India bans Islamic group PFI for five years after detentions, raids

NEW DELHI – Indian authorities declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates an unlawful association with immediate effect on Wednesday, banning it for five years. The order comes after the authorities detained scores of members of the Islamic group on Tuesday and earlier in September, accusing them of violence and anti-national activities. […]

Malaysian fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ nabbed in Venezuela: Report

PETALING JAYA – Venezuelan authorities have apprehended the Malaysian fugitive Leonard Glenn Francis, commonly known as “Fat Leonard”, after he disappeared on Sept 4. According to US news outlet NBCNews.com, Penang-born Francis was captured after Venezuelan authorities nabbed him as he was trying to board a plane bound for another country. Venezuelan authorities had been […]

China extends lockdown in parts of Chengdu, expands mass testing

BEIJING – China extended its lockdown in districts of western megacity Chengdu and ordered more mass testing there from Sunday as it tries to contain a Covid-19 outbreak. Chengdu’s central Jinjiang district will further intensify lockdowns and extend control measures for at least three days starting from Sunday, authorities said in a statement. Other districts […]

China investigating former Henan financial regulation official

BEIJING (REUTERS) – A former financial regulation official in central China’s Henan province is under investigation following a local rural banking scandal, the local anti-graft watchdog said on Friday (Aug 2). Mr Chen Yimin, former deputy head of the now-defunct China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Henan Office, is being investigated for suspected “severe violation of discipline […]

Macau returns to mass Covid-19 testing after traveller to Zhuhai tests positive

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Authorities in Macau instructed residents to conduct at least two days of Covid-19 tests after a person who travelled from the Chinese special administrative region to neighbouring city Zhuhai was found to have been infected with the virus. The move comes days after Macau started to unwind stringent anti-Covid-19 rules, including […]

Macau to reopen city as no Covid-19 infections detected for 9 days

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Macau will reopen public services and entertainment facilities, and allow dining-in at restaurants from Tuesday (Aug 2), authorities said, as the world’s biggest gambling hub seeks a return to normalcy after finding no Covid-19 cases for nine straight days. Beauty salons, fitness centres, and bars too will be allowed to resume […]

Macau to extend city lockdown, casino closure until July 22 to stop spread of Covid-19

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Macau’s government will extend a lockdown of casinos and other businesses until next Friday (July 22), as the authorities grapple to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the world’s biggest gambling hub, according a statement on its website. The lockdown in the Chinese special administrative region had been due to end […]

Decriminalising cannabis: Thailand needs to act fast to enact stronger laws on its use

BANGKOK – The nearly total decriminalisation of cannabis and the resulting buying frenzy and backlash have taken centre stage in Thailand for weeks, with the authorities rushing to enact piecemeal laws to temporarily close the current legislation gap on the plant. And to prevent further fallout, industry experts as well as medical professionals have urged […]

Australian capital Canberra hit by new Covid-19 wave: Health authorities

CANBERRA (XINHUA) – Health authorities in Australia’s capital Canberra have warned of a new wave of coronavirus infections. Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith revealed that modelling has indicated the territory is currently experiencing another wave of Covid-19 infections. “We are seeing those case numbers starting to increase and we expect that is […]