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  • Maldives court suspends opposition MPS as president seeks to extend state of emergency
    by Agence France-Presse, Reuters on 19. februar 2018 at 16:00

    The Maldives’ top court has suspended 12 pro-opposition legislators, emboldening President Abdulla Yameen, who on Monday sought to extend a state of emergency by a month. The Supreme Court decision reversed its original order to reinstate the MPs, who had defected from the ruling party, as parliament prepares to ratify the state of emergency declared by Yameen two weeks ago. Yameen imposed the emergency on February 5 for 15 days to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed convictions... […]

  • Rodrigo Duterte says Chinese military island bases are there to oppose US, not Philippines
    by Reuters on 19. februar 2018 at 15:36

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tried to allay fears over China’s construction of military bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea, saying they are a defence against the US, not made to attack Asian states. “It’s not intended for us,” he said in a speech to Chinese-Filipino businessmen on Monday. “The contending ideological powers of the world or the geopolitics has greatly changed.  “It’s really intended against those who the Chinese... […]

  • Singapore to raise GST for first time in decade despite surplus – but taxpayers won’t feel pain for at least three years
    by Bhavan Jaipragas on 19. februar 2018 at 12:49

    Singapore will hike its goods and services tax by two percentage points, the finance minister said on Monday, the first such move in a decade as the cash-rich government cited the need to pre-emptively increase revenue amid surging health care, security and infrastructure spending. The decision to raise the GST to 9 per cent was widely expected, but the curveball announcement that the change would be stayed until “sometime” between 2021 and 2025 drew praise from observers for being... […]

  • Philippine forces arrest ‘Egyptian ex-Islamic State commander’ after raid on Manila flat
    by Associated Press on 19. februar 2018 at 12:39

    Philippine police and army troops have arrested an Arab man they believe was a former commander of Islamic State along the Syria and Turkey border in a raid on a Manila flat, where they found bomb-making materials and an IS-style flag, the national police chief said on Monday. Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Fehmi Lassoued, who is reportedly from Egypt, and his Filipino companion, Anabel Moncera Salipada, were arrested last week based on intelligence provided by foreign... […]

  • Troops drink cobra blood in US-Thailand war games
    by Agence France-Presse on 19. februar 2018 at 10:55

    US and Thai marines slurped snake blood and ate scorpions in a jungle survival programme on Monday as part of the two nations’ annual Cobra Gold war games. Now in its 37th year, Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia, bringing thousands of troops from the United States, Thailand and other countries for 10 days of field training on Thai shores. On Monday, several dozen US and Thai marines took park in an annual jungle survival drill on a Thai navy base in Chonburi... […]

  • Nepal leader vows to revive Chinese dam project, open to review pact over Nepalese soldiers in India
    by Debasish Roy Chowdhury on 19. februar 2018 at 10:30

    Nepal’s new communist prime minister will restart a Chinese-led US$2.5 billion hydropower project that was pulled by the previous government considered friendly towards India, and wants to increase infrastructure connectivity with Beijing to ease the country’s reliance on New Delhi. He also wants to “update” relations with India “in keeping with the times” and favours a review of all special provisions of Indo-Nepal relations, including the long-established... […]

  • Cambodia court drops pornography charges against nine foreigners for ‘sexy dancing’ at pool party
    by Agence France-Presse on 19. februar 2018 at 09:32

    A Cambodian court has dropped pornography charges against nine of the 10 foreigners arrested last month at a pool party in the tourist town of Siem Reap, an official said Monday. The group was detained for around two weeks on charges of producing pornographic materials to promote the event at a private villa in the city flanking Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple ruins. Police, who broke up the party on January 25, initially accused the foreigners of “singing and dancing... […]

  • Australian politician under fire for posting gun range photo on Facebook
    by Agence France-Presse on 19. februar 2018 at 09:25

    A conservative Australian politician who posted a photo of himself on Facebook holding a gun in a dig at environmentalists was reported to police and accused of being insensitive after a mass shooting at a US school. George Christensen put up the image on Saturday showing him at a shooting range with the comment: “You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?” He said it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Dirty Harry” films starring Clint Eastwood who... […]

  • Plane with flaming engine makes emergency landing in Thailand with 84 passengers on board
    by Bangkok Post on 19. februar 2018 at 08:52

    By Pratuan Kajonwuthinan A NokAir plane made an emergency landing at Sakon airport in Thailand after flames were seen coming from one of its two engines and the propeller stopped turning shortly after take-off. Flight DD9407,  a Bombardier Q400 carrying 84 passengers, left Sakon Nakhon airport about 3.10pm yesterday, due to arrive at Don Mueang airport at 4.35pm. A few minutes later it suddenly turned back to Sakon Nakhon airport and made an emergency landing. Some passengers were... […]

  • Indonesians arrested for shooting an orangutan 130 times
    by Agence France-Presse on 19. februar 2018 at 08:22

    Four Indonesian men have been arrested over the killing of an orangutan shot some 130 times with an air rifle, police said on Monday, in the latest fatal attack on a critically endangered species. The suspects, farmers from the island of Borneo, admitted killing the animal, saying it ruined their crops at a pineapple and palm oil plantation, according to authorities. “They meant to shoo [it] away but their actions instead killed the orangutan,” said Teddy Ristiawan, district police... […]