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South East Asian countries decide not to invite the military coup leader to their meeting.
The 450kg-haul was concealed in a shipment of ceramic tiles sent to Melbourne from Malaysia.
Explosions at a Shia mosque in Kandahar kill more than 40 people during Friday worship.
The UK has been warned the Chinese president is not likely to come, UK government sources say.
Former interpreters fear for their lives after the UK blocks their evacuation on security grounds.
China’s Missing Link
The business networking service LinkedIn is calling it quits in China, citing the “challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.” While it plans to eventually offer a new app focused on job postings in China, it will not include any social networking features. The company’s departure completes the exodus of U.S. social networks from a country that closely controls and censors the flow of information via filters known as the Great Firewall.
From the Executive Editor's Desk
RFA unveils new logo and revamped English website
Indonesian envoy: ASEAN bars Myanmar junta chief from upcoming summit
The decision comes after Myanmar's military refuses to allow the bloc's envoy to meet all parties as was agreed.
Myanmar’s junta bars NLD defense lawyer from speaking with media
Khin Maung Zaw had relayed former President Win Myint’s testimony about an attempt to force his resignation.
Lao workers feel the sting of chemical use at Chinese-run banana farms
Laborers say that their bosses do not provide health care or pay them their salaries when they become ill and leave their jobs.
ASEAN excludes Myanmar's junta chief from upcoming regional summit
Myanmar's junta chief will be excluded from an upcoming ASEAN summit, the group said Saturday, a rare rebuke as concerns rise over the military government's commitment to defusing a bloody crisis.
IS group claims responsibility for Kandahar mosque bombing
The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that killed at least 60 people and injured scores more. The Taliban said they would take charge of the mosque's protection, replacing local Shiite guards.
China launches second crew on six-month mission to space station
China on Saturday launched a three-person crew for a six-month mission aboard its space station that is planned at setting a new record for the length of time spent in space by Chinese astronauts as the country moves toward completing the orbiting structure. 
Deadly blast hits Shiite mosque in Afghanistan's Kandahar during Friday prayers
Suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 47 people and wounding 70, a Taliban official said. It was the deadliest day since the U.S. military withdrawal.
Sydney to scrap quarantine for international travellers
Sydney will open up to fully vaccinated international travellers from Nov. 1 without the need for quarantine, the country's most populous state said on Friday, bringing forward a full return of overseas travel.
China isn't about to invade Taiwan. But the two sides are on a dangerous path
Taiwan's Defense Minister, former general Chiu Kuo-cheng, stood in front of the island's legislature last week and made a dire prediction -- by 2025, China will be able to mount a "full-scale" invasion of Taiwan.
Countries welcoming US tourists back
Once one of the world's most powerful travel documents, the might of the United States passport has been diminished during the pandemic. With US Covid-19 cases now past the 32.4 million mark, some nations continue to view vacationers warily even as more Americans get vaccinated.
2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Here is a look at the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
- Toby Helm, Michael Savage and James Tapper
Commons Speaker: We must end the hatred aimed at our MPs

Lindsay Hoyle calls for a ‘conversation … kinder and based on respect’ as politicians reveal scale of violent threats

My friend David Amess connected with everyone. We must not hide away | Lindsay Hoyle

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has demanded “an end to hatred” against MPs and a kinder form of political discourse following the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess, as evidence mounts of the shocking scale of intimidation and threats suffered daily by elected politicians and their staff.

In a highly unusual intervention for a Commons Speaker, Hoyle makes the appeal as he writes in the Observer. He describes the late Tory MP and father of five as a friend who would regularly drop into his office for a chat, and as “a man who found a connection with everyone, no matter their background”.

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- Agence France-Presse
Thousands rally in Sudan’s capital to demand military rule

Protesters say they want the government of prime minister Abdalla Hamdok dismissed and replaced by the military

Thousands of pro-military protesters have rallied in central Khartoum, vowing not to leave until the government is dissolved in a threat to Sudan’s transition to civilian rule.

The protest on Saturday comes as Sudanese politics reels from divisions among the factions steering the rocky transition from two decades of dictatorship under president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army in April 2019 following weeks of mass protests.

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- Emma Graham-Harrison
Coal-state Democrat set to scupper Biden clean energy plans

White House forced to rewrite domestic bill as it makes late bid to secure backing for international deal

President Joe Biden is likely to abandon a clean energy programme that was the centrepiece of his efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions at home, US media reported, because of opposition from a swing-vote Democratic senator from a state with a historically large coal industry.

Funding to replace coal- and gas-fired plants with wind, solar and nuclear generation was part of a massive budget bill that Biden is struggling to get through Congress.

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- Staff and agencies
‘Brutal aggression’: Venezuela halts talks with opposition after envoy extradited to US

Alex Saab, an ally of president Nicolás Maduro, was extradited to face money laundering charges after a 16-month legal battle

Venezuela’s government is halting negotiations with its opponents in retaliation for the extradition to the US of a close ally of president Nicolás Maduro, who prosecutors believe could be the most significant witness ever about corruption in the South American country.

Jorge Rodríguez, who has been heading the government’s delegation, said his team wouldn’t travel to Mexico City for the next scheduled round of negotiations.

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- Reuters
Argentinian judge indicts Franco-era Spanish minister on homicide charges

Rodolfo Martín Villa, interior minister between 1976 and 1979, ‘played a key role in the repressive structures of the dictatorship’

An Argentinian judge investigating cases that happened during the Franco dictatorship in Spain has indicted a former Spanish minister on four counts of homicide.

Judge Maria Servini de Cuba, sitting in Buenos Aires, issued the ruling against Rodolfo Martín Villa, 87, interior minister between 1976 and 1979.

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US religious group says 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti
A group of 17 U.S. missionaries including children has been kidnapped by a gang in Haiti, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organization with direct knowledge of the incident
Families of Beirut blast victims back judge amid pressure
The families of the victims of last year's massive Beirut port blast have reaffirmed their support for the judge leading the investigation into the explosion
US religious group says 17 missionaries including children kidnapped by gang in Haiti as they returned from orphanage
US religious group says 17 missionaries including children kidnapped by gang in Haiti as they returned from orphanage
Venezuela halts talks after Maduro ally's extradition to US
Fugitive close to Venezuelan socialist government faces money laundering charges
Muslims, Hindus protest amid communal violence in Bangladesh
Violence against Hindus began after a viral image Muslims called insulting,
- Jill Lawless / AP
U.K. Lawmaker Stabbed While Meeting Constituents Has Died
Violence against British politicians is rare, but in June 2016 Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency.
- Dan Stewart
Queen Elizabeth and Greta Thunberg Are Sending the Same Message on Climate Change. Will World Leaders Listen?
The Queen's complaint comes only two weeks after Greta Thunberg made strikingly similar remarks
- Associated Press
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth Is Not Amused by Climate Inaction
She appeared to criticize the global lack of action on climate change in comments caught on microphone
Officials Are Seeking the Cause of a Taiwan Building Fire That Killed 46
Residents say the building housed many poor, older and disabled people, who seem to have been trapped in their homes
Fears of Sectarian Violence Return to Lebanon After Gunfight Leaves Six Dead
Gunfire echoed for hours as schools were evacuated and residents hid in shelters
Will Beijing sharpen its laws to punish ‘Taiwan separatists’?
Cross-strait tensions could spur efforts in Beijing to use legislation to target independence-seeking politicians in Taiwan, according to mainland observers.While there is no timetable for the legislation, Beijing said last year that it was drawing up a blacklist of “ diehard Taiwanese separatists” and their financial supporters.The list was seen as a warning to Taipei not to get too close to Washington, and came after former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Taiwan “has not been a part of…
For Indonesian-Chinese in Yogyakarta, a Dutch colonial law is the reason for why they can’t own land
For doctoral candidate Kezia Dewi, studying the history of Indonesia’s Chinese settlements is more than just of personal interest, being one of the country’s roughly 3 million ethnic Chinese. Such academic research is also rare, because many see the topic of Chinese Indonesian land ownership as sensitive and divisive.“The existing body of research on Chinese Indonesian settlements is largely focused on the history of Chinatowns dispersed throughout Indonesia and their conservation. This is why…
Professor was cleared of hiding ties to China: US university wants him back
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has offered to reinstate a professor who was acquitted of federal charges that had accused him of hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving Nasa research grants, a letter obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel says.The newspaper reports that in the October 14 letter, provost and senior vice chancellor John Zomchick offered a tenured engineering professor job to Anming Hu, along with some back pay, and payment for an immigration…
France’s Emmanuel Macron says deadly 1961 crackdown on Algerian protesters was ‘inexcusable’
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday condemned as “inexcusable” a deadly crackdown by Paris police on a 1961 protest by Algerians, the scale of which was covered up for decades, disappointing activists who hoped for an even stronger recognition of responsibility.Macron told relatives of victims on the 60th anniversary of the bloodshed that “crimes” were committed on the night of October 17, 1961 under the command of the notorious Paris police chief Maurice Papon.He acknowledged that…
Hong Kong police rescue family of 12 when speedboat capsizes off Tai Po
A family of 12, including a 9-year-old boy, were rescued in the waters off Hong Kong’s Tai Po district on Saturday night after the speed boat they were taking to dinner capsized.Police said they received a rescue call at about 10pm that the eight-metre vessel had overturned, throwing the family overboard about 100 metres from Sam Mun Tsai village, known for its numerous fishing boats and outdoor eateries.The family, their pet dog in tow, were on their way to a fish farm for dinner when the boat…
The government’s digital-first solutions are inaccessible to millions
Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao City, has so far shown reluctance to run for president
The ruling Rajapaksas have strong ideas and expect everyone to adopt them
Lee Jae-myung, its candidate for president, presents himself as a man of the people
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov wins elections with 98% of the vote and ruthlessly suppresses dissent
- Eileen Ng
The move follows the military government's repeated stalling and lack of cooperation on the implementation of a regional peace plan.
- Paolo Sorbello
The capital’s light rail might never be built, and the corrupt officials that stole public funds might never be convicted.
- Sarah Khan
Delhi is turning into a surveillance city, replete with CCTV cameras, under the guise of protecting women. But are women any safer than before?
- Associated Press
China is sending three astronauts to spend six months aboard its space station – which it built after being excluded from the ISS.
- Thomas Glucksmann
Japan’s new Kishida government seeks to bolster the national response to cyber threats from China, the country’s largest export market. What could go wrong?      
- Asia Sentinel
Child Marriage in India
State measure sparks a national debate
- Asia Sentinel
Ethnic Minority Killings Trigger Kashmir Unrest
“Vested interests want to use slayings to divide communities”
- Asia Sentinel
The 'Trilemma' of Korean Nuclear Negotiations
Restarting talks faces deep problems
- Asia Sentinel
Malaysia's Problem with Racial Tension
Mahathir’s abiding obsession with race
- Our Correspondent
Duterte Says No Vendetta Against Nobel Laureate Ressa
There are no fingerprints