Affordable mobile internet is driving e-commerce and ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, report finds

The six Southeast Asian countries that the report focused on have about 350 million internet users today compared to only 260 million in 2015, Rajan Anandan, vice president for India and Southeast Asia at Google, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.
Tech

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As Pence kicks off his Asia tour, other countries have their own ideas for the ‘Indo-Pacific’

Before the Trump administration began calling for unimpeded commerce and an end to authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific, both Japan and Indonesia already had their own policy ideas for the critically important region.
Politics

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Asia Bibi, Christian Woman Acquitted of Blasphemy in Pakistan, May Find Refuge in Anti-Mafia Safehouse in Italy

Asia Bibi was desperately thirsty when she took a cup of water from an open well while working as a laborer in a fruit tree grove in rural Pakistan in 2009. The illiterate mother of five was one of only a few Christians working in a predominately Muslim labor force who were frequently subjected to discrimination for their beliefs. When Bibi dipped her cup back into the well for another drink of water, the Muslim workers chastised her for contaminating the water meant for Muslims only, according to her memoir Blasphemy: Sentenced To Death Over A Cup of Water as told to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet who co-authored the book. An argument ensued and someone cried “blasphemy,” accusing Bibi of “defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed.”

She was beaten, arrested and sentenced to death by hanging. Nine years later, after global outrage and pleas for her release from presidents, prime ministers and popes, a Pakistani court acquitted her of the crime, citing lack of evidence that she actually said anything about the prophet. The court quoted Shakespeare’s King Lear in its belief that Bibi had “been more sinned against than sinning.”

But Bibi has not yet been set free out of fear for her safety and continued protests by Pakistan’s Tehreek-e Labbaik Islamist movement, which has called for Pakistan’s supreme court to review the acquittal. Days of rage and death threats ensued in Islamabad and Lahore, sending Bibi’s husband and children into hiding. Even her lawyer Saiful Mulook fled the country to escape death threats. He is now in the Netherlands pending an asylum request in that country.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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