DP elects new leader
The main opposition Democratic Party (DP), previously known as the Democratic United Party, elected four-term lawmaker Kim Han-gil, 60, as its new leader on Saturday. Kim defeated rival Lee Yong-sup and pledged to end factional infighting and move to the right towards more centrist policies. “I will bring an end to factional politics ... We will build a new DP, a bigger DP and a winning DP,” Kim said in an acceptance speech. Earlier on Saturday, the center-left party officially changed its name to the DP and amended its constitution, adopting more centrist policies. The DP has been in disarray since its presidential candidate Moon Jae-in lost to President Park Geun-hye of the ruling New Frontier Party in elections in December last year. It failed to win any seats in last month’s parliamentary and council by-elections.
Aerosmith cancel concert
An Aerosmith concert promoter says the band has canceled next week’s show in the country over security concerns, one day after news surfaced about an alleged bomb plot. Helmi Sugara, a spokesman for the event organizer, yesterday said that the US rockers were scheduled to perform on Saturday before a nearly sold-out crowd of 15,000 in Jakarta. On Friday, the government announced it had arrested two suspected militants with bombs who were allegedly planning to attack the Myanmar embassy to protest that nation’s treatment of Muslims. It is unclear if the concert’s cancelation was directly related to the terror plot or if there was some other threat. In a statement on promoter Ismaya Live’s Web site, Aerosmith’s management apologized to fans.
Netanyahu visits China
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in China today in a rare visit Israeli officials hope will increase exports to the Asian economic giant. Netanyahu will also reiterate his concerns over Iran’s nuclear program with the Chinese leadership and discuss the peace talks with the Palestinians. “We hope the visit serves to upgrade the level of cooperation between the two countries,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev told reporters. “China and Israel have both much to gain from enhanced cooperation and that’s our goal.” The last prime minister to visit China was Ehud Olmert in 2007.
US pastor death probed
Police are investigating the death of an US pastor found at his home with his hands and legs bound and a cellphone charger cable around his neck. Kuala Lumpur District Police chief Amiruddin Jamaluddin said officials believe Reverend David Ginter was murdered, but have not identified any suspects or motive. Ginter’s wife, who was visiting her home country of Australia, asked a neighbor to check on him on Saturday when she could not contact him. He was found dead and his car was missing.
Civil servants to pilot planes
The government has started training civil servants to become flight instructors to meet demand for pilots in the fast-growing aviation industry, Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bambang Ervan said on Saturday. The nation has 6,000 to 7,000 pilots, dozens of flight instructors and produces between 400 and 500 pilots a year, but falls short of the industry demand of up to 800 pilots. The shortage has raised concerns that exhaustion and inexperience may lead to accidents. Last month, a Lion Air plane crashed into the sea, highlighting the country’s lack of experienced crew.