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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 »

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 »

Millions in Europe, Asia Face 'Unmapped' Quake Risk

'Interior zone' earthquakes can be the deadliest

(Newser) - We’re well aware of longstanding earthquake risks in places like California and Japan. But Europe, the Middle East, and Asia face potentially deadlier threats—and it’s time for scientists to take action, researchers say. So-called “interior zone” earthquakes have killed 1.4 million in the past century,... More »

Stocks, Dollar Surge on bin Laden Death

Market celebrates in early trading

(Newser) - Stocks and the dollar surged in early trading after news hit the world that the US has taken out Osama bin Laden. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.5% in Tokyo, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5%, putting it on track for... More »

Obama Relives Childhood Memories as Asia Trip Ends

Trip offered opportunities for personal moments

(Newser) - President Obama finished off his 10-day Asia trip on a personal note, visiting the Great Buddha statue in Japan that he last saw as a 6-year-old boy. “It is wonderful to return to this great treasure of Japanese culture,” he wrote in the guest book. "Its beauty... More »

Obama Spins India Trip Into Job Mission

Critics scream about cost despite widely discredited report

(Newser) - Faced with a barrage of outrage—based on a discredited report—over the cost of his 10-day trip to India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, Barack Obama has rebranded it as a jobs mission. “The primary purpose is to take a bunch of US companies and open up markets... More »

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