Typhoon party canceled
Organizers of a dance party marking the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage yesterday said they had called the event off after complaints. The event, scheduled for today in Tacloban, the area most devastated by Haiyan, was supposed to be a celebration of the city’s recovery and the resilience of its residents, lead organizer Calai Cinco said. “We’ve already canceled it. We’ve had some complaints. There were a lot of negative vibes on the Facebook page,” she said. The event was intended to raise money for victims of the storm, but some people thought the party and its accompanying T-shirts made light of the tragedy.
Body shows signs of torture
The body of freelance journalist Aung Kyaw Naing, who was shot by soldiers, showed signs that he was tortured before he died, his wife, Ma Thandar, said yesterday. The body, which was exhumed on Wednesday, had a broken skull, broken jaw and two penetration marks on the chest, while several ribs and an ankle appeared to have been broken, she said. The reporter was detained by the military while covering clashes between the army and ethnic Karen rebels in Mon state in September. The military said last week they shot him dead on Oct. 4 as he tried to reach for a soldier’s gun during an attempted escape.
CEO may face 15 years
Prosecutors yesterday demanded a 15-year jail term for the president of the firm which operated the Sewol ferry, holding him partly responsible for the April 16 disaster that killed more than 300 people. Chonghaejin Marine Co chief executive officer Kim Han-sik is on trial in Gwangju on charges of criminal negligence and embezzlement. Sentences of between four and six years were demanded for 10 others on trial alongside Kim on charges of criminal negligence.
Politician may hang soon
The government may hang a senior Muslim leader as early as next week after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence for war crimes, Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huq said yesterday. Mohammad Kamaruzzaman of the Jamaat-e-Islami party would be the second senior Jamaat leader to hang for crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence. The 62-year-old has seven days to petition the president for a pardon, Huq said. Kamaruzzaman was found guilty in May last year of mass murder, torture and abductions.
Scores nabbed in mob kill
Police say they have arrested as many as 45 Muslims in connection with the killing of a Christian couple for allegedly desecrating the Koran. Local police officer Mohammad Iqbal said the arrests were made before dawn on Wednesday in the town of Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab Province. He said hundreds of Muslims took part in the attack on Tuesday, in which a mob killed the couple and burned their bodies in a brick kiln where the man and his wife worked. He said the attackers accused the couple of desecrating the Koran.
Balloon guests land in jail
Two foreign tourists unwittingly landed in jail this week after strong winds blew their hot air balloon off course. The two sisters from the West Indies were enjoying a ride over the desert in the western state of Rajasthan on Tuesday when the balloon’s pilot lost control, forcing him to make an emergency landing. Local media said the balloon landed in the prison yard, to the consternation of officers. “When the operator saw that they were sailing over the Anasagar Lake, he got alarmed and tried to control the movement of the balloon,” the Indian Express quoted local police inspector Hanuman Vishnoi as saying. “The nearest landing was the police lines and even though he steered towards it, the strong winds made the balloon travel further up to Ajmer jail.” Authorities have canceled balloon rides over the area, reports said.
Officers probed over abuse
Fifteen senior military commanders have been suspended over their conduct in Somalia, including allegations of sexual exploitation, the army said yesterday. The action comes in the wake of a report by Human Rights Watch accusing troops with the internationally funded African Union force in Somalia of preying on vulnerable women and girls. “We are doing a general appraisal on performance of the force,” defense and army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said. “It’s not sexual harassment alone,” he said, but added the concerns were “one aspect we are looking at.”
Woman injured near palace
A bomb blast just 100m from a Cairo presidential palace wounded a female passer-by early yesterday, just hours after a train bomb killed three people, security officials said. The new bombing followed an attack on a train north of the capital late on Wednesday that killed two policemen and a civilian, the latest in a spate of attacks since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi in July last year. The blast struck near a palace in the northeast of Cairo which is rarely used by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, whose main office is in another palace in the capital. The woman suffered only minor injuries from the crude bomb, which was planted under a bridge, interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said.
Skyscraper’s bolts break
Engineers are inspecting the 47-story London tower known as the Cheesegrater after two steel bolts broke and part of one fell to the ground. An area around the base of the building on Leadenhall Street was cordoned off after the incident, which caused no injuries, building codeveloper British Land Co said in a statement yesterday. Each bolt is the size of a human arm, the Daily Telegraph reported. “There is no risk to the structural integrity of the building,” British Land said. Contractor Laing O’Rourke and structural engineers Arup Group are carrying out the investigation, British Land said.
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of