Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Tokyo slams China drilling

The government has protested to China for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the East China Sea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference yesterday. The two nations agreed to jointly develop gas fields in the area in 2008, but talks have since stopped. “It is extremely regrettable that China continues its unilateral development in the sea area in a situation where the maritime boundary between Japan and China has not been fixed in the East China Sea,” Suga said, adding that Japan would continue to urge China to return to talks. Bilateral relations have improved in recent years after deteriorating sharply in 2012, when Japan nationalized a cluster of East China Sea islets that China also claims.

CAMBODIA

Five charged with trafficking

Five people arrested last week for allegedly providing commercial surrogacy services were on Thursday also charged with human trafficking, Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana said. Four Cambodian women and a Chinese man were formally charged with two counts of “The Act of Selling, Buying or Exchanging a Person for Cross-border Transfer,” which is punishable by seven to 15 years in prison, he said. The five had earlier been charged with providing surrogacy services, which were outlawed in 2016 as the nation was becoming a popular destination for would-be foreign parents seeking women to give birth to their children. That offense in punishable by one to six months in prison. Phnom Penh anti-trafficking police chief Keo Thea last week said that police who raided the surrogacy business rescued 33 pregnant surrogates who were allegedly hired by the Chinese man. The women are now under the care of the social welfare ministry.

RUSSIA

Oleg Navalny freed

The brother of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was jailed for three-and-a-half years in a fraud case that supporters say was politically motivated, was freed yesterday after serving his sentence. About 50 supporters and journalists had gathered outside the prison for the release. Oleg and Alexei were convicted in a 2014 fraud trial related to their work for French cosmetics company Yves Rocher. The opposition politician received a suspended sentence, while his brother was jailed for the same amount of time in a move activists compared to hostage-taking. The European Court of Human Rights ruled the convictions were “arbitrary and unreasonable,” and ordered Russia to pay the pair 83,000 euros (US$96,766) in damages. The older Navalny brother has served repeated short jail sentences in connection to his political activities. He most recently served a 30-day sentence for organizing a protest against President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration and was freed the day the World Cup started.

SOUTH KOREA

US forces open new HQ

US forces yesterday opened their new headquarters on what they called Washington’s biggest overseas base just weeks after US President Donald Trump said he wanted to bring the troops home. For decades, US Forces Korea have been headquartered in Yongsan in the center of Seoul. The two allies agreed as long ago as 1990 to relocate the headquarters to Camp Humphreys, about 60km south of the capital, but the project was delayed for years by resident protests, financial issues and extensive construction work. It was not until 2013 that the first unit transferred to the camp. The headquarters moved yesterday along with the US-led UN Command, with more units to follow suit later. US forces Commander Vincent Brooks told the opening ceremony that Seoul had contributed more than 90 percent of the US$10.8 billion cost of Camp Humphreys, “which we believe to be the largest overseas US base in the world.”

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