Sat, Oct 26, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Hundreds converge on Uluru

Hundreds of tourists yesterday flocked to Uluru for one last chance to scale the sacred red monolith ahead of a climbing ban long sought by Aborigines. A permanent ban on scaling Uluru — also known as Ayers Rock — goes into effect today in line with the long-held wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, the Anangu. This has led to a surge of climbers in the past few months. Hundreds were left waiting for hours early yesterday due to safety concerns over heavy winds, before rangers allowed climbers to head up the rock at 10am. Parks Australia said it would reassess the weather conditions throughout the day to determine if climbers could continue to mount the rock. Tourists are still being encouraged to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where they can take in the monolith from its base, walk around its perimeter and learn about its indigenous heritage at the cultural center.

JAPAN

New trade minister resigns

The trade minister yesterday resigned a month into his job due to a scandal over condolence money allegedly being offered to election supporters. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he had accepted the resignation of Isshu Sugawara and apologized for appointing him. Abe named Hiroshi Kajiyama, formerly the minister in charge of regulatory reform, as his replacement. Sugawara tendered his resignation, because he did not want to hold up the important discussions in the National Diet over his scandal, Abe said. Sugawara has been grilled in the legislature after a magazine reported that he had paid condolence money to his election district supporters. Such payments are considered donations that are against the law.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Officials to get luxury cars

Prime Minister James Marape is to get a Bentley and lawmakers would receive a host of other luxury vehicles paid for by taxpayers for an APEC summit, officials have said. Marape, who has vowed to clean up the nation’s politics since taking office in May, is to receive one of the dozens of high-end cars bought to ferry delegates around Port Moresby for the summit last year. Secretary for Finance Ken Ngangan on Thursday told the Papua New Guinea Post Courier that all 111 members of parliament would get vehicles from the APEC fleet for their electoral duties. “Cabinet made a decision recently to have members of parliament presented with a vehicle each so that they can use here in the capital city, but for their electoral duties,” he said. One of three Bentleys purchased would be made available for the office of the prime minister, he added. An interim government report has estimated that hosting the summit cost the nation about US$135 million.

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