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Trending, short video news from Asia

Reports

China Extends Military Exercises In Taiwan

The Chinese government has announced extending military exercises around Taiwan, seeing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island as a direct assault on China's claims of Taiwan as part of its territory. The Taiwanese government says it will be firm in defending itself as a self-governing democracy. Brands have started distancing themselves from Taiwan, including Apple who has reportedly asked its Taiwan-based suppliers to label their products “Made in China”, anticipating stricter Chinese custom inspections. On social media, you will find both voices for peace and aggression. China’s fresh military drills in the seas and airspace around Taiwan include ballistic missile tests, over 60 aircraft, and 14 warships. How will these exercises impact global trade? Substantial concern is being raised at the potential for conflict in this region, which would disrupt both shipping and air traffic.

Reports

A24 Invests In Asian Indie, Makes $100M At Box Office

This Asian indie film is production company A24’s first to hit $100M at the box office. How did ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ surpassing award winning movies like ‘Uncut Gems’ and ‘Ladybird’? The Asian community has called the film relatable and representative. It incorporates familial expectations, speaks to multiple communities including immigrants and LGBTQIA++, and centers an Asian, female lead. A big draw to this sci-fi, comedy, drama is that it brings us into a world that is new to all and unknown to many: the multiverse. ‘Everything Everywhere’ has become A24’s highest grossing film of all time, already doubling what ‘Uncut Gems’ made. After this success, the director duo Daniels have announced this week that they are signing with Universal.

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Tragic Accident Paralyzes Dancer for HK Boyband MIRROR

A giant screen fell onto a dancer at a live performance for HK Boyband Mirror last Thursday, paralyzing him from the neck down. Another dancer was also injured. This comes only two days after 13,000 fans signed a petition urging organizers for the band to prioritize safety due to a previous incident, during which MIRROR’s member Frankie Chan Ruihui fell off the elevated platform. Authorities reported initial findings on Friday saying a metal suspension cord had snapped. The design and construction team responsible for the stage at Red Pavilion is facing blame for neglecting safety inspections. MIRROR has now canceled the rest of their tour.

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Myanmar's Military Killed 4 Pro-Democracy Activists In Prison

Myanmar’s military junta announced on Monday that it has executed 4 prisoners for conspiracy to commit acts of terror. They are the first executions carried out by the regime since 1998. The 4 men executed at the Insein prison were: Kyaw Min Yu, or Ko Jimmy, a prominent pro-democracy leader, Phyo Zeya Thaw, a rapper and former lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, and Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw who were convicted of allegedly killing a military informant. The regime did not disclose exactly when the executions took place, and refused to return their bodies to their families. The military government seized power in a coup in February 2021. Since then, a massive pro-democracy movement has gained momentum, as well as a fierce crackdown. According to the advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) Burma, which monitors arrests and killings, the junta has killed more than 2,100 people and detained over 11,800 since the coup. The executions have sparked pro-democracy protests in Yangon, as well as outside Myanmar’s embassies in Bangkok and Tokyo.

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Droupadi Murmu Becomes India’s First Tribal President

Droupadi Murmu took office as India’s first president from a tribal community – which makes up about 8% of India’s 1.4 billion people. Born in the Santhal tribe, Murmu was the first woman in her village to go to college. She was a teacher before getting involved in politics, and as governor of her home state of Odisha, she has been vocal about issues among marginalized tribes. The Adivasi, or indigenous people in India have long been at the bottom of the country’s socioeconomic ladder, facing physical, sexual and economic exploitation. Murmu follows outgoing president Ram Nath Kovind, who was the 2nd ever president from the Dalit caste - the lowest caste often referred to as untouchables. She is the 2nd woman ever to be president in India, and both the youngest and first president born after India’s independence. Murmu is by the BJP – the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She claims she won the election by almost double the number of votes against the opposition candidate, Yashwant Sinha, an outspoken critic of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile,others say she only won by a small margin, andis being used by the BJP tosecure the indigenous vote in 2024. Indian Presidents do not have the executive powers of the Prime Minister, but are expected to play a key role in political crises, such as when a general election is inconclusive.

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RIP An An, Oldest Male Panda in Captivity

Hong Kong: World’s oldest living male giant panda, An An, has passed away at the age of 35 - he would be 105 in human years. Hong Kong Zoo’s Ocean Park shared that his health has been deteriorating, and decided to alleviate the panda’s discomfort. "An An has brought us fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed," said Paolo Pong, Chairman of Ocean Park Corporation. Since 1972 when China first sent two pandas to the U.S. as a gesture of good will, the so-called “panda diplomacy” has been used as a symbol of China’s soft power. An An first came to Hong Kong in 1999 with his mate Jia Jia, as gifts from the Chinese government to commemorate Hong Kong’s transition from British rule. Rest in Paradise An An. We hope you eat endless bamboo in panda heaven.