SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

North Korea wants total denuclearisation, says Seoul

1 hour 48 min ago
North Korea has expressed a desire for the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula without attaching preconditions such as the withdrawal of US troops, the South Korean president has said. The statement, unconfirmed by North Korea, comes before a summit between the leaders of the two countries on April 27, to be followed in May or June by a meeting between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump. The US president on Wednesday pledged to meet Kim “in...

Truce village or European capital? Possible Trump-Kim summit venues

4 hours 28 min ago
US President Donald Trump says that five locations are under consideration for his expected meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea. But he gave no clues as to what they might be, and speculation is rife as to the possibilities – with many contenders suggested. Here are some of the options: Panmunjom – The truce village in the demilitarised zone that divides the two Koreas will host a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week. It...

What will happen to the Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s, and why does it matter?

7 hours 27 min ago
The recent whirlwind of diplomacy over North Korea has sparked hopes in Japan of a breakthrough in the painful decades-long issue of citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang. US President Donald Trump pledged after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to work “very, very hard” to “try and bring these folks back.” Trump also met relatives of the abductees during his last visit to Tokyo, the emotional high point of his trip as grieving families clutched pictures of...

Trump-Abe summit: US could bail on meeting with North Korea’s Kim while Japan fails to avoid tariffs

8 hours 9 min ago
President Donald Trump pledged to go through with a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but said he could still pull out if he feels it’s “not going to be fruitful”. Speaking alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, amid stormy negotiations on US-Japan trade where both expressed opposition to China’s steel overproduction and alleged intellectual property theft, Trump said CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Kim had “got along really well”...

Alibaba backs free trade with smart digital hub in Thailand

8 hours 15 min ago
Alibaba’s plans for a new digital free-trade zone in Thailand signal it will press on in championing global free trade despite the looming threat of a US-China trade war, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s founder Jack Ma said on Thursday. Speaking in Bangkok at a signing ceremony for the new Alibaba-led “smart digital hub” in Thailand – the second such initiative in Southeast Asia – Ma once again warned all parties to step back from the precipice of an all-out...

South Korean leader Moon says peace treaty with the North ‘must be pursued’

10 hours 8 min ago
A peace treaty to formally end the Korean war “must be pursued”, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday, ahead of a summit next week with Kim Jong-un, leader of the nuclear-armed North. “The armistice that has dragged on for 65 years must come to an end,” Moon told media company representatives at the presidential Blue House, adding: “The signing of a peace treaty must be pursued after an end to the war is declared.” The 1950-53 Korean war ended in...

North Korean leader Kim’s wife gets a status boost as country’s new ‘first lady’

11 hours 32 min ago
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has given his young, stylish wife the title of first lady in what analysts say is a major boost to her status ahead of back-to-back summits with South Korea and the United States. Ri Sol-ju has often accompanied Kim to official events but made her first solo public appearance last weekend at a ballet performance by a visiting Chinese troupe. The North’s state media reported the outing, referring to her as the “respected first lady” – the...

Google Home can understand Singaporean English, but does it know Singlish?

11 hours 59 min ago
By Jonathan Loh Finally, the Google Home and Home Mini have officially landed in Singapore, priced at S$189 (US$144.38) and S$79 respectively on the Google Store. Singaporeans will be glad to know that Google Home and Home Mini devices sold here are fitted with the tech giant’s “Singaporean English” voice command support, which was first introduced in November last year. According to Google, this means that made-in-Singapore terms such as “kopitiam”, Paya Lebar and...

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s days may be numbered as popularity dips and political rivals circle

12 hours 11 min ago
Rivals are jockeying to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the embattled Japanese leader struggles with sinking support, but so far none have offered detailed policy alternatives to his “strong defence, strong economy” platform. Battered by scandals involving suspected cronyism, Abe’s ratings have slid near or below 30 per cent, dampening his chances of gaining a third three-year term as Liberal Democratic Party leader in a September vote, and sparking talk he might step...

South Korea’s government embraces insects to feed on mounds of food waste

12 hours 41 min ago
By Ko Dong-hwan The South Korean government has embraced a rare yet effective, eco-friendly method of disposing of food waste, vowing to expand infrastructure for “ptecticus tenebrifer,” a flying insect that feeds on waste when in a larva state. The Rural Development Administration set up new policies to introduce technological and legal bases for breeding the insects’ larvae, the arm of the Ministry of Environment. So far the policies’ absence has limited the government...

‘Lesbianism’ diagnosis bewilders New Zealand woman

14 hours 20 min ago
By Melissa Nightingale A woman in the New Zealand capital of Wellington is bemused after discovering her doctor had listed “lesbianism” as a diagnosed condition in her medical records. Charlotte, who is in a relationship with another woman, has laughed off the diagnosis, saying she is not the type of person to “get up in arms” about such things. “I’ve never heard the term ‘lesbianism’ used before,” she said. “If I were sensitive about...

Scene set at Joint Security Area as hopes rise for North and South Korea to strike reconciliatory note

14 hours 38 min ago
The building that sits at the fortified border between the two Koreas is undergoing renovation for a landmark summit that may pave the way for an end to their hostility. It remains unknown how North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will travel to the Peace House – on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area (JSA), in the border village of Panmunjom – for the talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, but officials are making preparations for him to walk across the border, which...

US, Japan ‘aligned’ on Chinese steel, intellectual property rights

15 hours 6 min ago
China’s steel overproduction and alleged intellectual property theft were discussed at the just concluded US-Japan summit, though bilateral trade and North Korea’s nuclear threat dominated the agenda, Washington’s envoy in Tokyo said on Thursday. Joint concerns about these issues showed the strengthening “alignment” between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ambassador William Hagerty said. “I think the role of China is on...

One third of Great Barrier Reef corals killed in marine heatwave in 2016

15 hours 58 min ago
High water temperatures off the east Australian coast in 2016 bleached and “cooked” large sections of the Great Barrier Reef, according to a new scientific study released on Thursday. The study, published in the journal Nature, showed 29 per cent of the almost 4,000 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef lost at least two-thirds of their corals over a nine-month period, affecting their ability to support diverse ecosystems. “When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can...

‘Regrettable and mortifying’: Japanese mayor vows to overhaul men-only rule in sumo wrestling

17 hours 46 min ago
A female mayor at the centre of a fierce debate over allowing women into the sumo ring vowed on Thursday never to back down as she prepared to lodge a formal protest. “I won’t give up this time around … I’m determined to make a petition every six months,” Tomoko Nakagawa said before taking her case to the sumo authorities in Tokyo. “I want them never to leave this issue vague. I want the association to hear this voice clearly and start a debate on a review...

Three former US soldiers convicted of contract killing in Philippines were paid US$35,000 each by international crime boss

18 hours 49 min ago
A former US Army sniper and two other former American soldiers were convicted Wednesday in the contract killing of a real estate agent in the Philippines for an international crime boss who thought the woman had cheated him on a land deal. Joseph Hunter, a one-time sergeant from Kentucky with a Special Forces background, Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell were found guilty of murder-for-hire and other charges. All three had denied they planned the 2012 execution-style hit – a case that...

Watch Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe’s speech following their two-day meeting on live stream

22 hours 56 min ago
US President Donald Trump is to give a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, following two days of discussions at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Trump began his speech by giving his condolences to the family of former first lady Barbara Bush, and reiterating the righteousness of US and ally air strikes on Syria. He then promised a “bright path” for North Korea when it achieves “verifiable” and “irreversible”...

Angry protesters confront Indian Prime Minister Modi in London over spate of sexual violence and brutal rapes

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 15:54
Hundreds of noisy protesters greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in London on Wednesday, demonstrating over a rising tide of sexual violence at home including two particularly brutal rapes. Holding placards reading “Modi go home” and “we stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed,” they gathered outside Downing Street and parliament as Modi arrived for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May. Sexual violence against women is a highly...

Philippines' Duterte says he ordered investigation of Australian nun

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 14:04
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he ordered the investigation into a 71-year-old Australian nun for “disorderly conduct”, justifying it as a legal move against “undesirable” foreigners. Sister Patricia Fox, a coordinator of a Philippine congregation of Catholic nuns called Notre Dame de Sion, was taken from her house this week and detained at the immigration bureau in Manila for almost 24 hours. She was released on Tuesday pending further...

Top Japan finance official quits to clear his name after harassment claims surface in local magazine

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 13:08
The top bureaucrat at Japan’s finance minister quit on Wednesday following allegations he sexually harassed female reporters, saying he wanted to clear his name. Junichi Fukuda has denied a magazine report he harassed several women, but calls for him to step aside have grown in recent days. Finance Minister Taro Aso announced the resignation late on Wednesday, saying Fukuda told him he wanted to “clear his name”. “I thought it would be difficult to fulfil my job...

Donald Trump and Japan PM Shinzo Abe talk trade and North Korea at Florida resort

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 11:12
Seeking to reassure Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of their close alliance ahead of planned talks with North Korea, the Trump administration has signalled it was open to considering exempting Japan from new steel and aluminium tariffs that Abe opposes. Hosting Abe at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, US President Donald Trump said the tariffs could be a topic during the visit, which comes as Trump prepares for a historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Trump also gave Abe a...

‘I want my life back’: victims of Japan’s long-running sterilisation programme demand justice

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:59
Junko Iizuka remembers clearly the day she was taken to a hospital as a teenager and forcibly sterilised under a Japanese government programme. Her foster mother gave her a rice ball as they stood by a river, and then took her without explanation to a doctor. Sometime afterwards, Iizuka, who requested a pseudonym to describe her experience, woke up in a hospital bed with a huge vertical scar across her stomach. Iizuka, now in her seventies, is one of thousands of men and women forcibly...

India: 21 killed in horror road crash on way to wedding

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 09:39
At least 21 revellers were killed en route to a wedding when their truck flew off a bridge, police said Wednesday, the latest horrific crash on India’s accident-prone roads. The truck, carrying more than 40 passengers, smashed through a protective railing in central Madhya Pradesh state late Tuesday and plunged nearly 20 metres to a dry riverbed below. Police in Sidhi district said 21 people were injured, most of them critically, in the accident some 560 kilometres (350 miles) from the...

Indonesia arrests home-brew booze kingpin after dozens die

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 08:31
Police have arrested the main suspect in a spate of bootleg alcohol poisonings thought to have killed dozens across Indonesia, authorities said Wednesday, with the booze kingpin facing life behind bars if he is convicted. Samsudin Simbolon was caught early Wednesday on a palm oil plantation in Sumatra, ending a nationwide search for a man whose bootleg operation allegedly killed as many as 50 people in neighbouring West Java. “We will fly him to Jakarta tonight and then to Bandung,...

Stolen car in New Zealand driven by 13-year-old found with eight more children inside

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:32
A stolen car being driven by a 13-year-old also had eight other children inside when it was stopped by New Zealand police in the early hours of this morning. About 12.30am local time police received a complaint about the theft of a motor vehicle from a Paraparaumu Beach address. An hour later, the vehicle, a small Suzuki Swift, was found travelling south on Manly St, Paraparaumu. Police tried to stop the vehicle, however the driver tried to get away before stopping a short time later. On...

Thailand wants tourists to help it fight human trafficking

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 06:29
At Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi airport, a video repeats scenes of tourists visiting Thailand’s sunny beaches and its vibrant nightlife, but at the end comes a warning. “Human trafficking and slavery are against the law in Thailand. Perpetrators will be severely punished,” it says, followed by a hotline number for people to report cases. From airports to shopping malls, Thailand is ramping up a campaign targeting tourists in its latest effort to keep the country free from...

Air Busan flight attendant ridicules passengers’ hairstyles as broccoli

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 06:19
By Kang Aa-young A flight attendant of Air Busan, a low-cost carrier in South Korea, apologised Tuesday for disrespectful comments and photos posted by one of its flight attendants on Instagram. The flight attendant, on a Busan-Jeju flight on Saturday, took photos of the passengers from behind and posted them with comments such as “looking all the same” and “broccoli farm.” It was an obvious reference to the hairstyle of the middle-aged married women or “ajumma...

Singapore and Indonesia researchers uncover at least 12 new deep sea species off Java

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 05:35
By Neo Chai Chin Scientists from Singapore and Indonesia have found at least 12 species of hermit crabs, prawns, lobsters and crabs that are new to science in the deep sea off western and southern Java. The South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 (SJADES 2018), the first such expedition jointly organised by both countries, also yielded more than 40 species that are new records for Indonesia. The figures may be the tip of the iceberg as the researchers now go through the 12,000...

CIA chief Pompeo met Kim Jong-un during secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 02:33
CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as an envoy for President Donald Trump to meet with that country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, according to two people with direct knowledge of the trip. The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump’s most trusted emmisaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme,...

More pressure needed on Myanmar to take back Rohingya, says Bangladeshi PM

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 21:31
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday more international pressure was needed on Myanmar to take back Muslim Rohingya refugees. “The international community needs to put more pressure on Myanmar so that they take back their own people and ensure their security,” she told an audience in London. “Myanmar says they are ready to take back the Rohingya, but they are not taking the initiative.” UN officials say nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled into...

Japan, US, and South Korea eye denuclearisation of North Korea by 2020

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 20:54
A plan being floated among Japan, the United States and South Korea is aimed at the complete denuclearisation of North Korea by the summer of 2020, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday, in a rejection of Pyongyang’s “phased, synchronised” approach in exchange for benefits. The three countries are seeking an early end to Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles after past attempts allowed North Korea incremental incentives to halt its nuclear programme and...

South and North Korea ‘may announce an end to their 68-year-long war next week’

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:54
South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict that has existed between the two countries since 1950, the South Korean Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official. At next week’s summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbours may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the...

Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe to talk at Mar-a-Lago about North Korea, China  

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:47
US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will seek common ground on how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear challenge on Tuesday amid fears in Tokyo that Trump might be prone to make too many concessions. Abe is expected to arrive at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, for two days of talks dominated by North Korea but also expected to cover trade, relations with China and other issues. Both leaders could use a successful summit to give...

Indonesian court orders release of US$250 million luxury yacht linked to 1MDB scandal

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 15:36
A luxury yacht linked to allegations that US$4.5 billion was looted from Malaysia’s state investment fund 1MDB must be returned to its wealthy owner, an Indonesian court ruled on Tuesday, citing missteps by police in seizing the vessel. The decision comes about six weeks after Indonesian authorities, acting on a request from the FBI, seized the Cayman Islands-registered Equanimity, reportedly worth some US$250 million, which was moored off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali. Its three...

Malaysian shaman who tried to find missing plane MH370 with coconuts and a ‘magic’ carpet to contest election

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 12:47
A Malaysian shaman who drew widespread ridicule by trying to locate flight MH370 using coconuts and a “magic” carpet announced Tuesday he will run in elections next month. Ibrahim Mat Zin – known by his nickname “Raja Bomoh”, which translates as “King of Shamans” – will contest a parliamentary seat in northern Perak state as an independent candidate. After Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in 2014 with 239 people aboard, Ibrahim launched...

Vietnam and Indonesia vow to settle fishing violations in South China Sea

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:54
Vietnam and Indonesia have pledged to work together to resolve fishing violations in the South China Sea as the two countries seek to boost their bilateral trade. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, speaking to reporters on Tuesday at a joint briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart, said the two countries would strengthen their partnership, cooperating particularly on fishing and other maritime issues. “In maritime and fishing cooperation, we agreed on how to conclude the ongoing...

Japan minister says sorry as 6,600 police join manhunt for fugitive thief

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:51
A Japanese minister apologised on Tuesday over the escape of a “model” inmate who fled an open prison more than a week ago, as the number of police hunting him passed 6,000. About 6,600 police officers are now engaged in a fruitless manhunt for 27-year-old Tatsuma Hirao, who was serving time for multiple thefts, according to officials. The case is making headline news in Japan with television channels picking over the manhunt in minute detail. Hirao gave guards the slip on April 8,...

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University to have driverless bus shuttle service running campuswide by 2019

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:35
By Low Youjin By the end of next year, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore will have an autonomous shuttle service serving the entire campus. The fully automated Group Rapid Transit (GRT) will operate a minibus service route that connects the halls of residences with the main academic areas, and it is targeted to serve 200 to 300 passengers daily. The shuttle service, which is on trial for the moment, is expected to be tested further in phases from the last quarter of this...

‘We will not go back to Russia’: ‘Sex coaches’ arrested in Thailand request US help in exchange for Trump secrets

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:18
A Belarusian model and Russian “sex coach” pleaded for US help as they arrived for a court hearing in Thailand on Tuesday, in a case that has grabbed widespread attention after the model claimed to have revelations about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. Anastasia Vashukevich, known by her pen name Nastya Rybka, and self-styled sex guru Alexander Kirillov have been detained since they and eight other foreigners were arrested in February by Thai police who raided...

Philippines to deploy hundreds of riot police to Boracay to keep tourists away during six-month closure

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:17
The Philippines is set to deploy hundreds of riot police to top holiday island Boracay to keep travellers out and head off potential protests ahead of its six-month closure to tourists, the government said Tuesday. President Rodrigo Duterte has branded the tiny central island and its world-famous white-sand beach a “cesspool”. He has ordered visitors be kept away from April 26 so facilities to treat raw sewage can be set up and illegal structures torn down. On Tuesday, authorities...

Singapore tutor guilty of helping Chinese students cheat in exams using Apple FaceTime and wireless earpieces

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:02
A Singaporean private tutor has been convicted over an elaborate scheme to help Chinese secondary school students cheat in an exam using mobile phones and wireless devices, prosecutors said Tuesday. Tan Jia Yan, 32, pleaded guilty on Monday to her part in the plot in which answers to O-Level exams were relayed to at least six students via mobile phones concealed under their clothing and connected wirelessly to skin-coloured earpieces, they said. Tan, who will be sentenced next month, faces a...

Dozens of detainees go on hunger strike at Japan immigration centre after Indian man’s suicide

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:13
Dozens of foreigners held at an immigration facility near Tokyo are staging a hunger strike to protest their protracted detention. The hunger strike comes just days after an Indian man at the East Japan Immigration Centre in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, committed suicide. The incident is the latest in a string of deaths in Japanese immigration facilities that have been long criticised for their poor medical services and lengthy detention periods. According to supporters, more than 40 detainees...

Myanmar frees more than 8,000 prisoners in amnesty – but not Reuters pair held for possessing ‘state secrets’

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:25
Myanmar’s new president said on Tuesday over 8,000 prisoners will be freed in an amnesty, a move the government said would bring about humanitarian support amid the country’s political reforms after decades of military rule. The presidential pardon, signed by newly-elected President Win Myint, said the move was aimed to bring peace as part of celebrations of the Myanmar new year. It did not specify when the amnesty would take place. “To bring peace and pleasure to people...

Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta blasts East Timor’s ‘total failure’ against extreme poverty

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:59
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former East Timorese president Jose Ramos-Horta has waded back into the young country’s politics ahead of parliamentary elections next month, calling the government a total failure in the past decade in crucial areas such as reducing child malnutrition and providing clean water. Ramos-Horta, joint recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for efforts to bring independence and peace to East Timor, is not a candidate in the elections but has declared support for the...

Search for parents after horrific discovery of dead baby girl, flushed down a toilet in India

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:29
It was supposed to be a routine call, just a clogged toilet in need of repair. Instead, plumbers at a clinic in the Indian state of Kerala on Friday made a ghastly discovery: a two-day-old baby had been flushed down the toilet, with her placenta still intact. Abdul Rehman, a doctor who runs the clinic, told local reporters that he called for help when the toilet stopped working. The plumbers got to work, uncovering something that looked like a ball. When they tried to pull it out, the head of...

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who was abducted by North Korea’s Kim Jong-il with her ex-husband, dies aged 91

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:00
South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who once escaped North Korea with her film-director ex-husband Shin Sang-ok after the pair were kidnapped on the orders of Kim Jong-il in 1978, has died aged 91 after an illness, according to local media. Choi was born in Gyeonggi Province in 1926 and made her stage debut in 1942. Five years later she made her screen debut before going on to become one of the country’s biggest film stars in the 1960s. Unfortunately, her celebrity caught the attention of...

Philippine maid taken to hospital after Saudi boss ‘made her drink bleach’

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 17:02
A Philippine domestic worker has been taken to hospital in Saudi Arabia after her employer allegedly forced her to drink household bleach, Manila’s foreign ministry said on Monday. Domestic worker Agnes Mancilla underwent emergency abdominal surgery after she was taken, unconscious, to a hospital in Saudi’s southwestern Jizan city on April 2, the ministry said. “We are working closely with authorities in Jizan to make sure that justice will be given to Agnes Mancilla,”...

Jailed former South Korean president Park Geun-hye will not appeal 24-year sentence

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:32
South Korea’s disgraced former president Park Geun-hye will not appeal her 24-year prison sentence for corruption, reports said on Monday. Park, 66, who was removed from office over a massive corruption scandal last year, was convicted of multiple criminal charges including bribery and abuse of power at a trial earlier this month. She has boycotted all court hearings since October, claiming unfair treatment. On Monday Park submitted an appeal waiver to the Seoul Central District Court to...

Pakistan’s watchdog condemns human rights record, pointing to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:09
Pakistan’s leading watchdog slammed the nation’s deteriorating human rights record in a report released on Monday, highlighting extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances across the turbulent country. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report noted that deaths linked to terrorism continued to decline in 2017 but warned of an uptick in violence against so-called soft targets. “A study shows more Pakistanis died in incidents described as ‘encounters...

Group of men plead not guilty to gang rape and murder of eight-year-old girl in India,where case has stirred religious tensions

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:06
Eight men accused of raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl pleaded not guilty on Monday to the horrific crime that has sparked revulsion and brought thousands to India’s streets in protest. Four police and a Hindu temple custodian are among those accused of gang raping and killing a Muslim girl from a poor tribe in Jammu and Kashmir state where the highly-charged case has stoked long-simmering religious tensions. The accused men appeared in court in the city of Kathua on Monday for...

Kim Jong-un’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, just had her status upgraded as North Korea tries to show it has a normal ‘first couple’

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 10:00
By Rosie Perper Ri Sol-ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been upgraded from “comrade” to “revered first lady” in a potential bid to create a cult of personality around her. State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Ri attended a ballet performance by the visiting National Ballet of China on Saturday. In the report, Ri was referred to as the “revered first lady,” or “respected first lady,” along with a special...

‘Nothing but a farce’: Bangladesh rejects Myanmar’s claim it has repatriated Rohingya

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:51
Bangladesh on Monday rejected a claim by Myanmar that the Buddhist-majority nation had repatriated the first five among some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled to the neighbouring country to escape military-led violence against the minority group. A Myanmar government statement said Saturday that five members of a family had returned to western Rakhine state from the border area. It said the family was staying temporarily with relatives in Maungdaw town, the administrative centre close...

BMW driver who refused to pay for Singaporean Caltex attendant’s ‘mistake’ target of an online witch-hunt

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:59
By Jessica Lin Public sentiment can take on a life of its own in the age of social media. One man in Singapore, who allegedly refused to pay for the full cost of petrol mistakenly pumped into the car he was driving, is now facing the heat caused by his actions. According to Facebook user ‎Kelly Yeo, the driver of a BMW Series 5 had claimed that a petrol station attendant had misheard request to pump just S$10 (US$7.62) worth of petrol into the car. As a result, he refused to pay the full S$...

Philippines bars then deports EU party official critical of President Rodrigo Duterte

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 07:59
The Philippines has barred entry to an EU party official critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drugs crackdown, in a move denounced by critics Monday as a gag on dissent. Italian Giacomo Filibeck was detained by border police upon his arrival at Cebu airport Sunday and deported for engaging in “illegal political activities”, his party said. Filibeck, the deputy secretary general of the Party of European Socialists, flew to the Philippines at the invitation of...

Japan’s Unit 731 conducted sickening tests on Chinese. The perpetrators’ identities will now be revealed

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 07:07
The National Archives of Japan has disclosed the names of 3,607 members of the Imperial Japanese Army’s notorious Unit 731 that conducted germ warfare experiments mainly on prisoners in China before and during the second world war, according to a researcher. Katsuo Nishiyama, professor emeritus of Shiga University of Medical Science, told reporters, “It is the first time that almost all the real names of the unit’s members have been unveiled. We will post them on the website...

1000 people and a helicopter with thermal imaging tech join search for missing dog in New Zealand

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 06:52
By Melissa Nightingale Stuck by his leash to a log in the depths of Belmont Regional Park, Benny the Beagle had no idea hundreds of strangers were scouring the bush for him. All the stops were pulled out to find the five-year-old dog after he went missing during a pack walk in Lower Hutt on April 6. Even a helicopter with thermal-imaging technology was sent out to search for the beloved pooch, who was lost in the reserve for nine days, enduring freezing and stormy conditions as a cold snap hit...

Pair of premium Japanese mangoes fetches US$3,725 at auction - and yes they are probably delicious

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 06:23
A pair of premium mangoes from the southwestern Japan prefecture of Miyazaki fetched a record-matching 400,000 yen (US$3,725) at the season’s first auction at a local wholesale market on Monday, maintaining the price tag from the previous year. The high-end mangoes are called “Taiyo no Tamago” (Egg of the Sun) as they have cleared the brand’s qualifications of weighing at least 350 grammes, possessing a high level of sugar and having a bright red colour covering more...

Sister of notorious Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress apologises for angry outburst, but denies throwing water at face of advertising manager

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 06:04
Korean Air Lines’ labour unions called for the youngest daughter of its chairman, a sister of the infamous ‘nut rage’ heiress, to step down from management after her alleged abusive behaviour against an advertising agency official caused public outrage. Cho Hyun-min, also known as Emily Cho and a senior vice-president at Korean Air, apologised on Thursday for what she called her “foolish behaviour” after media reports said she threw water at the face of an...

Commonwealth Games boss apologises for dull closing ceremony after fans rush for the exits

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 05:10
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games chief Peter Beattie admitted organisers botched Sunday’s closing ceremony, accepting criticism that long-winded speeches had fans rushing for the exits while athletes were largely excluded from the broadcast. Organising committee chairman Beattie apologised on Monday in the face of a barrage of criticism, saying “we got it wrong”. Closing ceremonies of Olympic and Commonwealth Games are usually much more relaxed than formal openings, focusing on...

Former Japan PM Junichiro Koizumi says embattled leader Shinzo Abe may quit in June as support collapses

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 04:34
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, plagued by suspected cronyism scandals and cover-ups and with his ratings sliding, is likely to step down in June, former leader Junichiro Koizumi was quoted on Monday as telling a weekly magazine. A survey by broadcaster Nippon TV released on Sunday showed Abe’s support had sunk to 26.7 per cent, the lowest since the conservative lawmaker took office in December 2012. An Asahi newspaper poll published on Monday put his rating at 31 per cent. Abe’...

‘I almost died’: abused Filipino women dream that divorce will become legal

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 04:28
Although her husband nearly killed her, Krista Dador cannot get a divorce as the Philippines is one of only two states – along with the Vatican – without a divorce law. The prohibitive cost of an annulment means that Dador, who has received no financial support from her husband since they separated eight years ago, is looking to work as a maid in the Middle East, leaving their two children behind with her mother. “Sometimes I want to end it all,” said the 28-year-old,...

Malaysia’s Mahathir chooses holiday island Langkawi as his election battleground

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 02:39
Malaysia’s veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad will run at an upcoming general election on the holiday island of Langkawi, the opposition announced Sunday, as he seeks to oust the scandal-plagued government. Mahathir has come out of retirement and joined the opposition alliance to take on his former protégé, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has become embroiled in a massive corruption controversy. The May 9 poll will be a tough test for Najib’s coalition, which has...

‘It would be reckless to swim’: Japanese police continue search for escaped convict on island

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 15:21
The whereabouts of a 27-year-old prison escapee remained unknown on Sunday, with a week-long search involving some 6,600 police officers on a small forested western Japan island failing to arrest the convicted thief. Hiroshima and Ehime prefectural police have been pursuing Tatsuma Hirao on Mukaishima Island in the Seto Inland Sea since his escape on April 8 from a prison in the city of Imabari. Police searchers have come up empty despite Hirao leaving clues of his whereabouts including...

North Korea and economic ties on agenda as Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers meet in Tokyo

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 13:20
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has begun a visit to Japan described as a major step forward in improving frosty relations, as Tokyo tries to stay involved in a flurry of international diplomacy over North Korea. Wang met his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono for talks that were expected to touch on economic relations, territorial disputes in the East China Sea and ways to push Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. “I would like to regard [Wang’s visit] as a major step forward in...

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s support collapses to lowest level amid scandal woes

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 12:41
Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, plagued by accusations of cronyism and cover-ups, fell to 26.7 per cent in a survey by private broadcaster Nippon TV released on Sunday, the lowest since he took office in December 2012. Abe’s sliding ratings are raising doubts over whether he can win a third three-year term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader in a September vote he needs to win to stay in office or whether he might even resign before the party election. The...

Ruling party politician arrested in India as anger over alleged rapes builds

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 10:56
Indian police have made another arrest after the alleged rape of a teenager by a ruling party politician sparked protests across the country, federal investigators said on Sunday. The case, along with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, has brought Indians onto the streets for mass demonstrations not seen since the rape and murder of a Delhi student in 2012. The outrage has put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is accused of trying to...

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un hosts banquet for Chinese diplomat as ‘flower garden’ friendship blooms once more

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 09:24
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met visiting senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao, Korean Central News Agency reported on Sunday, in a further sign of improving ties between Beijing and Pyongyang following Kim’s landmark visit to the Chinese capital last month. The head of the Communist Party’s International Department, who is leading a visit by a Chinese troupe for the April Spring Friendship Art Festival in Pyongyang, was “warmly” welcomed by the reclusive leader on...

‘The feeling is special’: North Korea commemorates birth of founding father Kim Il-sung

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 09:17
Thousands of North Korean devotees laid flowers before statues of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung on Sunday on the anniversary of his birth. A constant stream of soldiers in brown uniforms, work unit personnel in suits, schoolchildren and families made their way to Mansu hill in the centre of Pyongyang, where giant statues of Kim and his son and successor look out over the capital. “The great comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il will always be with us,” read a banner made of...

Australia says ‘no appetite’ for major TPP changes after Donald Trump signals US may want to rejoin

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 08:59
There is “no appetite” among the Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories for major renegotiations to accommodate the United States, Australia said Sunday after US President Donald Trump indicated he was considering rejoining the pact. Trump said Thursday the US could re-enter the TPP if it could get a “better” deal, a major U-turn after leaving the Pacific trade pact last year and calling it a jobs killer. But Australia’s Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said he “...

Shinzo Abe heads to US to put Japan back in North Korea game ahead of Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 08:25
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to the US Tuesday, hoping his carefully cultivated relations with “golf buddy” Donald Trump will help keep Japan in the loop and out of danger amid a flurry of diplomacy on North Korea. During talks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the two allies are expected to stress the need to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang, as well as thrash out bilateral trade frictions. Few leaders have courted the US president as...

Made for each other: Indian start-ups and Chinese investors

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 07:31
When Madhusudan Ekambaram, the co-founder of Bangalore-based KrazyBee, travelled to China for funding in 2016, it seemed clear he was going the wrong way. At the time, fundraising journeys almost always pointed Indian entrepreneurs West – he headed East. “The decision took many by surprise,” he recalled. Less than three years later, the landscape is markedly different. Ekambaram has raised US$13 million in investments from China, and no longer needs to defend his sense of...

First Rohingya family repatriated to Myanmar, thousands more to go

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 06:58
Myanmar’s government said it repatriated the first family of Rohingya out of some 700,000 refugees who fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal military campaign, despite UN warnings that a safe return is not yet possible. The stateless Muslim minority has been massing in squalid Bangladesh camps since the Myanmar army launched a ruthless crackdown on the community in northern Rakhine state last August. The UN says the campaign amounts to ethnic cleansing, but Myanmar has denied the charge,...

What would Chinese hegemony look like? A lot like US leadership

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 06:31
Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s declaration at the close of the National People’s Congress last month that his country would never seek hegemony or engage in expansion is likely to ring hollow in Western corridors of power. Such is the entrenched mindset of many Western politicians and their advisers on strategy and foreign policy that they just cannot conceive of a rising power not wanting to lord it over others, especially those within the sphere of its influence through sheer...

Is Asia Spotify’s weak spot?

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 05:30
Agatha was shocked, sad and more than a little embarrassed when she received an email from Spotify recently saying her account had been suspended. The student, 22, from Yogyakarta on Java island, Indonesia, had been caught using a pirated version of the music streaming service that granted her access to features that would usually require a subscription – advert free listening, unlimited access to songs and offline listening. “I am ashamed to admit that I had been using a ‘...

Why can’t Japan and South Korea get past their battle scars?

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 03:16
In 2003, Winter Sonata, a long and heartbreaking Korean TV drama series about love, passion, sacrifice and respect for human dignity, was broadcast on Japanese television, to great acclaim. A charismatic Korean actor, Bae Yong-joon, portraying a gifted young architect and a romantic lover, became a megastar in Japan, and the darling of Japanese ladies. Everyone came to know him simply as “Yong-sama”. Yong-sama-style scarfs, glasses and hairstyles became instant hits. Winter Sonata...

Japanese playing cards offer novel spin on sex education and dating etiquette

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 13:23
A traditional Japanese card game has been given a new spin by an expert on midwifery as a fun way to teach students about sex and dating etiquette. Minako Saho of Osaka Prefecture University in western Japan came up with a version of “karuta” in 2013 to help create a more relaxed classroom environment for teachers and students to discuss what can for some be an awkward topic. Traditionally played during New Year celebrations, karuta uses cards with poems or proverbs on them. It...

‘I feared many would become human rights cases’: ex-US envoy to Vietnam quit because Trump wanted to deport thousands of refugees

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 13:06
The former US ambassador to Vietnam has said he resigned last year in opposition to a Trump administration plan to deport more than 8,000 Vietnamese people, most of whom are refugees. Ted Osius, who worked in the US foreign services for 30 years, said the Trump administration asked him to press Vietnam’s government to accept the deportees – who had mostly fled the country after the fall of Saigon in 1975. “The majority targeted for deportation – sometimes for minor...

US embassy in Cambodia sacks dozens of workers for sharing pornography on Facebook app

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 12:47
The United States embassy in Cambodia has fired 32 people after they were allegedly caught sharing pornographic material in a non-official chat group, several sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Four sources told Reuters that pornographic videos and photographs, including some featuring people under the age of 18, were shared in a Facebook Messenger chat group. Some of the images were seen by the wife of an embassy worker who reported the incident to an official at the embassy. The...

Cambodia’s former opposition leader Sam Rainsy urges Japan to lean on Hun Sen to ensure fair elections

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 10:39
Cambodia’s self-exiled opposition leader urged Japan, his nation’s biggest donor, on Friday to use its leverage and convince his nation’s autocratic government to ensure that July elections are democratic. Sam Rainsy, whose Cambodia National Rescue Party has been banned, said he’s hopeful that Japan and its business community can send a message to Prime Minister Hun Sen that he needs to restore democracy or face isolation. Sam Rainsy is in Tokyo to meet with Japanese...

‘Humiliate and terrorise’: Myanmar military blacklisted by United Nations over sexual violence against Rohingya

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 08:36
A new UN report puts Myanmar’s armed forces on a UN blacklist of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict for the first time. An advance copy of Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ report to the Security Council, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, says international medical staff and others in Bangladesh have documented that many of the almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled from Myanmar...

India’s killer ‘godmen’ and their sacrificial children

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 07:32
After her six-year-old son went missing in January 2017, Sarika Ingole, a homemaker, scoured every corner of her village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra to find him. But when Krishna, a class one student, was found 18 hours later, she chose not to look at him. The boy’s mutilated corpse was left only a few metres from his home. His clothes were torn, his belongings missing and his eyes had dozens of marks from needle piercings under them. “They had slit his throat with a...

Kim Jong-un has America and China just where he wants them

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 05:33
At dinner in Washington last month with a small group of intense types concerned with Asia policy matters, I asked whether they were worried about the situation on the Korean peninsula. “We’re worried,” was the reply. In January, when a direct strike on North Korean nuclear facilities was on the table, one explained: “That’s the only thing people were talking about.” Now the talk is about a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President...

The Malaysian election issue no one can afford to ignore

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 03:18
With official campaigning for Malaysia’s May 9 general election not due until the end of April, there are few clues available on the trump cards Prime Minister Najib Razak and his chief rival Mahathir Mohamad are likely to wield in their final bid to sway swing voters. But one thing is clear: the country’s rising cost of living and the future of the country’s three-year-old goods and services tax (GST) will be among the hot-button topics that will occupy centre-stage when both...

This Australian ‘punk turtle’ can breath through its genitals, once walked with dinosaurs and now risks extinction

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:59
Australia’s Mary River Turtle – with its green Mohican-style hair and ability to breathe through its genitals – is one of the world’s most distinctive reptiles. It is also now officially among the most endangered. The “punk turtle” was this week ranked 29th on the Zoological Society of London’s Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered list, triggering calls for better protection of the reptile found in a remote part of Australia’s east coast...

Asia in 3 minutes: Would you brave Thailand’s coffin cafe ... or tell Kim Jong-un not to smoke?

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:06
Bangkok cafe offers customers a ‘taste of death’ with their coffee Dying for a cup of coffee? You will feel right at home at Bangkok’s new “death awareness” cafe, a macabre, Buddhist spin on the themed-cafe craze where customers are urged to confront their own mortality – and live better lives as a result. With drinks called “death” and “painful” on the menu and a skeleton splayed out on a couch in the corner, the meet-your-maker theme...

Singapore to test facial recognition on lamp posts, stoking privacy fears

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 12:49
In the not too distant future, surveillance cameras sitting atop more than 100,000 lamp posts in Singapore could help authorities recognise faces in crowds across the city state. The plan to install the cameras, which will be linked to facial recognition software, is raising privacy fears among security experts and rights groups. The government said the system would allow it to “perform crowd analytics” and support anti-terror operations. GovTech, the Singapore government agency in...

‘I don’t know if we can stoop any lower after this’: rape and murder of eight-year-old girl mired in India’s religious politics

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 12:06
The girl, just 8 years old, was grazing her family’s ponies on a chilly January day in the forests of the Himalayan foothills when she was kidnapped. Her raped and mutilated body was found in the woods a week later. In 2012, the fatal gang rape of a young woman in the heart of India’s capital moved hundreds of thousands of Indians to take to the streets to demand stricter rape laws. But the gang rape, torture and death of a Muslim girl in Indian-controlled Kashmir has seen far...

Japan deploys 1,200 police officers to hunt for ‘model’ inmate who escaped jail

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:30
More than 1,000 Japanese police were on the hunt Friday for a “model” inmate who fled an open prison, officials said. Tatsuma Hirao, 27, who was serving time for multiple thefts, had been working at a shipbuilding yard at the Matsuyama prison in the southwestern city of Imabari. But he gave guards the slip on Sunday night, disappearing from the facility he shared with around 20 other inmates. “We deployed a total of 1,200 officers” to find the prisoner as soon as...

Is this the future face of Indonesian politics?

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:27
The Malaysian polls aren’t the only electoral “game” in Southeast Asia. On June 27, Indonesians will be electing governors, regents and mayors in 171 locations. Indeed, three of the most-watched gubernatorial contests – West Java, Central Java and East Java – involve more voters than the hotly anticipated Malaysian elections. Many observers see these contests as a key indicator of President Joko Widodo’s (“Jokowi’s”) chances in the 2019...

Indonesia steamrolls over bootleg alcohol as death toll from illegal spirits nears 100

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:18
Thousands of bottles of booze were destroyed by Indonesian police on Friday in a dramatic show of force against bootleg alcohol that is blamed for killing close to 100 people in recent weeks. Authorities in Tangerang, on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, drove a yellow steamroller over a carpet of some 6,000 bottles, while others raided vendors in a bid to stop the worst string of home-brew deaths in years. The world’s most populous Muslim majority country banned the sale of alcohol...

Malaysian shoppers rush to supermarkets believing the Johor Crown Prince would foot the bill

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:00
Some 1,000 shoppers at two supermarkets in Malaysia were left disappointed when news that The Crown Prince of Johor was going to pay for their groceries turned out to be fake. Shelves, baskets, shopping trolleys and even food was damaged as shoppers rushed for the items, believing that Tunku (Prince) Ismail Sultan Ibrahim was going to foot the bill, just like the day before in the suburb of Tebrau. Many trolleys, piled high with goods, were abandoned once the shoppers realised that he was not...

Malaysia’s opposition leader Mahathir warns ‘monster’ PM Najib will cheat to win polls

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:55
Malaysian ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad warned on Friday that elections next month will be the dirtiest in the country’s history due to cheating by the “monster” prime minister, but insisted his opposition alliance has a fighting chance. Mahathir, who led Malaysia for over two decades, has been spurred out of retirement aged 92 to take on Najib Razak by allegations the premier was involved in an audacious scheme to plunder state fund 1MDB. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing....

Despite UN warnings and not guarantee of safety, Myanmar vows early Rohingya return

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:34
Rohingya refugees will be allowed to return to Myanmar “as soon as possible”, a minister said, despite a stillborn repatriation process and UN warnings that the safety of returnees could not be guaranteed. Win Myat Aye, Myanmar’s social welfare minister, made the comments in Dhaka late Thursday after visiting one of the Bangladesh camps struggling to provide for some of the one million Rohingya Muslims to have fled the country. “We can overcome many difficulties we are...

Japan police report sharp increase in marijuana arrests, triggering concerns for drug-issues seen in the West

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:10
Japan has seen a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests, especially among teenagers and people in their 20s, prompting warnings of drug-related issues typically associated with the more tolerant West. But the number remains relatively low for a country of more than 127 million people. National Police Agency figures show 3,008 people were arrested on marijuana changes in 2017, up almost 20 per cent from 2,536 cases in 2016. The spike marks a new record for the largely drug-intolerant...

Robot submarine that explored Titanic wreckage gets to the bottom of massive New Zealand undersea volcano

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 08:45
Scientists have used a remotely-operated submarine that helped discover the wreck of the Titanic to peer inside a massive underwater volcano north-east of New Zealand. Using a remotely operated vehicle equipped with a high-definition video camera and an array of scientific measuring equipment, the international team observed copper-rich veins in the inner crater walls of Brothers volcano in the Kermadec arc at a depth of 1550m. “This confirms that the veins in the rocks mark the...

‘Women left in shock and fear’: is South Korea’s gaming industry a hotbed of misogyny and sexism?

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 07:10
When US video-game maker Riot Games held a highly anticipated League of Legends championship match in South Korea last year, about half the spectators in the packed arena were women. Waving glow sticks and handmade banners to support a top player called “Faker”, more than a thousand young women – some of them dressed as characters from the game – erupted in celebration when the 21-year-old and his team sealed a 3-0 victory. While the pastime is traditionally seen as the...

Study finds Barack and Michelle Obama are most admired man and woman in Singapore today

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 07:00
By Jessica Lin Former US president Barack Obama may no longer be the most powerful leader in the free world, but it seems his popularity is not fading. Both Obama, 56, and his wife, Michelle Obama, 54, have been named the most admired man and woman among internet users in Singapore in 2018. Barack and Michelle Obama were given admiration scores of 12.7 per cent and 11.7 per cent respectively. Unfortunately, few Singaporeans made the lists. At eighth place, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong...

‘I will arrest you’: Rodrigo Duterte warns prosecutor from International Criminal Court to steer clear of Philippines

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 06:42
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor if she conducts activities in his country, arguing it was no longer an ICC member so the court had no right to do any investigating. Hitting out at what he said was an international effort to paint him as a “ruthless and heartless violator of human rights”, Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the ICC’s Rome Statute a month ago and promised to continue his crackdown...

How North Korea’s billion-dollar construction boom could transform the Pyongyang skyline – as well as the Kim regime’s finances

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 06:24
Beachfront, five-star hotels? Skyscrapers just blocks from Kim Il-sung Square? North Korea is racing forward with major development projects some experts believe are aimed at expanding a market for rented or privately owned real estate to help fortify the finances of Kim Jong-un’s regime against the bite of sanctions over its nuclear programme. A swelling market for private property doesn’t sound very socialist, and it’s not. But the chronically cash-strapped government...

Sister of Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress in her own rage controversy

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 05:42
By Jung Min-ho Cho Hyun-min, 35, the sister of Cho Hyun-ah (Heather Cho), the Korean Air heiress who made headlines around the world for the 2014 “nut rage” incident, has been caught up in her own rage controversy. Cho Hyun-min is accused of throwing a cup of water into the face of the company’s advertising agent at a recent meeting. According to local media outlets Thursday, Cho, a Korean Air executive, was dissatisfied with the agent’s performance for its new...

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