06292016Wed
Last update: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Abbott takes royal knighthood storm 'on the chin' MELBOURNE: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday he stood by his controversial decision to award Britain's Prince Philip a knighthood and was taking the firestorm of criticism "on the chin".Several ministers have walked away from Abbott's appointment of the nonagenarian Duke of Edinburgh to the ranks of the Order of Australia, MPs on all sides have mocked the move and the media condemned it severely.Abbott had kept quiet since Australia Day on Monday when social media lit up with repeated ridicule of his announcement.On Wednesday he tried to calm the storm by taking questions from reporters and admitting he would consult more widely on future appointments.But he did not back down."I stand by the decision," Abbott insisted."I understand why some people do not like it. I respect their right to be critical. I take it on the chin."He defended the prince's role in Australia, calling him "a distinguished servant ...

World - South East Asia

Japan says asking Jordan for help after new IS hostage video TOKYO: Japan said Wednesday it was asking the Jordanian government for help after the Islamic State militant group released a new video saying a captured Japanese journalist had 24 hours to live."The government in this extremely difficult situation has been asking for assistance from the Jordanian government towards securing (Kenji) Goto's early release," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

World - South East Asia

Australian PM faces backlash over royal 'knightmare' SYDNEY: Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott was Tuesday facing a backlash over his surprise move to knight Britain's Prince Philip which has prompted ridicule and questions about his leadership even from conservative supporters.Abbott, whose personal approval rating has plunged in recent opinion polls, said the decision to make the Duke of Edinburgh -- the 93-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II -- a knight of Australia was his own initiative for Australia Day on Monday.But it ...

World - South East Asia

Deputy of Indonesia's anti-graft body to resign JAKARTA: The deputy chief of Indonesia's anti-graft agency will submit his resignation letter on Monday, days after the police named him a suspect in a false testimony case, an agency official said.Police on Friday detained and questioned Bambang Widjojanto, deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), for a case dating from 2010, fuelling tension between two law enforcement bodies that have long had strained relations."Bambang will submit his resignation letter today," Johan Budi, KPK's ...

World - South East Asia

Thai govt approves struggling Thai Airways' restructuring plan BANGKOK: Thailand's military-led government has approved a restructuring plan for Thai Airways International PCL in a bid to restore profitability to the national carrier's operations, a senior government official said on Monday.State-controlled Thai Airways is one of the major state companies to undergo reform after the military seized power from an elected government in a May coup.The restructuring plan includes measures to cut operating costs, boost revenue and sell some non-core assets, said Kulit Sombatsiri, ...

World - South East Asia

Australia knights Prince Philip, sparking national outrage PERTH: Conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has awarded Australia's highest honour to Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, sparking a barrage of criticism across the country on its national day of celebration.Prince Philip was made a Knight of the Order of Australia, awarded as part of the country's honours system announced on Australia Day, with Abbott saying it paid "tribute to an extraordinary life of service".The award grated with republicans who want to sever ties ...

World - South East Asia

Chinese mother charged for $7,000 sale of baby: Xinhua BEIJING: A Chinese mother has been charged with human trafficking for allegedly conspiring with a doctor to sell her baby boy for almost $7,000, media reported Sunday. The mother-in-law of the woman initially notified police in central Henan province that she suspected the child had been sold, a report by state news agency Xinhua said. The woman, who was surnamed Huang, had previously told the family that the baby died soon after birth, said the ...