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Access Asia

Exclusive reports, features and analysis of political and social events from across the Asian continent. Monday at 5:45pm Paris time.

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Exclusive reports, features and analysis of political and social events from across the Asian continent. Monday at 5:45pm Paris time.

The challenges of independent news reporting in India

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Concern is growing in India for one of the country's few independent TV news channels after a hostile takeover bid by billionaire businessman Gautam Adani. NDTV is currently one of India's most trusted sources of information, in a country where most news channels function as government mouthpieces. FRANCE 24's reporter and senior online editor Leela Jacinto, who recently wrote a piece on this topic, tells us more.

Sep 13 2022

12mins

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Unprecedented floods in Pakistan: Largest lake could burst its banks

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More than 6 million people are in urgent need of help in Pakistan, which is grappling with the worst floods in living memory. Since mid-June, unprecedented monsoon rains have left more than 1,300 dead, washed away entire villages and destroyed farmlands. Our team on the ground travelled to the southern Sindh province, where the country's largest lake is on the verge of overflowing.

Sep 06 2022

13mins

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Economic crisis in Sri Lanka as millions suffer shortages of essential items

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As Sri Lanka's protest movement reaches 100 days, the people proudly and defiantly said that their fight is not over. Indeed, in addition to political uncertainty, the country faces a long list of problems, with years of mismanagement coupled with external shocks. The coronavirus pandemic has battered the tourism industry, and the war in Ukraine has contributed to soaring inflation. On the ground, there are also long queues for food and fuel. For more, we speak to France 24's correspondent Navodita Kumari in Colombo.

Jul 19 2022

10mins

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Mass floods and heatwaves hit Asia: the role of global warming in extreme weather events

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In this edition, we take a closer look at climate change in Asia and its impact on extreme weather events. Whether it be scorching heatwaves in Pakistan or devastating floods in Bangladesh, the likelihood of these events occurring is increasing along with global temperatures.

Jul 12 2022

12mins

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Paternity rights still a battle in Japanese work culture

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Glen Wood has come to symbolise a growing fight against "paternity harassment" in Japan. In of the of the country's very first cases of its kind, Wood alleged on-the-job harassment and unlawful dismissal from his position at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley after taking parental leave when his son was born prematurely in 2015. Last month, the Tokyo High Court rejected the Canadian native's appeal. In a 21-page ruling, the court defended the company's actions as "inevitable".

Jul 05 2022

14mins

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Afghans left reeling after deadly earthquake

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The devastating earthquake that hit south-eastern Afghanistan on June 22 has caused immeasurable damage. With over a thousand people killed and tens of thousands now homeless, daily life will be even harder in a country that was already suffering from a humanitarian crisis following the Taliban's return to power. International aid is trickling in, but longer-term help is needed. Our regional correspondents Shahzaib Wahlah and Sonia Ghezali report.

Jun 28 2022

12mins

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Violence against women in China: Footage of restaurant attack sparks outrage

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A violent attack on several women in northern China earlier this month has raised questions over gender-based violence in the country. CCTV footage from a restaurant in the city of Tangshan showed a man getting rebuffed after he put his hand on the back of a woman. He then slapped her, then with other men beat the group of women before punching, kicking and dragging them outdoors. For more on women's safety and their rights in China, we talk to Professor Maria Jaschok from the University of Oxford.

Jun 21 2022

12mins

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Rising Islamophobia in India: How Modi's BJP is spreading anti-Muslim sentiment

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In India, derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed made two officials from India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have sparked a mixture of deadly protests and diplomatic spats. Countries like Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia have lodged complaints with India's ambassadors. We take a closer look and get analysis from Subir Sinha, a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.

Jun 14 2022

13mins

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Japan's long-awaited reopening: First tourists allowed to visit since 2020

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Japan was one of the last countries in the world to keep its borders shut to foreign tourists because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that is slowly changing. The government is cautiously taking steps to revive tourism. But in a crucial election year and with the border restrictions popular among voters, it's a tricky balancing act for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. We speak to Professor Seijiro Takeshita from the University of Shizuoka.

Jun 07 2022

13mins

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China's repression of Uighurs: UN urges Beijing to comply with human rights standards

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The western Chinese region of Xinjiang and its Muslim inhabitants have been in the headlines for several years amid reports of mass incarceration, family separations, forced labour and even forced sterilisation. Last week, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet went on a long-awaited visit to the region. But her six-day tour was not about fact-finding. Bachelet spoke only briefly about the repression in Xinjiang, urging Beijing to make sure any counter-terrorism measures don't infringe on human rights. Eleanor Hart, assistant director at the European Uyghur Institute, gives us her analysis.

May 31 2022

12mins

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Afghanistan under Taliban rule: Families face desperate choices to survive poverty

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Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year, international aid for the country has dried up. The pandemic and the ongoing food crisis have complicated an already dire economic situation. Unicef says that as more families are pushed deeper into poverty, they are forced to make desperate choices, such as putting children to work and marrying girls off at a young age. Our France 2 colleagues report.

May 24 2022

13mins

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Australia's federal election: Climate change becomes top concern for voters

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Australia is counting down to its next federal election on May 21. The environmental crisis is high on voters' minds and smaller parties and independents are gaining momentum by riding a wave of disillusionment over the conservative coalition's lack of climate action. With a hung parliament looking likely, these minor players could force the traditional parties to do more to tackle global warming. Climate change is an increasingly hot-button issue since the country's devastating bushfires of 2019-20. Our correspondents Richelle Harrison Plesse and Gregory Plesse report.

May 17 2022

11mins

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Philippine presidential election: Marcos clan returns to power

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The Marcos political dynasty is back in power in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator, has rebranded his family name and won the presidential election. Nonetheless his popularity comes as something of a surprise, as his father was ousted by a popular revolt 36 years ago. We take a closer look.

May 10 2022

12mins

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Death penalty in Singapore: demonstrations organized as 'sense of injustice' grows

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In Singapore, the fate of two Malaysian men on death row has sparked local mobilisation and attracted international attention. On April 25th, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was hanged. With an IQ of 69, which is recognized as a disability, his execution could amount to a breach of international law. The next day, 36-year-old Datchinamurthy Kataiah won a last minute reprieve from Singapore's top court, thereby suspending his execution. We talk to journalist and anti-death penalty activist Kirsten Han.

May 04 2022

12mins

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India feels the heat: Country reels from unusually early heatwave

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Earlier this month, India's northwest sweltered under a heatwave that came unusually early. Every year, hundreds of people die during heatwaves in India and the country usually also suffers severe water shortages. There are fears that because of climate change, heatwaves are coming earlier and may be more severe. Nagraj Adve, a climate activist and author of "Global Warming in the Indian Context", tells us more.

Apr 26 2022

12mins

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Made in Hollywood, censored by China: How the film industry is abiding by Beijing's laws

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This week, we look into how Hollywood blockbusters adapt or even self-censor to reach the Chinese market. The new "Fantastic Beasts" movie "The Secrets of Dumbledore" came out in Chinese theatres with one small change: six seconds of dialogue referring to a romantic relationship between two male characters were cut out. For more on the relationship between Hollywood and Beijing, we speak to Erich Schwartzel, the author of "Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy".

Apr 19 2022

12mins

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China's zero-Covid policy: Shanghai struggles with tough sanitary measures

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Some coronavirus restrictions are being eased in Shanghai, despite the Chinese city reporting recent record highs of new cases. Residents have grown increasingly frustrated as they've struggled to find enough food and medicine. We get analysis from Carl Minzner, senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Fordham Law School specialising in Chinese politics and law.

Apr 12 2022

12mins

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Pakistani PM Imran Khan fighting for his political life

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Pakistan is currently in the midst of political upheaval. Prime Minister Imran Khan was faced with a vote of no-confidence vote on Sunday, which was expected to remove him from power. But before the vote could happen, it was thrown out by the deputy speaker. Khan then announced the dissolution of parliament. He insists that the push to oust him is a foreign conspiracy. We take a closer look.

Apr 05 2022

12mins

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Shanghai in lockdown: Large parts of Chinese city closed as Covid-19 surges

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After Shanghai recently reported a new daily record for asymptomatic coronavirus infections, the city is locking down in two stages. It's the biggest step taken in the Chinese metropolis since the Covid-19 pandemic began more than two years ago. But some residents are complaining that the cost of China's strict aggressive zero-Covid strategy has become too great. We take a closer look.

Mar 30 2022

12mins

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China sticks to zero-Covid policy: Tens of millions endure new lockdown

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After first appearing in China more than two years ago, Covid-19 has returned to the Middle Kingdom. The country had largely succeeded in keeping infection and mortality rates in check. But in recent weeks, the Omicron variant has posed a significant challenge to the country's zero-Covid strategy. Once again, harsh lockdowns and restrictions are being enforced. We take a closer look.

Mar 22 2022

10mins

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