Asia Pacific Topics

Dec 19, 2014

Adviser to Australian lawmaker Palmer arrested for alleged kidnapping

Australian news outlets are reporting that the media adviser to eccentric Australian lawmaker Clive Palmer has been arrested in relation to an alleged kidnapping. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that Andrew Crook was detained as part of an investigation into the alleged kidnapping ...

Dec 19, 2014

Executions in U.S. dip to 20-year low

Executions in the United States this year fell to their lowest point in two decades, the Death Penalty Information Center said Thursday. Looking back on 2014, the watchdog group reported 35 executions in seven states, “the fewest number put to death since 1994.” The ...

Dec 18, 2014

How Sydney hostage planned daring escape

The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours on Monday, and 82-year-old John O’Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. And so he made a decision, one he ...

Dec 18, 2014

'Multiple human errors' led to deadly Taiwan gas blasts: prosecutors

Prosecutors said deadly gas explosions in Taiwan were caused by “multiple human errors” Thursday as they charged 12 people over the blasts, including the head of a chemical company and government officials. The disaster killed 32 people and wounded more than 300 in southern ...

Security system failed to track Sydney siege gunman, Abbott says

Dec 17, 2014

Security system failed to track Sydney siege gunman, Abbott says

Australia’s prime minister acknowledged Wednesday that the nation’s security system failed to keep track of a gunman responsible for a deadly siege at a Sydney cafe, and promised a transparent investigation into why the man was not on any terrorist watch list despite having ...

Dec 16, 2014

Beijing admits forced confessions are 'not rare'

Forced confessions through torture are not rare in China, state-run media said Tuesday, in a rare admission of deep-seated flaws in the justice system. The comments came after a teenager executed for murder 18 years ago was exonerated on Monday. The 18-year-old, named Hugjiltu ...

Marine charged with murder in Filipino transgender slaying

Dec 16, 2014

Marine charged with murder in Filipino transgender slaying

Philippine government prosecutors charged a U.S. Marine with murder Monday in the killing of a Filipino, saying the suspect acknowledged attacking the victim after he found out she was a transgender. Prosecutor Emilie de los Santos said there was “probable cause” that Marine Pfc. ...

Dec 15, 2014

Executed Chinese teenager found innocent 18 years on

A Chinese teenager executed for murder and rape 18 years ago was declared innocent by a court Monday, in a rare overturning of a wrongful conviction. The 18-year-old, named Hugjiltu but also known as Qoysiletu, was convicted and executed in Inner Mongolia in 1996, ...

Ranks of 'disappeared' growing in Southeast Asia

Dec 12, 2014

Ranks of 'disappeared' growing in Southeast Asia

by Jerome Taylor

Two years after Sombath Somphone vanished, the Laotian activist’s wife says his abductors enjoy impunity — an ugly reality across a region where powerful business interests and murky state actors stand accused of routinely “disappearing” opponents. Sombath disappeared from the streets of the capital ...

Dec 12, 2014

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to abuse

The Catholic Church in Australia on Friday conceded that obligatory celibacy may have contributed to priests abusing children and said clergy should be given “psychosexual” training. In a landmark report, an Australian Catholic Church body dealing with the legacy of child sex abuse added ...