Category Archives: Asia

Image of Asia: Learning self-defense in Indian border region

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Indian boys learn stick fight during a self-defense training camp, in Akhoor, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Jammu, India, Monday, June 22, 2015. The camp was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist group, for children and men living near India Pakistan border towns and militancy affected areas. (AP Photo/ Channi Anand)

In this photo by Channi Anand, Indian men learn stick-fighting during a self-defense training camp in Akhoor, India, in the Jammu region. The participants also learned shooting and other hand combat tactics. The camp was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist group, for children and men living in towns near the border with Pakistan and areas where militants are active. The Jammu-Kashmir state includes the Indian-controlled section of divided Kashmir, where an insurgency started in 1989 and where many residents want independence or a merger with Pakistan. The VHP, or World Hindu Council, and other hard-line groups …read more

Protesters muzzled at Chinese dog meat festival

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Cooked dogs are displayed at a vendor's stall in Yulin, in southern China's Guangxi province early on June 22, 2015

Campaigners protesting China’s annual dog meat festival, which sees thousands of canines butchered and eaten, were forcibly dispersed by unidentified men Monday as they attempted to rally outside a government office. About 10 animal rights activists unfurled banners outside the Yulin government headquarters, before a group of 20 men came and chased them off. The city holds an annual festival on the summer solstice devoted to the consumption of dog meat, in defiance of an increasing backlash from animal rights activists.

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Malaysia steps up health screening for MERS at entry points

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A monitor connected to a body temperature scanner shows flight passengers arriving at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport

Malaysia has stepped up health screenings at all entry points into the country, after the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported in neighboring Thailand last week. The Southeast Asian nation, which shares a 650 km (400 mile) land border with Thailand, has already begun monitoring body temperatures at the airports, Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said in a statement to state news agency Bernama. “Now, we are going further to include all entry points,” he said.

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Chinese woman pays to rescue 100 dogs from meat festival: report

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Animal-loving Yang Xiaoyun (C) pays about 7,000 yuan (US$1,100) to save around 100 dogs in Yulin in southern China's Guangxi province on June 20, 2015

A Chinese woman has paid over $1,000 to save 100 canines from being eaten during a dog meat festival, media said, as activists have lashed out at the event labelling it cruel. Animal-loving Yang Xiaoyun paid about 7,000 yuan (US$1,100) to save around 100 dogs in the southern city of Yulin on Saturday, web portal Netease reported. The city holds an annual festival devoted to the animal’s meat on the summer solstice, which has provoked an increasing backlash from animal protection activists.

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A contentious quest for Kevazingo, Gabon’s sacred tree

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The hard wood of the Kevazingo tree, a famous species in Gabon, is in high demand especially in Asia and illegal logging has rocketed

Bitam (Gabon) (AFP) – “Nobody should sell this wood. The elderly man, born around 1930, sits on his porch at Bendoussang in the north of the densely forested equatorial country, troubled when fellow villagers sell the hardwood — sometimes from trees five centuries old — to sawmills and collectors. Better known in the West as Bubinga, Kevazingo is much sought after in Gabon and Cameroon, but unlike the equally prized and abundant Okoume, it is rare and trees take many years to mature.

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