Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents.
29 October 2019
Baghdadi revenge, Joshua Wong excluded, missing tourist in Cambodia
In today’s bulletin: South-east Asia expects a long fight against ISIS influence, Joshua Wong excluded from district elections in Hong Kong, Asia’s poor are trafficked by a global network, hopes of finding a British backpacker missing in Cambodia fade, Boris loses an election vote but will try again, and more.
SOUTH-EAST ASIA BRACES FOR BAGHDADI RETALIATION
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, home to some of Asia’s most organised Islamist militants, are bracing for a long-haul fight against growing ISIS influence, retaliation and “lone wolf” attacks in revenge for the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. South-east Asia has long been an important focus for ISIS, which has inspired Islamist militants in West Africa, across the Middle East and Asia and through to Indonesia and the Philippines.
The aftermath of the Baghdadi killing: Who is the heir to the ‘Caliph’?
HK ACTIVIST JOSHUA WONG BARRED FROM ELECTION
After months of protests in Hong Kong, political activist Joshua Wong has been barred from standing in an upcoming local election. A government spokesman said Mr Wong was excluded because he advocates “self-determination” for Hong Kong, which is inconsistent with the Basic Law, the city’s mini-Constitution.
Top stories on Hong Kong today:
Joshua Wong barred from election
Carrie Lam calls reports of her being replaced “malicious”
Hong Kong falls into recession
39 DEAD IN UK TRAFFICKED BY GLOBAL SMUGGLING RING
The 39 people found dead in a refrigerated container in the UK were trafficked through an extensive global ring, a court heard on Monday. Many of the dead, believed to have come from a very poor region of Vietnam, were smuggled through China, Germany, or France on their way to the UK. The case shone a spotlight on the illicit trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.
What you need to know about the case that has caught the world’s attention:
Truck driver in court, faces 43 charges
UK sends documents to Vietnam to help identify the bodies
I can’t breathe – text message sent from the container
HOPES FADE FOR MISSING BRITISH TOURIST IN CAMBODIA
Police in Cambodia said hopes of finding a young British woman, who went missing on an island popular with backpackers, were fading. Six Cambodians have been held for questioning in connection with the disappearance of the 21-year-old woman. Nearly 200 army, navy and police personnel scoured Koh Rong island for a sixth day to find Amelia Bambridge, who was last seen at a beach party on Oct 24.
Hopes fade for British backpacker missing in Cambodia.
BORIS LOSES BID TO CALL ELECTION, WILL TRY AGAIN
British MPs rejected, once again, Boris Johnson’s attempt to call a general election, but the wild-haired leader will try again on Tuesday. Mr Johnson suffered a major setback earlier on Monday when he was forced to agree to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond this week’s Oct 31 deadline, something Mr Johnson earlier said he would rather “die in a ditch” than agree to.
What you need to know about Brexit today:
Boris Johnson loses early election vote.
EU agrees to flexible delay.
UK to melt down 50p Brexit commemorative coins after delay.
IN OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
TODDLER STUCK IN WELL DIES: More than three days after a two-year-old boy fell into a borehole in southern India, setting off a panicked round-the-clock mission to rescue him, his lifeless body was pulled from the opening early on Tuesday morning (Oct 29).
ANWAR ACCUSES TRAITORS: Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim said that “traitors” are trying to stop him from replacing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s next prime minister, in line with an earlier agreement. Mr Anwar said when people asked whether he could still wait to be the eighth prime minister, “I have waited for 20 years, so it’s okay. Don’t worry.”
TRADE WAR SPURS PROGRESS ON ASIA PACT: The US-China trade war is giving new momentum to a China-backed Asia trade pact. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) could become the world’s largest free trade zone, comprising 16 countries that account for a third of global gross domestic product and nearly half the world’s population.
These insights are produced by The Straits Times, the official media partner for the Asia House Global Trade Dialogue, taking place in Singapore on 7 November 2019.
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