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Malaysia is setting up a special court to tackle rising numbers of human-trafficking cases in a move welcomed by campaigners who hope it will deliver justice to victims.
The Southeast Asian nation relies heavily on foreign domestic workers as well as labourers from countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal for jobs shunned by locals including work on plantations and in construction.
It has nearly two million registered migrant workers, according to government data, but rights groups...
Milkshake duck – a term born in the twittersphere that describes an overnight social media sensation whose viral support rapidly dissolves with closer scrutiny – was chosen Monday as an Australian dictionary’s word of 2017.
Macquarie Dictionary, the definitive authority on Australian English, defines a milkshake duck as: a person who is initially viewed positively by the media but is then discovered to have something questionable about them which causes a sharp decline in...
A senior US diplomat had talks in Pakistan on Monday following an outcry over President Donald Trump’s accusation that the nuclear-armed South Asian state had engaged in “lies and deceit” as a US ally in the war in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, met with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the Foreign Ministry and US embassy said.
A Foreign Ministry statement said Wells “...
Sri Lanka’s top court has rejected a controversial attempt to extend President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office by an extra year, further souring the ruling party’s relations with its coalition partners.
Sirisena had asked the Supreme Court whether a limit on presidential terms, which he introduced in 2015 as part of measures to curb the power of the executive, applied to his own mandate.
His chief attorney general last week told the court that the constitutional...
Talks were held Monday to “settle issues” over the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, Bangladeshi officials told AFP, as doubts linger over how many of the 655,000 Muslim minority who fled violence are likely to return.
Under diplomatic pressure, Myanmar has vowed to repatriate refugees driven into Bangladesh by an army crackdown last year, if they can verify they belong in western Rakhine state.
But aid agencies question how many Rohingya, a Muslim minority reviled...
The Philippine government has revoked the operating licence of leading news website Rappler, officials said Monday in a ruling denounced by President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics as another blow to press freedom.
Rappler, set up in 2012, is among a clutch of Philippine news organisations that have sparred with Duterte over their critical coverage of his brutal drugs war.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had revoked the incorporation certificates of Rappler and Rappler...
A Chinese naval submarine detected in waters near Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea last week was a nuclear-powered attack submarine, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Monday.
The Shang-class submarine was detected Thursday while submerged just outside Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands).
Tokyo filed a protest with Beijing, which also claims the islands, saying the submarine’s presence raised bilateral tensions.
By Park Jae-hyuk
People appear to have come closer to possibly coexisting with robots having strong resemblances to them, as technology is helping “humanoids” overcome “the uncanny valley,” the hypothesis stating that once robots resemble humans, but not fully, they incite horror and discomfort in people.
Since the concept was coined by Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori in the 1970s, it has explained the reason why people regard less-humanlike robots, such as...
Around a dozen injured people were carried on stretchers out of the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Monday, eye witnesses said, after reports of a collapsed structure inside the building.
Dozens of police officials were cordoning off the two-tower, multi-storey complex as many people ran away and others were seen sitting on steps outside the lobby.
Atap kantor rubuh. pic.twitter.com/HMhOzjHrPu
— Armeyn Sinaga (@Arm3yn) January 15, 2018
Lobi tower 2. pic.twitter.com/O4YokpI0Eg
By Jamie Morton
Mining a wealth of untapped health data could reveal new insights into how we age - and help tackle one of the biggest killers of older New Zealanders.
A new study, led by medical specialist and Otago University researcher Dr Hamish Jamieson, will trawl through a sprawling national health database to look for clues to combating heart failure.
Heart failure was the most common cause of hospital admission in older New Zealanders.
Half of those who suffered it died within five...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he was “disappointed” by India’s refusal to back recognition of Jerusalem as his country’s capital but would not let it spoil his landmark visit to the Asian giant.
Netanyahu also vowed that Israel would “catch up” with the killers of a Jewish couple murdered in 2008 attacks in Mumbai whose son is accompanying him on a six-day trip to India.
The Israeli leader arrived Sunday at the head of the biggest...
The crater of a rumbling Philippine volcano was glowing bright red Monday, with vulcanologists warning it could erupt within days, sending thousands fleeing from their homes.
Volcanic earthquakes and rockfalls have shaken the summit of Mayon over the last 24 hours, after a number of steam-driven eruptions, scientists said.
More than 12,000 people have been ordered to leave a seven-kilometre (four-mile) evacuation zone, and there are warnings of destructive mudflows and toxic clouds.
Foreign ministers from around 20 nations gather on Tuesday to discuss how to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions through diplomatic and financial pressure, but China, seen as a key player in any long-term solution, will be absent.
The Vancouver meeting, co-hosted by Canada and the United States, comes amid signs that tensions on the peninsula have eased, at least temporarily.
North and South Korea held talks for the first time in two years last week and Pyongyang says it will send...
North and South Korea began talks Monday on appearances by Pyongyang’s state-run artistic performers at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, after the North agreed to attend the Games.
Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its weapons programmes.
The two sides agreed an art troupe would be part of the delegation, and eight officials – four from each –...
Two Japanese political parties have decided to form an alliance in the Diet, becoming the largest opposition force in both the lower and upper house, their senior officials said on Sunday.
Secretary generals of the Party of Hope and the Democratic Party, Motohisa Furukawa and Teruhiko Mashiko, said the parties are set to solidify the formal agreement on Monday.
They said the parties reached a compromise on how to deal with the contentious security legislation, over which the two parties had...
The Philippines raised the alert at its restive Mayon volcano by one notch early on Sunday, citing signs of rising magma that could lead to hazardous eruptions.
Residents were evacuated from two villages near the volcano, a tourist attraction in Albay province because of its near-perfect cone shape, following a “phreatic or steam-driven eruption” on Saturday, and there was a further eruption on Sunday.
Saturday’s eruption unleashed ash, rocks and sulphuric odour, and was...
Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for the first visit by an Israeli leader to India in 15 years, promising closer ties with the regional power.
Netanyahu and his wife Sara were welcomed at the international airport in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made history in July when he became the first Indian leader to visit Israel.
“This visit is an opportunity to enhance cooperation with a global economic, security, technology and tourism power,” Netanyahu...
A tourist speedboat carrying 31 passengers exploded in front of Phi Phi Le island in the southern Thailand province of Krabi on Sunday, injuring 16, mostly tourists from China, Phi Phi police said.
The speedboat, named King Poseidon, was ferrying 27 Chinese tourists from the nearby resort island of Phuket to Phi Phi before its engine caught fire and exploded injuring 14 tourists and two crew members, the police said, adding that the authority is still investigating the cause of the explosion....
The fiery, furious cascade of leaks and revelations coming out of US President Donald Trump’s White House in the first month of the new year has left us facing three possible conclusions, all equally unsettling: the president of the United States may well be a kook, a crook or an incompetent – perhaps some combination of the three.
All prospects are worrisome, certainly for Americans, who are watching their 230-year-old governing institutions stretched to the breaking point. But...
The ancient temple of Kutumbari stood for centuries in Dwarahat in north India. Then one day in the 1960s, officials realised it had vanished from records – and later discovered it had disappeared altogether.
Kutumbari is one of 24 landmarks on a list of now “untraceable” protected monuments in India. Some have gone missing because of inadequate or antiquated record-keeping; others have physically disappeared, destroyed by natural disasters or by humans.
This week, after...