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Top Asian News 3:28 a.m. GMT

October 2, 2022 GMT

129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. Several fights between supporters of the two rival soccer teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League game ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3-2. The brawls that broke out just after the game ended late night Saturday prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among supporters, said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta. Hundreds of people ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas.

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

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Police fired tear gas after riots 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 over 100 people 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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North Korea conducts 4th round of missile tests in 1 week

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles, its neighbors said, the fourth round this week of weapons launches that prompted quick, strong condemnation from its rivals. In an unusually strong rebuke of North Korea’s weapons programs, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said North Korea’s “obsession” with nuclear weapons is deepening the suffering of its own people, and warned of an “overwhelming response” from South Korean and U.S. militaries should such weapons be used. “North Korea hasn’t abandoned its obsession with nukes and missiles despite the persistent international objection in the past 30 years,” Yoon said during an Armed Forces Day ceremony at the military headquarters in central South Korea.

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Hong Kong leader promises revival on China’s National Day

BEIJING (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader promised Saturday to revive its struggling economy following a campaign to crush a pro-democracy movement as China’s ruling Communist Party marked its 73rd anniversary in power under strict anti-virus controls. In Beijing, crowds of spectators watched a 96-member honor guard raise the Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital. There were no parades or other public events after authorities called on the public to avoid holiday travel. National Day marks the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war.

AP PHOTOS: China marks National Day with flag-raising, toast

BEIJING (AP) — Spectators watched a masked, 96-member honor guard raise a Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square as the ruling Communist Party marked its 73rd anniversary in power on Saturday under strict anti-virus controls. The flag-raising at sunrise was one of the few National Day events planned after authorities called on the public to avoid travel during what usually is one of the country’s busiest tourism periods. National Day marks the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war. The former ruling Nationalist Party left for Taiwan, now a self-ruled democracy.

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Cinema opens in Kashmir city after 14 years but few turn up

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A multi-screen cinema hall opened on Saturday in the main city of Indian-controlled Kashmir for the first time in 14 years in the government’s push to showcase normalcy in the disputed region that was brought under India’s direct rule three years ago. Decades of a deadly conflict, bombings and brutal Indian counterinsurgency campaign have turned people away from cinemas, and only about a dozen viewers lined up for the first morning show, the Bollywood action movie “Vikram Vedha.” The 520-seat hall with three screens opened under elaborate security in Srinagar’s high security zone that also houses India’s military regional headquarters.

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What the war in Ukraine means for Asia’s climate goals

NEW DELHI, India (AP) — The queues outside petrol pumps in Sri Lanka have lessened, but not the anxiety. Asanka Sampath, a 43-year-old factory clerk, is forever vigilant. He checks his phone for messages, walks past the pump, and browses social media to see if fuel has arrived. Delays could mean being left stranded for days. “I am really fed up with this,” he said. His frustrations echo that of the 22-million inhabitants of the island nation, facing its worst ever economic crisis because of heavy debts, lost tourism revenue during the pandemic, and surging costs. The consequent political turmoil culminated with the formation of a new government, but recovery has been complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the consequent upending of global energy markets.

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Western push on China, Russia at UN rights body faces test

GENEVA (AP) — Western countries are leading a rare two-pronged push at the U.N.’s main human rights body to better scrutinize the human rights records of two big world powers: China, over allegations of abuses during an anti-extremism campaign in western Xinjiang, and Russia, over its government’s crackdown on dissent and protest against the war in Ukraine. Going after two such influential U.N. members — two of the five permanent members of the Security Council no less — at the same time will be no small political task, diplomats and rights advocates say. It testifies to a growing rift between democracies and more autocratic countries, and is shaping up as a gamble of geopolitical clout, the outcome of which will resonate beyond the Geneva conference room where the Human Rights Council meets.

Women protesters demand more security after Afghan bombing

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A group of Afghan women Saturday protested a suicide bombing that killed or wounded dozens of students in a Shiite education center in the capital Kabul a day earlier, demanding better security from the Taliban-run government. The demonstration was quickly broken up by Taliban police. The bomber struck an education center Friday packed with hundreds of students in a Shiite neighborhood, killing 19 people and wounding 27. Among the casualties were teenagers taking practice university entrance exams, a Taliban spokesman said. The morning explosion at the center took place in Kabul’s Dashti Barchi neighborhood, an area populated mostly by ethnic Hazaras, who belong to Afghanistan’s minority Shiite community.

Japanese wrestler and politician Antonio Inoki dies at 79

TOKYO (AP) — A popular Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who faced a world boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial arts match in 1976, has died at 79. Inoki brought Japanese pro-wrestling to fame and pioneered mixed martial arts matches between top wrestlers and champions from other combat sports like judo, karate and boxing. Inoki, who was battling a rare disease called amyloidosis, died earlier Saturday, according to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., of which he was the founding president. He rose to global fame in the sport in 1976 when he faced Ali in a mixed martial arts match at Tokyo’s Budokan hall, an exhibition match that Japanese fans remember as “the fight of the century.” To many of those outside Japan, however, the match was seen as unprofessional and not taken seriously.