Featured Works

A selection of feature and breaking news stories from across the Asia-Pacific region.

A Deep Downward Spiral: The State of Press Freedom in Southeast Asia

Since Maria Ressa won the Nobel Peace Prize this autumn, press freedom in Asia has come under scrutiny. FCC Fellow Amy Sood surveys a fraught situation. In October, Maria Ressa – one of the Philippines’ most famous journalists – and Dmitry Muratov from Russia jointly won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Both have come under fire for “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” wrote the The Norwegian Nobel Committee in its selection announcem

Jakarta residents win battle for clean air against Indonesian government

(CNN) A Jakarta court on Thursday ruled the Indonesian government had failed to uphold citizens' right to clean air, in a landmark judgment campaigners hope will force authorities to take action on the city's notorious smog. The long-awaited decision ends a two-year legal challenge brought by 32 Jakarta citizens against Indonesian President Joko Widodo, three cabinet ministers, the Jakarta governor, and two provincial leaders. The court ruled that the defendants were guilty of "committing "unla

Families are at war over a wedding tradition India banned decades ago

(CNN) Vismaya Nair had been married for just over one year when she was found dead in the bathroom of her husband's family's home in India's southwestern Kerala state. Initially, police had no reason to view the 24-year-old student's death on June 21 as suspicious, until her family made a complaint under the country's "dowry death" law. The law allows charges to be brought against people for causing the death or suicide of a woman within the first seven years of her marriage in which the famil

These countries used Chinese vaccines and still have Covid-19 cases

Hong Kong and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (CNN) In Mongolia, hospitals are overwhelmed. In the tiny archipelago of Seychelles, more than 100 new Covid-19 cases are being reported each day. And in Chile, a nationwide lockdown was lifted this week -- but the country is still reporting thousands of daily cases . What links these countries is that they have each fully inoculated more than 50% of their populations, largely with Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines. And that's raised questions over the vaccin

Chinese social media bypass censors to support Chloé Zhao's Oscars wins

Social media users in China got creative Monday to celebrate Chloé Zhao's historic Oscars victory after the Chinese government censored mention of her name. Zhao, who was born in Beijing, won the Academy Award for best director Sunday for "Nomadland," but searches for her name and for the film were few and far between on Chinese social media platforms. "Nomadland" also won the award for best picture and similarly got the silent treatment. On China's Twitter-like Weibo, users bypassed censors b

Almost half of this capital city's population may have contracted Covid-19, survey finds

The survey, published July 10, tested for coronavirus antibodies in the blood of about 5,000 people across the city from March 15-31. The results showed 44.5% of those tested had antibodies, indicating they had been infected with Covid-19. Jakarta has a population of about 10.6 million, government figures show. According to the researchers, as many as 4.7 million people may have been infected in the capital by March 31. "Through this survey, we can estimate the proportion of Jakarta residents

Covid-19 in India

Stories for NBC News on India's battle with a second wave of the Covid-19 virus.

Oxygen trains in India are racing to save patients amid growing crisis

Oxygen supplies are being rushed by train to New Delhi amid shortages across hospitals in the nation's capital, as India's Covid-19 crisis deepens. The country confirmed a record 3,780 deaths Wednesday, a day after it became only the second country after the United States to pass 20 million total infections. Piyush Goyal, the minister for railways, called the trains "Oxygen Express" in a tweet and said they would “provide a continued supply of oxygen for Covid-19 patients in the capital.” He

India surges past 200,000 Covid deaths amid record new cases

India passed 200,000 Covid-19 deaths Wednesday, becoming only the fourth country to do so, as it battles a devastating second wave of infections. The surge in new infections has stretched hospitals across the country to a breaking point, with widespread shortages of medical oxygen and beds. Patients and their loved ones desperately search for hospitals with intensive care units that can make room for them, turning to social media to find access to vacant beds and oxygen online. Increased infec

Modi's party takes electoral hit as virus cases spiral

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party lost a key state in elections over the weekend amid mounting criticism of his handling of the country’s worsening Covid-19 crisis. On Monday, India recorded more than 300,000 new cases for the 12th straight day, bringing the country’s total infections to nearly 20 million, according to Health Ministry figures. Experts fear that the real number may be 10 times higher in the nation of over 1.35 billion people. The country also reported over 218,000 dea

'Black fungus' strikes fear in India as Covid deaths pass 300,000

India became only the third country to record 300,000 Covid-19 deaths on Monday amid growing fears about a potentially fatal fungal infection striking some of those who have battled the virus. Over 8,800 total cases of the so-called black fungus, known as mucormycosis, have been recorded across India, the country's minister of chemicals and fertilizers, Sadananda Gowda, said in a tweet Saturday. Although Gowda did not share the official number of deaths caused by mucormycosis, The Associated P

Bodies found floating in the Ganges as India battles second Covid wave

Dozens of bodies have been washing up on the banks of the Ganges river as hospitals and crematoriums across India remain overwhelmed by the country's rampant second wave of Covid-19. Officials in the east Indian state of Bihar said in a statement Tuesday that at least 71 corpses washed up in the city of Buxar, adding that they were likely coming from India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, officials in Uttar Pradesh said Tuesday that dozens of bloated and decomposed bodies were f