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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


2018-11-14 Access Asia

Chinese 're-education' camps: Muslim Uighurs speak out

Every five years, each UN member state's human rights record is examined at a meeting in Geneva. This time around, China was criticised for its so-called "re-education" camps....

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2018-10-31 Access Asia

Deported and devastated: A painful homecoming for Afghan migrants

There is concern that the EU is returning asylum seekers to the very instability they fled in the first place. In early October the bloc reached a deal with the Afghan government...

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2018-10-17 Access Asia

Uighurs and Kazakhs held in re-education camps in China

In western China, officials say they are fighting extremism by opening so-called "vocational training centres". But human rights groups argue these are actually mass detention...

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2018-10-09 Access Asia

Indonesia tsunami: Survivors describe ordeal

On September 28, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi was rocked by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami. Hundreds of people lost their lives in the twin disasters,...

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2018-09-18 Access Asia

Iwao Hakamada, the Japanese boxer still fighting... for his life

In Japan, 82-year-old Iwao Hakamada spent half a century on death row before being released. But the former professional boxer is still locked in a legal back and forth. Today he...

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