Asia

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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 »

HSBC to Nix 25K Jobs, Double Down on Asia

Bank will also dump operations in Turkey, Brazil

(Newser) - HSBC Holdings, Europe's largest bank by market value, will cut up to 25,000 jobs around the world to reduce costs and shift its center of gravity back toward the fast-growing Asian economies where it started 150 years ago. The bank, currently based in London, said today it's... 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 »

Founding Father of Singapore Dead at 91

Authoritarian Lee Kuan Yew was feared and respected

(Newser) - Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who helped transform the sleepy port into one of the world's richest nations, died today, the government says. He was 91. Lee was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on Feb. 5 for severe pneumonia and was later put on life support.... 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 »

AIDS-Like Disease Identified

Patients, mostly in Asia, suffer from weakened immune system

(Newser) - Researchers have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the US with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV. The patients' immune systems become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers... 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 »

Blind Chinese Activist Chen En Route to US

Chen Guangcheng aboard flight from Beijing

(Newser) - The blind Chinese activist whose escape from a rural village set off a diplomatic tussle between Beijing and Washington is on his way to the United States. Chen Guangcheng, his wife, and their two children were on United Airlines Flight 88, which took off from the Beijing airport en route... 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 »

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