Asia Pacific Topics

Pope Francis on a mission to tap booming Asian industry: Christianity

A nighttime landing at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport offers a cityscape heartening to any Christian proselytizer, with neon red crosses sprinkled across the capital marking the presence of churches. The scene in a Buddhist-majority nation that once tortured thousands of Christians to death helps explain why Pope Francis chose South Korea ...

India right-wing party says rape charges now 'fashionable'

Aug 3, 2014

India right-wing party says rape charges now 'fashionable'

Indian right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena said Saturday filing sexual assault charges has “become a fashion” in an article backing a police officer accused of rape. The hard-line Hindu nationalist outfit, based in western Maharashtra state and a key ally of Prime Minister Narendra ...

Beijing court hears gay 'conversion' case

Aug 1, 2014

Beijing court hears gay 'conversion' case

A Beijing court Thursday heard a landmark case on “gay conversion” treatment, while outside the courtroom an activist in a nurse’s uniform knelt over a patient, wielding a giant needle. “Homosexuality doesn’t need to be cured!” chanted supporters. “Haidian Court, oppose conversion therapy!” Homosexuality ...

Chinese reserve bigger parking spaces for women

Jul 20, 2014

Chinese reserve bigger parking spaces for women

The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, sign-posted “Respectfully reserved for women,” and around 30 cm wider than normal. The slots at the Dashijiedaduhui — or “World Metropolis” — center have sparked debate in China, which officially ...

Jul 12, 2014

Singapore backs call to destroy gay-themed books

A children’s book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York’s zoo has been deemed inappropriate by state-run Singapore libraries, and the conservative city-state’s information minister said he supports the decision to destroy all copies alongside ...

Jul 11, 2014

Australia judge probed for saying incest 'may be accepted'

An Australian judge will be investigated for his “appalling” comments on incest, in which he reportedly said sex between siblings was gaining social acceptance just like homosexuality, authorities said Friday. New South Wales state Attorney General Brad Hazzard said he was “extremely concerned” about ...

Jul 11, 2014

'Bamboo ceiling' hampering Asians in Australia

A “bamboo ceiling” exists in Australia for Asians entering positions of power in business, education and politics, the country’s race discrimination commissioner has suggested. Tim Soutphommasane said that while Australia’s cultural diversity was to be welcomed, equality of opportunity in the top echelons was ...