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International News


Summit offers South Koreans rare insight into Kim Jong Un

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From The Asian Reporter, V28, #9 (May 7, 2018), page 2.

India eyes three sports events, including 2032 Olympics

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) says it is planning to bid for three major sporting events — the 2026 Youth Olympics, the 2030 Asian Games, and the 2032 Summer Olympics. The bidding process for the 2026 Youth Olympics is likely to start in 2020. Thailand has also expressed interest in hosting the event. Addressing a press conference with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, IOA president Narindra Batra said he expects fierce competition from other bidders. Bach said India has the capability to host big events but advised it to wait for the bidding process to start. He said no procedure is currently open for the 2032 Olympic Games or for 2026 Youth Olympics.

Propaganda loudspeakers removed at Korean border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has removed propaganda-broadcasting loudspeakers from the border with North Korea. The announcement to remove them came three days after the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to work together to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and end hostile acts against each other along their border during their rare summit talks last month. South Korea had turned off its loudspeakers ahead of the summit talks, and North Korea responded by halting its own broadcasts. Seoul had blasted propaganda messages and K-pop songs from border loudspeakers since the North’s fourth nuclear test in early 2016. The North quickly matched the South’s action with its own border broadcasts.

Census finds increase in Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s government and a major conservation group say the number of critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins along a stretch of the Mekong River has increased for the first time in 20 years, but the animals still face serious threats. A joint statement issued by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Cambodia’s Fishery Administration says a 2017 census pegged the freshwater dolphins’ population along a 118-mile stretch of river from Kratie in Cambodia to Khone Falls in Laos at 92, a 15 percent increase over an estimate made in 2015. The country director of WWF-Cambodia warned that the dolphins still face many threats to their existence, including illegal fishing methods, increasing boat traffic, and ongoing dam projects.

HRW: "Men only" job ads show ongoing discrimination

BEIJING (AP) — A human-rights group says gender discrimination is widespread in the Chinese workforce, with many hiring advertisements openly calling only for male applicants and using the attractiveness of female co-workers as a draw. Human Rights Watch (HRW) released the report after looking at more than 36,000 job advertisements posted between 2013 and 2018 from recruiters, companies, and the government. China bans discrimination in both hiring and job advertising, but enforcement is weak. Government departments are among the offenders, according to the report, with 55 percent of jobs advertised by the Ministry of Public Security last year specifying "men only." These practices widen gaps in both female work participation and pay, according to official data.

Afghanistan rolls out electronic ID cards

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan is rolling out long-delayed electronic ID cards as a measure President Ashraf Ghani insists is "important to help fight terrorist attacks." Ghani and some senior officials were the first to receive their cards in Kabul. Last December, the Afghan parliament approved Ghani’s decree on the ID card, which unlike its simple predecessors made of paper, has a chip that will be tied to the country’s electronic database. Militants have often used fake ID cards to pass through security checkpoints and enter big urban centers to stage attacks. But some in the government of chief executive Abdullah Abdullah have voiced opposition to the cards because they denote a person’s ethnicity and religion — and as such could be used to discriminate against ethnic Hazaras and other minorities.

Pakistan sentences man in first conviction over child porn

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani court in the eastern city of Sargodha has sentenced a man to seven years in prison for working for a child pornography network, the first such conviction in the Islamic nation. District police chief Suhail Chaudhry highlighted the court’s ruling against Sadat Amin, who was arrested earlier in April by the Federal Investigation Agency — Pakistan’s version of the FBI — following a complaint from the Norwegian government. The police chief said the investigation proved Amin produced and sold porn videos of children to a Norway-based network. During the trial, prosecutors said Amin confessed to luring children to produce porn videos. Pakistan recently introduced laws giving authorities power to crack down on the porn industry.

Nepal airport reopened after plane skidded off runway

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s only international airport reopened last month after a passenger plane attempting to take off skidded off the runway, forcing a halt to all flights. Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu said no one was injured when the Boeing 737 operated by Malindo Air skidded into the grassy area at the end of the runway. All flights were cancelled and thousands of passengers waited outside the terminal while authorities worked to pull out the plane. It was finally towed safely to the hanger area, allowing the airport to resume flights at about midday.

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