The two men were also convicted of leaking details of a network of tunnels reportedly being built in Burma. It is thought the tunnels were built to house communications systems, possible weapons factories and troops in the event of an invasion. Photo: BBC

Burmese officials sentenced to death for revealing government visits to Russia and North Korea and information about military tunnels

by BBC News January 27, 2010

Two Burmese officials have been sentenced to death for leaking details of secret government visits to North Korea and Russia, the BBC has learned.The officials were also found guilty of leaking information about military tunnels allegedly built in Bu...

Indonesia: Internet facilitates illegal kidney trade–Thomas sells kidney through internet website to pay for mother’s hospitalization

by IRIN News January 8, 2010

Thomas, 30, said mounting debt forced him to take the desperate step of selling a kidney on the internet for 300 million rupiah (US$32,400). "I have to take my chances because that's the only way I can get the money to pay off my debt," Thomas, who...

North Korean currency crackdown fuels food shortages; government’s aim is to decrease reliance on markets, which now provide about half of North Korea’s food, but which also represent an alternative source of economic, and thus political, power

by Blaine Hardin Washington Post January 8, 2010

TOKYO -- Strong-armed currency reform in North Korea, which has confiscated the savings of small businesses and forbidden the use of foreign money, is now causing runaway inflation and contributing to food shortages, according to several reports from...

With harsh sentence of Liu Xiaobo, China threatens democracy and human rights activists and signals to the West that its concerns don’t matter much

by Andrew Jacobs New York Times December 25, 2009

BEIJING — The harsh sentence handed down on Friday to Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent campaigners for democracy and human rights, prompted strong rebukes in the United States and Europe, but it also raised fresh questions over whether t...

Pastoralism unraveling in Mongolia due to low wool prices and high number of goats, creating environmental damage

by Sarah J. Wachter New York Times December 8, 2009

A pungent odor like turpentine wafts over the hillsides north of the Mongolian capital. It comes from the sharilj, a wild plant that has taken over the scalloped landscape, a telltale sign of overgrazing since the plant is inedible for sheep and goat...

Bangladesh: over half of all children living in poverty

by IRIN News December 3, 2009

Over half of Bangladesh’s children are living in poverty and there is widespread deprivation amongst them in the basic areas of food, sanitation and shelter, with limited ability to escape their circumstances, according to experts. ...