Blame game over Kashmir shelling
India and Pakistan blamed each other for an Oct. 19 cross-border shelling in the disputed Kashmir region, which killed at least 10 people on one of the deadliest days since Delhi revoked Kashmir’s special status in August. According to India, heavy shelling was carried out by Pakistan across the border in northern Kashmir’s Tangdhar region, killing two Indian soldiers and one civilian.Islamabad claimed one of its soldiers and three civilians died after India violated the ceasefire, according to the spokesman for the Pakistani Armed Forces.
Widodo’s call for global talent
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, elected in April for a second term, has called on global talent to help develop the country’s human resources. President Joko outlined the key priorities for his administration in the next five years in his inaugural speech after he was sworn in on Oct. 20. Before an audience of lawmakers, regional senators and foreign guests at the Parliament building in Jakarta, he vowed to‘build hardworking, dynamic, skilful human resources who master science and technology’.
Police fire on protesting Muslims
At least four people were killed and nearly 50 injured after police fired on thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims protesting against a Facebook post by a Hindu who allegedly defamed the Prophet Muhammad.Some 20,000 Muslims demonstrated at a prayer ground in Borhanuddin town on the country’s largest island of Bhola to call for the execution of the Hindu man, who was arrested for inciting religious tension.Mob attacks over Facebook posts perceived to be blasphemous have become a major problem for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up around 90 per cent of the 168 million population.
Afghan mosque blasts
Multiple explosions at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers killed at least 62 worshippers and wounded over 100. Bombs are said to have been placed inside the mosque in the Jawdara area of Haska Mena district.No group immediately claimed responsibility but the government accused Taliban insurgents, who are fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after being ousted in 2001 by US-led forces. Along with fighters from the Islamic State, the Taliban is active in parts of Nangarhar, which shares an eastern border with Pakistan.
‘Black out’ to speak out
Australia’s most prominent newspapers ran their front pages with most of the words blacked out, mimickingthe censorship of a classified government document, to protest against recent legislation that restricts press freedoms. The protest was designed to put public pressure on the government to exempt journalists from laws restricting access to sensitive information, enact a properly functioning freedom of information system, and raise the benchmark for defamation lawsuits.
The royal consort to Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been stripped of her title and military ranks for being disloyal and ungrateful to the king, according to an announcement made in the Royal Gazette. The title of Royal Noble Consort was bestowed on Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, a former nurse, on the king’s birthday in July, and had not been conferred in almost a century, as recent Thai kingstended to adopt monogamy. Ms Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi was only the second Royal Noble Consort in Thailand’s history.
Animation sparks regional row
Malaysian censors have demanded that a scene be deleted from an animated film before it is screened there – due to a fleeting glimpse of a contentious map depicting the ‘nine-dash line’, which China uses to show its claims in the South China Sea. The scene from ‘Abominable’, a Chinese co-production by the DreamWorks studio, hasalso offended Vietnam, which has pulled the film, and the Philippines, which is calling for a boycott. Parts of the sea and various island groups are claimed by five Asian countriesas well as China.
Typhoon Hagibis, which wreaked havoc in Japan, has been kinder to a Filipino disco band that shares its name, generating a new rush of interest in the all-male group. Known as the Philippines’ ‘Village People’, Hagibis – which means ‘speed and strength’ in the Philippine language Tagalog – was founded in 1979 and has been performing ever since. The band has received a lot of indirect publicity worldwide through Google searches as a result of the powerful storm that has killed at least 60 people in Japan and injured scores more.