Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 30, 2014, and this is The Asia Brief.
Tens of thousands of Occupy Central protesters continue to cripple Hong Kong, digging in deeper and fortifying their conviction to obtain the right to freely choose their own officials without interference from Beijing. Hong Kong officials pulled back deployed riot police on Monday, handing those assembled a victory of sorts and boosting morale. A protest on this scale is unprecedented in Hong Kong and neither side can afford to back down.
The bodies of five more hikers were found under the ash on the slopes of Mt. Ontake in Japan, bringing the death toll to 36. More than 200 soldiers and firefighters, including units with gas detection equipment, were part of the search mission near the peak, but they had to pull back because of toxic gas.
The Philippines and the United States have launched an annual military exercise in the South China Sea. The Philippine Bilateral Exercises, or “Phi-blex is comprised of about 5000 troops from both nations.
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