SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

North Korea slams US ‘gangster-like’ demands after disarmament talks. But is this a negotiating tactic?

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 03:16
The peace process between the United States and North Korea appeared to be in crisis Sunday after Pyongyang angrily rejected Washington’s “gangster-like” demand for rapid nuclear disarmament, despite two days of intense talks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Tokyo to brief his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the talks, which he called positive, and declined to comment on Pyongyang’s statement rejecting his efforts and appealing to US President Donald...

‘Free Najib’: Can Malaysia’s disgraced leader weather one last storm?

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 02:34
He’s calm, he’s cool and he’s going to weather this storm. These are the fighting words from loyalists to the fallen Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak as the 64-year-old stares at the prospect of spending his sunset years in jail. Najib’s arrest and arraignment this week for criminal breach of trust and abuse of power linked to the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal lays bare the extent of his stunning fall from grace following the election victory of Mahathir Mohamad,...

Death count in Japan rains rises to 44 as country is hit by flash floods and landslides

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 01:49
At least 44 people have been killed in days of record rains that have devastated parts of Japan, and at least 21 people are missing, local authorities said on Sunday. The torrential downpours have caused flash flooding and landslides, with local media putting the toll around 50 dead with dozens more unaccounted for. Dozens dead in Japan floods and millions ordered to evacuate The toll includes one person killed last week, when the typhoon system that brought the heavy rains first made landfall...

How a 25-year-old ex-monk kept the Thai cave boys alive – and won the hearts of their parents

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 01:12
The head coach of the Thai soccer team spent the morning of June 23 preparing his young assistant for an important task: looking out for the boys by himself. Nopparat Khanthavong, the 37-year-old head coach of the Moo Pa (Wild Boars) soccer team, had an appointment that morning. Ekapol Chanthawong, his assistant, was to take the younger boys to a soccer field nestled by the Doi Nang Non mountain range, a formation with numerous waterfalls and caves that straddles the Thai-Myanmar border. How...

Indian girl, 13, ‘raped by school principal and 13 pupils, then blackmailed by teachers’

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 22:09
Police in eastern India have arrested a school principal, two teachers and three pupils after a teenage girl blamed them and another 13 schoolmates for repeatedly raping her for the last seven months, police said Saturday. Police arrested the six after the girl named the 19 accused in a written complaint on Friday, said police officer Har Kishore Rai. Indian protesters demand death penalty for suspects accused of rape “The complaint points out that (the accused) blackmailed and repeatedly...

‘I can hear my daughter screaming’: Family of Thai boat disaster victims reveals chilling video

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 19:21
The family of a Chinese woman and her two children who were among the victims of a tourist boat disaster off the Thai resort island of Phuket shared ominous video of the chaotic scene on the boat right before it capsized, and said Saturday they’re demanding “justice” from the Thai authorities. The short video clip was taken at a section of the boat’s cabin, and shows the boat tilting, with rough waves seen through the windows. A passenger tumbles down the aisle as...

Three murders in one week: Philippine vice-mayor shot dead as killings continue

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 16:06
Gunmen killed a city vice mayor in the Philippines on Saturday, police said, less than a week after two mayors were shot dead in separate incidents, including one President Rodrigo Duterte said may have had links to illegal drugs. The latest attack brought to 15 the number of mayors and vice mayors killed since Duterte unleashed his deadly anti-narcotics campaign when he came to power in 2016, according to CNN Philippines, citing a tally of its own research team. Duterte has a watch list of...

As Chinese families mourn the dead in Thai tour boat disaster, calls for justice grow louder

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 15:49
The family of a Chinese woman and her two children who were among dozens of victims of a tourist boat disaster off the Thai resort island of Phuket are demanding “justice”, saying on Saturday that the tragedy was caused by human error and could have been avoided. Chen Wei, a businesswoman from Chongqing province, said videos and messages sent by her sister Chen De Qiong to the family’s WeChat group just before the boat capsized on Thursday showed strong waves and passengers...

Death toll from Thai tour boat tragedy climbs to 48 after vessel carrying Chinese passengers capsized off Phuket

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 14:24
Recovery divers pulled five more bodies from the sea off the Thai holiday island of Phuket on Saturday, 48 hours after a boat capsized in rough waters killing dozens of Chinese passengers. The latest discoveries brought the death toll to 48. Many of the dead were found drifting in the sea, still wearing life jackets, several kilometres from where the Phoenix went down after being hit by five-metre high waves in a storm on Thursday evening. It is one of the worst boat disasters in the recent...

South Korean women demand harsher penalties to combat epidemic of ‘spycam porn’

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 13:45
Thousands of South Korean women gathered in Seoul on Saturday to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras, which they say has women living in constant anxiety and distress. Police said about 18,000 took part in the all-women protest, with demonstrators calling for stronger investigations and punishments against male offenders who photograph or film women without their knowledge and post the material online. “Those...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hails progress in North Korean denuclearisation talks but the world must wait for ‘nitty gritty details’

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 13:41
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he had made progress “on almost all of the central issues” in talks with North Korea, including on setting a timeline for its denuclearisation, but work remained to be done. Speaking to reporters after a day-and-a-half of talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on the repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean war, and also discussed “modalities” for the...

Coach of Thai team stranded in cave apologises to boys’ parents but insists ‘all the kids are still fine’

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 09:22
The 25-year-old coach of a youth football team trapped for two weeks in a Thai cave has offered his “apologies to the parents” of the boys in a scrawled note released by the Thai Navy on Saturday. Thailand is holding its breath for the safe return of the group, with heavy rains forecast and fears mounting over the reduced oxygen and high level of water in the cave. Ekkapol Chantawong was for nine days the only adult with the children – aged 11 to 16 – until they were...

Party on: Cambodia starts election campaign with doves and dancing

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 08:43
Doves flew into the sky and traditional dancers performed at huge rallies in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Saturday, as the ruling party of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen launched campaigning for general elections on July 29. Western countries and the United Nations have expressed concern the vote might not be free or fair after a court last year dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. Most of the...

Sixteen dead, more than 50 missing as heavy rain hits western Japan

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 08:38
The death toll from heavy rains in wide areas of western Japan rose to 16 with more than 50 missing on Saturday, as downpours triggered landslides and flooding that smashed homes and swept away cars. Some 4,800 members of the Self-Defence Forces, police and firefighting service took part in searching for people trapped, wounded or dead. Heavy rainfall had damaged more than 500 homes and injured at least 40 people as of 7:00am, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Evacuation...

Rash of ‘panther’ sightings is starting to irritate Australian wildlife experts

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 07:16
A large cat in Western Australia that was mistaken for a panther is the latest in a long line of mythical big cat sightings that wildlife rangers say are unhelpful. The large black feline – estimated to be 50 per cent larger than a house cat – was spotted in the town of Coorow, 275km north of Perth, in late June, and reported to wildlife authorities as a potential panther or big cat. But local wildlife ranger Tim Gilbertson told the ABC he was getting sick of panther reports....

In Pakistan’s currency crisis, China is the problem and the solution

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 07:00
A last-ditch Chinese loan may have temporarily rescued Pakistan from a foreign exchange reserves crisis, but experts say Islamabad’s growing dependence on Beijing has become as much a liability as it is an asset. The US$1 billion emergency loan released in the last week of Juneboosted Pakistan’s reserves enough to cover two months of imports, which have reached unsustainably high levels largely – and ironically – because of Islamabad’s commitment to the Belt and...

Duterte vows to resign if anybody can prove God exists

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 05:37
The Philippine president, who recently sparked outrage for insulting God, has courted new controversy in his largely Roman Catholic country by saying he will resign if anybody can prove that God exists. President Rodrigo Duterte questioned anew in a speech late on Friday some of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith, including the concept of original sin, which he said taints even innocent infants and can only be removed through baptism. Duterte asked: “Where is the logic of God there?...

Why are Japanese torturing cats and posting the videos online?

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 03:00
When Tokyo police eventually arrested Makoto Oya, a seemingly respectable tax counsellor from Saitama City, he attempted to justify pouring scalding water over stray cats and torturing them to death with a blowtorch. “The excrement and urine of cats smells bad,” he told the officers who took him into custody. “They have sharp nails that are designed to injure. I did not realise that exterminating these sorts of harmful animals was a violation of the law.” Oya, 52,...

Top US diplomat back in North Korea to firm up denuclearisation schedule

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 22:43
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met for nearly three hours on Friday with a top North Korean official in Pyongyang to nail down the specifics of commitments on denuclearisation made when US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month. Pompeo has the crucial task of dispelling growing scepticism over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following the June 12 summit into concrete action. US Secretary of State Mike...

Elon Musk sends team to Thailand to help rescue boys’ soccer team in cave

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 19:29
Elon Musk is sending a team of engineers to Thailand to explore ways to help rescue a boys’ soccer team stuck in a cave. The billionaire’s companies could assist by trying to pinpoint the boys’ precise location using Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or Boring Co. technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Inc. Powerwalls, a spokesman for Musk said earlier. The Thai government confirmed in a statement posted to Facebook that Musk’s...

Singapore woman jailed for role in ‘Fat Leonard’ US Navy bribery scandal

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 19:18
A Singaporean woman was sentenced to 33 months in jail on Friday for her role in a huge bribery scandal called the “Fat Leonard” case that rocked the US Navy. Gursharan Kaur Sharon Rachael, 57, a former lead contract specialist with the US Navy, was charged at a Singapore district court in late 2015 for leaking confidential information in exchange for cash and luxury vacations. She had been giving the information to Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis, who ran a port services firm...

At least 3 dead, several missing in Japan’s heavy rain, floods

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 18:41
Heavy rain on Japan has triggered floods and landslides, leaving at least three people dead and several missing. The Japan Meteorological Agency said Japan has had “historic” rainfall this week and more was expected through the weekend, urging residents to use precautions and evacuate early to higher grounds. How Shoko Asahara cult brought terror to Tokyo – a witness account Warnings for heavy rain and flooding were issued in large parts western and southern Japan. The Fire...

The rescue of the Wild Boars team

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 16:58
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Asia in 3 minutes: Pompeo has a rocket (man) in his pocket for Kim Jong-un

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:55
Trump really wants Kim to hear Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is rumoured to be delivering a copy of Elton John’s song Rocket Man to Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang at the latest round of nuclear talks. The gift playfully refers to a low point in relations between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump, who memorably turned the song’s title into an epithet after the North stepped up its missile tests last year. Quoting unnamed...

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:28
Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court in Islamabad Friday, lawyers said, dealing a serious blow to his party’s troubled campaign ahead of July 25 elections. Sharif was ousted from his third term as prime minister by the Supreme Court last year following a corruption investigation. “[Sharif] has been awarded 10 years imprisonment and an £8 million (US$10 million) fine” over the purchase of...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Pyongyang to clarify ‘details’ of North Korea’s denuclearisation

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:15
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday to press Kim Jong-un for a more detailed commitment to denuclearisation following the North Korean leader’s historic summit with US President Donald Trump. Pompeo was greeted in the North Korean capital by Kim’s right hand man Kim Yong-chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. Since meeting Kim in Singapore last month Trump has been bullish about hopes for peace, boasting that the threat of nuclear war is over. But the...

Japan battered by heavy rains across several prefectures, causing landslides and flooding

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:30
Heavy rainfall continued in wide areas of Japan on Friday, leaving several people missing due to landslides and swollen rivers in western prefectures. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast record amounts of rain in the country through Sunday, warning of flooding, mudslides and lightning strikes. Evacuation orders have been issued in Kyoto, Kochi, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures in western Japan with Ground Self-Defence Force personnel dispatched to rescue some residents trapped in the city of...

Will Thai junta use cave rescue of soccer team to save itself?

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:00
While Thailand holds its collective breath as rescuers attempt to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai, the country’s ruling military junta has more reason than most to pray for a happy ending. A successful rescue of the boys could give the junta – which seized power in a coup d’etat in May 2014 – a timely popularity boost as it comes under intense pressure to hold elections. “Thai authorities are trying to...

Cambodian patients welcome Chinese doctors as part of health care diplomacy push

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 09:18
Cambodian rice farmer Peng Nean’s eyesight cannot get much worse. After years of working in the fields the 68-year-old can now see only one metre ahead in the light of day. After sunset, it’s hard for her to see anything at all. She used to make upwards of US$25 per day from farming, but with her deteriorating condition, Peng is now lucky to scrape together US$10 from selling vegetables at market. That’s with the help of her daughter, who is divorced with two children and had...

Mahathir’s date in Beijing shows China ‘can’t be ignored’ by Malaysia

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 08:20
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s tentative plan to visit China in August signals the 92-year-old leader’s hopes of strengthening ties with the Asian juggernaut even as he puts some US$20 billion of Beijing-linked projects on ice, analysts say. Two diplomatic sources told This Week in Asia that talks were underway for Mahathir, 92, to visit the Chinese capital sometime between August 13 and 21. And in a press conference on Friday afternoon, Mahathir said he wanted to visit...

Led to the noose in diapers: the strange life and death of Shoko Asahara, murderous guru behind Tokyo gas attack

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 08:00
Shoko Asahara, executed Friday for his role in the deadly 1995 sarin attack on Tokyo’s subway, used a mixture of charisma and mysticism to lure followers to his Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult. The “guru” with his wild hair and unkempt beard once led up to 10,000 followers, including some who in 1995 targeted the Tokyo subway in a shocking chemical attack that killed 13 people and injured thousands more. He reportedly cut a very different figure as he was led to the noose on...

Mike Pompeo reportedly plans to give Kim Jong-un a ‘Rocket Man’ CD at nuclear talks this week

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 06:26
When Mike Pompeo meets Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang this week, he will reportedly attempt to smooth a path towards denuclearisation with a gift that playfully references a low point in relations between the North Korean leader and Donald Trump: a CD of Elton John’s Rocket Man. The US secretary of state, due to arrive in Pyongyang on Friday, will present Kim with the CD along with a letter from Trump, who memorably turned the song’s title into an epithet after the North stepped up its...

Ex-Thai Navy Seal dies during rescue of trapped schoolboys

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 05:29
A former military diver has died after running out of oxygen while helping rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped inside a cave in Thailand, an official said on Friday. His death highlights the perils of the operation to extract the team from deep inside the waterlogged cave, raising questions about the feasibility of bringing youngsters out the same way. “A former Seal who volunteered to help died last night about 2am,” Chiang Rai deputy governor Passakorn Boonyaluck told...

San Francisco hospital treated Korean tourists’ baby with a nap and a bottle of milk formula. The bill was US$18,000

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 03:45
On the first morning of Jang Yeo-im’s vacation to San Francisco in 2016, her eight-month-old son, Park Jeong-whan, fell off the bed in the family’s hotel room and hit his head. There was no blood, but the baby was inconsolable. Jang and her husband worried he might have an injury they couldn’t see, so they called 911, and an ambulance took the family – tourists from South Korea – to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). The doctors at the hospital...

Japan hangs doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara, mastermind of 1995 sarin attack

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 02:29
Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, sentenced to death for masterminding the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system and other acts that resulted in the deaths of 29 people, was hanged on Friday, sources close to the matter said. The 63-year-old cult founder, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, was the first to be executed among the 13 people placed on death row in connection with a series of crimes perpetrated by the doomsday cult. The 12 others are former followers who acted...

Elon Musk offers to aid in cave rescue of trapped Thai soccer team

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 21:59
Representatives for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk are in talks with Thai authorities about aiding in the rescue of a soccer team stuck in a cave, a Musk spokesman said. Musk’s companies could help by trying to determine the boys’ precise location using Space Exploration Technologies Corp or Boring Company technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Powerwalls, the spokesman said. It is unclear whether Thai officials will accept the offer....

North Korea wants Japan to lift sanctions, dangles probe of abductees

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 20:18
North Korea has said it will not comply with Tokyo’s demand for a resolution of the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago unless Japan lifts unilateral economic sanctions, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday. Pyongyang’s demand to Japan has been made during behind-the-scene talks regarding the abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s and is viewed possibly as a condition to resume investigations into the fate of the victims, the...

Petrified and stigmatised, Rohingya rape survivors face agonising choices as babies arrive

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 19:17
Tucked away in the shadows of her family’s bamboo shelter, the girl hid from the world. She was 13, and she was petrified. Two months earlier, soldiers had broken into her home back in Myanmar and raped her, an attack that drove her and her terrified family over the border to Bangladesh. Ever since, she had waited for her period to arrive. Gradually, she realised that it would not. For the girl, a Rohingya Muslim who agreed to be identified by her first initial, A, the pregnancy was a...

How will the Thai cave boys stay sane underground? Their coach – a meditation master – may hold the key

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 18:56
More than 288 hours have passed since 12 young Thai boys and their soccer coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, became trapped in an underground cave by monsoon rains – and with the promise of rescue perhaps months away, the focus is now on maintaining their mental health. But at a gilded temple in Thailand’s mountainous north, Chanthawong honed a skill that will serve him well as he sits with the boys in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave: meditation. Before the 25-year-old was a coach to the young...

Tourist boat capsizes off Thailand; 49 reported missing

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 18:43
Forty-nine people were missing Thursday night after a boat carrying mostly Chinese tourists overturned in rough seas off southern Thailand. Strong winds were still blowing as searchers looked for the missing in the Andaman Sea off the tourist island of Phuket late on Thursday. Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said that 48 passengers had been rescued from the boat, but that 49 remained unaccounted for. A police official had earlier reported that 90 people had been rescued and just seven were...

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad plans to visit China in August after suspending projects worth US$20 billion

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:28
Malaysian and Chinese officials are in talks for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to visit Beijing soon, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions, after Kuala Lumpur suspended China-backed projects worth more than US$20 billion. Mahathir, who came to power in May following a stunning election defeat for then prime minister Najib Razak, is reviewing major projects signed by the former government, saying many of them do not make financial sense for Malaysia. His trip to Beijing...

Charity home set up by Mother Teresa closed for ‘selling babies’ to childless couples

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:09
Indian authorities said on Thursday they have sealed a home run by Mother Teresa’s religious order and charged a nun and one other person with baby trafficking. The home in eastern India’s Jharkhand state is run by Missionaries of Charity, the order set up by Mother Teresa in India, and provides shelter for pregnant unmarried women. “They have said that at least five to six babies have been sold to childless couples,” police officer Aman Kumar said. “We are...

Singapore threatens to reverse Uber’s sale of Southeast Asian operations to Grab

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 13:08
Uber and Grab called truce on a potentially ruinous subsidy war in Southeast Asia after the former agreed to bow out of the region in exchange for a stake in its Singapore-based rival. Now the country’s antitrust watchdog has threatened to reverse the deal if proposed remedies fail to address its concerns, a move that Grab has called “overreaching”. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said on Thursday that it had received “numerous complaints...

Loan from Chinese bank for Malaysian pipeline projects may have been used to pay 1MDB dues

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 10:42
Malaysia is investigating whether part of a loan from a Chinese state-owned bank for projects worth US$2.3 billion was used to help repay dues of a scandal-ridden state fund, a finance ministry official said. The projects to build two pipelines were signed in 2016 by the administration of former Malaysian premier Najib Razak, who courted Chinese investment but was ousted in an election in May amid allegations of corruption at the fund, 1MDB. Najib, who was charged in connection with the...

US softens nuclear stance as Mike Pompeo heads back to North Korea for first overnight stay

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:30
The United States appears to have shelved an “all or nothing” approach to North Korean denuclearisation as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to North Korea Friday hoping to agree a road map for its nuclear disarmament. Pompeo will spend a day and a half in North Korea on Friday and Saturday on what will be his third trip to the country this year, and his first since an unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June...

Japanese man hoarded so much rubbish that it spilled out into the street – he’s now being forced to clean it up and move out

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:30
After a 10-year legal battle, the Nagoya municipal government has been granted the right to tackle the city’s most visible example of a gomi yashiki – which literally translates as “rubbish house”. Within days of the Nagoya District Court ruling in favour of an ordinance that gives the city the power to override a resident’s wishes in an extreme case of gomi yashiki, municipal workers began filling skips with debris that has spilled out of the three-storey home...

French fellow winemakers leap to defend Japanese couple facing deportation, hailing their ‘extraordinary’ reds

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:45
French wine lovers have risen up in revolt after a Japanese couple who make “outstanding” wine in southern France were threatened with deportation. More than 42,000 have already signed a petition protesting the “crazy, moronic and shameful decision”, with wine and restaurant critics now joining the outcry. Rie and Hirofumi Shoji’s “exceptional” red wine, Pedres Blanques (White Rocks), made from grenache grapes near Banyuls-sur-Mer in the French Catalan...

Rescue team considers ‘chimney option’ as rain threatens Thai boys in the cave

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:10
Thai rescuers on Thursday said they may be prodded into a complex extraction of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave if forecast rains hammer the mountainside and jeopardise the rescue mission. Thirteen sets of diving equipment have been prepared for the team, who have endured 12 nights underground in the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand. Water is being pumped out from the deluged cave round-the-clock, reducing the flooding by one centimetre an hour. But with rain...

Cambodia restores rail link to Thailand border after 45 years

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 06:21
Cambodia has reopened the final stretch of a railway running from the capital Phnom Penh to the border with neighbouring Thailand, the first time the line has been operational in 45 years. The Asian Development Bank provided US$13 million in 2009 to rebuild the missing link which aims to slash travel time between the two countries and boost trade. Cambodian transport minister Sun Chanthol said a train ran Wednesday morning from the northwestern province of Pursat to Phnom Penh, the last...

Leader of Indonesia’s Aceh province arrested in US$557 million corruption sting

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 06:05
The governor of Aceh, Indonesia’s westernmost province has been arrested for alleged embezzlement of the province’s huge special autonomy fund. Governor Irwandi Yusuf is a former rebel peace negotiator who was elected for a second five-year term as governor last year after losing a re-election bid in 2012. The 57-year-old had been questioned by Indonesia’s graft-busters, the Corruption Eradication Commission, before his formal arrest after being flown in to Jakarta from Banda...

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom loses New Zealand appeal to avoid extradition to US

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 05:11
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom suffered a major setback in his epic legal battle against online piracy charges Thursday when New Zealand’s Court of Appeal ruled he was eligible for extradition to the United States. The German national, who is accused of netting millions from his file sharing Megaupload empire, faces charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering in the US, carrying jail terms of up to 20 years. Dotcom had asked the court to overturn two previous rulings that the...

How the looming trade war and China’s rising labour costs are a boon to Vietnam’s economy

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 01:00
The looming US-China trade war has boosted foreign investment in Vietnam, accelerating an already strong trend of foreign firms veering away from China and its rising costs and eyeing ventures in Southeast Asia. Despite economists’ warnings that the escalating trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies could indirectly hurt growth in Southeast Asia, the region is still seen as a destination for foreign companies shifting production away from China, where rising wages...

Rodrigo Duterte wavers in fight against corruption in the Philippines

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 21:57
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has taken great pride in firing nearly two dozen officials in an anti-corruption drive since he came to power two years ago. The catch: about a quarter have already been rehired. Duterte has fired 21 officials and accepted the resignation of seven, delivering on a promise to dismiss anyone on “just a whiff” of corruption. “If you go to the national government just to look for an opportunity for money, go look for another job. I will really...

Rodrigo Duterte wavers in fight against corruption in the Philippines

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 21:57
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has taken great pride in firing nearly two dozen officials in an anti-corruption drive since he came to power two years ago. The catch: about a quarter have already been rehired. Duterte has fired 21 officials and accepted the resignation of seven, delivering on a promise to dismiss anyone on “just a whiff” of corruption. “If you go to the national government just to look for an opportunity for money, go look for another job. I will really...

Trump tariff threat jolts Japanese car-parts giant eyeing China expansion

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 21:16
Japan’s biggest auto-parts supplier has joined the industry chorus warning of disruptions from US President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on cars and components. Denso Corp, whose US$37 billion market value exceeds Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, sees the threat of US tariffs of as much as 25 per cent and reciprocal levies from trade partners as a “grave concern,” Executive Director Yasushi Matsui said. The duties are set to hit right as Denso readies an expansion in China...

Trump tariff threat jolts Japanese car-parts giant eyeing China expansion

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 21:16
Japan’s biggest auto-parts supplier has joined the industry chorus warning of disruptions from President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on cars and components. Denso Corp., whose US$37 billion market value exceeds Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, sees the threat of US tariffs of as much as 25 per cent and reciprocal levies from trade partners as a “grave concern,” Executive Director Yasushi Matsui said in an interview. The duties are set to hit right as Denso readies an...

Japan, US, South Korea foreign ministers to meet in Tokyo to coordinate North Korea approach

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 17:47
The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea will meet in Tokyo on Sunday to coordinate their approach to North Korea, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will also meet one-on-one with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. White House says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed back to North Korea for talks with Kim Jong-un The United States and its key allies Japan and...

Japan, US, South Korea foreign ministers to meet in Tokyo to coordinate North Korea approach

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 17:47
The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea will meet in Tokyo on Sunday to coordinate their approach to North Korea, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono will also meet one-on-one with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. White House says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to head back to North Korea for new talks with Kim Jong-un The United States and its key allies...

Killings sow fear inside Rohingya refugee camps, where 1,000 officers monitor 1 million people

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:16
Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from neighbouring Myanmar. Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a number...

Killings sow fear inside Rohingya refugee camps, where 1,000 officers monitor 1 million people

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:16
Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from neighbouring Myanmar. Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a number...

Media watchdog urges India to protect journalists, claiming hate speech has ‘increased massively’

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:41
A media watch group on Wednesday expressed serious concern at “an alarming deterioration in the working environment of journalists in India” and demanded that the government ensure the safety of journalists who are feeling threatened. Reporters Without Borders said in a report that at least three journalists were killed in India in 2017 and that a fourth case is still under investigation. In 2018, the situation appears to have worsened significantly, with four journalists killed in...

Media watchdog urges India to protect journalists, claiming hate speech has ‘increased massively’

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:41
A media watch group on Wednesday expressed serious concern at “an alarming deterioration in the working environment of journalists in India” and demanded that the government ensure the safety of journalists who are feeling threatened. Reporters Without Borders said in a report that at least three journalists were killed in India in 2017 and that a fourth case is still under investigation. In 2018, the situation appears to have worsened significantly, with four journalists killed in...

Najib in court: what to expect from Malaysia’s biggest trial

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 12:26
There will be an eight-month wait at the very least before Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak stands trial on charges of criminal breach of trust and corruption linked to the 1MDB state fund he helped set up. Malaysians on Wednesday were gripped by images from the Kuala Lumpur High Court as the 64-year-old leader became the country’s first national leader to face charges in court. Najib, dressed in a crisply cut suit and sporting his trademark pocket square,...

Najib in court: what to expect from Malaysia’s biggest trial

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 12:26
There will be an eight-month wait at the very least before Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak stands trial on charges of criminal breach of trust and corruption linked to the 1MDB state fund he helped set up. Malaysians on Wednesday were gripped by images from the Kuala Lumpur High Court as the 64-year-old leader became the country’s first national leader to face charges in court. Najib, dressed in a crisply cut suit and sporting his trademark pocket square,...

Najib Razak not the only world leader to face court – here are eight politicians who wound up in jail for abusing their power

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 10:02
Many world leaders have stepped out of public office and into prison. The reasons vary from corruption, to stealing state funds and embezzlement, to imprisoning and murdering political opponents. Some were ousted in coups, while others were denounced by a successor. Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, who appeared in court on Wednesday charged with corruption and breach of trust, could share their fate. If convicted of one or more of the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison....

Najib Razak not the only world leader in court – here are eight politicians who wound up in jail for abusing their power

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 10:02
Many world leaders have stepped out of public office and into prison. The reasons vary from corruption, to stealing state funds and embezzlement, to imprisoning and murdering political opponents. Some were ousted in coups, while others were denounced by a successor. Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, who appeared in court on Wednesday charged with corruption and breach of trust, could share their fate. If convicted of one or more of the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison. The...

Family of Thai cave boy called ‘Night’ long to celebrate his 16th birthday at home

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 08:55
Pheeraphat Sompiengjai’s family still have a birthday cake in the fridge waiting for his return home, as the discovery of the missing boy and his football team in a Thai cave brings joy to relatives but despair at the long rescue ahead. Grilled pork and dessert had been prepared as a post-football birthday treat for Pheeraphat – known by his nickname ‘Night’ – who turned 16 on June 23. Night’s relatives waited that evening to celebrate his birthday –...

Family of Thai cave boy called ‘Night’ long to celebrate his 16th birthday at home

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 08:55
Pheeraphat Sompiengjai’s family still have a birthday cake in the fridge waiting for his return home, as the discovery of the missing boy and his football team in a Thai cave brings joy to relatives but despair at the long rescue ahead. Grilled pork and dessert had been prepared as a post-football birthday treat for Pheeraphat – known by his nickname ‘Night’ – who turned 16 on June 23. Night’s relatives waited that evening to celebrate his birthday –...

India demands WhatsApp curb spread of rumours after crazed mobs rampage

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 08:15
India has told WhatsApp to take “immediate action” after a spate of horrific lynchings sparked by false rumours being shared on the hugely popular smartphone messaging service. More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators. The attacks – usually targeting outsiders – have left authorities scrambling to mount an effective response, with awareness campaigns and...

India demands WhatsApp curb spread of rumours after crazed mobs rampage

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 08:15
India has told WhatsApp to take “immediate action” after a spate of horrific lynchings sparked by false rumours being shared on the hugely popular smartphone messaging service. More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators. The attacks – usually targeting outsiders – have left authorities scrambling to mount an effective response, with awareness campaigns and...

Japan will deploy a helicopter carrier to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. How will Beijing respond?

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 07:45
Japan will send a large helicopter carrier to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean for a second straight year as it looks to bolster its presence in the strategic maritime region with annual tours, two Japanese officials said. “This is part Japan’s efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said one of the officials, who has direct knowledge of the plan for a two-month tour beginning in September. The 248 metre-long (814ft) Kaga, which can operate several helicopters...

Japan will deploy a helicopter carrier to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. How will Beijing respond?

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 07:45
Japan will send a large helicopter carrier to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean for a second straight year as it looks to bolster its presence in the strategic maritime region with annual tours, two Japanese officials said. “This is part Japan’s efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said one of the officials, who has direct knowledge of the plan for a two-month tour beginning in September. The 248 metre-long (814ft) Kaga, which can operate several helicopters...

How China’s plastic waste ban has left Japan to deal with mountains of trash

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 05:17
Mountains of plastic waste are piling up in Japan, forcing a rethink on the country’s recycling efforts as China continues to limit imports of the unwanted material to resolve its own pollution crisis. Japan’s environment ministry is drawing up plans to increase recycling of disposable plastics, with one proposal being the provision of subsidies to waste management companies to help fund the construction of state-of-the-art recycling facilities. “The reason for the build-up of...

How China’s plastic waste ban has left Japan to deal with mountains of trash

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 05:17
Mountains of plastic waste are piling up in Japan, forcing a rethink on the country’s recycling efforts as China continues to limit imports of the unwanted material to resolve its own pollution crisis. Japan’s environment ministry is drawing up plans to increase recycling of disposable plastics, with one proposal being the provision of subsidies to waste management companies to help fund the construction of state-of-the-art recycling facilities. “The reason for the build-up of...

Trapped Thai cave boys get diving lessons as new video shows them in good spirits

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 05:01
Rescue teams in northern Thailand were giving crash courses in swimming and diving on Wednesday as part of complex preparations to extract a young soccer squad trapped in a cave, and hoping for a swift end to their harrowing 11-day ordeal. Divers, medics, counsellors and Thai navy Seals were with the 12 schoolboys and their 25-year-old coach, providing medicines and food while experts assessed conditions for getting them out safely, a task the government said would not be easy. “The water...

New video shows Thailand cave boys in ‘good health’ as rains may force quicker exit attempt

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 05:01
A new video of a youth football team trapped in the bowels of a Thai cave emerged Wednesday showing the boys laughing and saying they are well after their astonishing discovery by divers nine days after going missing. In a heartening message to families waiting in anguish outside, the Thai Navy Seal footage features 11 of the 12-strong team, each makes a traditional Thai greeting gesture to the camera before introducing themselves by nickname and saying “I’m in good health”....

Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib Razak granted bail after pleading not guilty to corruption, breach of trust

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 03:22
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was formally charged Wednesday with corruption linked to a multi-billion dollar financial scandal that contributed to his shock election defeat less than two months ago. The first ex-premier in Malaysia to appear before a judge, Najib pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal breach of trust and a separate charge that he abused his position to pocket 42 million ringgit ($10.4 million). Each charge could see him jailed for up to 20 years. Whipping...

Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib Razak appears calm and smiles as he faces court on corruption charges

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 03:22
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arrived at a Kuala Lumpur courthouse Wednesday to face charges stemming from a corruption investigation, two months after the scandal led to his shock election defeat. Najib, wearing a suit and a red tie, appeared calm and smiled as he was escorted into the court complex packed with reporters. He was arrested Tuesday by anti-graft officials over a suspicious transfer of 42 million ringgit (US$10.4 million) into his bank accounts from SRC International...

Monsoon rains may force urgent Thai cave rescue attempt this week – but boys can’t swim and ‘can barely stand’

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 01:47
Thai authorities are now racing against the clock to rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a cave, saying they may be forced to attempt to evacuate the group before a fresh round of monsoon rains expected this week. The group had been missing since finishing football practice on 23 June and were found alive late on Monday after a nine-day search. There is now a team of seven Thai Navy Seals with the group on the small mud shelf where they found refuge from rising waters, including...

Monsoon rains may force urgent Thai cave rescue attempt this week – but boys can’t swim and ‘can barely stand’

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 01:47
Thai authorities are now racing against the clock to rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a cave, saying they may be forced to attempt to evacuate the group before a fresh round of monsoon rains expected this week. The group had been missing since finishing football practice on 23 June and were found alive late on Monday after a nine-day search. There is now a team of seven Thai navy Seals with the group on the small mud shelf where they found refuge from rising waters, including...

At least 24 dead after ferry carrying 139 sinks in central Indonesia

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 19:06
At least 24 people were killed and 74 others survived after a passenger ferry with 139 people on board went down Tuesday afternoon in central Indonesia, government officials said. The KM Lestari Maju was about to sink off the southern coast of Sulawesi island amid bad weather when its captain purposefully grounded it in a shallow area to save the lives of those on board, Director General of Sea Transportation Agus Purnomo told reporters. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo...

At least 24 dead after ferry carrying 139 capsizes in central Indonesia

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 19:06
At least 24 people were killed and 74 others survived after a passenger ferry with 139 people on board capsized Tuesday afternoon in central Indonesia, government officials said. The KM Lestari Maju was about to sink off the southern coast of Sulawesi island amid bad weather when its captain purposefully grounded it in a shallow area to save the lives of those on board, Director General of Sea Transportation Agus Purnomo told reporters. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo...

Gunmen assassinate Philippine mayor in second murder in two days

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 14:18
Motorcycle-riding gunmen on Tuesday assassinated a mayor in a town north of the Philippine capital, the second such killing of an official in two days, police said. Ferdinand Bote, 57, became the 12th elected local official murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a deadly anti-narcotics campaign after coming to power two years ago, although Bote was not linked to the drug trade. He and his driver were leaving a government office in the capital of Nueva Ecija province when gunmen...

Gunmen assassinate Philippine mayor in second murder in two days

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 14:18
Motorcycle-riding gunmen on Tuesday assassinated a mayor in a town north of the Philippine capital, the second such killing of an official in two days, police said. Ferdinand Bote, 57, became the 12th elected local official murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a deadly anti-narcotics campaign after coming to power two years ago, although Bote was not linked to the drug trade. He and his driver were leaving a government office in the capital of Nueva Ecija province when gunmen...

British divers who found Thai boys no stranger to high-risk rescues

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 13:50
Two British volunteer divers who helped find a youth football team trapped in a cave complex in Thailand have a history of difficult rescues around the world. Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, who have day jobs as a firefighter and internet engineer respectively, negotiated a long and winding path through flooded caverns to find the 12 young boys and their coach nine days after they went missing. “The British divers Rick and John were at the spearhead” of the forward search party...

British divers who found Thai boys no stranger to high-risk rescues

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 13:50
Two British volunteer divers who helped find a youth football team trapped in a cave complex in Thailand have a history of difficult rescues around the world. Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, who have day jobs as a firefighter and internet engineer respectively, negotiated a long and winding path through flooded caverns to find the 12 young boys and their coach nine days after they went missing. “The British divers Rick and John were at the spearhead” of the forward search party...

Donald Trump says North Korea talks ‘going well’, war averted thanks to him

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 13:41
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that talks with North Korea were making progress despite reports that Kim Jong-un’s regime had stepped up its nuclear programme after the two leaders held a historic summit. “Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!” he tweeted. “In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. “All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me,...

Donald Trump says North Korea talks ‘going well’, war averted thanks to him

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 13:41
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday talks with North Korea were making progress, adding he was personally responsible for averting conflict with the nuclear-armed country. “Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!” he tweeted. “In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. “All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!...

At least 12 dead in new Indonesia ferry sinking as search ends for dozens of Lake Toba victims

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 11:47
At least 12 people were killed and a frantic rescue operation was underway Tuesday off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi for dozens of passengers of a sinking passenger ferry run aground by its captain in a desperate bid to save lives. South Sulawesi province police spokesman Dicky Sondani said the Lestari Maju ferry was about 200 metres from shore. It had 139 people on board, according to its manifest, as well as cars, trucks and motorcycles. Photos distributed via the National Disaster...

Indonesia rushes to rescue 140 after ferry sinks, killing four

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 11:47
Authorities in Indonesia were scrambling on Tuesday to rescue about 140 passengers from a ferry that sank off the coast of Sulawesi island, killing at least four, officials said. The disaster comes in the wake of last month’s sinking of an overcrowded ferry on the southeast Asian nation’s Lake Toba, one of the world’s deepest volcanic lakes, which took about 200 lives. At least four people were confirmed dead in Tuesday’s incident, the chief of South Sulawesi’s...

‘Thirteen? Brilliant’: words that triggered hope of a miracle in Thai cave rescue, but the hardest test is yet to come

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:54
“How many of you?” asks the British voice loudly, a torchlight scanning the gaunt, hungry boys crowded on a muddy bank. “Thirteen? … Brilliant” – a remarkable short exchange captured on video has electrified Thailand and paved the way for an astonishing rescue. The video, which captures the twelve dishevelled and emaciated boys and their football coach sheltering on a slope in the pitch-black belly of a flooded Thai cave, was posted on the official Facebook...

‘Thirteen? Brilliant’: words that triggered hope of a miracle in Thai cave rescue, but the hardest test is yet to come

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:54
“How many of you?” asks the British voice loudly, a torchlight scanning the gaunt, hungry boys crowded on a muddy bank. “Thirteen? … Brilliant” – a remarkable short exchange captured on video has electrified Thailand and paved the way for an astonishing rescue. The video, which captures the twelve dishevelled and emaciated boys and their football coach sheltering on a slope in the pitch-black belly of a flooded Thai cave, was posted on the official Facebook...

Nine rescues that give hope to the boys found in Thailand cave – and prove miracles do happen

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:47
At a time when it seems that only negative stories dominate the news, it was heart-rending to learn this week that 12 boys and their soccer coach who had been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for nine days had miraculously been found alive. On Monday, after a painstaking search by specialist divers, the emaciated group were discovered on a mud embankment, and the incredible moment when divers made contact with them was captured on a video released by Thai Navy SEALs. There had been no...

Nine rescues that give hope to the boys trapped in Thailand cave – and prove miracles do happen

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:47
At a time when it seems that only negative stories dominate the news, it was heart-rending to learn this week that 12 boys and their soccer coach who had been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for 10 days had miraculously been found alive. On Monday after a painstaking search by specialist divers, the emaciated group were discovered on a mud embankment, and the incredible moment when divers made contact with them was captured on a video released by the Thai Navy SEALs. There had been no...

Najib Razak arrested, say Malaysian former leader’s lawyers

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:34
Malaysia’s scandal-tainted former prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested, his lawyers have said. The Malaysian Insight portal said in a Twitter post just past 4.14pm local time that the 65-year-old politician had been seen leaving his private residence in an unmarked police car. Najib’s lawyers said he could be charged tomorrow. Since Najib’s defeat in the May 9 general election, the newly formed government headed by his one-time mentor Mahathir Mohamad has been...

Malaysia’s Najib Razak faces ‘20 years in jail’ as court date arrives

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 10:30
Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak, who is to be charged in court on Wednesday in connection with the multibillion-dollar financial scandal at the 1MDB state fund he helped set up, is facing the prospect of a lengthy jail term. Najib’s arrest by anti-corruption investigators on Tuesday afternoon is the most dramatic development yet in the ongoing probe into the fund ordered by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad soon after the May 9 general election. Najib Razak...

Malaysia summons Riza Aziz, movie producer stepson of ex-PM, in 1MDB probe

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 09:36
Malaysian investigators are questioning the producer of The Wolf of Wall Street as they step up efforts to recoup funds potentially lost through 1MDB. Riza Aziz, co-founder of Red Granite Pictures Inc. and stepson of former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak, arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for a hearing on Tuesday afternoon. In the US, his production company had reached a US$60 million settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB....

Malaysia summons Riza Aziz, movie producer stepson of ex-PM, in 1MDB probe

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 09:36
Malaysian investigators are questioning the producer of The Wolf of Wall Street as they step up efforts to recoup funds potentially lost through 1MDB. Riza Aziz, co-founder of Red Granite Pictures Inc. and stepson of former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak, arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for a hearing on Tuesday afternoon. In the US, his production company had reached a US$60 million settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB....

Japanese women’s university to accept transgender students

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:48
A Japanese women’s university said Tuesday it would admit transgender students who were born male but identify as female, a rare move in a country where LGBT rights lag behind other developed nations. An official at the education ministry said the move by Ochanomizu University in Tokyo was “likely unprecedented”, though he could not confirm if it was a national first, and praised the decision. “It is desirable that many universities take steps in the direction of...

Japanese women’s university to accept transgender students

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:48
A Japanese women’s university said Tuesday it would admit transgender students who were born male but identify as female, a rare move in a country where LGBT rights lag behind other developed nations. An official at the education ministry said the move by Ochanomizu University in Tokyo was “likely unprecedented”, though he could not confirm if it was a national first, and praised the decision. “It is desirable that many universities take steps in the direction of...

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