Asia Pacific Topics

Singapore foreign labor riot forces rethink

Dec 15, 2013

Singapore foreign labor riot forces rethink

A riot by South Asian laborers has forced Singapore to take a fresh look at how it deals with the presence of nearly a million low-paid foreign workers in the wealthy city-state. An estimated 400 workers went on the rampage on Dec. 8 in ...

India government likely to review anti-gay sex law

Dec 12, 2013

India government likely to review anti-gay sex law

India’s law minister said Thursday the government has not abandoned efforts to make homosexuality legal, saying the country must take swift action to challenge a Supreme Court decision banning same-sex relations. The minister, Kapil Sibal, said he was for decriminalizing homosexuality, hinting that the ...

Dec 12, 2013

Australia's Abbott admits hitting kids

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted Thursday he smacked his children when they were young and warned against bans that could take political correctness “to extremes.” Abbott was commenting after the issue was raised in the first report submitted to parliament by the newly ...

Move to label online games as addiction roils South Korea

Dec 12, 2013

Move to label online games as addiction roils South Korea

A law under consideration in South Korea’s parliament has sparked vociferous debate by grouping popular online games such as “StarCraft” with gambling, drugs and alcohol as an addiction the government should do more to stamp out. The bill is winning support from parents, religious ...

Australia's highest court bans gay marriages

Dec 12, 2013

Australia's highest court bans gay marriages

Australia’s highest court struck down a landmark law on Thursday that had begun allowing the country’s first gay marriages, shattering the dreams of more than two dozen same-sex newlyweds whose marriages will now be annulled less than a week after their weddings. The federal ...

Australia's first gay weddings held in capital

Dec 7, 2013

Australia's first gay weddings held in capital

Gay and lesbian couples from around Australia joined in fragile marriages in Canberra on Saturday under the nation’s beleaguered same-sex union laws, which face a challenge in the courts within a week. The hastily arranged ceremonies held under blue summer skies were bitter-sweet occasions ...

China's 'beauty' drive against veils worsens Uighur tensions

Nov 25, 2013

China's 'beauty' drive against veils worsens Uighur tensions

A Chinese government worker in the ancient Silk Road oasis of Kashgar beckons two women to her street-side stand and logs their details under the gaze of a surveillance camera. Their offense: wearing veils. The “Project Beauty” campaign aims to discourage women from covering ...

China tycoon at home in his castles

Nov 16, 2013

China tycoon at home in his castles

by Tom Hancock

As the greatest urbanization drive in history swells China’s cities with ranks of look-alike apartment blocks, one culinary businessman is indulging his architectural appetite with a visual feast of extravagant, outlandish castles. “I don’t have any hobbies, except for planting trees and building castles,” ...

South Korean 'kimchi deficit' widens

Nov 16, 2013

South Korean 'kimchi deficit' widens

by Kim Dong-Hyun

It’s kimchi-making season in South Korea, with households across the country preparing and laying down stocks of the ubiquitous spicy side-dish for the coming winter. But many foreign visitors, including the most intrepid foodies, will probably leave without ever tasting a Korean-made version of ...

Beijing divorces soar thanks to property tax loophole

Oct 30, 2013

Beijing divorces soar thanks to property tax loophole

Beijing’s divorce rate has soared as couples seek to avoid a property tax imposed earlier this year by using a loophole for those whose marriages end, state media reported Tuesday. Nearly 40,000 couples divorced in the Chinese capital in the first nine months of ...