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Last update: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 06am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

13 dead in Thai river boat collision: rescuers BANGKOK: At least 13 people were killed on Sunday when a boat crowded with passengers sank on Thailand's Chao Phraya river after hitting a bridge, an emergency response official said.The accident happened near the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a popular tourist attraction, although no foreigners were believed to be among the dead."There are 13 confirmed dead and 33 injured so far," said Udomsak Khaonoona, disaster prevention chief for the city which is 80 km (50 miles) north of Bangkok."The boat tried to avoid another vessel and crashed into the concrete column of a bridge," he told AFP, adding that the passengers were local.Around 100 passengers were believed to be on board the vessel, with four currently unaccounted for, Udomsak said. Video footage posted by Khaosod TV showed desperate scenes as rescue workers scrambled to reach the stricken vessel, its stern partially under water.Rescuers threw ropes to help people swim to ...

World - South East Asia

Turkmenistan opens $2bn bird-shaped international airport ASHGABAT: Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Saturday hailed his country's "solid transit potential" as he unveiled an international airport worth over $2 billion in the capital Ashgabat.Berdymukhamedov said the new airport's two passenger terminals would have the capacity to serve 17 million passengers a year while the freight terminal could handle 200,000 tons of freight annually.The five-floor airport is built in the shape of a giant bird -- echoing the logo of the Central Asian ...

World - South East Asia

Nearly 47pc of global population now online: UN report UNITED NATIONS: Even though China and India are now the largest Internet markets on the planet, they are also among the six countries that together account for 55 per cent of the global 'offline' population, according to a new report of a United Nations commission.Furthermore, 20 countries including United States, China and India make up almost three-fourths of the world population not using the Internet. "These findings suggest that targeted efforts in just a few ...

World - South East Asia

Eight pregnant women among 329 infected by Zika in Singapore SINGAPORE: Eight pregnant women have been infected by the Zika virus among the 329 cases in Singapore, the government said on Sunday. Doctors are providing close support and counselling, the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency said in a joint statement. On Sunday, the government confirmed 11 new cases of locally-transmitted Zika. While most people experience mild symptoms, Zika infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect in ...

World - South East Asia

Thailand's king recovering after respiratory infection BANGKOK: Thailand's 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, is recovering after a respiratory infection, the palace said in a statement Sunday.The king has no fever and a blood test showed a decrease in inflammation, it said, adding that an x-ray of his lungs showed no sign of inflammation. It is the fourth health statement in over a week and follows a bulletin on Wednesday which said that the king had shown further ...

World - South East Asia

North Korea says sanctions push after nuclear test ‘laughable’ TOKYO/SEOUL: North Korea said on Sunday a push for further sanctions following its fifth and biggest nuclear test was "laughable", and vowed to continue to strengthen its nuclear power.The isolated state on Friday set off its most powerful nuclear explosion to date, saying it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile, ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.A U.S. special envoy ...

World - South East Asia

Work starts on two new Iran nuclear reactors TEHRAN: Russian and Iranian firms began work on Saturday on two additional reactors at Iran's nuclear power plant on the Gulf coast at Bushehr, the project manager said.The plant has been a bone of contention with Iran's Gulf Arab neighbours, even after a deal limiting its nuclear ambitions was signed with major powers in July last year.Project manager Mahmoud Jafari said that construction of the two 1,000 MW reactors, which is being carried out jointly ...