ASEAN/East Asia

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Court orders Japan government to pay new Fukushima damages

Tokyo (AFP) - A Japanese court on Thursday ordered the government to pay one million dollars in new damages over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, ruling it should have predicted and avoided the meltdown.

The meltdowns at the Fukushima plant was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Car costs make Singapore world's priciest city. Again.

Singapore (AFP) - The eye-watering cost of owning a car in space-starved Singapore means the city state is the world's most expensive place to live, for the fifth year in a row, a survey said Thursday.

The high life: Singapore is the most expensive city in the world, for the fifth year running, according to an annual cost of living survey.

Bali going quiet for 'Day of Silence'

Denpasar (Indonesia) (AFP) - Indonesia's bustling tourist island Bali is set to go quiet with Internet service and flights temporarily halted for a "Day of Silence", while young people get ready to pucker up.

Balinese Hindu carry sacred statues of gods and deities during a Melasti purification ceremony ahead of the holy day of Nyepi on a beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia March 14, 2018. - REUTERS

China's unspoken compact put to test by Xi power play

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The unspoken compact that has anchored the relationship between China's government and its people - stay out of politics and we'll help you prosper - is being tested like never before by President Xi Jinping's move to extend his power.

Japan's 'sontaku' clouds where the buck stops in school scandal

TOKYO (Reuters) - Figuring out who is to blame in a widening political scandal that threatens Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being complicated by a practice known as "sontaku", which loosely translates as "following unspoken orders".

Hawking's death triggers emotional goodbyes, tributes in China

BEIJING (Reuters) - The death of British physicist Stephen Hawking unleashed a flood of tearful goodbyes on Chinese social media while state television and newspapers paid tribute to the man who had featured in many a school essay in China over the years.

Philippine poor pay the price for divorce ban

Manila (AFP) - For well-off people like politician Pantaleon Alvarez, getting out of a bad marriage in the Philippines is pricey but feasible -- but for the nation's poorest and most vulnerable citizens it is nearly impossible.

Melody Alan says she has endured 14 years of abuse from an unfaithful, alcoholic husband.

Indonesia battles fake news as elections loom

Jakarta (AFP) - Indonesia is battling a wave of fake news and online hate speech ahead of presidential elections in 2019, as a string of arrests underscore fears it could crack open social and religious fault lines in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

Police made a string of cyber-crime arrests in recent weeks.

Maverick Thai tycoon woos youth with new political party

BANGKOK: A 39-year-old business tycoon entered Thailand's political bear-pit on Thursday with the launch of a new progressive party, courting the youth vote in a kingdom plagued by coups and corruption.

Hong Kong's judges voice fears over China influence in judiciary

HONG KONG (Reuters) - As Hong Kong's judges and senior lawyers paraded in ceremonial wigs and gowns on Jan 8 to mark the start of the legal year, anxieties over China's growing reach into the city's vaunted legal system swirled with the wintry winds.