Asia Pacific

Pakistani shopping mall blaze kills at least 10 people and injures more than 20

Pakistani police say a blaze has killed at least 10 people in a shopping mall. The multi-story RJ Mall is in a high-rise commercial building that also houses call centers and software firms.

Hamas releases 10 Thai hostages, 4 of whom had not been listed as abducted

Hamas freed 10 Thai nationals who were seized in the group’s surprise attack on southern Israel last month.

The second installment of Sri Lanka’s bailout was delayed. The country hopes it’s coming in December

The governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank says he is confident it will receive the second instalment of a $2.9-billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund before the end of the year.

Taiwan’s main opposition party announces vice presidential candidate as hopes for alliance fracture

Taiwan’s main opposition party Nationalist Party has announced a veteran politician as its vice presidential candidate as hopes for a cross-party alliance to challenge the ruling Democratic Progressive Party have fractured.

Indian authorities release Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah after 21 months in prison

Indian authorities have released a prominent Kashmir journalist on bail nearly two years after he was arrested on accusations of publishing “anti-national content” and “glorifying terrorism.”

Vietnam’s plan for spending $15.5 billion for its clean energy transition to be announced at COP28

A plan for how Vietnam will spend $15.5 billion to transition to cleaner energy has been finalized and will be announced formally at the COP28 climate conference, which begins in Dubai next week.

From Dec. 1, citizens of five European countries and Malaysia can enter China without a visa

China has announced that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of five European countries and Malaysia as it tries to encourage more people to visit for business and tourism.

Rescuers in India trying to evacuate 41 workers from a collapsed tunnel are delayed again

Rescue teams trying to reach 41 construction workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in northern India for nearly two weeks have stopped drilling again.

AP Week in Pictures: Asia

Nov. 16-24, 2023

Ethnic Rohingya disembark from their boat upon landing in Indonesia. About 2,000 pairs of shoes symbolizing all the victims from Gaza, West Bank and Israel are placed before a rally in South Korea.

Myanmar military says drone attack by ethnic armed groups in northeast destroyed about 120 trucks

Myanmar’s military-controlled government says that almost half of more than 250 cargo trucks stranded by fighting against ethnic minority armed groups near the northeastern border with China have been destroyed in a fire caused by bombs dropped by drones.

Tens of thousands of protesters demanding a restoration of Nepal’s monarchy clash with police

Riot police have used batons and tear gas to halt tens of thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former king who attempted to march to the center of the capital to demand the restoration of the monarchy.

Chinese refugee challenges Australian law that imposes a curfew and tracking bracelet

New laws rushed through Australia’s Parliament last week to mandate curfews and electronic tracking bracelets on some foreigners with criminal records are facing their first High Court challenge.

South Korea says Russian support likely enabled North Korea to successfully launch a spy satellite

South Korea’s spy agency has told lawmakers that Russian support likely enabled North Korea to put a spy satellite into orbit for the first time this week.

Fighting in disputed Kashmir kills 5 Indian soldiers and 2 suspected militants

Indian military officials say five soldiers and two suspected rebels were killed in gunbattles in disputed Kashmir.

3 New Zealand political leaders say they’ve reached agreement to form next government

Three New Zealand political leaders say they’ve reached an agreement to form the next government, pending a final signoff from their parties which they expected within hours.

Fiji’s leader says he hopes to work with China in upgrading his country’s shipyards and ports

Fiji’s leader says that after meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, he hopes to collaborate with China on upgrading his nation’s shipyards and ports.

Suspected militants kill 5, including 2 soldiers, in pair of bombings in northwest Pakistan

Pakistani officials say suspected militants have targeted security forces and a pro-government elder in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border, killing five people, including two soldiers.

India in G20 summit welcomes Israel-Hamas cease-fire, urges action on climate, other issues

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed a cease-fire in Gaza that’s expected to enable the release of dozens of hostages taken by Hamas.

King Charles III honors K-pop girl group Blackpink during South Korean president’s state visit

King Charles III honored the K-pop band Blackpink. He saluted their work in raising awareness among young people about the threat of climate change.

The US and the Philippines conduct joint air, sea patrols in South China Sea not far from Taiwan

The United States and the Philippines are conducting joint air and maritime patrols in the South China Sea, which come as the two countries step up cooperation in the face of growingly aggressive Chinese activity in the area.

A strong earthquake shakes eastern Indonesia with no immediate reports of casualties or damages

A strong, deep undersea earthquake shook the eastern side of Indonesia on Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages.

China is expanding its crackdown on mosques to regions outside Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch says

A report by Human Rights Watch says the Chinese government has expanded its campaign of closing mosques to regions other than Xinjiang, where for years it has been blamed for persecuting Muslim minorities.

King Charles welcomes South Korea’s president with state banquet, mingles with K-pop band Blackpink

King Charles III has hosted South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife at a glittering banquet at Buckingham Palace, as Britain rolled out the red carpet for a formal state visit aimed at strengthening trade and defense ties between the two countries.

How a massive all-granite, hand-carved Hindu temple ended up on Hawaii’s lush Kauai Island

The island of Kauai is home to the only all-stone, hand-carved Hindu temple in the West, built without power tools or electricity.

India, Australia commit to boosting strategic ties as their diplomats and defense chiefs hold talks

India and Australia say they’re committed to boosting economic and strategic ties as their top diplomats shared concerns over China, regional security and the Israel-Hamas war.

Thailand’s Cabinet approves a marriage equality bill to grant same-sex couples equal rights

Thailand’s Cabinet has approved an amendment to its civil code to allow same-sex marriage, with an expectation for the draft to be proposed to Parliament next month.

41 workers stuck in a tunnel in India for 10th day given hot meals as rescue operation shifts gear

The 41 construction workers who have been trapped in a collapsed tunnel in northern India for over a week are finally getting hot meals, provided through a newly installed steel pipe, as rescuers work on an alternate plan of digging toward them vertically.

Eruption of Papua New Guinea volcano subsides though thick ash is billowing 3 miles into the sky

The eruption of Papua New Guinea’s tallest volcano is subsiding but thick ash still billowed into the sky and coated roofs and palm trees nearby.

Climate change hits women’s health harder. Activists want leaders to address it at COP28

With the annual U.N.-led climate summit known as COP to convene later this month in Dubai, activists are urging policymakers to respond to climate change’s disproportionate impact on women and girls.

South Korea’s president to talk trade, technology and defense on state visit to the UK

The leaders of Britain and South Korea are seeking to strengthen trade and defense ties between their countries during a state visit to the U.K. by President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Nearly 1,000 Rohingya refugees arrive by boat in Indonesia’s Aceh region in one week

Almost 1,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have arrived by boat in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh in the last six days.

More than 400,000 Afghans have returned home from Pakistan following crackdown on migrants

Pakistani officials say more than 400,000 Afghans returned to their home country following the ongoing crackdown on illegal foreigners in the country.

China welcomes Arab and Muslim foreign ministers for talks on ending the war in Gaza

China’s top diplomat welcomed four Arab foreign ministers and the Indonesian one to Beijing, saying his country would work with “our brothers and sisters” in the Arab and Islamic world to try to end the war in Gaza as soon as possible.

Disneyland’s $60 billion expansion means parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai are only getting bigger

Hong Kong Disneyland has opened its first Frozen-themed attraction, with thousands of eager visitors turning up to experience the new rides.

3rd release of treated water from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant ends safely, operator says

The operator of Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant says the release of a third batch of treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean has ended safely as planned.