05032016Tue
Last update: Tue, 03 May 2016 07pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Japan agrees to lease military aircraft to Philippines TOKYO: Japan will lease military aircraft to the Philippines in another sign of deepening security ties between the two former foes to counter Beijing's increasing regional influence.The agreement was made Monday afternoon during telephone talks between Japan's Defence Minister Gen Nakatani and his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin, the ministry said.Tensions in the South China Sea -- through which one third of the world's oil passes -- have mounted in recent years since China transformed contested reefs into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.Under the accord, Tokyo will lease up to five TC-90 training airplanes and help Manila train pilots and aircraft mechanics, the ministry said. The planes can be used as surveillance aircraft, according to local media.It will be Japan's first lease of its Self-Defence Forces' aircraft to another country after it recently lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports."We agreed that it is important for all the countries ...

World - South East Asia

India should allow accused Italian marine home: Hague court ROME: An international tribunal has ruled that an Italian marine accused of killing two fishermen in India should be allowed to return home pending trial, Italy's foreign ministry said Monday.Salvatore Girone and fellow marine Massimiliano Latorre are accused of shooting the fishermen while protecting an Italian oil tanker as part of an anti-piracy mission off India's southern Kerala coast in 2012.While Latorre was allowed to travel back to Italy in 2014 for treatment after suffering ...

World - South East Asia

China, Russia rap US missile defence plan in South Korea BEIJING: China and Russia on Friday rapped US plans to put a missile defence system on the Korean peninsula, less than 24 hours after Pyongyang twice tested rockets thought to be capable of reaching American territory.A series of missile tests and nuclear blasts by North Korea have pushed Seoul into talks with Washington about deploying the United States' sophisticated Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System (THAAD), which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles.Beijing fears ...

World - South East Asia

North Korea fails two mid-range missile tests in one day: report SEOUL: North Korea tried and failed to test fire two powerful, new mid-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, ahead of a landmark party congress that opens next week, South Korean media reported.The Yonhap news agency said the North made a second attempt to fire a Musudan missile in the evening, after a similar test in the early morning ended with the missile plunging to earth.The second launch also appeared to have failed, Yonhap said, citing an ...

World - South East Asia

Papua New Guinea to shut Australia asylum-seeker camp: PM SYDNEY: Papua New Guinea on Wednesday said a controversial asylum-seeker camp on Manus island will close, throwing Australia's border protection policy into disarray.It follows a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that detaining people at the Australian-funded facility was unconstitutional and illegal."Respecting this ruling, Papua New Guinea will immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements for the asylum-seekers currently held at the Regional Processing Centre," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement.Canberra has ...

World - South East Asia

Iran parliament in the balance in election run-offs TEHRAN: Nearly a quarter of Iran's parliamentary seats are at stake Friday in an election in which reformists want to consolidate their recent comeback and minimise the clout of lawmakers.The second round run-offs were triggered because no candidate in 68 constituencies managed to win 25 percent of votes cast in the initial nationwide ballot on February 26.Reformists who backed the country's moderate President Hassan Rouhani made big gains in the first round following Iran's implementation ...

World - South East Asia

North Korea says rare ruling party congress to open May 6 SEOUL: North Korea announced Wednesday that its first ruling party congress for nearly four decades will open on May 6, amid increasing concern that Pyongyang will preface the event with a fifth nuclear test.Anticipation over the congress, the first since 1980, has been mounting since the North signalled its intentions to hold the gathering back in October last year.Kim Jong-Un is expected to use the event to cement his position as supreme leader and to ...