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Exclusive reports, features and analysis on political and social events from across the Asian continent. Every Monday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

Latest update : 2017-10-26

Taiwan tackles dangerous betel nut addiction

Around one-tenth of the world's population chews betel nuts. The stimulant is hugely popular in Asia: it is used as a pick-me-up like coffee, but is also a symbol of love and a cure for indigestion or impotence. But these perceived benefits may be outweighed by the costs. Betel nuts are carcinogenic: in fact, around nine out of 10 oral cancer patients in Taiwan have a habit of chewing them.

Also, be it a nuclear threat from North Korea, or a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami, some people in Japan are preparing for the worst. Sales of nuclear shelters, air purifiers and gas masks are soaring in the country.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the price of rubber continues to soar due to a shortage in supply. While that's bad news for motorists, Thailand's rubber farmers are raking in the profits.

Finally, we head to Indonesia, where the province of Papua has shown an uncanny ability to produce great football players. Is it cultural, the high altitude, or something in the water? Either way, its people have earned a reputation they are proud of.

By Jeanne LAVENANT , Stéphanie CHEVAL , Gaëlle ESSOO


2018-05-15 China

China introduces 'social credit score' for citizens

China has begun a controversial experiment to get to know its people better. The government is tracking its citizens' behaviour, from smoking on a train to jaywalking. If a...

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2018-04-30 Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan seeks to expand Silk Road tourism

Uzbekistan isn't high on many holidaymakers' lists of must-see destinations. But its reform-minded government is opening up the country, easing travel restrictions for dozens of...

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2018-04-16 Myanmar

Myanmar builds over destroyed Rohingya villages

In Myanmar's Rakhine state, military and local officials are building over the area where 700,000 Rohingya were forced to leave their homes behind. The stateless Muslim minority...

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2018-04-02 cricket

Australian cricket under mounting scrutiny amid ball-tampering scandal

In Australia, cricket is reeling from a ball-tampering crisis. Skipper Steve Smith and senior batsman David Warner have been banned from the sport for 12 months. The scandal has...

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2018-03-19 India

India's missing women: The dark legacy of sex selection

In India, officials say the population is missing more than 60 million women, equivalent to the entire population of the UK. It's the result of a decades-old preference in India...

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