Asia-Pacific navies should extend a code of conduct to submarines to reduce the risk of accidents among the 250 underwater vessels expected to be operating in Asia by 2030, according to Singapore’s navy chief. The code, agreed in 2014, aims at curbing the chances of accidents at sea, and reducing the risk of escalation if an incident occurs. The region’s navies are buying or building submarines partly in response to China’s growing fleet and amid territorial tensions extending from the East China Sea to the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Singapore’s Defense Minister said yesterday his country would buy two more submarines to be operational by 2024, adding to two already on order.
Albino orangutan named after global appeal
A conservation group says a rare albino orangutan rescued in Indonesia has been named “Alba” after thousands of suggestions were sent from around the world. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation said the name means “white” in Latin and “dawn” in Spanish. It hopes the animal will be an ambassador for the critically endangered species. The 5-year-old female was rescued from captivity in a village on Indonesia’s part of Borneo island on April 29. It was the first albino orangutan to be encountered by the foundation in its 25 years of conservation work. The group is collecting information on albinism in great apes to help it decide the primate’s future.
Vietnam arrests anti-polluter activist
In Vietnam’s latest crackdown on dissent, police have arrested an activist who organized a protest against a polluting steel plant, saying he instigated demonstrators to attack and injure several police officers. A statement on the website of Nghe An provincial police in central Vietnam said 34-year-old Hoang Duc Binh was taken into custody Monday for allegedly “abusing democratic rights to infringe on the interests of the state, the rights and legitimate interests of organizations and citizens,” and opposing officers on duty. Police said his alleged incitement of protesters at a local government office in April caused public disorder.