In South Korea, a spike in Covid cases meets a collective shrug

SEOUL — South Korea reported its peak number of daily coronavirus infections of the entire pandemic on Thursday, registering 621,328 cases in a country of 50 million people. It was the second straight day the country set a record, in a week-long surge of Omicron cases that eclipsed all of its previous waves, with one … Read more

What we know about the earthquake on the Japanese coast of Fukushima

For some, the incident brought back painful memories of 2011, when an earthquake triggered a tsunami causing a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant, a disaster that is still felt to this day. Although the quake struck a similar area, Wednesday’s quake did not cause a national emergency – for a number of reasons. … Read more

Taiwan is stepping up military training for reservists as fears grow over China. But experts say that may not be enough

The roughly 400 men were among Taiwanese reservists, the first to face a rigorous new 14-day training schedule – up from the previous seven days – introduced by the government this month to boost the force’s combat readiness. Isle. Analysts say the tougher training schedule, among other measures, shows how seriously Taiwan takes the threat … Read more

Powerful earthquake off Japan reignites fears of another Fukushima

TOKYO — A powerful undersea earthquake off Japan’s Fukushima region, where a tsunami a decade ago triggered one of history’s worst nuclear disasters, rocked buildings for more than two minutes Wednesday night. Then the wait began. Shortly after the 11:36 p.m. earthquake, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings for Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, and … Read more

Biden offers protected status to Afghans already in US

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is allowing Afghans who reside in the United States to legally stay in the country for at least an additional 18 months, an attempt to offer them more stability because obtaining permanent residency could take years. The benefit, known as Temporary Protected Status, will be extended to more than 74,000 … Read more

Your Thursday briefing: Zelensky speaks to Congress

Hello. We cover Zelensky’s speech to US lawmakers, an earthquake in Japan and mass graves in Syria. Zelensky addresses Congress Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for more weapons and sanctions on Wednesday, showing vivid images of civilian casualties during a virtual address to US lawmakers. In a remarkably direct appeal, he invoked memories of Pearl … Read more

Genshin Impact, Smash Hit From China, Beats Japan At Their Own Game

TOKYO — Genshin Impact, one of the world’s most popular mobile video games, has all the hallmarks of a Japanese invention: giant robots; human-sized swords; characters with huge eyes and spiky rainbow-colored hair; and a confusing fixation on women in maid attire. There’s only one catch: it’s Chinese. Released in late 2020, the game is … Read more

Your Wednesday briefing: EU leaders visit Kyiv

Hello. We cover a visit by three European leaders to Ukraine, the ripple effects of China’s surge in Covid cases and a once perilous road to Afghanistan. Three European leaders visit Ukraine The Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia traveled by train to kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on Tuesday to express … Read more

Turkmenistan leader’s son wins presidential election

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan established a political dynasty on Tuesday as authorities said the Central Asian country’s leader’s son had won the presidential election after an unusual delay in the vote count. Serdar Berdymukhammedov, 40, was the big favorite in Saturday’s election to lead remote, gas-rich Turkmenistan to succeed his father, Gurbanguly. The country has … Read more

Indian court upholds hijab ban in schools

A high court in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Tuesday upheld a government order banning Muslim girls from wearing headscarves inside schools, a move that could escalate tensions at a time when India is increasingly polarized along religious lines. The court said wearing the hijab is not one of the essential religious practices … Read more