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Thursday, April 20, 2017 

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International News

From poor eyesight to bad teeth, needs of pandas grow with age


Nepal to strap some Everest climbers with GPS devices


Japan one-ups Scotch with whisky, coveted around the world


First Afghan women’s orchestra tries to change attitudes


Thai jungle seen as breeding ground for Indochinese tigers


From The Asian Reporter, V27, #7 (April 3, 2017), page 2.

Clean water plant brings hope to village in north India

NAI BASTI VILLAGE, India (AP) — Schoolchildren cheered and village women clapped as a gush of clean water flowed through a set of gleaming steel taps connected to a newly installed water filtration plant in a dusty north Indian village. India has the world’s highest number of people without access to clean water. UNICEF says nearly 78 million Indians — about five percent of the country’s 1.3 billion population — must make do with contaminated water sources or buy water at high rates. The lack of clean water contributes to increases in stomach ailments, diarrheal diseases, and deaths from waterborne diseases. Around 140,000 children die of diarrheal disease in India each year, a third of the 315,000 such deaths of children worldwide. Nai Basti is about 35 miles east of New Delhi.

11 endangered wild elephants rescued from mud

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Eleven endangered wild elephants were rescued in Cambodia four days after getting stuck in a three-meter-deep mud hole, officials said. The animals were rescued in northeastern Mondulkiri province, home to about 250 wild elephants, said Wildlife Alliance official Botumroat Lebun. The chief of Mondulkiri’s environment department, Keo Sopheak, who headed the rescue team, said the elephants apparently got stuck in the mud when they went to drink water at a 10-foot-deep hole that was left over from U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War. After being rescued, the elephants were sent back to the jungle where they normally live, Keo Sopheak said. He said if local villagers had not reported the incident, the elephants would have died from thirst and starvation.

China lifts ban on Brazilian beef

BEIJING (AP) — China has lifted an import ban on beef from Brazil after Brazilian authorities promised to block shipments by producers at the center of a product-quality scandal, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. Brazil also promised to take stricter measures to ensure the quality of meat shipped to China, said the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying. Brazil’s meat exports collapsed after investigators accused inspectors of taking bribes to ignore outdated meat and chemicals. China, the European Union, Japan, and Mexico banned or limited imports. "The Brazilian side has formally informed China that it decided to suspend the export of the involved companies to China and promised it will take stricter measures to ensure the safety and reliability of meat products exported to China," Hua said. "Therefore, China has removed the preventive and temporary protective measures and restored normal examination and quarantine work."

Police arrest militants setting up jihadi camp

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s counterterrorism squad says it has arrested four suspected Islamic militants who were trying to establish a jihadist training camp in eastern Indonesia and who likely had links with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines. National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the men were arrested in several locations on the island of Java and were connected to four militants ambushed by police on the same day near Jakarta. Amar said all eight were members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. One of the suspects told police his role was to purchase rifles from militants in the Philippines and he had travelled there several times.

Cambodia bans export of breast milk by U.S. company

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has permanently banned the export of human breast milk by a company headed by a former Mormon missionary that pioneered the business two years ago. A letter issued by the cabinet to the Health Ministry said Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered a halt to U.S.-based Ambrosia Labs Ltd. buying and exporting the milk. The product is marketed as food for babies and a nutritional supplement and sells for as much as $4 an ounce. The letter gave no reason for the ban, but said Cambodia was not so afflicted by poverty that its mothers needed to sell their milk. The milk’s export was recently suspended while the Health Ministry investigated its effects on babies and whether the business violated a law on trafficking in human organs.

Iranian club fined for laser-flashing fan misconduct

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Iranian football club Esteghlal FC has been ordered to pay fines totalling $51,000 over the misconduct of its spectators who flashed laser beams at opposing players and the referee during two recent matches. The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) disciplinary committee also said if there are further similar breaches over the next two years, Esteghlal FC will be forced to play a home game in an empty stadium. AFC said home fans at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on February 7, in addition to flashing the lasers, also threw projectiles on the field that caused explosions during a 0-0 draw with Al Sadd of Qatar, a qualifying match for the Asian Champions League. It said Esteghlal FC fans also flashed lasers during the club’s 2-0 win in an ACL match in Tehran on March 13 against Lokomotiv of Uzbekistan. Esteghlal leads the group with two wins from two matches. In other sanctions, AFC said it banned four players and three officials from the Lebanon beach soccer team from football-related activity over varying periods after they were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute following their semifinal match against United Arab Emirates in March.

Contrast in style as Duterte meets Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Regional politics makes for strange bedfellows, and at first glance, it is hard to imagine more of an odd couple than tempestuous Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his cerebral de facto Myanmar counterpart, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who met recently in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The main purpose of Duterte’s visit to Myanmar, which took place in late March, was to complete visits to nine fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN. While their meeting was said to have covered the usual pro forma talk about trade and investment, it had a tangible result when Duterte promised $300,000 in humanitarian aid for Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where communal conflict has displaced more than 100,000 people, mostly Muslims, from their homes.

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