ASEAN IN FOCUS

Asian push to crack down on ‘fake news’ sparks alarm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Inflammatory stories masquerading as real news pose a particularly toxic threat in Asian countries with long-standing religious and ethnic divides, but promises by some regional leaders to tackle the problem carry equal menace. Borrowing from US President Donald Trump’s political playbook, government heads with an authoritarian streak are using the mantra of “fake news” to shield themselves from negative media coverage, and push legislation that critics say is aimed more […]

President Duterte confers order of Sikatuna to outgoing ambassador of Thailand

  (Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte conferred the Order of Sikatuna to outgoing Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising on Tuesday, April 17, during the latter’s farewell call in Malacanang. President Duterte expressed his gratitude to Ambassador Upatising for his contributions in strengthening the relations between the Philippines and Thailand, as he conferred upon him the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Grand Cross (Gold distinction) for his […]

Social innovation, corporate responsibility, pangunahing paksa sa isinagawang Asian Forum on Enterprise For Society

(Eagle News) — Tinalakay sa isinasagawang dalawang araw na Asian Forum on Enterprise for Society ang ukol sa social innovation, governance at corporate responsibility sa ASEAN. Sa opisyal na pagsisimula ng forum naging panauhing pandangal si Vice President Leni Robredo at dito tinalakay ng bise presidente ang ilang mga suliranin ng bansa lalo na sa usaping kahirapan. Tinalakay rin ni Robredo ang ukol sa mga platform at teknolohiya na nagiging dahilan kadalasan anila ng mga […]

Myanmar pardons 8,500 prisoners in holiday amnesty

  YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar’s president on Tuesday announced pardons for more than 8,500 prisoners, including three dozen jailed in political cases, as part of an annual amnesty marking the country’s traditional new year. President Win Myint, who took office last month after his predecessor suddenly resigned, said the pardons would be granted on humanitarian grounds during the Buddhist new year festival known as Thingyan. The amnesty was extended mostly to drug offenders, as […]

Scepticism as Myanmar announces return of first Rohingya family

by Athens Zaw Zaw with Sam Jahan in Dhaka ¬© Agence France-Presse YANGON,¬†Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar’s government said it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees, among the 700,000 who fled a brutal crackdown, but the move was slammed by rights groups as a publicity stunt which ignored warnings over the security of returnees. The stateless Muslim minority has been massing in squalid refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh since the Myanmar army […]

Myanmar says ICC lacks jurisdiction to probe Rohingya crisis

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar has expressed “serious concern” over an attempt at the International Criminal Court to open a probe into mass deportations of Rohingya Muslims, dismissing the claims and saying the court has no jurisdiction. Some 700,000 people from the stateless Muslim minority fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state to Bangladesh following Rohingya insurgent attacks on border guard posts in August last year. Myanmar says it was defending itself from the rebel Arakan Rohingya Salvation […]

Duterte apologizes to Myanmar’s Suu Kyi over genocide remark

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, April 13, issued a public apology to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Friday, a week after describing the military crackdown on the country’s Rohingya minority as a “genocide.” “I will apologize to you, but if you have noticed, my statement was almost a satire,” Duterte told a pre-dawn news conference in Davao on Friday. He said his original comments were intended as a dig at European countries […]

ICC prosecutor seeks to open Rohingya deportations probe

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has asked judges to rule whether she can open a probe into the mass deportations of the Rohingya people from Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands of the stateless Muslim minority have fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state in recent months to escape a bloody military crackdown. The violence has left a trail of torched villages in its wake, amid allegations of murder and rape […]

Malaysian PM announces dissolution of parliament for tough election

by Sam Reeves Agence France Presse KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Friday announced the dissolution of parliament for a general election that will pose one of the sternest-ever tests for his ruling coalition, due to a massive financial scandal and a challenge from former leader Mahathir Mohamad. After laying out the Barisan Nasional coalition’s recent achievements in a 25-minute speech on state television, Najib announced that parliament would be dissolved […]

Duterte: PHL “willing to accept” persecuted Rohingyas

“Hati hati tayo sa Europe,” he says (Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he was “willing to accept” Rohingyas in the country. “Hati hati tayo sa Europe,” the President said in a speech before rice traders in Malacanang. Duterte made the pronouncement after describing what the Rohingyas were experiencing in Myanmar as genocide even after he acknowledged Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was his “friend.’ The Rohingyas–majority of whom are […]

Flight returns to Singapore after alleged bomb threat

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — A flight operated by budget airline Scoot was Thursday escorted back to Singapore by fighter jets after a passenger allegedly made a bomb threat, police and the airline said. The flight bound for Hat Yai in Thailand landed safely at the city-state’s Changi Airport at 3:23 pm (0723 GMT), said an airline statement. It had taken off from Singapore about two hours earlier, the city-state’s Straits Times newspaper reported. It was […]

Beijing, Hanoi promise to keep peace in South China Sea

HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — China and Vietnam vowed Sunday to keep the peace in the South China Sea, the resource-rich waterway that has long been a source of tension between Hanoi and its powerhouse communist neighbour. China claims most of the disputed sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and is highly strategic for trade and defence. Beijing has built up artificial islands capable of hosting military installations in recent […]