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SEOUL: South Korean software mogul Ahn Cheol-Soo, 51, whose candidacy enlivened last year’s presidential election, yesterday vowed to run for parliament in a by-election on April 24. He ran as an independent, championing political and economic reform but dropped out weeks before the December 19 voting day to support the main opposition party candidate. Ahn said he would run on the same platform of “new politics” he promoted last time.
Balloon crash bodies arrive in Hong Kong
Hong Kong: The bodies of nine Hong Kong people — five women and four men — who were among the 19 killed in a hot air balloon tragedy in Egypt last month, arrived in Hong Kong yesterday and will be transferred to mortuary, officials said. The balloon was carrying 21 people at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet) during a sunrise flight over Luxor on February 26 when it caught fire. The other victims include Japanese, British, French and Hungarian nationals, while two people jumped out of the basket before the balloon hit the ground.
Bangladesh cracks down on opposition
DHAKA: The deputy head of Bangladesh’s main opposition party and top officials were detained in a crackdown after clashes rocked the capital yesterday. The arrests came after police fired rubber bullets to disperse opposition demonstrators, turning the streets of central Dhaka into a battleground for nearly an hour. Police stormed the headquarters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and took into custody Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general, and dozens of officials and activists. “They attacked police and created panic and anarchy,” police said.
Hun Sen a coward: Opposition chief
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy yesterday branded Prime Minister Hun Sen a “coward” for barring him from running in a key general election later this year. Rainsy, Hun Sen’s main rival, lives in self-imposed exile in France to avoid prison for convictions critics contend are politically motivated. In November, the 63-year-old was told he could not take part in polls because of his convictions by the National Election Committee he says is a tool of the premier. He accused Hun Sen of using the panel to block his election bid, which the premier has repeatedly denied.
S Korean generals face golf probe
SEOUL: South Korea is probing reports that top military officials played golf last weekend instead of tending to surging tensions with North Korea, a presidential spokesman said yesterday. Newspapers reported that a military golf course in Seoul was crowded with senior officers, including generals, on Saturday and Sunday. The office of the senior civil affairs secretary has launched a probe to find out what happened regarding the reports,” Yoon Chang-Jung said.
Govt, Kachin rebels renew peace talks
YANGON: Myanmar’s government met Kachin rebels for renewed peace talks in China yesterday, an analyst said, as both sides seek to resolve a festering ethnic conflict that has undermined reforms. Officials from Kachin Independence Organisation and its armed wing KIA met a government team, led by President’s Office Minister Aung Min.