Wed, Oct 18, 2017 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

MALAYSIA

Firms bid for MH370 search

Three companies have offered to resume the search for flight MH370, but no decision has been reached on whether to take up any of the proposals, Minister of Transportation Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday. US seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, Dutch company Fugro and a Malaysian company have made offers, Liow said. The head of the Department of Civil Aviation was negotiating with the companies and the offers would also be discussed with Australia and China, he said. Ocean Infinity, which has made a “no find, no fee” offer, was said to be the favorite.

AUSTRALIA

Six missing off coast

Fears were growing yesterday for six fishermen missing after their ship capsized in wild seas off the northeast coast, with severe weather hampering rescue efforts. Authorities were alerted to the lost men out of “sheer luck” early yesterday, about 12 hours after the trawler overturned, when crew on a passing yacht heard the screams of a seventh crew member and plucked him out of the water. Air and sea rescue efforts off the Bundaberg coast in Queensland have been hampered by heavy rain and rough seas, with up to 4m swells. The rescued man miraculously survived a night in the “treacherous seas” clinging to the hull of the 17m capsized trawler for hours before it sank.

AUSTRALIA

Revenge porn portal opens

The nation has launched an online portal to report “revenge porn” after research showed that women were having intimate images shared without their permission on a “mass scale.” The “world-first” initiative will offer support and advice, while working with Web sites and search engines to help take down offending posts. Only Victoria and South Australia have laws that criminalize the distribution of intimate or invasive images without consent.

SOUTH KOREA

Charges in cannon death

Former Seoul police chief Goo Eun-soo and three other officers were yesterday charged over the death of a protester hit by a water cannon during an anti-government protest two years ago. Baek Nam-ki, a 69-year-old farmer, was knocked over by the jet of water during a huge protest against Seoul’s labor policies in November 2015, and fell into a coma. He died 10 months later. His plight sparked widespread outrage, with police coming under fire for what critics described as excessive force during public rallies.

UNITED NATIONS

Congo gets UN rights seat

The US and human rights groups sharply criticized Monday’s UN election for 15 new members of the Human Rights Council, singling out conflict-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DR Congo) victory despite accusations of serious rights abuses and an investigation by the UN’s top human rights body. DR Congo got the lowest number of votes of four African candidates — 151. The low total shows that President Joseph Kabila’s DR Congo “is fast becoming a pariah state. If there had been competition, it probably would have lost,” Human Rights Watch’s UN director Louis Charbonneau said. UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer singled out three of the winners — Congo, Qatar and Pakistan — saying for the UN to elect them “as a world judge on human rights is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief.” The only contested slate was in Asia, where six countries vied for four seats. Nepal topped the vote, followed by Qatar and Pakistan.

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