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Published: Thu, 18 January 2018 07:03:07 +0800


Commentary: Why Mahathir’s leadership of the opposition confuses Kedah voters

Thu, 18 January 2018 06:50:38 +0800

Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s candidacy for prime minister has thrown voters into disarray, says one expert at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Taliban leader approved Islamabad meeting on Afghanistan peace talks: sources

Thu, 18 January 2018 00:35:20 +0800

A delegation approved by the Taliban's supreme leader visited the Pakistani capital this week for exploratory talks on restarting peace negotiations to end Afghanistan's 16-year war, two senior officials in the movement said.

Special Report: The fabulous story of North Korea's fabric made of stone

Thu, 18 January 2018 00:25:15 +0800

For much of the world, it's a niche product. In North Korea, where winter temperatures are frigid and which cannot produce enough cotton or wool for clothing, the synthetic fibre developed after nylon was glorified as a revolutionary invention.

Teen arrested after father found dead in JB home

Wed, 17 January 2018 23:50:38 +0800

JOHOR BARU: Police arrested a teenager after his father was found dead in their house in Skudai on Wednesday (Jan 17). The 45-year-old man's wife, as well as a friend of the son, were also arrested. The authorities were looking for another of the boy's friends, said Iskandar Puteri district police ...

Hong Kong star Eric Tsang denies sexual assault allegations

Wed, 17 January 2018 23:30:43 +0800

HONG KONG: Hong Kong celebrity Eric Tsang denied allegations of sexual misconduct on Wednesday (Jan 17) and said he was taking legal action against one of his two accusers. Tsang, a household name in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Chinese-speaking communities around the world, is one of the most ...

Passengers to see faster immigration clearance with common counters at KLIA

Wed, 17 January 2018 23:20:38 +0800

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Immigration Department is opening up a common counter for passenger inspection at the KL International Airport (KLIA), in order to reduce queuing time during peak periods. This counter will serve passengers from both Malaysia and those holding foreign passports. Director ...

Clock ticks on Thai general as online sleuths count his Rolexes

Wed, 17 January 2018 23:01:07 +0800

Thailand's junta number two has been snapped with 25 different luxury watches worth $1.2 million since a 2014 coup, social media sleuths said Wednesday, a day after the ex-general vowed to resign if a graft panel finds him guilty of wrongdoing.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hits all-time high

Wed, 17 January 2018 22:58:01 +0800

Hong Kong stocks hit their highest ever level in late trade on Wednesday, a day after posting a record close.

Koreas to form unified ice hockey team, march together in Olympics

Thu, 18 January 2018 00:20:12 +0800

SEOUL: The two Koreas will field a combined women's ice hockey team and march together under one flag at next month's Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul said on Wednesday, after a new round of talks amid a thaw in cross-border ties. North and South Korea have been talking since last week - for ...

Hong Kong air quality hits unhealthy levels

Wed, 17 January 2018 22:10:38 +0800

HONG KONG: Many areas in Hong Kong experienced heavy air pollution on Wednesday (Jan 17), local media reported. Out of 16 air-quality monitoring stations, 14 stations showed a "high" to "very high" health risk during the early afternoon, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) said.  By 3pm, all but ...

Israel's Netanyahu says Indian peace hero Gandhi an inspiration

Wed, 17 January 2018 21:55:35 +0800

NEW DELHI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the home of Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday, saying modern India's founding father and promoter of peace was an inspiration for humanity. Netanyahu is making the first visit by an Israeli prime minister in 15 years and the nationalist ...

Two Koreas agree to march together at Winter Olympics opening

Thu, 18 January 2018 01:00:01 +0800

SEOUL: The two Koreas agreed on Wednesday (Jan 17) to march together under a single flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony and field a united women's ice hockey team for the Games in a further sign of easing tensions on the peninsula. North Korea also said it would send a 550-member ...

Philippines orders further probes into news site that angered Duterte

Wed, 17 January 2018 20:55:36 +0800

The Philippines' justice department ordered investigations on Wednesday into possible criminal liability of Rappler, a news site known for challenging the government that has been dubbed a "fake news outlet" by the country's controversial president.

Philippine senators say quick revision of charter impossible

Wed, 17 January 2018 20:45:30 +0800

Philippine senators said on Wednesday it was not possible to amend the constitution to create a federal government in two months as proposed by the lower house which would allow the president a second term in office.

Boy killed by falling chair now a murder case: Malaysian police

Wed, 17 January 2018 20:40:38 +0800

KUALA LUMPUR: The case of a teenager who died after being struck by an office chair that was thrown out of a flat has been reclassified as murder, police said on Wednesday (Jan 17). Citing city police chief Mazlan Lazim, the New Straits Times reported that authorities had initially classified the ...

Critically endangered Sumatran elephant gives birth in Indonesia

Wed, 17 January 2018 20:00:42 +0800

JAKARTA: A critically endangered Sumatran elephant has given birth to a new calf in Indonesia, the country's conservation agency said Wednesday (Jan 17).  Sumatran elephants are a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into ...

Philippine lawmakers worry China Telecom may be a 'Trojan horse'

Wed, 17 January 2018 19:55:09 +0800

Opposition members of the Philippine Congress raised concern on Wednesday that China Telecom Corp Ltd, which may enter the Philippine industry, could be a "Trojan horse" aimed at giving China access to state secrets.

Vietnam oil executives apologise to Communist Party in corruption trial

Wed, 17 January 2018 19:54:54 +0800

Vietnamese executives on trial for losses at a scandal-hit state oil firm used their final statement in court on Wednesday to apologise to the ruling Communist Party, media said, as Vietnam's biggest corruption trial for years draws to a close.

Indonesian mother suspected of killing newborn baby at restaurant

Wed, 17 January 2018 19:10:40 +0800

JAKARTA: A 21-year-old domestic worker in Indonesia is suspected of killing her baby in a restaurant, just minutes after giving birth to the newborn. Local news outlet said the incident happened last Saturday (Jan 13) in the kitchen of a restaurant in the Pondok Aren district, at the ...

Johoreans welcome reduced travel time with upcoming JB-Singapore RTS Link

Wed, 17 January 2018 19:00:39 +0800

KUALA LUMPUR: Johor residents told Channel NewsAsia they are looking forward to a rail project which will connect Johor Baru to Singapore in 30 minutes, although some are sceptical if the project will take off. Malaysia and Singapore inked an agreement on Tuesday (Jan 16) to build a Rapid Transit ...

Police in China seize record US$33.2m in fake cash: Report

Wed, 17 January 2018 18:50:39 +0800

SHANWEI, Guangdong: Police in China have carried out the country's largest seizure of fake banknotes, local media reported. Notes with a face value of 214 million yuan (US$33.2 million) were seized in China's Guangdong province and 14 suspects were arrested following a police investigation that ...

Hundreds of birds die in foiled Malaysia smuggling bid

Wed, 17 January 2018 18:10:38 +0800

KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds of birds being trafficked from Malaysia to Indonesia have died after smugglers threw them into the water when they were intercepted by the coast guard, an official said Wednesday (Jan 17). The birds, believed to mostly be a type of lark often sold as pets in Indonesia, were ...

Malaysia will not progress if women's roles are ignored: Najib

Wed, 17 January 2018 17:50:39 +0800

PUTRAJAYA: Nations will not progress and succeed if the role of women is ignored in the process of national development, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday (Jan 17), adding that Malaysia is committed to do more to empower women.  Speaking at the launching of the logo and brand ...

Philippines urges Rappler, which faces closure, to blog instead

Wed, 17 January 2018 17:50:38 +0800

MANILA: Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's government on Wednesday (Jan 17) urged reporters of a news website facing state-enforced closure to reinvent themselves as bloggers, rejecting allegations Manila was cracking down on the free press. Duterte spokesman Harry Roque made the suggestion a ...

China to step up cryptocurrency crackdown

Wed, 17 January 2018 17:45:58 +0800

China is preparing for a new crackdown on cryptocurrency, planning to stamp out remaining trading in the country, according to state media.

'Who's your teacher?': Chinese exam question a head-scratcher

Wed, 17 January 2018 17:08:22 +0800

SICHUAN: Students at a college in China were left bemused by a question in their final exams on Monday (Jan 15) - it asked them to identify their teacher. A photo of the question has been making its rounds on microblogging site Sina Weibo. The question had mugshots of seven teachers from the ...

Bangladesh says it's hosting over a million Rohingya

Wed, 17 January 2018 16:05:46 +0800

Bangladesh has counted more than a million Rohingya refugees living in camps near the border with Myanmar, higher than previous estimates, the head of its registration project said Wednesday as preparations for their return got under way.

Ride-hailing firm Grab buys India-based payments startup

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:55:36 +0800

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab said it has acquired an India-based payments startup, iKaaz, to help expand its digital payments platform GrabPay.

South Korea's 'kimchi deficit' hits record high

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:43:00 +0800

South Korea's trade deficit in kimchi, its proud traditional side dish of fermented cabbage, reached an all-time high last year as low-priced Chinese imports flooded the market, statistics showed Wednesday.

China says Canada meeting on North Korea showed 'Cold War' mentality

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:40:13 +0800

China said on Wednesday a just concluded meeting in Canada about North Korea showed a Cold War mentality and would only undermine a settlement of the North Korea issue.

Muslim county in China bans children from religious events over break

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:35:08 +0800

BEIJING: A mostly Muslim county in western China has banned children from attending religious events over a winter break, an education bureau said in a notice posted online, as authorities step up control of religious education. School students in Linxia county in Gansu province, home to many ...

Malaysian man slaps woman for not wearing headscarf: Reports

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:00:40 +0800

Footage of a Malaysian man slapping a woman for not wearing a headscarf has sparked outrage, with many netizens expressing concern that the incident would tarnish the image of the country and Islam. The incident is said to have taken place in Penang. In a six-minute video that was posted online on ...

Indonesia sends military to help fight health crisis in Papua

Wed, 17 January 2018 14:50:13 +0800

Indonesia is deploying military paramedics to carry food and vaccines to a remote part of its easternmost province of Papua, where reports say at least 61 infants died from malnutrition and diseases such as measles.

5.7-magnitude earthquake rocks Taipei: Reports

Wed, 17 January 2018 15:00:39 +0800

TAIPEI: A 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Taiwan’s biggest city on Wednesday (Jan 17), according to local news site Taiwan News. The epicentre of Wednesday's quake was 12.3km north-northwest of Taipei in the mountainous district of Beitou at a depth of 140km. Several witnesses reported a slight ...

China says it doesn't need Taiwan's permission to open new air route

Wed, 17 January 2018 13:37:38 +0800

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday (Jan 17) that it does not need Taiwan's permission to open new air routes, after the self-ruled island complained that a new route over the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the two posed a security and safety risk. Beijing has taken an increasingly hostile ...

7 Rakhine Buddhists killed as Myanmar police fire on riot

Wed, 17 January 2018 13:30:39 +0800

YANGON: Myanmar police said Wednesday (Jan 17) they opened fire on a crowd of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as they tried to seize a government office, in unrest that left seven dead in a state already scored by violence and bitter divisions. The incident unfurled as around 5,000 Buddhists gathered ...

Japan government tells public broadcaster not to repeat false missile alert

Wed, 17 January 2018 12:50:09 +0800

TOKYO: The Japanese government called on public broadcaster NHK on Wednesday to make sure a false alarm warning of a North Korean missile launch will not be repeated, with tensions still high because of the North's missile and nuclear programmes. NHK issued an erroneous alarm on its website on ...

7-year-old delivery boy reignites child poverty debate in China

Wed, 17 January 2018 14:11:14 +0800

A seven-year-old boy seen making deliveries in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao has added fuel to an ongoing debate about child poverty in China. In a video by social media startup Pear Video, Li Changjiang - nicknamed "Little Li" by social media users - is seen cruising up to a doorway on his ...

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong jailed for protest

Wed, 17 January 2018 10:50:38 +0800

HONG KONG: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was jailed for three months Wednesday (Jan 17) for obstructing clearance of a major encampment during mass pro-democracy protests in 2014, the second time he has been imprisoned over the rallies. Wong, 21, who had pleaded guilty to the contempt charge, was ...

Iranian oil tanker wreck produces two slicks in East China Sea

Wed, 17 January 2018 10:35:47 +0800

BEIJING: An Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left two oil slicks covering a combined 109 sq km, the Chinese government said late on Tuesday, as maritime police scour the area for damage. Satellite imaging showed a slick of 69 sq km and a second 40 sq km slick, which is less ...

Indonesian president to reshuffle cabinet: Presidential palace

Wed, 17 January 2018 20:57:40 +0800

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo will swear in new members of cabinet on Wednesday (Jan 17), the presidential palace said, in what will be the third reshuffle of his five-year term. The reshuffle was widely expected as some of Widodo's ministers have requested leave of absence to stand in ...

US Navy officers face possible homicide charges over ship collisions

Wed, 17 January 2018 09:00:38 +0800

WASHINGTON: The commanding officers of two US Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions last year in the Pacific Ocean face courts-martial and could be charged with negligent homicide, the US Navy said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 16). The commanding officer of the USS John S McCain guided ...

Commentary: Rescuing stranded tourists on Tioman shouldn’t be a navy’s responsibility

Wed, 17 January 2018 08:11:01 +0800

On the back of news of a Malaysian navy ship ferrying stranded tourists from Tioman, the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ Collin Koh discusses whether we should expect navies to get involved in such incidents.

'Serious' US training for eventual North Korea conflict: Congressman

Wed, 17 January 2018 05:56:36 +0800

WASHINGTON: The US military is conducting "very serious" training for a possible conflict with North Korea, a top Republican lawmaker said on Tuesday (Jan 16), though he said he hoped such preparations would never be put to use. Congressman Mac Thornberry, who chairs the powerful House Armed ...

US, allies meet on North Korea but China absence looms

Wed, 17 January 2018 05:13:58 +0800

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was joined by his hawkish Japanese counterpart at 20-nation talks in Vancouver in calling for tougher punitive measures against Pyongyang.

Football: AC Milan chief blasts money-laundering reports

Wed, 17 January 2018 02:15:22 +0800

MILAN: AC Milan president Li Yonghong has blasted Italian media reports claiming Italian prosecutors had opened an investigation into whether the deal to sell the club last year was inflated for money-laundering purposes. Yonghong also threatened legal action against Italian dailies La Stampa and ...

Trump tells Xi US trade deficit with China 'not sustainable'

Wed, 17 January 2018 05:35:47 +0800

In telephone talks, Trump "expressed disappointment that the United States' trade deficit with China has continued to grow," the White House said in a statement.

Stranded Tioman tourists arrive safely in Kuantan

Wed, 17 January 2018 07:10:03 +0800

KUANTAN: About 54 foreign tourists from 18 countries arrived safely in Kuantan on Tuesday (Jan 16), after being stranded on Tioman island since Thursday because of bad weather.  The Malaysian navy had deployed the KD Terengganu to rescue them after ferry services were halted due to rough sea ...

Netanyahu says Israel, India both face threat from radical Islam

Tue, 16 January 2018 23:35:22 +0800

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was discussing with India ways to strengthen security cooperation against the menace of Islamist extremism that both democracies faced.

Philippines' Duterte blasts news site Rappler, but denies stifling media

Tue, 16 January 2018 22:45:11 +0800

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday denied influencing a regulator's decision to revoke the license of a news website known for challenging his government, but lashed out strongly at what he called a "fake news outlet". The firebrand leader laughed off allegations he was ...

JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System a ‘game changer’ in election year, says Malaysian minister

Tue, 16 January 2018 23:44:57 +0800

SINGAPORE: The bilateral agreement signed between Singapore and Malaysia to build a cross-border MRT line by 2024 will be a “game changer” going into elections that must be held by August, said Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan. In an interview with Channel ...

Johor sultan receives 'Flintstones' car from Pahang royal

Tue, 16 January 2018 21:50:38 +0800

Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has received a car from Pahang regent Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad that is "guaranteed to turn heads", according to a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 15). The automobile was a working replica of the iconic car featured in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Flintstones. Fred ...

Indonesian teen jailed for insulting president on Facebook

Tue, 16 January 2018 22:15:57 +0800

An Indonesian teenager was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for "insulting" President Joko Widodo on Facebook.

Thailand plans for even more tourists as numbers top 35 million

Tue, 16 January 2018 21:15:17 +0800

Thailand on Tuesday forecast a rise of 6 percent in tourist numbers this year, after a jump of 9 percent to 35 million in 2017, with little sign the strong baht is slowing growth that has lifted shares in hotels, malls and the airport operator.

Malaysian farmers protest against EU push to ban palm oil in biofuels

Tue, 16 January 2018 21:20:38 +0800

KUALA LUMPUR: About 2,000 palm oil farmers protested Tuesday (Jan 16) against a push by the European Parliament to ban the use of the commodity in biofuels, saying it would devastate rural people's livelihoods. Waving banners that read "Stop the Palm Oil Ban" and "Palm oil provides food for my ...

Endangered Bornean orangutan found stabbed in Indonesia

Tue, 16 January 2018 19:55:11 +0800

JAKARTA: A Bornean orangutan, a critically endangered species, has been found stabbed to death in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province, a conservation official said on Tuesday. Authorities said the case was the latest in a string of "unnatural deaths" of orangutans on the island, to which they ...

Shanghai metro to allow QR code payment from Jan 20: Report

Tue, 16 January 2018 20:00:38 +0800

SINGAPORE: Commuters travelling on the Shanghai metro will be able to pay via QR code starting from Jan 20, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday (Jan 16).  Passengers simply need to download a mobile app and scan the QR code at readers installed at entrance and exit stations to pay for their ...

Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar to complete Rohingya return in two years

Wed, 17 January 2018 04:05:09 +0800

Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the south Asian nation said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the neighbours to implement a pact signed last year.

Piracy and armed sea robberies on the rise in Asia, Singapore Straits

Tue, 16 January 2018 22:53:06 +0800

SINGAPORE: There were 101 incidents of piracy and armed sea robberies in Asia last year, marking a 19 per cent increase from 2016's 85 cases. Of the reported attacks, 89 were actual incidents, while 12 were attempted incidents. Ports and anchorages in Bangladesh, the Philippines, the South China ...

Teen dies after being hit by chair thrown from flat in Kuala Lumpur

Tue, 16 January 2018 19:02:09 +0800

KUALA LUMPUR:  A secondary school student died after being hit by an office chair that is believed to have been hurled from the upper floor of a flat in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (Jan 15) night.  The victim has been identified as S Sathiwaran, a form three student at a secondary school in Petaling ...

Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch

Tue, 16 January 2018 19:50:11 +0800

Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

Pakistan clerics issue fatwa against suicide bombings

Tue, 16 January 2018 18:30:11 +0800

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, in a book unveiled by the government on Tuesday. For years, the South Asian nation has been plagued by violence by Islamist militants, who often use suicide bombers and ...

Philippines' president made call on China's sea research - spokesman

Tue, 16 January 2018 18:15:15 +0800

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally made a decision to let China conduct scientific research off the Philippines' Pacific coast, his spokesman said on Monday, despite concern among critics about threats to maritime sovereignty.

Chinese woman accused of killing corgi after throwing it out of window: Reports

Tue, 16 January 2018 18:10:40 +0800

CHENGDU: A Chinese woman is accused of killing a corgi by throwing it out of a sixth-storey window last Thursday (Jan 11), after she and the dog owner were locked in a dispute over the return of the pet. The corgi, named Lion, went missing in December. Its owner, Ms Wu, was told by a security ...

North Korea calls Trump nuclear button boast the 'bark of a rabid dog'

Tue, 16 January 2018 17:34:12 +0800

North Korea on Tuesday denounced President Donald Trump's tweeted message that he has a bigger nuclear button than its leader Kim Jong-Un as the "spasm of a lunatic" and the "bark of a rabid dog".

Dozens of toddlers die from malnutrition, measles in Papua

Tue, 16 January 2018 16:52:02 +0800

ASMAT, Indonesia: Dozens of toddlers in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province have died from malnutrition and measles over the past few months, a military spokesman said Tuesday (Jan 16), underscoring a lack of accessible medical care in the remote region. The high number of deaths comes after ...

Cycling: Greipel opens 2018 in style at Tour Down Under

Tue, 16 January 2018 16:27:10 +0800

ADELAIDE: Germany's Andre Greipel opened his 2018 season in style when he claimed the first stage of the Tour Down Under in the South Australian town of Lyndoch on Tuesday (Jan 16). Greipel timed his final sprint to perfection to overpower young Australian Caleb Ewan in the last 50m and claim a ...

Philippine lawmakers start talks for switch to federal system of government

Tue, 16 January 2018 16:12:15 +0800

MANILA: Philippine lower house lawmakers on Tuesday (Jan 16) kicked off discussions on possible changes to the 30-year-old constitution, with the aim of shifting to a system of federal government and allowing the president up to two terms in office. The switch to a federal system was one of the ...

Japan sees little chance of oil slick from sunk tanker reaching its coast

Tue, 16 January 2018 16:08:05 +0800

TOKYO: Japan sees little chance of the oil spill from a stricken Iranian tanker that sank on Sunday (Jan 14) in the East China Sea reaching its shores, an official at the nation's environment ministry said on Tuesday. The large tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) sank in the worst oil ship disaster in ...

Fire rips through 17th century heritage building in Indonesia

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:25:08 +0800

JAKARTA: A huge fire destroyed most of a Dutch colonial heritage site dating back to the 17th century, including a maritime museum, in the north of the capital Jakarta on Tuesday. Television images showed flames ripping through the red-tiled roof of the whitewashed rectangular buildings. No ...

Qantas changes website to recognise Chinese territories

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:18:21 +0800

Australia's Qantas has changed its website classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories after Chinese regulators scolded several foreign firms over similar listings.

Philippine volcano 'fireworks' draw tourists as residents flee

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:55:22 +0800

Spectacular lava "fireworks" shooting from its crater are drawing tourists to the Philippines' most active volcano, authorities said Tuesday as scientists warned of a potential dangerous eruption within days.

Xi tells Trump 'positive changes' in North Korea

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:01:48 +0800

Chinese president Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Donald Trump that there have been "positive changes" on the Korean peninsula, state media said Tuesday following a phone call between the two leaders.

Commentary: Deferring the resumption of South Korea-US military drills a key aim for China

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:10:38 +0800

China helped lay the groundwork for Inter-Korea talks, but it had larger intentions beyond wanting to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, says the Lowy Institute’s Frances Kitt.

US, S. Korea agree to suspend military drills during Olympics

Tue, 16 January 2018 15:01:27 +0800

The United States and South Korea have agreed to delay joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics next month, the government in Seoul announced Thursday, in an apparent move to de-escalate tensions with Pyongyang.

Commitment to new Singapore-Malaysia rail links regardless of any political changes: PM Lee, Najib

Tue, 16 January 2018 23:00:32 +0800

SINGAPORE: The bilateral agreement on the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) is something Singapore and Malaysia’s future administrations will inherit, “whoever is the government on either side”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Lee was speaking after the signing ...

Pakistan clerics issue fatwa against "un-Islamic" suicide bombings

Tue, 16 January 2018 14:50:08 +0800

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, a book due to be unveiled by the government on Tuesday says. The South Asian nation has for years been plagued by violence by Islamist militants who often use suicide ...

Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar to complete Rohingya return in two years

Tue, 16 January 2018 14:47:25 +0800

DHAKA: Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the South Asian nation said on Tuesday (Jan 16), following a meeting of the neighbours to implement a pact signed last year. A statement by the Bangladesh ...

Philippines' Duterte had 'nothing to do' with news site's licence: Official

Tue, 16 January 2018 14:32:37 +0800

MANILA: The office of Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte sought to distance itself on Tuesday (Jan 16) from a regulator's decision to revoke the licence of a prominent news site, rebuffing allegations the administration had initiated a crackdown on the media. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said ...

Malaysia to consider review of Tuas Second Link toll: PM Najib

Tue, 16 January 2018 14:20:40 +0800

SINGAPORE: Malaysian authorities will consider reviewing the toll charges at the Tuas Second Link to ease traffic congestion at the Woodlands Causeway, Prime Minister Najib Razak said during a joint press conference following the 8th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat on Tuesday (Jan 16).  Mr ...

Philippines shuts more schools as volcano spews ash and lava

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:55:49 +0800

The Philippines' most active volcano spewed lava that cascaded downslope and emitted ash that fell on nearby towns, state volcanologists said on Tuesday, prompting the provincial government to shut more schools.

Cricket: Pakistan recover to set New Zealand target of 263

Tue, 16 January 2018 14:07:13 +0800

HAMILTON, New Zealand: Pakistan bounced back from a horror start to set New Zealand a competitive target of 263 in the fourth one-day international in Hamilton on Tuesday (Jan 16). Mohammad Hafeez top scored with 81 as the tourists' batsmen finally managed to notch some runs, with Fakhar Zaman ...

South Korean charged with murder of wife, son at Hong Kong Ritz-Carlton

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:41:17 +0800

A South Korean man was formally charged on Tuesday with murdering his wife and six-year-old son at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong.

Australia offers cash for Great Barrier Reef rescue ideas

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:31:54 +0800

Australia is calling on the world's top scientific minds to help save the Great Barrier Reef, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund research into protecting the world's largest living structure.

Eight bodies found as 'North Korean' boat washes up in Japan

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:25:23 +0800

Eight bodies have been recovered from a wrecked boat that washed ashore in central Japan, authorities said Tuesday, suspecting the vessel is the latest in a series of North Korean "ghost ships."

'That's Australia for you': Wallaby crosses Harbour Bridge

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:18:40 +0800

A wallaby startled motorists Tuesday when it hopped across Sydney's Harbour Bridge, closely tailed by police.

China's Xi tells Trump hard-earned easing of tensions on Korean peninsula must continue

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:07:09 +0800

BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump in a phone call on Tuesday (Jan 16) that the hard-earned easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula must continue, Chinese state media reported. Unity on the issue was extremely important, Xi said, according to Chinese state ...

Indonesia bourse holds minute silence for injured after floor collapse, investigations ongoing

Wed, 17 January 2018 00:07:23 +0800

JAKARTA: Indonesia's stock exchange held a minute silence at the start of trading on Tuesday (Jan 16) for more than 70 people injured when a mezzanine floor in the building suddenly collapsed. No deaths have been reported from the collapse on Monday but dozens of people, many university students ...

Japan investigates how to evacuate citizens from South Korea in crisis: report

Tue, 16 January 2018 11:50:11 +0800

TOKYO: Japan is examining how to evacuate its roughly 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis that closes airports, with military ships being used as shuttles, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday. North Korea's pursuit of its military and nuclear programmes in defiance of U ...

Singapore, Malaysia to conduct joint study of Johor River to conserve Linggiu Reservoir stock

Tue, 16 January 2018 13:39:57 +0800

SINGAPORE: Ministers and officials from both sides of the Causeway are working closely to ensure sufficient water supply from the Johor River for Malaysia and Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Jan 16). Speaking at a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister ...

Singapore, Malaysia sign bilateral agreement on JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System

Tue, 16 January 2018 22:56:38 +0800

SINGAPORE: A legally binding agreement between Singapore and Malaysia brings the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) one step closer to fruition.  The bilateral agreement was signed on Tuesday (Jan 16) by Singapore Transport Minister and Coordinating Minister for ...

US, allies meet to find diplomatic way out of North Korea crisis

Tue, 16 January 2018 11:26:40 +0800

Foreign ministers from 20 nations began crisis talks Monday on North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, though China's absence cast doubt over the effectiveness of any deal.

China rights lawyer says legal licence revoked after criticising President Xi Jinping

Tue, 16 January 2018 11:10:11 +0800

BEIJING: A prominent Chinese rights lawyer who wrote an open letter criticising President Xi Jinping said on Monday that authorities had revoked his licence to practice law. Beijing-based lawyer and activist Yu Wensheng has repeatedly criticised the ruling Communist Party over a multi-year ...

Prodded by China, Qantas amends website references to Taiwan, other regions

Tue, 16 January 2018 10:45:09 +0800

Australia's Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it had amended its website to no longer refer to Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries, rather than Chinese territories, after China issued a warning to foreign airlines last week.

Deadly fugu fish flub prompts Japan emergency warning

Tue, 16 January 2018 10:54:40 +0800

TOKYO: A Japanese city has activated an emergency warning system to alert residents to avoid eating locally purchased blowfish, after a mix-up saw toxic parts of the delicacy go on sale. A supermarket in Gamagori in central Japan sold five packages of fugu fish without removing the livers, which ...

Hong Kong democracy activists appeal jail terms

Tue, 16 January 2018 10:32:56 +0800

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's leading democracy activists were in court Tuesday (Jan 16) to appeal against their jail terms in a case seen as a litmus test for the independence of the city's judiciary, which some fear is under pressure from Beijing. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were jailed in ...

Uphill battle to curb child labour in Myanmar, where 13-year-olds work in construction

Wed, 17 January 2018 17:24:19 +0800

With 1 in 5 working instead of attending school, the country is grappling with a potential future crisis. The programme Get Real meets the children, their parents and the enforcers who are trying to stamp out the problem.

Commentary: Cards stacked against Jokowi in Indonesia's new political landscape

Tue, 16 January 2018 06:30:40 +0800

The battle lines have been drawn in the lead-up to the country’s most hotly contested elections, as parties fight for Indonesia’s heart and soul, say ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute’s Deasy Simandjuntak.

Collapse of Colombian bridge kills nine workers, injures five

Tue, 16 January 2018 04:15:13 +0800

BOGOTA: At least nine construction workers were killed and five injured when a partially-constructed bridge collapsed in central Colombia on Monday, an official from the disaster response agency said. The bridge, located in Chirajara on the border of Cundinamarca and Meta provinces, was to be part ...

China races to tackle expanding oil spill after tanker sinks

Tue, 16 January 2018 01:41:34 +0800

BEIJING: Chinese ships scrambled on Monday (Jan 15) to clean up a massive and expanding oil spill after an Iranian tanker sank off China, raising fears of devastating damage to marine life. The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, went under on Sunday after a new and ...