Monday, December 29, 2014
Air Asia down, arrests in Hong Kong as pro-democracy protests return and over 70 die in India. Plus South Korea and Japan are to enter into an intelligence sharing agreement and the great tsunami, ten years later.
Air Asia Flight Missing
AirAsia Flight QZ8501, lost contact with flight control operations about 42 minutes after take off. The plane was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore when it asked for permission to deviate from its planned course because of inclement weather. 162 people were on board. The plane is believed to be downed somewhere in the area of Belitung.
Protests return to Hong Kong
Hong Kong police arrested 12 as pro-democracy demonstrators returned to the Mong Kok neighborhood where hundreds had camped out for more than two months. Police used pepper spray and batons in overnight clashes last week. They arrested demonstrators on charges ranging from assaulting a police officer to failing to produce ID.
Over 70 dead in India
It was a bloody Christmas in northeast India, where over 70 died and thousands fled their homes. According to officials, separatist rebels killed dozens of villagers, some children.
Officials say the death toll has climbed to 72 and parts of the region remain under curfew. Prime Minister Modi called the attack “an act of cowardice” while President Mukherjee condemned the attacks on his Twitter account, saying “such acts of terror and violence must be put down with a firm hand.”
East Asia Trilateral Security Agreement
South Korean officials say Seoul, the United States, and Japan have agreed on a trilateral intelligence-sharing pact to deal with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. The proposed plan would enable the three allies to quickly respond to any North Korean provocation at a time of increasing tensions.
The Indian Ocean tsunami, ten years on
On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 220,000 in 14 different countries. This past Friday, beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services were held across Asia commemorating the event’s tenth anniversary.
Shamika Sirimanne, who focuses on disaster risk reduction at the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific said, “End-to-end early warning systems need to be put in place. A lot more needs to be done. This is an unfinished agenda.”
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