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Protesters burn tyres in Jakarta during a demonstration against plans to raise fuel prices yesterday. JAKARTA: Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing protesters in Indonesia yesterday, as thousands demonstrated nationwide against the government’s plan to increase fuel prices. Several people were injured in the clashes which came as lawmakers at parliament in
MANILA: President Benigno S Aquino III has approved the law that will further modernise the agriculture and fisheries sector, the presidential palace said yesterday. The Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanisation Law mandates the state to promote the development and adoption of modern, appropriate and cost-effective and environmentally-safe agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment t
TOKYO: Belt-tightening in Japan’s diplomatic service is cutting the quality of canapes on offer abroad, the foreign ministry has said, leading to fears Tokyo is losing the battle of the buffets to Beijing. Diplomats in Tokyo say China appears to be ramping up its spending on its missions while Japanese diplomats are being forced to scrimp, the ministry said. Allowances for embassy
DHAKA: Bangladesh police yesterday fired rubber bullets and tear gas at thousands of garment workers protesting for better benefits in the capital Dhaka. The clashes occurred in Dhaka’s Tejgaon industrial area after about 5,000 workers from Utah Fashions went on the rampage when they found the owners had closed the factory rejecting their demand for a hike in lunch and attendance bill
BEIJING: A senior North Korean official who has been the country’s negotiator at denuclearisation talks will visit Beijing this week, China said yesterday, although analysts were sceptical Pyongyang was about to make concessions on its nuclear programme. On Sunday, North Korea offered negotiations with Washington to ease tensions after threatening to wage war on the United States and
SINGAPORE: Air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia rose to unhealthy levels yesterday thanks to illegal forest clearing in Indonesia, prompting Singapore to advise people against staying outdoors for long and to urge Indonesia to do something to stop it. In usually clear Singapore, the pollutant standards index hit the highest level in nearly seven years, with the taste of smoke hitting the
BEIJING: China made its first substantive comments yesterday to reports of US surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programmes to the international community. Several nations, including US allies, have reacted angrily to revelations by ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden over a week ago that US authorities had tapped servers of Internet companies.
Carrying Japanese national flags and navy flags, members of a nationalist group march on the streets of Korean Town in Tokyo during a demonstration denouncing South Korean people, yesterday. Some 300 nationalists took part in the demonstration on the street crowded with Sunday shoppers.
DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Islamist-backed main opposition yesterday swept mayoral elections in four cities in a major setback for the ruling party ahead of general polls. The centre-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won by big margins in the major cities of Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi and Barisal, Election Commission spokesman S M Asaduzzaman said. In the third largest city of
SEOUL/WASHINGTON: North Korea yesterday offered high-level talks with the United States to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, but the White House said that any talks must involve Pyongyang taking action to show it is moving toward scrapping its nuclear weapons. The offer came only days after North Korea abruptly cancelled planned official talks with South Korea, the first planned talks
MANILA: Philippine navy divers battled strong ocean currents yesterday in a desperate hunt for seven missing passengers of a ferry that sank with dozens onboard. The Lady of Mount Carmel ferry mysteriously went down in calm weather on Friday about two kilometres from central Burias island, killing two women passengers. Officials said 61 of the 70 people aboard the vessel had been rescued.
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged yesterday to proceed with the first-ever provincial polls in the island’s former war zone but his government said the powers of the elected council will be clipped. The ruling coalition had promised to share limited power with Tamils, pointing to elections to local councils, after the military crushed separatist Tamil rebe
TAIPEI: Taiwan and the Philippines have pledged not to use force in fishing disputes, officials said, as they tackle a row over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coastguards. The agreement was reached during their first preparatory meeting on fishery cooperation held in Manila on Friday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. It said the agreement was aimed
DHAKA: More than 140 workers, mostly women, at two Bangladeshi garment factories near the capital Dhaka fell ill yesterday after drinking suspected contaminated water in their workplace, police said. A series of tragedies since last November when a fire killed 111 people in another factory have triggered renewed scrutiny of “made-in-Bangladesh” clothes commonly sold i
A man hugs his brother returning from Malaysia, at Yangon International Airport yesterday. People from Myanmar working in Malaysia have returned after clashes in several neighbourhoods around Kuala Lumpur between Myanmar Buddhists and Muslims killed five people and injured many more.
SEOUL: North Korea yesterday made a fresh vow to build up its nuclear deterrent in the face of “threats of war” from the United States and a “policy of confrontation” from the South. An editorial in Pyongyang’s ruling party’s daily, the Rodong Sinmun, said “reckless” war exercises by the US and South Korea could spark a nuclear war at any mome
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police yesterday arrested 15 people over a flash-mob protest held to build support for a planned June 22 opposition rally against alleged fraud in elections last month. Those detained, who included opposition-aligned activists but also a 10-year-old boy, were held for disrupting public order in a busy shopping area of the capital Kuala Lumpur, media reports and oppos
HONG KONG: A few hundred rights advocates and political activists marched through Hong Kong yesterday to demand protection for Edward Snowden, who leaked revelations of US electronic surveillance and is now believed to be holed up in the former British colony. Marchers gathered outside the US consulate shouting slogans denouncing alleged spying operations aimed at China and Hong Kong, but t
LEGAZPI: Six more people were hauled out of the sea after a ferry sank in the Philippines with dozens on board, officials said yesterday, as navy divers were called in to hunt for survivors. Seven people remain missing a day after the Lady of Mount Carmel ferry mysteriously sank in calm weather about two kilometres from central Burias island, killing two women passengers. “Navy di
MANILA: A Philippine hacker has posted online what he claimed to be the president’s personal mobile telephone numbers, with Benigno Aquino’s spokesman yesterday denouncing the act as “cyber vandalism”. Aquino’s spokesman Ricky Carandang would not confirm if the numbers were really the president’s, or if their release on the worldwide web had compromised t