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Top Asian News 7:17 a.m. GMT

November 5, 2020 GMT

Cambodia’s prime minister in quarantine after Hungarian meet

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and four Cabinet ministers were in quarantine Thursday after they met with Hungary’s foreign minister the same day he tested positive for the coronavirus. Hun Sen on his Facebook page said he has tested negative and would abide by the country’s coronavirus guidelines and stay quarantined for 14 days, during which he would not meet with family members or attend public events. He said his wife and 16 of his staff — bodyguards and drivers — also tested negative. The Cambodian Health Ministry said all 628 people who were part of the visit have tested negative so far and it urged everyone who had contact with the Hungarian delegation to be tested and to quarantine for two weeks.

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Asia Today: India’s virus cases jump on New Delhi’s 3rd wave

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s coronavirus outbreak rose by more than 50,000 cases Thursday amid a surging third wave of infections in the capital. The Health Ministry also reported another 704 fatalities in the past 24 hours across the country, raising India’s overall death toll to 124,315. Nerves are frayed in New Delhi after it reported a record 6,842 new cases in the past 24 hours. Its Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, had admitted Wednesday that the city was going through a third wave of infections. It has more than 37,000 active cases. The ministry has attributed the surge in New Delhi to the festival season and warned that the situation can worsen due to people crowding markets for festival shopping.

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World waits nervously, impatiently for US election result

From Ford Model T cars that popped off the assembly line in just 90 minutes to 60-second service for burgers, the United States has long had a major hand in making the world a frenetic and impatient place, primed and hungry for instant gratification. So the world’s realization Wednesday that the U.S. election winner might not be known for days or longer was jarring for a planet weaned on American speediness. The guessing game of trying to figure out whether — and how — President Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden would end up in the White House quickly turned global.

Debut of Chinese e-finance giant derailed by fear of risks

BEIJING (AP) — The world’s biggest online finance company was racing toward a stock market debut when it was derailed by Beijing’s anxiety about risks in the fledgling industry, jarring global investors and deepening uncertainty about China’s financial markets. Regulators suspended Ant Group’s record-setting $34.5 billion stock offering two days before trading was due to start in order to “maintain the stability of the capital market” and protect investors, a foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said Wednesday. Zhao gave no details, but finance experts said the ruling Communist Party is worried the company might be unable to manage financial risks leaders want to contain as China tries to get economic growth back on track after the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian police arrest, charge firebrand TV station founder

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police on Wednesday said they arrested a firebrand television news anchor and charged him with abetment to suicide in connection with the 2018 deaths of an interior designer and the designer’s mother. Senior Mumbai police officer Sanjay Mohite said the charges against Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami are linked to the deaths of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother, which police determined to be suicide. A suicide note found by the police and determined to have been written by Naik said he took his life because Goswami and two others owed him a huge sum of money and had refused to pay it back.

SKorea military captures NKorean man at heavily armed border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean troops captured a North Korean man who crossed the heavily fortified border on Wednesday, the military said. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said that government agencies will launch a joint investigation to find out why and how the man crossed the mine-strewn border into South Korea. Earlier Wednesday, the military said South Korea’s surveillance equipment spotted an unidentified person on the eastern section of the land border and launched a search operation. Hours later, it said the military “safely” took custody of the man. More than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea in the past two decades, mostly via China, but a small number of North Koreans still occasionally escape through the land border.

Army Corps reconsidering permit for $9.4B plastics complex

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether potential environmental impacts require it to change, suspend or revoke the permit for a $9.4 billion plastics complex planned in Louisiana by a Taiwan company, U.S. Department of Justice lawyers said Wednesday. The Corps plans to explain by Tuesday why “the intended construction activities authorized under the permit ... may not proceed,” said a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “I’m overjoyed by this news. This hopefully marks the beginning of our victory over Formosa Plastics,” Sharon Lavigne, who formed Rise St. James to fight the company’s plans, said in a news release with others who sued to stop the project.

US approves Taiwan drone purchase as arms sales escalate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has notified Congress that it has approved the sale of $600 million in armed drones to Taiwan, the latest in a series of arms transfers for the island. The State Department said Tuesday it had Ok’d Taiwan’s purchase of four “weapons ready” remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment. The move is likely to infuriate China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has reacted angrily to previous weapons sales’ announcements to the island. “This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” it said.

Powerful blast, fire at India chemicals warehouse kills 12

NEW DELHI (AP) — A major fire and a powerful blast Wednesday rocked a cotton factory warehouse storing chemicals in western India and killed 12 people, a rescue official said. Twelve bodies were recovered from the warehouse on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, according to National Disaster Response Force spokesman Krishan Kumar. Television images showed several workers fleeing. Twenty-four fire engines and more than 50 firefighters doused the blaze after several hours, the fire control room said. A portion of the warehouse collapsed, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished by the loss of lives due to the fire in the warehouse in Ahmedabad.” Some nearby buildings also were damaged, the New Delhi television news channel said.

Pakistani PM angers India with plan to change Kashmir status

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister has rekindled controversy with archrival India this week by pledging to make part of the Pakistani-administered Himalayan region of Kashmir officially part his country. Imran Khan’s pledge to declare the area of Gilgit-Baltistan — which is part of the Pakistani-ruled Kashmir — the fifth province of Pakistan promptly angered neighboring India, which itself last year revoked decades-old semi-autonomous status for the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. At the time, New Delhi divided the Muslim-majority region into two federally governed territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — touching off anger on both sides of the frontier.