Britain might send aircraft carrier to back Australian vessels patrolling South China Sea

Australia and Britain are discussing plans for the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to be sent to the Pacific amid tensions over China’s militarisation in the South China Sea.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop discussed joint naval operations in the Pacific region with UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, during their visit this week.
In an effort to highlight the defence ties, Williamson and Payne visited BAe Systems shipyards on the…

Pink Dot: Singapore’s rare gem for LGBT community shines brighter than ever

In protest-averse Singapore, where civil society activists rejoice when their events draw more than 500 people, the annual Pink Dot gay pride rally has become a stand-out affair for its ever-swelling crowds.
Now in its 10th edition, this year’s rally to be held on Saturday afternoon is expected to once again pull in a crowd of more than 20,000 people comprising the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community as well as many of their straight…

China and Russia delay US bid to halt refined petroleum exports to North Korea following accusations of sanction-breaking

China and Russia on Thursday delayed a US bid to have the UN Security Council committee order a halt to refined petroleum exports to North Korea, asking for more detail on a US accusation that Pyongyang breached sanctions, diplomats said.
The United States last week complained to the 15-member Security Council North Korea sanctions committee that as of May 30, there had been 89 illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products this year by Pyongyang.
It asked the committee to notify…

Myanmar military seized weapons from Rohingya before launching deadly crackdown

Myanmar’s military engaged in “extensive and systematic” preparations for a bloody crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, a rights group said on Thursday, in a damning new report that it says justifies a genocide investigation.
A bloody military campaign that started last August forced some 700,000 of the effectively stateless minority over the border into Bangladesh, where they have recounted allegations of rape and extrajudicial killings.
The UN and US have called the campaign…

Russian diplomat recommends easing of UN sanctions against North Korea as US seeks action

The UN Security Council should think about easing sanctions on North Korea, Russia’s envoy to the country said on Wednesday, as the US pushes for a halt to refined petroleum exports to Pyongyang.
“The positive change on the Korean peninsula is now obvious,” said the ambassador, Alexander Matsegora, according to the RIA news agency, adding that Russia was ready to help modernise North Korea's energy system if sanctions were lifted and if Pyongyang can find funding for the…

Thai boys hail their ‘miracle’ rescue from flooded cave during first media appearance

Twelve boys and their football coach who were rescued after being trapped for over a fortnight in a flooded Thai cave spoke publicly of their incredible ordeal for the first time on Wednesday at a press conference beamed around the world.
The “Wild Boars” team members looked healthy and happy as they answered questions about the nine days they spent in the dark before being discovered by members of an international rescue team.
A packed crowd greeted the youngsters – some of…

Six-storey building collapses into another outside Indian capital New Delhi, 3 dead

A six-storey building under construction collapsed onto an adjacent building east of the Indian capital, killing at least three people and trapping several others under the debris, police said on Wednesday.
Chief Fire Officer Arun Kumar Singh said at least 12 workers were in the building at the time and are feared trapped under rubble, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The rescuers have so far found three bodies from the debris, police officer Ajay Pal Sharma said.
The second…