Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Activist announces PM bid

A prominent rights activist yesterday announced her candidacy in upcoming polls in what analysts see as a boost for the opposition’s attempt to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Speculation has been rife that Najib would call elections within weeks as his ruling Barisan Nasional coalition inches closer to the end of its five-year term. Maria Chin Abdullah, 62, head of the election reform group Bersih (“Clean”) that has led major street rallies against Najib, said she would stand as an independent, but under the banner of the opposition coalition. She is the latest high-profile civil society figure to join the electoral bandwagon after former think tank head Wan Saiful Wan Jan. “They’re joining because there’s a real chance now for Barisan Nasional to be defeated,” University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute director James Chin said.


Hottest summer on record

The nation has sweltered through its hottest summer on record and can expect more of the same if climate change continues unabated, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said yesterday. Daily temperatures averaged 18.8°C, 2.1°C more than normal, the institute said. With the mercury reaching as high as 38.7°C on South Island, the institute said it was the hottest summer since records began in 1909. The high temperatures prompted the government to declare a mid-level drought in some areas and provide assistance to struggling farmers.


Ex-president Lee questioned

Prosecutors yesterday summoned former president Lee Myung-bak for questioning as a criminal suspect in a bribery scandal, a report said. Allegations of corruption involving the 76-year-old’s relatives and aides during his 2008 to 2013 presidential term have mounted in recent weeks. Seoul prosecutors have been investigating multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of US dollars, with the net closing in around the former leader.


James Bond volcano erupts

A volcano that featured in a 1960s James Bond movie shot smoke and ash thousands of meters into the sky yesterday, prompting the cancelation of flights to and from a nearby airport, with the eruption likely to continue. Television footage showed smoke and ash billowing high into the sky from Shinmoedake, with lava visible deep inside a crater at the mountain, which featured in the 1967 movie You Only Live Twice. NHK said the smoke and ash had risen as far as 3,650m in the peak’s strongest eruption in seven years.


Lawyer vows land ban fight

A lawyer said he is to appeal a verdict by a regional court that upheld a decades-old ban on ethnic Chinese owning land in Yogyakarta Province, which he called racist and discriminatory. Handoko Wibowo had filed a petition in a district court in Yogyakarta, calling for a repeal of the 1975 edict that gives only indigenous Indonesians the right to own land in the central province. Minorities only get usage rights. The court last week dismissed the lawsuit, reasoning that the edict was imposed to protect the interests of indigenous Indonesians who are less wealthy than ethnic Chinese, said Handoko, who rejected that conclusion. “The edict goes against the agrarian law that gives all citizens the right to own land. It is time we repealed it,” he said over the telephone.

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