07302016Sat
Last update: Sat, 30 Jul 2016 12am

South Asia

World - South Asia

Pentagon chief Carter lands in Afghanistan BAGRAM: US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday for talks with President Ashraf Ghani, days after the United States and NATO pledged to keep thousands of troops in the troubled country.Carter flew in to Bagram air base outside Kabul, and was due to meet with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the capital later.The Pentagon chief's visit follows a renewed commitment to Afghanistan from NATO, which said over the weekend it would keep forces there at least until the end of 2017.Most are American, but some 40 countries have deployed troops there. Their official role is to train Afghan forces, who are now responsible for their country's security.Despite a massive, nearly 15-year international effort to defeat the Taliban, the resurgent group controls large areas of Afghanistan and have vowed to keep fighting until foreign forces leave.President Barack Obama, elected eight years ago on a pledge to end the ...

World - South Asia

Hong Kong tycoon Kwok freed on bail HONG KONG: Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok was granted bail Tuesday, clearing the path to appeal his graft conviction over a high-profile cash for favours scandal. Kwok was jailed in 2014 over a series of payments totaling HK$8.5 million (US$1.1 million) to the city's former deputy leader Rafael Hui, who was also convicted on graft charges.The case shocked the city and deepened anger over cosy ties between officialdom and big business."Leave is granted," chief ...

World - South Asia

Beetle named Xi is a pest, say China censors BEIJING: Chinese censors have stepped in to crush underfoot talk of a newfound beetle species named after President Xi Jinping, reports said Tuesday -- to the dismay of its loyal discoverer.The Rhyzodiastes (Temoana) xii was identified in China's southern island province of Hainan by Cheng-Bin Wang, a Chinese national affiliated with the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. In peer-reviewed animal taxonomy journal Zootaxa he declared: "The specific epithet is dedicated to Dr Xi Jin-Ping, ...

World - South Asia

Tibet 'consensus' slammed by rights group BEIJING: A rights group on Tuesday slammed foreign representatives for attending a Chinese government-organised forum in Tibet that claimed international support for a "Lhasa Consensus" on economic development in the mainly Buddhist region.Chinese state media said that "130 guests from over 30 countries and regions" agreed "Tibet will have a bright future!" at a two-day meeting in the regional capital.The official Xinhua news agency said the document stressed the ruling Communist Party's traditional view that ...

World - South Asia

N. Korea says to cut UN office-based channel to US SEOUL: North Korea said Monday it would close one of the last remaining channels of communication with the US in protest at sanctions on leader Kim Jong-Un for human rights abuses. The North's foreign ministry notified the US government that it would effectively halt all communications with Washington through the North's office at the United Nations in New York, state-run KCNA said."We...have notified the US that we would completely end all official communications through New ...

World - South Asia

China probes top air force official for graft BEIJING: China is probing a retired top air force general on suspicion of graft, media said, the latest high-ranking official brought low by the country's much-publicised anti-corruption campaign.Tian Xiusi, formerly the air force's political commissar, was "placed under investigation for serious disciplinary violations", www.81cn.com, an official news site affiliated with the People's Liberation Army, said at the weekend.The expression is often used as a euphemism for corruption. The article provided no further details about the ...

World - South Asia

Japan PM says not so easy to revise constitution, wants deeper debate TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday it would not be easy to revise Japan's constitution, a day after a resounding election victory opened the door for a possible revision of the charter that was adopted after World War Two.Abe's coalition and allies obtained two-thirds of the seats in the upper house of parliament which, with the ruling bloc's super majority in the lower house, could allow them to revise the document.However, Abe told ...