Month in brief

Toll of Typhoon Mangkhut

Almost 100 people are feared dead after a landslide caused by Typhoon Mangkhut shrouded the remote mining town of Itogon in the Philippines, burying homes and a chapel where dozens had sheltered. The area’s death toll, already standing at 36, is expected to rise with more than 50 people missing. Mangkhut, a category five typhoon, swept through the Philippine region of Luzon on September 15, wreaking destruction on homes and crops and causing extensive flooding.

 


High Court frees Sharifs

The Islamabad High Court has ordered the release from jail of Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter and heir Maryam, thus suspending prison sentences meted out by a lower court in July over the purchase of upmarket apartments in London.  The ruling comes nearly two months after Sharif’s PML-N party lost a general election to the party of new PM Imran Khan, amid allegations that the July 25 polls were rigged to favour Khan, seen to be close to the army.


Ibrahim’s planned comeback

Malaysia’s former Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim is planning a political comeback by the end of this year. Ibrahim’s return to politics, following his imprisonment on what many view as political grounds, has been widely expected, in light of an agreement within the ruling Pakatan Harapan pact to make him prime minister in two years. Port Dickson MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah has stepped aside to allow Ibrahim to run for his seat in a forthcoming by-election.

 


India: ‘instant divorce’ a crime

India has made the Islamic practice of ‘triple talaq’ (instant divorce) a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.The new ruling means that any Muslim man who tries to end his marriage by uttering‘talaq’ (‘you are divorced’ in Arabic) three times in succession now faces jail time.The executive order issued by the Indian government brings an outright ban on the practice a step closer.

 


Massacre in Nangarhar

The death toll from a suicide attack on Afghan protesters has risen to 68 as violence flares across the country ahead of elections.The September 11 bombing in the eastern province of Nangarhar was the latest in a wave of insurgent attacks which has killed hundreds of civilians and security forces across Afghanistan.There has been no claim of responsibility for the deadly blast, but IS,which has carried out most of the recent suicide bombings in Afghanistan, is active in the province.


End of animal sacrifice

The Sri Lankan government has agreed to ban the ritual sacrifice of animals and birds at Hindu temples on the island. According to a government spokesman, the move,which was proposed by the Hindu Religious Affairs ministry, is supported by most moderate Hindu groups. The practice of sacrificing goats, buffalo calves and chickens at temples as an offering to deities has attracted years of protests in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka.Animals sacrificed at Hindu and Muslim religious festivals are often left to bleed to death, which angers animal rights activists and some Buddhist groups.


Tycoon to head for the moon

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, an online fashion tycoon best known outside Japan for spending tens of millions of dollars at record-breaking art auctions, hopes to be the first civilian passenger to fly to the moon, as part of an ambitious project with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.The 42-year-old mogul wants to take a group of artists with him on the flight,scheduled for 2023, though he has not revealed how much he paid for the trip.

 


Airheads…

An Asian airline has had to send a new plane back to the paint shop after the company’s name was misspelled on the side of the jet. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific’s name was painted as ‘Cathay Paciic’, an error spotted at Hong Kong International Airport by eagle-eyed travelers, who contacted the airline. The company joked about the gaffe on Twitter, saying,‘Oops this special livery won’t last long! She’s going back to the shop!’

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