- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Student comes under fire for rap video of Malaysia’s national anthem
An ethnic Chinese Malaysian student has enraged ministers and the man in the street alike with his allegedly seditious rap video of the Malaysian anthem. In the video, he raps about racial discrimination against the Chinese, corrupt cops and indolent civil servants, most of whom are Malay. He does so against the Malaysian flag, with the Negaraku melody playing in the background. The video triggered torrents of invective from Malays, and support from some Chinese.
- Baghdad, Iraq – At least 200 dead after Iraq blasts
Rescuers dug through the muddy wreckage of collapsed clay houses in northwest Iraq on Wednesday, uncovering at least 200 victims of suicide truck bombings that the U.S. military blamed on al-Qaida.
- Kabul, Afghanistan – Taliban free 2 South Korean hostages
In the first significant breakthrough in a hostage drama now more than three weeks old, two South Korean women kidnapped by the Taliban have been released into Red Cross custody on a desert road where one of the original 23 hostages kidnapped in mid-July was dumped after being shot and killed.
- New Delhi, India – India celebrates 60th anniversary
India celebrated on Wednesday six decades as an independent nation, but the prime minister warned against over-confidence from the booming economy and laid out tough challenges ahead. In a speech from the ramparts of the capital’s 17th-century Red Fort, Singh lauded India’s democracy as its greatest achievement.
- Sydney, Australia – Pauline Hanson now targets Muslims
Far-right Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who sparked outrage with her 1990s campaign against Asian immigration, said Wednesday she would now target Muslims.
- Pyongyang, North Korea – Floods destroy tenth of farmland
Severe floods have destroyed more than a tenth of North Korea’s farmland at the height of the growing season, official media said Wednesday in reports that appeared to be a cry for outside help from the normally secretive regime.
- Seoul, South Korea – Roh seeks economic community with North
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said on Wednesday he hopes this month’s summit with communist North Korea, only the second in over 50 years, will help the Cold War foes develop common economic interests.
- Jakarta, Indonesia – Throng calls for Islamic state
Nearly 90,000 followers of a hard-line Muslim group packed a stadium in the Indonesian capital Jakarta yesterday, calling for the creation of an Islamic state.
The Youtube video shown here produced by Chinese Malaysian student Wee Meng Chee, 24, triggered torrents of invective from Malays, and support from some Chinese in Malaysia.