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From The Asian Reporter, V28, #17 (September 3, 2018), page 2.

Nissan launches China-focused electric car

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — A Nissan electric sedan that is the first in a wave of dozens of planned lower-cost electric models being developed by global auto brands for China will soon roll off an assembly line. The Sylphy Zero Emission has started production at a factory operated by Nissan Motor Co. and a Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor Group. Automakers, including General Motors and Volkswagen, plan to release electric models designed for China starting this year. The government is pressing the industry to accelerate development of the technology. Brands including Nissan, Tesla, GM, and Audi sell imported electrics in China but their high price limits their appeal. The Sylphy is based on Nissan’s electric Leaf. The Sylphy costs 166,000 yuan ($25,850) after government subsidies, or just more than half the sticker price of the Leaf.

Indonesian officials defend parade of veiled kids with guns

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian officials are defending a street parade that involved veiled kindergarteners carrying replica weapons, but police say they’ll arrest the person who uploaded a viral video of the event to Facebook. The video of children dressed head-to-toe in black marching with wooden guns has caused a sensation in Indonesia, which in May suffered one of its worst attacks in years when militants used their children as suicide bombers in the second-largest city, Surabaya. The parade was one of the thousands held across Indonesia to mark independence. Probolinggo police chief Alfian Nurrizal told The Associated Press that police are investigating who uploaded the video. He said it may have been edited to convey the wrong impression. Local media reported that education minister Muhajir Effendy said the parade was misinterpreted.

China’s Didi suspends one carpooling service after killing

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has fired two executives and will suspend one of its carpooling services nationwide after a woman was allegedly raped and killed by a driver in eastern China, the company said. The moves come as the country’s largest online ride-hailing platform scrambles to address public complaints it isn’t doing enough to ensure the safety of its users, who it says book 30 million rides daily. The killing of the female passenger was the latest violent crime involving a Didi driver, only three months after another Didi driver allegedly killed a flight attendant. Police in the city of Yueqing in Zhejiang province said they arrested a Didi driver who admitted to raping and killing the 20-year-old woman. A day later, Didi Chuxing apologized, saying it has "inescapable responsibility" for the incident. The victim had used the carpooling service in the afternoon and after getting into a car, sent a text message to her friends calling for help, police said. Didi Chuxing halted its "Hitch" service, it said, referring to a carpooling service, one of several ride-hailing options available on Didi’s platform.

Duterte faces new "crimes against humanity" complaint

MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — Relatives of several people slain in the Philippine president’s anti-drug campaign have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute him for alleged crimes against humanity, in the second such request for a ruling on thousands of deaths that have occurred during the crackdown. Lawyer Edre Olalia said a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte was sent to an ICC prosecutor by e-mail that accuses him of ordering, inciting, or tolerating the drug killings from the start of his presidency in mid-2016 to August. Olalia said a similar complaint against Duterte filed by a Filipino lawyer before the ICC last year focuses on killings during an earlier crackdown by Duterte when he was a mayor. Duterte denies condoning extrajudicial killings and has moved to withdraw the Philippines from the ICC.

China denies visa for BuzzFeed writer in likely retaliation

BEIJING (AP) — China has refused to renew the journalist visa for an American correspondent for BuzzFeed News in what appears to be punishment for her reporting on topics considered sensitive by the authorities. Megha Rajagopalan tweeted that the foreign ministry declined to issue her a new visa in May. She said the ministry indicated it was a procedural issue and that it was unclear why. Asked about Rajagopalan’s case, the ministry responded with a statement saying only that it handled such matters "according to laws and regulations." During her six years in China, Rajagopalan had reported extensively on human-rights abuses and the plight of China’s Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) Muslim minority, among other subjects. China’s government sometimes delays or refuses to issue or renew visas for journalists if it is displeased with their reporting, their media outlets, or both. Those include a reporter for the Al Jazeera television network who was forced to leave the country in 2012 when her visa expired, and a correspondent for France’s L’Obs magazine who had to leave in 2015. Rajagopalan has taken up a new position with BuzzFeed reporting on technology and human-rights based in the Middle East. In a statement, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said it found Rajagopalan’s treatment "extremely regrettable and unacceptable for a government that repeatedly insists it welcomes foreign media to cover the country." The club further said, "We are attempting to get clarity from the Foreign Ministry on its reasoning for effectively ejecting a credentialed foreign journalist from China."