Thu, Oct 11, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Plastic surgery fuels anger

Hardline Muslims yesterday protested in Jakarta over the investigation of an opposition activist who claimed that bruising on her face was caused by a politically motivated assault, but later admitted that it was due to cosmetic surgery. The furor over 69-year-old Ratna Sarumpaet’s bizarre case has stoked political tensions in Jakarta ahead of next April’s presidential election, which would pit President Joko Widodo against retired army general Prabowo Subianto. Sarumpaet, one of Prabowo’s campaign advisers, has been a strident critic of Widodo. After she claimed last week that she had been attacked by three assailants for her political work, a photograph of her face looking bruised went viral, but police found that Sarumpaet had undergone plastic surgery on her face at a Jakarta hospital and charged her with spreading a hoax, a punishable offence.


Artificial islands to add homes

Artificial islands are to be added to counter a runaway property market that has made the territory the world’s least affordable for housing. The government aims to reclaim 688 hectares off Lantau Island, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday in a policy address. “Finding land is the pressing problem that we need to tackle urgently,” Lam told the Legislative Council. “We must make bold decisions.” To mitigate opposition to reclamation, Lam has said most of such land will be earmarked for subsidized housing. As many as 1.1 million people could live on the artificial islands, she said. That is about 15 percent of the territory’s population. The first phase of reclamation work would start in 2025, with people able to move in by 2032, Lam said.


Nineteen given death penalty

A court yesterday sentenced 19 people to death over a 2004 grenade attack on then-opposition leader Sheikh Hasina, who is now prime minister. The attack in Dhaka on a rally by Sheikh Hasina, left her injured and killed 20 people. Tarique Rahman, son of then-prime minister and Hasina’s ally-turned-archrival Khaleda Zia, was among 49 people on trial, with Rahman charged with criminal conspiracy and multiple counts of murder. Rahman, 50, who was tried in absentia after he fled the country for London in 2008, was sentenced to life in prison. “We thank God for the verdict,” prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain told reporters yesterday amid tight security.


Bus crash kills 51 people

Fifty-one people were killed when the bus they were traveling in overturned and its entire roof was ripped off in an accident in the west of the nation early yesterday, police said. “It is unfortunate that we have lost 51 people,” police chief Joseph Boinnet told Capital FM radio. According to police, the bus was traveling from Nairobi to the town of Kakamega and carrying 52 passengers. The Kenyan Red Cross wrote on Twitter that the bus had overturned, but more details on the cause of the accident were not immediately available. Footage from the scene showed the faded red bus lying on its side, with seats and mangled bits of metal exposed to the air and the ripped-off roof lying at a distance. Dozens of people milled around the accident site and goods were strewn over a large area.


States backing more hackers

The latest innovations in cybercrime have shifted from financially motivated actors to state-backed hackers focused on sabotage and intelligence gathering, a cybersecurity firm said on Tuesday. “The focus of innovations and research on the creation of complex malware, as well as organization of multi-layered targeted attacks, has now shifted ... to state-sponsored threat actors,” said Group-IB, a firm that works with Interpol and several other global institutions. In its cybercrime trends report for this year, the group said the top three countries in which state-backed entities operate were China, North Korea and Iran. Most attacks carried out in the second half of last year and the first half of this year targeted the Asia-Pacific region, it said.

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