Headlines 

Bali volcano: Flights canceled after Mount Agung erupts

(CNN)A volcanic eruption on the Indonesian island of Bali has resulted in the cancellation of some flights overnight, Reuters reports. Mount Agung, which stands at 3,031 metres (9944 feet) tall, has now erupted three times in May with six days between each eruption, according to the BNPB. The volcano’s alert level remains at level three — the second-highest level — and a 4 kilometer exclusion zone has been established. Nearby settlements are not at risk, the BNPB said. In 2017, authorities raised Mount Agung’s alert level to four, the highest…

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Headlines 

India’s minorities fear return of Modi

Alwar, Rajasthan, India (CNN)“It’s not even been one year. I really miss him,” says Sahila Khan, her head bowed and sitting in a small room that belonged to her father, Rakbar, a Muslim farmer who was lynched by a group of Hindu men in India’s Rajasthan state. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Hindu vigilante groups have killed dozens of people in recent years, many of them Muslims, for allegedly slaughtering or transporting cows — an animal that is considered sacred by many Hindus. The attacks have sparked concern about…

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Headlines 

Chinese marathon official directs race winner the wrong way

(CNN)A Chinese marathon official has been banned for a year after he redirected an elite runner away from the finish line, in a mistake that almost changed the outcome of the race. On May 10, the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) penalized marathon official Huang Jianyi, banning him from overseeing marathons for a year. Huang broke the guidelines by riding in the guide car and leading the runners, the CAA said in a notice on May 10. “At a critical position in the race route, he did not guide properly, which…

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Headlines 

China denies having ‘concentration camps,’ tells US to ‘stop interfering’

Hong Kong (CNN)Beijing has rejected US accusations of operating “concentration camps” in its Xinjiang region, with a government spokesman telling Washington Monday to “stop interfering in Chinese domestic affairs.” In recent years, the government has detained large numbers of Uyghurs in what former detainees describe as re-education centers with prison-like conditions, aimed at eradicating Uyghur cultural and religious practices and instilling Communist Party propaganda—a practice described by one as “cultural genocide.” However, Beijing has repeatedly denied the Uyghur citizens are being held in such large numbers and against their will,…

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Headlines 

The Sunday school children: The little-known tragedy of the Sri Lankan Easter attacks

Batticaloa, Sri Lanka (CNN)The first church Mohammed Nasar Mohammed Azar tried to blow up had already finished its service by the time he arrived. The Easter Sunday mass there had started early. It was then that Azar seemingly decided to cut his losses and detonate his bomb outside, where the children who had just finished Sunday school were gathering. He killed 29 people, including the two men who had held him back, Raju and Sasikumar — now hailed as heroes for saving the lives of many others. “If he had walked inside and made his way…

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Headlines 

The Thai King has been ruling for over two years, but he’s only just getting crowned

(CNN)Thailand is preparing to crown its new king in a $31 million three-day celebration that comes almost 69 years to the day since the last coronation. Although Thailand’s monarchy hasn’t held absolute power in 86 years, it remains an influential part of Thai life.Pictures of the royals are widely displayed around Thailand and the country’s strict lese majeste laws make it illegal to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir-apparent or regent. The coronation comes amid an ongoing period of political instability in the country, which has had two…

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Headlines 

Missing Chinese student found days after being kidnapped in Canada

(CNN)A Chinese student who was attacked with a stun gun and kidnapped in Canada has been found unharmed, police said. “Investigators have been in close contact with Mr. Lu’s family and have provided them with the updated information,” the statement said. Lu and a female friend were exiting his car in an underground parking lot on Saturday night in the Ontario city of Markham when four masked men grabbed him, police said. One was carrying a taser, and used it on Lu as he attempted to resist. Lu’s friend was…

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Headlines 

Running among the ruins: seeing Cambodia at a trot

A dawn jog around the magnificent temples of Angkor is the perfect way to meet an ancient country with deep roots Temple Run is a relentlessly addictive computer game. The concept is simple enough. Youve stolen a cursed idol from an ancient crumbling temple and now you have to run for your life to escape the evil monkeys gnashing at your heels. The temple run I am doing, however, is much slower, far less frantic and it only features a handful of snoozing macaques. But it is so infinitely more…

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Odds and Ends 

Skymind raises $11.5M to bring deep learning to more enterprises

Skymind, a Y Combinator-incubated AI platform that aims to make deep learning more accessible to enterprises, today announced that it has raised an $11.5 million Series A round led by TransLink Capital, with participation from ServiceNow, Sumitomo’s Presidio Ventures, UpHonest Capital and GovTech Fund. Early investors Y Combinator, Tencent, Mandra Capital, Hemi Ventures, and GMO Ventures, also joined the round/ With this, the company has now raised a total of $17.9 million in funding. The inclusion of TransLink Capital gives a hint as to how the company is planning to…

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Headlines 

Xinjiang human rights activist Serikzhan Bilash arrested by Kazakhstan police, lawyer says

(CNN)A prominent human rights activist and China critic based in Kazakhstan, has been arrested by Kazakh police and charged with inciting ethnic strife, according to his lawyer. Kazakhstan authorities could not be reached for comment. According to the US State Department, citing reports from international rights groups, scholars, and media organizations, as many as 800,000 to 1.1 million individuals have been detained in camps in Xinjiang since around April 2017. Bilash and other critics argue the facilities are re-education camps for political indoctrination and are an attempt to erase any…

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Toxic moonshine kills at least 94 in India and lands 150 in the hospital

New Delhi, India (CNN)At least 94 people have died and more than 150 have been hospitalized after consuming tainted alcohol in India, officials said. “It is a case of alcohol poisoning, and it has affected a few tea gardens and villages surrounding them in this district,” Saikia said. People are still arriving at Jorhat hospital for treatment, with extra medical staff called in to help handle patients, Baruah told CNN. “Doctors from nearby districts and other medical colleges have been rushed in to deal with the crisis,” Assam Health Minister…

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Headlines 

20 killed, dozens wounded in Philippines church bombings

(CNN)Two bombs tore through a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Philippines on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens wounded, authorities said. ISIS did not provide evidence for its claim, nor can CNN independently verify it. The nation’s military and the police are securing the area and all casualties were immediately evacuated, regional officials said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana condemned the bombing and said he has directed troops to “heighten their alert level” and secure places of worship and public spaces. “As we convey…

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Headlines 

One dead after multiple explosions in Chinese apartment building

Beijing (CNN)A man has been killed after a series of explosions at an apartment building in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun Friday, local authorities said in a statement. A car had exploded in the parking lot in an underground car park at the Wanda Plaza apartment building on Hongqi Street, the statement said. Just minutes later, a second explosion in an office on the 30th floor of the building sprayed smoke and glass onto the ground below. “After the incident, provincial leaders immediately ordered rescue work to be carried…

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Headlines 

Thais to vote in elections nearly five years after military coup

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN)Thailand’s long-awaited election will be held on March 24, the country’s Election Commission announced Wednesday, after almost five years of military rule. Following the royal decree, the Election Commission had five days to set a date, which is final and official. A statement from the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday said that the House of Representatives and a new government would both be in place “by the middle of this year.” Former army Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha seized power in a military coup in 2014, following six months of…

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Headlines 

China’s censors face a major test in 2019. But they’ve spent three decades getting ready

Hong Kong (CNN)The internet blackout began with no warning. In response to a day or so of protests and riots in one city, the whole of Xinjiang — a region of more than 617,700 square miles (1.6 million square kilometers) and 20 million people in 2009 — was cut off from the internet for almost 10 months. Businesses dependent on the web, like internet cafes or travel agencies, quickly went under, while others had to send staff on the 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) journey to the neighboring province of Gansu to get…

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