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Blind Chinese activist Chen arrives in Taiwan TAIPEI: Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng flew to Taiwan on Sunday on what organisers called a "trip for freedom and human rights", likely to spark Chinese anger.Chen flew to the northern Taoyuan airport late Sunday night from the United States, after New York University announced earlier this month that it would be parting ways with the dissident."I'm glad to visit Taiwan," Chen told reporters before being whisked away.The activist, a self-taught lawyer, claimed that Beijing had applied "unrelenting" pressure on the university to end his study programme, a charge which NYU has strongly denied.Chen, 41, had been in New York since May last year after he escaped house arrest and fled to the US embassy in Beijing, triggering a brief crisis in relations between China and America.At least one Taiwanese university has expressed interest in inviting Chen to the island as a visiting scholar, said Yang Sen-hong, chairman of the ...

Malaysia declares emergency as Indonesia smoke pollution thickens KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia declared a state of emergency in two parts of the southern state of Johor on Sunday, as smoke from land-clearing fires in Indonesia pushed air pollution above the level considered hazardous.The illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia's Sumatra island, to the west of peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June-September dry season.The "haze" caused by fires in Riau ...
Malaysia smog at 16-year high KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's government Sunday declared a state of emergency in two southern districts choked by smog from forest fires in Indonesia as air pollution levels reached 16-year-highs.Environment minister G. Palanivel said the air pollutant index (API) hit 750 in the town of Muar -- a 16-year high for Malaysia -- Sunday morning, with two other towns also reaching hazardous levels."The prime minister has signed a declaration of emergency for Muar and Ledang districts," Palanivel ...
Chinese worker kills six over money dispute: media BEIJING: A Chinese man has been arrested for the murder of six people including four colleagues in a killing spree sparked by an argument at a chemical factory in Shanghai, state media said Sunday.The 62-year-old suspect, identified only by his family name Fan, is accused of beating one of his co-workers to death on Saturday and fleeing with a hunting rifle, according to the official Xinhua news agency.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
Japan's Mt Fuji, Niger's Agadez among new UNESCO sites PHNOM PENH: Japan's Mount Fuji, a series of ancient terraced rice paddies China, and the desert city of Agardaz in Niger were among the cultural jewels granted World Heritage status by UNESCO at its annual meeting on Saturday.Fujisan, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 metres (12,460 feet), is one of the country's most recognisable sights. The snow-capped peak "has inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries", UNESCO said.The United ...
Free clothing entices Tokyo residents to bare all TOKYO: Tokyo residents braved cloudy weather to strip down to the bare essentials on Saturday hoping to win free clothing.The promotional "semi-naked party" was hosted by Barcelona-based Desigual, who gave away free clothes to customers dressed in swimsuits and underwear at its flagship shop in Tokyo.Desigual, founded in 1984 and famous for its colourful patchwork designs, has staged similar events in Barcelona, Paris, New York and other fashion capitals ahead of major sales campaigns, but ...
Three Chinese ships in disputed waters: Japan TOKYO: Three Chinese government ships sailed into waters around disputed islands controlled by Tokyo on Saturday, the Japanese coastguard said.The maritime surveillance vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off Uotsurijima, one of the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea shortly after 9:30 am (0030 GMT), the coastguard added.Ships from the two countries have been involved in a stand-off as Beijing and Tokyo jostle over ownership of the strategically important and ...

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