K-pop and f (x) star Sulli, who spoke out against cyberbullying, found dead in her home

A former member of top South Korean girl group f (x), who had spoken out against cyberbullying, was found dead on Monday, police said.The body of Choi Jin-ri, better known by her stage name Sulli, 25, was discovered at her home in Seongnam, south of the capital, Seoul, police said.“Her manager visited her home after failing to reach her since their last call the night before,” police said in a statement.Sulli was grappling with severe depression, police said. They did not elaborate.How the K…

Vietnam blocks ‘Abominable’ film over depiction of Beijing’s nine-dash line in South China Sea

Vietnam has pulled the animated DreamWorks film Abominable from cinemas over a scene featuring a map which shows China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea, state media reported on Monday.The U-shaped line is a feature used on Chinese maps to illustrate its claims over vast expanses of the resource-rich South China Sea, including large swathes of what Vietnam regards as its continental shelf, where it has awarded oil concessions.China and Vietnam have been locked in a…

India’s concerns about RCEP remain the major obstacle to world’s largest trade deal

Not for the first time, trade ministers from the 16 Asia-Pacific countries negotiating the world’s biggest trade pact indicated this weekend they were within reach of a deal, but analysts and people with knowledge of negotiations predicted the final leg of talks will be particularly fraught.Insiders told This Week in Asia the main hurdle for finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be the negotiation position of India – which has been holding out for concessions…

Could Hong Kong protests sway the Canadian election?

There’s a stereotype in Canadian politics that sees the Chinese community as apolitical and unlikely to vote. Clearly, it does not take account of people like Gloria Fung. Fung, who arrived in Toronto nearly three decades ago, is the very antithesis of the image of a vote-shy Chinese immigrant. As the founder of a non-profit pressure group, the real estate broker spends much of her free time lobbying and petitioning politicians ahead of Canada’s looming federal election. Still, if Fung doesn…

Indonesian minister Wiranto’s stab wound ‘reached his intestines’: government adviser

Indonesian chief security minister Wiranto’s wounds from a stabbing attack last week went so deep that he required surgery on his intestines, a senior government adviser has revealed.Mahfud MD, who sits on the steering committee of a government agency promoting Indonesia’s secular ideology Pancasila – that stresses national unity despite ethnic and religious diversity – said these details were given to him by Dr Terawan Agus Putranto, the head of the Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital, where Wiranto…

Duterte’s spokesman takes three-hour commute to work after accepting public transport dare

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, took three-and-a-half hours to get to work on Friday morning after he accepted a dare to commute the way millions in Manila do daily, but seemed to brush off the whole episode as a boyish stunt.“I really fooled you,” Panelo told the press after taking four jeepneys – passenger trucks – and a motorcycle ride to reach the presidential palace in Metro Manila.Asked what it felt like being a commuter for 210 minutes, Panelo said “it…

New Philippines military chief sees no ‘shooting war’ in South China Sea despite disputes

The new head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has said he does not expect a “shooting war” to occur in the South China Sea, despite Manila’s diplomatic protests against China’s intrusions into its territorial waters.“I don’t think it’s going to the point that there is going to be an actual conflict, meaning a shooting war. I think there are enough mechanisms in place to prevent this from happening,” Lieutenant General Noel Clement said in a briefing with foreign correspondents on Thursday…

Malaysia’s Sultan Muhammad V ‘did not abandon’ Russian beauty queen wife Oksana Voevodina

Malaysia’s Sultan Muhammad V has denied claims by his ex-wife, Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina, that he abandoned her and did not offer help towards the end of her difficult pregnancy when she was in need of cash.The clarifications, made by the Kelantan Sultan’s Singapore-based lawyer Koh Tien Hua, came after the news website MailOnline ran a report on Monday in which Oksana claimed she had pawned her £203,000 (US$250,000) wedding ring to cover medical bills when she was “at risk of…

For India, diplomacy with China flows through the barrel of a gun

As Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepare for their second informal summit in the southeastern coastal town of Mamallapuram this weekend, the Indian Army has begun a massive military exercise 100km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between India and China – in India’s northeast.Code-named “Him Vijay”, this multiphase exercise will test the battle-readiness of the Indian Army’s newly minted Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) at an altitude…

Indonesian security minister Wiranto injured in stabbing by suspected IS radical: police

Indonesia’s security minister was stabbed on Thursday after being attacked by a knife-wielding man with suspected links to a domestic radical group aligned with Islamic State.The noontime incident happened when Wiranto, who goes by one name, emerged from his car after officiating at a ceremony to open a new building at a university in Pandeglang, West Java.Wiranto was about to walk to a helipad to catch a helicopter to return to Jakarta after the event.“The incident occurred very quickly…