Month in Brief

Pakistan ‘will pay’ for Kashmir attack

Pakistan ‘will pay’ for Kashmir attack

India’s defence minister vowed Pakistan ‘will pay’ for an attack on an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir in which nine people were killed, including five soldiers and a civilian.Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who visited the injured in hospital after heavily armed militants stormed the base in Jammu in the disputed Himalayan region bordering Pakistan, said that counter-terror operations at the camp had been called off, but that Pakistan ‘is expanding the arc of terror’ and‘resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration’.


Trudeau: no support for separatism

Trudeau: no support for separatism

During a visit to Amritsar, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered assurances to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh that Canada does not support separatism in India. Trudeau’s words were in response to a list handed to him by Mr Singh, of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in promoting radicalism in India. The ‘Khalistan’ issue featured prominently in talks between the two leaders, which followed the Canadian PM’s homage at the Golden Temple and a visit to the Partition Museum.


Rajapakse demands snap election

Rajapakse demands snap election

Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka’s former leader who lost presidential and parliamentary polls in 2015, challenged his successor’s right to govern after a remarkable comeback saw himcrush the ruling coalition in decisive mid-term polls.Rajapakse’s new party, the SLPP,won two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s councils in a shock blitz of local elections, trouncing the governing alliance as it reels from internal crises and a failure to deliver on promised post-war reforms.


ISIS-linked leader jailed

The Indonesian leader of militant group linked to ISIS was imprisoned by a Jakarta court over a plot to smuggle weapons from the Philippines. Zainal Anshori, head of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah – a group believed to be behind several terror plots in Indonesia– was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of committing a ‘criminal act of terrorism’. The weapons, which did not reach their destination, were intended for use in future attacks in Indonesia, the court said.

 


Wedding day arrest

In southern Cambodia, a man was arrested in the shower on his wedding day afterallegedlycriticising the government on Facebook. San Rotha was detained, the interrogated by a prosecutor and a judge in Kampong Cham province for apparentlyposting a video on the social media platform callingthe government ‘authoritarian’.According to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association’s (ADHOC), the arrest warrant accused Rotha of ‘public insult of the leader and public defamation’.


Olympic doping ban

The 2018 Winter Olympics saw its first drugs ban as Japanese speed skater Kei Saito became the first athlete to be barred from the Games for a doping violation when he failed a test prior to the Games. Saito, who had not yet competed, was due to race in the men’s 5,000m relay but tested positive for acetalozamide, a banned diuretic considered a masking agent. He will be suspended from the Olympics and other competitions pending a full investigation.


Field day for Malaysia’s car thieves

Car thieves in Malaysia are utilising a readily available frequency-hacking device to steal vehicles that rely on keyless entry systems. The device, which can be boughtonline or at some electronics stores for around RM150 (S$50), can unlock almost any car with keyless entry and start the engine by hacking its radio frequency identification (RFID) information. Thieves have even taken to recruiting hackers to install the required software onto their laptops and teach them how to operate the gadget.


Save the sharks

Save the sharks

Animal rights activists in Hong Kong are calling for shark fin soup to be banned from menus. Campaigners have been lobbying one of Hong Kong’s biggest restaurant chains to stop serving the delicacy, saying that Hong Kong imports 5,000 tonnes of shark a yearand that roughly one-third of the fins come from endangered species.They also highlighted the cruelty involved in shark finning. The traditional dish, which is especially popular during Chinese New Year, is regarded by many in Hong Kong and mainland China as a sign of prosperity and good fortune.

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