Pokémon still going: Taiwan’s love affair with the game the world forgot

Global use of Pokémon Go has plummeted, but its popularity remains undimmed among Taiwan’s young and old

We can’t show you Tsai’s face. The 52-year-old is busily swiping away at six phones in a custom-built usher-style tray. Charging cords snake off into a backpack full of powerbanks. The elaborate setup is designed to maximise his Pokémon Go experience, ensuring he’s always in hunt-mode.

Tsai started in 2016 with just one phone, but says six is the perfect number to avoid waiting for his device to process all the “boring” bells and whistles each time he catches one of the virtual creatures.

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Deadly floods and landslides hit southern Philippines as Storm Nalgae approaches – video

Heavy rains ahead of Storm Nalgae caused flooding and multiple landslides in the southern Philippines, killing dozens of people, a senior government official said on Friday. Authorities have evacuated thousands of people from the path of the storm, which could make landfall on Friday night. Search and rescue operations are under way for missing residents

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Young girls being sold in India to repay loans, says human rights body

Notice issued to Rajasthan state government demanding police inquiry into ‘abominable’ practice

Young girls in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan are being sold as “repayment” for loans their parents cannot afford, the national body that protects human rights has said.

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the state government demanding a police inquiry and answers within a month to what it called an “abominable” practice.

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‘Parents can’t afford meat, eggs and milk’: children bear the brunt of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis

Child malnutrition is soaring as inflation hits 94.9%, and many are missing school because parents do not have the cash to send them

Over the past few months, at a state school in the centre of Colombo, Sri Lanka, it has become common for children to faint in the middle of class. Students, coming from homes in the capital where parents can barely afford a meal a day, have been arriving at school quietly starving, as the country continues to grapple with the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

“Parents can’t afford the meat, eggs and milk that children need,” says Sandarenu Amarasiri, a teacher, adding that many were also missing school because financial hardship meant they could not afford transport, uniforms and shoes. This month, in an attempt to tackle the rampant hunger, the school began a programme giving basic lunch to students.

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Japan considering buying US Tomahawk cruise missiles

Purchase likely to prove controversial, as Tokyo seeks to counter growing regional threats

Japan is looking into buying US-developed Tomahawk cruise missiles as it seeks to counter growing regional threats, including from North Korea, the government has said.

Any purchase would probably prove to be controversial, in a nation whose military is not officially recognised under its post-second world war constitution.

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‘Dying of boredom’: the fight to release Thailand’s shopping mall gorilla

Bua Noi has spent decades in a cage in a decaying Bangkok shopping mall. Her owner says is she too old to be transferred to a sanctuary but activists disagree

Holding a fist full of green beans, Bua Noi stares through the iron bars and glass of her home at the visitors busy taking pictures of Bangkok’s controversial “shopping mall gorilla”. To their dismay, the animal fondly known as King Kong soon saunters away from the viewing window, past the hanging tyre to the back of her sparse enclosure.

“She’s sitting there dying of boredom,” says Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand.

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Was Hu Jintao’s removal from China’s 20th party congress suspicious or not?

Incident has split China watchers with some saying former leader was unwell and others it was political purge by Xi Jinping

After eight days of China’s most important political meeting, in which the autocratic leader Xi Jinping’s precedent-breaking third term was confirmed, belligerent foreign policy reaffirmed, and the leader of the world’s largest population and second-largest economy announced through the next five years, one question was on everyone’s lips: what on earth happened to Hu Jintao and where is he now?

The drama happened on Saturday morning. In a short window between foreign media being allowed into Beijing’s Great Hall and the start of the final public meeting of the 20th party congress, the former Chinese leader Hu was physically removed from his seat next to his successor, Xi, and out of the Great Hall of the People.

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Police investigate claim of secret Chinese police stations in Canada

RCMP looking into ‘reports of criminal activity’ surrounding facilities allegedly used to pressure Chinese nationals abroad

Canada’s federal police force is investigating reports that clandestine Chinese “police stations” are operating in Toronto amid reports of a global network used to target overseas dissidents.

The Royal Canada Mounted Police said it was investigating “reports of criminal activity in relation to the so-called ‘police’ stations” but did not specify the location of the sites.

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