Asia Pacific Topics

May 14, 2014

China schooling blamed for suicides

China’s high-pressure, exam-driven education system is responsible for the vast majority of suicides by schoolchildren in the country, state media said Wednesday, citing a study. Official statistics on youth suicides are hard to obtain, but a health ministry journal said that about 500 primary ...

Cities stealing magic from China shamans

May 5, 2014

Cities stealing magic from China shamans

by Tom Hancock

A Chinese shaman resplendent in a dark suit and green cloth hat examined yellowing pages said to predict the future — but mass migration to cities means the prospects for his own profession look bleak. “To see a spirit, you have to practice the ...

May 1, 2014

China stirs ire by smashing church

The destruction of a towering church by Chinese authorities has sown fear in a thriving Christian community and highlighted tensions between a rapidly growing number of worshippers and the communist state. Massive slabs of concrete on a hillside were all that remained Wednesday of ...

China domestic tourist boom puts minorities on display

Apr 21, 2014

China domestic tourist boom puts minorities on display

Marching in dragon dances, cheering on buffalo fights, singing folk songs with villagers, an enamoured traveler ticked off the sights during a three-week tour of Chinese ethnic minority festivals. The man — who flew across the country to southwestern Guizhou province to see the ...

Apr 20, 2014

Transgender Indian seeks vote

A budding transgender politician in India is campaigning in her southern hometown for a seat in parliament, just days after the country’s highest court recognized “third-gender” people. Describing the ruling as a “milestone,” 53-year-old Bharathi Kannamma hopes to build on the momentum and overturn ...

Apr 16, 2014

Chinese take 'ugly' mantle as tourists

The bucolic, once laid-back campus of one of Thailand’s top universities is undergoing a security clampdown. Not against a terrorist threat, but against Chinese tourists. Thousands have clambered aboard student buses at Chiang Mai University, made a mess in cafeterias and sneaked into classes ...

Adultery website tests the law in South Korea

| Apr 10, 2014

Adultery website tests the law in South Korea

Canada-based adultery hookup service — slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair” — drew 46,000 people within a week of launching a website last month in South Korea, where marital infidelity is a crime punishable by up to two years in prison. The ...

Samsung, LG ads criticized abroad

Apr 6, 2014

Samsung, LG ads criticized abroad

by Youkyung Lee

When Samsung unveiled a new smartphone at New York’s storied Radio City Music Hall, the Broadway-style spectacle was memorable not for technology but for a cast of giggling female characters who fantasized about marrying a doctor, fretted about eating too much cake and needed ...

Malaysia bans 'Noah' epic as 'un-Islamic'

Apr 5, 2014

Malaysia bans 'Noah' epic as 'un-Islamic'

Malaysia has joined other Islamic countries in banning the Hollywood biblical epic “Noah” starring Russell Crowe, decrying it as irreligious and saying it violates Islamic law against depicting prophets. A Home Ministry official on Saturday confirmed that Paramount’s latest big-budget film, which has sparked ...