Alexa

In Brief

In Brief

Bangladesh opposition calls off poll boycott
DHAKA, Bangladesh
Bangladesh's opposition announced yesterday they had called off a boycott of next month's general elections, ending months of damaging and deadly protests over alleged plans to rig the vote.
The about-turn came after the embattled interim government agreed to implement a raft of electoral reforms, and amid fears the crisis in the politically-polarized South Asian nation could spiral out of control.
"We have decided to take part in the elections," a senior official from the main opposition Awami League, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, told reporters.
"We will now hold meetings with our alliance partners to discuss the sharing of parliamentary seats," he added, as the opposition parties said they would form a coalition with other opposition parties to fight the election.
China official fired
BEIJING, China
The second most-powerful figure in China's booming eastern province of Shandong has been fired for misconduct, state media announced yesterday, amid an anti-corruption crackdown.
Du Shicheng was dismissed as deputy party secretary for Shandong due to "serious discipline violation," the Xinhua News Agency and state television said. They didn't give any details, but such language usually is used to describe embezzlement, extortion or other graft.
Shandong is one of China's most populous provinces, with some 95 million people. Its main business center, Qingdao, is home to appliance maker Haier Group and the Tsingtao Beer brewery and is a center for South Korean investment.
The communist government has fired or punished thousands of officials for corruption and abuse of power in recent years in an attempt to stop rampant graft that is fueling public anger.
Thai Muslim killed
NARATHIWAT, Thailand
A Muslim villager has been shot dead at his home in Thailand's rebellious south by suspected Islamic separatists, local police said yesterday.
The 32-year-old was shot by two men as he watched television late Saturday at his house in Narathiwat, one of three provinces where separatist violence and other unrest has killed more than 1,700 people in three years.
Violence has surged recently in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, three Muslim-majority southern provinces bordering Malaysia.
The area was an independent sultanate until it was annexed by mainly Buddhist Thailand in 1902. The recent bloodshed in the region has been blamed on Islamic extremists, separatists and criminal gangs.
Thailand's post-coup government has offered an olive branch to the separatist rebels, but with little result so far.
South Korea bird flu
SEOUL, South Korea
South Korean quarantine workers slaughtered thousands of pigs yesterday, as the country struggles to stem the spread of bird flu, an official said.
Nearly 4,200 pigs were killed at a farm in Asan, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul, where a case of bird flu - South Korea's fourth in less than a month - broke out last week, said Yoon Chang-hee, an official at the South Chungcheong provincial government.
Yoon declined to give a reason for the measure, only saying there was an Agriculture Ministry instruction to cull all pigs within 500 meters of the outbreak site.


Updated : 2021-04-12 01:59 GMT+08:00