02072016Sun
Last update: Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Philippine airport cop held for smuggling rare animals MANILA: Authorities at the Philippines' main airport have taken possession of 47 rare animals or birds which an airport policeman was allegedly trying to smuggle to Japan, a senior wildlife official said Sunday.The wildlife included 11 tarsiers, 11 snakes, 11 monitor lizards, eight sailfin lizards, eagle owls and scops owls.They were found on Thursday, packed in styrofoam cases which were labelled as aquatic plants, said Theresa Mundita Lim, head of the country's biodiversity bureau."We received a tip last January. That is when we began our surveillance. We already observed (the suspect) going back and forth to the airport," transporting items for shipping, she told AFP.The suspect had previously used his position at the airport to send shipments of suspected indigenous animals to a partner in Japan before he was caught, she added.He has been arrested for violating wildlife laws and could face four years in jail, Lim said.She said that ...

World - South East Asia

Malaysia's attorney general says will cooperate with Swiss counterparts on 1MDB probe KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's attorney general will cooperate with Swiss counterparts regarding investigations into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the country's top prosecutor said on Saturday. The attorney-general's comments came after Switzerland's chief prosecutor said he had formally asked Malaysia for help with his probe into possible violations of Swiss law by 1MDB, saying suspected misappropriations amounted to about $4 billion.Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said the Swiss findings would be reviewed by Malaysia, along with ...

World - South East Asia

UN envoy warns of eroding freedoms in South Korea SEOUL: A UN envoy on Friday warned of a gradual erosion of the freedom of assembly in South Korea, and cited North Korea as an extreme example of what happens when such tendencies go unchecked.Wrapping up a week-long visit, UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai praised South Korea's successful transition from military rule to democracy, but also highlighted signs that the country was moving backwards."I sense a trend of gradual regression on the rights to freedom ...

World - South East Asia

Akihito visits Japanese troop shrine in Philippines CALIRAYA: Japanese Emperor Akihito offered flowers Friday at a shrine built in the Philippines for Japanese soldiers killed during Japan's brutal World War II occupation of the Southeast Asian nation.The 82-year-old monarch and his wife, Empress Michiko, bowed twice while laying white bouquets at a table in front of the grey marble shrine, located in the lake town of Caliraya about three hours' drive from Manila.In a half-hour event aired live in Japan by public ...

World - South East Asia

Wants new econ minister to continue structural reforms: Abe TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday he wants the new economy minister, Nobuteru Ishihara, to continue the government's efforts to push through structural reforms."Abenomics is at a critical juncture. I'd like him to use his full capacity to pull Japan out of deflation and put its economy on a growth path," Abe told reporters.Abe said he asked Ishihara, a former ruling party executive, to succeed outgoing economy minister Akira Amari, who announced ...

World - South East Asia

Japan minister quits over graft claims in blow to PM TOKYO: Japan's economy minister resigned Thursday over a corruption scandal, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he looks to build support for a massive trade deal and changes to the country's constitution.Akira Amari's surprise resignation comes a week after the veteran politician was hit by claims in a weekly magazine that he and his staff had improperly accepted a 12 million yen ($101,000) bribe from a construction firm.On Thursday, Amari -- the ...

World - South East Asia

Thai finance ministry trims 2016 GDP growth forecast to 3.7pc vs 3.8 pc BANGKOK: Thailand's economy is expected to grow 3.7 this year, according to the finance ministry, slightly down from its previous forecast of 3.8 percent, due to sluggish exports.Growth will be helped by government investment and economic stimulus, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.The ministry predicts exports, a key driver of the economy, will grow just 0.1 percent this year, with a forecast range of a 0.4 percent fall and a 0.6 percent rise.The ...