Tue, Mar 06, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CAMBODIA

Hun Sen declines talks offer

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday turned down an offer of talks from former opposition leader Sam Rainsy to end a crisis caused by the dissolution of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) ahead of general elections set for July 29. “I open my heart to hold talks on politics, but it must be clearly stated that people who are involved in legal cases have no right to hold talks with Hun Sen,” he said, referring to himself in the third person. On Twitter on Sunday, Sam Rainsy said: “I am always open to meeting with Hun Sen’s government in order to find a peaceful solution to this unprecedented crisis, a solution that would be acceptable to both sides with international guarantees.” Sam Rainsy’s comments were his first remarks on the matter since the opposition ban. Western nations have criticized Hun Sen over the CNRP’s dissolution and the arrest of Kem Sokha ahead of the general election.

SOUTH KOREA

Poetry show shuttered

Seoul has closed an exhibition by poet Ko Un, long the nation’s hope for a Nobel Prize in literature, amid allegations of sexual misconduct as the government is considering removing his work from textbooks. Ko Un, who denied any “habitual misconduct” in a statement made through his British publisher, first faced allegations when fellow poet Choi Young-mi in December last year released a poem titled Monster, which describes harassment by an older male poet named “En,” who is widely interpreted to refer to Ko. After Ko’s denial was reported in the Guardian on Sunday, Choi took to Facebook to post simply: “What I wrote in my poem Monster is true.” Choi’s allegations have been corroborated by other writers, including poet Lee Hye-mi, who said on Facebook that she witnessed “ridiculous behavior” while cohosting a TV show with Ko.

PHILIPPINES

Pro-IS militant arrested

Police yesterday announced the arrest of a suspected pro-Islamic State (IS) group militant accused of killing civilians in last year’s deadly siege of Marawi. Nasser Lomondot was arrested on Saturday in Manila, months after he fled the fighting in Marawi. “He participated in the killing of innocent civilians and committed violence against female and child hostages,” regional military spokesman Major Ronald Suscano told reporters. As government forces battled to wrest back control of Marawi, Lomondot directed a diversionary attack by pro-IS gunmen in the neighboring town of Marantao, Suscano added. Lomondot was arrested with a second suspect, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said in a statement. The military last month said that the remaining militants have mustered a force of about 200 to launch a second attempt to put up a caliphate.

SYRIA

Aid-awaiting civilians killed

Fresh air raids by the Syrian regime on the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta killed at least 14 civilians overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday. Barrel bombs — crude, improvised munitions that cause indiscriminate damage — were used, including on the town of Hammuriyeh, where 10 people were killed, it said. The latest deaths brought to 709 the number of civilians killed since regime and allied Russian forces intensified their campaign last month. At least 166 of them were children, observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said. The deadly raids came as the battered enclave awaited a convoy of humanitarian aid from the UN.

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