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Asia

The rapid spread of "super malaria" in South East Asia is an alarming global threat, scientists are warning.

This dangerous form of the malaria parasite cannot be killed with the main anti-malaria drugs.

It emerged in Cambodia but has since spread through parts of Thailand, Laos and has arrived in southern Vietnam.

The team at the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok said there was a real danger of malaria becoming untreatable.

Prof Arjen Dondorp, the head of the unit, told the BBC News website: "We think it is a serious threat.

"It is alarming that this strain is spreading so quickly through the whole region and we fear it can spread further [and eventually] jump to Africa." bbc.com
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 has been detected off the coast of Japan.

The US Geological Survey said that the earthquake struck about 175 miles south east of Kamaishi, and around 200 miles east of Fukushima.

It is the third major earthquake to strike around the world in the last 24 hours - following one in Mexico that measured a magnitude of 7.1, while another 6.1 magnitude earthquake stuck New Zealand.

The depth of the earthquake, which struck at 2.37am local time, was measured at 10km.

Details of any damage are yet to emerge, and no tsunami warning has yet been issued.

Only 41 people reported feeling the effects of the quake to the US Geological Survey. independent.co.uk
Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said her government does not fear "international scrutiny" of its handling of the growing Rohingya crisis.

It was her first address to the country about the violence in northern Rakhine state that has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh.

Ms Suu Kyi has faced heavy criticism for her response to the crisis.

She said there had been no "clearance operations" for two weeks.

In her speech in English to Myanmar's parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi said she felt "deeply" for the suffering of "all people" in the conflict, and that Myanmar was "committed to a sustainable solution… for all communities in this state".

Ms Suu Kyi, who has decided not to attend the UN General Assembly in New York later this week, said she nevertheless wanted the international community to know what was being done by her government. bbc.com
Japan doesn't really believe in dying young.

At least, not according to conventional timelines.

New data from the country's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare reveal Japan has broken its own record for most centenarians by population for the 46th straight year.

With 32,000 new 100-year-olds, there are now more than 65,000 people in Japan who've lived 100 years or more.

Though it trails first-place US by roughly 10,000 centenarians, Japan's population is only a third of America's.

In other words, no country on Earth has a larger percentage of people who have reached their 100th birthday. businessinsider.com
The accused was charged in July last year after his friend, Yasir Bashir, complained to police that he received a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory toward the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and other holy figures.

The accused “was handed a death sentence by the court on Thursday on blasphemy charges,” defence lawyer Anjum Wakeel told AFP, alleging that his client was been framed by Bashir.

He said the trial was held inside a prison due to security reasons after local clerics had threatened the accused and his family.

Court officials confirmed the sentence.

Blasphemy has been a contentious issue in the country where people have been murdered over allegations of sacrilege.

Pakistan is cracking down against blasphemy related crimes on social media with former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar threatening to block all social media websites with 'blasphemous content' earlier this year. dawn.com
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea's military says.

It flew higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would "never tolerate" such "dangerous provocative action".

South Korea responded within minutes by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on the North.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch and the UN Security Council will meet later on Friday in New York at the request of America and Japan.

The launch took place from the Sunan district of the capital Pyongyang just before 07:00 local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday), South Korea's military says. bbc.com
Myanmar's national leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the upcoming UN General Assembly session in New York.

A spokesperson for her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), told Reuters news agency late on Tuesday that the Nobel Peace Prize winner had withdrawn from the meeting in New York on September 20.

No reason was provided for her withdrawal.

Aung San Suu Kyi, whose official title is state counsellor, faces mounting criticism over the systematic killings and displacements of Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine state.

Since August 25, 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh.

But a spokesperson for the NLD said she was not aware of the reason for the Aung San Suu Kyi's withdrawal from this year's General Assembly. aljazeera.com
An ixodid tick that was on display here during a press conference at the Miyazaki Prefectural Government office on Sept. 4 has gone missing, causing chaos, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

The tick was presented to the media as part of the prefectural government's drive to warn people about "severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS)," which is transmitted by ixodid ticks.

It had been brought to the conference venue by a prefectural government employee, and placed on a sheet of white paper together with another ixodid tick that had died after sucking some blood.

The live tick suddenly went missing following a photo session.

The tick's sudden disappearance caused commotion in the room, with journalists and prefectural employees frantically searching for it, but to no avail.

As a countermeasure, the prefectural government released two types of insecticide across the press room. mainichi.jp
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, a move aimed at pushing companies to speed efforts in developing electric vehicles for the world’s biggest auto market.

Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales.

The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.

A ban on combustion-engine vehicles will help push both local and global automakers to shift toward electric vehicles, a carrot-and-stick approach that could boost sales of energy-efficient cars and trucks and reduce air pollution while serving the strategic goal of cutting oil imports.

The government offers generous subsidies to makers of new-energy vehicles, and it also plans to require automakers to earn enough credits or buy them from competitors with a surplus under a new cap-and-trade program for fuel economy and emissions.

China, seeking to meet its promise to cap its carbon emissions by 2030, is the latest country to unveil plans to phase out vehicles running on fossil fuels. bloomberg.com
Abandoned by their government, more than 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in Myanmar by crossing into Bangladesh over the past two weeks, bringing with them harrowing tales of murder, rape and burned villages.

Myanmar's army has previously said it had killed 387 Rohingya "fighters", blaming the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for the latest round of violence that began last month.

Yet, fleeing Rohingya refugees have accused the country's security forces of responding with a campaign of arson and murder in a bid to force them out of Myanmar.

Stripped of their citizenship by the military government in the 1980s, more than 50 percent of the beleaguered ethnic group have been forced to neighbouring countries – now, less than one million remain.

The Rohingya, a minority Muslim group who have lived in Myanmar's Rakhine state for centuries, have suffered decades of repression under the country's Buddhist majority.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of the risk of ethnic cleansing, appealing to the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's security forces to end the violence, but with the violence showing no end in letting up - the new influx of refugees is overwhelming camps in Bangladesh that were already bursting at the seams. aljazeera.com