04292016Fri
Last update: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 01pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

China was largest market for Panama Papers law firm: ICIJ BEIJING: Nearly a third of the business of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, came from its offices in Hong Kong and China, reports say, making the Asian giant its biggest market.Shell companies incorporated through the Hong Kong and China offices of the Panamanian law firm accounted for 29 percent of its global active companies, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which co-ordinated a year-long investigation into a trove of 11.5 million documents.The investigation found that relatives of at least eight current or former members of China's Politburo Standing Committee, the ruling party's most powerful body, have been implicated in the use of offshore companies.Such vehicles are not illegal in themselves and can be used for legitimate business needs. But they commonly feature in corruption cases, when they can be used to secretly move ill-gotten gains abroad.Under President Xi Jinping, ...

World - South East Asia

Vietnam Prime Minister sworn in by lawmakers HANOI: Vietnam's new Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was formally voted in and handed a five-year term by lawmakers Thursday to round off a leadership change among Communist top brass.Phuc was the only candidate nominated for the position by party officials earlier this year and won 90.26 percent of the votes in the rubber stamp parliament."I will do my best to serve the country and people," the 61-year-old, who was previously a deputy prime minister, ...

World - South East Asia

6.9 earthquake hits off Vanuatu, no tsunami threat SYDNEY: A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit off the Vanuatu coast Thursday, the second major tremor in the area in as many days, but there was no tsunami threat or reports of damage, seismologists said.The quake struck at a depth of 32 kilometres (19.9 miles) some 109 kilometres west of Sola on Vanua Lava island and 453 kilometres from the capital Port Vila at 0332 GMT, the United States Geological Survey said.It was the third quake to ...

World - South East Asia

Myanmar's Suu Kyi gets new role as special adviser YANGON: Myanmar's president Wednesday signed a bill giving Aung San Suu Kyi a new role of state adviser, shoring up her influence across all branches of government despite vehement opposition from the still-powerful military.Suu Kyi is determined to rule the former junta-run nation regardless of an army-scripted constitution that bars her from becoming president, as she strives to meet the aspirations of millions of voters who gave her pro-democracy party a landslide election victory last ...

World - South East Asia

Japan PM defends US military alliance in rebuff to Trump TOKYO: US military bases remain essential to Japan's security, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an interview Wednesday, as he brushed off comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Tokyo should be left to defend itself. Japan's alliance with Washington has been the bedrock of its defence since the end of World War II, and the country still hosts 47,000 US troops."I cannot conceive of any situation within the foreseeable future when the US ...

World - South East Asia

Myanmar's Suu Kyi meets China counterpart in FM debut YANGON: Myanmar's foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi met her Chinese counterpart Tuesday in the first diplomatic foray of her new pro-democracy government, underscoring the importance of relations with Beijing.The nation sees its giant neighbour -- and largest trading partner -- as its biggest foreign policy preoccupation, with border wars and controversial China-backed mega-projects topping the agenda.The new civilian administration, sworn in on March 30, faces a host of economic challenges as it inherits the ...

World - South East Asia

US Navy seizes Iranian weapons bound for Yemen rebels WASHINGTON: US naval forces in the Arabian Sea seized a shipment of weapons that the United States believes was sent from Iran and was bound for Huthi rebels in Yemen, the Navy said Monday.The patrol ship USS Sirocco intercepted and seized the shipment hidden aboard a small dhow on March 28.The illicit cargo included 1,500 AK-47s, 200 RPG launchers and 21 .50 caliber machine guns, the Navy said in a statement.The dhow and its crew ...