Category Archives: World News

Plane crash landing in South Sudan, miraculously no death

A commercial plane on Monday made a crash landing in poor weather at an airport in South Sudan, causing several injuries among the 43 on board.

“It is miraculous, completely,” said Ateny Wek Ateny, the South Sudanese presidential spokesperson. “There are only minor injuries. There was no single death.”

The incident took place at the airport in Wau, in the nation’s northwest.

Ateny said the pilot overshot the runway, dropping onto an unpaved ground.

[via CNN]

North Korea bans Malaysians from leaving in Kim spat

KUALA LUMPUR — North Korea on Tuesday banned Malaysians from leaving the country, dramatically escalating an already-heated diplomatic row over the murder of Kim Jong Nam.

Moments later, Kuala Lumpur retaliated, banning diplomats and staff at the North Korean embassy from leaving Malaysia.

The tit-for-tat moves marked an extraordinary heightening of tensions three weeks after the airport assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother with the banned VX nerve agent. Continue reading North Korea bans Malaysians from leaving in Kim spat

Uncooperative North Korean Diplomat threatened with an “arrest warrant”

Malaysia police are losing its patience with an uncooperative North Korean diplomat.

On Saturday police said they would issue an arrest warrant for a North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong-nam if he doesn’t voluntarily cooperate with them.

“Reasonable” time will be given for the diplomat to come forward before police take further action, said Selangor police chief Datuk Seri Abdul Samah Mat (pic).

On Wednesday, Malaysia said 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the North Korean embassy here, was wanted for questioning over the death of the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong Nam and his younger brother Kim Jong-Un.

He said if the person concerned did not cooperate the police would issue a notice under Malaysian law, “compelling” them to appear before the investigation team.

“And if he failed to turn up upon given this notice, then we will go to the next step by getting a warrant of arrest from the court,” he told reporters.

Eight North Koreans are wanted in connection with the case, including the diplomat.

One has been detained by the Malaysian police, four are believed to have fled to North Korea, while two others are still in Malaysia.

However, the tough talks unlikely to produce any immediate result – after all these peoples are North Korean.

Dede Koswara Indonesia Tree Man dies at a Bandung hospital

Dede Koswara / pix PRFM
Dede Koswara / pix PRFM



Dede Koswara dubbed ‘Tree Man of Java’ who was admitted to Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung recently died days later.

According to Detik News an Indonesian site Dede Koswara 46, passed away around 3.30 local time on Saturday 30, 2016.

The news of Dede death also reported in various regional sites including Bandung radio station PRFM

At the age of 37, he almost died of the rare disease inflicted huge tree-like growths that had encased his limbs for 20 years.

He gained famed worldwide after his plights was featured in a Discovery documentary.


Dr Rachmat Dinata, leading the team treating Dede at the Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung, West Java, in April 2008 said: “Five years from now, he would have been dead.

“He had lots of very active bacteria in his lungs. If he hadn’t come here, and instead had lived his life as he had, with bad food and not enough of it, then the disease would have spread quickly.”

Dede survived longer than his Doctor had predicted.

The intensive treatments have allowed Dede to beat the infection – albeit temporarily.

An X-ray quickly revealed that the immune deficiency stopping him fighting the warts had also allowed a potentially deadly TB infection to take hold.

Dede showed off his new ability to grip a pen, a feat that had been made impossible by the foot-long “roots” that previously covered his hands.

But the growths have now begun to return to his hands and feet, closing up the gaps between his digits leaving him unable to carry out basic tasks.

He manages to smoke at his village on the outskirts of Bandung in West Java by balancing the cigarette between his first and middle finger, but has lost most of his dexterity.

Dede Koswara



The tree-like growth on Dede hand and fingers.

Malaysia “connections” in Sony Pictures cyberattack

The Interview that triggered massive cyberattack against Sony.
The Interview that triggered massive cyberattack against Sony.

Newly declassified US’s National Security Agency document linked Malaysia to recent massive cyberattack on Sony over comedy movie The Interview blamed on North Korea.

The U.S. spy agency drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favoured by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other U.S. allies according to a Canadian website citing a former U.S. and foreign officials.

A classified security agency program reportedly place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers numbered roughly 6,000 people the site said.

Most are commanded by the country’s main intelligence service, called the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and Bureau 121, its secretive hacking unit, with a large outpost in China.

The evidence gathered by the “early warning radar” of software painstakingly hidden to monitor North Korea’s activities proved critical in persuading President Barack Obama to accuse the government of Kim Jong Un of ordering the Sony attack, according to the officials and experts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the classified NSA operation.

Indonesia president Jokowi spotted flying economy class [photos]

Indonesia President Joko Widodo flying economy to attend son graduation in Singapore.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo flying economy to attend son graduation in Singapore.

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo caused a stir this weekend by opting to fly economy class to watch his son’s high school graduation in Singapore, drawing both praise and criticism online.

Skipping the usual heavy security protocol for heads of state, Widodo and his wife Iriana queued for check-in at Jakarta airport like ordinary passengers before taking their economy seats.

Widodo is known for his common touch, and his family have maintained a modest lifestyle since he became leader of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy last month.

The presence of the president, known by his nickname Jokowi, caused a buzz at Jakarta’s airport as passengers shouted and clamoured to shake his hand, with some taking selfies on their phones.
Some, though, thought it was a publicity stunt. Continue reading Indonesia president Jokowi spotted flying economy class [photos]

China censored awkward APEC photos and video of Putin and China president wife

In this Nov. 10, 2014 file photo, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, puts a shawl on Peng Liyuan, left, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping as they arrive to watch a fireworks show after a welcome banquet for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. It was a warm gesture on a chilly night when Vladimir Putin wrapped a shawl around the wife of Xi Jinping while the Chinese president chatted with Barack Obama. The only problem: Putin came off looking gallant, the Chinese summit host gauche and inattentive. (AP Photo, File)
In this Nov. 10, 2014 file photo, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, right, puts a shawl on Peng Liyuan, left, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping as they arrive to watch a fireworks show after a welcome banquet for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.(AP Photo, File)

On a day when China sought to claim a grander role on the world stage in managing global commerce, a seemingly thoughtful gesture by the Russian president ended up awkwardly upstaging his Chinese counterpart.

At a chilly outdoors event at the Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing, Russian leader Vladimir Putin took it upon himself Tuesday to wrap a shawl around the shoulders of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s wife.

She accepted with a broad smile, but quickly removed the shawl and accepted one from her own attendants.

The incident became instant fodder for jokes, as it made Putin look gallant and Xi (who was conversing with Barack Obama) inattentive to his wife.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) gestures to US President Barack Obama (R) as they enter a room before a meeting after participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing on November 11, 2014. Top leaders and ministers of the 21-member APEC grouping are meeting in Beijing from November 7 to 11. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kim Kyung-HoonKIM KYUNG-HOON/AFP/Getty Images
China’s President Xi Jinping (L) gestures to US President Barack Obama (R) as they enter a room before a meeting after participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing on November 11, 2014. Top leaders and ministers of the 21-member APEC grouping are meeting in Beijing from November 7 to 11. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kim Kyung-HoonKIM KYUNG-HOON/AFP/Getty Images

Off-color jokes added to the cringe factor, as many Chinese women see the divorced Putin as a sexy macho man, and Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan was a glamorous recording star before her husband became a somebody.

“China is traditionally conservative on public interaction between unrelated men and women, and the public show of consideration by Putin may provide fodder for jokes, which the big boss probably does not like,” Beijing-based historian and independent commentator Zhang Lifan explained.

Video of the incident was removed from China’s CCTV and scrubbed from China’s censored Internet.

Singapore ‘Mobile Air’ scammed Vietnamese tourist of iPhone 6

Pham Van Thoai, the Vietnamese tourist, cried as he begged a Mobile Air shop employees to give him his money back on Monday. Photo credit: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Pham Van Thoai, the Vietnamese tourist, cried as he begged a Mobile Air shop employees to give him his money back on Monday. Photo credit: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Singaporeans outraged by an electronics shop that left a Vietnamese tourist in tears after a phone-sale scam have raised thousands of dollars to compensate him, a crowdfunding site shows.

Factory worker Pham Van Thoai, 28, on Monday forked out $Sg950 ($A789) to buy a new iPhone 6 in the Sim Lim Square electronics mall, which has long been known to victimise tourists.

But employees of the “Mobile Air” store refused to allow him to leave with the phone unless he paid an additional $Sg1500 in “warranty fees”. He was eventually given a partial refund of $Sg400, with no phone in hand, after police intervention.

A video widely shared on social media showed Pham kneeling down and begging the shop owner and employees for his full cash payment while they laughed at him.

Singapore media reports said Pham earns the equivalent of $A170 a month in Vietnam and had saved up for months to buy the latest iPhone for his girlfriend.

A crowdfunding campaign launched on the Indiegogo portal to buy Pham an iPhone 6 reached $US11,000 ($A11,901) by midday on Thursday, with more than 1400 donors.

“This is not OK, this is not right. We are NOT a nation of thieves and cheats,” wrote Singaporean technology entrepreneur Gabriel Kang, who initiated the campaign a day after the incident.

“While we cannot undo those traumatic and humiliating scenes he has had to endure, we can try to make things right. Let’s give the man an iPhone 6!,” Kang wrote on the campaign site.

Despite the huge amount collected on his behalf, Pham said he would only accept the amount he had to forfeit at the store.

“I will accept only $550 donated by kind people. Nothing more. I’m grateful for all your kindness but I do not want to take more than what I’ve lost,” he told the Chinese-language Lianhe Zaobao newspaper.

Mr Jover Chew, the owner of Mobile Air, in an interview with The New Paper. -- PHOTO: TNP
Mr Jover Chew, the owner of Mobile Air, in an interview with The New Paper. — PHOTO: TNP

The incident has touched a raw nerve in wealthy, tech-savvy Singapore, which depends heavily on tourism revenues. The city-state of 5.5 million people attracted nearly 16 million tourists in 2013.

The six-storey Sim Lim Square mall has a bad reputation for a small number of rogue retailers who prey on unsuspecting tourists looking to purchase the latest gadgets before returning home.

AFP

Mobile Air - Jover Chew shop was found closed.
Mobile Air – Jover Chew shop was found closed.

US lifts 40-year arms ban to boost Vietnam sea defense

Photo taken on June 23, 2014 by Vietnam's maritime police allegedly shows a Chinese boat (L) ramming a Vietnamese vessel in contested waters near China's deep sea drilling rig in the South China Sea (AFP Photo/Maritime Police)
Photo taken on June 23, 2014 by Vietnam’s maritime police allegedly shows a Chinese boat (L) ramming a Vietnamese vessel in contested waters near China’s deep sea drilling rig in the South China Sea (AFP Photo/Maritime Police).

WASHINGTON – In a decision likely to anger China, the US is partly lifting a 40-year ban on arms sales to former foe Vietnam to help boost defenses in the tense South China Sea.

The historic easing of the ban in place since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 will only apply to maritime equipment, State Department officials stressed, and comes amid warming ties and as Hanoi makes “modest” improvements to human rights.

“What’s driving this is not a sudden desire to transfer military equipment to Vietnam writ large, but a specific need in the region,” said one official, highlighting what he called Vietnam’s lack of capacity in the disputed waters and America’s own national security interests.

“It’s useful in trying to deal with the territorial disputes in the South China Sea to bolster the capacity of our friends in the region to maintain a maritime presence in some capacity.”

Some 40 percent of the world’s seaborne trade passes through the sea which is claimed in part by Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia, as well as China and the Philippines.

Although the United States has not taken sides in the territorial disputes, it has warned Beijing against “destabilizing actions” amid a series of tense maritime incidents.

Secretary of State John Kerry informed his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Min during talks Thursday of Washington’s move to adjust the current policy “to allow the transfer of defense equipment, including lethal defense equipment, for maritime security purposes only,” a senior State Department official said.

Kerry later praised “the transformation” in Vietnam since the US normalized diplomatic relations two decades ago, calling it “nothing short of amazing.”

“Vietnam has become a modern nation and an important partner of the United States. And (when) we talk to the young people in Vietnam you can feel the enthusiasm for the potential of the future,” he told a US-ASEAN business council dinner.

General Martin Dempsey (R), chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, and General Do Ba Ty (L), deputy defense minister and chief of general staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, review an honour guard in Hanoi on August 14, 2014 (AFP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Not ‘anti-China’

US officials denied the policy change was “anti-China” and insisted they had no specific sales to outline so far, but would consider each request from Hanoi on a “case-by-case” basis.

And they sought to allay any concerns from Beijing saying it was purely a defensive measure.

“We’re not talking about destabilizing systems, we’re talking about defensive capabilities… These are not things that are going to tip the regional balance,” a second State Department official said, also asking not to be named.

Any sales would be done in close consultation with the US Congress, and would be heavily focused on equipping the Vietnamese coastguard, the State Department officials said.

And they acknowledged that airborne defense systems would also be considered for sale if they included a maritime capacity.

“This policy supports Vietnam’s efforts to improve its maritime domain awareness and maritime security capabilities,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Officials said however that the easing of the ban did not mean all arms sales were now on the table to the communist-run authorities amid continuing concerns about rights such as freedom of expression and religion.

“It’s not an indication that we are going to provide all lethal assistance now, it just simply says we can remove what has been a hinderance to our ability to provide legitimate maritime capacity,” the second unnamed State Department official said. — AFP

Indian schoolboy kills by tigers in Delhi zoo (video)

The terrified Indian schoolboy.
The terrified Indian schoolboy.

A white tiger mauled to death a school student in a New Delhi zoo today, an official and a witness said.

Television channels broadcast closed-circuit footage of the frightened boy inside the tiger’s enclosure in the zoo that houses six white tigers, along with lions and panthers.

“We are all in a complete state of shock,” said Amitabh Agnihotri, the director of the National Zoological Park in the Indian capital, adding that the body was being sent for a post-mortem examination.

“The tiger grabbed the youth and killed him. I am not clear whether the youth jumped into the cage or he slipped accidentally.”

Authorities have yet to ascertain whether the student was alone or accompanied by friends.

“The barricade was too low and it seems the tiger grabbed the youth into his cage and firmly latched on to the youth’s neck,” an eyewitness who alerted the police told an Indian news channel.

“We tried to throw sticks and stones at the tiger but we could not save the youth,” he said, adding that the tiger killed him in less than 10 minutes.

In 2000 a tiger mauled a man in a zoo in the eastern state of West Bengal.

In 2011, India had 1,706 tigers, or more than half the world’s population of the endangered species. – Reuters

Here is the video courtesy of Times of India.