- Kathmandu, Nepal – Living goddess loses status
A 10-year-old Nepalese girl was stripped of her title as a living goddess because she traveled overseas to promote a documentary about the centuries-old tradition, an official said Tuesday.
- Singapore – Longer-term worry is talent: SM Goh
Singapore’s current property bubble is a short-term phenomenon that is not a cause for worry, said Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, neither is rising costs as it will mean a higher standard of living and more income in real terms.
- Bangkok, Thailand – Baht rises to a decade-high: World’s biggest mover
Thailand’s baht rose beyond 34 to the dollar for the first time in a decade as overseas investors increased purchases of stocks and exports buoyed economic growth.
- Dili, Timor Leste – Set for govt headed by Xanana Gusmao
Timor Leste appeared set Friday to be governed by a coalition headed by independence leader Xanana Gusmao after his party formed an alliance with smaller groups to achieve the majority needed to rule.
- Jakarta, Indonesia – EU to send air safety experts to Indonesia
The European Union will send safety experts to Indonesia to review an EU ban on Indonesian airlines which came into effect on Friday, the EU’s ambassador to Indonesia said. Fifty-one Indonesian airlines, including national carrier Garuda, have been barred from European airspace due to safety concerns.
- Tokyo, Japan – Crown princess not likely to travel abroad anytime soon
Crown Princess Masako is not likely to be joining her husband, the heir to Japan’s ancient throne, on any trips abroad in the near future. Crown Prince Naruhito, speaking to reporters Friday ahead of a trip to Mongolia, said Masako is still recovering from a stress-induced ailment that has kept her from fulfilling most of her official duties for several years and still needs time to gradually re-enter the public eye.
- Gaza, Palestine – BBC reporter Alan Johnston free at last
Alan Johnston, the BBC reporter held by a group called the Army of Islam since March 12, is finally free again! He recounts his long ordeal, and also wins an Amnesty award for human rights journalism.
- Tehran, Iran – Supreme leader signals flexibility on women
Iran’s supreme leader has signaled a willingness to reinterpret Islamic law more favorably to women’s rights – but not by following Western conventions, state media and his official Web site reported Thursday.
Image from China Daily.