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Top Asian News 3:42 a.m. GMT

October 6, 2022 GMT

North Korea launches more missiles as US redeploys carrier

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters Thursday after the United States redeployed an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula in response to Pyongyang’s previous launch of a nuclear-capable missile over Japan. The latest missile launches suggest North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is determined to continue with weapons tests aimed at boosting his nuclear arsenal in defiance of international sanctions. Many experts say Kim’s goal is to eventually win U.S. recognition as a legitimate nuclear state and the lifting of those sanctions, though the international community has shown no sign of allowing that to happen.

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that locked gates had contributed to the crush at the soccer stadium that left 131 dead and over 400 injured when police fired tear gas and set off a panicked run for the exits. Widodo made the statement after touring the Kanjuruhan soccer stadium in East Java’s Malang city for a first-hand look at the scene of one of the world’s deadliest disasters at a sporting event. He also visited the victims recovering at Saiful Anwar General Hospital and pledged a thorough investigation into what had transpired on Saturday night.

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Climate Migration: Floods displace villagers in Indonesia

MONDOLIKO, Indonesia (AP) — All the crops had died and the farmed fish had escaped their ponds. The only road to the village was flooded and the water just kept getting higher, says Asiyah, 38, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. She knew that she had to leave her home on Java’s northern coast, just as many fellow villagers had done months earlier. So about two years ago, after agonizing over the decision for months, she told her husband it was time to go and started to pack. ___ EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of an ongoing series exploring the lives of people around the world who have been forced to move because of rising seas, drought, searing temperatures and other things caused or exacerbated by climate change.

Thai capital on alert for flooding as heavy rains expected

BANGKOK (AP) — Authorities in Thailand warned Wednesday of possible serious flooding in the capital and other parts of the central region from heavy seasonal rainfall expected through the rest of the week. The situation is being worsened by a large volume of water moving downriver from flooding in northern provinces and from discharges from dams filled to capacity. Bangkok has been experiencing flooding since Monday as torrential rain poured into the city, with about 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) recorded in one area over 24 hours. However, the flooding had eased in most areas by Wednesday morning. City officials said they are taking several measures to cope with the flooding, including placing sandbags along riverbanks, preparing water pumps at drainage tunnels, and having military trucks on standby to transport commuters.

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Climate change made summer drought 20 times more likely

Drought that stretched across three continents this summer — drying out large parts of Europe, the United States and China — was made 20 times more likely by climate change, according to a new study. Drought dried up major rivers, destroyed crops, sparked wildfire, threatened aquatic species and led to water restrictions in Europe. It struck places already plagued by drying in the U.S., like the West, but also places where drought is more rare, like the Northeast. China also just had its driest summer in 60 years, leaving its famous Yangtze river half its normal width. Researchers from World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists from around the world who study the link between extreme weather and climate change, say this type of drought would only happen once every 400 years across the Northern Hemisphere if not for human-caused climate change.

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Taiwan vows to respond to China’s military flight incursions

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s defense minister on Wednesday said the island will respond to incursions into its airspace by Chinese warplanes and drones, but gave no details on specific actions. Responding to questions from legislators, Chiu Kuo-cheng said China’s newly aggressive stance had changed what Taiwan would define as a “first strike” that would necessitate a response. China stepped up its military exercises, fired missiles into waters near Taiwan and sent warplanes across the dividing line in the Taiwan Strait in response to an August visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

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Suicide bomber strikes at a center of Taliban power, kills 4

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber struck at a center of Taliban power Wednesday, setting off a blast at a government ministry in the Afghan capital of Kabul and killing at least four people. The explosion went off in the afternoon as workers and visitors were praying inside a mosque of Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for security and law enforcement in the country. At least 25 worshippers were injured, a Taliban official said. The attack inside a fortified compound dealt a serious blow to the Taliban, who have been trying to project control and strength since they seized power in August 2021.

Purdue University student arrested in killing of roommate

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University student was arrested Wednesday in the killing of his roommate in their campus dorm room, authorities said. Ji Min Sha, a 22-year-old cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea, was arrested on a preliminary murder charge in the killing of 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old data science major from Indianapolis, Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete said. Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello said an autopsy determined that Chheda died of “multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries.” Wiete said Sha, who goes by the nickname “Jimmy,” called police at around 12:45 a.m. “alerting us to the death of his roommate” in their first-floor dorm room on the campus in West Lafayette, which is about 65 miles (104 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis, Wiete said.

Bus plunges into gorge in India; kills 25 on board

NEW DELHI (AP) — A bus in northern India plunged into a gorge, leaving at least 25 dead and over a dozen others injured, officials said. Police told the Press Trust of India news agency there were 45 to 50 people on board the bus, all of whom were part of a wedding party, when it fell Tuesday evening into a gorge in Pauri district in Uttarakhand state. State police and the disaster response force worked alongside locals to rescue 21 people Tuesday night at the site of the crash, police chief Ashok Kumar tweeted. Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a senior government officer, said they would be carrying out an investigation into the incident and will conduct postmortem examinations after retrieving the bodies from the site.

Pakistan’s army chief meets with US defense secretary

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s powerful military chief met Wednesday in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other security and government officials, the military said. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s trip to the United States comes weeks before he’s expected to retire after an extended six-year tenure. Although Pakistan has been ruled by the elected civilian leadership since 2008 when the former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf resigned, the military still maintains influence. The military has directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of the country’s 75-year history. According to a military statement, Bajwa in his meeting with the U.S. defense chief and other officials thanked them for extending help to flood-hit Pakistan, where deluges since mid-June have killed nearly 1,700.