05302016Mon
Last update: Mon, 30 May 2016 03pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Taiwan's Tsai calls for 'positive dialogue' with Beijing TAIPEI: Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen called for "positive dialogue" with China in her much-anticipated inauguration speech Friday, striking a conciliatory tone in the face of an increasingly hostile Beijing.Tsai took office as the island's first female president after winning a landslide victory in January to defeat the ruling Kuomintang, ending an eight-year rapprochement with Beijing under outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou.Voters felt Ma had moved too close to China, which still sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification.Beijing-sceptic Tsai swept in with a campaign to restore Taiwanese pride.But she sought to cast Taiwan as a force for peace in front of a jubilant crowd of more than 20,000 at the presidential palace in Taipei, where she was sworn in earlier Friday."The two governing parties across the strait must set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue, for the benefit of the people on both ...

World - South East Asia

200,000 flee capital as Sri Lanka flood misery worsens COLOMBO: Sri Lankans clambered onto rubber dinghies and makeshift rafts Friday to flee their flooded capital as fresh downpours elsewhere hampered relief efforts.The heaviest rains in a quarter of a century have pounded the island since last weekend, sparking huge landslides that have buried victims in up to 50 feet (15 metres) of mud.Officials have urged those living in affected areas to leave immediately, with more than 60 people known to have died so far ...

World - South East Asia

Philippine boxing star Pacquiao wins seat in Senate MANILA: Philippine boxing star Manny Pacquiao, WBO world welterweight champion, scored a big political victory on Thursday when the elections commission declared he was among 12 new members of the upper house of Congress. Last week, about 80 percent of 55 million eligible voters cast their ballots to choose a president, vice president, 12 senators, 200 members of the lower house of Congress and 18,000 local officials in general elections held every six years."I can ...

World - South East Asia

Top China official bringing 'caring heart' to Hong Kong HONG KONG: One of China's most powerful officials tells Hong Kong he brings a "caring heart", in a conciliatory start to a visit Tuesday that has stirred anger in a city that resents Beijing's tightening grip.The three-day trip by Zhang Dejiang, who chairs China's communist-controlled legislature, is the first by such a senior official in four years and comes as concerns grow in semi-autonomous Hong Kong that its long-cherished freedoms are under threat. While Zhang ...

World - South East Asia

Australia delays 'backpacker tax' after backlash SYDNEY: Working holidaymakers from overseas were given a reprieve Tuesday from being hit with a so-called "backpacker tax" in Australia after a campaign by farmers and the tourism industry.The government, which is in election mode with polls on July 2, had planned to introduce the levy on foreign travellers who are often young and work in agriculture and hospitality as a vital source of seasonal labour.It would have meant that from July 1 they paid ...

World - South East Asia

Quake hits Tokyo, eastern Japan cities; no tsunami TOKYO: An earthquake shook buildings in the Japanese capital Tokyo and other areas on Monday but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.The quake struck at 9:23 pm (1223 GMT) in Ibaraki 41 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 37 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said, putting the magnitude at 5.4. It was felt in large parts of eastern Japan.Japanese authorities said there was no danger of a tsunami.The country sits ...

World - South East Asia

Azerbaijan, Armenia leaders meet in bid to ease Karabakh tensions YEREVAN: The US and Russia will push the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to shore up a fragile truce when the arch-foes meet on Monday for the first time since a surge in violence over the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region.Four days of fighting in Nagorny Karabakh in early April killed at least 110 people as a festering conflict over the territory flared into the worst violence since a 1994 ceasefire that halted a brutal war. ...