THAILAND Health authorities have barred a cruise ship from docking that has already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan out of concern over a new virus, although no cases have been confirmed on board. Prime Minister Prayuth Chano-cha confirmed the ban but said Thailand was looking a way to give humanitarian assistance.
THE PHILIPPINES notified the United States it would end a major security pact allowing American forces to train in the country, in the most serious threat under President Rodrigo Duterte to their 69-year treaty alliance.
BANGLADESH An overcrowded boat carrying about 138 Rohingya refugees from Bangladeshi camps sank yesterday in the Bay of Bengal, leaving at least 15 confirmed dead, mostly women. The coast guard, navy divers and other rescuers recovered the bodies after the wooden boat capsized off St. Martin’s Island.
INDIA Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party was given a stunning defeat by a regional party yesterday in elections in the national capital that were seen as a referendum on his policies, including a new national citizenship law that excludes Muslims. Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah appealed to majority Hindus by focusing on national issues such as the citizenship law, which triggered widespread protests.
AUSTRALIA‘s highest court ruled yesterday that the government can’t deport Aboriginal people as part of its policy of ridding the country of foreign criminals. The High Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that indigenous Australians cannot be deported even if they do not hold Australian citizenship.
MALAYSIA Britain sees huge trading opportunities in Southeast Asia and seeks to build a “new modern and dynamic” relationship with the region’s 10 nations after leaving the European Union, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured, right) said yesterday. Raab said Britain sees Malaysia as a key partner in the ASEAN.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the U.S. economy appears durable with steady growth and unemployment near a half-century low but faces risks from the broadening viral outbreak that began in China. Giving the Fed’s semiannual monetary report to Congress, Powell said that the Fed is content with where interest rates are.
EUROPE Ferocious winds, with gusts over 200 kph, lashed Corsica and whipped up a forest fire that flared overnight on the French Mediterranean island yesterday, after a storm with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains battered northern Europe for days, killing at least eight people and causing severe travel disruptions.