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Top Asian News 2:11 a.m. GMT

October 3, 2022 GMT

Stadium tragedy exposes Indonesia’s troubled soccer history

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Gaining the right to host next year’s Under-20 World Cup was a major milestone in Indonesia’s soccer development, raising hopes that a successful tournament would turn around long-standing problems that have blighted the sport in this country of 277 million people. The death of at least 125 people at a league game between host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday is a tragic reminder, however, that Indonesia is one of the most dangerous countries in which to attend a game. “Do remember that the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be the worldwide spotlight since the event will be joined by 24 countries from five continents,” Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said last month as he pushed for thorough preparations for the tournament.

Soccer world reacts to disaster at Indonesia stadium

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MADRID (AP) — A minute of silence was observed before soccer matches around the world on Sunday in honor of victims of the disaster at a stadium in Indonesia that claimed at least 125 lives, and top players, coaches and leagues sent condolences and messages of support. Most of the victims were trampled upon or suffocated as chaos erupted following a game between host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday night. Witnesses described police officers beating fans with sticks and shields before shooting tear gas canisters directly into the crowds to stop violence but instead triggering a deadly crush.

125 die as tear gas triggers crush at Indonesia soccer match

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Police firing tear gas after an Indonesian soccer match in an attempt to stop violence triggered a disastrous crush of fans making a panicked, chaotic run for the exits, leaving at least 125 people dead, most of them trampled upon or suffocated. Attention immediately focused on police crowd-control measures at Saturday night’s match between host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya. Witnesses described officers beating them with sticks and shields before shooting tear gas canisters directly into the crowds. It was among the deadliest disasters ever at a sporting event. President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation of security procedures, and the president of FIFA called the deaths “a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension.” While FIFA has no control over domestic games, it has advised against the use of tear gas at soccer stadiums.

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EXPLAINER: What’s behind Indonesia’s deadly soccer match?

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Violence, tear gas and a deadly crush that erupted following a domestic league soccer match Saturday night marked another tragedy in Indonesian football. Here’s a look at how the chaos occurred and what is being done to prevent future incidents: ___ HOW DID THE CHAOS OCCUR? Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated Arema Malang 3-2 in Saturday night’s match in East Java’s province Malang city. Police said there were some 42,000 spectators in the stadium, all of whom were Arema’s supporters because the organizer had banned Persebaya fans in an effort to avoid brawls. But a disappointing loss by Arema — the first match lost to Persebaya at its home stadium — prompted angry spectators to pour into the field after the match to demand answers.

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A look at some of the world’s major crowd disasters

Police fired tear gas after violence broke out at an Indonesian soccer match in East Java province when Persebaya Surabaya beat Arema Malang 3-2. Panic and a rush for the exit left at least 125 dead, most of whom were trampled, police said Sunday. Here’s a look at some of the major crowd disasters in recent decades: Dec. 3, 1979 — Eleven people are killed as thousands of fans rush to get into a concert by The Who at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. Jan. 20, 1980 — A temporary four-story wooden stadium collapses at a bullfight in Sincelejo, Colombia, killing some 200 spectators.

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S. Korean activists clash with police over anti-Kim balloons

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean activists say they clashed with police while launching balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda materials across the North Korean border, ignoring their government’s plea to stop such activities since the North has threatened to respond with “deadly” retaliation. Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector-turned-activist, said he his group had launched about eight balloons from an area in the South Korean border town of Paju Saturday night when police officers arrived at the scene and prevented them from sending their 12 remaining balloons. Park said police confiscated some of their materials and detained him and three other members of his group over mild scuffles with officers before releasing them after questioning.

Chinese billionaire Richard Liu settles US rape allegation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chinese billionaire and JD.com founder Richard Liu agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a former University of Minnesota student who alleged he raped her in her Minneapolis apartment after a night of dinner and drinks with wealthy Chinese executives in 2018, attorneys for both sides announced late Saturday. A settlement amount was not disclosed. Richard Liu, who stepped down as the CEO of Beijing-based e-commerce company JD.com this year amid increased government scrutiny of China’s technology industry, has denied raping the woman, Jingyao Liu, and prosecutors never filed criminal charges. A joint statement from attorneys for both sides called the encounter “a misunderstanding.” “The incident between Ms.

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Farm vehicle packed with people overturns in India; 26 dead

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A farm tractor pulling a wagon loaded with people overturned and fell into a pond in northern India, killing 26 people, most of them women and children, officials said Sunday. The wagon was carrying around 40 people returning from a ceremony at a nearby local Hindu temple Saturday night, said police Superintendent Tej Swaroop Singh. He said most of the deaths were due to drowning. At least 10 people were injured in the accident in Kanpur city’s Ghatampur area, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Uttar Pradesh state’s capital, Lucknow. The injured have been admitted to a hospital.

UN, abuse survivor groups seek Vatican investigation of Belo

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The United Nations and advocacy groups for survivors of clergy sexual abuse are urging Pope Francis to authorize a full investigation of Catholic Church archives on three continents to ascertain who knew what and when about sexual abuse by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, the revered independence hero of East Timor. The Vatican’s sex abuse office said last week that it had secretly sanctioned Belo in 2020, forbidding him from having contact with minors or with East Timor, based on misconduct allegations that arrived in Rome in 2019. That was the year Francis approved a new church law that required all cases of predator prelates to be reported in-house and established a mechanism to investigate bishops, who had long escaped accountability for abuse or cover-up during the church’s decades-long scandal.

Famed US extreme skier gets traditional Nepalese funeral

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A famed extreme skier from the United States who was killed after falling from one of the world’s tallest mountains was on Sunday given a traditional funeral at a Sherpa cremation ground as Buddhist monks officiated over a ceremony attended by family, friends and government officials. Hilaree Nelson, 49, fell off the 8,163-meter (26,775-foot) summit of the world’s eighth-highest mountain. Mount Manaslu, last week while skiing down with her partner, Jim Morrison. Nelson’s body was taken to the Sherpa cremation grounds in Kathmandu from a hospital morgue on the back of a open truck, which was decorated a poster of her and bedecked with garlands of flowers.