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Key figure in Malaysian scandal dies suddenly KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian private investigator who returned from self-exile vowing to lift the lid on a sensational scandal linked to the country's prime minister died suddenly on Friday, his lawyer said. P. Balasubramaniam, 53, died of a heart attack in the capital Kuala Lumpur, less than a fortnight after suffering an initial attack that hospitalised him for a week, his lawyer Americk Sidhu told AFP. Balasubramaniam was a key figure in a scandal linking Malaysian premier Najib Razak with a Mongolian woman's murder and alleged kickbacks in a 2002 submarine deal. Americk said Balasubramaniam had complained of breathing difficulties and later died in a clinic. Balasubramaniam, an ethnic Indian Malaysian citizen, returned from India last month, with media reports quoting him as saying he would expose the truth in the murky scandal. His return came as Malaysia braces for hotly contested elections due within months, in which the opposition ...

Philippine envoy seeks to improve China ties MANILA: The Philippines dispatched a new ambassador to China on Friday with a mandate to improve ties amid a festering territorial dispute between the South China Sea neighbours, the foreign department said.Ambassador Erlinda Basilio left for Beijing to assume her post, which had been vacant since August last year, department spokesman Raul Hernandez said."Erlinda Basilio's mandate is to improve Philippine-China relations through projects," Hernandez said in a statement to the press.He made no direct reference ...
US military member to sue over Japan nuke disaster WASHINGTON: US service members are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for more than $2 billion on grounds the utility lied about the dangers of helping clean up the nuclear disaster that struck two years ago, a newspaper reported on Thursday. The case was first filed by nine plaintiffs in December but has now expanded to 26, and another 100 are in the process of joining the suit, said Stars and Stripes newspaper. The new ...
Blind activist Chen planning Taiwan visits TAIPEI: Blind Chinese lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng hopes to visit Taiwan in June, a rights group said Friday, as the island's government said a visit could help facilitate understanding with China. Chen and his family plans to arrive in Taipei on June 23 for a 20-day visit, according to the Taipei-based Taiwan Association for Human Rights, which has organised the trip. "Primarily Chen will meet with people from the Taipei lawyers' association and advocates ...
Huge wind farm turbine snaps in Japan TOKYO: A 38-tonne wind turbine crashed 50 metres (165 feet) to the ground in western Japan after the steel column supporting it snapped, officials have said.The massive Dutch-made turbine, which sat atop a Japanese-made steel column, was part of a wind farm in mountains near Kyoto, and it had been installed in 2001 with an expected life of at least 17 years."We are asking experts to look into the cause of the problem. We suspect ...
S. Korea chemical plant blast kills five, injures 11 SEOUL: Five workers were killed and 11 injured on Thursday when a storage tank exploded at a chemical plant in South Korea, firefighters said.The tank, containing inflammable material, exploded around 19:00 (1200 GMT) at a Daelim Industrial plant in the southern coastal city of Yeosu."It did not start a fire and an investigation is under way," a firefighter told AFP.Yonhap news agency said the workers had been engaged in welding when the tank storing the ...
Ivory trade BANGKOK: Eight nations accused of failing to do enough to tackle the illegal trade in elephant ivory escaped sanctions at a major wildlife meeting on Thursday.The plight of Africa's elephants was one of the top issues at a more than a week of talks bringing together the 178 member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok.The conference identified Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as transit countries Malaysia, the ...

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