Month in brief

Three-way summit ahead

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has proposed the notion of a three-way summit among the two Koreas and the United States, depending on the outcome of April’s planned North-South summit and US President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which will take place sometime before the end of May.Moon said that holding a North Korea-US summit following a South-North Korea summit would be‘a historical event’.

Death at the border

Five Indian soldiers and five suspected militants have been killed in a gun battle near the de facto border between India and Pakistan in the disputed region of Kashmir. The militants carried out attacks against security forces who were conducting a search operation in forests around Kupwara, around 60 miles north of Srinagar. Kupwara senior superintendent of police, Shamsher Hussain, said that the militants were all Pakistanis and had most likely infiltrated the area a few days earlier.

Fighting back

China announced it would ‘not sit idly by and let its legitimate rights and interests be harmed’, as US President Donald Trump prepared to announce sanctions against Beijing for the ‘theft’ of intellectual property.In a daily press briefing in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunyingsaid China hopes it can hold constructive talks with the United States to achieve a win-win solution to settle trade issues between the world’s two largest economies.

Storm warning

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, warned that Japan’s planned deployment of the American Aegis Ashore anti-missile system is an obstacle to Moscow improving ties with Tokyo. The rollout, scheduled for 2023, will have a direct effect on Russia’s national security, said Mr Lavrov, following talks in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono. In his turn, Mr Kono emphasised that the land-based missile interceptor system will be ‘purely defensive and managed independently by our country, with the aim of improving Japan’s capability against the North Korea threat’.

Plane crash kills 49

A Bangladeshi airline plane carrying 71 passengers and crew crash-landed at Nepal’s Kathmandu airport, killing 49 people. The airlineblamed air traffic control, but according to the airport, Flight BS211 approached from the wrong direction and veered off the runway while landing. A recording of communications between the pilot and air traffic control moments before the plane crashed indicates some misunderstanding occurred, though the Nepalese Prime Minister promised an immediate investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Approval for ‘fake news’ bill

Malaysia’s proposed Anti-Fake News Bill has received Cabinet approval and will be tabled in Parliament. Datuk Seri Azalina, the country’s de facto law minister, said that a briefing on the matter would be held for lawmakers from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and the Opposition. The proposed law is intended as a preventive measure against the spread of unverified or fake news.


Social media speaks out for Sridevi

The death in February of Bollywood superstar Sridevi has led some industry insiders to speak out about the pressures faced by women and outsiders in India’s so-called ‘dream factory’. Sridevi’s ‘accidental drowning’at the age of 54 prompted a spate of comments on Indian social media about the burdens placed on the industry’s leading women as they face constant press scrutiny over their looks and personal lives.At least 16 actresses and nine actors have committed suicide in India, often allegedly due to depression.

No joy ride

Riders on a roller-coaster at Australia’s Dreamworld theme park in Queensland were left hanging backwards after the ride abruptly ground to a halt. The malfunction on the BuzzSaw, which left six people stranded for 15 minutes, happened less than 18 months after four people died during an accident on another ride at the same theme park, in October 2016. A spokesman for Dreamworld said that all rides were fitted with sensors that could halt rides for reasons including weather and customer behaviour.


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