07272016Wed
Last update: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Japan's Abe urges Thailand to return soon to civilian rule TOKYO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Thailand's military rulers Monday to return as soon as possible to civilian rule as he met his counterpart and former army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha in Tokyo.The Thai junta chief is in Tokyo after receiving his first invitation from a G7 country since the coup in May, which took place days after democratically elected prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was ousted by a court ruling following months of street protests."Prime Minister Prayut is making his best effort to recover democracy in Thailand," Abe told a joint press conference. "Japan expresses its strong expectations for Thailand's national reconciliation and a return of civilian rule as early as possible."Prayut said Thailand would speed up action towards the creation of a new constitution."We plan to hold elections in the end of this year or the beginning of the next year," he said."I promise I will build a healthy ...

World - South East Asia

Thai junta bans ex-PM Yingluck from travelling overseas BANGKOK: Thailand's toppled former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been banned from travelling overseas because graft charges carrying up to a decade in jail will be formally laid against her later this month, officials said Monday.Yingluck, who was ousted by a court ruling shortly before the army grabbed power in May, has already been banned from politics for five years following her impeachment over a costly rice subsidy scheme.In addition, she faces jail if found ...

World - South East Asia

Australian PM vows to change after failed bid to unseat him SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday vowed to change after surviving a confidence vote on his leadership, while urging an end to the disunity that has seen the government's popularity plummet.Abbott has been fighting for his job after poor poll ratings and a series of policy backflips spurred some MPs from his conservative Liberal Party to openly attack him, calling last week for a leadership "spill".The motion aimed to declare vacant the positions ...

World - South East Asia

Top US diplomat in Seoul as North Korea fires missiles SEOUL: New US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the need to sustain sanctions pressure on Pyongyang as he held talks Monday in Seoul that focused on North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.Blinken's arrival in South Korea was presaged by a series of North Korean missile tests, reflecting escalating military tensions on the divided peninsula ahead of large-scale US-South Korea military drills next month.Following talks with his South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-Yong, Blinken argued ...

World - South East Asia

Australian PM faces do-or-die confidence vote SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces a do-or-die confidence vote on his leadership Monday after just 17 months in power as a new poll showed his popularity has plunged further.Abbott has been fighting for his job after poor ratings and a series of policy backflips spurred some MPs from his conservative Liberal Party openly to attack him, calling for a leadership "spill" last week.The motion at 9:00 am (2200 GMT Sunday) aims to declare ...

World - South East Asia

Divers may have found crashed AirAsia co-pilot's body JAKARTA: Indonesian divers have found a body believed to be the French co-pilot who was steering an AirAsia plane when it crashed in December with 162 people onboard, an official said Saturday.Coordinator of the search and rescue effort S.B. Supriyadi said the body was retrieved from the front part of the fuselage during a search operation on Friday."It is likely the body of the French co-pilot, wearing uniform with three stripes on (the) shoulder," he ...

World - South East Asia

Japan to lower voting age to 18: report TOKYO: The Japanese parliament is expected to lower the voting age to 18 from 20 currently, a report said Saturday, in the first such change to the law in seven decades.Six ruling and opposition parties have agreed to submit the necessary legislation later this month, with the Diet (Japan's legislature) due to approve the change by early May, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.If approved, the proposed change would add some 2.4 million new voters to ...