Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



‘No longer’ joining ICC

The government yesterday did a U-turn on its decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said, after a backlash from a powerful Muslim ruler and opposition politicians. The last month announced it was joining the war crimes tribunal, sparking an outcry from opposition politicians and the sultan of Johor State, who were furious that the nation’s Muslim royals would not be exempted from potential prosecution.


Fungus erases 90 species

A deadly disease affecting amphibians has become a global pandemic that has already wiped out 90 species, a prominent US biologist said on Thursday at the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Conference in Santiago. Chytridiomycosis is caused by a fungus — Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis — that attacks the skin of amphibians. As the creatures use their skin to breathe and regulate their bodies’ water levels, the damage eventually leads to heart failure. “It’s over 60 countries right now, and that’s part of the problem,” said Jonathan Kolby, coauthor of a study published last month on the fungus’ effects. The rapid spread of the fungus is due to a lack of animal trade rules and airport surveillance. It is most widespread in Latin America and Australia, while trade with Asia — where it originated — has been blamed for the spread.


Winning candidates probed

The Election Commission yesterday said that scores of candidates who were tipped to secure elected seats in last month’s polls are under investigation and could be disqualified. Commissioner Pakorn Mahannop said that the body would investigate “66 people who got the highest votes in the constituency system” who were hit with complaints. Investigation results “will affect the calculation” of final parliamentary seats, he added. Officials did not say what parties the candidates belonged to, but said that 300 complaints had been filed.


Tariffs, but no shut border

President Donald Trump on Thursday backed away from a threat to shut down the southern border, but raised a new specter of eventually slapping tariffs on vehicle imports from Mexico unless it does more to stop illegal migrants and drugs. “We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products — in particular cars,” Trump told reporters. Separately, Mexican exporters this week said that they were looking into sending their goods to the US by air freight to avoid a 8km-long line of trucks at the border caused by the administration moving federal agents away from customs checks to immigration duties.

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