Asia Pacific Topics

Nov 2, 2015

Australia spears 'outdated' knighthoods

Australia has removed knights and dames from the national honors system, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed Monday, saying the titles were “not appropriate” in the modern age. Knights and dames were unexpectedly revived last year by then prime minister, and staunch monarchist, Tony Abbott ...

China city misses Guinness fried rice title because of wastage

Oct 27, 2015

China city misses Guinness fried rice title because of wastage

Guinness World Records has denied a Chinese city’s bid for the biggest serving of fried rice ever cooked, saying Yangzhou violated rules by wasting 150 kilograms of the feast. According to a posting on the record book’s Chinese microblog, organizers said 4 metric tons ...

Sep 9, 2015

Chinese 'princess' farmer guilty of fraud

A farmer who pretended to be a princess descended from the Qing dynasty to swindle people out of more than 2 million yuan ($315,000) has been sentenced to 13½ years in prison for fraud, a court said. Wang Fengying and her co-accused Yang Janglin ...

Aug 26, 2015

Taiwan boy accidentally damages $1.5 million painting

A 12-year-old boy accidentally punched a hole through a $1.5 million centuries-old Italian oil painting when he tripped and fell into the piece during an exhibition in Taiwan. The painting, entitled “Flowers” by Italian artist Paolo Porpora, dates back to the 1600s and is ...

Jul 29, 2015

It ain't Malibu, but surf's up in North Korea

Here’s a new take on gnarly. A pro surfer who coaches the Chinese National Surf Team and a tourism agency based in New Jersey plan a surfing expedition and training camp in North Korea, which has pristine beaches, virgin waves and, they say, the ...

Jul 6, 2015

China using animals to predict earthquakes: report

Chinese government researchers are using chickens, fish and toads to try to predict earthquakes, media reported. The seismological bureau in the eastern city of Nanjing has transformed seven animal farms into seismic stations, the China Daily newspaper reported last week. Breeders on the farms ...

China's dog meat festival draws rare criticism

Jun 23, 2015

China's dog meat festival draws rare criticism

For many residents of the town of Yulin in southern China, the peak of summer is the perfect time to get together with family and friends — and consume copious amounts of dog meat. Thousands of dogs are expected to end up on the ...

China's senior officials find comfort in supernatural

Jun 15, 2015

China's senior officials find comfort in supernatural

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The former Chinese security czar recently convicted of leaking state secrets did not pass classified documents to a foreign spy or a political rival. Rather, Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the all-powerful Standing Committee of the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, shared the documents ...

May 11, 2015

Prince Harry tells New Zealand kids he calls Queen 'granny'

Britain’s Prince Harry told schoolchildren on a remote New Zealand island that his favorite food is spaghetti Bolognese, he calls the Queen Elizabeth II “granny” and he wishes he could speak other languages. The Prince visited Halfmoon Bay School on Monday on the third ...

In China, knock-off Apple Watches have their own fans

Apr 10, 2015

In China, knock-off Apple Watches have their own fans

Lining the glass display cases of Shenzhen’s giant tech malls, knockoff versions of Apple Inc’s smartwatch were on sale at many stalls, with some Chinese consumers eager to snap them up for a fraction of the cost of the original. “It came on sale ...

North Korea's well-to-do feast on French baguettes

Mar 26, 2015

North Korea's well-to-do feast on French baguettes

French-trained chefs are cooking up a storm in Pyongyang, where North Korea’s privileged classes are devouring their baguettes, a pro-North newspaper reported on Wednesday, even as much of the population outside the capital struggles to feed itself. The Kumkop General Foodstuff Factory for Sportspersons, ...