JAKARTA: Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency arrested a former sports and youth minister yesterday in a multimillion-dollar graft case, one of several to rock the president’s party ahead of polls next year. Andi Mallarangeng stepped down from his post in December after being named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in the construction of a sports centre. The KPK accused Mallarangeng of abusing his authority in handling the project, worth more than 1trn rupiah ($88m), according to the agency. In a bright orange vest, Mallarangeng spoke to reporters outside the KPK’s headquarters after more than six hours of questioning, confirming he had been officially detained.
New US envoy for Japan
WASHINGTON: The US Senate late on Wednesday approved Caroline Kennedy, the sole surviving child of slain president John F Kennedy and an early supporter of President Barack Obama, to be ambassador to Japan. On a hectic day in which the US Congress voted to end a government shutdown, the Senate gave the final nod to Kennedy and 22 other nominees unanimously without roll call votes. Kennedy, who was days away from her sixth birthday when her father was assassinated 50 years ago next month, will step into the most public role of her adult life after largely shying away from the family profession of politics.
China mayor faces probe
SHANGHAI: Chinese authorities are investigating the mayor of Nanjing for suspected “law violations”, the government said yesterday, the latest official to be targeted by a crackdown on corruption. The Communist Party agency which investigates corruption said Ji Jianye was suspected of serious violations of party discipline and the law, according to a brief statement, which gave no further details. Ji, 56, has been Mayor of Nanjing, an eastern city with a population of around eight million, since January 2010, according to his official biography. A state-backed newspaper, the 21st Century Business Herald, said the investigation was looking into economic corruption and construction projects.
Search on for crash victims
PAKSE, Laos: Rescuers searched for bodies yesterday after a Lao Airlines plane believed to be carrying 49 people, around half of them foreigners, plunged into the Mekong River during stormy weather. Seven French citizens, six Australians and five Thais were among those thought to have been killed when the turboprop ATR-72 came down on Wednesday near Pakse airport in Champasak province. Debris was seen floating in the river at the scene of the disaster, while suitcases were wedged in mud on the riverbank.
Khmer Rouge trial closes
PHNOM PENH: Prosecutors at Cambodia’s war crimes court yesterday accused two ex-Khmer Rouge leaders of playing a “critical role” in a regime that left millions dead in the late 1970s. Delivering closing statements the prosecution alleged “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 87, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 82, helped orchestrate one of the worst horrors of the 20th century.