North Korea stirs tension
North Korea staged its most successful test to date of a medium-range missile, the Musudan, which could hit American bases in the region. It rejected criticism from the UN Security Council, accusing the US of driving the Korean peninsula toward an “uncontrollable extreme phase”. Pyongyang carried out a fourth nuclear test in January, and hopes to develop a missile capable of reaching the US mainland.
Obama in Vietnam and Japan
Barack Obama became the first serving US President to visit Hiroshima, where he made a speech calling for a “world without nuclear weapons”, but stopped short of apologising for America’s use of nuclear weapons against Japan 71 years before. In Vietnam, Obama announced the full lifting of a ban on sales of military equipment to the country, four decades after the end of a war in which some 60,000 American soldiers and millions of Vietnamese died.
Tigers raid in Thailand
Wildlife officials in Thailand rescued 137 tigers from a Buddhist temple west of Bangkok and discovered scores of dead tiger cubs during a week-long raid. The Tiger Temple was popular with tourists, who were allowed to take selfie photos with tigers and feed cubs, but the authorities were investigating allegations of wildlife trafficking. Frozen tiger carcasses, skins and dead cubs in jars were found, possibly for use in traditional Chinese medicine. More than 20 people, including three Buddhist monks, were charged with animal trafficking.
Hasina vows to stop militant murders
Bangladesh made thousands of arrests after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowed to crack down on Islamist militants accused of more than 40 murders by Islamist militants of atheist bloggers, secular liberals, gay activists and minority Hindus and Buddhists. But critics feared that many of the arrests were of ordinary criminals and political opponents, with Hasina denying that Islamic State or al-Qaeda had any foothold in Bangladesh and instead blaming the Islamist Jamaat party, which is allied to the opposition Bangladesh National Party.
Putin does trade deals in China
In his fourth visit to China since Xi Jinping became president in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a series of energy deals. According to the Russian leader, 58 different deals worth a total of around $50 billion are under discussion. Though the two countries are rivals in many spheres, their presidents emphasised that they had a shared strategic outlook. Russia, whose economy is heavily dependent on oil revenues, has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s main supplier.
Polio strain in India
More than 200,000 children were vaccinated against polio in the southern state of Telangana after a strain of the disease was found in sewage water in the state capital, Hyderabad. This was not the ‘wild’ strain now found only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but a vaccine-derived type – occasionally a new strain evolves from people who have been vaccinated, but they are normally less infectious. The Union Health Minister, JP Nadda, said India, which was declared polio-free in 2014, ‘remains polio virus free’.
Disneyland opens in Shanghai
The first Disneyland on the Chinese mainland opened in Shanghai, with more than a million people visiting the site even before it began operating. Disney, which invested $5.5 billion in the amusement park, its largest project outside the US, hopes to attract up to 50 million visitors a year