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World Headlines: It's Asia's Turn To Be Outraged Over Spying

A view of the Australian embassy (center-right) and surrounding buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Indonesian government summoned the Australian envoy in Jakarta over reports that his embassy was involved in U.S.-led surveillance operations.
A view of the Australian embassy (center-right) and surrounding buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Indonesian government summoned the Australian envoy in Jakarta over reports that his embassy was involved in U.S.-led surveillance operations.

Indonesia , Kompas

There's more fallout over disclosures that the U.S. spied on many of its allies — this time in Indonesia.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Greg Moriarty, the Australian ambassador to Indonesia, over allegations that Australian diplomatic posts, including the one in Jakarta, were used as part of the U.S. surveillance network.

The disclosures came Thursday in the Sydney Morning Herald, which reported that the diplomatic posts involved included Beijing, Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

China also demanded an explanation of the reports.

Australia is part of the " five eyes" alliances, which includes the U.S., Britain, Canada and New Zealand. The five countries have shared sensitive information since World War II.

Last week, there was outrage in Germany following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany , Deutsche Welle

We'll stay in Germany, which on Friday became the first European country to allow parents to leave the gender field blank on birth certificates. The move effectively creates an intersex option.

The law, which came following a report last year by the German Ethics Council, is intended to ease pressure on parents whose children are born with the characteristics of both sexes.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said the law "is not adequate to fully resolve the complex problems of intersex people."

South Africa , IOL News

The man accused of raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl in a case that shocked the country was sentenced Friday to life terms in prison without parole.

Johannes Kana was found guilty earlier this week of raping and disemboweling Anene Booysen on Feb. 2. She died later at a Cape Town hospital.

Kana was seen with her outside a pub in Bredasdorp, about 130 miles from Cape Town, earlier that day. He admitted during the trial to leaving the pub with Booysen, and hitting and raping her. But he denied killing her.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women.

Mexico , El Universal

Finally, a story that will sounds familiar to many Americans: Mexican snack food makers are warning that a tax on junk food passed by the Mexican Congress on Thursday will ultimately hurt consumers.

The Mexican Senate voted Thursday to raise the tax on junk foods from 5 percent to 8 percent.

Bruno Lemon Celorio of the snack manufacturers association told El Universal the move, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014, would result in a price rise of between 8 percent and 10 percent.

Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting the country atop the list of overweight nations.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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