jong Un told military officers to improve the Korean People's Army so it can "win one victory... More »

Our Brutal Winter 2014? Thank Asia's Smog

Study says air pollution in China makes storms more intense in US

(Newser) - Next time there's a story about how horrifically bad the smog is in China or India, don't pity only the residents of Beijing or New Delhi. A new study suggests that air pollution in Asia results in more erratic, intense winter storms over North America, reports CNN . The... More »

Obama Nixes Asia Trip Amid Shutdown

John Kerry will visit Indonesia, Brunei

(Newser) - President Obama earlier announced he'd shorten his planned trip to Asia, instead dealing with the government shutdown; now, he's canceled the trip entirely, the White House says. Obama won't visit Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, or Brunei. "The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the... More »

China Bidding Farewell to Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year is tomorrow

(Newser) - Tomorrow marks the Chinese New Year, and the BBC provides this nugget to give a sense of just how big of a deal it is: So many people head home to celebrate in Asia that it's considered to be the biggest mass migration on the planet. The celebration, also... More »

Facebook Sinks Millions Into Underwater Internet Cable

With US market saturated, Facebook looks to Asia for growth

(Newser) - Call it Bandwidth of Dreams. Banking that if they build it, users will come, Facebook is investing in a 6,214-mile-long fiber-optic cable running from Malaysia to South Korea and Japan, reports the BBC . The $450 million Asia Pacific Gateway cable is designed to reduce the countries' reliance on Singapore... More »

Manufacturing Orders Slump in Asia, Plunge in Europe

Leading indicator reveals Western economies may be worse than thought

(Newser) - Purchasing Managers' Index reports from Asia and Europe—a critical economic indicator—showed big drops in June, in a strong sign that the economies of Europe and the US could be weaker than thought, the Guardian . Despite European leaders agreeing on a bank bailout scheme last week, Europe's PMI... More »

North America No Longer Home to Most Millionaires

The honor now goes to Asia

(Newser) - North America may have retaken one crown from Asia yesterday, but it was forced to relinquish another today: The latter is now officially home to the most millionaires in the world, according to a new report by Capgemini. Its 3.37 million millionaires, a boost of 1.6% over 2010,... More »

Asia Snapping Up Our High-Tech Jobs, Too

Cost advantage isn't the only reason Asia is gaining on US

(Newser) - Asia isn't just snapping up low-wage unskilled manufacturing jobs from the US; thanks to rapidly expanding engineering and research capabilities, the continent, and particularly China, have been able to lure away America's high-tech manufacturing jobs, too, according to a new report from the National Science Board. In the... More »

Record Number of Rhinos Killed in S. Africa

Meanwhile, Interpol joins effort to save Asian tigers

(Newser) - Two stories of note on the wires about animal conservation:
  • Rhinos: Poachers have killed a record 341 rhinos this year in South Africa, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The horns fetch big money on the black market for use in traditional medicine or as ornamental daggers, reports the BBC
... More »

Putin: Time for 'Eurasian Union'

'Economic and currency' alliance wouldn't be new USSR: prime minister

(Newser) - Russia’s former—and likely next —president wants to join former Soviet countries in a “Eurasian Union.” The entity would be rooted in Russia’s Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, to allow labor, capital, and trade to flow freely among the countries beginning next year, Reuters... More »

Philippines: Geckos Won't Cure AIDS

Health officials suggest trying actual medicine

(Newser) - Put down that gecko: The Philippine health department is warning citizens that using geckos to treat AIDS, asthma, and tuberculosis doesn't work and endangers those who don't seek proper treatment. There's no scientific evidence to the folklore behind the practice, and it's caused an increase in... More »

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