Wed, Aug 09, 2017 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Mahathir under probe

The government has launched an inquiry into massive foreign-exchange losses by the central bank more than two decades ago, in a probe that could lead to criminal prosecution of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Opposition leaders slammed the inquiry as a political ploy to discredit Mahathir just months after he set up a new political party. He leads an opposition coalition aimed at ousting Prime Minister Najib Razak in general elections due next year. Mahathir, 92, led the country for 22 years before stepping down in 2003. A five-member Royal Commission of Inquiry meeting for the first time yesterday said it would investigate how much the central bank lost in currency trading in the 1990s and determine if there was a cover-up.


Drug raids net 17 suspects

Police in three countries have arrested 17 people and seized nearly 2 tonnes of drugs in connection with what Australian authorities said was an effort by organized crime groups to transport large amounts of drugs into the country. Federal Police said 10 people in Sydney, five Australians in Dubai and two people in the Netherlands were arrested yesterday as part of an investigation into what police say were two interlinked crime syndicates operating across the three nations. Officials in the Netherlands seized 1.8 tonnes of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, 136kg of cocaine and 15kg of crystal methamphetamine, all bound for Australia. The drugs were worth about US$640 million.


Coffee for fighter jets?

The government yesterday said it would trade palm oil, coffee and tea for Russian fighter jets, saying it wanted to capitalize on international sanctions on Moscow as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to arrive for a visit. The two nations signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange 11 Russian-made Sukhoi fighters for key commodities in Moscow last week, a spokesman for the trade ministry said. The EU and US have targeted Russia with sanctions for alleged meddling in the US presidential election and its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. The exact time frame and value of the exchange were not clear.


American appeals expulsion

A US citizen whose Singapore permanent residence status was revoked after the government identified him as being an agent of foreign influence yesterday said he had appealed the decision to expel him. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday said it had canceled the permanent residence of Huang Jing, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and of his wife, Shirley Yang Xiuping, also a US citizen. The ministry said Huang interacted with a foreign country with the aim of bringing about a change in the nation’s foreign policy and that his wife was aware of his activities. It did not identify the foreign country with which he was said to be interacting.


Cops faked Everest climb

Two police officers who falsely claimed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest last year have been sacked, authorities said yesterday. Nepal’s government last year imposed a 10-year mountaineering ban on Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, a married couple, after finding they had doctored photos to support their claim. Now the police force in the western Indian city of Pune where the couple worked has dismissed them after conducting its own investigation.

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