02122016Fri
Last update: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Rouhani kicks off first post-sanctions tour in Italy MILAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrives Monday in Italy, beginning his first European tour since a nuclear deal saw sanctions lifted against the Islamic Republic.The visit, whose chief aim is to boost economic ties and which will see Rouhani visit France later this week, had been planned for last November but was cancelled after the deadly militant attacks in Paris. The three-day trip comes a week after Tehran's deal with world powers came into force, allowing the United States and the European Union to lift economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities.Tehran said Sunday it will buy 114 Airbus planes to revitalise flag carrier Iran Air's ageing fleet -- the first major commercial deal since sanctions were lifted -- and the deal is expected to be signed during the Paris leg of the visit.The Iranian leader has hailed the agreement as a "new chapter" for Iran as ...

World - South East Asia

Blizzard strands 86,000 in South Korea resort island SEOUL: Close to 90,000 people were stranded on the South Korean resort island of Jeju on Monday after the biggest snowfall in three decades shut the airport for the third straight day.Known as the Hawaii of South Korea for its beaches and usually warm climate, Jeju took the brunt of a week-long cold snap that sent the mercury plunging to record lows across the country.The popular holiday destination has recorded its heaviest snowfall in three ...

World - South East Asia

   MH370 hunt loses hi-tech sonar probe to undersea volcano SYDNEY: An underwater sonar vehicle used in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 has now been lost to the deep ocean floor after hitting an undersea volcano, Australian officials said Monday.The "towfish", pulled behind a search ship and fitted with survey instruments, plunged to the bottom of the remote southern Indian Ocean on Sunday."The towfish collided with a mud volcano which rises 2,200 metres from the sea floor resulting in the vehicle's tow ...

World - South East Asia

Talks under way to build coalition government in Vanuatu WELLINGTON: Negotiations were underway in Vanuatu on Monday to form a coalition government as unofficial results indicated the corruption scandal that triggered a snap election took its toll on political ranks.Several long-term members of parliament appear to have lost their seats, according to unofficial figures collated by local news media.Fourteen MPs from the 52-seat parliament were jailed last year in a corruption scandal which followed years of political instability in the impoverished Pacific archipelago.The preliminary ...

World - South East Asia

Iran says to buy 114 Airbus planes, interested in Boeing and other deals TEHRAN: Iran plans to buy 114 aircraft from European plane maker Airbus as soon as March, and is looking for other deals, senior Iranian officials said on Sunday as their country emerges from sanctions and international isolation.The republic could need as many as 500 new planes over the next three years, lawmaker Mahdi Hashemi, the chairman of the parliament's Development Commission, said at Tehran's first major post-sanctions gathering of global businessmen.Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi told ...

World - South East Asia

Vietnam PM among preliminary nominations for party central committee: official HANOI: Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was among preliminary nominations for the Communist Party's new central committee, an official said on Sunday, maintaining a possibility of him contesting a party leadership to be decided this week.Dung was among several high-profile politburo members nominated to join the powerful committee, including the current president and the national assembly chairman, Vu Ngoc Hoang, standing Deputy Director of the Central Propaganda Department, told reporters on the sidelines of ...

World - South East Asia

Malaysia says arrests 7 Islamic State-linked militants suspected of planning attacks KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police said on Sunday seven members of an Islamic State (IS) cell had been arrested in a three-day operation carried out across the Southeast Asian country.The operation was launched in four states on Jan. 22, ahead of Monday's International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism that Malaysia is hosting.Police said the suspects had received instructions to carry out attacks in Malaysia by Syrian-based IS members, including Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant ...