SE Asia

Vietnamese police detain 16 pigeons on suspicion of being Chinese spies, discover true identities

With all of the advanced technology intelligence agencies can employ, plus the fact that so much information is now stored digitally, it’s easy to make the assumption that modern espionage is all hacking and drone surveillance. In fact, though, there’s still plenty of room in the spy game for carbon-based operatives working in the field.

As such, it’s the responsibility of militaries and police forces the world over to be on guard against organic espionage threats. So while you can admire the diligence and zeal shown by a group of citizens and police in Vietnam who captured and detained what they thought was a ring of 16 Chinese spies, the suspects turned out to be innocent.

They also happen to be pigeons.

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“Is that you, Hiro?” This kid’s Big Hero 6 cosplay is out of this world! 【Photos】

“How is your cosplay so perfect…?” “How did you escape from the movie screen?!” “Are you ACTUALLY Hiro?”

For Filipino artist and self-confessed “cosplay dork” Jin, questions like these are a regular occurrence. Already an internationally recognised cosplayer, when promo images for Big Hero 6 were released last year, Jin began to get messages from fans pointing out an uncanny resemblance to the film’s central protagonist Hiro Hamada. Which is pretty interesting, seeing Big Hero 6 is a Disney movie and Hiro is, of course, computer-animated.

Intrigued, Jin tried it out – and has been cosplaying Hiro ever since. Fast-forward a few months and Jin and friends continue to produce incredibly realistic, beautifully produced photos of cosplayed Big Hero 6 scenes. Join us after the jump as we take a look!

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Pampered hamsters chill in tiny home, eat pies, win hearts 【Videos】

Needing some cuteness in your day? Well do we have just the thing for you! Meet hamsters Enoki and Bunapi from Singapore as they invite you into their home and go about their day, chilling in front of the TV, eating apple pies, taking a bath… you know, just normal hamster things.

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Nailed it: Thai man’s low budget cosplay is a gift to the Internet【Photos】

Taking up cosplay as a hobby takes a pretty significant time commitment to put together that perfect costume to dress up as your favorite video game, comic book or movie character. And for those of us without the, ahem, natural assets to boost our cosplay game, buying all those wigs, fashion accessories and snowman apparel can make the hobby an extremely expensive way to spend your free time.

However, this innovative cosplay enthusiast from Thailand doesn’t let his limited budget get in the way of making some creative, and frankly, kind of creepy costumes. We’ve spotted him before, but click below to see his latest creative, if not incredibly cheap, take on Dragonball Z, the Teletubbies, Taylor Swift and much more.

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Video of Thai soccer team’s gorgeous passing play leaves us amazed

I’ll be completely honest with you here–I don’t know much of anything about soccer. I hate to fit the dumb American stereotype, but when it comes to sports, soccer is one that I definitely never got into.

I have nothing against it, of course! Partly, it’s just exhausting watching the ball bounce back and forth between players, changing directions like a whip. But on the other hand, I have to admit that it’s easy to see why some call it a “beautiful” game, and this video of a Thailand soccer team ably slipping through a Malaysian team’s defenses is nothing less than amazing.

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Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces

Remember those days in school when you just couldn’t focus on your school work, so instead of taking notes you doodled all over your papers? You’re not alone. Students all over the world scribble on their school supplies, much to the teachers’ dismay. Armed with a red pen, one teacher in Thailand has decided to fight back.

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This video of Manila’s New Year’s Eve fireworks will drive your dog crazy, look good doing it

New Year’s Eve is done and now long gone. We’ve pretty much wrapped up our coverage of the best and worst fukubukuro in Japan, so you may be ready to move on to Valentine’s Day, but we have one more piece of awesomeness left over from December 31, 2014: explosions!

While there were plenty of great fireworks displays around the world, we think this video of the Philippines’ Manila going crazy might be the best of the year. Check out below!

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“Malaysian girl holding things” is our new favourite Instagram account 【Photos】

At first, we were more than a little confused by Min Chen‘s Instagram feed. This is a girl who got over 14,000 likes on a “Merry Christmas” snapshot, and we don’t even know anything about her. She’s not even famous per se, yet she has 117,000 followers and counting. There must be something that sets her apart from the rest. But what could it be…?

We put our thinking caps on, took a good long hard look at the photos, and – BOOM. That’s when we realised Malaysian beauty Min Chen totally has a niche thing going on. She is a girl who holds things.

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Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police

Armed police stormed New Bilibid Prison, the Philippines’ largest penitentiary, earlier this week after it was reported that inmates were living lives of debauchery despite being incarcerated for their respective crimes. Many of prisoners were found to be in possession of numerous luxury items and living in private “villas”, with police even uncovering a room built especially for strippers to perform.

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Model and TV star Kayo Police went to Singapore to wish you a hot Christmas from the beach

One of the most envied perks of being famous has to be international travel. So while we’re sure being a model is just as hard work – if not more so – than heaps of other jobs, we can imagine that opportunities to escape the recent cold weather in Japan and jet off to warmer climes goes some way to make up for it.

So forgive us for being more than a little jealous of these pics from Kayo Police’s trip to Singapore. Sure, posing for pictures is work. But she also got to go to Universal Studios and go to a bubble spa. Merry Christmas!

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39 looks at the lighter side of Asia

As you’re probably well aware, we at RocketNews24 strive to tackle only the most serious issues of the day. Whether we’re breaking down the complexities of the TPP and its effects on soy bean subsidies, or providing in-depth analysis on how modern Japanese silk arts have deviated from their traditional routes, we never stop thinking about important matters. Even though we cover these topics with deadly seriousness, however, we have been known to let our hair down once a year or so.

With that in mind, today we’d like to bring you a collection of photos which pretty much no point or underlying theme aside from the fact they all come out of Asia and are really weird. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back to our usual coverage of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of Japan soon enough. For now just sit back and enjoy these little pieces of Novocaine for the mind.

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Naruto stage play releases first photo, announces cast, adds performances outside Japan

With the Naruto manga all wrapped up, we imagine a lot of fans are feeling sort of lonely. Sure, there’s an animated movie coming up, and you can still catch episodes of the weekly anime series, but with no more issues of the comic to look forward to, it must seem like the series’ cast of charismatic ninja have drifted just a little farther away.

Soon enough, though, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura will be just a few rows of seats away from their adoring public, as the Naruto stage play is set to open this spring, and producers have just announced the cast and released the first shot in-costume photo of the star of the show.

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Singaporean artist creates beautiful works of art using bicycle tire tracks

We love introducing our readers to amazing works of art by innovative artists, and the works of Thomas Yang, creative director at DDB Singapore, fall directly under this category. At first glance, you might think that some of his most popular works are mere depictions of internationally famous buildings and structures. But don’t be surprised if you notice something else upon closer inspection–all of the pictures are crafted using bicycle tire tracks!    

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Cute dog turns traditional fish pond into personal swimming pool【Photos】

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you know that it can get really hot. It’s enough to make anyone look longingly at the nearest fountain, pond or puddle. Well, add a fur coat to that equation and I get why this Thai dog decided he wasn’t going to let a few guppies get in the way of a quick, cooling dip!

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Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood

Look at the two Starbucks cups above. Can you tell which one is real and which one is a creation of colored pencils, pastels and ink? If not for a tiny bit hanging off the edge of the wood, we’d have been hard-pressed to choose.

This is the incredibly realistic work of Singaporean artist Ivan Hoo.

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Flash mob at Manila airport brings holiday cheer to surprised passengers

It’s December. It’s that time of the year again. Shop windows are decorated with Christmas trees and signs inviting you to spend more money; Candy canes and Santa Clauses and reindeer seem to be popping up everywhere you go. At the airport in Manila, Philippines, the sultry weather doesn’t seem to have the same holiday magic other wintry places do. However, a flash mob brought the Christmas spirit back to surprised passengers at the terminal and warmed our hearts, too.

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There’s something strange in the Cebu ‘hood: 14 high school girls faint after seeing a “ghost”

Who you gonna call…? Frederik Kriekenbeek! No, that’s not the Cebuano word for “Ghostbuster,” it’s the name of the local priest who specializes in exorcisms in Cebu, Philipines.

What seems like a case of ghostly possession has struck the idyllic Filipino island when, on November 21, 14 students fainted when they were “possessed” by a ghost. Never fear though, this does seem to happen every once in a while; that’s why they have a local priest who specializes in exorcisms. He really is, who they call.

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Horror comics found at Thai convenience stores don’t pull any punches

Thailand has always been known for its extremely terrifying repertoire of horror movies. However, the tropical nation’s taste for horror appears to extend into their manga culture as well. A sample of their convenience store comic book selection are so packed with grotesque images that we wonder whether kids who see them on the shelves don’t have nightmares.

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There’s a Doraemon Christmas tree in Singapore

Shoppers at Singapore’s One Raffles Place can get into the holiday spirit with the help of Doraemon. Or rather, dozens upon dozens of Doraemon, which have been turned into a cute and wonderful Doraemon Christmas tree, complete with Santa hats.

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Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues

Recently, we’ve been bringing you updates on controversial pick-up artist and dating coach Julien Blanc who has attracted anger around the world for purportedly purveying aggressive attitudes towards women. After a video was posted online of him appearing to harass women in Japan by pushing their heads towards his crotch, several campaigns were set up against him by activists in America, Australia, Britain, and Japan. These campaigns have so far been successful in helping to raise awareness of the “pick-up seminars” hosted by Blanc through his company RSD (Real Social Dynamics). Now, Blanc has broken his silence to offer an apology to those he has offended, which campaigners have rejected for its seemingly disingenuous nature.

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